Dream, dream, dream…


Last night I had all kinds of crazy sex dreams about my ex. It was one of those nights, too, where the dreaming didn’t stop. When I woke up this morning, next to D, I felt a pang of guilt. DId I emotionally cheat on him? Does my subconscious mind wish to go back to G? Am I have feelings for G again??? These thoughts didn’t sit well with me.

Back in the day, after I broke up with G, I dreamt of him incessantly. I believed in my dreams, I lived by them, and I truly thought they were messages from God that foretold a hidden truth. It was wishful, little girl thinking, of course, but I was so heavily influenced by my dreams that I sought out my ex the next day so as to recreate the dream–only to regret it in the end. In reality, the dream never played out. In reality, G was the same old avoidant, distant person I was trying to get away from.

So, why did I have the dream and what was its message? I needed an interpretation. In the past, I turned to dream analysis books. But today, I turn to my logical brain for a more realistic answer.

While many dreams denote wishful thinking–or what Sigmund Freud called “repressed longing” –most dreams are your brain’s elaborate and somewhat jumbled response to the previous day’s events. Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley (two scientists not as glamorous as Freud) concluded, rather plainly, that dreams are “random electrical brain impulses that pull imagery from traces of experience stored in the memory.” A rather bland theory, but one that makes sense. In my case, I worked side by side with a few grungy musicians on a work project yesterday, and my brain was, most likely, making unconscious parallels between these guys and G, who was also a musician. Last night, I came home, happy to be with D and so we, ahem, had great sex. My sleeping brain must have combined the memory of these two events into one.

Dream interpretation will most likely always be up for debate. We can believe our dreams foretell repressed longing, invisible truths or plain ‘ol chemical impulses trying to make sense of the previous day. My point? If you’re trying to move on from a bad, unhealthy relationship, it’s probably safest to stop thinking that that dream you had last night of your ex is a sign from the gods that you should get back together. Chances are, it’s not. Your brain is simply dwelling, and/or trying to fix or figure it all out. Are you longing for love? Do you miss your ex? Your desires definitely do pop up in dreamland. But you shouldn’t follow an unconscious prophet. Let it go. And know that, eventually, your desire to move on will quell those dreams, and silence the (conscious) voice in your head telling you that your dreams mean something.

Just like last night’s dream, G does pop up in my dreams here and there. How can he not? I had a relationship with him for several years. S, MB and a slew of others also pop into my dreams from time to time. But no matter what the dream, I know in my heart of hearts that I love D and that my dreams of exs or even “strangers” don’t mean much. In reality, it’s laughable to think that I would ever give up D to go back to a life with an avoidant who didn’t love me the way D loves me now. It’s laughable to think that a dream could inspire me to give up the real and true strength I have built within myself. So……enjoy your dreams, question them, and accept them for what they are: not part of a healthy, realistic recovery plan!

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