Screenshot 2014-05-08 11.41.31 As a girl I had this poster on my wall. I would lie in bed and reimagine the illusion into something rational. I walked my fingers along the stairs and tried not to fall off. Escher’s mobius world wasn’t changed by my imagination or tiny finger steps.

Last night I dreamed of stairways.

The pretty patterned stairs that connect my kitchen to the second floor had been replaced by some sort of retractable spiral space saving nonsense. I got halfway up and they would retract again, send me twisting back down.
One time I made it halfway up and was clinging to the edge as the stairs disappeared beneath me. It was like exiting a pool in the least glamorous way as I heaved myself back up to the bedroom level of our house.

I was greeted there by my dead cat. He was not all pet cemetery ish and I was glad to see him. I couldn’t figure out how to get him to Denver.

Its the midlife version of learning that you had been enrolled in a class the entire semester the day before the final exam. This was a nightmare of I had in college and a bit beyond.

Then came the driving with no brakes.

Now the stair problem.

This sort of anxiety dream only comes up during big transitions. Moves, graduations, new jobs, business launches. They are not regular.

Awake it is easy to understand both the illusion and the reality. I have already packed my diploma, the car has a service scheduled, and the stairs are solid beneath my feet.

It is still going to be tough to get that dead cat to Denver.

Do you have nightmares that you remember? Do they surface during the change of season, sad moments in the calendar? Times of transition?

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble,, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at

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