Truth and dreams don’t generally get put in the same sentence. But then, those who spend too much believing things to be true don’t dream.
Luckily, plenty of dreamers don’t get too hooked up on what is true. At the very least the idea of truth reshapes itself after while.
I’m going to continue my journey of honesty today, opening up about a strange part of myself I haven’t talked much about before. My dreams. This is post is more a narrative rather than my usual thinking through of something, because I’m as confused about it all as you probably will be if you read it the whole way through.
I’ve been interested in dreams for a long time, but only the last few years have I become really interested in them, and for a singular reason. Because I questioned why they had gone.
A large proportion of adults don’t think they dream anymore. It’s not the case, but I’m not here to talk about the science/psychology of dreams today and for the sake of reducing convoluted language, I stopped dreaming for most of my teenage years. I didn’t think much of them disappearing and this strikes me as really odd – as will be highlighted when I tell the background of my dreams in just a brief moment – because they play a pretty dramatic role in childhood.
Why do so many of us accept the disappearance of dreams, and why do we have to discount such beautiful experiences as ‘not real’ and hence ‘not important’?
Now I have been working for the last few years to get my dreams back, but let’s go back to the start of my dream story…
As a child, I dreamed vividly. I dreamed almost every night. I was sometimes lucid, although I didn’t know what that meant at the time.
The problem was, most of my dreams were nightmares, and dark, twisted ones at that. The good dreams have long been lost to time, but the memory of those nightmares still stay with me. Where most kids were having nightmares of zombies and aliens, I dreamed of walking over an endless chessboard with no escape. Sometimes it was the voice that whimpered, then laughed, then screamed, with no image at all – and that was accompanied with a feeling of illness that is impossible to describe but that still hits me occasionally when i’m awake to this day. There was the sleep paralysis – that was so real that I was convinced I was cursed.
And then there was the nightmare. Sometimes I called it the man. Sometimes I called it the mummy (it occasionally appeared as a mummified figure). Now it is just called ‘you’. (not directed at the reader, don’t worry!)
I can’t express how terrifying this nightmare was. I won’t even attempt very hard. The problem is that it’s image is both blurred and perfectly vivid in my mind. All I can say for certain was that it embodied fear entirely. It also felt more real than reality every time I experienced it.
I could attempt to say more about why ‘you’ was so unbearable, but it makes me terrified even now.
I, still in my childhood years, decided eventually to take action. This is where (if it hadn’t already) begins to get a bit strange and where you may begin to doubt the ‘truth’ of the account.
My solution, was to confront ‘you’. i decided to tell it to leave forever.
I remember the last childhood dream of ‘you’ vividly. I was in a Scandinavian-like land at a turn in a river. There was forest all around, and here on the river’s turn was a clearing with a small shack in it. The door faced away from the river, and I new ‘you’ was in there, waiting for me.
This time, ‘you’ was robed all in black, with a hood over the face. The face is the part I can never picture. There might not have been a face. Yet somehow I’m certain ‘you’ had eyes, the most fearful eyes. The door to the shack, as they always did with my encounters with ‘you’ locked.
The sensations I always experienced in the presence of my nightmare started. They are too difficult to explain, not like ‘normal’ fear, so I’m afraid I can’t explain them.
Before it became too much and I sank into the usual complete terror, I somehow (I can’t remember how) managed to strike a deal with ‘you’. I can’t remember it’s side of the deal, but my side of the deal was that ‘you’ would never ever come back. It went to the door. The door unlocked and ‘you’ disappeared. I walked out the building, and the dream dissolved.
My nightmare never returned.
But my dreams disappeared completely.
And this, is why I wondered at the start of this post why I didn’t question the loss of my dreams, or have any concern about the loss of them, for the entirety of my teenage years. I had such a clear moment where my dreams stopped. I did in fact tell my nightmares, in the middle of a nightmare, to stop. And somehow i accepted the loss of dreams with that, without asking why.
I only began to remember parts of my old dreams when I began to meditate a few years back. I remembered how I had told my nightmare to leave me, and suddenly I realised my dreams had almost completely gone for over five years.
I started dreaming again, but no where near as vividly as I used to.
So I decided to try something. I tried to bring back my nightmare, with the intention of learning about it.
A few nights after deciding this, I almost forced myself into sleep paralysis. I forced myself out in terror when the lights in my room started flashing and horrific laughter filled the room.
Since then, I’ve seen glimpses of ‘you’ in my returning dreams. Only now, it seems to be on the run. It never stays for long enough for me to work out how to react. But I Know it’s the same nightmare.
The problem is, despite the terror this…thing inflicts on me even today, I’m determined to track it down in my dreams. It’s one of my goals for once I successfully begin to lucid dream. I realised a while back that i’ve repressed a large chunk of my childhood, and I think this nightmare has some of the answers..
The nightmare however, seems no longer to be restricted to the dreamworld alone, and this does make me question further how close reality and dream actually are (I wonder about this a lot). Twice in the last few months, ‘you’ has appeared vividly in mere daydreams. I’ve been awake, and it’s been there.
And one time -thank god it was only once – I’m convinced it was in the park on my walk into university. Dressed in a long coat and a hat, ‘you’ was there,
It’s where this shocked, confused post here came from. – https://thoughtofvg.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/welcome-back-still-multi-part-poem-pt1/
So here I am now, chasing a dream, quite literally. Since childhood, I’ve been fighting with the same being, and i’m told there is no reality at all to a dream.
I’m trying to find out.
One last point on ‘you’. I few months back I watched the film ‘insidious’ with some friends, and I had a terrible shock. There is sort of a ‘main nightmare/demon’ in the film. This Nightmare, I think, is the same one as in my old nightmares. I had never seen the film before, but I knew that figure as soon as it appeared on the screen. It wasn’t it’s most common form, but It was the same. I’m still trying to work out how on earth a nightmare from a film produced the last couple of years was the same as in my childhood.
I’m going to leave a more analytical approach to dreams for a later post, but that there was an honest account of my ‘dream journey’ so far. I’ve focused only on parts of it, but I certainly covered the most important parts.
I will finish with a few short points however.
Why do we discount these dreams as trivial as we grow up when they are so important in youth?
How can the same dream be so real, so consistent, so constant, and even start breaking out of the dream world?
Have we all got the divide between ‘reality’ and ‘dream’ completely wrong? How do I know I’m not dreaming right now? What if that dreamworld is my reality and I’ve been stuck in the dream world for quite a while?
Thanks for reading guys, I hope you never ever encounter ‘you’. That won’t stop me searching for it though.