Haunting dreams

Wheelchair Dancer: Dreaming on Wheels

Last night, I had my “first” dream about me as a disabled person. It was scarily vivid. Law and Order style, I shouted to, well, whomever — faceless dream person; the police?? — that I would take care of this “dirtbag.” The next sensation I remember was the power and the support of my chair — so sweet, so responsive — as I hurled the dirtbag to the floor. They somehow got up again and, apparently, without resistance, because the next thing I remember was that I was hurling them to the ground again. It was a full body over-the-head lift that terminated in a satisfying crunch of bones on concrete. I did it again and again; I was murdering this person, but all I was tuned into was my chair: how sweet, how responsive. My wheels were just the best; I seemed not to care at all for the fact that I was killing someone for no reason that I could see.

Many hours later now, I still remember the feeling of surprise — me? killing someone? and satisfaction with my wheelchair.

How many of us have had vivid and bizarre dreams like that? I’ve had a few and most of them concern my education. Only once have they concerned religion, as far as I can remember. Once or twice, they’ve been about work, like the time I was driving a truck through a wood. The truck was much bigger than anything I’ve driven or am qualified to drive, an old continental-style big truck with a half-sized trailer (as opposed to a tractor unit with a full-size trailer, as is more common these days), was an ancient Fiat model (which I’ve never seen the inside of) and I got it stuck in the mud.

On another occasion, I went back to my old school and found that the building was now used by a good school and everyone was playing blissfully happily. A more recent dream (the night after my 29th birthday, as I’ve just discovered) had me standing on the platform at Ipswich station (which is where I travelled from when going home for weekends) when a train came down the fourth platform, used for regional stopping trains. It crashed through the buffers and basically punched a hole in the side of the station. Before long, the whole station was crashing down around me, and I was trying desperately to find a way out.

Later that day, a train did hit the buffers at Sudbury, in the same county. No major injuries, however.

The dream that haunted me most, though, was in 1993. I had finished at Kesgrave and was looking forward to starting at Coulsdon, my sixth-form college. I heard that the principal at Coulsdon had changed, and for some reason I felt disturbed by this. I don’t remember the full details of the dream, but it involved the principal being called by a name which, to me, had a derogatory meaning. As a result, I came to hate the guy without ever meeting him, and this was strengthened by hearing that he had expelled someone in my politics class for fighting (his friend said he was just defending himself), although I never saw the incident. I remember feeling surprised and somewhat unnerved by reading, in the student magazine, that his favourite song was one of mine (Carey by Joni Mitchell). But when I actually met him, he was very friendly to me.

Has anyone else had a strange dream with a far-reaching effect on them like this?

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