[bct] dreams.

  • From: "jeff" <j1armstrong@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "blind cool tech mail list" <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 21:05:01 -0600

Hello again,

I had many of the same kinds of dreams you all described. I would sometimes dream of falling from the top of a skyscraper, only to wake just before impact. I also had something called "night terrors". I would wake crying or screaming from horrific dreams that were more terrifying than any book or movie I've ever experienced. I believe many of them had to do with the violence of our home and the sermons I sometimes heard at the Baptist church. A child certainly should never be exposed to the subject matter they were screaming about at church. They went on about "hell fire" and damnation and fiery rivers of molten lava and how any thing I did wrong was going to end me up there. I often dreamed of face to face battles with "satan". I usually woke in a cold sweat. To afraid to scream out for Mom or Dad. I'd usually pull the covers over my head and lie there shaking until I eventually settled down and slept again. Children are far to fragile and believing to hear such traumatizing things and this subject matter effected me well into my teen years. My dad was a Baptist and the church we went to was what some call a "holy roller" church. I could never belong to another organized church. I just couldn't. My faith is comforting to me now and is a mostly private affair. I wonder if those people ever know how much damage they do? My older sister needed counseling to be deprogrammed from her similar experiences. I don't believe in the "dream doctor" or any of that crud. Just look at the general theme of your dreams and you'll figure out what your brain was dealing with and trying to work out. Now days I don't dream as much, or at least remember as much as I used to. I will occasionally have dreams in which I feel terror. My family tells me that I moan and groan while sleeping sometimes. It's pretty seldom though. Mary, my wife, was robbed at gunpoint about 10 years ago at her business. For quite some time afterwards, she had very real dreams that the perpetrator was in our house and once even woke me to tell me that she knew they were in our house. Once the criminal was caught and imprisoned, she stopped having these dreams. After my father died, I used to have dreams about him coming back to life and talking to me. Studies show that the brain actually works just as hard or even harder during most of sleep than while awake and the only thing that keeps us from acting out our dreams is the paralytic chemicals our brain sends throughout the body during dreaming. People who "sleepwalk" have a problem where these chemicals are not excreted into the bloodstream as they should be. Another condition is where you wake and the chemicals have not worn off. It can be quite frightening to feel paralyzed but it is very easily explained. Many people report this experience as feeling held down or suffocated. It is all a chemical balancing act and one adjustment that gets out of alignment can produce strange and surprising results. I have studied the whole subject of sleep and dreaming quite thoroughly and enjoy reading or watching anything about the subject. Once demystified, dreams can be a way to monitor our own subconscious mind. Do not, however, discount the reality of dreams that don't have any real connection to anything or anyone. Perhaps these dreams are just our brain randomly reviewing things from the preceding days or longer time periods. It is currently believed that the brain compares memories during sleep and that dreaming might also help the brain to weigh the importance of each memory and which to keep and which to erase. Our brains seem to do maintenance during "down time". Dreams are usually only remembered or shall I say experienced when someone wakes during the dream. something about waking during a dream seems to allow us to remember them. If we wake after the R.E.M. phase of sleep has ended, we won't remember any dreams for that night. Could it be that some dreams are so disturbing that our brain wakes us to stop the dream's progress. Perhaps the direction of the dream is simply too intense to allow it to continue? Well, simply a fascinating subject as I said before. Thanks everyone for the input and experiences.

Jeff Armstrong,

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