I received a request, this morning, to elaborate on something I wrote yesterday. Here is the original piece, from Awards, and thanks.
- When I wake, if I’ve been dreaming, I believe for a little while that the dream is still happening. For instance, if I dream I have family members in the living room, when I wake, I will dress completely before I set foot out of the bedroom. Very weird!
My dreams have changed, over the course of my life. I’ve experienced periods of very gentle dreaming, with no real memories, but rather just feelings left over each morning. I have had periods of truly terrifying nightmares, from which I wake in tears, or yelling, or even screaming. But the weirdest type of dream I’ve ever dreamt is the type I’ve been experiencing for the last couple of years.
My dreams lately are quite vivid. The subjects of my dreams are as different as the experiences I’ve had in my life, but they all have one characteristic in common. When I wake from one of these dreams, regardless of the last location of the dream, I almost always believe that whoever was in the dream is somewhere in my apartment. I dream of family far more often than others, so it’s usually them.
I recently dreamt an exciting tale of my childhood, when my family and our friends went camping in Turkey. I don’t know how we ended up there, but I think I remember that my parents rented the site from a farmer for a carton of cigarettes. This lovely spot was on the shore of the Aegean Sea, my favorite body of water in the world, and consisted of beach, a shaded area for the tents, and beautiful white cliffs above the clear, blue-green water where, with a little swimming, we could climb onto ledges carved out by the water, and sit out of sight from the rest of the family.
So I dreamt that we were there, but I was an adult, my current age, rather than 9 years old. I don’t remember the details of the dream, with the exception of the last couple of minutes, when suddenly my family and I were here in my apartment. The alarm went off, and I woke, wondering how I had slept so long, when the rest of the family was already up. I was immediately concerned about things like enough food for breakfast, and how everyone was going to share the one bathroom. I needed to go, badly, but I felt I needed to put some clothes on, so that I wouldn’t embarrass the others. When I walked out the bedroom door, and looked around the living room, I finally woke all the way, to realize that I was alone.
This isn’t the only kind of dream that ends in this fashion. Not too long ago, I dreamt the fire alarm went off. I woke, thinking it actually rang, so I jumped into a warm coat and some slippers, and ran for the door, grabbing my purse and glucose meter along the way. I opened my front door, and saw that I was alone in the hallway. I began to step to the door across from mine, to knock and wake my neighbor, when I realized that I must have dreamt the alarm. Sure enough, the next morning, I asked if the fire alarm went off, and no one else heard anything. Another odd dream.
My final example is slightly more involved. I often dream that one or another of my sisters or friends is spending the night, and makes a bed on the floor of my bedroom. Now, if you know me, you know that my bedroom is rarely picked up enough to accommodate another person. I often wake, and quite sleepily invite whoever is there to climb into my tiny twin bed — I roll over to the side of the bed, and often fall out before I am fully aware. My knees are permanently skinned, from falling on them to the bachelor’s buddy carpet on the floors of my apartment.
I am not distressed by these dreams; in fact, I am often fascinated by the process of waking fully from a dream. Almost always, I sit and reflect for a couple of minutes before I am ready to get moving. I could list any number of psychological theories behind the strange endings of my dreams, but I believe that these dreams are ways my mind is making up for being so disconnected from life for so long.
Or who knows? And, unless something drastic changes, who cares? Not me.