I should begin with the caveat (possibly disingenuous) that I’m not ordinarily big on the “let me share with you the completely bizarre dream I had last night” conversational gambit. (What was the song that David Silver sang part of to me and Liz before Jason’s panel? Something about no one caring about your dreams, unless they’re in them…)
However: this dream was much too terrifying, and much too vivid, to simply leave be. I dreamed, just before waking up this morning, that I was going rapidly, unmistakably, and irremediably insane. Someone referred to the disorder that I was suffering in the dream as bipolar, but the evidence (a bizarre concept when it comes to dreams, I recognize) in fact suggests that what I was suffering was more akin to schizophrenia. In the course of the dream, I rapidly lost all concept of or ability to distinguish “reality” (again, a bizarre concept to consider in relation to dreams). I was hallucinating (ditto), both visually and aurally, and at least at first I was aware that these were hallucinations, but my ability to distinguish between the things I was perceiving and the actual world (mm-hm) rapidly deteriorated. Family members (who appeared to me as more and more distorted and threatening, as the dream wore on) presented me with things I’d done that I had no memory of, things that provided clear evidence of the break I’d apparently suffered — for instance, having sent over 60 rambling and somewhat threatening messages to a listserv in rapid succession, each less coherent than the last. Even more, I found myself unable to maintain a clear distinction between my thoughts and my actions (on the bizarreness of such a distinction within the unconscious mind, see above) — at one point, I saw (or imagined I saw) that our house and our truck (whose house and whose truck? don’t know) had weeds and flowers growing on their roofs, and I attempted to tell someone that they needed to be mowed, but the words wouldn’t come out right, and I found myself instead having to fight off the incredibly strong urge to do that mowing.
Needless to say, I’m deeply unnerved by this dream. The only real-life impetus for it (and please don’t ask me to define “real-life” today; I’m feeling a bit shaky in my grasp thereof) is I think that I’ve been reading too much postmodernist theory, and that the sense of contemporary representation as schizophrenia — the links of the signifying chain having been broken, leaving us surrounded by a heap of unrelated signifiers, as Jameson lifts from Lacan — has left an imprint on my unconscious. I need some more awake-time, though, before I can piece through the multiple layers of consciousness, consciousness within the unconscious, dream, hallucination within the dream, to even begin to sort out what it might all mean.