I got a comment from my friend Jo Newey about dreams and dreaming. I hope she doesn’t mind that I made this a blog post. It was rather long and it’s crazy, so it deserves to be a blog post. ^_^
I also have a lot of nightmares, lucid dreams, dreams where I don’t know if I’m sleeping and worst of all, false awakenings. Sometimes I’ll have nightmare after nightmare all night and not know whether I’m awake or asleep. I spend the whole time trying to wake myself up by trying to move, do math, remember things from real life, look at my hand, look for my bed (many suggestions I’ve heard but none seem to work), only to “wake up” in my dream again and start over. When I actually do wake up in the morning, it takes me a few minutes to be sure I’m not dreaming. Then I’ll be freaked out for the rest of the day.
I wouldn’t say I’ve come to terms with my weird dreams like you have though, they scare the hell out of me and some nights I don’t want to go to sleep out of fear.
How do you stay calm in your nightmares? Or don’t you?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve had nightmares. Every single dream had some horrific element in it, in them, and yes, there were times when I barely slept a few hours, went to school, stayed up all night, and repeated the process while making A’s and B’s. It was hard, but I did it because I was afraid to fall asleep. And in my dreams, pain hurts like hell. That whole, “pinch yourself and if it hurts, then you’re awake” thing is so not true when it comes to me. Pain is real in my dreams and sometimes, it carries over. Sometimes, things carry over like tears. I can cry so hard in a dream that I’d wake up crying. It doesn’t feel good.
When I was around sixteen, I got tired of being afraid. For once in my life, I was angry. I screamed at the top of my lungs and told it all to go away. I was tired of not having enough sleep, tired of waking up more sleep deprived than before I went to sleep, and tired of all the terrors and the horrors. I told myself that day that no matter how horrible my dreams were, I was going to get a good night’s sleep and I will wake up refreshed. Sometimes, all it takes is taking a stand for yourself. That’s all it took me…for me to tell myself that I was going to sleep good, no matter what kind of creepy dreams I had. So every night from then on, I slept and I woke up feeling great. Now, that didn’t mean that my dreams changed at all. They didn’t. But I slept now and I slept good–meaning that I woke up not allowing the dreams to stress me out. I think that’s what is happening to you now. You’re waking up with your dreams harassing you and stressing you out.
I know everything you speak of, Jo, about your dreams and the false awakenings. I hated those things. When you wake up, but you’re not really awake, you’re just awake in another dream. And it seems so much easier for you to wake up, stay up because you’re afraid, fall asleep hours later, and bam! You hit that same dream again or go right back to where you left off. I hated those things.
For me, I believe that standing up for myself really made a difference. I think you should try it too. Just control yourself. Tell yourself before you go to bed that you will have a good night’s sleep and you will wake up feeling refreshed. It might not work the first time (I don’t think you’re in anger yet, you’re still in fear. I was there for a long time so I totally understand). Keep trying. Eventually, what you’re doing is allowing yourself sleep and nice sleep. Your dreams may not change (mine haven’t yet), but whatever happens in the dream, will no longer affect you being awake and while you’re awake. Does that make sense? I hope it does.
My dreams are a safety net. I say that in the nicest way possible because, I cannot astral project and I also cannot go out of body. I’ve been out of body a few times, but I’m normally stuck in some part to my body, so what I do see is the room I’m sleeping in. I normally go out of body every time I sleep at a new house or a new place. Creepy to say this, but I’ve learned to just accept it as my way of making sure where I sleep is safe. And I still sleep with a light on…because I have nightmares, I’m afraid of the dark, and I tend to draw weird stuff to me. It’s not really a gift. It sucks. No one wants to be afraid all of the time. But, back to what I was saying about my dreams being a safety net. No matter how horrific my dreams are, I cannot leave them. And nothing can come in that hasn’t already been there. So in a way, it’s safe because everything that is there has been there from the beginning. Even though my dreams are scary, I know that they will not actually hurt my physical self and since I’ve stood up and stopped them from affecting my normal life, they don’t do that either.
I stay calm in my dreams because I’m lucid in them the majority of the time. And because they’re all recurring dreams, I’ve tried many ways to escape the dreams, so when I am dreaming, I get flashbacks of the many ways I’ve tried–and failed–at escaping the dreams. Meaning that I am able to see the quickest and least painful way to let the dream play out.
Also, sometimes, I’m not really in the dream. It’s weird. It’s like I inhabit the dream bodies and then a while later, I am separate and they continue on with whatever odd life they’re having. Last night, I literally dreamed that I was a vampire and later, that vampire was being played by Angelina Jolie. Odd, but true.
And I’m not really all that calm in my dreams. I panic…a lot. And when I panic, I get desperate. So I will do wild things, crazy things just to upset the dream as much as possible. But remember that I’m also mostly lucid. While sometimes, I can fake knowing I’m dreaming and fall right into the patterns of the dream, forgetting that I am dreaming, I make it a point to tell myself before I go to bed what I aim to accomplish with my dreams. I’ve experimented a lot. And dream books do not help at all. I’ve tried the majority of them.
When I panic and do crazy things, I go for the craziest of things. For example: a lot of the “baddies” in my dreams like to bite me and rip my flesh off. Literally, they eat me. And that’s always scary. It’s not a dog gnawing on your leg playfully. No. That dog is causing a lot of harm to your leg by breaking it and eating it raw. And I did mention that I always feel pain, right? Yeah, it hurts. So when I panic, I do the same thing back. I start to eat them–which is gross and it makes me gag, but hey, the way that I see it is that if someone/something is trying to eat me, I will eat them right back and see who wins in devouring the other first.
