Recurring Nightmares?

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  1. melbel profile image94
    melbelposted 12 years ago

    Do you have recurring nightmares? If so, what are they about?

    I have this dream where there are a lot of tornadoes and I'm in a field or in a big box store and I'm trying to find a safe place. I'm also trying to make sure my cats are okay.

    Another recurring nightmare is that there is a tiger stalking me. I'm in the house and the tiger is outside of my house trying to get in. In the dream he's either hiding in the front yard to pounce on me or walks around on the roof and I can hear his steps. For some reason, in this dream my cats are outside and I am trying to get them in the house so they're safe.

    Actually, a lot of my nightmares involve making sure my cats are okay.

    What kind of weird dreams do you have?

    1. lobobrandon profile image87
      lobobrandonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Thankfully none

      1. ALUR profile image61
        ALURposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I used to have demonic dreams until I realized my own fears and lack of truth to my essence as a free spirit were creating it's own poltergeist-if you will.

        I rarely dream of animals, but more often than not strangers faces peek into my night vision.

        I have learned a technique to reduce nightmares: Simply sit in your bed and reflect as flashes the events of the day from miniscule to grand and it's likely you'll flush the subconscious.

        Otherwise, take heed of your dreams as they are the portal for other things:)

        1. Pcunix profile image90
          Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          They are not portents of other things.

          They do appear to be part of our long term memory processing - I suspect just a side effect, but whether or not that is true, we know that screwing with dreams affects memory.  Nothing mystical, just biology at work.

          I have suffered from "REM sleep behavior disorder" most of my life.  You are supposed to be paralyzed when dreaming, I am not.  If I dream that someone has broken into our home, I'll jump out of bed and tackle the invisible intruder.  It sounds amusing, but I have hurt myself many times while doing this.

          1. melbel profile image94
            melbelposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            This is really interesting. Do you have a link or something where I can read more about this? Especially the "screwing with dreams affects memory" thing. My sister learned something about "inserting information" via audio during lucid dreaming as a way to memorize things (studying) in one of her psych classes. Also, she said something about taking a nap after studying helps with processing the information, making it easier to memorize or something. Sounds like trippy "Inception" stuff to me, but I would like to learn more about it.

            I don't think dreams are like signs of anything. I think I dream about tornadoes because I've seen a number of tornadoes and maybe the tiger thing... I don't know, everyone has a dream of a big scary animal, right? My dad dreams of bears breaking into the house. My mom's scary dreams have a big dog and my sister dreams of wolves probably because she saw a wolf outside when she was like five or six and it scared her then.

            Ever wake up from a dream and think, "Holy crap! That was awesome, I'm totally going to adapt that into a novel.. it'll be a bestseller." and then a few hours later, "Wtf, was I thinking? That was the dumbest thing ever."

            Pcunix, I don't know if this is related to what you experience, but I have been known to sleep walk. I'll be dreaming AND I'll be talking to people at the same time. It's strange for me because I'm in two places at once... I'm aware that I'm asleep, I'm aware of my physical location, but I'm also in a completely different place in my dream. For example, when I was younger my mom was making really good homemade brownies and I told her to wake me up from my nap when they were done. She "woke me up" but I was actually kind of lucid dreaming (while in the kitchen eating this brownie) that I was up north in the country driving on a country road. And while driving, I was wondering where the fire station was. But in real life, I was yelling at my mom, "Where's the fire station!?"

            Mom: It's just down the street.
            Me: NOT THAT ONE!
            Mom: What fire station?
            Me: The one in Berrien Springs! (where I was driving in my dream.)

            1. Pcunix profile image90
              Pcunixposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              I think sleepwalking is different than RSBD, but they are probably related.  RSBD tends to be more violent because it is acting out the dream rather than just doing something mundane.

              Link?  Top one for "sleep memory formation" was this: … 161934.htm

              As I said, it's just biology at work.  Fascinating stuff - I think much more interesting than mumbo jumbo about portents and warnings from other planes and all that nonsense :-)

        2. couturepopcafe profile image61
          couturepopcafeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          From what I've read, very few people are able to dream  as portents of things to come.  As portals, however, I understand that dreams open up our vision to what is going on in our lives.

          As far as the tiger and tornadoes dreams, it's easy to see Melbel is concerned about something and feeling overwhelmed even if she is unaware of it conciously.

          I don't think these are nightmares, though.  When you have a nightmare, you'll know the difference.  You'll wake up suddenly with your heart racing, maybe sweating, even in a scream and very afraid to go back to sleep.

