Nightmares

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Do you have nightmares often? What are they typically about? Have any been reoccurring? Do you think nightmares reflect something in your day to day life, anxiety, for instance? Have you found anything that tends to make them cease?

Lately I have been dreaming every night about my mother dying, though she's not sick at all. It's always the same dream & sometimes so vivid that I almost call home at 4am to see if she's OK.

When I was a kid I had the rather usual nightmare about falling from a great height, though for some reason mine was always from telephone wires.

j c (j c), Sunday, 25 January 2004 22:38 (nineteen years ago) link

I used to have nightmares about getting physically hurt, and would feel the pain quite vividly in my dream.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Sunday, 25 January 2004 22:44 (nineteen years ago) link

I used to have nightmares where i would be in some terrible danger, it was a different danger every time, but the common theme would be that I would open my mouth, desperate to scream and summon help but could never get any sound out. Then one time, during this type of dream, although I was asleep, I distinctly remember that I was fully aware that this had happened before and I decided in my dream that enough was enough and I WAS going to scream this time. So I screamed out loud and woke myself up. Never had another dream like that since.

Melly E (Melly E), Sunday, 25 January 2004 22:59 (nineteen years ago) link

I wish I could do that in dreams - pop spontaneously out of them at will. Even when I realize consciously that I'm dreaming, it's sort of just a vague concept and then I forget it before I can act on it. My subconsious is a tad flakey, perhaps.

j c (j c), Monday, 26 January 2004 14:59 (nineteen years ago) link

I used to have recurring nightmares, but not for a while. I hate them though, I always wake up really scared. If it's about something horrible (someone dying) it makes you feel awful for the rest of the the day.

Pinkpanther (Pinkpanther), Monday, 26 January 2004 15:06 (nineteen years ago) link

Dunno if anything I've had in the past 10 years could really be considered a nightmare.
The closest thing I can recall is a dream of when I was in a city that was supposed to be new york, except everything was indoors. There were a bunch of guys just running around with guns shooting people and my sister and myself thought to lay on the ground and pretend we were already dead. One of the gunmen came up to us (my head was down, but I could see things in the third person) and pointed his gun at me. I then woke up

dmofo, Monday, 26 January 2004 15:07 (nineteen years ago) link

poor jc :( i've had maybe 5 or 6 dreams about Mum dying in my life and when you wake up you just want to cry out of a bizarre mixture of guilt (not because you wished it so of course but because you feel you 'enabled' your brain to display such unwanted situations) and relief

stevem (blueski), Monday, 26 January 2004 15:10 (nineteen years ago) link

when i was about 6 or 7 i used to always have this bizarro nightmare where there is this a very very small (like the size of a ball bearing), but really really heavy thing would slowly fall onto my head and i get crushed by this tiny tiny heavy thing. It used to scare the shit out of me and i'd wake up just before I could no longer bear the weight.

Looking back at it now - at the age of 6 my concept of density must have been impressive.

nowadays all my nightmares seem to be able being chased - either i owe loansharks money or i had killed/dissed someone and i'm being seeked for revenge. and i see this as a testiment of my intellectual decline from material physics to action movies.

ken c (ken c), Monday, 26 January 2004 15:17 (nineteen years ago) link

three months pass...
apocalyptic nightmares, classic or dud?

in the most recent i looked out my window to see that all of chicago was on fire. then i ran downstairs and had an argument with my landlord.

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 26 April 2004 09:41 (eighteen years ago) link

"has there been an atomic attack?"

"oh no, the whole city's just on fire."

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 26 April 2004 09:42 (eighteen years ago) link

When I was about 6 years old, I had a recurring nightmare in which there would be a knock on the front door, and when I answered it there would be a clown standing there, grinning. He'd then take a piece of cheese-wire out of his pocket and slice off my head with it. I can still remember it very vividly. It was horrible.