In a dream, I was in a car and this witch was beside me and she started trying to eat my arm. So I panicked, grabbed her head, and started eating her face. Yep. It was gross. And yes, I knew I was dreaming, but fear is a bit too strong to control and keep calm. And yes, I did eat her head and threw her body out of the window. In my opinion, whether awake or asleep…things without heads cannot see and cannot go anywhere.
Another example (and I was super lucid to do this)–I got tired of all the crazy characters that would be out in the street in front of my childhood home in my dream as if it was some universal highway for people to travel around on. So, I didn’t panic this time, but I experimented so much that as soon as I hit being lucid and I am out of that house (which is creepy and always haunted in the dream, by the way)–I can step outside, run into the street, and command everyone (no matter where they’re hiding) to show up. I can also change the time of day which is super cool. Changing night into day should tell you automatically that you’re dreaming, but dreams are stupid in that the impossible can happen and it all seems very normal. But, going for extremes, I made everyone take their clothes off. Of course, they all looked at me weird and funny, so I took my clothes off. Over and over and over again. I think the main purpose was to find a way to break the dreams, to break the loops of recurring dreams, and to change a dream efficiently. I would get down to half naked before clothes automatically appeared and I’m back to taking off layers and endless layers.
I do stupid things when I panic because I know I’m asleep, but it’s fear that also takes over me. I haven’t learned how to control it yet. At least not that well.
Jo, I think you should keep a dream journal. Tell yourself before you sleep that you will remember your dreams and then write them down when you wake up. It will help you to keep track of your dreams, maybe see something that the dream is trying to say (this never works with me. My dreams have nothing to tell me. They’ve said so themselves.), and maybe it will also help to stop that dream from returning. (Do you have recurring dreams? I find that if I remember enough of a dream that helps me to remember the rest of the dream, that dream skips and doesn’t replay until I have forgotten it.)
Also, be firm. Stand up to your dreams and tell it what you want and what’s going to happen. Don’t let it control you. If you’d like to be lucid in your dreams, I’ll help. Let me know. I’ve tried a couple of things. Doesn’t work 100 percent. But it works in the beginning until my dreams got smarter.
Also, one more thing about waking up from a dream. I hate it. If you’re paralyzed, you can try moving. Rock your body back and forth or a limb until you wake. It’ll give you that sharp pins and needles feeling which I also hate (because it’s a strange sensation and can be similar to pain), but you’ll wake up.
I’ll tell you what I did when I was desperate, but don’t ever try it. Obviously, when you read this, you’ll see that it didn’t work. Not the way I wanted it to.
In a dream, I was so terrified, that I took a knife (how that happened to be in the bedroom, I have no idea), and I cut my chest open and ripped my heart out. I knew I was dreaming. I panicked. The body I was in, had an enlarged heart. I got to see it before I passed out. And I woke up, in the same dream again in a new dream body. (Yes, I feel like I’m possessing people or something odd like that at times.) This time, no knife. So I stabbed myself with a pair of scissors. Woke up in the dream again. No scissors or anything sharp. Took a pen and stabbed myself. And all the while, the things I was afraid of were staring at me, watching me commit dream suicide. Woke up again in the dream. Nothing sharp and nothing even blunt to use as a weapon. By now, they’re all confused and just staring. And I’m scared out of my wits. Which is why I resorted to the craziest things ever. I don’t remember what else I’ve tried after that. I did try using my hands, only to wake up finding myself tied and bound. It was insane, but when I feel trapped like that, like I couldn’t wake up and I’m aware that I’m dreaming–nothing matters. Not the pain, not the dream, not crazy. It’s like a rat that’s trapped. They’ll eat through anything to try and get out. And that’s me. That’s what I do. I hope you will never get desperate like that. But I learned stuff about myself. I learned that I have quite an imagination.
No one should have dreams like I do. So stand up to yours. I hope your dreams are like those I’ve read about with other people…where the dreams actually listen to you. Just try it anyway. The worse thing that could happen is what my dreams do to me when I try to command them–they laugh and tell me that they’re not a part of me, nor do they come from me, nor are they part of my subconscious, and I cannot control them. No one should have my dreams. Demand what you want from yours. If you’re not lucid enough in your dreams, tell yourself you’ll sleep well before you go to bed. Affirmation like that in this case really works. Good luck to you. Sorry this is so long. And I hope you don’t mind, but I am making this a blog post. It’s interesting and too long to just be in the comments. Let me know if I can help in any way. Thank you.
PS–Spinning, yes, twirling yourself around and around as fast as you can go. Try that in a dream. It is supposed to “reset” you in some way by changing your environment. So if you find yourself in a creepy environment, spin around as fast as you can for as long as you can and when you stop, your surroundings should have changed. I read it somewhere. Tried it and it worked and helped me out a lot in the beginning. After maybe fifty tries (all successful), the dreams caught on and got smarter. They adapted. So then, I had to try something else.
If you can find a mirror, push yourself through it. It will take you someplace else. If the mirror is too small, stretch it and pull it. It always works in the beginning. My dreams are like, a living entity or something. They adapt. I don’t know how. After so many successful tries with the mirror, I now just end up on the other side of the mirror, not in a different setting. It’s frustrating to have to always try something new to trick my dreams.
I even got to the point where I’d put my hand up against a wall and do weird stuff like break it, or turn it glassy so it’s mirror like so I can escape, or form a doorway so I can escape. Whenever I form doorways, they only lead to outside. I’ll still be in the same surroundings. Eventually, I’ll master these dreams. But what’s more, I wonder if leaving them would put me in danger because I attract weird things like a magnet. It’s not safe for me out there.