Posts Tagged ‘lucid dreaming’

Last week, I blogged about several intense dreams that I had throughout the week. Because of inclement weather and my son being home, I did not get a chance to blog about the coolest set of dreams in which I experienced true lucid dreaming.

Lucid dreaming is when you are aware that you are dreaming, and you take control of the dream. Over the past several years I have become aware that I was dreaming in the moment (typically in a nightmare), and I learned to scream as loud as I could to wake myself up. I would scream and scream in the dreams, but they would be frustratingly silent screams in my dream. However, the effort of trying to scream will frequently cause me to make a noise that winds up waking me up. This has become my escape hatch.

On Thursday night, I actually experienced true lucid dreaming, and it was amazing! First, it was another variation of me trying so desperately to sleep but not being able to. I was trying to sleep in the front passenger seat of a car, but people kept watching me. An Asian woman tried to steal my purse (another reference to my “essential baggage”), but I was able to protect it. (I have no bad experiences with Asian women that I remember, so I am baffled by her ethnicity.) I awoke briefly and was surprised to discover that I was actually sleeping in my own bed because I had tried so many ways and places to sleep in the dream.

Here is where it got cool – I was in this big room surrounded by a lot of items (sort of like a toy store), and I recognized in the moment that I was dreaming. I decided that, since this was just a dream, no harm could come to me, so I would choose to be completely present and explore the dream. When I did this, some toys started singing something about me trying to heal too fast or faster than I should. I just acknowledged the message and moved on.

I wish I had written this when I first woke up because I have forgotten most of the dreams. I remember vivid colors and being amazed at how interesting it was to “be alive” and controlling my own movements in the dream. I saw a display of Christmas items, and I chose to stop and admire the beauty of it rather than push it away (which is the way I typically react in real life).

I can’t remember most of the details. I just remember the feeling of being present in the dream, the beauty of the vivid colors, and the absence of fear. I hope I have another dream like this soon!

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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I had another one of those dreams where I wake myself up screaming. I used not to be able to do this. I would scream and scream, but no sound would come out. I have screamed so frequently in my dreams over the years that I have developed lucid dreaming whenever I scream. The fact that my voice does not work correctly when I scream clues me into the fact that I am dreaming. I have learned to push through it – keep screaming louder and harder. Eventually, I will make a noise in my sleep that wakes me up, providing me with an escape hatch from the nightmare.

This happened again last night. I rented a car with three parts (I have patterns of threes in my dreams but don’t know why – perhaps body, soul, and spirit??) that are split long ways. I was sitting in the far right section when a childhood friend jumped in the middle and started driving the car. I didn’t want him to, but I also didn’t believe I had the right to tell him no, so I made a joke about him violating the terms of the rental car agreement. His response was to crash the car.

Suddenly, I was sitting on a toilet (bathroom dreams represent the most private parts of myself) in the dark when I felt two arms grab me from behind. It felt like how an adult might pick up a child roughly – like the adult bent down, put each arm under each of mine and then curled upward so the adult could lift me, and I could not get away. The adult’s arms where in that position but did not lift me – but they held me trapped.

I screamed, wanting my mommy. Someone else walked into the bathroom. I could not see who it was, but I “knew” it was my mother. That just made me scream louder because I knew she would not help me. I thought my mother would be safer than the stranger grabbing my arms, but once she came and did nothing, I was terrified of her as well. I screamed and screamed until I forced myself to wake up.

I think the part about being grabbed from behind is a flashback because I can feel it in the cells of my body. Even though I am awake and alone, I can still feel the warmth and strength of those arms as I am being grabbed from behind.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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My cold simply refuses to go away. It has moved to my voice box, and now I have lost my voice … again. I first came down with laryngitis as soon as I started having flashbacks. My therapist said that it was a metaphor for my childhood – that I had “lost my voice” as a child.

This morning, my eight-year-old son jumped out at me and scared me. I tried to scream, but nothing came out. This triggered me, and I started crying. There is nothing worse than putting all you have into a scream but having no sound come out. Again, it is such a fitting metaphor for my childhood.

I used to have silent scream nightmares a lot before entering into therapy. People would be chasing me or hurting me in one manner or another. I would scream with all of my might, but nothing would come out. I eventually developed lucid dreaming and learned that, if I would keep screaming and screaming in my dream, even though it was silent, would eventually make a noise that would wake me up. I have had so many dreams where I just kept screaming that silent scream until I awakened in a cold sweat in my bed.

Do any of you have silent scream dreams? I would guess that they are probably pretty common among child abuse survivors because a “silent scream” is such a fitting metaphor for an abused child.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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