What’s In a Dream

Scientists don’t readily agree on why we dream. There is the psychoanalytic perspective, claiming that we visualize our unconscious thoughts, desires, fears, and motivations. Then there’s the activation-synthesis model. This model suggests that dreams are a subjective interpretation of brain activity during REM sleep. There are ideas that dreams are the brain’s way of interpreting data we gathered during the day or simply a reaction to external stimuli. There are people that believe that dreams are inconsequential and random, as well as those who feel they have strong meaning. There are even folks who ascertain that they dream prophetic.

I happen to be agnostic on the subject. I don’t have a strong opinion on the why, partially because my dreams are so wildly varied. Sometimes they are clearly influenced by my day. Other times they undoubtedly reflect my inner voice. Then again, sometimes I wake up and shake my head, wondering where exactly my brain was going with that. And yes – I dream in vivid technicolor, and there’s texture, taste, sounds, smells. From time to time I also dream intense emotion. Some dreams have clear and specific plot lines, others are a jumble of unrelated images and impressions. It’s all so very, very.

Lately I’ve been experiencing a series of hyper-lifelike dreams; the kind where you wake nonplussed and unsure of reality. The action is never spectacular – cooking a meal, taking a stroll, having a quiet conversation – but the experience is uncannily familiar. In the moment of semi-consciousness, these dreams feel more like recent memories than fantasy.

Uncomfortable Caveat: In all these dreams I’m still married to The Douche.

Each time as I struggle through that hazy half-dreaming, half-awake state, I start to panic. The dreams themselves aren’t nightmares; they’re mundane and unremarkable. However, the few seconds of partially believing that I’m still trapped with him are enough to make me frantic. It’s unpleasant to say the least.

I’m not sure what’s precipitated these dreams. The idea of still being with him is clearly distressing, so I certainly wouldn’t say that there’s an underlying yearning to get back together. If I had to armchair psychoanalyze myself, I presume it’s most likely that I simply miss having someone there.

Don’t get me wrong, my life is pretty great. It is so ridiculously full of blessings that I should be overflowing with gratitude. On the other hand, I think it is human nature to desire things we don’t have, particularly if we feel they are things we’ve lost. Part of me feels a hole, not having someone to share the simple, daily things with. While my life is happily endowed with a plethora of family and friends, there’s something more intimate that I no longer have. (Not intimate in the sense of bom-chicka-bom-wow, but comfortable and exclusive. I’m having trouble with the words.)

All in it seems perfectly natural, but dang I wish my subconscious didn’t have to use him as the example. I swear, my brain is my own worst enemy. Sheesh.


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