Two Recurring nightmares were ended *13th in Series.


But, next after this River of Life dream, I began to have a recurring nightmare again.  I used to have 3 different ones; this was the least disturbing one.  I must have only had this one from when I was about 5 and slept alone upstairs, and until I was into my teens.  But, I began to have it again.

I thought, dreamed, imagined, that a dead horse was rearing up from where it lay out in the garden outside my window, and came at me with its front feet pawing and trying to strike out at me.  Before I tell you how this was resolved, let me give the actual background.

A horse had broken its leg out there the prior winter, my Dad shot it, and it lay there frozen, until Dad could haul it off to the woods in the spring.  I doubt that it was still there when the dream started, but it might have been.  I asked my mother the next time I saw her, after this dream began to recur when I was in my 30ies, if it had reared up on its hind legs like that and struck at my Dad?  She was shocked immensely, she said I never saw that, but yes it had happened.  He tried to shoot it from too far away, and only injured it further.  Then it was a very difficult thing to shoot it after that.  But, I told her my picture of it was as if I had seen it through the crack behind the kitchen door, and she thoughtfully said that it could have been that I did see it, and that she never realized it.

When the dream recurred a few times, I began to have what must have been a lucid dream.  I decided that, while dreaming, that if it were coming for me, I would get on and ride that horse and see where it took me.  It just ran away is all, but I heard in my Dad’s voice, “she is on her high horse” about mother, and as if it also might be about me.

I would have never wanted my Dad to see me like that.  But, in fact he had.  I remembered extremely well when I was perhaps 15, and Mother was helping grandma again, when the hired man died and they had to hire another one.  She was with my next younger brother, and both stayed there to help out for some time.  I was in charge of things at home, getting the meals, getting myself and the twins off to school, etc.  Well, we were on a dairy farm and they had monthly veterinary inspections.  We failed one inspection and could not sell our milk for a month, and then had to be given a clean bill of health for the inspection next time.  Dad blamed me because the milk pails had not been cleaned and sterilized by the time of the inspection.  This was done in the kitchen.

But, he had not gotten them in there in time for me to do them before leaving for school.  I told him so, in no uncertain terms, and said that he should have done them himself.  And, for three days, if he came in one door, I went out another, and never did a thing for HIM.  I fed the rest of us, but put no meal on the table for him.  I was terribly disillusioned about him.  I had felt that he was someone to be in sympathy with, because of the way Mother bossed him around and yelled at him, but here I could see he tended to expect a lot of her, and to blame her.  At least if he did this with me, he had done it with her.  But after three days, I went back to the usual, put the meals on for everyone, and I washed and sterilized the pails if they were in there on time.  And, not another word was ever said about it.   But, that was when that particular nightmare ended, and it had not occurred again until then, and having that lucid dream.  Dad never blamed me or expected unduly of me again.

But, then the second worst bad dream started to recur.  Before I go on to that next recurring nightmare, I have thought of a couple of other things I should include.

First, of all these recurring nightmares, this one I just described was the only one that could all have come about in ordinary ways.  It takes a level of unconsciousness, a lack of awareness, to take a phrase like “she is on her high horse” and tie it in to something traumatic.  But, I did, and that is common, I think.  Dad meant she is on a runaway kind of angry expression, which seemed unreasonable to him.  It may not have been unreasonable, but he was ready to take it that way.  Still he had seemed to take what others should do for granted, or to be manipulating to get them to do as he expected of them.

I felt that I had never bossed anyone around, unless I thought I had done as my mother had told me to do, in being in charge of the younger children.  They remember me as being bossy and a tattletale.  But, if any of them got punished, so did I for not stopping them or telling on them.  But I could manipulate pretty well myself.  I was not proud of realizing that.

Secondly, there was another event at that time after the River of Life dream, which may have been life saving.  I had used the stroller (very new, after having only a carriage until then) to take our youngest son, then about 3, into the grocery market.  These were not yet super markets, and there were no carts.  You put stuff on the counter, or asked for it from the clerk.  But, I bumped into a tall pile of cans on display at the end of an aisle, and they all began to topple toward my child.  It seemed that they would inevitably fall onto him.  In an instinctive gesture, I held out my hand as if to ward it off and they all began to fall back into place.  Onlookers were shocked to see it happen, and said that it seemed impossible.  I felt it was beyond explanation, myself.  And, of course my child took it for granted.  I am sure I told my husband, and together, we wondered if maybe they had not been falling as far as I had thought.  But, the picture was there in my mind, and they appeared to have been beyond just tipping out of balance.

