Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 2, 2014 - 8:35pm

So maybe this will be interesting, since writers are such tortured souls and tormented minds and all that...

Anyone feel like sharing recurring dreams they have?  And, any idea what they mean?

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 2, 2014 - 8:45pm

trapped in tall swaying buildings.  I always figured it was a way for the brain to process anxiety. 

Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries March 3, 2014 - 6:45am

^Yours is so poetic.

 

Being knocked up/having children, and eating meat by accident or because I forget that I don't eat meat. I also tend to forget that I have children when I go on vacation. In my dreams, that is.

The child themed dreams I guess are stress related in a general sense, fear of failing responsibilities etc. That and children scare me, to be honest.

The meat thing is probably exactly what it seems. I've been a vegetarian for over 10 years but every few years I do manage to accidentally eat some form of meat or fish. From these experiences I've learned that the world doesn't end if I eat meat, but I suppose it must still be traumatizing on some level.

SConley's picture
SConley from Texas is reading Coin Locker Babies March 3, 2014 - 8:19am

I don't have recurring dreams but i have recurring places in my dreams. It used to be this whole neighborhood near a warehouse district and it was always foggy and always at night and it was kind of a scary place and i was always alone. I stopped dreaming about that place a long time ago.

Then it was this weird high-rise and at the bottom was a kitchen/laundry area with big machines and stuff and a mall inside that's big and circular i still get lost in sometimes and there's a school that i've dreamed about several times and i'm always in this one waiting room there. It's downstairs, i can see it very clearly right now.

Lately it's been this weird Renaissance Festival/comic book convention/flea market place. It's different every time and there are always doors that lead to nowhere or won't open and it's muddy and vast. There are always cool art pieces or comic books or Superman statues. It's not as dark and scary as the other recurring places, it's actually kind of whimsical and invigorating and i'm never alone, always with someone or in a big group of people.

I have no idea what the places mean but they seem to happen concurrently with changes in my life.

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 3, 2014 - 9:48am

I often dream of this fictional city that's like a cross between Vegas and Dubai, with specific geography. Have for a long time, but only was able to consciously remember it last week for the first time. I don't remember many dreams (probably don't get enough REM cycles), but there was a period of back-injury time on oxy where I'd always wake up after only a couple of hours having already experienced an entire dream and feeling fully rested because of it. Otherwise it's always like 8am that I'm coming out of a dream, which is only weekends.

Even though I haven't worked in radio in a long time, I still get that dream where I'm on the air at night, step out for the restroom, and come back to a locked studio door where I helplessly watch through the window as the CD player ticks down to zero.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 3, 2014 - 10:39am

^

I think a lot of people only remember dreams because they're woken up while having them.  So, maybe you do get enough?

 

I've had dreams where a spider is somehow involved, I remember once a huge one (like crab sized) came down from the ceiling and landed on my hand, then bit into me, wrapped all it's legs around my fist to latch on, and I started screaming like a madman.  Super vivid, freaked me out.

And, the spiders only show up when something's going on in my head involving problems with women.  Dream dictionaries have confirmed this connection, so score one for the hippies of the world?

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch March 3, 2014 - 1:40pm

I dream sometimes that I have birds and I forget to feed them and water them. Then I read the book Gargoyles by Thomas Bernhard and felt that my disturbing dream was fully realized in a nightmare... A bunch of birds there get abandoned in a big aviary, for 2 weeks without food or water, then they get killed because they are making too much noise... I don't know, my dream probably means I'm afraid of failing in some major responsibility...

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 3, 2014 - 2:48pm

I have a recurring dream that an evil tall man dressed all in black with a black cape & hat and holding a huge knife is trying to kill me. I run, he gets closer and closer until I wake up. I have this dream when I'm extremely stressed out; the most memorable time came after editing a book of paintings by an average artist with one of the biggest egos I've ever worked with.

He also thought he could write, and insisted on any editing being done with him present. His shrew of a wife also had to be there, and I finally went on vacation after putting up with this for about 3-4 months. I went to beach with friends, and the first nite went to bed really early (missing out on hot tub activity and margaritas); I had the dream, and next thing I knew everyone was in my bedroom gawking at me down on the floor with the closet door on top of me... I had pulled it right out of the frame trying to get away from the man in black, who this time was the artist.  I am 5' 3-1/2" and weigh about 120 pounds, so they were as shocked as I was that it happened. Also I had to get the door fixed!

