Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Beyond Reality

All my life I have led a double life. There is the one during the day and quite another at night during my sleep. So much so, that there have been times I have been so exhausted by my nocturnal activities when instead I should have been getting a refreshing night's sleep.

There are times when I have tried to dive into my dream world, feeling sure that it was an alternative reality and not just a collection of symbols. To an extent, despite the tiredness, I have held tight to this alternative world and refused to let it go even though it is often a reality filled with fear.

I also sleep talk, sleep walk and have night terrors. The last few years these have been a lot less, maybe because I am finally calming down in some ways. My sleep talking is rarely understandable and when it is, it is usually nonsense. But sometimes I will shout.

Sleep walking is now confined to moving around in my bedroom. Sometimes in terror because I can see imaginary spiders or the entire ceiling is covered in spiders webs; or maybe there is a spider or insects or small mammals in bed with us. In the early days I think Mr Doris was a little alarmed and then bemused by it all but these days he is quite blase and will happily sleep through it and let me get on with it but when I get back into bed his warm arms cuddle me.

In the earlier days of our relationship I took to "rescuing him". Much to his surprise I would physically pull him out of bed to protect him from the ceiling that was about to fall in or the such like. I still occasionally whisk him out of bed in the dark of the night but at least it is less so now. And he is surprisingly obliging and doesn't get upset with me!

And then there are the night terrors and I'd hold the classic "night terrors" pose with one arm up in the air in protection and giving a silent scream but in my head it is loud. These usually result in me switching on the light although I am still asleep.

Worst of all happens only about once a year now and I think is something altogether different and is to do with my childhood memories. It always involves my mother and I end up sobbing so much with huge tears. I'd wake from the fear of my mother and shake and cry so much. Mr Doris always holds onto me tenderly. Next morning I'd have big red puffy eyes but otherwise I'd be OK.

With a few exceptions, my dreamworld up until recently has been mainly about being chased or being on the run. Always running, looking, trying to find but never finding nor knowing what it was all supposed to be about. It is strange to think that I held onto this alternative reality, but I did because there would be some very odd times that were almost priceless.

As a child I slept walked into other rooms which appeared very different. We lived high up in a modern tower block but the room I'd see would have old oak panelling and a secret door. Another time I tried to go into the secret room - but it was my parents' bedroom and the next morning my mother accused me of being a pervert. After that I kept a massive weight behind my bedroom door so I couldn't get out in my sleep.

Other times I've had weird and amazing adventures. On a few rare occasions I have had answers to problems in my dreams and acted upon them. I'm sure I dream in colour. My sleep walking/terror visions are so vivid they have to be real and for a while it really is until I either 'remember' it is just a dream and come to, or just wake up.

These days instead of thinking there is a parallel universe I'm more inclined to think it has a lot to do with my brain chemicals that create these delusions. I wonder also if this is what schizophrenic people experience but their alternative reality lasts for much longer. At least I snap out of it before too long.

It is a puzzling and curious experience. Even though I experience them night after night for every night of my life so far there is something mysterious and amazing about them. However, I'm ready to let this dreamworld go and would like to get night after night of restful sleep. Let me sleep. Please.

Scot has been discussing My Pygmalion Dreams

Original Comments:

Sarah said...
Wow, I can't imagine what that must be like. Great post though-as usual.

Got me thinking about my own dreams and nightmares, what a weird concept eh? I started to tell my reccuring dream here in the comments but it was getting longer and longer so it is now a post on my blog.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:28:00 AM
doris said...
That is quite a dream Sarah!
Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:29:00 AM
mrshellonheels said...
Doris you must be exhausted. All that activity while your sleeping. I feel bad for you. : (
Thursday, October 20, 2005 6:18:00 PM
Astryngia said...
Joseph and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat had nothing on this!
Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:45:00 PM
Z said...
I suffer from hypnagogic sleep so I understand a little about where you're coming from and my youngest used to have night terrors, thankfully it seems to have passed.
I still think dreams are a form of alternative reality. Have you ever experienced lucid dreaming?
Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:47:00 PM
Cheryl said...
Nah, sorry, cant get into this because I can't get over your mother calling you a pervert.
If I'd grown up with someone treating me like a pest all my life, I think most of my dreams might be to do with murder instead.
In fact thats probably where you are lucky - you may feel chased by all these horrible accusations, but you never gave into them and became them.
And theres a difference between exploring and claiming, if that makes sense.
Hope you dont mind me saying.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:48:00 PM
doris said...
"hypnagogic sleep" is that the one where you have hallucinations as you fall asleep or just about to wake up? Then yup, that is what I have too! I can exprience some very bizarre stuff within minutes of falling asleep. Just last night I had the spider web thing and am sure that my eyes were open and I could see these webs within inches from my face. I jumped out of bed and was staring at these webs as I switched on the light before waking up. This was barely 20 minutes after going to sleep.

"lucid dreaming" is where you become aware during your dream that you are dreaming? Then yes I have, and I have tried to re-write my dreams to get a better ending but I can only go so far, but I have managed to replay the endings in order to try and get a better ending.

z It's great that your son is through the night terrors. It must be scary as a parent to know that your child is suffering like that.

On the funny side, in our house both my kids also sleep talk at times and some nights the house is positively alive with chattering which Mr Doris - the only one doesn't sleep talk thinks is quite funny!
Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:53:00 PM
doris said...
Cheryl It's OK, just another incident - the pervert one. Quite awful at the time and nothing could be further from the truth.

I just found some dreams I had typed up and might, for my own benefit, assemble these and sometime type up a few others I have, and pop them in a separate blog. Eeh gad, start one blog and end up making a dozen!

Hell on Heels In these written up dreams I just found from 2002 I'm talking about the tiredness then too!

Astryngia LOL I'm glad that I have written a few of them up because even I can't believe them.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:18:00 PM
dog1net said...
It would seem that the two of us have really developed a topic that fellow bloggers can relate to as evidenced by the comments you and I have both received to our posts. Unlike my post, however, you explore your dream states in much larger detail than I do mine. As such, you have me curious as to just what kind of dreams I have, and what purpose they may really serve. Since my last post, I've been making it a habit when I wake up to reflect on any dreams I may have had during the night, and to write them down. With some dreams, you just can't make the stuff up. I don't know who writes the scripts, but a few I've had beats theater of the absurd. Anyway, enjoyed this post. Thanks for the link back to mine . . .
Friday, October 21, 2005 3:23:00 AM
doris said...
Scripts and theater of the absurd..... I've put a copy of a few of those dreams that I had over a four night period on my Xtras blog
Friday, October 21, 2005 9:40:00 AM
tim said...
Have you ever tried to have a lucid dream? I have had two. Learning to control your dreams may offer some relief.
Sunday, October 23, 2005 9:58:00 PM
doris said...
Tim I think I have, because I once read that it was possible to re-write the dream scenario so that it comes out better or less scary. So I have tried and reckon that I do become aware and try re-writing on the hoof but I am also aware that it sort of "slips away" from me sometimes and goes down the path it wants to. Other times I am aware that I have changed a dream.

I'm so glad to see you round again :-)
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 2:14:00 PM

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