Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crazy Dreams

I finished writing my paper. I feel pretty good about it, even though I am not good at academic writing, but my TA who will be grading it is super awesome. I even managed to include something about how you can't drink a gallon of milk in an hour without throwing up.  My three day weekend starts tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it as always, even though I have my doctor appointment tomorrow.

And now I will discuss the strangeness of my dreams.  The first dream I can remember having was when I was five. I remember it because it was a recurring nightmare about a giant bowl of red Jello trying to eat me. I have nothing against Jello. I'm not afraid of it or anything. The red flavor is not my favorite but I don't feel like it's going to attack me for feeling that way. I almost always remember my dreams extremely vividly.  I dream in color, there is not music very often and if there is, it's not like background music or anything, it's from someone actually playing an instrument.  I usually dream like I am experiencing the things that are happening, although every once in a while, it is like I am watching myself do things from above. 

I have a lot of nightmares.  The first time I started having nightmares every single night was when I was 11 or 12. I was in the 6th grade, and I would sleepwalk.  I would have entire conversations with my mom while asleep, but with my eyes open.  She would always ask me if I was awake and I would reply that I was, but then if she said something about it in the morning, I would have no idea what she was talking about.  These nightmares always consisted of someone chasing me and trying to kill me in some way. It was never the same person or anyone I knew just someone trying to kill me.  Back then, I always woke up before I died. 

After a while of those dreams, I learned how to lucid dream.  It wasn't on purpose or anything.  I just started to be able to figure out when I was dreaming and then I could control it however I wanted.  When this first started, I would just go around telling everyone in my dream that they weren't real because I was dreaming. Then they would get mad at me and would turn them into dancing rabbits or something.  I began to progress to being able to do anything I wanted in my dreams. There was a lot of flying and eating ice cream, along with being really awesome at stuff like skateboarding, playing guitar, and walking on my hands.  It was great while it lasted.  My ability to lucid dream began to diminish and the nightmares came back.  The only thing that I could still do if I realized that I was dreaming was to try my hardest to open my eyes in the dream and then I would open my eyes in real life and wake up.  This ability started to become more difficult to use when I would open my eyes in the dream, think I was awake and lying in bed when whoever the murderer happened to be would appear in my room.  Then I would realize that I was still dreaming and try again and again until I was actually awake.  This was exhausting and I never got up in the morning fully rested. 

For a while, my mom thought that I had narcolepsy because I would be sitting there talking and fall asleep mid-sentence or be listening to metal one minute and be asleep the next.  This lasted for about a year.  I never told her what was actually happening because I didn't want to admit to anyone that it was sometimes hard for me to distinguish between dreams and reality.  I would definitely sound crazy.  For whatever reason, those dreams ceased as well and I started to have really bizarre dreams that were incredibly complex and made no sense whatsoever.  I was fine with those, but then my nightmares came back, and they were worse.  Before I always woke up before I died in my dreams, but now I didn't.  You may have heard that if you die in a dream, you die in real life.  Well, luckily that hasn't happened to me. I have died in my dreams more times than I can count but never died in real life.  The first time I died, I was decapitated at the edge of a cliff by a man with a battle axe.  I woke up immediately and I had to feel my neck and head to make sure that they were actually still connected, because it felt so real. 

That began the cycle of being murdered in my sleep every single night.  If my dreams are at all realistic, I know how it feels to die a lot of different ways.  I have been shot multiple times, burned alive, drowned, ripped in half.  One dream was particularly horrible because I was being attacked by the usual murderous stranger and he ended up shooting me once.  Then cops arrived and I was relieved, but then they raped me and then shot me until I was dead. 

I had some counseling to try to stop my nightmares, because it may seem impossible but they started getting even worse.  The counselor told me that when things happen in dreams, your body reacts just as it would if it happened in real life.  All the adrenaline was not healthy for me.  Unfortunately she couldn't find any correlation between my dreams and something that could be causing them in real life.  I found out about this dream replacement technique that worked for me for a while.  You start with something that happens in your nightmare and then rewrite it as a good dream.  You imagine it in your head for ten minutes a day as vividly as possible and then when you go to sleep, your nightmare should be replaced by the good dream you wrote.  I never actually had the dream that I wrote, but I did start having good dreams, dreams of flying and absolute freedom. 

But like I said, it only worked for me for a while.  The nightmares have come back now.  The severity of the nightmares has increased once again as well.  I had gotten used to being murdered every night, but now I have to watch as my family and friends get brutally murdered every night while knowing that there is nothing I can do to stop it.  After they get murdered, I get murdered.  I used to have up to eight of these dreams a night and would often wake up screaming and crying, and was physically ill a few times.  They have decreased now and I haven't screamed in my sleep for a while now, but I still do have nightmares.  The only thing that sometimes helps is watching scary movies.  I know that that seems completely counter-intuitive but I never watched scary movies before. One night, I was visiting my brother and we watched a scary movie.  I don't remember which one, but that night was the first night in a long time that I didn't have a nightmare.  So I watch scary movies pretty often now.  They don't always prevent my nightmares, but they do help sometimes.

Now I have to go to class. Bye.

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