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami March 3, 2014 - 4:14pm

I tend to have more science fiction dreams these days (like a gamer generating fantasy worlds with his headset), but I have a couple of bordline fantasy dreams that keep recurring.

I've sense adapted it into a 16 page short story in verse.

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 3, 2014 - 4:19pm

I had pulled it right out of the frame trying to get away from the man in black, who this time was the artist.

And just like that, a new slasher is born. One who pursues you with bad art.

At AWP we enjoyed a recurring joke that if you want to clear a space, just have someone do a poetry reading there. Cops could save money on riot squads by just advancing a front of murmuring zombie poets with chapbooks in hand.

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 3, 2014 - 6:23pm

HAHA.  seriously. 

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 3, 2014 - 6:25pm

D00d, and I swear everytime I was at a booth in the AWP book fair the person would introduce themselves as the poetry editor or reader.  I was always like "um, yeah, poetry, cool..." I mean, don't get me wrong, there is some amazing poetry out there, but I don't really know how to appreciate most of it.  (and what does this have to do with dreams??? Um...)

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami March 3, 2014 - 7:42pm

Oh one thing thath helps me remember more than writing them down is by storyboarding rather than plot outlining. And this is coming from someone who normally outlines.

I know it wasn't totally the question, but thought I'd mention.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 3, 2014 - 8:46pm

And just like that, a new slasher is born. One who pursues you with bad art.

At AWP we enjoyed a recurring joke that if you want to clear a space, just have someone do a poetry reading there. Cops could save money on riot squads by just advancing a front of murmuring zombie poets with chapbooks in hand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_euYQ5mAlkk

JessicaAnn's picture
JessicaAnn from Portland, OR is reading Chronology of Water March 3, 2014 - 9:59pm

I have had the same dream since I was a little girl. I am in a silhouetted cityscape, about five years old, and am running from a strange man. He is a silhouette, too, and runs after me past the shadow-buildings. I am wearing my favorite blue flannel nightie, and before he catches up to me I jump into the air and fly away against the dark blue sky. I am the only splash of color, the only one with distinguished features- face, hair, hands, etc. I'm not really sure what it means but it's going in the piece I'm working on, so this was an apt topic for me right now. 

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 3, 2014 - 11:54pm

@Gordon, Scrivener: would have loved for you guys to have had my back then. Dream seemed REAL. 

BTW, never have edited poetry--you gotta draw a line somewhere! :)

 

 

rebeccaB's picture
rebeccaB March 4, 2014 - 2:22am

I also have dreams that seemed to be a dejavu.

KarenRunge's picture
KarenRunge from South Africa is reading Blindness March 4, 2014 - 5:42am

The Hag visits me on occasion. Once or twice it's mimicked my mother coming into my room, saying 'Shhh' so that I relax and don't fully wake up. And then I remember that I haven't lived with my mother since I was sixteen.... Then it's on me and I can't move.

I've learned to avoid sleeping on my back (seems to help). Lately when I've heard it come into the room, I've been able to keep myself conscious enough not to turn over. Then I start having dreams that the room is full of light (like it's okay, it's daytime now), and there's something on my lap or my legs and I need to roll onto my back to get it off. Like it's giving me these dreams to make me shift into a position it can attack me in.

When I was younger it always used to come with this horrible stench, like rotten blood. I'd keep smelling it for hours, even long after I'd gotten up.

It's freaking terrifying.

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong March 5, 2014 - 6:48am

Don't know that I have any recurring dreams. Most of the dreams I remember are pretty nonsensical.

I DO, however, have recurring sleep paralysis. Basically, that's where your brain is still dreaming, but you're awake, AND the switch that keeps you still while you sleep (so you don't roll off your bed when you're imagining yourself as Indiana Jones rolling under that falling stone door; don't forget your hat!) is still in the on position. So you're awake, paralyzed, and completely at the mercy of your subconscious.

I often wake to see shapes I interpret as people standing in my bedroom doorway, and while I try to sit up, reach for my baseball bat, and tell them to get the hell out (which I can't because I'm mostly paralyzed), they evaporate into shadow, swarm across the room, and envelope me in darkness, which I take to be my falling back to sleep.

You might say, "But Tim, maybe you're just really dreaming it all." Nope, totes awake. You can tell.

