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In Dreams September 23, 2011

Posted by J. in FYI, Genius.

I have a question for anyone reading this who is well-versed in either psychiatry or dream interpretation. I’ll take either–or both–at this point.

We all have dreams. Everyone dreams, only some don’t remember it and some do. Some people apparently dream in color and others don’t. Some dreams make sense and others are complete nonsense, right?

I have two kinds of dreams. The first kind are what I think of as the “usual” kind of dreams. You know where you’re trying to tell your dream to someone else and you’re all “You were at my house, only it wasn’t my house, but in my dream it was…anyway, you were there, but you had three eyes, and right before you started speaking you turned into a raccoon. Then the Archbishop of Canterbury came in riding a moose…” That kind of thing. There are elements of reality in there, but just elements. Mostly it’s just the randomly assembled flotsam and jetsam of the things you’ve heard or read or thought about or seen in the course of your day making their way to the top of your brain milk and getting skimmed off like heavy cream.

When I have those kinds of dream, they’re always very disjointed. The dream makes no real sense, there’s no “plot” to the thing, and one minute I’m here and the next I’m there with no logical progression at all. I’ll have five of these a night sometimes. And usually I don’t remember them, or if I can recall one, it’s not for long.

When I have this kind of dream, I’m always in the dream looking at things from my own POV. I’m in my body. I can’t see myself, I can only see what I see, like in real life, only the dream is usually anything but real.

I also have a second type of dream. They’re few and far between and when I have them, they stick with me for a really long time and I think about them over and over again.

In this kind of dream, I’m always in it, but I’m watching myself in it as if I’m starring in a movie. And the dream is very, very real. These are situations that could feasably happen, even if they’re entirely unlikely (in as much as no one turns into a raccoon), and the people in it with me act in much the way they would if this was actually happening. The “story” is usually continuous, or if there’s a change in scene, it almost dissolves out and then fades back in like in a movie.

I realized I dream this way when I recently had a dream that was the combination of the two.  It occurred to me that the first half of the dream was me watching the dream happen, and it was so real that it seems like if I opened my eyes, I’d be watching it in real life or on a giant TV screen or something like that.  But then the second half was the “dreamy” part of the dream where things didn’t make sense and I realized I was now inside my own head looking out, being part of the dream instead of watching it.  And it went from a continuous “scene” to bits and pieces here and there.  And I don’t remember those details much now, but I could tell you complete conversations from the first part.

What does this mean?  Do all people have different types of dreams and are they caused by something in particular?  I know my dreams spring up from whatever I was thinking about recently, and usually the people in them have something to do with my real life for one reason or another.  I get that part of it.  But  I wonder about the different types, and why one kind seems so very real and why I don’t have that kind more often, and why the other type is such a useless mishmash of nothing and I have them all the time.

I wonder what it all means, if anything.



1. Cindy in Happy Valley - September 29, 2011

My dear Poops, I believe you have experienced what is known as a “lucid dream”.

I have them pretty frequently, and usually find them wildly entertaining. Sometimes it will be a rather unhappy event, and all of a sudden, I’ll realize that I’m actually dreaming and the stress of the event goes away. I too dream all the time. I don’t always remember the details, but I remember that I was dreaming. Alas, I cannot interpret dreams.

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