The weirdness of my dreams.


I’ve been doing a lot of Google searches about dreams to find out if anyone else knows what I’m talking about, but I haven’t seen anyone else describe this exact same thing, which makes me wonder if it’s just me, or if it’s one of those things that’s so hard to describe it’s just taken for granted as something that comes with the territory of dreams, which are weird by nature.

I’m talking about the feeling or mood that accompanies dreams, not the strangeness or illogic of the actual actions taking place.  In fact, it’s in the more mundane dreams–those that imitate real life or take place in familiar settings or situations–where the feeling is the strongest.   It’s almost impossible to describe.   Things just feel different–not in a bad or good or scary way–but just different.  It’s not that things seem flatter or the colors seem washed out  because my dreams have as much color (sometimes more so) in them as my reality and things certainly don’t appear flat or two dimensional.   It’s not that fantastical things happen either, because in most of my dreams, nothing much happens at all (if anything weird happens, it’s more likely to be of a slightly absurd or random nature than anything resembling a fantasy novel).  It’s not anything you can actually point to in the dream and say, “That’s it, right there!”   It’s a vaguely eerie mood or feeling, but it’s not really an emotion.   I always think of it as a “parallel universe” effect–things can even be the same as they are in waking reality, but you know it isn’t waking reality because it just doesn’t feel the same.   It’s as if my everyday reality were transported to another universe.   All my dreams have this same parallel-universeness about them which makes me able to distinguish them from waking reality–most of the time.

Sometimes my brain makes errors though. I’ve been a little obsessed over the past day or two with two or maybe three memories that I can’t figure out were memories of a dream or memories of a real event.   Complicating matters is the fact that I occasionally experience dissociation, especially derealization, in which waking reality takes on that same odd feeling dreams have.   When that happens there’s nothing much (other than waking up) that distinguishes “dream” from “reality” and that makes me feel a bit insane sometimes.

8 thoughts on “The weirdness of my dreams.

  1. Very familiar with this schism between dream and the waking world and particularly the liminal space between in which we are partly in both states and feel the power of something echoy and surreal. I had a powerful experience of this this morning after waking from a profound dream in which my mother was sitting on me and would not get off. I felt myself strung between two worlds and somewhat paralysed. Its hard to put into words, but I get where you are coming from with this. De-realisation is a strange phenomena and difficult to describe.

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  2. My dreams often feel as though I’m watching them on TV. Not a movie, because that would be big and loud and in my face. But, just sitting on a couch watching what’s happening. And even that wouldn’t be an exact description.

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  3. I get what Leslie is saying, more like you’re watching what’s going on rather than a part of it. But also, I’m thinking, don’t dreams take place in a rather slow-motion way? Is that the weirdness you are describing, things going on are in slow-motion? That might be the difference you are talking about. I haven’t been able to recall any dreams in years now, I would think I’m not having them but I know that’s not supposed to be so.

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    • Slow motion….hmmm…I haven’t paid attention, but it’s possible. It’s just a weird mood that accompanies them. If I ever become aware that I’m dreaming (it’s happened a few times–it’s the beginnings of lucidity) I’ll try to remind myself to pay attention to the speed things are moving. I do feel a little disconnected in my dreams, like I’m watching someone else.
      The few times I became almost lucid were interesting. I remember looking down at my hands (someone said this keeps you from waking up) and was able to stay in the dream for a few more minutes. It worked, but I noticed a “transparent” quality to everything, as if the substance of the world was thinner or less substantial. I tried to get myself to fly, but the dream began to literally dissolve before my eyes (like it actually melted away in my field of vision) and I woke up (I was paralyzed for a minute or two though because my body was still asleep–this is called “sleep paralysis” and keeps you from acting out your dreams).


  4. My childhood dreams were typically surreal, nothing like normal life. But when I had a post traumatic nervous breakdown at the age of 14, while my waking life was bizarre and surreal, my dreams were like ordinary, boring, day-to-day life!

    When I was 16 I recovered from my mental breakdown, enough to resume normal life. Immediately my dreams reverted to being bizarre and surreal again. I suspect that having bizarre dreams could be an indication that you are pretty much “normal” in your waking life. At least, going by my experience, that seems to be the case. I also remember reading somewhere that this may be true for people in general.

    When I was in my late thirties, my doctor prescribed a beta blocker for me to treat high blood pressure and a heart arrhythmia. While I was on that medication, my dreams were so vivid that I almost could not tell them from real life. After my medication was switched, my dreams stopped seeming so real.

    Many medications can have a profound effect on the quality of one’s dreams. Could this be what is happening in your case?

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    • Well, I’m not on any meds so I doubt that has anything to do with it. I love my dreams though. 🙂
      It annoys me that more of them aren’t vivid and exciting, but I enjoy even the boring ones–most of the time.

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  5. I have similar feelings after waking up from certain dreams. Things just feel surreal or off and it makes me doubt my senses, which puts me in a particularly bad mood. I’m not entirely sure why it happens that way or what specifically about the dreams seems to trigger these feelings, but it happens quite a lot for me. Sometimes it’s been a repressed memory fighting it’s way to the surface, but mostly just random.

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  6. yes much more intense emotions that do not coincide with happenings in the dream which are mundane… day to say stuff and I also can confuse the mundane realistic dreams with reality and wonder if I did that thing or not!

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