Theory: Only Your Own Brain Knows How Screwed Up You Really Are

Dreams have always been something that amaze me, perhaps in part because I have so many of them. Whether due to a sleep issue that keeps me in REM sleep more often than I should be, or simply because my imagination doesn’t like to turn off, I seem to spend significantly more time dreaming than most people I know. Therefore I spend a lot of time contemplating my dreams, from the interesting and confusing, to the downright “what the hell”-level insanity.

"Welcome to your messed-up subconscious. We'll be your guides."
“Welcome to your messed-up subconscious. We’ll be your guides.”

I’m not a person who believes that specific symbols in dreams mean the same thing no matter who is dreaming them, but I do believe that what we dream about says something about us if we can only figure out what. And since I often have the same dreams over and over, I thought I’d share a few of them.

Recurring Dream #1: Math is the Devil

One dream that I have so often it makes me seriously wonder about myself is the one in which I’m back in school. The dream can vary in a number of different ways, but there are a few key factors that are always the same. One is that my best friend is always there as well, regardless of whom else the dream my feature. Another is that the school in question is outrageously enormous, a sprawling city that is almost impossible to navigate and usually results in my wandering around for hours just trying to find my classroom. But the most important key factor is the math. This dream always features me back in math class and I’m failing miserably. Every time I have this dream, I’ve somehow managed to miss an entire semester’s worth of math classes and thus am excruciatingly far behind. This is always frustrating and panic-inducing because I don’t even know how I managed to miss so many classes. Often I have a notebook full to the brim with homework that I didn’t do, with no idea how I even have it. This dream always results in some major anxiety as I try to teach myself advanced calculus so that I won’t fail the course. I’ve never completed this dream in any way…either pass or fail. I always wake while still panicking.

Recurring Dream #2: Teenage War

One of my stranger and more involved dreams, this one features myself and everyone I knew from high school participating in some crazy, futuristic war. We’re always in this weird indoor town – there’s houses and fences and grass and trees, but you can also see huge white walls and a ceiling around the borders of the place. Everything is brightly lit and almost cheery-looking, but there are fires and explosions and gunfire everywhere. My classmates and I are fighting against some strange robotic army, like a messed-up combination between the Skynet robots and the Daleks. It’s all very cinematic and exciting. There’s danger around every corner, but never in this particular dream am I even the least bit scared or concerned. I’m just running around with an enormous gun, taking out robots. Often in this dream myself and a select few others (usually my husband and my best friend) will go on a secret mission that involves sneaking through these air-duct-like tunnels beneath and above the “town”. This dream has never found completion either. I always just keep dreaming about the fighting until I wake up.

Recurring Dream #3: Dumped

This one doesn’t pop up nearly as often as the other ones, but every so often I’m plagued by dreams in which my husband is either cheating on me, has dumped me, or is acting as though he’s never met me before. These dreams are weird in the sense that I don’t have the reaction you would normally have in such situations. Rather than being furious or feeling horribly betrayed or what-have-you, my reaction is always more childish, more like that of a teenager whose found out that their crush likes someone else. I always feel terribly sad, but in a pathetic, self-pitying kind of way, and usually when I have a dream like this I wake up still feeling depressed and vulnerable.

Recurring Dream #4: The Never-Ending House

The other dreams I can at least think of a little bit of some kind of explanation for, but this one flabbergasts me. On a regular basis I will dream about my husband and I moving into a new house. Oftentimes my parents or his or both will be there, I guess to help us move in, and it’ll be a bit like a party. The weird part comes when, inevitably, I’ll be looking for something and discover that there are extra parts to the house that we didn’t know were there when we bought it. I’ll find entire extra wings filled with numerous bedrooms and bathrooms, big game rooms. Sometimes it’ll be an enormous basement that we just somehow never noticed the stairs for. Sometimes it’ll be a basement, but it’s like this giant underground catacomb under the house that winds up being full of old furniture and boxes full of old artifacts. Most often, however, it’ll just seem like the hallways are never-ending. Like, there will be this one hallway full of doors that lead to bedrooms and bathrooms, but one of those doors will lead to another hallway which is also full of bedrooms and bathrooms, and so on and so on. In these dreams I’m never confused as to where all this extra space is coming from or how we never noticed it before, but sometimes I’ll find myself getting lost, going up and down stairways and not able to find my way back to where I started from. There’s never anything scary or upsetting about these dreams; on the contrary, usually I’m super-excited to have found that my new house is a hundred times bigger than I thought it was.


So what do you think? Am I completely insane? I can see signs of inner anxiety, maybe some self-doubt and uncertainty about the future, but that’s all guessing, really. For the most part I look at these dreams – which I have on a very regular basis – and I can’t help but wonder to myself if my brain is playing games with me. Surely fighting robot wars and having a house that just seems to grow and grow can’t really mean anything, and yet my subconscious sees fit to throw those same images back at me all the time. It’s a great mystery and I will be the first in line the day they figure out a way to record dreams, because this insanity bears deeper investigation and analysis.

How about you? Any crazy dreams that show up in your mind regularly? What do you think about dream analysis? Please share!

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