I just finished reading 'What Alice Forgot'.. and wow, deep read, lots of philosophical questions to be thought. I have the opposite as a recurring nightmare. It is well over ten years ago, I'm at the Deer River or the Fargo apartment.. alternating... and often, I have pneumonia. I had it at both places, both nearly so bad I should have been in a hospital. But the Fargo one - they gave me morphine cough syrup because I was coughing blood and hurting my rib cage on every cough.. and it was so strong it made me wake up sure I had just heard disembodied voices booming around me (yet it did nothing for the cough) and I watched the entire Dr.Zhivago miniseries on PBS (it must have been a rerun, as it was late 2002 or early 2003?) without ever catching the name of the story until the end of it.. and was so amazed I had just watched it as I always heard the name but never knew what it was about.
Anyway.. that is my nightmare, that I'm that far in the past and everything is exactly as it was and all of what I remember - while in the dream - Esme, Mark, NOW, hasn't happened and I desperately want it to. I don't want to have to get it all 'right' the second time. I miss them. I want to call Mark and I don't know how. I teeter between a sense of hopelessness and feeling really angry. I want to move heaven and earth to get to them, but Mark doesn't even know me yet, and Esme doesn't exist.
Sometimes I feel very empowered in the dream and I have my phone from now, and I do call - or I just get out in my truck and say 'I'm going home - I don't care what happens until I get there.' And I know it will all be alright. I take myself out of the nightmare. Which is amazing, because back then I had no control over anything, it always felt like that. And in the pneumonia nightmares I had no control whatsoever even my body was my enemy. I was too tired to get in and out of the bath, too tired to hardly breathe, and all alone by myself at home for long hours at a time.
So, reading this book had some deep impact for me on that Alice's situation was exactly the opposite - she has lost ten years when she apparently 'did it all right' and ended up with a perfect house, a swimming pool, lots of money, a thin supermodel body and three kids. However, she realizes she has became a stranger to herself so that she looks at her life and says 'Who is this person? Who is this angry, inconsiderate, controlling person? I never wanted to be that person?' And she tries to change, and she learns a lot as she remembers in bits and pieces until her memories come back. And then she almost doesn't change - but remembers the jarring disjointed feelings of waking up just after she had lost her memory and realizes there is a middle ground.
Anyway, very good book.
I hate those dreams. I find the phone or the car keys almost every time now, though. I hardly ever wake up feeling like I'm trapped and just can't breathe.