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Dreamed 1979/5/9 by Chris Wayan

I'm being stalked by four scary guys--skinheads with more scars than teeth. Even though I'm a witch girl and can fly, I just can't lose them. They track me everywhere. At last I go home and strip and shower and give away my old clothes, figuring they must hold some tiny transmitter.

A day later, they show up on my doorstep and I have to fly out the back window.

I finally figure it out; they're telepathic. They scent my thoughts. And I can't strip those off and donate them to Good Will!

So I wander from city to city. The moment I sense them, I move on. They always show up again in a week or less. Nowhere's safe, nowhere can be home for me.

At last I give up. I hop into an alternate universe, and leave my world to them.

I'm just settling into a new life when they appear. Followed me out of my UNIVERSE! They won't let me be ANYWHERE!

In desperation I fly up into the night and reach out my hands and grab the stars, no, the fabric of spacetime under the stars, and tear them down like stage drapes. Scrunch and scramble them, cutting loose and thrashing with all my frustration.

Girl in a blue dress floats in space, crunching up spacetime like curtains. Behind her, three figures approach in the void
What I'm doing is scrambling natural law, basic physical constants. A new universe will grow, along entirely different lines. With luck, one incompatible with my stalkers.

Maybe they'll die. Or go home. It's all I can do.

And what if it's not enough?


Did I really get so frustrated I scrambled up a universe? Letting my personal problems intrude on zillions of souls! How embarrassing! Or did I just scramble my interface with the universe, so I ended up untraceable? I don't know. But however I did it, changing my world worked. I'd had recurring dreams of being stalked and harassed, but after this, they faded away.

Seems unlikely anyone could destabilize a universe easily, doesn't it? Wouldn't it happen quite often? We creatures get so upset! But if the multiverse theory is correct, you really can do this: you seem to be disrupting a cosmos, but you're really uprooting yourself from one parallel world and skittering across probable worlds like a tone arm over a scratchy vinyl record, or like flipping through a half-closed book, peering in the edges, till you find the world-page you want.

Oh--who WERE those guys? Sorry, I forgot to say. From age 10-13 I was followed, harassed and occasionally attacked by a gang of older, bigger kids in school--all boys. I learned to be alert in crowds and wary with strangers (especially guys), to stifle my anger (for fighting back made me feel I'd sunk to their level), and to rely on myself (since adults failed to protect me). I turned stoic.

So this dream (and its many brothers) were designed to make me defend myself at last. And yes, I'm claiming such dreams have a goal. Many psychologists still say persecution dreams based on real memories are simple replays, painful symptoms you hope will fade over time. Much as you hoped the abuse would just go away! This view reinforces learned helplessness. It gets you nowhere.

But your nightmares aren't persecutors! They're offering you exercises. To unlearn helplessness, you first have to feel helpless--and then help yourself, despite your learned despair. That takes trial and error. And pain. And fear.

But you CAN move heaven and earth, and change things. Even if, at the time, you have your doubts.

Three threatening figures approach in a black void. Dream sketch by Wayan.

LISTS AND LINKS: I'm Just Not Myself Today - cross-gender dreams - shamanic dreams - threats - hunted! - self-defense - nightmares - flying dreams - frustration dreams - other worlds - apocalyptic dreams - physical constants - anthropic principle and observer effects - cosmic dreams - pure digital painting

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