By the way, it's highly likely you will experience sleep paralysis at least once in your lifetime. Have fun with that!

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 4, 2014 - 7:33pm

Tim---I had that happen to me once.  It was---ugh, even thinking about it now, some 15 years later my pulse jumps---it was basically the worst thing ever.  THANKS FOR REMINDING ME.  >:-( 

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong March 5, 2014 - 6:49am

LOL, at least you got it over with, and it probably won't happen to you again.

Probably.

Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries March 5, 2014 - 1:05pm

I DO, however, have recurring sleep paralysis. Basically, that's where your brain is still dreaming, but you're awake, AND the switch that keeps you still while you sleep (so you don't roll off your bed when you're imagining yourself as Indiana Jones rolling under that falling stone door; don't forget your hat!) is still in the on position. So you're awake, paralyzed, and completely at the mercy of your subconscious.

Oh I remember someone telling me about that, only she'd "wake up" to find someone or something sitting on her chest. I'm pretty sure there was a name for that specific flavor of sleep paralysis, or that the thing had a name, but google is not helping me out here. I have night terrors, and I can promise you that sometimes, being able move/react in a state of delusional panic is not in your interest, or in the interest of those around you. Imagine yourself with that bat, for example :)

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 5, 2014 - 2:56pm

Don't think I've ever had sleep paralysis before, but I have woken up to both arms numb and useless (from being under my pillow) and had to turn off my piercing alarm clock with my teeth.

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 5, 2014 - 4:08pm

Bet that would have made an interesting selfie... :)

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 5, 2014 - 8:09pm

TIM!!!  YOU'RE NOT HELPING.

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 5, 2014 - 8:12pm

I love numb arm---other than the vague fear that some sort of permanent neuronal damage might be going on---it's brilliant to touch yourself with your dead arm. (I know how that sounds, and trust me that isn't happening---dead arm also happens to be hopeless with coordination)

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 5, 2014 - 9:41pm

Sorry-- can't help it....... IT'S ALIVE!!!  IT'S ALIVE!!!!! (cue Renfield....) I love old black-and-white films. 

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 6, 2014 - 2:36pm

I have lame recurring dreams--basically the other side of my old student anxiety dreams. I dream I've just learned I have to teach a new class in five minutes or that I was supposed to teach but missed half the semester. I've dreamed that my degrees are going to be taken away because I didn't have enough math credits. I still get lost in hallways on the way to exams or I start speaking a different language mid-lecture. YAWN. 

I suppose the more exciting ones involve leading battles to defeat invading armies. It's probably more anxiety, but I get the illusion of badassery--and I get to make dramatic speeches. Also, there's a trebuchet. That's better than a chalkboard any day. 

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Tana French! March 7, 2014 - 5:43am

I had recurring character dreams when I was a kid. Unfortunately the character was Freddy Kruger. Yeah, seriously. Obviously just the idea of him both fascinated and freaked me out. They finally stopped when I was 16 and I convinced my parents to rent me all the films from the video store.

My high fever dreams are usually the scariest, I had one that was kind of a groundhog day theme, where in I was in bed and trying to go downstairs and every time I got to the bottom and tried to go in the living room I reappeared in the bedroom. Again and again. Then when I finally did get into the living room, my eyeball fell out :l 

My other fever dream involved a giant scary teddy bear being on the landing outside my bedroom, and when my family came up to ask me what was wrong (in my dream) every time I looked at them their faces melted.

Yeah, freaky right?

Oh I've also died in a dream. Everything faded to black and i woke up. On the plus side I've also had a flying dream which was pretty cool.

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 7, 2014 - 6:18am

I would love to have a flying dream! Did you get your eyeball back? :)

SConley's picture
SConley from Texas is reading Coin Locker Babies March 7, 2014 - 6:24am

I had sleep paralysis for years on and off. From the time i was 15 to just a couple of years ago. Every time, it was terrifying. You never get used to it. I had wicked hallucinations during the episodes, one time i heard laughing. My sleep was wrecked for a long time. The only thing i've done differently is that now i live with my girlfriend and the paralysis never happened when was in bed with someone else, it only happened when i was in bed alone. I'm glad it doesn't happen anymore.

