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Another night, another dream

The whole thing was rather long, involving my sister's upcoming wedding, being lost in a mall and other assorted weirdness. But there was this part, which is going to stay with me all day:

All of the kids (and by that I mean my kids and all their cousins) were in my house. Someone was watching them on the day of the wedding. I was standing outside of the house in a bridesmaid gown waiting for the limo to pick me up. Two vans pulled up instead and several masked men emerged from the vehicles. They were dressed in black and had very large guns. One grabbed me from behind and held a gun to my head. The others went into the house.

I heard screaming. Kids screaming. I could hear the fear in their voices and I heard DJ say "I don't want to get on the floor, don't make me get on the floor!" I was struggling to get away from the person who was holding me when I heard gunshots and more kids screaming. I forced myself to wake up at that point.

I know that dreams often mean something other than what they seem to at face value - for instance, this dream had nothing to do with kids being killed but more likely the images are grounded in the fears I faced with DJ being sick this week - but those images will stay with me all day nonetheless.

My problem is I dream like this every night. I wish just once I could go to sleep and either not dream at all or dream of fluffy bunnies and rainbows.


Well. You said you forced yourself to wake up. So obviously you've learned this trick.

Have you thought about trying to teach yourself to take control of your dreams? I learned how to do that some time ago--mostly by just deciding I would do it. Not that I can entirely control them, but basically if I'm not enjoying a direction a dream is taking, I can say "no," and start arguing with the dream, and make it go a different direction.

I'm not describing it well, but basically it's similar to the act of will that you use to wake yourself up. Except instead of "wake up!" it's "no, no, no, this isn't right, X, Y, and Z should be happening instead."

It usually works for me. I rarely have disturbing dreams anymore.

Agreed with Dean. Only here's what you can do. Just like Dean said, it's about your will. The same will you use to force yourself awake, use it instead to remind yourself that you have god-like powers. Oh yeah, that's another important point: before you sleep, tell yourself (over and over) to remember that in the dream-world, you have god-like powers.

I can describe this to you further, but perhaps email would be a better medium, rather than filling up your comments database.

I'm pretty adept at lucid dreaming. As I explained to Dean in an email, the only time I have trouble controlling my dreams is when I am in a deep sleep, usually right before it's time to get up - which is when this one took place.

More on my very vivid dream life here

I've noticed you mention taking Paxil in other posts, and you say you have these very vivid sometimes disturbing dreams. You probably know this, but medications like Paxil can sometimes cause very vivid dreams like the ones you describe. If these dreams are making it difficult for you to rest, you might consider talking to your doctor about it if you haven't already. There might be another medication you could take that wouldn't have the same side affects for you. I'm not a doctor, but I do play one on the Internet sometimes.

Actually, I've been dreaming like this for about 30 years now. It started when I was ten. Every night is a vivid, detailed dream. It's just part of who I am, I guess.

I guess all that acid I ate in the '60s cured me of dreaming... I get the occasional dream but mostly I just wake up rested... either I have a clear conscience or it's that sociopathy thing...