C J (C J), Monday, 26 April 2004 09:48 (eighteen years ago) link

it's funny how it takes an apocalypse (in a dream, no less) to get me to scream expletives at my landlord

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 26 April 2004 09:53 (eighteen years ago) link

eleven months pass...
Last night I had a Murder dream. This was after an unhappy meeting with a recent ex-girlfriend, and reading a very evil novel (Cows by Matt Stokoe... look it up if you want to puke.)

The dream: There was a guy in my living room, and a girl in my kitchen. I shot the guy 5 times. The girl started screaming and wouldn't stop, so I shot her too. The guy was still thrashing and vomiting blood, so I used a kitchen knife on him. Then I went next door, where the guy's wife lived, and asked for a phone. It was strange that she didn't notice any blood. She asked why, and I told her call 911. She asked what was wrong, and I couldn't answer, and then I said somebody was choking. It didn't fool her, and she said what did you do? and quickly went for my house. I started running to get away before she could start screaming, and then I woke up.

-rainbow bum- (-rainbow bum-), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 21:42 (seventeen years ago) link

Once I dreamt I cut someone up and put their chopped up bits in a big stewpot and cooked a person! :/

That deeply disturbed me. It smelled BAD in the dream.

Trayce (trayce), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 22:23 (seventeen years ago) link

I dream about tornados every few days. I have for years. Not sure why. I've never been in one and they've never been particularly present in my life.

Melissa W (Melissa W), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 22:45 (seventeen years ago) link

This past few weeks I've had a totally disturbing nightmare every single night. They involve anything from being naked in front of my peers to murdering people with a knife.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 22:47 (seventeen years ago) link

i am sorry to hear that and i apologise if i have been insensitive.

mullygrubbr (bulbs), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 22:48 (seventeen years ago) link

Hey man, I'm sorry if my graphic description unnerved you.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 22:50 (seventeen years ago) link

i'm sorry to be such a wimp about it.

mullygrubbr (bulbs), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 22:52 (seventeen years ago) link

I had a dream last night some guy was chasing me to rape me - thanks a lot, Law & Order SVU.

Then I had a nightmare that I had to go back to my old job - and then I was fired from it.

Sarah McLusky (coco), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 14:33 (seventeen years ago) link

Someone told me that eating cheese right before bedtime can give you nightmares. Maybe it just applied to melted cheese, I dunno. Anyway I ate lots of cheese the other day and then had a terrible nightmare about being fired from work. But I've been dreaming that every night lately, so it's probably due to me being scared of losing my job rather than the cheese.

Hanna (Hanna), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 14:35 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, I keep having nightmares that Elijah Wood the Cannibal is trying to catch me and gnaw off my hand. Thanks a lot, Sin City.

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 14:37 (seventeen years ago) link

Animals always bite me in mine, it feels so real and I’m calm about it. I’m not afraid of animals; I’ve grown up with them since I was a baby. Does anyone know what this means?

cavern (cavern1), Wednesday, 13 April 2005 11:21 (seventeen years ago) link

Loss of trust, perhaps?

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Wednesday, 13 April 2005 11:24 (seventeen years ago) link

Seem to be having more nightmares lately, last one I can remember:

Wandering around some sort of apartment block, or maybe a hotel, lots of strangers were also milling about the corridors and everyone was laughing and seemed to be having a great time. Suddenly one of the doors crashed open with a thunderous noise and a man stumbled out with blood all over him, he had his arm chopped off. Everyone stopped being happy and gasped at once as we all looked into the blood soaked room to see some madman battering people to death.

I think it was the complete shock and lack of knowing what to do about the situation that freaked me to bits.

Ste (Fuzzy), Wednesday, 13 April 2005 11:31 (seventeen years ago) link

I had an exam nighmare last night - I was in a school exam, but it was a two part exam, and this was the second part. I *should* have taken the question paper with me at the end of the first part and brought it back; but I hadn't realised, had left it behind, and so now I didn't know what any of the questions for part 2 were.