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Tana French! March 7, 2014 - 6:31am

@justwords: No. I caught it in my hand, freaked out and then woke up :)

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind March 10, 2014 - 7:14pm

Man, sleep paralysis is horrifying. My roommate suffers from it often, and she's had some scary ones.

I've only had one bout of sleep paralysis. I woke up to the sound of sobbing, and couldn't move. Then I felt like I was being possessed by something made of pure despair. When I managed to open my eyes, there was an old woman crouched beside my bed, staring at me with her mouth open. 

Of course, it might not have been sleep paralysis. I was living in Colma at the time, which is basically one giant cemetery. My apartment complex had a cemetery to the right, the left, and across the street. So... who knows? 

On topic, I don't really have a recurring dream, but I have recurring elements in my dreams. One of them is me traveling up, and not being able to get back down again. For example, in one dream I followed my friend up an escalator, but she disappeared when I arrived. There was no down escalator, so I couldn't return. Another dream had me traveling up into the beams of an old building while looking for a bathroom, only to find that I couldn't find a way down again. I have some theories about these kinds of dreams, but I'm not positive on what they mean.
Another recurring element is definitely stress related, and it usually consists of me finding out I had a pet I didn't know about/neglecting a pet. It used to happen with rats, as I used to keep them up until a few years ago. I'd dream that I had a second cage with a rat in it that I forgot about for days. The rat was always white with spots. Now I dream about my cat slipping outside and when I bring her back, I find out I have the wrong cat. It's the same kind of stress dream I'm sure Linda and Liana have!

I used to have dreams about zombie apocalypses, and realized those were stress dreams, too... but they were work related. I'm no longer at that company, so I no longer have zombie dreams.

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 10, 2014 - 8:46pm

@voodoo_em: Nice reflexes, though.  What was the flying like? Have you ever piloted a plane? I've not, but been on several trips in small Cessnas. Parasailing is fun; just need to trust the boat pilot.

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Tana French! March 11, 2014 - 1:34am

@justwords ~nup. Really not done anything like flying at all. I was only about 16 or 17 when I had that dream. And it was like superhero flying rather than flying-flying. Took place on a grassy bank in the woods near my house, and there were about 5 or 6 complete strangers there flying too. It wasn't like zoom off I go, more like astronauts in anti gravity, or like the film chronical when they first learn to fly.

As far as dreams go it felt pretty short but god, I've never woke up feeling so relaxed and peaceful. Weird, huh.

KarenRunge's picture
KarenRunge from South Africa is reading Blindness March 11, 2014 - 7:12am

Um, yeah. People keep talking about 'sleep paralysis' but I'm totally unconvinced by the 'scientific' explanation. Because there aint no such thing--not conclusively. Not nearly enough studies have been done, and there are those who've studied it in-depth (i.e. not just accepted automatically that it's a neurological thing as so many do) who agree that there is something 'other' about it. Believe me, I'm equally disturbed by that. But the truth is that for the moment science doesn't quite cover it, so maybe we shouldn't pretend that it does.

That may be why the Hag is consistently known as some version of a hideous, demonic old woman in pretty much every language and culture you can trace it to.

Sorry if this seems a bit wild! I spent a fair part of my childhood in a haunted house, and feel I know the difference between 'my mind is playing tricks' and 'that thing is messing with me'. This thing called sleep paralysis, so far as I can tell, is the latter. You don't have to believe me about any of this, I know it can rile people up. It's just what I understand.

Anyway, been watching the responses on this and thought I'd throw that in there.

Back to topic!

 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 11, 2014 - 11:09am

You know, there is a big distinction between observation and explanation.  People usually overlook it, but just because something has been scientifically observed to whatever standard it has been observed- which is a VAST range, doesn't mean it's going to be explained.  When science explains something, it's by accident, because the purpose and objective of science is not to explain.  Never has been.  And yet people talking about science proving things all the time.  Science never proves, ever.  That's math's job.

 

Angel Colón's picture
Angel Colón from The Bronx now living in New Jersey is reading A Big Ol' Pile of Books March 11, 2014 - 11:30am

Can't say there's ever been a recurring set of events in my dreams, though, back in the far-far away time called "college", I'd get dreams where I'd fight against something - person, animal or whatever - and my punches or kicks wouldn't register. Like there was no veolocity to my movement.

Hasn't happened in a long while. Now watch it happen tonight.

