Google the words “Donald Trump” and “nightmare,” and you get over 29 million results.
While there are obviously those who believe that President Trump is the answer to America’s problems, there are others who feel quite the opposite -- and they’re carrying those negative thoughts and fears with them deep into slumberland.
A Los Angeles therapist is now treating patients dealing with what she calls "Trumpmares."
“I am known as Dr. Dream. I’m not a doctor, I’m a hypnotherapist, but it’s just kind of a fun name to be called,” says Kelly Sullivan Walden. She’s written nine books on dreams, including "Dreams and Premonitions," "The Love, Sex and Relationship Dream Dictionary" and "It’s All In Your Dreams."
Walden has done a lot of talk shows, such as "Dr. Oz" and "Ricki Lake," and her 17-year practice -- seeing clients privately and conducting dream workshops -- has covered pretty much whatever goes on in a person’s sleeping mind, including the intimidating presence of the newest resident of the White House.
“I'm hearing a lot of Trump-related dreams,” explains Walden, who says she’s heard “over 100” Trumpmares from clients. “Once I started looking I started finding so many of them, not just in the people in my world, but beyond that.”
Social media and the internet provide plenty of information to back that up. Trump has appeared in dreams as a tooth-yanking dentist, a horrible math teacher, the leader of a zombie apocalypse, a ranting Uber driver and a man chasing you in Wal-Mart.
But the president has sparked far worse visions in the night.
“Sexual violation. Deportation. Dreams about Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini or other no-faced dictators treating people like they don't matter,” Walden reveals. “They kind of run the gamut. The dream that Mariah had was a violent dream and very scary, like a nightmare. Classic."
Mariah Alexis Reyes is 19, and grew up in the Highland Park section of Los Angeles. Reyes met Walden when the therapist gave a lecture at Reyes’ school in 2011. Over the years they’ve discussed many dreams, but today they’re focusing on Reyes' recent Trumpmare.
"I had a dream that I was visiting the White House, and as I was walking I saw Trump and he sees me, and he stabs me in the stomach,” says Reyes softly. “And as I fall down on the ground he tells his Secret Service to get rid of me. And no one knew I died and that he was responsible. I felt so devastated because I didn't even get to say goodbye to the people that I love.”
Walden and Reyes analyze the dream. They dissect the dream. They assess what Trump represents to Reyes and what she can learn from it.
“It makes me feel like I don’t matter,” Reyes says, “like I don’t have a voice.”
“This dream covers so many things,” says Walden. “There's so many layers. You're dealing with your own heartbreak around the election and also, a lot of people feeling stabbed in the gut.
“But then I love that you’re taking it to a higher place, and what does this say about me, and how can I become a better person as a result of this dream?”
So apparently there’s really nothing to fear from a Trumpmare after all. But what about the vice president? Are people experiencing the frightening specter of Number Two in their nocturnal world?
“I haven't heard a single Pence nightmare,” Walden admits. “I imagine if Trump, if he is invited not to come back to the White House, then I think the Pence nightmares will begin.”
To be fair, Walden points out that not all Trump dreams are a horror show.
“There's a lot of Trump healing dreams,” she says. “A lot of people are trying to heal him in their dreams. Loving him, throwing flowers on him, even having sex with him to heal him. Somebody was breastfeeding him, and she said in the dream she was very maternal with him.”
It seems that some Americans are reaching out in their nightmares, hoping, at least behind the wall of sleep, that the president can be saved. After all, we are a nation of dreamers.