The other night, I had a dream that I had not retained until I saw a patch of ‘beach’ by the side of the Albert Dock in Liverpool where I was visiting with family. I had not given the dream a second thought until I saw the dark brown, muddy stretch below me, and then the memory of the dream hit me like a punch in the gut.
In the dream I was driving my car, a Volkswagen Tiguan 4×4, along a country lane, parallel to an expanse of water. On the other side of the water I remember seeing some people that I know. One was my best friend; she was waiting for me to arrive. The car was full, although I cannot remember who all of the passengers were. As I passed round a corner at the foot of a hill, I spotted my friend and also saw there was patch of beach by the side of the road. It was almost like a lay-by, and seemed like a pretty good place to stop and park up. I drove the car onto the patch of what had looked like sand, but as soon as the four wheels of my car touched down the ground gave way beneath us and the car began to sink rapidly.
I don’t remember exactly what happened over the next few minutes, but I do remember rushing into action to get the passengers out of the car before it was too late. One by one I pulled them from the car and got them to the side of the road. I freed the last person, and lay back on the roadside, wet and exhausted, but filled with relief that I had managed to get us all out. I watched the car disappear beneath the surface of the water, and then a wave of sickness came over me. Freya was still strapped into her car seat…
And that is all I can remember. That, and the total feeling of wretchedness as the realisation hit me that I had let my little girl slip away from me. Even as I recount the dream here on these pages, I cannot stop the tears. The knots in my stomach, and the heat of bile rising to my throat return to me, almost as real as the dream itself. What does it mean?
Having shown a particular interest in dreams over the years, I reckon I could hazard a pretty good guess at the meaning of this one. Or meanings; I think there are a few things going on, that I can interpret even just from this snippet that remains with me.
I am scared of losing Freya. That’s an obvious one if you’ve followed Freya’s Story. Not just the kind of fear we all have for our children and our futures though. A nail-biting, sleep-stealing, catastrophic-thinking kind of fear. It’s a kind of fear that I reserve just for Freya, because I know that she stared down Death and beat him, a defeat that has left me looking over my shoulder ever since. Have you ever seen the movie, Final Destination (and 2, and 3, and…..)? The idea that you can’t cheat Death is one that occupies my thoughts a lot. Booking our first holiday abroad with Freya should have filled me with excitement, but I have developed anxiety about the flight. 11 hours. Plenty of time for something to go terribly wrong. My husband says that the length of the flight is irrelevant, that most problems occur on take-off or landing, but whilst that might be true of an incident, that logic doesn’t hold up for all scenarios. Like a child becoming sick on the plane, for example. I just have to keep trying to focus on the holiday, and the wonderful time that we will have before I return to work after a 2-year career break. And that brings me to my next theory.
I am losing Freya. Not completely, I know. But when I return to work I will be losing one of my favourite pastimes – spending time with my lovely little girl. She’s the best company! She makes me smile and laugh, and she makes my heart feel full to bursting. I can almost hear the sanctimommies telling me that I should be grateful that I have my daughter, that I shouldn’t be so insensitive to others who are less fortunate. But you know what? I am grateful. I am and will be grateful for Freya, for all three of my children, every day of my life. I don’t take anything for granted anymore, nothing. That doesn’t mean I am some kind of perfect parent. Trust me, I still lose my shit from time to time. Making sure I appreciate what I have doesn’t mean that I have to live a flawless life, it means I have to live a normal one. That said, I cannot help but feel the impending sadness and the sense that I am losing something very precious. Indeed, I am losing the most precious thing of all; time.
Maybe that is why I had the dream now? Because time, in terms of my time with Freya, it is running out. Again, not completely, and yes I know that I will still have the time when I am not working. But we all know that when you work around children, you are most likely grabbing stolen moments between them sleeping and eating, and the quality time has to wait for the weekends. Although I am sure that returning to work will bring some benefits to family life (not least the money!), it’s still hard for me to imagine dropping Freya off anywhere and just walking away. We’ve not really done that at all in the last 2 years. Time to get some practice in I think, or the pair of us are going to be a nightmare! I know I’ll find a way to make it work, just like I did working full time around the other two children. In the meantime I will keep my fingers crossed that I am able to get a balance, and perhaps not be required to work a full 5 days every week. Until April though, I just need to make sure that I don’t let any of the time go to waste. I don’t want to be sat at work thinking about all the things I should have done. Time to start working down that list.
According to dreambible.com, dreams involving a car sinking in water “represents feelings of uncertainty as you attempt to take control of a situation. Decision making abilities that are being overpowered by negative emotions or problems that are too big to control.” Being actively involved in raising awareness of Kawasaki Disease is something that gives me a lot of hope, pride, and purpose. It has added meaning to Freya’s diagnosis, knowing that she didn’t go through what she did in vain. But it comes with a price, albeit a tab that I am more than willing to pick up. It comes with a great deal of sadness, frustration, fear and despondency. I expose myself to information and personal stories, sometimes good, often not so good. Whilst many of those stories spur me on to continue doing whatever I can to ensure that none of our children suffered at the hands of KD for nothing, they do affect me deeply. Some recent stories, as well as things that are on the horizon for Freya, have made me thoughtful about the future. I am apprehensive about many things, in fact I shared a blog post about those worries just recently. I worry a lot about time. About how much of it we have, about how much of it Freya has. Thankfully, I have this voice in my head that tells me to stop being so damned melancholy, and reminds me that I cannot live the rest of my life waiting for something bad to happen. That would be the most tragic waste of whatever time we have, for anyone, not just us.
I have often dreamed of water during periods of great emotional stress in my life. When I suffered with post-natal depression after the birth of my first child, over 12 years ago, I had many vivid dreams. I remembered them all, or else I woke in a panic and wrote them down in a book I kept by the side of my bed. Those dreams involved me drowning, or my daughter drowning, sometimes able to prevent a tragedy, but often not. At times when I was under considerable pressure at work, I would often dream about natural disasters involving water; huge Tsunami’s that swept away everything and everyone that was special to me. Generally speaking those dreams have occurred when I have felt overwhelmed, either by physical pressure or emotional stresses. Or at times when I have felt like I am unable to keep my head above water but nobody is there to help keep me afloat. I think that is the case here – I have so many things that I would like to achieve, but very little time left in which to achieve it. On top of that I have no idea what position I will be taking when I return to work, or what hours or days I will be working, so maybe as April draws nearer there is some anxious anticipation building.
Edreaminterpretation.org tells me that dreaming of an object sinking “may suggest that we are about to lose something we value”, and boy are they right on the money with that one.