Plus, there weren't enough desks for everybody, so I was sat squeezed up next to all the people I hated at school for teasing me all the time.

After that, though, I started dreaming that a cat was jumping all over me and rubbing its nose against my chin. This is probably because my cat had started walking all over me and rubbing his nose against my chin in an attempt to get me out of bed - at 4am - to let him out.

caitlin (caitlin), Wednesday, 13 April 2005 11:37 (seventeen years ago) link

I have a recurring school dream where I attend lessons but nobody seems to care about what we are being taught, projects are unfinished and left, the teachers rarely show up, the timetable becomes scrappy and we end up going to random lessons. And it all worries me.

Is this the ultimate nerd nightmare?

Ste (Fuzzy), Wednesday, 13 April 2005 11:45 (seventeen years ago) link

Sometimes I wake up with a feeling of dread but can't remember what I was dreaming about.

Last night I dreamt I was Freddie Mercury. What a performer I was.

Rumpie, Wednesday, 13 April 2005 13:09 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
I just had a nightmare that seemed like a montage series of short, violent, and disturbing images (...a rapid-fire run of news video, e.g. the conditioning scene in Clockwork Orange or the beginning of 28 Days Later...) for what felt like ten minutes. Following this, I tried to wake up and turn on the light... only to find that turning on the light incited another short run of violent video images imprinted directly on my eyeballs. After some confusion, I realized this was also part of the dream. I felt that if I didn't get out quickly I was going to go insane. So I tried to wake myself up again, and succeeded only in turning all of the world – all of my perceptive input – to static. Gray noise. From somewhere in the back of my brain (which I understood was being colonized by static a la the Nothing in Neverending Story) I was able to 'wake' myself up by smashing the lamp...

... only to find myself in another dream; this time a dream of my apartment, except decayed and possessed by a deep, dark entity with a a deep, dark voice that informed me I'd be able to wake-up for real only if I removed the wallpaper picture from my cell phone. And made sure the door was locked. WTF? Then the deep, dark, voice prompted me the next level of wakefulness, where I dutifully found my cell phone, deleted the background image, unlocked and relocked the door (for the hell of it) and climbed back toward bed... only to realize I was totally, actually, awake.

Vacillatrix (x Jeremy), Monday, 28 August 2006 19:31 (sixteen years ago) link

Holy shit dude. Do you think that, if you hadn't have deleted the background image on your phone, you'd still be asleep?

Also, wtf is your background image?

captain reverend gandalf jesus (nickalicious), Monday, 28 August 2006 19:35 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm lucky the deep, dark, voice didn't tell me to stab myself in the chest, or leap out a window to end the dream... because I would have done it.

The image on my phone was pretty scary, actually: it was a photo of a little Vietnamese girl in white-face makeup that I'd cameraphoned off a flyer seen in the LA metro. Since I'd snapped through the window, in half-light, at high speed, the image was significantly blurred, distorted and ghostly.

Vacillatrix (x Jeremy), Monday, 28 August 2006 20:13 (sixteen years ago) link

Why are false awakenings almost always frightening and never sexy? Get it right, dreams.

captain reverend gandalf jesus (nickalicious), Monday, 28 August 2006 20:15 (sixteen years ago) link

Actually, false awakenings seem more often tedious than anything else.

captain reverend gandalf jesus (nickalicious), Monday, 28 August 2006 20:16 (sixteen years ago) link

Lordy, mine usually involve dreaming that I've gotten up to go to the bathroom, and then realizing I haven't. Luckily this has never actually resulted in me wetting the bed, but there's always a moment of panic -- ahh, what a way to greet the day!

Laurel (Laurel), Monday, 28 August 2006 20:18 (sixteen years ago) link

When I was young, my dreams were haunted by a beast known as the 'Moose Moo'. I'd normally be in a secluded, deserted corner, when I'd suddenly become aware if its presence, panic, and curl up into a little ball before it could bite my ears off. I would then wake up immediately. I only ever saw it once, and that was the first time. Didn't need to see it again.

