Friday, June 17, 2016

Re-occurring nightmares.

Nightmares are always unpleasant, but there’s something especially unsettling about reoccurring nightmares. These are ideas and sensations so horrific to your psyche that they’re replayed; a reminder to you of this gnawing fear. This is a soft spot of yours, a tender, weakness, an exposed artery, and your own id, your own mind likes poking it, aggravating that fear. How odd.

I don’t know if dream theory is much of a discipline. I know Freud posited dreams were unconscious desires and wish fulfilment, and no doubt I’m sure parts of them can be, but it seems like there’s almost too much going on to be covered by one theory. Also, not everyone has the same experience of dreaming. Some swear they don’t. Some say they don’t remember theirs. I dream vividly and often feel I’m dream-aware.

According to the Wikipedia entry on Dream Interpretation:
People appear to use motivated reasoning when interpreting their dreams. They are more likely to view dreams confirming their waking beliefs and desires to be more meaningful than dreams that contradict their waking beliefs and desires.[1]
Isn't that the case in our waking life as well? 

The same article page describes Primitive instinct rehearsal theory, which describes the evolutionary use of dreaming and nightmares as “practice” for real-life scenarios and threats. This makes sense. What I find unsettling is to what degree my dreams are detailed and specific.

There are times when someone insults me in a dream, and or tells a joke. I'll wake up, remembering it, and then think to myself how since the joke or comment is of my mind, I technically came up with it. 

How odd is that?

There is so little known about the human brain, much less known about dreams, and I would venture to guess little to no research on how mental illness affects dreaming. 

There are times when in my dream-life, I feel like I could stay there. That it is a real place. There are times I'm conscious of me being in the dream-world, and that I take advantage of that fact. 

What odd absurdities. What free-form creativity, equally inventive and unnerving. Such exposure. 

I often have dreams of finding something and trying to bring it to safety, and usually failing. Last night, I found a small tree frog in an underground movie-theatre and I was trying to keep it in my hands so I could bring it outside. It hopped out whenever it could. I was lost in the movement of people and the whims of my companions. 

Once I dreamed my nephews were small babies made of paper. 

I use to have dark dreams about my father. I would see him and he wouldn't speak to me. This would upset me terribly. Eventually these dreams transitioned to me finding him and wondering where he'd been all this time (he died in 1997 when I was 13). Sometimes he has a second family. Sometimes he's an amnesiac and has no idea who I am. Sometimes I try and talk to him and he's a fucking asshole. 

These types of dreams have deep roots. I don't need a doctorate to see where they come from.

And other times dreams are so psychically unpleasant. The sensation of having a mouth packed-full of chewing gum, and being unable to remove it. You're grabbing at wads of gum at your mouth, pulling it out, winding the tacky, stretchy substance around your fingers and hands, desperate to get a proper hold of it. But you can't. It's infinite. You worry about choking. You worry about this being you life now, about it impeding you in every way. 

Is that a metaphor for my own mouth and what I put in it? About what it keeps away?

I pay attention to my dreams. I'm not beholden to them, but I listen. 

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