I never liked scary things. I'm still afraid of the dark and even close my eyes during previews of horror movies. Luckily, as a child I developed the ability to wake myself up from scary dreams.
The first lucid dream I remember was when I was 7 years old. I was in an underground parking garage. I was all alone and the room was filling up with water. I desperately wanted to escape the situation and for whatever reason, I realized that if I closed my eyes really tight, when I opened them I would be awake in my bed.
And it worked.
From that time on, whenever I'm having a nightmare I'm able to remember that trick. Just close your eyes tight, and you'll wake up safe and sound in bed. Nevertheless your heart may be racing and fear is gripping you, but at least that's better than drowning in a parkade!
A lot of my bad dreams revolved around water and drowning, but I didn't realize why until this past year.
I used to live in Edmonton, Alberta and had always loved being in water. When I was 2 and living in Ottawa, I stripped naked to go play in a puddle on the street. But this past year I uncovered a repressed memory from my childhood. Either that or a dream that I only now remember, I'm still not exactly sure which it is - where I was swimming in the wave pool at West Edmonton Mall with my parents and somehow became separated from them. I can remember being in the water and looking up and seeing people everywhere on inflatable tubes and struggling to get to the surface for air. Then I was walking along the bottom of the pool toward the shallow end and when I got out and found my parents, they treated me like it was no big deal and that I should be more careful not to get lost next time. Of course they would have been worried, but in my child's mind, they didn't care at all.
I guess that's when I decided I wanted to be a mermaid.
After that memory I can remember being a little bit older and swimming in the deep end, watching my hair billowing around me and diving to the bottom to collect rings. Later I went on to swim competitively and as a synchronized swimmer.
So what does this have to do with me becoming a lucid dreamer? It is my belief that ever since that near drowning experience, which was so traumatizing to a young child, I developed the ability to never feel that way again - both when I'm dreaming, and in my waking life. Either that, or I actually did drown that day at the wavepool and I woke up in a different reality, which could or could not be the same as the one I'd left. Sounds pretty hard to wrap the head around but I have some different views about the nature of reality that are sounding more and more realistic to me, so stay tuned to find out more.