    2. Cagsil profile image71
      Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this


    3. Jlbowden profile image86
      Jlbowdenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Melbel:

      You know it never dawned on my until you brought this topic up in a forum post. But to be honest with you I never have nightmares, nor do I rarely ever dream. Guess that I am either so tired at the end of the day, that I doze off into a deep sleep, or simply do not recall or remember dreams I've had during the night. Do not know if that's a good thing or a bad one?


  2. AshtonFirefly profile image69
    AshtonFireflyposted 12 years ago

    All the time.

  3. Ryan Queen profile image61
    Ryan Queenposted 12 years ago

    I have a recurring nightmare of me being on top of a high-rise building, and the edges of the building has no barrier, and some force is forcing me to the edge, trying to push me so that I'll fall, and I always fight that force then I'll wake up.

  4. Kathleen Cochran profile image78
    Kathleen Cochranposted 12 years ago

    I used to have two:  My mother is standing in the doorway to my room. I go to her and hug her.  At the same time another "Mother" walks past me down the hall.  How am I hugging.
    A friend (psychology major) explained because my father abandoned the family when I was about the age I am in the dream, I already know I can't trust him.  In my dream I'm questioning if I can trust my mother.  Haven't had that dream since.
    In the other I'm treading water in some kind of indoor water reservoir with a curved ceiling with indirect lighting.  The water goes right to the edge of the building and I have no idea how deep it is or if there is anything in there with me.  My friend explained that expressed my sense of powerlessness.  I've never had it again either.
    Interesting question.

    1. wordscribe43 profile image88
      wordscribe43posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      That's wild, I had a very similar recurring dream when I was a little girl.  There would be three of my "moms", they all looked identical...  I had to choose which one I was going to go home with.  They would all be saying "Laura, it's me.  How can you not recognize me?  Come with me, come with me!"  I'd finally choose one, and it was always the "wrong mom".  She'd be mean and wicked...  Terrifying.  hmm

  5. olodarkwriter profile image60
    olodarkwriterposted 12 years ago

    Many of my dreams are full-blown Hollywood productions, sometimes with real actors (like the one with Mark Wahlberg and Laura Dern). I am not really a big movie fan. My recurring dream is of my ex-wife of 26 years. Usually she is being mean to me or at least frustrating me in some way.

  6. wordscribe43 profile image88
    wordscribe43posted 12 years ago

    Yes, I do and they drive me crazy.  I have two different versions of the same theme: me being back in college.  In one dream, I am young again, college-aged.  It's the classic dream where you haven't actually been attending classes, but I have tests to take.  I've never been to the classrooms, have no idea what the subject matter is and I don't even know the professors.  The campus is always huge, even bigger than the University of Wisconsin, Madison where I went undergrad.  It's hundreds of square miles.  I'm wandering around aimlessly and somehow find the room.  The professor looks at me and tells me I am not allowed to take the test.

    In the next version, I'm the same age I am now.  Just like in my real life, I have kids and a husband.  But, for some reason I'm back in college, although I know I've already graduated.  I find an apartment, but keep getting lost and can't find my way back "home."  I finally get to the apartment and am so lonely.  I don't understand why I'm there.  I've already graduated (in fact I've already been to graduate school)... but for some reason my transcript is showing I still need 3 credit hours.  I miss my family deeply.  I call them and my husband tells me I HAVE to stay.  I keep saying I just don't care about the 3 credit hours and I just can't be here alone.  I always end up throwing away all my stuff in a big dumpster, getting in this beater of a car that barely runs and trying fecklessly to get home.  The car is broken, I'm lost, I have no money for gas, etc...  Wow, I think there's a lot to be read into these.

  7. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 12 years ago

    OK..  This is long (and I'm leaving off all kinds of recurring dreams/themes just to keep it from being longer); but for what it's worth or not worth....

    With the exception of after my mother died (when my sister and I both went through similar dreams, as if we were peeling away the issues to deal with, one layer by layer by layer (with the most obvious layer on top, and working our way down to the harder-to-figure-out bottom layers); my dreams tend to be very much a matter of (most often) my most recent days of images, thoughts, and words that get jumbled up and tossed out in a bizarre little situation.  I can pretty much track back each image/idea in each dream to something that had some kind of (even minor) impact on me in recent days.  Less "day-to-day" dreams involve my father (who died in 1973) showing up and being kind of distant and not saying anything; and discovering that my girlfriend (who also died in 1973) isn't really dead but is, instead, living some weird, silent, isolated, life in a nearby town.  I think the distance in the dreams about my father is that I went on and lived my adult life without him, so I know there's so much he never got to share.  With my girlfriend, I think it's because I didn't get to go to her funeral and really may never have quite believed she could really be dead.  She was 20 when she was killed. In those dreams I'm mildly angry at her for not letting me know she's OK and alive and for remaining silent all these years.  I've also had recurring dreams about my deceased mother-in-law and father-in-law, and those are whole separate issues in those dreams (but I pretty much know where they come from as far as any of my own "issues" about them go).

