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Floating Nightmare

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:37 pm
by ElTipejoLoco
It's kind of hard for me to gauge my own fear when it comes to nightmares since I've always been sort of a lucid dreamer. The few times I haven't been aware that I was dreaming haven't really been frightening and are so standard I only later register the experiences if I get a feeling of déjà vu later on in life. When I have frightening dreams, I tended to be able to wake myself up by rolling my eyes back and blinking repeatedly.

That isn't to say I haven't had nightmares, but the ones that have made my heart race or gotten me to double-check my well-being are rather mundane. Dreams where I am stung by a giant bee or am hit with a blunt object, for example, tend to cause me to wake in a panic and register a feeling of pain wherever I should have received injury. These kept me awake longer than, say, nightmares where I am chased by wolves or some unidentified creature approaches me, where I'd just fall back asleep after interrupting the dream.

With that background out of the way, there are some nightmares where I've felt particularly uneasy, but without any actual pain and regardless of lucidity. Or rather, perhaps they made me feel uncomfortable because of said lucidity. They were recurring dreams, most of them, but they all had a common theme:

I could fly.

Or rather, perhaps that's not the right way to describe what happened in those dreams. I wasn't bound by gravity in them, for the most part. I would just start floating without any particular control over my flight. But as a young, small child at the time of these dreams, there were certain things I was uncertain of with the miniscule knowledge I had available.

For example, would the conventional ceiling fan at the highest setting be fast enough to injure me?

These floating dreams tended to happen in my dad's doctor's office, and the ceiling fan would already be on in the room as I started ascending towards the ceiling. The sense of unease came from the unfortunate feeling of SOME control over the situation. I could move my arms and legs, I could tell I was dreaming, but I couldn't really wake up. Some part of my young mind didn't fully register in what direction I should roll my eyes before blinking to wake up. And the speed of said ascent was just slow enough that looking up at the ceiling fan just made me more nervous, and would frequently make me be unsure of when to cease my eyelids' movement so as to escape the dream.

These dreams got worse once I made a habit of sleeping in the top mattress of a bunk bed, closer to the ceiling of the room I slept in.

In any case, after some instances of waking up after reaching the fan's blades and unsuccessful attempts at returning to terra firma, I used my lucidity to try something else: I tried moving horizontally, to move away from rooms with ceiling fans. This worked to escape the fans, but frequently lead to other hazards, such as the halogen lights in the other room, or the power lines outside of the building, or suddenly accelerating upwards at too high a pace, which induced a combination of vertigo, and a feeling that my body was getting colder. These floating dreams never had a 'win scenario' for me in my head, despite lucidity. And the feeling of inevitably losing to my subconscious bothered me more than dreams where I could remove my nails and discover I was a hollowed body filled with some sort of powder, or ones where I was shot from a distance and bled green.

Well, actually, there's one last variation to the floating dream, but I've only actually experienced it once unlike its recurring ceiling fan variation, but it's so mind-numbingly stupid that I think even as a child I recognized this and literally just didn't resist the outcome.

I floated out of my house in the neighborhood, because some giant fat combination of a clown and a genie was apparently just inhaling air as hard as it could in my neighbor's front yard. It looked ridiculous, and though part of me recognized that I was in danger, I think I consciously just crossed my arms, frowned, and let the creature inhale me into its mouth and end the dream.

It's weird that the more memorable the nightmare is, the less frightened I've felt of it, now that I've had to write 'em out. The most mundane one could probably be summed up as a fear of floating into appliances, or out of comfortable atmosphere? Geez.

Re: Floating Nightmare

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:21 pm
by RightClickSaveAs
That sounds pretty frightening actually. I've had flying dreams, which are apparently really common, but none where I've been floating uncontrollably, that seems much scarier.

I wish I could lucid dream. I think I've gotten close a few times to the point where I had some control over things, and in the flying dreams I'm usually able to guide it somewhat, but it always ends up running away from me, and I'm never totally in charge of it.

Re: Floating Nightmare

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:24 pm
by matt
Wow, most people think that flying dreams are good, but it seems like you had an unpleasant twist to them! I wonder what sort of dream analysis could be done on that. My psychiatrist when I ask him about my dreams always says "what does it mean to you?" I guess he's of the opinion that you are best equipped to analyze your own dream imagery.

So if you don't mind me asking, what does this nightmare mean to you?

Re: Floating Nightmare

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:45 pm
by ElTipejoLoco
Not sure what this recurring nightmare meant to me at the time, other than perhaps I might've just been afraid of things that tend to be in a blindspot and out of my reach. And as a kid, the ceiling fan was the prime candidate. And as I slowly started growing up, the fear moved on to power lines and planes, I guess? It's a really old nightmare since I haven't had any that I could remember in a long time. I wasn't very tall at the time- not even standing on a chair or step-ladder would've let me reach the fan, for example.

Re: Floating Nightmare

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:47 pm
by matt
Perhaps it's things outside your reach (figuratively) - ie. outside your control seem threatening and overwhelming?

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Who would want to be hit by a ceiling fan? I accidentally stuck my fingers in between the grill of a table fan, and it wasn't fun...