Dear Doctor Freud where are you? I need help

Dr. Freud; I have been have some very strange things happening in my dreams and I wonder if you could help me understand them?

Dreaming is as much a part of human behavior as eating, sleeping or mating.  It also appears to be just as prevalent in some animals species.  And yet we really know very little about the process or the meaning of dreams.  There are many theories about dreams from the supernatural to the psychological.  However, none of the ones I have read resonate with me.   Still, clearly our actual daytime awake-life contributes to our nighttime, asleep-life in someway; of course the 64,000 dollar question is how?  For certain, our dreams in someway reflect our concerns, anxieties, aspirations and activities.  I use the word “life” for the dream world on purpose because my dream world is a separate place, a separate life, mine but not the same as the other life of mine.

While my dream world does include many vignettes that come only once and disappear, leaving nary a trance, the rest of my dreams belong to something more lasting.  There are some themes, places, people and activities that reoccur in my dreams over and over again, some for over 40 years.  They do not just reoccur in a static form, they change and update with each new episode just like my awake-life does.   For  example for 20 years after I quit smoking I still smoked in my dreams.  Because I was so righteous about quitting when I was awake, I kept my dream smoking a secret from the people I knew and from myself when awake.  In my dream I knew I was cheating and I knew it was only in my dreams – it was a secret I guarded carefully.  Eventually it slipped out because I  remembered a fragment of one of those smoking dreams when I woke up.   Yes I felt shame, but the awake person for years kept the secret for the asleep person.

Two constant and regular themes of my dreams are running and fighting.  Many times I have dreamed about foot races that ends up in a maze in an attic. In the beginning of each race I am racing and thinking I can win the race, but then comes the maze, often are sliding down a long incline or climbing up out of a canyon.  As soon as I enter the maze, I know what is happening and I know I will not be able to get back to racing and will continue to struggle in the maze.  It is very frustrating because I know I could have won.  There is – although I have not had this one in a long time – a battle, fought in trenches outside a house I lived in in Southeast Asia – we never have enough ammunition.  That dream does not progress, it just repeats the anxiety, frustration and tension.   After 9-11 and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan I started to have a periodic “you are back in the army” dream; each time I remember the previous ones and each time I am older – still I have to go to basic training just as I did when I was 18 years old.  With the rest of recruits – they are young and in the army for the first time, I am preparing for war and sometimes even get to the battle; the count for my tours of duty in the army is now five, one fifty years about and four in dream-time since.

In another series of dreams, there is a house that resembles the last I house I lived in when I was married; only it is different in unusual, confusing ways and the people who live in it change from dream to dream.  Although there is one constant occupant, my wife lives there, but not with me.  I visit, stay over night and talk to the people that live there, it would be more pleasant if some of the rooms had not changed and become strange.  There is another house of dreams that my wife and I live in it together. It is huge, more like a village or a large building.  It has many rooms, almost separate apartments, they are scattered around in bizarre ways. One cannot just walk directly into any of the separate sections of rooms, one has to happen upon them.  As I walk through it I recognize it and know I have lived there before – at the same time I am aware it is not a real world, but it is real in its own way.

In the last few years, there has been new trend to my dreams, a change in the format if you would.  The new format of  my dream world contains some bits and pieces from computers and cyberspace mixed in with the old format of people and things from a bricks and mortar existence.  In this format, I have icons with links to people – push the button and the person enters the dream, I cut and paste dialogues and written transcripts and I see a kind of sidebar during the life action; the sidebar doesn’t have advertisements, but it does have options if I should want to move to another place or thought.   In these dreams, I write blogs, other opinion pieces, letters and stories  – all with the use of the computer and the Internet.  Those dreams are not this and not that; not just people doing and saying things and not just abstracts used to make a point or articulate a thought or the dream itself .  They are a combination of the two, much like one of those films that are part cartoon and part live action.  The films that have cartoon characters acting and speaking mixed in with real actors acting and speaking their lines.

Wow! What if this is the future of human thought?  Am I dreaming the future of our species, or my own future?  In some way my daytime life is invading my nighttime life and altering it – is dream-life doing the same to the rest of my life?  Will my asleep thinking mechanisms alter my awake thinking process?   Where is Sigmund Freud when I need him?


2 Responses to “Dear Doctor Freud where are you? I need help”

  1. 1 rexdstock1 November 27, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Cool. Productive. Helpful.


  2. 2 rexdstock1 November 27, 2012 at 9:06 am

    It was a very nice job of opening up on a subject that I find very interesting, a subject I have pursued for many a year… It was “cool” to read your thoughts.

    It was “productive” for me for reasons alluded to, and I think it is productive for others to read too. Something about shared experiences making us more civilized, less afraid.

    And, for all that, it makes your nice piece, “helpful”.

    Over. And. Out.


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