Clowns 🤡 – Too Much Joy – song
“I have nightmares filled with clowns and you’re there too
You have a big red nose and stupid floppy shoes
You’re becoming one I can see the signs” 🤡
Trigger Warning ⚠️: Phobias mentioned here
Fun fact: Last night, I had a dream about coulrophobia. So I decided to turn myself into a clown. Lol
In the dream, I was watching a movie about a young man with coulrophobia(fear of clowns). I don’t remember what his job was in my dream but whatever it was, his coulrophobia was interfering with his quality of work. For something to do with his job, he had to see a clown 🤡 or something if I remember correctly. His job was not actually about clowns though. It was something he usually did not have to encounter but it just happened that he had to cross paths with a clown now at work, just a coincidence. Maybe he had to visit someone’s house for work where they had a clown figure or photo? I don’t really remember much about that but whatever it was, his quality of work was greatly suffering and his boss was angry. He ordered him to be treated with exposure therapy, a form of treatment often used to treat phobias. The young man was having emotional difficulty with the exposure. He had to walk alone into a dark room in an old warehouse or factory or something like that, at night, full of life sized clown mannequins so he can get used to them and no longer be afraid. He couldn’t handle it.
In the movie in my head, his boss called him and was angrily telling him to get his shit together and stop acting like a coward and get on with it because he had work to get done. He was tired of his “nonsense.” I can still hear his voice dripping with arrogance, disdain, indifference to someone else’s suffering.
The movie in my dream was about how people who were murderers, dressed as clowns just like the clown mannequins used for his exposure, and creeped into the building and stood in the room next to the fake ones so they could eventually jump out at him during his exposure treatment. Lol It wasn’t part of the therapy and his boss wasn’t in on it. They were just psychos who somehow knew about it. They were strangers.
In my dream, I somehow got into the movie. Like it somehow turned real. But this wasn’t strange in my dream like it would have been for real. Like in reality we would be amazed, shocked, or confused if we somehow got into a movie or a movie turned real. But in my dream it was just a casual thing. The movie was all of a sudden not a movie and was real life and I was in it. I was walking into the dark room with the clowns. I knew the killers were in there since I just was watching the movie and wasn’t sure if they would lunge for me or not. But I had something to do in that room. I don’t remember what or even if I knew in the dream but I wasn’t sure if I should keep going and fulfill my obligation or turn around and leave since the killers were in there. The young man wasn’t there and I knew he would be coming soon. I think whatever I had to do was for my own job. This is realistic of me to still consider doing something that needs to be done even if it may be dangerous to me. I work with dogs and sometimes they can be aggressive. There are occasions I still considered interacting with them even when they clearly wanted to rip me to shreds. Lol And occasions I had to still feed and give them water while they were coming at me because a dog has to eat. Lol So this part of my dream makes perfect sense.
I wasn’t scared in the dream but a bit anxious and my body was tense like it was deciding it maybe should run. Then I saw some of the clowns moving and a vague thought crossed my mind like is this real or is it part of a movie I was just watching. It was like reality (the dream’s reality) and the movie blended.
So I wasn’t sure what would happen. Are they going to get me or ignore me? I had a feeling like they weren’t going to try to kill me. This is how I am for real in general, very trusting and always expecting the least bad thing to happen. I generally have this feeling like everything will work out well. I am not very anxious. I have suffered a couple bouts with anxiety but am generally not someone who is anxious. So I wasn’t extremely concerned for myself.
This feeling like this is real but also not is difficult to explain but in the dream it made sense. It was like a blend of something. Like sort of real, sort of not. I think this is common in dreams.
I think I decided not to walk into the room just in case the clowns tried to kill me. Better safe than sorry. Lol I remember walking away with this feeling of being very safe.
Then I woke up. Lol Intrigued by the dream. I don’t know what provoked that vivid and detailed dream or if there is really a movie like this but if there is one, I haven’t seen it. My head just made it up.
I had exposure therapy myself in reality, a few years ago, for debilitating claustrophobia. It began as professional treatment but I quit and handled it on my own, continuing exposure on my own terms. My claustrophobia was interfering with life because I have to get on elevators for work. There is no option sometimes to use the stairs and my claustrophobia was taking over everyday even when I did not have to get on elevators that day because I knew I would soon have to get inside them. In my dream, I sort of remembered my real life exposure therapy and how it was absolutely frightening at first and I experienced empathy and compassion for the young man. It’s like cruelty, irony, the thing we fear most in life is the very thing we must come face to face with alone, to get better.
I used to avoid elevators at all costs. I used to run up 20 or more things of stairs just to avoid them. This wasn’t a problem because I am very healthy and fit and energetic, always have been. But in college I had to get to buildings early to be able to run up 20 or more floors without being late for classes.
Sometimes that isn’t an option and stairs are blocked off. Some years ago, my claustrophobia triggered suicidal depression in me to the point I couldn’t even hold my toothbrush to brush my teeth in the mornings. I couldn’t handle knowing on any random day I may have to go into an elevator and that triggered a depressive episode that became no longer about that; the depression took on a life of its own. So I was struggling with a severe depressive episode on top of a bad, bad case of claustrophobia.
