I often have strange dreams. Many of them sound like nightmares to other people, but they aren’t usually nightmares to me. For Me, nightmares aren’t typically what you would imagine. I have three very specific nightmares. I either dream of needing to use the bathroom and not being able to because the bathroom is disgusting and overflowing; or there are bugs everywhere and I can’t go anywhere or touch anything. These are very rare and I usually just wake up feeling creeped out and relieved. These are mild nightmares.
The third nightmare is the worst! I simply get stuck and then panic. For example, one night I was having a rather pleasant dream and as I was walking up the stairs, I was suddenly unable to move. Nothing was preventing me from moving.,. I was just stuck. I tried and I tried but it was like I was caught in invisible quicksand. I tried to speak and nothing happened. When this happens in my dreams, I get so fixated on trying to get unstuck that everything goes dark as I start to freak out! I usually realize that I’m dreaming, but I’m paralyzed. So, I try to scream as loud as I can, because I know that if I scream loud enough in my dreams, I’ll probably cry out in the real world. And I do. My husband usually wakes me up or I come out of it on my own when I hear myself yelling out. It’s kind of awkward because when my husband asks what I was dreaming about, I usually say that it was something nice and then I just got stuck. I don’t have a lot of nightmares, but this is the most common and the most distressing of the bad dreams.
Then there are normal (all be it weird) dreams and there are dreams that are especially surreal. One night, I dreamt of clouds with big chunks of earthy rocks stuck to the bottom of them. It was almost as if the clouds were the consistency of marshmallows and the bottom of the clouds picked up big slabs of rocks. It was a pretty visual and felt surreal. Some of the clouds collided and melted down into the trees and cars nearby. It was slow, like a casual walking pace, but it caused a massive amount of damage to the car and the street lamp with it’s rocks. I was standing on the sidewalk watching. Normally, when strange things happen in my dreams, they seem normal. In this dream, I was captivated by them and was focused on watching them float across the sky and collide. It felt different.
There was once a typical dream that turned into a surreal dream. We were looking out for tornadoes, which is a common thing here in Tornado Alley during the spring. What became surreal was when I was following a river to find where the tornadoes were sighted. There were dead bodies in the river, shriveled and covered in the green slime of nature. When I said I couldn’t see the tornadoes, a dead body raised it’s decrepit hand from the water and pointed. I looked outward pass the underside of a bridge and saw the impressive multi-tornado storm in the far off distance. I remember the feeling of awe and the detail of the river of bodies. There were not many and despite it’s morbidity there was a beauty to it. It’s like the same beauty you can see in a tornado or a fire. I wasn’t afraid of the bodies. I had no fear and I was captivated at the scene before me.
The latest surreal dream was one of beauty and amusement. It started with tiny dinosaurs (maybe 3 inches tall) with pug heads and energetic dog behaviors. I laughed and marveled at the tiny “pugasaur” as he stomped his dinosaur feet around my table, wagging his dino tail, and panting with his flat doggy tongue. He looked like a brontosaurus with stegosaurus spikes and a pug’s head. Pugs are funny dogs. Pugasaurs are even funnier. When someone said that the Goddess of Flowers was outside, I reluctantly moved away from the adorable pugasaurs.
There was a pretty woman in robes with flowers in her long red hair. In my mind, she looked like a Celtic Goddess. She had, what I thought, was a very fine grained sand in her cupped hands. As she blew the sand from her hands, it all turned into flowers flowing into the air. I remember the flowers looking so beautiful. They hung in the air, defying gravity. I remember my husband calling out to me, but I was captivated. “I want to go out into the flowers!” I said. He asked why and I replied “Because the Goddess of Flowers is out there and they are so beautiful.” I had this feeling of awe and happiness. I ran out among the flowers. I definitely had a distinct urge to explore and experience the world.
I understood that it was night time, though the sky was twilight with a colorful sky and an almost glow in the air. I remember thinking that how strange it was that the sun was out during the night time. The sun was rising and setting backwards at a much faster rate than what is possible. The clouds were also rolling backwards. It seemed like time had stopped and then rewound, but I was suspended in a timeless state.
Don’t mistake my description for lucid dreaming. I’ve had lucid dreams before and those dreams still feel normal in a sense. I had a dream once in which said to myself that what was happening was “unreal” and “it was like I’m dreaming” and then I realized “Oh! I’m dreaming!” At that point I decided that I could fly and so it was, and so forth. That felt like a normal dream with the exception that I was lucid. I’ve not yet experienced a lucid surreal state of dreaming.
These two types of dreams – normal vs surreal – are very different. They feel different, but it’s difficult to explain. When I normally dream, everything feels normal even if it’s a weird dream. The surreal dreams don’t feel normal and it’s like I’m in a magical place. Everything is brighter and more clear. It’s like the difference between being sober and intoxicated. It’s like being in a different state of consciousness.