Friday, September 16, 2011


Everyone dreams. Most people can tell the difference between dreams and real life. I’m not so good at that. My dreams are extremely vivid. (I would have been a great architect in Inception.) So when I wake up, I’m often very confused. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shaken Cal awake and said, “The police are pounding on the front door.” His response after many such episodes is, “I’m not getting up. The police can beat down the door if they want in.” Now before you wonder if I’ve committed any felonies, the answer is no. I suspect these dreams may be the result of the stories of Nazi soldiers breaking into my mother’s home and chasing after my grandfather. But these dreams make sense. I have an existential reason for them.

But I have other nightmares. These are worse. They wake me up and leave me breathless or hyperventilating. They’re claustrophobia dreams. Which would be understandable if I was claustrophobic, but I’m not. Closed in spaces don’t bother me in the least. You need someone to creep on their tummy down the crawlspace and put up insulation 100 feet from the floor opening, I’m your crawler. The idea of inching my way through air conditioning ducts to break into an evil lair sounds like fun to me. So why do I have these claustrophobia nightmares? Is there anyone else out there who has psycho dreams too? I’d love to know I’m not the only one.


  1. I rarely have nightmares anymore, but my dreams are incredibly vivid and entertaining.

  2. I do suffer fro claustrophobia, so nightmares like yours would most likely send me into a catatonic state!

    I rarely have nightmares anymore, but when I do, they are horrifyingly vivid and graphic and usually take me all day to shake.

    My most common dream is one where someone in my family does something rotten, and then I have to spend half the morning figuring out if I have a legitimate reason to be angry with them.

  3. Susan & E Louise--

    I wonder if writers tend to have vivid dreams given that we spend so much time in our imagination. Or perhaps that's why we have live in our imaginations so much--it's as vivid as real life only infinitely more exciting.

  4. It's been a while since I've had a nightmare or one that I can remember. The claustrophobia thing could be a metaphor for something else since you're not actually claustrophobic. My sister gets nightmares about her teeth falling out sometimes when she's stressed out, but she doesn't generally have a fear of losing teeth or teeth in general.

    I can have pretty vivid dreams, but I don't think they're to your level. I wake up knowing it's a dream even if the dream itself was very detailed. I did once get woken up by my alarm while in the middle of a dream, and when I opened my eyes, I was still seeing the room in my dream instead of my bedroom. That was pretty weird.

  5. Yes!
    I get really bizarre dreams. I dreamt that: Ariel was dating the actor from Thor, my rhetoric teacher was a Terminator, pirates in the basement and modern day LOTR (orcs driving a pick up truck).

  6. I get super vivid dreams too! Sometimes I get it mixed up with reality until I actually wake up (not the same as "waking up" in a dream, which has happened to me before, too). But I haven't had nightmares in a while. Hope it gets better for you!