    Years ago I did have some recurring dreams about tigers being lose in a nearby town.  I had all three of my own children in the car and two of my sister's other children in the car.  The big dilemma of the dream was to make sure my sister's youngest child was also in the car.  There was something that went on in his life that made an impact on me and that separated him in one way from his siblings in my mind; and it was that my mother and I spent a lot more time with him when he was a baby.  Where the tiger thing came from was that the town was one that had a circus in it every year, and I chaperoned my son's kindergarten class when they went to that circus.  I could track the "feeling safe" issue to the fact that I had come to think of the car I had as familiar, comfortable, and safe (mainly because I have nervousness about smaller cars and had bought that one because it was mid-sized.  As I had it for awhile it had proven itself to apparently be very safe (no accidents in it).  Also, the town in question was where my friend who had been killed in a car accident with a very small car had lived, so there was a connection there.

    The kids were all fine in the dream, but there was always that thing about rounding up my sister's son (but then it would turn out he was really in the car with all of us anyway).  The thing was that I made sure the windows were up and the doors were locked, and we'd all sit in the car and look to see if the tigers (which had been reported on the news) were showing up anywhere.

    There was another one I had related to my son (the son who was adopted from infancy).  It was one with three shadowy figures showing up on my front lawn, and I'd be terrified and wondering what they wanted and why they were there.  (I know the reasons, and won't get into them in detail here).  Anyway, this was a recurring dream; and the figures were always "Zorro-like" characters, complete with hats.  The last dream they showed up in was a real nightmare.  Somehow I discovered they'd gotten into the house and were in the basement.  I locked the basement door but knew I couldn't stop them from coming upstairs.  I don't know where my two younger kids were in this dream.  It was just my son and me.  I pulled him over near me as far away from the basement door as we could stand.  The shadowy figures silently walked up the basement stairs, opened the door (as if it wasn't even locked), and walked by us without looking, and then walked out the front door. 

    I figured out that the shadowy figures were my son's birth family or background, and that I'd always kind of had them in the background of my mind and never knew anything much about them.  The dream had to do with my processing the reality of the existence of these people and my fear of what they might do if they ever showed up in our lives/his life.  At some point I must have had to process it and realize that they were there but wouldn't hurt us and weren't interested in either of us, including my son.  I guess I knew they couldn't "be kept in the basement" but they wouldn't hurt him either.  The shadowy look was because I didn't have images to put on them, but it was also because I equated black clothes with shadowy, dark, mysterious, and maybe even evil.  After the dream when they came out of the basement, didn't bother us, and just walked out the door; I never had that one again.

    The themes to both recurring dreams were of protecting the children in my life and keeping them close to me and safe.  They were also about my feeling as if I was entirely capable of doing that.  I've had a few other recurring (but not as frequent) dreams that I won't go into here, but I can pretty much track back to what the issue was that I was processing (or dealing with) in each.

    About three times I've had dreams about writing Hubs (lol), and I'm writing some really, really, good thing and very pleased with how great it is, and how well it's all coming along.  Sometimes I'll even take time out of writing and come to the forums and have a little discussion (as I do when I'm awake).  THEN - I wake up and discover that I didn't really write that "amazing" thing I thought I'd almost finished.  lol  Nobody needs to be a "big expert" to figure out that I'm dissatisfied with the stuff I write on here and feel like I have at least one really good Hub that needs to be written, and that I'm "writing" it in my mind - but can't make myself just write whatever it is for real.

    As far as the tiger thing goes, I've always had cats and cared a lot about them too.  I'm wondering if (besides the circus thing, and the fact that I've often wondered if the animals might get out) there's that day-to-day subconsciously noticing how tiger-like cats are when they move; and maybe the image of tigers is more likely to crop up if we need to "assign" something scary an image.  ???

    Interesting that you're concerned about making sure your cats are OK, but also that you're OK.  When I had my tiger dreams with the kids in the car, I had all three of my kids and my daughter was a preschooler in the dreams (no matter when I had the dreams after the first one); so I must have been in my mid- to late- thirties.  I wasn't at all worried about myself in those dreams.  I "knew" I knew how to keep the children safe.  I wonder if there's more confidence in our own ability to keep ourselves and someone like children (or pets) safe when we're in our mid-thirties.  That fierce protective instinct comes naturally to most people who very much love whoever/whatever is in their care/life.  I do know that I always had it in the back of my mind that if something like an intruder or a fire happened my instinct would be to gather up my kids so I'd have them near and be able to be sure they were safe.

