Help with reoccurring nightmare...

I keep a dream diary off and on because it was recommended by my therapist in high school and it has also been a great creative tool.

I only record dreams if they really affect me in some way, though it depends on how lazy I feel at the time.

Here is the past few days, including the dream I just awoke from.

3.27.11

Wow. What a horrible nightmare. I am quite positive this has been one of the worst and it is hard to describe exactly why. I did try to take control at the end and have some fun, but how it started was extremely disturbing… but why?

I believe I had just awoken from a nightmare. It’s fuzzy. I think I experienced sleep paralysis. My eyes locked on the doorway and sure enough the inconspicuous doorway morphed into something more sinister. It’s hard to talk about it now. I feel like if I think about it too much my imagination will conjure it up in my waking vision.

If someone else had told me about this, I would think it quite dull, but it was a figure. More importantly, it was my figure. It formed from the shadows and slumped cadaverously to one side. The eyes were glowing red, a common horror trope and one I would normally scoff at, but something was different.

I decided to walk past it. Now, one would assume, in order to make such a decision, I must not be that afraid of this figure. The truth is I was trapped in my room and that was the only exit. I wanted to get past it as quickly as possible. I was also aware that I was dreaming and I wanted to try something. I wanted to touch it.

This figure also seemed familiar outside of being my doppelganger and I believe I had seen this same figure in the previous dream I had just awoken from before falling into this one. But it’s too fuzzy to remember.

Anyway, I got up promptly and walked towards it. The visage was coherent and detailed. My mind did a great job engineering this. The body looked dead. It’s eyes glowed brightly, and was the only part hard to examine. I looked at the back of its head. It was gray. I could feel it was going to move. My mind always seems to go in a direction I don’t want it to when I dream lucidly.

I then grabbed its shoulder… and this was the horrifying part. I clutched it, and even though it was brief, the feedback I received was unexpected. It FELT real. I could feel, underneath the polyester of the coat it was clothed in, there was flesh and muscle and bone.

I ran to the nearest window to let myself out of the house. I was still aware it was a dream. Outside it was the dead of night during Christmas. The houses on my street were especially festive with Christmas lights. This didn’t change how I felt. Even though I had escaped that thing, I felt it was still in that house.

I walked through the snow for a while admiring at how well my mind recreated the streets and houses. How it decorated all the houses in a aesthetically pleasing manner even if I had never seen a single Christmas decoration on it in my life.

This was probably my longest lucid dream and finally I decided to start taking advantage of it. I tried to will in the existence of a female, but that never works. It’s always better if I try to have expectation that someone will be there when I open the door.

So I walked into a house, ‘knowing’ that [omitted] would be there. Of anytime a dream gets good I wake up.

Still that image and feeling of that thing is hard to shake. Even as the details of it fade from my mind, I don’t think it’s the last I have seen of it. Moreover it was the feeling I had when I woke up. Normally I’d be relieved it was all a dream, but instead I felt like I had been given bad news. Something that lingers with you and ruins your entire day.

3.28.11

The same dream. Well, this time it was at my bedside. I couldn’t move. Neither did it. I kept expecting it to. It was dead. It can’t move. Neither could I though. I really just don’t want to think about it anymore. Sleep paralysis is the worst.

It’s 2a.m. and I have to take my sister’s to school this morning. I guess I should go make coffee.

3.29.11

It’s staring at something.

3.30.11

I’ve never had a reoccurring dream last this long. If it keeps up, I might try to give up sleeping entirely. I think it’s because I’ve been thinking about it too much. I keep reading that journal entry.

This time I didn’t experience sleep paralysis thank God and it started out like a normal dream. It wasn’t a lucid experience either, but it was in my home. I was playing WoW… or was I in the game. Either way I was hearing noises outside. Strange growling noises. It was distracting. When I looked out I saw someone slouched over on my steps.

A feeling of ill came over me and then the noise overcame me. Thankfully I woke up after this.

I just realized how creepy the previous nights journal entry sounded. It does seem like it did seem like it was staring at something on the ground of my room

3.31.11


Please, someone help me get over this dream. I know it’s not the only dream I have, but I’ve been waking up from this same one every night and it’s the only one I really remember having. I have been suffering from nightmares like this on and off my entire life. Sometimes I have let it effect my real life and have experience sleep deprivation because of them. I know they are just dreams and don’t necessarily have any significance, but I really have trouble going back to sleep after this one.

I also suffer from sleep paralysis and it is a regular occurrence. This has occurred at least four times in the past few days.

The fact that you couldn’t move and it felt real sounds like you’re having hypnagogic hallucinations. Many people have them ocassionally (I do) but you’re having them a lot more frequently than I’ve ever heard anyone else say they do. You might want to speak to your doctor about it, since it’s a symptom of a few medical problems.

elfkin, it sounds like only one or two of the instances involved sleep paralysis. The rest seem to have been normal, if vivid, nightmares. I agree, though, that an unusually high incidence of sleep paralysis might be worth seeing a doctor over.

nilum, it seems to me that you’ve started reinforcing that dream by thinking about it too much, particularly since you’re sometimes a lucid dreamer. On the other hand, trying not to think about it is likely to reinforce it more, like trying not to think of a red fish.

I would suggest some psychological aikido. Pick something else–an image or topic that’s pleasant or funny–and as you’re preparing to sleep, try very hard not think of that. Try not thinking of waterfalls…no, wait, that may result in excessive “I need to pee” dreams. Try not thinking of a flower garden.

I don’t know that it will help, but it beats lying there, dreading your hag.

If you are anything like me when you dream, you have control over yourself but nothing else in the dream. I occasionally had some recurring nightmares and found that when i actively faced the creepy problem it disappeared and the dream shifted to something random and more pleasant. Usually it only took one or two times to “train” by brain out of throwing up that dream pattern. I STILL can’t get rid of that annoying dream where my mouth is continously filled with broken teeth that I keep spitting out though…