When I was young I went through times of numerous nightmares. Depending on what I was going through and how old I was they would vary, but normally centered around someone trying to kill my dad or attack the house with my sibs inside. Between the time when my mother left and I was 18 and could fight for the kids in court, they were nearly daily. They tormented me.
I can't say when it happened, but at some point I noticed that I wasn't really having nightmares anymore; pretty great revelation. When we got engaged, I would dream that I was awful to Steven and he had to leave me. Not cool, but not really frightening, especially when he was often so near that I could see it wasn't real. When I was pregnant, I had very vivid dreams, in many of which I was screwing up either with the yet-unknown Aidan or with Steven. I remember one in which I was bad to Steven and so he left me with a blonde, unattractive little girl. Woe is me. There was another in which I had the baby (a girl - always a girl) but would forget and leave her in her carseat in different places. I couldn't figure out what to feed her and tried french fries, and when someone asked me her name, I had no idea. Terrible mother. Not really frightening or scary, though. Kind of funny, even in the half-asleep moment.
In the couple of weeks I've been up two full nights with nightmares. We saw a story about a high school coach who was clearly a wonderful man and family man. The short version is that after teaching 35+ years, a former student who was schizophrenic walked up during practice, shot him in the head and killed him. That night, I had vivid nightmares of someone walking up and shooting Steven in the head, the same nightmare with the same images again and again as I woke and fell back to sleep. I won't go through the details, but I held him and watched him go.
I knew that my dear friend Joe's passing was hitting close to home, but didn't realize how close until I was up all night with nightmares last night that Steven was dying.
Both times, he was right next to me in bed, and I could see that he was fine. However, I couldn't shake them. I have no idea what's bringing these back, but I can't help that think it's because I have so much to lose now. My boys are the most beautiful thing in the world, and it turns out that losing them is, quite literally, my worst nightmare.