Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tornado Priorities

I have, through my life, had recurring themes in my dreams. Most of these kinds of dreams are produced by a particular anxiety and I have come to recognize them as almost comfortable when I have them. I might wake up with a start, but during the dreams, I am rarely afraid. It is like an old friend come to visit whom I observed from a distance.

I am significantly near-sighted so it should not be surprising to you that one of my recurring dream themes is being unable to see for some reason. Either my hair is in my face and I can't get it pulled back or the sun is shining too brightly or I just can't wake up enough to open my eyes, but I just can't see. I recognize it as addressing some level of anxiety about my poor eyesight.

I am also notoriously slow moving. When completing tasks, I am thorough and plodding and take about seven times as long to do things as most people. It might be perfect when I am finished, but wow, it takes a long time. This is my basic conundrum with bathing, cooking, and cleaning so another reoccurring theme is being unable to move at the same speed as regular people. Everything else in the dream will be happening at normal speeds, and I will be stuck in Super Slo-Mo unable to make myself get to where I need to be even though I desperately want to get there. Again, I recognize it as addressing anxiety about being slow.

The final and most alarming reoccurring theme I have is the "we all die in a tornado" dream. I am not really sure what triggers this dream, but I suspect it is a catch-all for feeling out of control and generalized anxiety. Or it could be storming outside. The dream is never exactly the same in terms of people or location, but the general idea is that we have a tornado bearing down on us that I can see in the sky and we are fleeing for shelter. I always wake up when the tornado reaches our location.

I had the tornado dream again last night. In this dream, there were tornadoes in the area and I had to clean out our closet we use for our shelter because it was full of stuff. All of a sudden I could see the funnel forming and dropping from the sky over our neighbor's house out of the window. I screamed for everyone to get in the closet and everyone madly rushed in. Just as I was about to enter, I remembered that my Boba carrier was still in my bedroom. I ran to my room and grabbed it off the floor, and, as I was running back, one of the shoulder straps snagged on a chair and I had to pause a moment to free it. Just then the tornado smashed into our house and I woke up with a start.

So there you have it. I love my carrier so much that I am apparently willing to die in a tornado in order to avoid losing it. I have odd dream priorities, but I do love my carrier.


Melanie Bettinelli said...

I love analyzing dreams. I get the tornado ones too. But my most common recurring dreams are one about wandering about a house that's huge and labyrinthine and keeps changing and one about being back in high school or college and trying to finish requirements while in the dream I am aware that I've already got a MA and sometimes already have kids so the need to fulfill the requirement shouldn't be there.

I'd think your dream about not being able to see might also be about frustration with not being able to see your way out of a dilemma, such as not being able to see how you can quit your job to stay home.

entropy said...

I have almost the exact opposite of your Slo-mo problem. I tend to talk fast and do everything too fast (which leads to it not being done quite as thorough as it should be! Which is really just a generous way of saying I half-ass it.) Maybe we could combine our super-powers (for no doubt they are, we just haven't applied them properly) and be a perfect person who neither takes too long nor moves too fast.

Everyone I know has those tornado dreams and I never do. We live in tornado alley but meh. If it happens it happens. Anxiety sucks though. Hope you feel in control soon!

Jenny said...


I have had the "I can't see" dream for as long as I can remember. It could be about frustration, I suppose.


We *could* be the perfect person!

I am actually happy to hear that other people have tornado dreams. I thought I was a little weird for having such a regular recurring dream. We have a fair number of tornadoes around here.

Elizabeth said...

Dreams are always so interesting to talk about! I've never had tornado dreams, but I have a recurring dream in which a giant fire is destroying our entire town, and I have to quickly prepare to leave our home behind, pack up, and leave, making sure that my kids are safe and with me. Oddly enough, the house and the town in the dream are never my house and town in real life.

I also have a recurring dream about wandering around a house (sometimes my own, sometimes my grandparents' houses, but never the house I grew up in), discovering a secret passage that leads to a whole new section of the house--but this always comes with the discovery that the house is haunted by a hostile spirit.

I think both of these types of dreams are probably about anxiety of one kind or another.

MargoB said...

Hi Jenny,
I came here from Dwija's cool 'blog, "House Unseen...".

After reading this post, my first thought was "What?! Someone else operates in SLO-MO mode and wishes they could speed up??! HOORAY! I'm not the only one!!!" I mean -- I wish that both of us could have slightly faster speeds of action as our modus operandi. But as this trait is causing me a lot of frustration lately, I at least can now ditch the burden (lie) that 'I'm the only one who struggles with this and therefore there must be something wrong with me; I'm out of kilter with the rest of the WORLD for pete's sake.'

Thank you for saying what you said; it's a relief to this gal :)

Jenny said...

Hi Margo! I'm glad you stopped by and commented.

I think our affliction is not a common one in this modern age of hurry-up. I'm always glad to hear of someone else who suffers from it. :) It is a source of frustration to me too, but what do you do. I try to speed up and fail. A lot. :)