Last night’s anxiety dream.


I don’t have that many anxiety dreams anymore, but when I do have them they are doozies and tend to be extremely vivid.

The one I had last night bordered on being a nightmare.    It was nighttime (for some reason, in these dreams it’s always late at night) and I was in a vast subway system (like New York City’s) and had no idea where I was.   I was trying to make it home, and kept taking the wrong sets of stairs and getting lost on the wrong platforms.  I’d go and ask people where the platform I should be on was to get home, but no one seemed to be able to answer me.    I was becoming frustrated and upset, and was on the verge of crying.

Then the strangers I asked for directions began to make fun of me — somehow knowing I was originally from the New York area, and unable to believe I couldn’t find my way around a big subway system.   I continued to climb stairs and look for my train on different platforms (there seemed to be thousands) and then I realized with horror that I couldn’t even remember where I lived!   That’s when I woke up and it took me a few minutes to shake off the dream — and I spent a minute or two trying to remember where I lived before it came back to me.


Later today, I’m going to an ACA rally in downtown.   I’ll report back later, with photos.


22 thoughts on “Last night’s anxiety dream.

  1. I enjoyed hearing about your dream. It makes me wonder if you’ve done a lot of moving in your life. It did sound scary, reminds me too a little of Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz.

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  2. Your dream sounded like one I had in Jr. High years ago. I arrived late to school and couldn’t remember what class I should be for that period. I kept going to each room, and the teacher would meet me at the door and tell me no, you’re not in this class. I went through each class I had that semester and kept thinking surely the next one is it.
    I woke in a cold sweat.

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    • OMG I had that same dream! 😮 I also had that one where you are in a play, and realize you never memorized your lines or went to any rehearsals and then it’s time to go on stage. Ugh. Not fun. There’s that other one where you go in to take a test and realize you never studied for it, and in fact, missed all the classes leading up to it! Those dreams are more horrifying than they sound. Apparently, they’re fairly common though.

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  3. Otter, I too have been occasionally plagued with the “I’m lost and can’t find my way home” dream. I think this is because we HAVE lost our “childhood safety home” as adults, those of us who have been abused in some manner by a narcissistic parent, and we can never return there. Our past can never be what we wanted it to have been.

    Even after having unraveled much of my past, I still sense this loss at times which makes me feel different and abandoned by others on this planet. In my dreams I too cannot get directions from, hear or understand the natives, see the numbers on telephones to call for help (all suddenly rotary dial again) or remember phone numbers correctly.

    It is interesting your dream took place in a subway system with the options of different routes to choose? and passage ways? and platforms in a big city. Mine often take place at night in a decrepit part of a downtown- that is vaguely familiar to me, but at the same time – also not.

    And though I too moved around a lot as a child (we were a military family) I think the dreams have more to do with CPTSD abandonment triggering in my sleep. If you’ll recall, in Pete Walker’s From Surviving to Thriving, he actually refers to this and gives suggestions on how to wake oneself up from such a dream.

    One rule of thumb I believe in is to remember that fears are tricks, even if emanating from one’s subconscious. Meaning, the threat is not real so don’t be discouraged, just try to be aware and mindful of why these dreams occur.

    On the other hand, embrace the dreams that make you feel peace, joy and are the most interesting, because those are the ones that may contain meaningful spiritual insights. I believe these latter dreams are our soul more directly communicating with God.

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    • I definitely think my subway dreams and getting lost in the vast network of tunnels and stairs has to do with (a) growing up across the river from NYC; (b) the general confusingness of my life, and (c) abandonment issues; feeling “lost” in life.


  4. Oh, and also, that part about it taking a moment or two when you wake up to realize where you are and where you live. I’ve had that too afterward. Not a pleasant experience. I am so sorry you were troubled with this. Remember, God was always by your side, even if you did not see Him there.

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  5. Once in a while I have a dream about being in a car going up a ramp and I can’t see where it curves or turns. It just goes up, like a partially built rollercoaster, and I’m just going to drop off. I think it’s an anxiety dream. I’ve never been in a car accident, so I wonder…

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  6. Yikes! That sounds like an awful dream 😦 I sometimes have dreams like that myself, although usually my family’s been with me, and then suddenly I head in the wrong direction, and I discover that I can’t figure out how to get back to them. And though I’ve never forgotten where I live, I have had dreams in which I made a terrible mistake and couldn’t even remember why or how I’d ended up making it; like being in a car with a stranger and suddenly not knowing what on Earth I’m doing there. It’s unnerving.

    That stairs picture reminds me of my most common anxiety dream, however – where I’m stuck at the top of a flight of stairs, and it seems to go on forever and all the stairs are crooked or too narrow or missing, and everyone else seems to handle it, but I can’t go down.

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          • Wow, I have the vast house dreams too, though usually not with stairs mixed in, thank goodness. I wonder what those dreams mean.

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            • They usually don’t have stairs in mine either, but sometimes they do. Yeah, the houses are f’ing huge. Sometimes they seem miles long from one end to the other. Houses represent ourselves, I think, and the rooms different aspects of your personality, or different emotions or desires. The houses are usually “nice” but there’s always someting a little bit “off” about them, but dreams in general always seem a little “off” even when they seem realistic. If you know what I mean. That “off-ness” is hard to explain. I always wonder if everyone experiences that same “offness” or is it just me. Hmmm.


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