Zeno Piston's Cruel Cartoon (Haberdager), Monday, 28 August 2006 20:22 (sixteen years ago) link

The way to wake yourself up from a dream is to dive headfirst off something. You must be absolutely sure you are dreaming though!!!

JTS (JTS), Monday, 28 August 2006 23:18 (sixteen years ago) link

I haven't read this entire thread yet, so I'm sorry if I repeat shared nightmares, (I probably won't, though).

I have nightmares every single night. There are three very often recurring nightmares that I have. Or, well, they feel like nightmares.

Lately, every night I've been dreaming that I'm still in school, usually high school, and I'm years older than everyone else. I can't make the grades and I'm stuck as a senior in high school, usually, forever, and everyone's passing me on and leaving me behind, and the embarassment is just completely unbearable. When I have this dream, and it's the last dream I've had before waking, I usually wake up wondering if there's school that day or not, and whether or not I'm already late if there is. It's terrible.

Another one I've also had almost every night for about the last eight years, takes place at my childhood home (it's been eight years since I've lived there). I'm a child and running around playing with my sister in the backyard. We had a huge backyard, there was a picnic table, we had a good tree for climbing, a swingset/playset, a pool, lots of bushes and trees to play around in, and the yard just went back pretty far. My sister and I are having a great time. It's the early afternoon and we're playing and having a snack of cookies out there, while my mother and father are in taking their usual nap. It's so, so, so nice. (Every day there was this.)
Or, I dream about my childhood home and my old bedroom. I'm the age that I am now, and I'm back there for some reason. It just isn't the same at all, there's always just something different, but, I'm living there again and I'm still pretty happy about it, though.
Those are nice dreams. But, when I wake up and they were only dreams, and the last dreams I had before waking, I just want to cry.

The last one I've had for a few years, almost every night. It involves my father. He died a few years ago from a brain tumor. We found out that he was going to die four-and-a-half months before he did. So, I spent four-and-a-half months watching my father deteriorate as a living man. I spent four-and-a-half months watching him die. In the nightmare I've had since he's died, I'm back in those months. Somehow he beats the tumor and lives, but, his mental health still completely deteriorates... Or, less often, I'm back to those months again, and my father beats the tumor, and everything's okay. We're the family that we always were before. If these are the last dreams I've had before waking, I wake up from these dreams thinking that my father is still alive and I'm wondering where he is, but then I remember, and I just feel completely empty inside.

Every night. Oh, man.

blood bitch (blood bitch), Tuesday, 29 August 2006 06:32 (sixteen years ago) link

they seem to be strongly related

zaxxon25 (zaxxon25), Tuesday, 29 August 2006 20:08 (sixteen years ago) link

Lately, every night I've been dreaming that I'm still in school, usually high school, and I'm years older than everyone else. I can't make the grades and I'm stuck as a senior in high school, usually, forever, and everyone's passing me on and leaving me behind, and the embarassment is just completely unbearable. When I have this dream, and it's the last dream I've had before waking, I usually wake up wondering if there's school that day or not, and whether or not I'm already late if there is. It's terrible.

I have this dream at least once a month.

darin (darin), Tuesday, 29 August 2006 21:00 (sixteen years ago) link

oh, man.

i'm sorry that was so personal. i totally didn't think at all about what i was sharing with you guys. i was just trying to contribute to the thread, is all... so, maybe nevermind, or this doesn't have to be awkward or anything because of that post. people that know me irl know i have a knack for saying too much, so...

sweet dreams.

blood bitch (blood bitch), Wednesday, 30 August 2006 06:42 (sixteen years ago) link

similarly i have a recurring dream that my mother has recovered from her stroke.

the past few days i've had some nightmares, but nothing too heavy. last night i dreamt that i had a lego village set up in my bedroom, with a lego castle at one end.
So far so good.
Suddenly all the little lego men started coming to life and began to kick the shit out of each other.
If that wasn't freaky enough an army of ants swarmed my walls and then i woke up.

