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May 10th, 2019

And so the dreams happen

That book, Why We Sleep, talks about how, when we're asleep, memory processing is normally decoupled from emotional states associated with those memories. So one of the functions of sleeping is to consolidate and process memories without having to go through the emotional experience of those memories. The author has the hypothesis (with at least some support) that part of what happens for people suffering from PTSD is that this decoupling of emotions from memories during sleep and dreaming doesn't happen, and so people with PTSD wind up with recurring nightmares. He presents some clinical evidence that supports this hypothesis: some of the people who take medications that facilitate this decoupling have reported having the same dreams as during PTSD but become able to process the memories and start to move forward.

Anyway, I woke up this morning one minute before my alarm went off, from a dream where I was standing in the kitchen at home in Seattle while my father made pancakes for Saturday morning breakfast. But I was confused and had to ask him what he was doing there, because I knew he was dead, and I told him as much. He did not reply. I was and am still glad to see him there, in my dream, and I told him that much as well. But I also noticed that I wasn't feeling any emotions about this dream experience, while I was dreaming, which seemed odd. It is how it is.


Last night's weather forecast wasn't promising for rowing this morning. When I got up, there was a flurry of text messages among those of us who were signed up to row about whether or not anyone was going to play chicken because it would take all of us showing up to actually row. I wound up deciding that I would show up regardless, just for the practice of showing up for practice. After we all got there, we concluded that it wasn't worthwhile to try. So we wound up going to get breakfast instead, which was important and helpful in other ways.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1293716.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


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