I grew up claustrophobic for an unknown reason. I have been for as long as I can remember, mostly about elevators. But it was rarely a problem because I rarely had any reason to have to get into them. So it may not have been able to be diagnosed as claustrophobia back then. Sometimes I had to avoid visiting people in hospitals because I couldn’t get into an elevator to the hospital room. On the occasions I did force myself, I would have some psychiatric breakdown. I have collapsed in crippling panic and have embarrassed family in front of strangers at the mere thought of getting into an elevator. Now I think it’s hilarious, especially embarrassing my mom and dad. One day when I was little we were all on a glass elevator with a stranger and I began to panic. I screamed at the top of my lungs and began kicking and flailing my arms and yelling let me out, let me out, let me out….just to go up two floors. The stranger turned and just stared in shock. My mom and dad were so embarrassed. ” My mom yelled, “Kim, you did NOT have to act like that!!!” It gives me a good belly laugh now when I remember it. 🤣😂😭😄😹 I remember my body flooded with sweet relief when that door opened.
All these years later, if I wanted to keep my job, I had to get over it. And I did. Years of claustrophobia gone in just a few weeks of simple regular exposure. Exposure works wonders, at least for me. It made me realize how something so powerful and debilitating is actually very, very weak.
Whenever I had to step into an elevator, it felt like I was going to die. My mouth dried up and always tasted like metal, like literally tasting fear. My entire body felt squeezed in the chokehold of death. The fear is so powerful it feels like I would *literally* go insane, like lose all sense of language and awareness and bodily movements. I felt like I could claw out my own eyes and claw off my own skin. And one day I actually did claw my own skin off when I was in an elevator alone as a teenager. There was no way out of the building unless I got into an elevator. I went into a panic and just mindlessly began ripping my skin off with my fingernails. Everything turned white like this blinding light around my head. I couldn’t see or think. All I could do was claw at my own body, my arms and ab, all bleeding when I finally stepped out of the elevator.
Welcome to my nightmare. 🖤
(almost had a cow when I saw this a couple years ago 😳 🤣 Just sitting there, doors wide open as if to tempt me; it felt like it was watching me, daring me. Lol It’s an old out of service elevator in a building I visit for work. It hasn’t been in use for some years and is in a strange place, not near the rest of the elevators and looks all old and dingy while the rest are newer looking and its doors are ALWAYS closed. But one day, I walk by and the doors are open! Holy guacamole! My heart nearly leapt out of my chest. Luckily my claustrophobia was already healed by then but this thing made it want to come back 🤣😭😹 Some things you just can’t unsee)
It has always felt like an eternity before the doors opened again and a sense of deep, deep dread and despair & regret as I watched them close on me.
It’s a kind of fear that knocks the wind out of me and takes my whole breath away. I have been in awe at how powerful it is.
I had a relapse once after mostly recovering when it seemed like an elevator door took a second too long to open, when I was inside by myself. It came back with a vengeance. It was way worse than before. I got mostly rid of the claustrophobia on my own by getting into elevators with dogs and found it healing. Then it came back then the regular exposure on my own helped significantly.
Now even if a door seems to take longer to open, I don’t have breakdowns or relapses. I get into elevators everyday by myself with no problems at all and find them very peaceful. Like a very brief reprieve where the outside world and all its problems and noise and stress and drama can’t touch me.
I love how a place that once felt so dark and cold and deadly is now a place of warmth and security like being wrapped in a cozy blanket.
There are some random occasions, I am a bit anxious with elevators and avoid them or sometimes suck it up and get into them anyway. But it’s not frequent. And not severe. I know if I am already anxious about something else, something unrelated, and have to get into an elevator, it sometimes triggers the claustrophobia but it goes away again. I believe if I ever stop getting into elevators for a long while then I do again, the claustrophobia may come back. I have experienced this already. So I try to get into them as much as possible to keep it away. It’s a lifelong condition that has to be controlled with regular exposure or I will go insane with fear again.
I don’t know what is up with this dream. Lol But it reminds me a bit of my own real experience. Even the old, dark warehouse where the clowns were. My work office used to be in one. Lol
I am not afraid of clowns and never have been. This wasn’t a scary dream at all. It wasn’t a nightmare even though it may seem like it. I don’t usually have dark or scary dreams. They’re usually positive, happy, or mundane. Though I have been plagued off and on, for as long as I can remember, by nightmares about being inside elevators and being stuck in them, sometimes with people, usually alone. Or sometimes terrifying dreams knowing I will soon be getting into an elevator. Sometimes I wake myself up before it happens or I force myself awake after I get into one if I can. I still have them on rare occasions but almost never since the claustrophobia went away. They are horrifying dreams and just dreadful. I had them since I was little even when I did not have to get into elevators and haven’t been recently in one. My brain just obsessed with them for some reason. I don’t ever remember any unpleasant experience with elevators that made this happen, just grew up with it. My earliest memories are terror when near an elevator. Couldn’t even bring myself to look at them walking by. I used to curse whoever invented them. I felt like that person destroyed my life sometimes.
This dream is bizarre for me because I don’t usually have them like this and it seems a bit creative. I’m not someone who is a creative writer or anything. So I don’t know why my head made this up.
Very recently, like just over one week ago, I saw the word “heliophobia” and looked it up to see what it is(a fear of the sun or bright light) and while scrolling, the word “coulrophobia” showed up. I think this is what inspired the dream but don’t know why just seeing that word and a pic of a clown holding balloons would inspire a whole story in my head while I sleep. Lol It’s heliophobia I was was interested in, not the clown one.
And the dream was very, very vivid. I remember the clowns and their faces and their pastel colored pj’s and balloons.🎈 And I remember the young man very clearly but don’t remember ever seeing him for real in person. I read before that all faces we see in dreams are real faces we saw at one point in life, even if years ago. It doesn’t mean in the dream they were who they are in reality, just that the face is real. I don’t know if it’s true.
Horror movies are my guilty pleasure, which I think also contributed to the dream, and I think this would be a good movie! 😍
I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are!
Xoxo Kim 💜