Night Phlox

My foolish dreams

My disturbing subconscious

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This past month has been frustrating for me on several fronts. University is drifting by, some of my friends are acting like complete idiots and even the mighty Leicester Tigers have been playing like cubs.

About a month ago, I blogged about my intention to pay more attention to my dreams. Up until the past week or so, I had forgotten about that promise. Then, one night I had a series of particularly vivid dreams – not unusual, but extremely memorable. I woke afterwards at about 4am, and scribbled them down straight away.

My dream recall had deteriorated so much that by the next day I had completely forgotten I even wrote the dreams down, let alone remembering the dreams themselves. When I looked over my notes, I was astonished: how could I possibly forget all these details? How many other wonderful dreams were allowed to rot away in the back of my mind, just because I was too lazy to spend 30 seconds writing a few words down?

After recalling the dreams of that night, it was as if a switch had been flicked. The wonders of dreaming overwhelmed me again – and I redoubled my efforts. It had been weeks since I’d experienced even the slightest lucidity in my dreams – now I realised what I had been missing.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite that simple. I’ve only managed to control a dream for more than a moment once since then.  The tiniest things seem to get in the way. On one occasion, I eased out of a lucid dream and straight into a few seconds of sleep paralysis – an experience I had grown used to before, but during my dream ‘drought’ I had not suffered. I panicked, and the dream nearly slipped from my grasp (I had forgotten the ‘spinning’ trick too). I closed my eyes, hoping to jump straight back into the dream, but then I realised how much of an uncomfortable position I was sleeping in. But I was still paralysed. There was no chance of me getting back to sleep with one arm crushed under my body, so I had to wake up. By the time I got back to sleep, the dream was long gone.

More recently, I was ‘watching’ one of my dreams unfold when my phone vibrated. Vodafone! Only the other night I was just beginning to control a dream when an ambulance screeched down the street.

But the factor that has most contributed to my loss of dream control is my laziness. It is so often my downfall. When a dream becomes lucid, it is very rare that I choose to seize control – I am much happier to let the dream follow its natural course than to interfere with it. I find it too much effort to try to control my dreams. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, or if I just need practice – but it’s very frustrating when I wake up and realise the rare opportunity that I’ve lost.

Recurring dreams

Not since my childhood have I experienced true recurring dreams, but recently I have noticed disturbing similarities between many of mine. We all have themes that seem to dominate our dreams – that’s how many of us learn to realise when we are dreaming – in my case, it’s dreams where I’m being chased.

I don’t know whether I either believe or care about all that dream interpretation stuff, but I guess it makes sense that these dreams are due to stress, anxiety and fear. Anyway, I often don’t mind chase dreams. Sometimes I get a  weird thrill from them (this probably means I’m some sick-minded psychopath). Usually I’m running from the bad guy in a TV programme or film I’ve just watched – Robert Knepper’s character from the last series of Heroes wormed his way into my dreams quite frequently when the show was being aired in the UK.

In the past few months, however, my ‘chase’ dreams have been dominated by one character. It’s embarrassing to even type this, but give me a chance to at least try to explain the oddities of my mind.

Lord Voldemort.

Yep, Harry Potter’s noseless nemesis.

Now, I’m a super-duper Harry Potter fan – not quite a nerd, but close – so perhaps it shouldn’t really surprise me that he features in a lot of my dreams. There is but one problem – I have never been scared by him, or his character. Voldemort doesn’t even rank in my top 10 villains – he’s too one-dimensional. Yes, he’s good at what he does, but it was obvious from the first chapters of the Philosopher’s Stone that he would be defeated by Harry in some grand, epic showdown. Voldemort was never going to win.

So if I’m not scared of the character, then why the heck am I running from him? I can only conclude that some part of me is attracted to Ralph Fiennes’ portrayal of Voldemort, a thought that is too hideous to imagine. He has no nose. This is the kind of thing that disturbs me about my dreams. Maybe I’m too disgusted by my subconscious to allow myself to throw myself headfirst into the world of lucid dreaming.

Anyway, I can’t get hold of a psychologist right now, so I’ll continue.

I’ve had at least a dozen dreams in the past few months where Voldemort has been chasing me, but not one of them has been lucid. Yes, they haven’t been identical, but you would think that by now I would be able to recognise the patterns that these dreams take. It frustrates me that I have these dreams so frequently, but still feel fearful within them. But as well as the fear, I admit that these dreams can be exhilarating. My dream self is agile and elusive, and soars as she runs. When she allows herself to be caught, she escapes with ease. She likes to play with the powerful, which is completely irrational. Maybe I am lucid within these dreams, but I don’t allow myself to realise it. Maybe I am influencing, even controlling my dream character to a tiny degree, but nothing that gets in the way of a normal, thrilling, chase dream.

And now I’ve confused myself even more.

Happy dreaming.


Written by Freya

Sunday 20th November 2011 at 2:18 am

Posted in Dreams

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