Nightmare Phases

The "Nightmare Phases" was a series completed in response to a recurring stress dream I had from the ages of thirteen to roughly nineteen years of age. At the time, I was still living at home, and to say home was tumultuous would be an understatement.

The dream went a little something like this: I would find myself in the bath tub, bathed in blood-red light. Feeling a presence, I would look to the edge of the tub and see a masked figure kneeling, staring at me. In terror, I always violently jerked back (despite knowing full well what was there.) The dream would then end with me being drowned in the bathtub by this anonymous masked figure. After years of dealing with this vague and terrifying dream, I began to dissect the meaning, feeling my mind was setting off the alarm bells for my psyche. 

I think associating the color red with stress, aggression, and friction is more than palpably perfect. Red is violent, blood vessels popping and alert. And, much like the "teeth falling out" dream or "plummeting off of a cliff" dream, the dream of drowning or being drowned is a classic stress dream. Everyone feels smothered, violated, or threatened at some point in their life. Much of our stressin my case, unresolved stressleaks into our dreams and allows no escape. To ignore such signs of issue is never the answer. 

Complacency is not the answer. I moved out of my family home a few months later and the dream never occurred again. "Nightmare Phases" is my tribute to the power of dreams and the power of stress. 

Modeled by Storie Hawkins
By Ashley Aleman

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