Ste (Fuzzy), Wednesday, 30 August 2006 07:24 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...

I had the worst nightmare I've ever had last night. I was being sought by the guys from The Sopranos who wanted to kill me because I'd done something which was unspecified. And I got the impression somehow that they didn;t want to just killed me but torture me first for some reason. I was in a limo at one point and met my brother (who didn't look like me real brother) wandering around the road in a coat which was made of clear plastic. At another point I was in a strange hotel which had tiny rooms about the size of a mini-sub. At another time I was just about to give up because they seemed to be running at me at superhuman speed but then suddenly I found myself in a church and they actually came in the church and started talking to me but for some reason didn't figure it was me. The I hid up in the rafters of the church when they came back. It went on and on and on. I woke up three times and every time I went back to sleep the dream kicked back in. I know it might sound funny being chased by TV characters but it was absolutely terrifying.

Ned Trifle II, Monday, 3 September 2007 08:12 (fifteen years ago) link

Still recovering from bad sleep = poor typing skills.

Ned Trifle II, Monday, 3 September 2007 08:13 (fifteen years ago) link

I woke up the other night cause our dog Lucy has interesting bowelmovements. My husband says it's her breathing. Whatever it was she did, I got majorly creeped out, waking up thinking that there was a BEAST inside our room. It's also due to the fact I'm in my last trimester of my pregnancy so I sleep very lightly and tend to wake up easily.

nathalie, Monday, 3 September 2007 08:16 (fifteen years ago) link

I once dreamt that I'd killed somebody that I know. That was quite scary.

Christyles, Monday, 3 September 2007 08:26 (fifteen years ago) link

How did you kill him/her?

nathalie, Monday, 3 September 2007 08:30 (fifteen years ago) link

on saturday night i dreamed i had a baby, which if it happened irl would pretty much be a nightmare. it was a girl, v quiet and called sarah. there was also some big heroic quest adventure i was involved in and this baby turning up in the middle of it all was inconvenient. i looked at dream interpretation on teh interwebs and it said baby = warmth, innocence and new beginnings, and that maybe i am trying to preserve my own vulnerability. ???

emsk, Monday, 3 September 2007 09:09 (fifteen years ago) link

three years pass...

having some serious nightmares this week, that type where everytime you close your eyes they resume again. last night i had a sort of horror punchline sequence which went on for about 30 mins after the nightmare. eg anytime i'd close my eyes some innocuous image would lead to a big horrible reveal connected to nightmare. i couldn't make it stop so i had to get up for 10 mins. then finally got back to sleep.

there can be no doubt this is cos i took e at the weekend for first time in about a year.

Phelan Nulty (Local Garda), Thursday, 12 May 2011 08:47 (eleven years ago) link

four years pass...

I had what might be the ultimate existentialist nightmare at the weekend. I had got into a lift at the top of a building intending to go down, but when I pressed the button it went up. I looked around but couldn't see any other buttons and I realised I was in one of those lifts that travel round in an endless loop. I also realised you're really not meant to stay in those lifts when they go over the top and I started to panic. The lift started to go down and I saw there was a peg attached to the wall, inside the lift but it stayed stationary relative to the shaft so it should have stopped the lift as it hit up against the roof. Instead it tore right through the roof and the lift carried on going down, but now the floor stayed stationary, in effect rising up as the lift went down. I knew with certainty and terror that the floor was going to crush me against the ceiling and I thought, in the words of Arthur Dent, "This is it, I'm going to die". And so I did, painlessly, but I immediately realised I appeared to still be in the lift - I could see the fake wood effect walls, I could feel my limbs, but I was completely paralysed and I suddenly knew with equal certainty and even more terror that I would be frozen in this limbo, conscious but unable to move or change my situation in any way, for all of eternity. Somehow, fortunately, the sheer horror of this scenario was enough to propel me like a rocket out of the dream and I woke up gasping.

