Dreams

Ok, short post***. I should be sleeping, but this was just too good not to write (and I’ve been neglecting my blog more than I like, anyway).

I’ve been having some fairly awesome blog-worthy dreams the past couple of days, but there is one bit I want to mention now even if I don’t get around to all the rest, yet. Also, I have a very odd idea of what comprises an awesome dream–the one yesterday was distinctly unpleasant, but it was also very interesting and unusual…

But that’s not the snippet I talked myself into writing about before I go to sleep. This is.

I was in my room, and my door was open a little ways (normally I always have it closed, but hey, dreams). I saw Alice* out in the common area. I wondered if my other roommate (who is out on vacation in waking life and I don’t know when to expect her back because I didn’t ask) had come back and brought Alice with her. Alice looked at me, probably. I just closed the door. There was some pushing from the other side of the door, but I just kept pushing until it was shut. I didn’t care what she did once I got the door shut. I was just closing it and that was it, and it was staying closed even if Alice yelled at me and banged on the door. She didn’t, though. Nothing happened after I closed the door (well, the dream continued, and the rest of it was very interesting, too, and in fact I got lucid** a bit later, but I can write that in another post).

It made me (and makes me) very happy to think about this dream snippet after waking (which is totally why I’m writing a blog post real quick before I get some sleep). I was very happy about how I’d dealt with Alice, even when it was a dream and I didn’t know it was. Perhaps especially when it was a dream and I didn’t know it was. Non-lucid dream actions are, well, far less lucid than waking actions (come to think, most of my lucid dream actions are also far less lucid than my waking actions), and I was happy that I’d handled that so well, and so exactly in accordance with how I’d decided to handle things with her in waking life (if I ever see her again, which I hope I don’t, I’m just not going to talk to her, and that’s been my plan for some time). Makes me feel even more certain that I chose exactly the right approach to dealing with her, in that it seems to be what I want even when I’m just acting on impulse in a dream, without my usual inhibitions or planning or niggly things like thinking about other people’s feelings and trying to be polite.

I’m not really one to look for much meaning in dreams, but I like pulling my own meaning from some snippets, sometimes. Like this time. It says something about me that I dreamed that, certainly, and maybe I’m not even all that far off about what. But I kind of don’t care what the dream might have meant (if much of anything) in any sort of objective sense (however one would go about finding objective meaning in something so inherently subjective as a dream). Me attaching my own meaning to it is helping me deal with Alice, making me feel good about my decisions, even though it feels like there are some little loose ends, some niggling questions, from breaking off contact with a person. This feels like closure, though. Heh, literally. I closed that door. Maybe I can stop wondering how long it will take me to get over that shit, now, wondering if blogging about it was even a good idea, because I had to think about it to write it and wouldn’t have if I hadn’t. I think it was a good idea though, even though it certainly wasn’t all fun to do, and now it feels like… it’s ok to let it go now. It feels like closure in that it feels like none of the niggly questions or loose ends matter any more. Because that door is staying closed. Because I feel totally comfortable with not even being curious about what ifs now.

Plus it feels totally awesome that the entire incident was more or less entirely under my control, considering it was my dream. Feeling in control is pretty awesome with respect to an incident that feels entirely appropriate to call traumatic, and in which I didn’t really have much control when it happened. Hell, just telling myself now that I really didn’t have much control over it then makes me feel better about it. If I didn’t have much control, then it doesn’t make sense to blame myself for how things turned out. I can’t control other people’s reactions. I can’t control when I will or won’t have a panic attack. I can’t control other people’s decisions. It totally blindsided me when she said what she said and did what she did, and it certainly felt like she had more power over me than I had over her. Bah, why am I still processing this? Isn’t it enough to just say that I felt like I didn’t have much control without trying to prove to myself that that’s the way it was objectively? Frankly, I’m never going to be able to be objective about it, and I’m never going to talk to her again if I can help it, and there’s no consequences to deal with that haven’t already happened that would require an objective viewpoint.

Ah, this is one of those things where I work things out in my head by writing them down, and then I find it easier to believe the things I tell myself (like “it doesn’t make sense to blame myself for how things turned out”) when I am reading them after I have written them. Alright, so apparently I’m not as totally over it as I was having fun thinking I was 20 minutes ago, but I do feel very solid on the whole not-talking-to-Alice-ever thing, and that is still a good thing to feel solid on, and I was still totally awesome when I just shut out dream-Alice like that without a bit of hesitation. Also the getting lucid later in the dream was pretty epic, as was forcing my lazy self to write down my dream for once, so I wouldn’t forget it even though I was tired when I woke up, and I didn’t want to move. I’m always tired when I wake up. It makes it really hard to do the dream journalling thing (which is totally a thing that helps loads with dream memories not just evaporating into nothing).

This post is probably going to be really confusing to the people that aren’t me. Oh well, that’s ok.