My next recurring dream had diminished gradually and had not happened after I was maybe 10 or so.  I could not say when it started.  It seemed I had always had it up to then.  But, after this about the dead horse dream starting again, and resolving when I was in my thirties, this one began to recur again too.  In it a runaway train was coming in our dirt road, off of the distant tracks, and was heading straight for me, no matter how I ran or turned away.  As a small child I always woke up screaming.  Even then, in my thirties as it recurred, I struggled to wake up.  I called it the Train dream.  Until I slept upstairs at the age of 5, I always got in bed with my parents when I woke from this dream.  After that, they refused to let me do this.  Mother would have had the twins as babies in their room then, and I would have waked them up as well.  As far as I know, none of the other kids ever had recurring nightmares.

After I had this dream recur a few times one night after another, I realized I had to do something about it.  I again was able to have a lucid dream.  As the dream took place, I decided to try to see in the window of the engine, but the train seemed to be going at 90 miles an hour.  It was far faster than a train would ordinarily go.  But, I found that I could easily keep pace right beside it.  Running at the same speed was like seeing it stand still.  I felt ashamed of myself for being able to match that speed so easily.  It was far faster, more like a runaway pace, than I wanted to admit to.  I found it comfortable enough, familiar.  As I ran beside the engine of the train, I saw my mother at the controls, and I hopped in by her.  But, she seemed to be acting out of some unconscious drive.  She could not hear me ask her to slow down, or ask her what she was doing.  But, she was going at full throttle.  Finally, I carefully and lovingly, moved her hands off of the throttle, and moved her out of the driver’s seat, and set her into a back seat as if to heal or to rest now.  She was totally unaware of this.   Then, I took the driver’s seat, and throttled back, slowed the train down and stopped it.   The dream did not end.  Next, it occurred to me that I could take it back to the tracks, and put it where it ought to be, so I slowly, and then at an ordinary speed, began to back it up.

I tried to turn it, and expected it to turn at the route to where our local train would go through.  But it never slowed down a bit, and went right on another few miles to the turn toward my grandparent’s road.  I had no control over where the train went as I backed it up.  I was in control, I could have stopped it, and I could have it back up, and it would not be doing this if I were not in control.  But, it had its own truth in it, and it had to play itself out for what it was.  I had to LET it take its own course.

We can see this better in waking imagery.  This can work in the same way, and I have had some things come into sight that way from time to time.  You are in control, but you have to LET the truth of what it is take its own course.

In the dream, about a mile before it got to their house, it turned onto the tracks where they went through by the nearby town.  Then, I found myself in a train wreck, and saw that my mother had been severely and permanently injured there.  Now, to what the actual history of this had been.  I did know about this.

When my mother went to school, there were no busses or other transportation to take children to High School, beyond that same one room school of 8 grades, where my mother had attended as a child. She and her brothers had gone to the High School by train, all of them graduating before World War One.    And, there had been a terrible train accident when she was commuting.  I knew she had missed a year of school because of her many injuries.  But, she had also been told that she would never have children, she had too much internal injury, and her pelvic bones were healing too irregularly.  She and Dad married knowing she was unlikely to ever get pregnant.

She was also told, if she did bear a child, she would not live through it.  So, after 7 years into the marriage, they told me later that it was like a miracle for them when she became pregnant for me.  But, they both must have also been scared about it, fearing for her life.  She did go on to have the 4 of us in 4 years, but at each birth, she was in labor for a couple of days, with grandma taking care of her.  The twins and I were born at Grandma’s, but my next younger brother was born at home, with Grandma there.  The family Dr. was on constant call, and she had many internal and external stitches with each birth.  Remember that this was in the 1920ies.  She was near death, and bedridden for 6 months each time.  Grandma was nearly 70 when I was born, so I can only imagine the worry and work for her as well.

So, I was cared for by my grandmother at their house for the first few months of my life.  They told me I could not digest my mother’s milk, and a formula had to be derived for me, (none were available back then), and I nearly did not make it.  The family must have feared losing both of us.

