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Yes, today I want to talk about dreams. Not the kind of dreams we have for our future, where we want to go, what we want to accomplish, etc. But the kind of dreams we have in our sleep.

I'm fascinated by dreams. I remember as a teenager, standing in the Borders book store and reading a dream dictionary, looking up various dreams I was having and trying to make sense of them. Even today, when I have a very peculiar dream, I often think about it for days or even weeks. Some dreams have inspired short stories I've written, and recently I have had recurring dreams about living in a flooded post-apocalyptic world. I don't know where that one came from but I immediately wrote it in my Evernote notebook for novel ideas. ;)

In my teens, before I learned how to drive a car, my stress dreams were always the same. I was being chased by some killer, and I would jump in the car and not know how to drive. Once I learned how to drive, this scenario was replaced with getting in the car and finding out it had a manual transmission (a stick-shift as many of us call it in the States). I learned how to drive a manual, and owned two separate manual transmission cars before I moved to NYC, and that dream went away.

The death of spring. #dailyphoto #ig2015 #365days

A few days ago, I had one of several recurring dreams I associate with stress as an adult. This one always has the basic formula: I need to do something very important, either someone is hurt or I'm late or whatever (sometimes I have no idea WHY I am freaking out in my dream), and I need to pick up the phone and call someone else to fix this problem. But the phone doesn't work, or the numbers change place on the buttons, or I keep messing up the number, or I forget the number… Any one of these things. And it's so frustrating in my dream that I just want to cry and give up. I've had an iPhone since 2008, seven whole years, and only recently my brain switched over to using an iPhone in these particular dreams. Why brain? WHY?

My other stress dream is the reason why I gave up chewing gum, and yet I still have this one all the time. In my dream, I have gum stuck in my teeth and I can't get it out. The more I pull the gum out, the more it multiplies and adheres itself to my back teeth. I scrape and scrape and it just won't come out. I feel like I'm choking and the stress compounds. Ugh. Just typing about it here is giving me the willies.

I think the gum dream is my version of the “hair falling out” dream that lots of people have. I find that truly strange. First, why do so many people have the same stress dream? And the second, why is mine so different? Don't know. Brains are mysterious.

And the final dream I want to talk about is the only one I can interact with. Lots of people tell me that they can interact with their own dreams. They can move things around or speak to people or even fly. The flying dreams are the one dream most people find the most fun or creepy. The only dream I can identify or interact with is “the toilet-seeking dream,” as I call it. I'm somewhere, in a store, my old high school, college, wherever, and I need to find a bathroom. I have to pee so badly! But all the bathrooms are occupied or out of order or just strange in some way. This is usually when my brain says, “Hey, Stephanie. You have to pee. Wake up.” And I wake up and use the bathroom. Lol. I can identify the need in my dream, wake, and act on it. I probably have this dream at least once per night and don't always remember it.

These are my most popular dreams, not including the “I never graduated college dream because I failed that one class I never went to and completely forgot about” (I graduated just fine) and the “I was actually married once before being married now” (Nope… only married the once) and the “I'm being sent back to Michigan to live out my life, and OH GOD PLEASE DON'T SEND ME BACK THERE I LOVE NEW JERSEY!” (That one makes me hyperventilate).

When I write my novels, I like to include a few dreams as well. Sanaa, in the Nogiku Series, has several dreams, most of them stress-related and a few are prophetic as well. I like the idea we see things in everyday life and our brains don't know how to interpret them and so they weave them into our dreams at night. I'm including a few dreams in my upcoming contemporary romance too and they say a lot about what the main character, Isa, is thinking or stressing about.

So now that I've divulged all of my dreams to you, why don't you share a few of yours with me? I wonder if I've had some of the same ones you've had!

6 thoughts on “Dreams”

  1. One of my weirdest recurring dream features swimming pools. The pool looks different every time, and it’s not even very stressful or anything, but I’ll just be walking around, or looking for the dressing rooms, or going down a waterslide, or whatever one does at the pool. I’ve been dreaming about pools since my youth – yet I don’t even particularly like swimming, and I haven’t gone swimming for at least a few years.

    I also often dream about travelling, flying (usually I dream about floating rather than flying though), and being chased. My worst nightmares usually either involve people trying to shoot/kill me. But I usually know I’m dreaming, so I can wake myself up by closing my eyes inside my dream. Such a useful skill :D

    1. That IS a useful skill! I usually just have the stress dream until my brain is done and kicks me awake. It leaves me in a bad state the rest of the day because I feel like I got no rest at all.

      Pools sometimes occur in my dreams and, unfortunately, the dreams I have had were about people or my kids drowning in them. Ugh. I hate those too.

