Incense wafted through the tiny room filled with books about healing, dreams, and self-actualization as I sunk into the dark brown overstuffed couch in Nola Raymond’s small office. There were pictures of dogs dotting the walls, ceramic poodles and Labradors on the shelf, and even a stuffed Dalmatian sitting next to me, quietly comforting me as I fidgeted. The gentle trickle of water flowing slowly over polished rocks in a bowl soothed my racing brain.
Decorative clips loosely held Nola’s strawberry blond curls away from each side of her face. I admired her long golden skirt adorned with embroidery and beading as I waited for her to make a few notes in a book on her cluttered desk. Suddenly, as she turned toward me, her bracelets jangled, signaling the beginning of the session.
“I understand you’re having dreams that seem disconcerting.” She spoke quietly with a lovely accent that reminded me of old New England families. “Do you recall when they began?”
“A week ago, and I’ve woken in a panic each night.”
“Ah, yes, waking in a panic is a problem.” She scribbled some notes into her notebook as she probed the history of my sleeping habits and dreams. I was relieved to be able to tell Nola everything I could remember about the strange dreams I had early in sobriety. Years ago, Sarah told me that it was normal to experience ultra vivid dreams once I stopped torturing my brain with alcohol, so I didn’t think anything about it. They subsided within the first year, but I had an eerie feeling they were coming back for some inexplicable reason.
“Do you think I’m seeing something important?” I asked.
“I think we need a lot more detail before we can determine that. You cannot live in a state of hyper-vigilance wondering when, how, and if something is about to happen to you,” she explained.
“I just want to know. I want to know what to do so I can get on with my life.” I looked at the dogs around the room hoping to get an answer since Nola sat silent. She stared at me, and I thought maybe she was reading my mind, so I thought about the dream, making it available for her to gather through extrasensory perception.
“Do you see people or animals in your dream?” she finally asked, which meant either she wasn’t reading my mind or my dream was as unclear to her as it was to me.
“I think it’s a girl.” I paused and then added, “The worst dreams, when I wake screaming, are when I think my daughter is being hurt. I just can’t handle thinking it might be her.”
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Genre - Women’s Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13