I’m a dreamer. Not like “I have so many visions for the future,” but the “ACK! Why is my brain so active at night??”
They are usually vivid in color and activity. Sometimes they’re pictures of the future with no hidden meaning, just a picture of something to come. In elementary school I dreamed about being at school in purple leggings and my mom’s yellow sweater. Thinking back now, I’m sort of sad that one came true. That outfit was atrocious.
Other times they’re laced with meaning. I had a dream of a friend breaking up with his girlfriend on the same night he decided he didn’t want to be with her anymore, but that was two weeks before he’d actually broken up with her. In the dream, the person wasn’t his current girlfriend, but an ex. However, I knew what it meant. Before my stepfather died, I had a dream that he was watching football with his dad, who’d passed away years before. I knew my stepfather didn’t have long with us.
Sometimes I get messages from people. A friend’s deceased father came to me and asked me to tell his daughter that things were as he wanted them to be (it was a dispute about his estate). While I was working for the prosecutor’s office on a capital murder case, one of the victims and her son came to me to ask me to tell my boss we’d missed something. A couple months later, I realized that the defendant didn’t have scratches on his next, but ligature marks. We sent the necklace he was wearing for DNA testing and the victim’s DNA was found between the links of the chain.
The rest of the time the dreams are overwhelming, and I often wake up still stuck with the emotion from the dream. More often than not, these are not good or positive feelings. Last night’s dream was like that. I was riding in a van with people I would never voluntarily spend time with and we were in an accident. Then I was in a situation like being underwater, but not water at all. I panicked when a crack appeared in a glass wall and I was sucked out by the pressure. Then I was being held down. I hadn’t moved at all, but had some kind of psychological episode. Any time I had to take stairs or look down, I got dizzy and it sent me into a psychotic episode where I thought I was somewhere else. They did Xrays and MRIs of my brain, but didn’t see anything wrong. Another doctor came and figured out that I had an abscessed tooth. Once removed, I stopped having the episodes. I went back to work for the prosecutor, but ended up having to act as a witness, while also being a juror, in a case. That part got very muddled and it wasn’t anything like it would have been in a real courtroom. I tried to go back to the office after being dismissed from the jury (since I was both a witness and working for the prosecution), but my boss wouldn’t talk to me. And then I ended up as a LEGO video game character.
I woke up disoriented, pissed off, and confused. I’ve tried to figure out what the hell all of that means, but I’ve got nothing. I find that frustrating since I’m sure it’s laced with meaning. That it’s still pretty vivid in my mind suggests that as well.
With dreams come nightmares. I used to have them more often than not. While working on the capital murder case and for 2 years after, I dreamed that the defendant was trying to kill me. Before that, I was usually being chased by someone trying to kill me. I only got those to stop when I got tired of running and turned on my pursuers. Once I did that, those nightmares stopped almost completely.
I believe the dreams are a gift. They’re giving me insight into my life. I’ve read books on dreams, how to control them, and possible meanings. I’ve owned dream dictionaries. That information doesn’t always help. Dream dictionaries are quick to caution that their meanings have to be considered in the context of a person’s individual experience.
Books on dreaming consistently recommend writing down the dreams as soon as possible after waking. Details will leave during the day, so to capture it most accurately, it should be done before even getting out of bed. I used to be pretty good about it, but haven’t given it a thought recently. Perhaps if I did, the seemingly meaningless dreams would stop being so hard to figure out.
Do you write down your dreams? Have you read any good books on dreaming?