I believe that this is the only recurring nightmare of the three that mother was dreaming as I dreamed it.  Or, perhaps as I dreamed only when she was dreaming it.  I think I picked it up either in the womb, or as a newborn baby.   She must have been scared to death when she was pregnant.

As I have been writing, I have had the strangest dreams all this week.  They are in absolutely no way about anything I can relate to.  It was like a diversion, if anything.  I was not dreaming or even thinking about any of this I am writing.  But, instead, the kinds of dreams seemed to keep my mind preoccupied, and then as I worked the next day, things would pop into my mind, all new, all totally unexpected, about what I have been writing here.  Sometimes my spontaneous choice of wording gives me a glimpse of something I had not realized before, but this week has been full of such glimpses, suddenly known things.

When I have done this deliberately, I have called it putting something on a back burner of my mind to simmer awhile, and pay no attention to it.  Then, after a while, when it comes to the surface of my mind again, I have a whole new angle, perspective on something.  But, this time, it was not deliberate.  I was too focused on what I was writing to even consider putting it on a back burner for a while.

I described this as “suddenly known“.  It is of a whole when it pops up.  It is like doing a jig saw puzzle, and suddenly a piece is seen that will fit for a place you recognize.  You are sure of it, and put it there.  But, it adds something, some defining bit, to the whole picture.  It is exactly like that in the way it has worked for me.  From an everyday place, I would have to say my own spirit is what pops it into my mind, or makes it suddenly known to me.  But, in my own mind, I sure could not have expected it.  At first, this new piece of the puzzle is something that could not go into words.  But, I think I can, and will try to tell you how it all fits in this time.

I used the term that when mother was approaching her death, and eventually told me about the abortion she had, I used the words “because she had to take her life back”, or something like that.  I believe now that she had totally decided then to never go through the ordeal of childbirth again, and she had in fact, begun to take her life back.  She had been a teacher, and successfully so, for the 7 years before she became pregnant for me, and some years before that when she was still single.   But, all that was lost to her with the 4 children.  I understood this better just now.  And, it was about the time of her going back to college to renew her teaching certification that my Train nightmare stopped.  It would not surprise me if her nightmare stopped then too.

Then, something major popped into my mind yesterday as I was busy at work.  I suddenly knew that if mother had died before that time when the Train dream stopped, I would have died too.  I had it all preprogrammed in my mind, and look at the major times I may have saved her life in those two events which had to have been accomplished spiritually.  (The time she hit black ice by the bridge, and the time the rope, or something, caught her foot and threw her, in the barn.)  But, after the train dream stopped, I was disconnected from her enough to not have died if she did.  As I say, it does not go into words well.  I just KNEW it.

Then, referring again to how the phrase “she is on her high horse” was taken literally, but my child mind knowing what my Dad meant by it, comes into reference again.   I must have heard, and sensed beyond the words, that the danger threatening my mother’s life when I was born, came from me being born.  It came from me.  Mother may have reinforced this too, she often used the phrase to any of us children, “you will be the death of me yet“.    I am speaking of how a child’s mind might take it.  But, the knowing about how it was taken then, is what is suddenly known to me now.

At the time I resolved this Train nightmare when I was in my 30ies, of course I never had it again, and my mother seemed to be affected too.  It was soon after this that she went back to college to specialize in teaching retarded children, as the class was called then. That degree and specialization moved her from the one-room schoolhouse jobs into the Centralized School District, where she stayed in that one place and job until she had to retire at 70. She was an excellent teacher there, and rescued many children from the retarded designation by finding out causes of their problems. Many came to see her for as long as she lived, telling her how she had changed their lives.

And, in 1976, when she passed away, it did not hit me hard at all, as she was ready, and so was I.  I have not dreamed about her, as I had about my grandmother. It seemed as if we had resolved things when she was still alive.  My impressions of her are more that she had gone on with enthusiasm into what was to come next, same as she had made the major change in her life when she furthered her education. But, I had never talked with Dad about the Dead Horse dream, and I had never talked with Mother about the Train dream. They were just resolved.

I also may have had earlier lucid dreams, or approached this, because when I wondered in a dream, or questioned, or was curious, the dream went where I would have gone.  But, I had no sense of being directive to it, as I did when I called it a Lucid dream.

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