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 11, 2014 - 11:37am

What is up with that in dreams?  Lots of actions seem, dunno, unfulfilled or something. Like trying to run but just sort of floating around and not going anywhere.  Dialing the phone, another dream favorite. 

And yet amputations and teeth and hair falling out---dreams have no problem seeing that shit to the end. 

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 11, 2014 - 2:09pm

Speaking of ineffective punches, if you're ever able to remember this, try making a fist as soon as you wake up from sleep some morning (not if you've just been lying there). It's nearly impossible for most people.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 11, 2014 - 2:21pm

@ Angel

I've had recurrences of a very similar thing- but mine was with a gun.  The bullets wouldn't fly right, it was more like a coin being tossed or flung than anything shooting.  Sometimes I'd whip the gun just to make them fly out.  And whatever was after me wouldn't be hurt.  

Angel Colón's picture
Angel Colón from The Bronx now living in New Jersey is reading A Big Ol' Pile of Books March 11, 2014 - 2:30pm

That's interesting. Almost as if our brains can't seem to process the feel of momentum and kinetic energy during REM.

Also makes the dreams where someone's coming at you scarier.

Occam's razor explanation: our brains like to mess with us.

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 11, 2014 - 3:36pm

I think that (and this is not an original idea) dreams are meant to be a safe arena—a "sandbox"—in which to work out life problems with our bodies switched off, to see alternate choices, other perspectives, reactions to fear, etc. Things that would be too risky or embarrassing to test in reality. And maybe we file those away subconsciously and apply them or don't during waking hours. It makes déjà vu all the more bizarre, maybe, accessing a dream-memory we're not meant to and feeling like a precog.

Dreams are also what keep me from believing that all of existence could just be some dream, because—excepting the possibility of the divine for the moment—I don't think we could ever learn anything new in a dream, like complex math or systems that can be proven out.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 11, 2014 - 5:10pm

@Angel

I'm fairly certain that the dreams were manifesting anxiety over something similar.  Not being able to fight back against something, that sort of thing.  Actually, I think that one goes with Occam better.

@Gordon

Maybe it is a place to work them out.  But then, we don't always work them out, do we?  So maybe it's a place they come to the forefront before we push them back down again.

 

Or... maybe DiCaprio is stealing secrets from me.

 

Angel Colón's picture
Angel Colón from The Bronx now living in New Jersey is reading A Big Ol' Pile of Books March 11, 2014 - 5:17pm

@Thuggish - He totally is.

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 11, 2014 - 8:57pm

I never feel rested after a vivid dream; not tired, exactly, but a little wired. Don't these dreams happened in REM sleep? And that kind of sleep is supposed to be the deepest, most relaxing? I only took elementary psychology in my undergraduate program and don't remember half of that. Anyone know about this?l

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 11, 2014 - 9:22pm

I don't know, but I know I have had dreams in which I am really tired and just want to sleep.  Have you ever had the dreaming in a dream and never really waking up?  

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Tana French! March 12, 2014 - 1:45am



^ Yes. Totally. So confusing. Once I dreamt my alarm went off and I got up and started getting ready. I was somewhat surprised to find I hadn't.

I've heard that it's also impossible to read in dreams, I can't remember ever doing it? And running is usually what fails in my dreams, I can't run away properly and end up trying to pull myself along using strategically place rope and such forth.

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 12, 2014 - 8:06am

I do rememeber reading once in a dream.  I was at summer camp (so this was also a million years ago when I was a kid).  At the time, in real life, I was reading Jean M Aule books (totally appropriate stuff for a 10 year old  ) and so in the dream I was reading The Mammoth Hunters, except the story was different.  The only words I actually read were, "And the most frightening thing of all was the thing they did not understand." At which point my dream POV shifted into the caveman story and what was dramatized was these people seeing a flying saucer float over the horizon.  At this point in my life I feel the real question is why do I even remember this dream anymore?  Thanks hippocampus.  

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 12, 2014 - 8:46am

Hey, there's your novel title right there: Thanks, Hippocampus. Sounds so literary.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 12, 2014 - 11:00am

@justwords

My understanding is that you remember dreams when you wake while having them.  If you "had a vivid dream," it really means you happened to remember it this time, but you have dreams all the time.  (Only natural a very vivid one would rouse you out of sleep.)  Thus, when you say "I had a vivid dream," your REM cycle was interrupted.  Thus, you're not so rested.