* I’m way too lazy to dig up links at the moment, but it’s the same Alice from the series of posts I wrote that I decided to call Roommate Saga for some reason.

** A lucid dream is one in which you know you are dreaming, for anyone who doesn’t know. Lucid dreams are epic. They are my favorite. Well, ok, sometimes non-lucid dreams are my favorite, too. I did get to be awesome and kill some evil dragons with a sword in a non-lucid dream once, but it was during a lucid dream that I got sorted into Slytherin (quite on purpose–I spent at least a couple of weeks planning and practicing for that one before I finally pulled it off, and I almost screwed up all my planning at the most vital moment. I should write up that one for the blog sometime, it was beyond awesome, and it makes a good story, and it wouldn’t take that long to hunt for the proper journal entries).

*** Hmph! Short post? Yea, right.

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4 thoughts on “Dreams

  1. Not confusing at all. I’m going to let you in on a secret. The only interpretations of dreams that matter, are the ones you give. I’m glad your dealing with what happened with Alice.

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  2. Thanks.

    As to dream interpretation, I always end up waffling a bit when I talk about the “interpretation” and “meaning” of dreams, mostly because I want to distance myself from all that woo-ish dream interpretation stuff that’s all like “if you have a dream where your teeth fall out, it means [vague sounding thing that almost anyone could think of a way for it to apply to them]”. Now that I’m thinking about it, neither “interpretation” nor “meaning” is really the best word to describe what I mean. When I’m talking about what a dream means, what I’m really doing is asking myself questions like “what can this dream tell me about me?” and “what can this dream tell me about dreams?” which is not dissimilar to thinking about waking memories. After all, “what can this memory tell me about me?” and “what can this memory tell me about the world?” are very useful questions to try to answer, but when we do that, we don’t talk about the “meaning” or “interpretation” of the memories. In fact, we don’t even usually say the word “memory” when we’re doing this, we just say “what happened” or “that incident” or some other phrase directly referring to the content of the memory, e.g. “Susan didn’t want to go to the seafood restaurant or the sushi bar. What could her reluctance mean?” rather than “In my memory, Susan didn’t want to go to the places that served mostly fish. What does my memory mean?”. “Susan might not like fish” might be a reasonable “meaning” to take from such a memory.

    I guess I’m getting tangled up in the typical vocabulary used for talking about dreams when it’s not really doing what I want.

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  3. Interesting side note, sometimes I have trouble distinguishing dreams from reality. I have to sort my memories to see if what I remembered actually happened. Of course, this is because half my dreams are about work, or having typical conversations with people I know. My subconscious is boring most of the time, except when it throws me something that really fucks me up because it’s something I’m not ready to process. I usually don’t remember my dreams.

    Worst dream I ever had: I dreamt about trying to get to sleep. A dream about insomnia.

    I get you on vocabulary. Dream interpretation is a legitimate thing, but not in the way most people use it. It’s legitimate when you are using it to analyse yourself. There are no universal meanings of symbols in dreams, no matter what the Jungians say.

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  4. “Interesting side note, sometimes I have trouble distinguishing dreams from reality.”

    That happens to me, sometimes, too. The other day, I was trying to figure out whether my roommate had come home or if I just dreamed that. Turns out I just dreamed that (although, interestingly, it wasn’t one of the dream bits I remembered when I was writing down my dreams).

    I usually have the most trouble distinguishing dreaming from waking life while I’m in the middle of dreaming though *grin* (yes, I know that’s not exactly what you meant). When I’m dreaming, I almost always assume I am awake.

    “Worst dream I ever had: I dreamt about trying to get to sleep.”

    I hate when that happens.

    “I usually don’t remember my dreams.”

    I can usually remember at least something of my dreams every morning, if I try, even if I don’t write it down (like today, for instance, I know my dream included something about some magazines that were given/sold away, and I have some really vague impressions about the rest of it that I can’t put into words, but I didn’t try to write anything down because my brain was too busy thinking about other things–there’s a good chance I could have hung on to much more of the memory if I hadn’t let myself be distracted). When I’m in the habit of journalling my dreams when I wake up, though, I can remember my dreams literally every day, in varying amounts of detail (sometimes I’ll only remember enough to write a paragraph or two, sometimes enough to fill several pages), with only a few rare exceptions where I just can’t remember anything.

    I used to not remember my dreams very often, though (like once a week or once a month). I only got my dream recall this good by consistent effort and practice, and it’s really noticeable how it’s less good when I’m not making a consistent effort. I find it really interesting that dream recall is something that can be learned, practiced, and improved, and it confuses me that most other people don’t seem to think remembering dreams is that interesting or worth much effort. I am a bit obsessed with dreams, though (if it isn’t obvious already). What can I say? They are fun, and uniquely so, and there is soooo much left to be explored about them.

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