    I have about six/seven other themes/recurring dreams, and I can pretty much tell where each of them comes from.  I don't really have nightmares that are - like - monsters of anything like that.  My nightmares are always pretty mild - dilemmas that feel more like nightmares when I'm dreaming, and then just seem stupid when I wake up.  lol

  8. IzzyM profile image86
    IzzyMposted 12 years ago

    You've all been watching too many movies.

    I,too, have recurring dreams and have no idea why.

    It seriously bugged me as a teenager to dream of my brother dying at sea, especially when he did actually die at sea a couple of years later.

    Since then, I have invariably dreamt of my son dying (I woke up crying at that one) and of other close family members suffering similar fates, none of which came into being.

    Dreams do not foretell the future, they can only visualise our underlying fears. Some of my latest dreams would keep a psycho-analyst in work for a year at least.

    But hey, I wake it, it wasn't real! Get on with living.
    [note to self: get a life]

    It's coming up to New Year. Last year I never made any resolutions, because I never keep them anyway.

    Maybe this year I should smile

    1. Lisa HW profile image61
      Lisa HWposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      My sister and I often share our stupid, bizarre, dreams.  We laugh about how they ridiculous they are.  I pretty much have zero imagination in my waking life, so it's fun to have a little "creativity" show up in some of those bizarre little dreams.  smile

  9. wordscribe43 profile image88
    wordscribe43posted 12 years ago

    Izzy, you're right about the movies.  My husband laughs at me because when I've had a really bad day and just want to tune everything out I turn on Lifetime Movie Network (LMN)...  He calls it "Laura's Movie Network"...  Anyway, one last recurring dream I have that definitely comes from those AWFUL movies is this dream:

    The cops come to the door and have a search warrant.  They tell me they're looking for a missing person.  I am always confused why they'd come to my house, but I go with it because I know they won't find anything.  But, alas I'm always wrong.  They end up finding an old, decayed corspe in my crawl space.  But, of course I know I haven't hurt anyone.  They arrest me, read me my rights and I'm taken off to jail.  My kids are screaming and crying, my husband is devastated.  But, no matter how I try or what I tell them they don't believe I'm not the murderer.  I am taken to jail.

    Now, how's that for too many movies?  lol

    PS... Lisa, 1973 sounds like an awful year for you... funny thing, it was for me as well.  My best friend when I was a child died of Leukemia.  sad

    1. Lisa HW profile image61
      Lisa HWposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      wordscribe43, it was a very bad year.  hmm  My other close girlfriend's seventeen-year-old brother also died weeks after having Leukemia diagnosed. 

      Your dream does kind of sound like too many movies.  lol   (TV news shows up in my dreams lots of times.  lol)

  10. wordscribe43 profile image88
    wordscribe43posted 12 years ago

    Oh, I have a question for you guys...  When you're having a dream or a nightmare, do you know you are dreaming?  Are you able to "snap yourself out of it?"  Funny thing with me, I don't know it's a dream.  It's as real as any daytime event for me.  My husband says he knows he's dreaming, and even if a monster is chasing him or something, he can tell himself "Oh, it's only a dream."  I can't do that, maybe I could somehow learn though.

    1. melbel profile image94
      melbelposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      You actually can learn, from what I've heard. It happens to me a lot, but not all the time. My ex-husband would continually try to learn how to do it. I think it's lucid dreaming.

  11. IzzyM profile image86
    IzzyMposted 12 years ago

    I don't know I am dreaming until I am nearly awake, but then I want to return to my 'new reality' which is the dream, partly because I know I can fix the problems and partly because it's just a better place to be.

  12. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 12 years ago

    I pretty much don't know I'm dreaming.  In fact, sometimes even if I gradually start to wake up I still have a little bit of the dream kind of running until I wake up more.  I love it when there's some big, but very realistic and ordinary, dilemma in a dream; and then I wake up and discover I don't really have that problem to deal with.  smile  Too bad that wouldn't happen to the "awake" problems, right?

  13. Kathleen Cochran profile image78
    Kathleen Cochranposted 12 years ago

    I'd encourage y'all to talk to someone in the field of psychology if your dreams really bother you.  Like I wrote, once a meaning was given for my dreams, I stopped having them.  And I started having them at about age 8.  I was over 40 when they stopped.

  14. ftclick profile image57
    ftclickposted 12 years ago

    Well with animal control laws being lax in certain parts of the country it can certainly happen. It did in Ohio where wild animals were loose.


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