I don’t dream about my mum as often as I used to. This is both a good and bad thing. Many of the dreams I had after my mum straight after she died would be me as a child and me and mum my would jut be doing normal things in the house and I would wake up and burst into tears almost instantly , remembering the love I felt from my mum as a child. Then, a few years after she died I started having these recurring dreams. They would be slightly different each time but went something like this: Normal day, me and my mum doing whatever we usually did, sat chatting , playing Super Mario together. Then all of a sudden I would realise it was a dream. So, in my dream I would know I was dreaming. But my mum obviously did not. She would just carry on chatting and stuff. And then she would ask where the boys were (My sons). And I would say I didn’t know. And then she would start freaking out saying we need to find them, and I would have to sit her down and tell her that this was a dream and that she died. Now don’t get it twisted… I know it’s a dream….but each time I had to tell my mum that she would get very upset and then the dream would just end with her crying.
I have always had recurring dreams. Since a little kid. Usually nightmares, that play over and over for months at a time. I will often be seen at work with dark rings around my eyes where I have been up since 3, refusing to go back to sleep, knowing I will renter the same nightmare.
All my dreams have a reflection to something that has happened in real life.
I don’t have dream where I can fly, or I shave superpowers I don’t have famous people I have never met, or I am rich. None if that . My dreams are just day to day stuff. Be playing out a scenario I have usually been part of in real life.
The nightmares are the same. They are usually exaggerated and twisted but they will be of a real-life event that took place.
What I worked out is the dream/nightmares stopped when I found the “Right” ending. I cant totally explain it, but it was like I had to play out these events over and over until I found a ending that was either so awful I just stopped dreaming it or it become resolved and then again I stopped dreaming it.
I have had counselling, as a young person for my dreams. I would often sleep talk and walk, and I have said things in my sleep that terrified my mum. Walking up screaming. I went to her once, sleep walking , asking for my mum and then become hysterical when she said she was my mum. I had counselling in my twenties for my nightmares. I would not sleep for as long as possible, Was existing on a few hours a night most of the time. I went to the doctor for sleeping tablets and they sent me for counselling instead. That caused some issues when they asked what my dream where about. But that’s another story.
So … I figured out that at time s I could control some of my dreams. I would realise I was dreaming but stay in the dream. Very strange.
So, when I had the dreams where I was with my mum an then is suddenly realised it was a dream, I would prolong as long as I could telling her that it was a dream and that she had died. I would distract her if she asked for the boys. Sometimes the boys were there . Sometimes I would get her to do things we loved doing together. But I always had to tell her at the end she died, and it was always very sad, and I always had a quick cry in the morning.
The last time I had this dream, about 3 years ago…. I had longed it out for ages in the dream and now had to tell her it was a dream and she had died. So, I made her a cup of tea and took it into the living room. I stood, in my g=dream, taking it in. The scene. Mum sitting on the sofa, legs curled under her, on her Nintendo DS, smoking a fag, shouting for me to help with what ever game she was playing. Pure love for that moment. I sat down next to her and held out the tea and she looked up and too the tea and pushed the game to the side. “alright babe” she said in her cockney accent, the look she always had on her face when she knew I had something to say.
Why am I silently crying as I type this? Bloody hell.
I kind of cleared my voice, in the dream and said, “Mum this is a dream, you died”. I sometimes said it blunt like that. She took a sip of her tea and said slowly “I know”. No tears this time. No panic attacks. She sipped the tea again and said, “It’s you who keeps having to remined themselves I am gone , I know”. And then I cried. In the dream. Which was the first time I can ever remember crying in a dream in my life. And she held me. And it felt very real. And I woke up crying but this time it was different.
It was like an acknowledgement that I had found the right ending.
And I have hardly dreamed of her since. I have also had a lot less nightmares since.
This morning I cried. A lot. I woke up late and grabbed my phone to find the email my mum had just been telling me to forward to her. I though “Shit, I must have fallen asleep and she needs that email”. I looked at my phone through my just woken up eyes, squinting and scrolling through my emails. I done that for a good minute. And then realised ….and I just lay there for a second.
Boom. In my chest. I had forgotten for a second that I don’t have a mum. For a full minute of being conscious, 12 years later, I forgot. And it was worse than that. We had agreed that she would help with childcare for my daughter . something that is causing me a lot of anxiety right now.
I have not cried like I did this morning in a log time. You know that curled up fatal position sob. Where you feel so alone that no human touch could take that pain away. If you don’t know that pain, then you are blessed. It lasted briefly. But it will knock me for a few days.
In the dream I was having before I woke up I was telling my mum to give up the flat she was living in and come and live with me. She was saying no…that it would be too stressful for me and I was so confused as we have always lived together.
I need to mention something here. In my dreams, my mum never gets to see my daughter. She died , in real life, I year before my daughter was born. In my dreams, when I tell my mum she has died I then quickly tell her about my daughter. What she looks like. I say it quickly as I know the dream will end. I have never told anyone that before. And in my dreams I always try and make my mum and daughter be in the dream at the same time so that they can “met”…but it has never happened
However,…in the dream that I had this morning…When I am arguing with my mum that she should come and live with us and that she would be collecting my daughter from school , my daughter is I the dream. She is upstairs. My mum and my daughter were not in the same room, but they were both there. Then… this is where the dream finishes…my mum went into the kitchen and as she did my daughter came into the living room asking me to do her school shirt and my mum continues to talk/shout at me from the kitchen. SO, they never see each other but are like feet away from each other. And I whisper to my daughter “Nan is coming to live with us” and she nods. And then my mums shouted out my daughter’s name and said, “Tell your mum to send that email”.
She said my daughters name. And at no point was I aware it was a dream.
So, when I woke up, I just turned to my emails to find what ever it was she needed….and then it was not real anymore.
I’m not religious. But I am spiritual. And that dream has had too big an impact on me today to mean nothing. I have no idea what…. But someone is trying to tell me something (and yes of course I have gone through my emails o see if I have missed something…. Nothing)
If I were to take a guess it would be this.
When my mum was diagnosed with Cancer I thought I would never be able to carry on. I said multiple times to the nurses and my mum’s friends…if she dies I won’t be able to carry on. But I did.
When the lockdown happened and ever since I have felt very alone. Now let’s not get this twisted. I have a few people around me that have been life savers in many ways in lockdown. But being kept away from my oldest son for a long time impacted me in a way I didn’t really understand. It was fine, we spoke daily, but it hurt. Being stuck without getting the food I needed at the start had a big impact on me. Worrying if I go sick what would happen to my daughter. What if she got sick and they tried to make her be in hospital alone? What if my sons got sick and I couldn’t get to them? Looking back…we have all been through something life changing . Something horrific in many cases. Something that could change a person for life.
And then it made me realises that once all is done and dusted when it comes down to it…who do you really have? Some people may be able to think of loads, friends and family that the love and treasure. Some people may have one name that comes to mind. Some may have none.
And some may only want someone who is no longer here.
I am so worried about returning to work, my daughter returning to school. I have no idea how I am going to pull it all off.
So maybe my mum is telling me that she is here, She has got me. That I am not on my own at all.
That is going to be fine. She will move back in lol
I don’t know. All I know is that for today. I’m just gonna miss my mum. I’m not going to fight it. I’m just going to have this day.
And tomorrow…. Tomorrow I will start the “new” normal.
I don’t know if anyone will read this. I don’t think I care if they do or don’t. Sometimes you just need to get things off your chest. So that they don’t just sit in your head.
Be kind to yourself x