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Nightmares and Hope

Posted on Saturday, 23 October 2021 - 6:09pm by Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt

Do you believe nightmares are real?


Perhaps you should.

Considering what life itself is like, it would be wise to consider the possibility that the very thing you fear most is very much real and lurking over your shoulder. It watches; it waits for opportunity; it senses weakness. Before long it's eating you from the inside out until you feel helpless and hopeless. It feasts on the energy you use to try and fight the phobia but, unless you have an army, all will be lost to the desolate wasteland that is your small and insignificant inner self.

Your inner self gasps and pants trying to claw back the power to stand back up. If it manages, it will find itself pinned under deep water, and will have to survive using fight or flight responses.

The air in their lungs will be on a quickened countdown to expiration and panic draws nigh. Its heart will pound, hopeful that adrenalin will give you the energy to let you reach the surface so you can scream a life saving breath of air. The surface will seem to be miles away and taunting your being by feeling like it's progressively getting further from your reach.

Just as hopelessness begins to overwhelm and the self considers that all is lost, its hand emerges into cold air and it knows it's able to breathe with one more fighting kick.

Gasping for an agonising moment, evacuating all inhaled water in coughing fits, it feels itself floating on subtle waves.

Your inner self is safe.

For now.

Safe until gnarled and agèd fingers of doubt, worry, negative nostalgia, what ifs and circumstance wrap their way around the ankle, sensing the inner self's falsified belief that it is safe, preparing to drag you to the depths, ready for the next round in the arena of anxiety and depression…

Do you still not believe nightmares are real?

Perhaps you should.


Adrianna looked up from her PaDD. She'd read that a fright could help induce labour, but in her case, she found the description to be more of a home truth than an induction tactic.

She thought back on her life in recent years. With each positive memory, something negative tainted the ideology of joy and happiness.

Falling in love with a childhood sweetheart-- being betrayed by trusting him.

Starfleet rescuing her-- being shot by her own father.

Meeting Leopold-- Ekos.

Now, the couple were starting a family. What chaos would follow and pursue their joy with an intention to hunt down and destroy their joy?

Perhaps the ambiguity the question posed was nonsense, but the idea that Adrianna was not allowed to be solely happy was instilled upon her. Perhaps karma would keep returning for every act she did whilst working under Baciami. She had begged for Lustitia, Lady Justice herself, to allow the judicial scales she possessed that define judgement of karma, to tip in her favour believing that repentance and working on the side of good in an attempt at restitution, constituted for something-- anything.

Perhaps the problem was not with karma, but rather it was mere thought and self persecution. Adrianna had noted that since Ekos, her mind had gone back to a very dark place. Solitary confinement had given her too much opportunity to be alone in her own thoughts. She had dwelled and feasted on increasing fatalism stemming from the bleakness of her circumstance. Her very inner self rotted away to a mere shadow of what it had spent years trying to rebuild after escaping Baciami reign.

With any luck, it would be easier to rebuild now that she had the support network that surrounded her. Here, on the USS Standing Bear, she was not alone. The woman was embraced with friends and 'chosen family' that would do, and had done, everything to keep her afloat and to bring out her true happy, confident self. Her own husband had been her rock whilst on Ekos and had allowed her to mourn the loss of her willfulness to continue on with encouragement of rebuilding her being to her former self. He, and several others, ranging from Alex to T’Lanna, Stillwater to Soral, had all become stepping stones to assist in her recovery and, equally, to become even better than she was before.

For that, she would be eternally grateful.

For that, she held courage.

For that, she had hope.


Nightmares are just opportunities to develop into a stronger person.

Nightmares are real, but so is hope.

Nightmares can be fought.

Who's in your army that will help you battle them?


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