Tag Archive | dreams

Caretaker anxiety

My last night in Prescott, I woke in the wee hours from a most disconcerting dream. I was driving with my mom along the side of a lake and somehow I ran the car off the road and into the lake. (It wasn’t like I was speeding or spun out of control, just cruising along and then suddenly I’m over the edge.) I heard the loud splash as we hit the water and my heart started pounding. “No!” I said, in shock and denial, “That did not just happen!” The part of me that was aware I was dreaming tried to undo it, just will the car back onto the pavement, but it didn’t work. I watched the water rising up past my window as we sank and had a horrifying realization that we were about to die and I couldn’t do a thing about it. I don’t think I even tried to break the glass, just sat there in shock watching the water rise. Then I woke up, heart racing and gasping for air.

Although it was very brief, it was beyond disturbing. Everything about the dream has stuck with me. I can still vividly recall the sound of the splash and the weird, hazy underwater light as the car sank.

It doesn’t take a genius to interpret this one. I’m the one responsible for keeping my mom safe and I’m terrified that I’ll make a wrong move and cause (or fail to protect her from) harm. I’m also the one who “drove” her into this assisted living community, over the objections of our family friend who had heard some negative things about the care residents receive. That’s at the heart of my anxiety, I think. I observed a couple of issues with medication management during my visit and now I’m second guessing myself, fearing that I’ve sent her into harm’s way instead of to safety. It just gets so overwhelming at times. I do feel like I’m in over my head. Glub, glub, glub…