Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How do you stop a recurring nightmare?

So, I've been having this recurring nightmare for about 10 months already. It doesn't come as often as it used to, but it comes often enough to be recurring. At first, it used to be night after night. Now it's more like once a week, or every two weeks. It's not always exactly the same, but the same situation happens and the same people are involved. Settings may vary, but the same thing ends up happening. The situation, although unlikely (I hope) is quite possible. What I mean to say is, my nightmare does not include demonic clowns coming from under my bed to kill me (actually, I've always thought there are crocodiles under my bed...), nor is it anything supernatural or including aliens happening. All of us involved are human, with human feelings and human actions.

The first thing I do after I have these dreams is try to calm down (I wake up crying sometimes) and realize it is nothing more than a dream; everything within that dream (though likely) is impossible. I am in [insert current, real life location] and not in [insert scenario from specific dream], though it would be plausible for me to be there. I am with [insert person in real life] and not with [insert dream person], thought it would be plausible for me to be with him/her. And, most importantly, IT did NOT happen. It was a dream. A Nightmare. A bad one albeit, but a nightmare nonetheless.

The second thing I try to do is talk about it, because I am firm believer in the fact that you can't tell your dreams or wishes or else they won't come true; so the idea applies to nightmares: tell them and they won't come true. But I find myself a little embarrassed talking about such ridiculous nightmares, so I don't talk about them often. But I say them outloud, if that means anything. I mean, if I tell a secret and no one is there to hear me, did I still tell it, or did I keep it? If I eat a chocolate and no one sees me, did I still gain weight? If a tree falls down in the forrest and no one hears it, did it still make a sound? For my intent and purpose, yes: if I tell my dream out loud, even if no one hears me, it's said. Period.

The third thing I try to do is analyze it. But I suck at that, because I only turn to the analyses that make me feel better. If the dream is directly related to something that happened the day/night before, then I take it to be only my unconscious' repercussion of past events. Like, if the clothes I was wearing or the couch I was sitting on are the same as in real-life recently past events, I dismiss it. If I react in ways I recently saw on TV, I dismiss it (in my latest nightmare I was physically attacking a friend, which I saw in a Dr. House epidose last night). The other type of analysis I try is the Freudian approach: dreams and nightmares tell us our deepest, darkest fears, conscious or otherwise. Well, there's no challenge there: my nightmare is, in fact, my deepest, darkest fear (actually one of two of my deepest, darkest fears). So there's nothing to analyze there, Herr Dr. Freud. Also, Freud would go as far as to say that I want to have sex with my mom or my dad, or with someone's mom or dad, so I ignore the rest of the Freudian theory.Yet another analysis is dream interpretation, which I find not at all appealing, and also not at all credible, since it's so open to subjective interpretation. Like, if a baby is born, then that means death. Well, people die. The only requirement for death is life, so it's kinda inevitable. And more than  likely, we all know of someone who dies... A death, on the other hand, means a birth. But again, people are born all the time. The only requirement for life is, well, absence of life. So chances are, again, we all know someone who is recently born. Also, there are differences in the interpration of babies: if a baby is born to me in my dream, that means one thing; if it's born to someone else, it means yet another thing. The funniest interpretation I got was "marriage": it means either a death or a birth. WTF?

The fourth thing I do, and I realize this is completely useless, not at all beneficial, and in fact has a very negative impact in my state of mind, is wallow, ponder, think and re-think, go over and over it again and again. And I feel terrible, I feel sad, I feel used, stupid, impotent... And I hate it.

What happens in my nightmare is plausible in the sense that people change, and change happens. But it is completely impossible given my current life, which is, for all intents and purposes, perfect (among its many imperfections). Also, the person(s) involved would not do that to me in real life; I think. I hope. As I said, it is, after all, plausible. But highly unlikely.

I think.

So... yeah... how do I stop this recurring nightmare? I am welcome to all suggestions, ranging from heavy sleep medication to being a man and sucking it up... as long as you think it will work, I'm up for trying.

But please, do give me a suggestion.


  1. That happens to me often. There are a few dreams I repeat once or twice in a year, every single year of my life since I was like... 5 or 6.

    What I do, and I understand that not so many people can, is that I control my dream. Once I know I'm in a dream, and know the facts and the people and the environment to identify the same dream, I can control it. I can do things to try getting a different result, not leaded by my unconscious but by my very best awareness (if that's the word). Sometimes I get results, sometimes I just repeat the dream.

    You know? Keep analizing. Every single fact, every single gesture, every single environment is a clue and a key. Try making what we psychologists call "free asociation", and go with it. If by analizing a smile then you think of an ice cream, and by thinking of an ice cream you think of your haircut, and your haircut leads you to anything.... then you found something.

    Keep on that.. that's what I do with no-so-repeating dreams... and so far, it has worked.

    XOXO. I'll try to eat tomorrow's ice cream, at my 5 =) can it be 1 lt?? ;)

  2. Google "sleep hygiene". Still, las parasomnias de la fase MOR ("pesadillas" para legos) son gatilladas por factores psicosociales estresantes o traumas que no has resuelto. La mejor manera de resolverlos es buscar ayuda profesional; empieza por psicología, y, si él o ella lo considera necesario, pasa a psiquiatría. (Te estoy hablando desde el punto de vista médico, deberías consultarle a Yete ella que piensa desde la psicología).

    Normalmente se resuelven cuando logras tu closure con el estrés o evento que te está molestando (te des o no cuenta de ello).