help, I need somebody.

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein19 Comments

No, not just anybody.  Today I’m going to listen to the Beatles on repeat.

It’s bad enough that for the past three nights, I’ve been falling asleep to It’s a Wonderful Life on my dvd player.  Clearly, I need help.

I’m not quite sure of the exact time when it happened because I never opened my eyes, but in the middle of the night sometime, I screamed.  HELP.  I didn’t just scream, I rattled. I screamed, “help” so loudly that I startled myself loose from the grip of a dream. 

In the dream, a man was straddling me under a table.  We were both fully clothed; this wasn’t frisky.   He was pouring numbing liquid on my neck and spine, and then down my throat (this makes sense as I’ve been sick with elephant glands and a very sore neck).  But I’m somehow able to ask if he’s going to kill me, but he doesn’t answer.  I know he is going to.  I decide I need to struggle for my life.  I try to scream, but nothing comes out.  The silent screamer dream reoccurred in different forms when I was younger and terrified of being kidnapped.  This time, when the screaming wouldn’t work, I dug my hands into the man’s mouth and began scraping my fingernails on the roof of his mouth.  He hadn’t numbed my hands.  Finally, my neck was able to move, and I was able to scream.  HELP. 

Then I woke up, worried a neighbor had heard and buzzed the doorman.  Linus crawled out from under the covers.

I might have found my voice, but it’s screaming out for help.


  1. Half my life is in books' written pages.
    Live and learn from fools and from sages,
    You know it's true.
    All the things, come back to you.

    Aerosmith "Dream On"

  2. Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
    Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
    Here comes the sun,
    Here comes the sun, and I say
    it's all right

  3. By the way – I used to have that dream, the one where you need to scream but you can't. It terrified me that, one day, I'd be in trouble and wouldn't be able to call for help. Then my husband decided it would be really funny to hide in the cupboard and leap out from the coats as I walked past (coming out of the bathroom, naked). I screamed SO loud that his ears were ringing for days. Believe me, when you need to scream, you'll be able to do it.

  4. Your dream rocks! It's the stuff of which great nightmares are made.

    Your tormentor (man) is Life in the United States–trying hard to numb you down, to placate you, render you motionless…even lifeless. How ironic, no? Life trying its hardest to suck humanity and life out of you.

    I have many versions of this. I think it's time for a refreshing beverage.

  5. Ah yes, but was it in color???

    I used to have the silent scream dream quite a bit… then one time I remembered that the last time this happened to me it was in a dream. SNAP! "Holy sh*t! This IS a dream!"

    Lucid (not necessarily lurid, but then again…) dreaming rocks! It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's pretty cool. Usually I gain a gradual awareness that I'm in a dream. Once that happens, it's like a shopping spree: Grab EVERYTHING you can in five minutes, because the clock is ticking and you're going to wake up!

    Since we're lyrical today, and NOBODY does dream songs like Roy Orbison:

    But just before the dawn
    I awake and find you gone

    It’s too bad that all these things
    Can only happen in my dreams
    Only in dreams, beautiful dreams

  6. Dreams can be absolutly amazing, but also absolutely terrifying.

    I've had recurring dreams along the lines of yours when you can't seem to get a word out. In addition, I seem to have recurring dreams about trying to turn on lights in a house and none of the lights will turn on, and I'm stuck in the darkness. Other times I'll have that dream where my legs just won't seem to move, whether I'm trying to just walk or run away from something. The feeling of absolute helplessness and being trapped can be terrifying.

  7. I don't know if I dream in black & white or color. I can never remember, even when I try. I've also never been able to have a flying dream. I've tried to will it, repeating the image in my head before sleeping, but I've never in my life had a flying dream. The best dream I've ever had involved a buffet. I was able to eat, taste, smell, and enjoy lots of my favorite foods. I awoke satisfied and beaming. My jeans still fit. God I love food.

  8. SK, usually when people can't tell if the dream is color or B&W, it's in color. There, that's what my degree in Psych. is good for; that one semester during which I studied dreams and psychoanalysis.

    My "flying" dreams are strange; I move through air as if I were in water–that is to say, I just take a stroke and I'm off. I'm not actually flapping arms or anything like that. The flying (in the dream) is also controlled seamlessly by the brain. I've never had a food dream.

    Have you ever had a dream in which you actually DIED??? I don't mean come close to death and wake up–I mean you died?

    Twice it happened to me; it was intense.

  9. Woooaaaah, Robo! Couldn't agree more!

    Had the dying dream a couple of times… And in most cases having been shot. I think if you could make a PICTURE out of the SOUND at the end of the Beatles 'A Day in the Life,' that is what it would have seemed like.

    Also have the flying dream lots. Alas, Stephanie, it's never been by thinking or willing it to happen. But Robotnik, it was just like you described… more like swimming. (For that matter, I've also had under water dreams where I found out I could breathe, too.)

    And always in color. I don't think I ever recall black and white.

