I’m one of those people who can take control of dreams if they start to get out of hand. I rarely have out-of-control-scary nightmares, because I never let them get that far. When things start to get really freaky, I just say to myself “This isn’t real” and I stop it. When realistic things happen in my dreams that are still uncomfortable, I can usually put an end to those, too.
For example, I might have a dream where I come back to my parked car to find it totally gutted out and stripped clean of my property. I’ll feel the pit of loss in my stomach. A voice will say: “Looks like you left the doors unlocked, with all your stuff–even your laptop–in plain sight, and you parked in a bad spot.”
Here is where I take over: “No, I would never do something like that. This is obviously a dream, and it ends now.” Then, I wake up.
Pretty nice, right? Well, sometimes that backfires on “pleasant” dreams, too.
Take last night for example. Perhaps writing last night’s blog post (not “viewable by public” just yet) right before I went to bed caused me to have a dream where I was “visited” by a ghost of girlfriend past. It was actually rather pleasant—right up until my rational mind took over to remind me it couldn’t possibly be real and woke me up suddenly.
My subconscious emotional defense mechanisms are still at work.