In honor of my recent success achieving Lucidity, I thought it would be a good time to describe the first two dreams I had where I controlled the dream, and wasn’t just aware I was dreaming and/or woke myself up by shaking myself.
I described my first remembered Lucid dream a few weeks ago, but the first time I remember controlling my dream was a double-whammy, which started out with the most realistic and convincing False Awakening I’ve ever had.
The Killing Spree of a Frightened 10-Year Old
I once had to spend the night at my father’s girlfriend’s mother’s house… yeah. She was an older Pennsylvania Dutch lady who would occasionally babysit me in the daytime, and we’d watch daytime game shows all day. She’d let me burn her trash heap (no, that’s not a bizarre euphemism), as they didn’t collect garbage in the remote area she lived, which was nestled on the top of a large hill that spilled down into a grassy valley with old Dutch barns below.
I didn’t mind the place so much, but I didn’t want to spend the night. The Pennsylvania Dutch have lots of hex marks on their barns, and I had been spooked plenty by stories of demons and witchcraft and such — my father was a master Big Fish teller, as was my uncle. I had already had a pretty frightening, brief nightmare in that bedroom, where a life-sized TRANSFORMER had pulled the ceiling off the building and looked in on me, and I now had a new obsession. NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.
My mother would often wake up in the middle of the night, and watch television. She HATED being scared, and yet she constantly put herself in situations and watched movies that would startle her. So it wasn’t TOO strange that one night she was watching the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET on HBO. I woke up and joined her. I had seen it a few times after that and the character of Freddy Krueger was becoming a Pop Culture phenomenon (friends had the mask, the hat, the plastic claws, DJ JAZZY JEFF AND THE FRESH PRINCE had a hit parody song, it got a spin-off TV show, etc., etc.). My sister offered to take me to the midnight premiere of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS, and I loved it!
HOW EMPOWERING to imagine you could not only wake yourself up from a nightmare as I had been doing, but also take CONTROL of them! I was only 9 years old when the movie came out, and I became OBSESSED with Lucid Dreaming. To a morbid degree. Because, the only way I could become Lucid, was to have nightmares. Ordinary or pleasant dreams didn’t wake you up in terror, so you often forgot them. Ordinary or pleasant dreams didn’t scream at your subconscious mind, “WAKE UP! THIS ISN’T HAPPENING! THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!!!”
So… I started PRAYING for nightmares before bedtime. And I often got them. They would provoke me to acknowledge I was dreaming, and on this night, I began controlling them.
I woke up in the room I had gone to sleep in. A relative of a friend of a relative’s house. It was dark, and I was thirsty. I figured, this lady’s old, I can creep into the kitchen and get a drink without it being a big deal, and besides, I’m REALLY thirsty. So I crept down the hallway, feeling my fears go from a mild worry, to a dread. I walked into the kitchen and slowly opened the refrigerator door, and pulled out the milk carton. I took a sip, put it back in, and as I closed the door, I knew someone was going to be on the other side.
Standing in the doorway between the kitchen and outside, was Freddy Krueger. He dangled his claws by his side, and let out his slow, guttural chuckle. I knew I had to take matters into my own hands fast, so I said, “You know, I’m just as terrifying as you are.” He paused, “Oh really?”
CARMAGEDDON WITH FREDDY
We walked out together into the garage where my father’s girlfriend’s Monte Carlo was parked. Freddy got into the passenger’s seat, as I found the keys in the ignition. We pulled out and began driving at break-neck speeds down the driveway and onto the roads. Any pedestrians I saw, I hit. Some ran in terror, some never saw it coming. But either way, Freddy was laughing and greatly pleased.
SO THEN LATER, JASON and LEATHERFACE…
Several nights, maybe weeks or more later, I found myself walking down a dark, deserted looking town’s streets. A culdesac with a large hangmen’s tree at it’s center, was surrounded by abandoned homes. Sitting off to the side of the street was an ice-cream truck. Why I would walk up to a dilapidated ice-cream truck in the middle of the night in a town such as this, I do not know, but walk up to it I did. Suddenly, I heard a chainsaw to my left. I turned and Leatherface was standing still with the motor of his weapon of choice running. I turned the other way, wanting to run, but there stood Jason from FRIDAY THE 13th, with his hockey mask and ridiculously massive machete several yards to my right.
I stopped and thought, “This is only a dream,” but it was good and terrifying. I almost shook myself awake, but instead, I smiled. Wait a minute, I had just made a friend recently. I looked at the tree in the middle of the street, and there stood Freddy smiling. I looked at him and the other killers, and simply said, “Get them.”
I don’t care what comic book, b-movie or late night argument you’ve seen or had, in a NIGHTMARE, Freddy tore them to shreds. It was great, I had not only overcome one of my big fears, but I had turned it against other fears.
This is why I’m wanting to re-learn Lucid Dreaming. This is one of the many beneficial things I’d like to do with the 5 hours a night that we dream. I want to recreate scenarios, learn skills, get out aggressions, and so much more. If a 10-year old boy can befriend monsters and use them against his fears, certainly a grown man can benefit from such things.