A few of my friends and I have been sharing and analyzing the bizarre dreams we’ve been having lately. It’s fun to try to figure out the subconscious meaning behind what the symbology might mean.
I personally have recurring themes popping up a lot and I can usually attribute it to how I’ve been feeling or what is going on in my life at the time. A lot of it seems to be my subconscious mind trying to convince me to do something my conscious mind is already aware of but reluctant to do. For example, when I know I need to unload my emotions in regards to a particular issue, I dream about poop and public bathrooms and lack of privacy and shit (*snort*) like that. Fairly common stuff. You can Google that kind of thing and it’ll pretty much lay it out for you. I have the spitting out my teeth or my mouth full of sand (or something worse) dream a lot too.
It’s interesting to me that a lot of the symbology stuff is universal and not personal. Like our brains are hardwired to associate body function with a corresponding emotion. Or water, or cars, or flying… all themes that have universal and fairly straightforward meaning.
But then we all have those dreams that, when we finally wake up, we think, “what the fuck?!”
I had a dream yesterday morning that stuck with me all day. I kept thinking about it and seeing it replay and re-experiencing the emotions. I hate those dreams you can’t shake. Unless they are funny ones. Or ones that ‘would make a good book‘. But this one was neither of those. I guess it was a nightmare. Not in the typical sense that I saw or experienced anything extremely upsetting or scary. But I jolted awake, drenched in sweat, heart pounding, and gasping. You know, like they do on TV. And I was scared. Not terrified, per se. But feeling unsettled and quite confused.
I will preface this retelling by saying this dream occurred between snoozes and my alarm clock is located in my bathroom about 10 steps away from the foot of my bed.
A bunch of stuff happened preceding, but it’s either irrelevant or I’d forgotten it already. So, I was standing at my bedroom door, just inside, facing the hallway. There is a small linen closet right outside my door. And my bedroom door was open about a foot, like it actually was in reality. I could see the door of the closet and I noticed that there were some sort of decorations on it – seemed to be educational materials like you would see in a preschool. I realized this wasn’t right so I knew I must be dreaming. I blinked my eyes and then they were gone and the lighting changed a bit.
So I had woken up. Or so I thought. It was inception! A dream within a dream. I remember thinking it was odd that, other then the out of place decorations, everything looked exactly right. I hardly ever dream about my current house or any kind of environment accurately at all. Something is always different. It was very unusual for me.
Then all a sudden, I felt alert and uneasy, like something…. sinister… was in the hallway and quickly approaching me. I tried to shut the door as quickly as I could but there was some sort of unseen force pushing back against it. Like a really strong wind or something. I couldn’t feel movement of air but I could hear a faint rushing sound. Actually, it sounded like wind should sound but as if my ears were clogged or it was far away instead of right up in my face. And it felt like I was trying to push two like magnets together.
I gave up quickly, deciding instead of fighting something I couldn’t win against and losing time to escape, I would run to the bathroom and lock myself in. Which I did. I was then standing behind my bathroom door, much like I had just been at the bedroom door, but this time it was closed and locked.
By now, I was terrified. I knew I was running from something, but I didn’t know what it was. I backed away a few steps, but then I realized I hadn’t closed and locked the door, I had only put a barrette in my hair. (?!?!?) I thought, “Wait. What? This isn’t right.” Again. And told myself, “Ah, crap. You’re still dreaming.”
Then I actually heard my own voice outside of myself. Not a thought inside my head. But it was like how they do it on TV. Like I knew I was asleep and heard my awake self talking to me. It was muffled like that. It was also layered with sound effects to make it sound creepy. And holy shit, it was! Like, my regular voice and then my voice again on top of it at a higher speed and pitch and again at a lower speed and pitch (like worn out batteries – one of the most nightmarish sounds I can think of). It was all at the same time though. I was saying, “Wake up. Waaaaaake uuuuuuuu-uuuuup” in that scary as shit, sing-songy voice.
While that was happening, I had turned to face back out of the wide open door and looking at my bed. Potentially, I was looking at myself sleeping, but thankfully, it was realistic and, from that vantage point, all I saw was my bunched up blanket.
Then my body (me, with the awareness, not the obscured sleeping counterpart) started rising up to the ceiling, like I was being pulled from my lower back. I was pitched forward so that I was in “proper flying position” rather than vertical. I was really freaked out by this. I didn’t want to not be firmly on the ground. I wanted to go back down but I had no control over it. Then I started being pulled towards my bed. Nope! Nope! Nope! I guess my subconscious thought that was too much for me and pushed the emergency stop button because that’s when I woke up.
So, what the fuck?
Not a clue what any of that means or what spawned it.
P.S. Thank you oh-so-much to my classmates that suggested the “Unknown Room” at Escape Games. My friends and I tried it a few weeks ago and were successful but I have PTSD now. It was fun (I think) but I’m scarred for life. I have nightmares every night.
So, you very likely experienced sleep paralysis. Defined more broadly, sleep paralysis occurs when your brain is still “asleep” but your body is “awake” I use quotes because I am not a scientist.
It’s really common for people to hallucinate during these episodes, but hallucinations contrary to popular belief, can be aural as well as physical, and are not always visual.
General commonalities for people who are experiencing sleep paralysis include but are not limited to: Being “in” the room that you are actually in i.e. your bedroom. Feeling pressure on your body, or incredible lightness. Seeing or hearing (or feeling) yourself, or those very close to you with alarming clarity. Occurring at the end of your sleep cycle and commonly during “naps.” Knowing you are dreaming at the time, or lucid dreaming.
Totally not plugging my own blog here, but this has happened to me a couple of times:
Advice: When you start having them, they tend to happen MORE. If this was absolutely freaky for you, as it was for me, the best advice I can give is not to try to wake yourself up. If you lucid dream a lot, or start to more frequently as a result of talking out your dreams with others, which happens, never ever try to wake up.
When your body starts to wake up but doesn’t make it all the way, you are in your bathroom scared as shit of what you KNOW is your actual voice coming from the other side of the door, while simultaneously knowing that it is impossible. Or floating in your bedroom with no control of your physical being.
Just thoughts from a non-professional yet frequent dreaming person, sorry for longwindedness!!