Nightmare on Ardleigh Crescent

The manifestation of my childhood trauma?

The manifestation of my childhood trauma?

Ok, so Ardleigh Crescent may not have the same ring to it as Elm Street, but for me, the nightmare I had last night resonated just as soundly as the ones I used to have many years ago as a very troubled teenager living in a very troubled home environment. Just like back in that time, the villain in last night’s nightmare had the face and persona of our friend Freddy Kreuger, who had first appeared in pop culture in 1984, the year that my mother married my stepfather and things in my world took a sinister turn. I think back to that time, and realise now that by making the villain Freddy in my nightly replays of certain events, did in fact make it easier to survive day by day because ultimately Johnny Depp and Co prevailed and Freddy was eventually vanquished … although we never quite know do we?

Fast forward to my forty year old confident self who has worked hard to overcome childhood traumas. I make a point in my life of today to actively live in the now, which means by default not reliving the past. So, I was very surprised that old scar face showed himself in my dream last night. When I woke up this morning, I recalled large chunks of it vividly, and whilst I don’t feel the need to expand on the content this morning, the subject matter and storyline involved my youngest daughter and would scare any parent.

But something was very different about this dream. Even though the Freddy was there and loomed large and scary, I actually wasn’t scared at all. I recall feeling enraged, irate that he would have the audacity to show up and even try it on! Even though the dream sequence took some scary turns and there were some close calls, I was able to thwart him at every stage. Hell, at one point I even recall spinning around with my dress shooting out flames, which was hell cool! (I do think this bit was more to do with the fact that the girls and I went to see Catching Fire last night and I was channeling a bit of Katniss Everdeen – Hell Yeah!).

Every scene culminated in me shepherding my girl and her friends to safety, and the finale was when I kicked Freddy’s ass UFC style (thanks to my son I know a bit about this), and took the sucker down in a mighty straight arm bar triple attack! I remember it took place in the driveway of my old house at 31 Gregory Street in Toowoomba, and I yelled out “Citizen’s arrest Kreuger … you are going down for a long long time!” … Cheesy maybe … empowering more so!

I used to wake up from Freddy dreams literally feeling like I had done battle, and sometimes I would have scratches on my arms or face that at the time made me very very scared, as I truly thought the bastard was real. Now I know that I probably scratched myself but at the time it made more sense that he was there as back then I did truly feel like I was living in an inescapable nightmare.

I am telling this story not because I need to revisit that time, but because my nightmare of last night had such a different feeling. Even though like in my past it played out on and off throughout the night – even after I got up and had a drink of water – I went back to the same scene as if it were merely an intermission. The major difference in last night’s dream was that not only was I the lead actor but I was also the director, and man that is empowering. Despite the action in my dream, I still woke up feeling refreshed and ready to have a great day!

If dreams are indeed a manifestation of our subconscious (and I will throw over to my good friend Melanie for comment on this), I am taking this one as a sign that my life is truly in a great place. The past few years have certainly had their peaks and troughs, and this has left me a little battered at times. But as the year draws to a close I know just how much I do have to be grateful for and just how many demons I have vanquished. Through my choice to work with my mentors (the film crew) and friends (the supporting cast), I have made so many amazing changes in my life, which of course has put me in a place where I can not only stand firm and protect my little family from whatever might come their way and through making a choice to live firmly in the now, I am also teaching them to do the same, which means I have created generational change, and by crikey I am proud of that!

I have a feeling there won’t be any more installments in this series. Besides, “Nightmare on Ardleigh Crescent 2” has no kind of ring to it at all.




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