  2. Just like you I am fascinated by dreams, I did two posts about dreams on my blog, but felt like most people didn’t really share my obsession for them. Ever since I was a kid I found them intriguing, as a kid I had the creepy guy chases me and tries to kil me dream a lot. I had a very specific recurirng nightmare about a guy chasing me around an abandoned caravan park. I used to tell some dreams to my mom as that made the bad dreams go away and in my teens I started writing them down. Nowadays I often talk with my boyfriend about our dreams. It’s fascinating how different we dream. My dreams are often neutral or positive, I hardly ever have happy dreams.

    My most frequent scary dream is people trying to kill me or chase me. I can wake myself up form dreams and sometimes control them. I usually won’t realize I am dreaming until I am almost getting killed and then I can force my real eyes open to wake up. It’s a very unpelasant way to wake up and after that I have to stand up and walk around or go to the toilet, stay awake for at leats 10 minutes else I go right back into the dream. As a kid I did the same as Celine, close my eyes in my dreams. There’s actually a reason that works as to be dreaming your eyes have to move and if they don’t move you stop dreaming. If you are in a dream and want to keep dreaming and afraid you are going to wake up, moving your eyes quickly can help. I did a lot of research into dreams during my teens and I read that in a book once.

    I also have the weird toilet dreams, but with me the toilets always involve too small doors or no doors at all and I don’t dare pee in front of everyone. I don’t necessarily have to pee when I have those dreams, I think it’s more the fear of being exposed? It’s always toilets though, I hate them in my dreams, I can’t find them, they are occopied or something is wrong with them.

    Trains are always weird in my dreas as well and I dream about them often. Either the trains are too small, which for some reason scares me a lot. Or they go too fast or they are mroe like rollercoasters. And ofcourse I need to travel by train in the dream. Sometimes the trains are normal, but it just takes a long time.

    Being too late or having too hurry, but everything goes too slow is also one of my recurring themes.
    I seldomly have fly dreams, I am a realist and I know I can’t fly even in my dreams. I recently had a flying dream, where I was a sort of harpy cretaure and I could fly. I am afraid of heights and even in my dreams I thought it was scary, but ofcourse I was escaping from some psycho so I had to fly.

    My most recent nightmare involved me reading a book and it was so depressing. There was a dad who was falling apart mentally as his son has been killed and his wife as well I think. He neglected his daughter and she was peeing in a corner of a room. There was a women who was tryign to help them, but it was failing. I knew how the dream was going to end, the book had almost finished and then I woke myself up. I can’t adequately describe the horror and bleakness of the dream, the all compassing feeling like things would never be okay. I woke up feeling like I never would be happy again. It’s always hard to shake my emotions from dreams like that.

    I also have dreams where I am angry, I hardly ever raise my voice in real life, but in dreams my emotions are crazy. I call those my emotional dreams, everything feels so intense and I start screaming and hitting people over small things. I often feel emotionally drained after those dreams.

    I think I had one this night, someone had cookes fried rice, while I said I would cook and that made me angry. And they didn’t add soy sauce to the fried and now everyone was adding soy sauce themselves to their rice. And that really pissed me off as it would be handier to just add the soy sauce to the dish instead of everyone adding it seperately.

    I can’t drive a car in real life, but in my dreams I can. It’s a bit awkward but I manage and I always find it a bit weird in my dreams as I know I never drove a car before, but I can.

    lol sorry for my super long comment. It’s just so interesting to talk about dreams. And I remember a lot of my dreams, so I have a lot to tell. I usually remember between 1 – 3 dreams every night.

    1. This is fascinating! Thanks for sharing all of your dreams! I wish I remembered more of my dreams when I wake up. Sometimes I remember dreams right when I wake up, for like 5 seconds, and then they fade away really quickly. I wish I remembered more of them!

      The weird toilet dreams always get me too. Like they’re in strange places, too small, too big, up on platforms, or all out in the open in a unisex bathroom? I don’t know why my brain is obsessed with this since I don’t have any real fears of bathrooms, but yet, I dream about that at least once per night.

      I don’t dream about trains anymore but I used to when I commuted in NYC. I would dream about them at least once per week. That I got on the wrong one, or it was late, or that it was too slow. Yeah, same kind of thing as you!

      1. I often have dreams fade away as well, although if I talk about them or take time to remember them I usualy remember them longer. Or certain conversations can trigger the memories. I remember them best either when I just wake up or right before going to sleep again sometimes.

        I am really wondering what is up with the toilet dream and what they mean and it’s weird that multiple people have them.

        The weird thing is that I rarely travel by train anymore. When I went to uni I traveled by train daily and even had a time when I was afraid of trains, but luckily that went away again. Nowadays I travel about 4 times a year by train, it’s still my favourite way of transport. It’s weird how my dreams always twist them, those short trains really freak me out.

        Being late or having to hurry is a frequent theme in my dreams as well or I have to hurry, but everyhting takes an asburd long amount of time.

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S. J. Pajonas