Do you feel guilty about your wight western priva (ledge), Tuesday, 13 October 2015 12:01 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

Anyone have advice on reducing the frequency of nightmares? When they're bad I'll wake up utterly ruined and fall back into the same dream continuity wise. Hard to shake it as a bad dream can leave you exhausted and lull you back to sleep. Stress and dietary concerns could play a factor, any helpful hints or am I s.o.l.?

In a slipshod style (Ross), Friday, 8 December 2017 16:51 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

i had a nightmare the other day which has really messed with my waking life, ever since. it was very long and very vivid, and as soon as it started i remembered and knew the place i was in. i had a very similar nightmare several years ago but this was my first return visit and i hope my last. it is a very large, enclosed indoor space. although the setting is not an airport terminal, it's similar in two ways: it has a very similar audio ambience to the sounds at the beginning of radiohead's "A Reminder", and it's a liminal space where people are almost always walking or traveling somewhere else, or waiting. escalators, lifts, hallways, but all with very high ceilings. there is also a kind of common ground area with many hundreds of people, similar to the soccer fields at night just south of prospect park with lots of people milling around, but not sports themed. everyone there seems to be waiting to move again, or waiting to meet someone.

it feels like a resort. everything is "fancy". like i mentioned, the ceilings are tall, and everything is very clean and spacious and organized. each time i've been there, it's gradually revealed to be a menacing place. the workers there are watching. they help you and they guide you along, and are very professional. everything seems fine until you want to leave. there is always another step and it seems wrong that you want to leave. you always have to go somewhere else first before it's possible, and then you go there and there are very good reasons why you have to go somewhere else first. then traveling again, workers looking at you. that kind of thing.

i rarely dream about real people that i know. they're almost always just anonymous people, like most of the hundreds of people in this place. but i saw a recent ex in there, and she wasn't happy with me at all. she seemed surprised and disappointed that i was there at all. and then, someone i knew 20 years ago and haven't thought of since for a single second, a hotshot handsome young musician who went on to be in well known bands for a minute. he also seemed irritated that i was there. then everyone seemed disappointed and irritated.

the worst part was at the end. it was becoming apparent that i didn't belong there but that i wasn't allowed to leave, and the annoyance was starting to turn to anger, on the parts of the workers. i was woken up irl by pounding on the door at about 3am, which was the friends of my asshole neighbor who are incapable of doing anything at all unless it's at maximum volume and disruptive. they like to watch sports and yell woo. they were pounding on his door but it sounded like it was mine, and it just kind of ripped my nerves out. i didn't sleep the rest of the night and was unable to think about much else, and then i went to a party where i was the only solo person in a gathering of people my age who all had partners and children, or just a partner. i was trying so hard to just be normal and not feel out of place but it was excruciating. then i went on a blind online date and the other person had a lot of trauma, some really tragic things, fentanyl and physical abuse, a stalker. i ended up laying on the bed next to her all night until about 5 am, talking. it was kind of an unforgettable night but also i just can't sleep on a normal schedule at all. i slept in until 2pm and i'm doing my best to just make it to 10pm and go to bed like a normal person tonight.

this is my body and brain's response to being (almost entirely) sober this month

Karl Malone, Sunday, 22 January 2023 22:44 (one week ago) link

This all sounds very relatable and familiar in terms of dreams I have: Big liminal spaces filled with anonymous people and the occasional person I haven't seen or thought about for several years, and this sense that while everything is technically fine moving away from this space involves an extremely complicated number of steps. I often dream, for example, about being stuck at an airport or train station, keen or excited to get somewhere, but never able to get there for some obscure administrative reason. I also often have dreams about being on a train, often not inside the train but clinging to the side of it somehow as it takes me against my will to destination stops I don't recognise before whisking me off again.


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