Why the intensely detailed and PICKY dreams?

Why have I been having these most distinctive dreams?

They are very detailed, but in a particular way. There are THINGS I must keep track of and manage during sleep. It is vitally important that I handle these things properly, but they are very complicated in detailed ways.

For example, my sleeping room is also a sort of stage, on which other people are to behave in special ways. Their behavior is via all these tokens I have to create and maintain properly. There are list tokens, for example, which are cylindrical but with a bit of twist, like a magazine or a map rolled imperfectly up. They contain tabular information, typically, though there can be exceptions. A frequent theme in the design of list tokens is the use of particular colors, especially more or less pastel shades of orange, to key on certain unspoken familiarities that I can - should be - trying to build up in the user. But list tokens come in all sorts of lengths and diameters and have a zillion details to the design of the table on them, and there are all these metadetails too, all these conventions that I should be getting people to notice and adopt unconsciously. And that’s just list tokens. There are sequence tokens and direction tokens and time tokens and people tokens and point tokens and where-has-it-traveled tokens and on and on and on and on and on and on. So, I can’t help but notice the parallels between this and programming, especially writing Windows programs where there is a workspace that is my user’s stage and unspokenly also the room I must live in when I program. The tokens are all Windows forms. I don’t have direct control over what the users will do when they come here, but by rapidly shifting between their and my point of view I am supposed to make them work effectively just the same. And the forms are little objects, they have properties like text values and label shading and color, always color, lots of color. Which when it is red means some kind of warning, some potentially bad thing, because everybody gets that red suggests potentially bad things and nobody would automatically associate happy thoughts with red. Unless they are Chinese, of which there are four times as many as there are us annoying Americans, but now I am confusing color themes with localization which is because of some sort of messed up attitude on my part, which in turn is something I made up out of nothing and not a reaction to anything else, even though other things that look like feelings and smell like feelings and feel like feelings (which should be the clincher) are of course reactions to other things and never made up out of nothing. JESUS, JESUS, FUCKING JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH ON CRUTCHES WHAT IS MAKING ME DREAM LIKE THIS???

Ahh… where was I? Well, no matter. The thing is, these all turn into nothing as I awake. That is, I start to get more and more fatigued about the responsibility for making all these things go right, though not so clearly the ability to, and I start to kind of slip. I treat them as less important. No, better to say that I decide it is OK if they don’t all have to work. No, that isn’t it either. It’s more like the audience that could always be there, like you when you are reading a cartoon, that omniscient observer is changing their frame of mind, from one in which it is assumed that all the details must go right, to one where we could after all have a sense of humor about these things. And I start to draw a wilderness line, saying Well these will work pretty well but maybe those won’t, and the others here may pretty much not do anything at all. And so I’m in this space, sized like a large room but having a dirt floor, cheap old cinderblock walls, and no ceiling, just open sky. And there are these things running through it, things that are sort of themes or consistensies that tie everything together, but they are also sort of physical objects. Objects like roots or branches. Or they have been exposed so long they aren’t clearly either roots or branches, but clearly wood, clearly one or the other. Or both. Except painted. Various colors, conveying some sense of what they are about. Pastel orange, say. And they thread everywhere. And dealing with these damn things is like trying to dig a hole in dirt that is just criscrossed every which way with gigantic fresh rock-hard roots the size and, sheesh, isn’t that the shape, the shape of a sturdy man’s leg? I mean, I have to deal with these to get finished, to get them to work like I want. To get then to push one another in the right order, so they move in unison, which can be very complicated to work out ahead of time, especially because there’s noplace I can get to see the entirity of one all at once, and because they are obviously going to be moving several at a time in their own directions. So their movements are complicated. No, that’s wrong, their movements are simplicity itself, it is the fact that they must move in certain organized ways, the fact that their movements must occur in patterns. But you can’t picture these patterns, of course. You could picture a movement, but soon you are saying the light green ones will go left and the light orange ones will go right and the purplish one will go up, and all the other ones, their movements shouldn’t matter from over here, so let me move a few feet to the right with all that in mind and reconsider everything. Reconsider how they will move so I can go. That is, to get clear of them. To be able to move around right again. Because what I am doing is trying to extricate myself. Though, not vividly, that is the things aren’t touching me and holding me, I just don’t have the ability to get out of here without resolving all that satisfactorily. So in a figurative sense I have to move them so I can go but not in a literal one. Well, actually, the way I said it, that WAS literally true, but I’m not literally held here by them, I’m not literally caught in them, just figuratively.

Oh, man, I’m tired again.

All right, what is up with this? Is there a name for these bizzarrely fussy and complicated dreams, characterized by a sense of the importance of all these details, details which seem to melt away to nothing as I awake???

I do have some stuff afoot at the moment, which I can get into, but I’d really like to learn a bit about dreaming if I might!

That is by far my most common dream-flavor. Complicated stuff I gotta sort out. Responsibilities I must address. Sometimes there is satisfaction and excitement as I start to unravel the exact route to success, sometimes less so, but always an undercurrent of concern, that this has to be done and done right.

EDIT: and yeah, I’ve drifted into a half-awake state that lasted for over an hour before finally getting up to commit the whole spectacularly brilliant and clever technique/solution to notes if not actual implementation, only to have it turn to dust motes once I got to the computer or writing paper.

Step 1: Send the currently logged-in person as a file attachment of a new iChat to the designated sales rep, attach their resulting conversation as an .mp3 and return the current logged-in person to original seat by doing an automatic Reply-To .


