Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ensconced (Dreams and their interpretation)

He was a nightmare.

With his enormous painted eyes, his wild orange matted hair and that evil grin plastered on his face…Chuckie the doll was every kid’s nightmare come to life…

In my worst dreams, he’d be cackling loudly, a most evil laugh…his pudgy little plastic hands gripped on the bloody handle of a large meat cleaver, stabbing at a man over and over and over again…

And it was mostly at this time in the dream when I’d wake up, sweating heavily and panting loudly. My hair would be sticking to my head, and I would feel my heart hammering against my chest, as I try to catch my breath. I’d try to move, but my legs and arms wouldn’t let me…they were as heavy as lead.  I was held down by a force I could not overcome…my fear.

I sometimes didn’t know whether I should open my eyes or just squeeze them shut. In the first few seconds of waking up, I usually would be in a disoriented, groggy state, not knowing where I was, or whether I really should be opening my eyes in the first place. And then I’d realize that I was in a dark room, lit only by an amber nightlight, a bedroom that I shared with my brother. The first thing I’d see when I wake up was the toy shelf on top of the altar…with my brother robots and that…doll. She had blond, flaxen hair and was tall, and she could dance. She even had this creepy music-box tinkle tones that would play after you wind her up and set her to dance. (I believe it was Mozart’s Minuet.)

I would then yell out for my mother (my parents were probably watching TV downstairs),almost in anger, because I was scared and frustrated that nobody was around. Then a few seconds later, either she or my father would come up  and lie down in my bed and hold me. Papa would say, “It’s ok, I’m here…” and then presently, I’d fall asleep again, safe in their arms.


I’m Chuckie..wanna play?”

For most of my days as a kid, Chuckie was the ultimate bad guy, the evil monster who scared me more than anything else. My Bogeyman wasn’t any mysterious shapeless formless thing that hid in the closet…he was an effing doll.  Now that I’m older, I kind of laugh at myself for being so silly and obsessively scared of the freaking doll. I even had my dancing doll taken down and hidden somewhere else, because I was afraid that one night she just might be possessed by some evil spirit and come down from the shelf to strangle me in my sleep, and I would die.

It was a number of years (when I was in high school, I think) when I had it put back to where it was. It was a silly childish thing to be afraid of an inanimate object, but hey, man, you don’t know Chuckie. He can induce scary nightmares (although, as an afterthought, those “Bride of Chucky” movies were really just very comedic.)


In Psychiatry, dreams are a peek into our subconscious, a subject of great importance. Why, even the great Sigmund Freud, in his book The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), had this to say… 

“In no other phenomenon of normal psychic life are so many of the unconscious processes of the mind revealed so clearly and made so accessible to study. Dreams are indeed a royal road to the unconscious reaches of the mind.”

The royal road to the unconscious, it has been said. There is no better way to see into a person’s subconscious and unconscious thought processes than his dreams. Dreams, to a psychoanalyst, offer up a piecemeal view of what a person is, and how all of his past experiences are coming together to help make sense of himself. To the dreamer, dreams are a manifest work, an impressive collaboration of psychic energy, made up of his (or her) current sensations, his current concerns, and most powerfully, of his inherent or hidden wishes or fantasies.

As children, dreams are simpler. Like, for mine, since I was horrified by the infamous Chuckie doll, I had a dream of recurring images of the scary thing when I was a child. As we grow older, and as our subconscious matures, our dreams become more subliminal, yet still symbolic. To protect ourselves from losing valuable restful sleep, our egos (that all-important aspect of ourselves that make us who we are and how we function), allow us to dream. It allows stimuli and sensations from our waking life, along with our memories, our current problems and joys, and even our deepest (secret) wishes and desires to be made into something visual. It may be coherent or not, or, it might not mean anything at all, just a hodge-podge of images that seem familiar, yet otherworldly.

Dream interpretation should not be taken lightly, and it would be erroneous to say that they could also predict the future. The guidebooks would help, but dream interpretation is an aspect of psychoanalysis that requires a lot of study. A famous psychiatrist advised that you need to know the patient first before you can decipher what the dream means to him.


I remember chuckling to myself one time when I was wandering around in Powerbooks and I saw this card bearing the title, “Dreams and their Meanings.” Hmm…I mused, and checked out what “Vampires” meant.  Freud wrote a whole book on the subject, and now popular psychology has relegated the whole profound matter to but a card with a list. Will wonders never cease? I thought wryly.

Emotional anxiety.” (or something or other), it said.

Recently (but not very), I’ve had this dream of vampires…and although I didn’t get bitten or anything, it still made me feel uncomfortable.  I dreamt that I was with a vampire guy, and as hard as I tried to open my eyes and to run away from him, I couldn’t.  

He was beautiful… and I had the feeling that it was dangerous to be around him. I think I was in love with him in that dream, but I couldn’t be sure now. He was trying to tell me to get away, because the other vampires were going to come, but the strangest thing was, I couldn’t will myself to get away, I was too weak. I couldn’t even open my eyes fully, because my eyelids were so heavy, and all I could see was half my field of vision.

I can’t remember what else happened in the dream, but all I know was, in the end…I ended up in a big dining hall, in servants’ clothes…and along with other servant girls, serving a roomful of vampires their dinner. In the dream, I was resigned. It felt as if I had resigned my fate to that of serving people…and I didn’t feel anything else. Just, well, dead.

Such a loss of control. I had surrendered in the end.

It scared me, you know.


Although it might seem as if I might be joining the vampire genre bandwagon after my mentioning the vampire dream…I can’t help it, corny as it may be. Vampires are pretty contemporary, and they symbolize many things.

Dreams become harder to figure out, the older and more complicated our personalities. become. That doesn’t take away the fact that they can still strike fear in our hearts, or confuse us. They’re supposed to make sense out of our inner turmoil.

That will never change.

Most times, we might wake up in the middle of the night because of some bad, worrisome nightmare, but we won’t always have someone to hold us or pat our fears away. Or maybe even just hold us to protect us from whatever it is that worries us or troubles us.

There is no better joy of comfort and safety than sleeping in the arms of someone you love and trust, ensconced in the warmth of their protection. As a child, it put me to a dreamless, restful sleep. As I got older, it gave me the utmost feeling of peace…that somehow, despite the turmoil and the many ways I could have messed up, it was all somehow going to be ok. #


  1. It is all somehow going to be okay! =)

    This is very interesting...dreams and their meanings. I've heard people say, for example, if there's a horse in your dream, it means X. That confused me a little because I felt that we would each have a different view of horses--sort of like modern art having different meanings to different people. Maybe that's why you said you need to know the person to understand the dream.

    My strongest dream ever I was hovering above the Earth and being pulled away from it. I was struggling to get free and said I couldn't go, that my family needed me. When the pulling hands released me, I woke up. I had sleep apnea at the time, so part of me worried it wasn't a dream! =)

    PS - Chuckie is awful, but I love the sound of him running around the room, out of sight. For some reason it makes me laugh.

  2. I hope so...sometimes dreams can be awfully revealing. I'm still trying to figure out the vampire dream.

    That was an interesting dream you had, by the way...what happened afterwards? did you get a CPAP?

    (i still can't stand chuckie.)



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