The Nature of the Psyche

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"The Nature of the Psyche"
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Years ago, while sleeping in my own bed, I had a nightmare about my dad falling into the campfire when we were out camping on the island. We were camping out on an island on the Mississippi River and we had a campfire going, which we were all sitting around and talking. Then suddenly my dad gets up and stands next to the fire. He stood there for a few minutes and just went limp and fell into the fire. I don't know why he burned to death, with so many people around who could have pulled him out of the fire, but he died. I woke me up screaming and crying! Still under the effects of the nightmare I ran to dad's room and found him gone. I ran through the house looking for him still crying, anxious, and now almost hysterical because he was no where to be found. My oldest sister came and when I told her about my dream she informed me that he was okay and it was just a nightmare. Still shaken up and upset I went to school, but couldn't shake the feeling I woke up with. I didn't see or hear dad and that nightmare was so vivid, I found myself on the verge of tears all day at school. Once school was out and I was back home I sat in my room crying, because dad still wasn't around. No one understood my behavior and it wasn't until my dad walked into the house that I could see he was indeed okay.
According to our book, my dream would be a nightmare that occurs during REM sleep, since I can recall this dream even years later. There are different possible reasons for me having this nightmare. Could the fall I took at the age of four created some damage to my autonomic system? When I fell my head split wide open from hairline to hairline (forehead to nap of back of neck). Probably not, but could possibly be that we camp so much that I was worried about him. Another possibility for this nightmare could have been due to not seeing my dad very much as he was always working. Maybe not understanding his absence was on my mind so much, that the nightmare helped me see that any time with him is better than none. Alternatively, could this nightmare been from watching him become too overwhelmed by everything? Dad was hardly home due to work and being a musician. When he was home my step-mom would complain about her day, us kids, and anything else she could come up with. He came home at five p.m. and us kids had to be in bed by eight, so we didn't have much time as my step-mom made sure she spent most of the time complaining. I wonder if this nightmare was that dad was overwhelmed with all us kids (there were 12 of us), his job, performing for others on stage, and coming home to a wife who did nothing but complain. This would take a toll on anyone, even my dad. Maybe the nightmare was a sign that he was so overwhelmed that he just wanted to end/stop it all and setting himself free from it all.
In conclusion, I'm still not sure what caused the nightmare. I do know one thing; the time I had left with my dad I enjoyed. I realized that I couldn't take life for granted and to always let the ones you love know everyday how you feel.

More about this author: Deborah Pinkston

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