Sounds like Obsessive-Compulsive micro-management of your life, in your dreams.

Of course, I could be wrong. Your post was confusing and I admit that I didn’t read the entire thing in order.

You know, your unconscious mind is a huge inference engine and can manage a lot of these details on it’s own, although it may be that your obsession with controlling the details is causing it to bleed into dreams, in order to meet your needs for conscious control.

IANAMHP (I am not a mental health professional), but I’d recommend that you try some meditation exersizes where you let go, release control and try to empty your mind, if only for a few seconds at a time. If it helps, great. If it causes panic, then you need to address your obsessive-compulsive control issues with a qualified mental health professional.

Feelings of powerlessness and lack of control cause fear. Fear causes anger. Anger causes it’s own problems. Even if it doesn’t lead to anger issues, Fear itself can lead to a great many problems. Like obsessively trying to control things we cannot control.

I have those dreams ALL THE TIME. They suck and I want them to stop.

Ooof. Last night it was the very complicated chains and linear bearings and sprockets that connect to my tracheotomy fitting, and all the additional ways everybody seems to insist they be able to move, even these dumb kids that were playing with them, kids who “accidentally” knocked a bunch of construction dust from one of the sill plates into the fitting so it all shot straight into my chest.

Now, I don’t have a tracheotomy fitting in my neck, and after I have been up a couple of minutes the house is pointed the correct way again.

HeyHomie and AHunter3, I hope we get over it. This is just damnable.

AHunter3, I like your customer service tool snippit. Of course, I am still pretty gullible right at the moment. In another week, I hope I return to normal, and your Step 1 mixes in with all the other tripe people send me in place of useful inventions. BTW the dream notes I take don’t look anywhere near as useful as yours.

Yeah, well even while fully awake it has occurred to me to remote in to my office computer and send myself something physical that I had left behind, as an email file attachment… it just seems like you oughta be able to, right?

That may partially explain the dream I had wherein I woke and with great excitement created a new database and then spent 10 minutes looking for the Move () script command. You know, the one that relocates the specified parameter to whatever parameter you pass to it as either a calculation or variable? The one that every prior developer had sort of overlooked because it was kind of arcane, but which I had suddenly realized would allow me, if I send it sufficient info, which could of course be obtained from a standard off-the-shelf GPS, to parse it into coordinates … and for the target, yee haw, what if I trap for Get(AccountNane), that would be YOU the current user, yes? aww c’mon, I know that with a combo of Move () and PatternCount () and Middle () and Position () and a bit of Substitute (), I can replace the entire airlines industry… ODD, I can’t seem to find the Move () command… awww :smack:

But I have no idea from whence came the startling dream that led me, barefoot and in bathrobe at around 2:30 AM, into the unheated garage, bound for toolbox, with the intention of removing cooling fan and fan belt, alternator, air conditioner compressor, valve covers, and dive into the block from the front to insert little diagrams that would tell the camshaft to inform the valve lifters to lift an additional 0.3% for every additional 33 RPMs above idle speed if vacuum had just decreased by more than 0.3%… good god it made total sense at the time. I was gonna have the most incredibly fuel-efficient sleeper snarly accelerating jaw-dropping tiger of a Pontiac. I think I may have actually gotten as far as assembling a socket wrench wtih extensions and slipped it over a hex bolt before the “little diagrams” notion started to give me trouble.

Wow. I’d like to think that I too would be there for the contextually dimensioned cams idea, right by your side, at least if I was more ambitious than I am. Niiiiicccceeee…

I have frustration dreams, typically I am back in high school, and I cant remember where my locker is or the combination, but i have a class I need to get to but I cant remember which class and where it is …

I have not been in high school in almost 30 years … SOB … Why do I still get them?

Though I never seem to have naked dreams … go figure.

I have those dream about college.

And I *love *them. Because of that moment when, waking up, I realize that I graduated, I graduated, thank God almighty, I graduated!

Makes me feel good all day.

Gloriously, I have now had two nights without these dreams. For the sake of science I would like to document a little more about the circumstances.

Last Thursday I had three vertebrae in my neck fused after years of trouble. This common procedure, an anterior cervical fusion of C5-6 and C6-7 with cadaveric bone grafts and fixation plate, involves entering the neck from the front at the fold below the chin, moving the throat structures to the right, and doing carpentry work on the spine. I have since had what I believe to be a pretty standard recovery history, only one night in the hospital. One of my symptoms has been a gagging and choking feeling, which I understand results from jacking the trachea and esophagus out of place and also stressing various nerves.

So of course I had general anaesthesia. I had a big dose of stearoids to avoid respiratory irritation from the anaesthetic, which is a special thing because I have chronic bronchitis. I also had numerous dilaudid injections (it’s a common morphine-like painkiller). And I took home 80 Percocets, the 10 mg dose (two steps up from the commonest size because I have developed some tolerance).

I have wondered about these dreams, which of course seem like the biggest thing in the world when I’m in one. I’m not calling the doctor about this because I do not think this is a medical problem. But I am curious whether the anaesthetics or painkillers could be inspiring them. None of the web research has suggested any of these things are known to cause dreams like this. I think it is obvious that having a choking feeling could cause or influence a dream about tracheotomy tubes, and I suppose many things about the experience could cause or influence dreams with themes of frustration or control.

So, anyway, that’s what I’ve got - and like I say, I have had two good nights now!