the majority of my teen years were spent battling anxiety. at a time when i should’ve been developing social skills and acquiring the building blocks for future higher education, i was drinking my meals and hyperventilating.
in 1999, i was seventeen years old, right smack in the thick of it, improperly medicated and basically out of control. for my birthday, my sister gave me a journal specifically for writing down my dreams. i have never been–and still am not–good at keeping any sort of diary or journal, and so there are only nine entries in the book. but those nine entries represent how my chemically-confused and adrenaline-spiked brain processed and recycled the world around me, proving that even at rest, it wouldn’t leave me alone.
(i have transcribed these, spelling/grammatical/omission/duplication/punctuation errors and all, verbatim)
August 8, 1999
Made it to bed late last night. I don’t think I dreamed, and if I did, I don’t remember. I don’t feel like I dreamed. I just feel sort of achy and muffled in my head. My first night of seventeen and no dream to commemorate. I feel a little cheated.
August 9, 1999
I had a bad anxiety attack last night. My dream was twisted. I don’t remember details. Robin was in it. I think there was pie and narcotics as well.
August 10, 1999
Last night’s dream involved an angry black woman and a man and his army chasing me and someone else. We hid. He either wanted to kill me or make me his wife, I think he kept switching back and forth. I was a princess. I was in a hospital.
August 11, 1999
Sleeping has been bad since the anxiety. Dreams have been very confused. I’m very confused.
August 12, 1999
The medicine must be taking my dreams away. Either that or the medication is.* They’re putting me on something new. I hope it end this, I really really do. I don’t like it at all.
I feel so bad.
I feel like the anxiety is being swallowed in some thick pink liquid. But the feeling’s still in my throat. dammit.
in emergency room
Kyle was into energy. Transfer, waves, all of it, sort of Wiccan. I wonder if it’s him. I thought he loved me…
all right. thank you.**
August 13, 1999
I dreamt that I was in a dream world. It started with Jessica standing in the street in front of my house wearing a a very revealing dress, and I was, too. A car full of young Asian men drove up, and I got in. We didn’t do anything but drive, but for services rendering, I got a car with a big screen TV and a bed and carpet and and an antique store in Back and people came by to see it. I woke up, then went back. In my dream, I fell asleep, and went to a dream world. The entrance to the dream world is a twisted music store, and throughout my travels, a guy I don’t know is my friend and companion. We take Frank Zappa and Queen records and hairspray as weapons and go deep into the dream world. There’s something like a lightrail***. I wear the craziest clothes, and I have long black hair. I become the Barbie doll of my choosing. We go in. There’s something like a theme park but no rides. There’s a big fountain where Brendan Frasier sits. He says hi. We climbed over some short fences in evening wear and kicked a lot of black bags out of our way. A bunch of men ran over and held guns to our faces. eep. A kinda handsome man in a wheelchair rolls up and looks pissed as another guy jumps out of one of the bags we kicked. We’re taken back to my house. They’re are monkies in the tree and the man in the wheelchair ran out of of pixi stix. I remember earlier back in the room with the bed in the middle of the room where we became Barbies was bags of pixi stix. I tell him this, and he rolls and I run, to the Medical/Dentist buildings where my car still waits. Before that, he jumped out and ran along side me. I asked him why he bothered with the wheelchair. He smoothed his exaggerated curly mustache and we kissed. I went into the car, only it turned into the room withe**** bed again. I gave him the pixie stix and went back to the dream world. (I woke up when the phone rang) I went back to the twisted music store. I was having so much fun there, the realized I was having too much. I was afraid of getting lost in the dream world forever. I had to remember how to get home. I closed my eye. Sleep came quickly, and I “woke” up. Mom was mad at something. I didn’t like it there. I liked the dream world. I went back to “sleep”, to the twisted music store. My companion and I were bored. Didn’t want to stay there, go the the theme park. I suggest Rocky Horror, and he said OK. We ran into the next room to get ready. He crosses the void between dreams while I get dressed in something green and padded. I can’t seem to get it to work. I go upstairs to a little room for help. The “supervisor” is there with a white board with names and tallies, going through some checks. One is from a girl named JoJo, and the woman is mad. I told her JoJo needed a car and we helped by giving her the Asian men’s car. She got mad and called JoJo in. She yelled and JoJo knocked her to the ground. She stood up and said “you little bitch!”
I woke up.
August 14th, 1999
Dominick was having an affair with a blond. All he wore was a shirt and they ran down the train tracks. I watched them with Jenne. She showed me these beautiful drawings she’d done of herself for an art class. A few days later we were walking in Palo Alto. She was swearing because one drawing had gotten an A on one, but a C+ on the other, because of the horrible model. We went into a donut shop, and the scene changes.
I’m a squire in chainmail, with nothing but a letter opener as a weapon. I make it past the guard. I have to get to the princess because we’re in love. The guards were huge, with chainmail. I had to beat them.
August 15, 1999
I dream of witchs in velvet robes walking down my street. I’m at a carnival, and I see them. They take me in, teach me things. I go through a door and there’s a comic shop. The girls who play the Sweet Valley twins are there. I buy some comics. The scene changes.
I kill a fat man’s brother in a war in my living room. I run out of bullets and a compatriot throws me an extra clip for my water gun. I run to the bathroom with my gun and clip, with the fat man chasing me. I lock the door and drop my gun and clip. The gun falls to pieces and I lose the clip. I pick up pieces of my gun while the fat man beats on the door. He breaks it down and I run past him.
I’m running from him to my middle school black top. He yells, taunting, saying I can’t go there, I’m not allowed, I’ll get in trouble. I keep running. There’s a big clubhouse. I run into it, running up and up. the fat man’s there and I push him off the side.
(I wake up with my hands clutching the sheets, because I was still holding the remains of my gun.)
April 26, 2000
It’s been monthes since I’ve written in you. Many things have happened, many dreams have been had.
Last night, I had a disturbing dream. I went two doors down to ask a question, and someone who looked like Chris was at a computer, so I tapped the window and waved and smiled. As I’m walking away (question unanswered), I think that that wasn’t him (oops), and then he’s there closing Dad’s car doors, and I say sorry, I thought he was someone else, and just says shut up, real casual. It doesn’t even hurt.
* obviously the medicine was doing something, since i felt the need to mention it twice in a single sentence using two variations of the word.
** there was a wavy line under august 12th’s entry, and i’m assuming i wrote this during one of my various trips to the emergency room, but i have no idea what i was thinking here.
*** lightrail = san jose’s half-assed answer to electric mass transit.
**** withe = my number one, all time most common misspelling, where, because my head is moving faster than my fingers, i combine “with” and “the”.