The Thing of Dreams

Yesterday, my friend was talking about my Scorpio nature, stating that I was “loving and sweet” until I was not. LOL The irony was that he said this after hearing about the dreams I had while growing up.

I have long held the two beliefs about dreams:

· They are garbage in/garbage out, processing the experiences of the day, or;

· It is the brain’s way to try and work through things that are causing you stress, distress, or confusion and doing it in the safest way it knows how. It creates a holodeck type scenario as it processes the potential outcome based on the most likely behaviors you would have, or the exaggerated behaviors you could potentially have. It puts you in situations that are inevitable to create a scenario where you are forced to act, like unable to run fast, unable to lock doors, all the things you can usually do, so that it can determine what you should do in the waking world. While terrifying, perfectly safe.

These are most of what my dreams have been in my life. I have to believe this because the topic matters of my dreams from nearly birth till I was 26 or so, were nights filled with nightmare after nightmare, 5 – 6 nights a week, some where I could feel what was happening to me, seeming so real, they were impossible to shake, even now.

I had told him about the three most common themes of my dreams and how they had formed my beliefs around past lives, death, and war. I told him in past lives, I was more than likely a person interned in a German prison camp, a person killed by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, and a mobster. My dreams often were about finding myself in a gas chamber or oven after running through a huge maze where there had been only one true exit and all others led to death, seeing nuclear bombs going off in the distance and knowing that there was no way I could escape in time before its devastating effects reached me, or, the least horrific, being shot down after car chases, or by random people hiding from somewhere I couldn’t see. In my dreams, I have died a million different ways, sometimes accompanied with the pain that would occur with such a death, and some without. I can tell you with utmost sincerity to not believe the myth that if you die in your dreams, you die in the waking world. It simply isn’t true.

I do know that my nightmares were born of trauma that my brain couldn’t process in my youngest years where it was unrefined, unable to recall known scenarios and such. That makes the idea of it referring back to past lives more likely. I can tell you, even knowing that, it doesn’t change the terrified feelings of nightmares. It also didn’t change the fact that it was so prevalent in my life that I didn’t really consider them a nightmare if they didn’t wake me up fully shaken in the middle of the night. My friends growing up never knew that this was a nightly event for me, nearly every night of the week. They had no idea that one of the reasons I had such troubles getting to sleep was because I already knew the chances of spending what should be a restful night was going to be spent discovering what new ways my brain had created to torture me. My reluctance to sleep was so strong, I would actually do algebra problems that I knew I had done wrong in my homework to get myself to finally pass out. There were some benefits though. I often got better grades on my algebra homework because of it.

Luckily, when I tuned 26, the nightmares stopped. They will pick back up again if I watch a movie that is horror, stressful, even action movies will bring them back. I have to be careful watching ghost shows, paranormal shows, shows on cults, serial killers, and true crime because my brain thinks that’s what I want to see and happily obliges in dreams. In some ways, it sucks. There are a lot of horror stories that have some really great lore and I have a strong interest in ghosts and cults, but tv shows, movies, podcasts…they are all a nope past a certain point of time in the day. I know my limits and what my brain will do if I take it too far. People think I’m immature for watching animated movies, cooking shows, and other light hearted and sometimes immature things, but honestly, that all is because I have had a lifetime of nightmares and I really don’t want anymore.

I had a pancreatic attack last week. I’ve been in the process of healing, but that also usually means I have the wildest and weirdest dreams. Last night, I had a nightmare that my children were little again, and my mother had decided to kidnap them because she felt I was an unfit mother and that they were far better off in her care. She refused to let them see me, call me, or even ask about me. When I had finally figured out where my kids were, I contacted her, where she began to try to strike fear in me, threatening me with prison for having a gun, having CBD and other various other things that she could think of to make me afraid. Instead, it only made me increasingly angry. At each threat, I would simply tell her to give me back my kids. Each time, she would taunt me with the police. Each time, I became more and more angry to the point of violence. In my dream, I had the distinct mental thought of, “If the police are going to be involved, it would be easier to just kill her and take my kids than deal with the stupid reasons she is creating.”

In the end, in the dream, I called the police myself on her, deciding that was the better direction overall, and I would take whatever consequences would come from that action. But the nightmare was that I had been pushed so much that extreme violence had been a viable option. I had even had that scenario where I grabbed the kids and ran to a room and there was the significant fear that I wouldn’t be able to close and lock the door before she reached it, forcing me to do something infinitely regrettable. So, even in my dreams, I will hold my ethics and morals even at the brink of a violent temper. While it shook me up at 2 am this morning, it did give me a sense of peace that I would not, even in my dream, take a violent action, instead, choosing to find a better resolution, not that I have ever been afraid that my temper would ever reach that level of possibility. After a lifetime of nightmares, I have learned how to process them in the waking world so that they don’t have as big of an impact as they used to in my younger years.

Though, sometimes, I have interesting dreams that I have no idea what my brain is trying to work on. The other night, i had a dream that I traveled to the near future to the next election to learn the current president had won by a 21% margin, however, the world looked like it had been reverted back to preindustrial days. Cars, buildings, and modern homes didn’t exist. There were farms, cottages, and open wild spaces. I had been talking to someone while stitching flowers and leaves into the ground, as if trying to propagate them there to grow and thrive. There was a traditional May Day festival taking place in celebration of the election.

So, as I said, sometimes dreams are just garbage in/garbage out, and I can honestly say, I’m far happier with those than the nightmare scenarios my brain uses to process difficult concepts and ideas. I welcome those always.

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