  10. Could you see the man's face or was it too dark or you could only see the rest of him? What was he wearing..type of clothes, gloves, hat, etc.?

    The details will only help to solve the meaning, as well as the depth of your memory. I don't remember dreams and mine tend to become reality 6-9 months down the road. I remember what the dream was as soon as everything aligns itself in real life (deja-vous). It is very weird, but doesn't happen that often…maybe once a year if that much.

    Possible meanings….
    So far from what I read, your dream sounds like you are subconciously feeling constrained, suffocated, or being held back. It also appears that you have found ways to escape these situations (not just this one). By not being able to scream, it could mean that you are/were very surprised by the situation as it was unexpected and were in shock. Often, when you are surprised or in shock, your heartbeat becomes elevated, which can affect your ability to breathe.

    Now from another perspective, this could parallel your past relationship(s) where you might have felt trapped or backed into a corner, but escaped. For example, your marriage.

  11. stephanie,
    you can't force a flying dream. that's the best thing about them. one day you'll just wake up with this amazing feeling and somehow later in the day you'll recall the dream and realize the airy feeling you've been walking around with stemmed from a dream you were lucky enough to have. sometimes i'll wish for flying dream, especially when life is bringing my down, but that never works. they are unexpected and rare and lucious.

  12. That's an interesting yet somewhat creepy dream.

    I once had a dream I was having lunch with Clint Eastwood and my college professor. I kept asking myself, "Why am I eating a sandwich with these two people I have absolutely no interest in…?"

    (I love your blog!)

  13. I like to at least PRETEND I'm of the more sophisticated sort, not one to fall for such silliness, BUT I had to research dreams once for a project, so here's a quickie analysis from what I've read…and don't get mad:

    Being underneath something can mean you are intimidated by whatever is above you, you feel they're superior in some way. Numbing the throat/spine could mean not being able to speak up, having no backbone, you are spineless in certain situations, someone is paralyzing you. Not being able to scream is very common, right up there with teeth falling out or not being able to run, and is simply representative of a feeling of loss of control. Doesn't have to be a courtney-love-kind-of-out-of-control, but perhaps there is an area of your life that has you feeling trapped or something is out of your grasp. Also, dreaming in color is supposedly rare, and dreaming of food is fortuitous.

    So…a man is tripping you up: you don't seem to have daddy issues; do you have a strong male boss? But I think the easiest, and hardest, answer is the ex… it wouldn't be unusual with the holidays coming up.

    However, it is said when you confront these things in your dreams, your subconscious is working on sorting them out (even if you claim, "SO Over it" when awake), so it can actually be a good sign, a purging you might say. To that we say, ciao baby!

    Of course, I could be way off base, make of it what you will…perhaps it's just that the chinese delivery guy gave you a creepy look the last time he dropped off dinner.

  14. Oh, and I just remembered my bizarro dream from two nights ago: I dreamt I was babysitting for Catherine Zeta Jones and the baby's head fell off. It was a bloodless event, and I don't recall being panicked about it. Don't worry, all ended well: I was able to put Humpty back together again before she returned home. WTF?????

  15. This post reminds me of a book titled "1000 and one dreams Interpreted" that I discovered in a quaint shop down in Georgetown. I grabbed the book and considered betting a friend that my oddest dream would not be in the book. How many people in history have dreamt that a very attractive 5'11" woman that they are dating grew a beard, shaved it off, grew it again and shaved it off again? I am so risk averse that even with this odd dream scenario which ostensibly is a certain winner I wasn't going to risk a few dollars on a bet.

    Well, my dream was described and interpreted in the book. According to the book, the dream meant that I felt she was deceptive and that she wouldn't have a benevolent influence. The book was wrong. The dream really meant that I wanted out and that I couldn't get myself to tell her that–I was young. I also learned from that experience that not only should I condition my bet on whether my dream is described in a book, but also whether the interpretation is correct.

    "The silent screamer dream reoccurred in different forms when I was younger and terrified of being kidnapped." I had the same problem and solved it by opening the door to my parents' bedroom, and sleeping underneath their bed as soon as I felt they had gone to sleep. I didn't know I was not supposed to do that and everything was fine until after several weeks of doing so my parents looked for me one morning and discovered me under their bed. It took me another 7-8 years to figure out why my parents locked the door to their bedroom after that.

  16. Dreams like that make me happy that my dog sleeps in my bed. He'd get the guy…I have faith in him. And he gives me a dirty look for waking him up when it's only a dream, which embarasses me and makes the panic go away.

  17. Hi Steph,
    I used to get flying dreams during my schoold days….the typical plot being that I get late for school and cant run. so i wud just take a small leap in the air and lo! I would be flying.
    My flying is akin to floating, i mean one stroke at a time and a whole lotta distance gets covered.

    Another typical flying dream involved me being chased by a bull :)) …here too I am unable to run and hence fly..

    My dreams are sometimes colourful… I agree with someone in this post saying that flying dreams cannot be created forcefully…

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