Fear of heights

I haven’t the slightest fear of heights in real life but in my dreams, I am terrified by them for some reason. The last few nights have been plagued by dreams which involve weird or unusual heights. A few nights ago, I dreamt I had taken a wrong turn on the highway and in order to get to where I was going, I had to take a highway that crossed a river (via a bridge) and before the bridge, the highway arched over a skyscraper. It was not a pleasant experience.

Last night, I dreamt that I left my jacket on an outcropping of a building. In order to get it, I had to step outside a window and walk along a ledge and then reach up for it, all the while, seeing a city sprawled dozens (hundreds?) of stories below me. In that dream I remember thinking how particularly frightened I was and at the same time, I was annoyed by this fear. I rationalized it (in the dream) as having worked for too long out on the ledge so that the heights started getting to me.

I wonder what function this has? I am not one who buys into Freudian theories of dreams. My own understanding of the function of dreams is to help commit short term memories to long-term memories, which is what most studies have shown to be true. Still, I find it odd that while I have not the slightest qualm about heights in real-life, I am unnerved by them in my dreams.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

4 thoughts on “Fear of heights

  1. according to Dream Moods.com:

    To dream that you are afraid of heights, denotes that you are striving for goals that seem beyond your reach.

  2. I think the bridge arching over a skyscraper would be awesome!!! Sounds sorta sci-fi to me…

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