Recurring Nightmare – End Notes
Please read Foreword first.
Recurring nightmares have a quality of their own. While you are in them, you find yourself experiencing the same bad emotions even though you know you are in a dream and the events don’t really affect you in ‘real life’. And even though you know how the story will pan out, there is nothing you can do to stop it from happening the same way it always does. The only thing you can do is to wait for it to be over so you can wake up again.
I end the series with a real (non-recurrent) nightmare I once had.
This happened when I was in O&G posting. I was a 'conscientious objector', which meant I didn’t perform any procedure related to abortions. They offered us the choice way back when, and at that time I chose it as a 'default setting' despite not having very firm views on the pro-life/pro-choice issue. I wasn’t trying to make abortion illegal, but I didn’t want to have a hand in it.
However, I did see patients asking for termination of pregnancy at the clinic for one reason or another. All sorts of women. Schoolgirls in JC uniforms accompanied by their classmates, professional women who wanted the abortion done 'yesterday' because she had to fly off for a meeting, women who used abortion as a means of family 'planning', and grandmothers who thought they were no longer fertile.
I saw them, did the initial assessment and tests, booked the dates for them, and then left the work to others. I thought I was being professional and that the emotional aspects of it didn’t touch me.
Then one night I had a dream that my best friend was pregnant and she wanted to get an abortion. I was pleading and begging for her to reconsider but to no avail.
I woke up with a cold sweat and a thumping heart, and I knew I had been kidding myself.
The next morning I asked to be exempted from seeing women seeking abortion in the clinic.