These dreams are not just dreams, they are lifelike. In fact, I cannot tell the difference between the dream and real life. There are times when I've woke up disoriented, not entirely sure if I was still dreaming or if I was actually awake. When I wake it's with the full body shake and twitch. Literally jerking myself out of sleep. Most nights it's difficult to fall back asleep. There are a number of strategies I use. Positive self talk. Reading. Taking a Gravol (motion sickness pill - makes me drowsy).
This week I had a humdinger of a terror. One who's residual tendrils are still stalking my thoughts. I can't remember the last time I had a dream as violent as the one Thursday night. Thursday, in my dream someone tried to kill me and the sensation and image is very vivid and real for me. I know dreams have meaning but Friday night when I slipped into sleep my brain took me back to the place - it took a major effort not to fall back into the scenario - a scenario I'd rather not replay. I literally woke up coughing.
And tonight I made a major error. I watched the movie Dances with Wolves. For the most part I love this movie but the bits where the horse and wolf die tend to haunt me. So now I have more violence etched in my brain. As an adult I know better than to watch a movie I find disturbing before I go to bed. But as an adult I sometimes do things I shouldn't. And now I'm paying the price. I'm scared to sleep.