So, here’s another not so pleasant aspect of Alzheimer's: trying to kill my wife. For several months now, once or twice a week, in the middle of the night, I have half surfaced from horrible nightmares. The nightmares are truly terrifying, too terrifying to remember them all. Their themes are the same though. Something horrible is after me, and I have to fight back. My screams are reported to be blood-curdling. Worst is my strategy to actually fight back, hard, with Jane playing the role of the monster. So far, I’ve inflicted just scratches, but it’s getting worse.
Jane is not pleased.
This morning at 2:12 a.m. I was catching my breath, sorting out my dream world from my waking one. I mentally went through my bedside table looking for sharp things, screwdrivers, or other weapons. None, thank goodness. I will keep this area clean.
Sleep is no longer my trusted friend.
But what about these dreams?
For over 25 years now I’ve been paying attention to my dreams, since I’ve learned that by paying attention, I can almost always learn something from the time I spend in my dream world. My guide to this world, the Rev. Jeremy Taylor, insists that dreams come to us “in the service of health and wholeness.” In other words, there is no such thing as a “bad dream.” If a dream is scary, it is trying to get our attention. If a dream is scary and repetitive, it is trying harder to get our attention.
I have tried to pay attention to whatever the evil dream thing is like. Sometimes I remember glimpses of a creature attacking me, but more often the killer is vague and hidden, and deadly.
Did someone say, “Alzheimer's?”
I’m afraid these dreams are another way of saying, “Enough with the denial, Sky. The monster is really real. It will jump out at you unexpectedly. This thing is going to take your full attention. It will shake you to your core. Sometimes it will hurt you. Yet, you will still always be you.”