Usually I'm happy to have dreams, because it often means I've had enough sleep. They tend to be an interesting realm of fantasy, but sometimes they really bother me. For years I had the dream about failing a radio shift with dead air (which I haven't had since I went back to my college station almost a year ago to do it in real life). This morning I got up with Simon early, and once I put him back down, I went to sleep for another two hours of very intense sleep, with dreams.
The first dream started out as me being in a sort of 24 situation, where a bad guy had a bomb he was going to set off in some building. I told some woman in charge and started to get my distance. When I saw the building start to explode (in slow motion, of course), from afar, I seemed to transition into a new dream where I woke up after years of some kind of suspended animation of cryogenic freezing. What played out was almost a cross between three movies: The Island, Idiocracy and Demolition Man. The world was a place with some kind of control in place, and those not fitting in were either killed or made into zombies or something. I only witnessed them killing robots, but I guess the rest was implied. It was completely strange.
I can see immediately where it comes from though. It's a fairly obvious manifestation of the things I fear in more complex ways. The death thing is irrelevant, as it's only a consequence I think for story telling purposes, but the rest fits into a number of things that I fear or loathe. The most obvious one is being a part of a system that exerts some kind of control over me. In real life, it comes in many forms, like rules about what you can do where you live, things you have to do at work, etc. Related to that is a desire to only do the things I want to do. I hate jumping through hoops.
This aspect of my personality is strange, because I'm generally at peace with things that I can't control. Death, world conflict, disease and the like are not things I spend a lot of time worrying about. In the heat of a difficult moment (say, child crying on a plane while beverages are being spilled), I roll with it because there's little I can do about it.
But when things or people are trying to exert some kind of control over me, wow does that mess with me. I think that started in college, for a bunch of different reasons. It's probably why unemployment the first time was so hard to take. When someone cuts me off in traffic, I feel like someone is trying to control me. When Microsoft makes me take some silly business conduct training every year, it annoys me. When the housing association wants me to cut my grass, I get angry.
I suppose being self-aware about stuff like this at least helps me process it and reduce its impact. It's amusing that it surfaces in dreams though.