No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Turn it off...

So I have this wierd thing about when I sleep. - I sort of exist on 3 levels while I sleep.
There is dream-me.  The me that completely believes in the dreamland it inhabits and doesn't argue with whatever quirks of dreamlogic choose to present itself because of course it's completely natural than bunnies suddenly turn into zombies or whatever.
Then above that there is a god-me, that sees and controls everything within the dream world and is completely aware of the fact that it's a dream.  It's why I don't have a lot of nightmares.  90% of the time if something is about to turn nightmarish, god-me can instantly create a convenient door to elsewhere, or put a wall in front of oncoming charging zombie bunnies or whatever it is, and dream-me will instantly understand what has happened and use said door to escape into a completely different dream.  I can, if I so choose, exercise almost total control over my dreams.  In practice, I tend not to, just because otherwise it gets kind of dull and boring when you force and dictate every aspect of the environment and narrative every single night.  I tend to let dreams run naturally, unless I want to avoid a nightmare, or find a cute boy in my dream and decide I now want to have sex with him in my dream.  And sometimes this ability to control my dreams is hampered if im particuarly stressed or my head is feeling particuarly crazy that night (this has admittedly, been an increasing problem the last few months).
And then a layer above all of this, is sleep-me.  Except that's a bad name for it.  It's a me that is very well aware that it's asleep, and that it's dreaming (or even if I'm not dreaming sleep-me still knows it's asleep).  It's the me that when I wake shifts to conscious me.  But when I'm asleep, that stream of consciousness is still there for me.  It overruns everything.  This me doesn't have regulate breathing or anything, just as conscious me doesn't.  But it's far more aware of what's going on than it should be.  Dream-me is very much sleeping, it has no ability to turn my dreams on or off, or control my awareness, it is simply a god architect that controls the sandbox that dream-me plays in.  Sleep-me knows how much time it slept.  It knows how close it is to waking up or how long since it fell asleep.  I know when dawn happens.  If things go horribly wrong and I genuinely do start having nightmares, sleep-me simply says "wake up", and my eyes open.  This sounds like a great ability.  And being able to avoid nightmares is.  The rest of it is horrible.
I know how much time I slept.  Because I was thinking throughout it.  I get some rest from my body shutting down a lot of externally focussed processes whilst I sleep, but I'm not unconscious; my brain doesn't actually switch off.  So that period of my day (night, whatever) that is supposed to be respite, is only a sensation of being halfway there.  I'm deeper out of it than the equivalent of lying on my bed for several hours with my eyes shut, but my brain hasn't shut off, that stream of consciousness never really stops.
I've had this 3 layered sleep-consciousness ever since I can remember, which is to about age 6, before that my memory gets rather patchy unless it tends to be about school friends, and I also know from my parents that until about age 3 or 4 I slept fine, in fact getting me to do anything but sleep was an issue!  Maybe I did have this even then, but I have no memory of it and it certainly doesn't seem to have affected my sleeping like it has since.  I remember lying in the bed at 6 years old, struggling to get to sleep, and learning to control my dreams when I did.  And I can remember the bed I did this in at 7, 8, 9. 10 years old (I moved a lot, so different beds for each year, handy for marking things like this at least).
Like I've said before, I seemed to fundamentally miss the day at evolutionary school where they taught you how to shut off your brain during sleep.  There are admittedly times when it does shut off, because of large amounts of alcohol (yeah depressants will do that!); because of sheer, unavoidable exhaustion (and remember this is me, so that usually means being up for 3/4 days straight); and occasionally when it is happy and peaceful because I'm sleeping next to someone I love (alas it doesn't do it every night I sleep next to them, but occasionally it does and that's the best sleep ever and just makes me love them even more cause I sleep smiling).  But the vast majorty of the time, I'm all too aware of the fact that I'm sleeping and it's not just that I wish I knew how to stop this, I wish I knew WHY my brain does this, and has for certainly the vast majority of my life.

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