Ever since I was a toddler I have had very vivid often recurring nightmares- to the point where sometimes when I am having one I realize I am in a nightmare and just know I have to hold out until I wake up. The farthest back nightmare that is especially vivid is when I was two years old my grandmother was in a local theatre production CATS and from that age to about 8 or 9 I had reocurring dreams that the cats were literally everywhere trying to kill me and I could never escape. Then there was the wizard of oz, that witch- I was so terrified of her. From the time I was probably 4 until even today (I am 16 years old) I have had painfully vivid nightmares that she is trying to kill me.
When I was seven I dreamed she stole me from my home out of my bed and brought me to her castle where she made me kill children and innocent people- and tried to make me kill my teacher (favorite teacher) at which point I turned on her and she grabbed me. I remember her cutting me into small pieces and feeling my skin sizzle in her boiling pot. I have had other reocurring dreams with her, and one I had just a few weeks ago was she captured me and was beating me and I told her, "I know Im dreaming, when are you going to give it up? Im going to wake up now." She looked me in the eyes and told me, "You may wake up now, but you will have to fall back asleep eventually, and I will wait until you do."
Also, a few nights ago I woke up from a dream which wasn't a nightmare- and then as I tried to go back to sleep I kept hearing voices and swirling sounds as if I was being swept away and I literally had to work to open my eyes and then I would turn over and close my eyes again and it would happen again. It kept happening until finally I turned my light on and didn't sleep for the rest of the night.
This definitely doesn't seem normal to me...I can list to you vivid nightmares I've had since I was just a little girl, and I remember as an 8 year old I told my dad my dream and he said, "You know I'll always be able to protect you in your dreams just call me!" I told him he wasn't in my dreams and that he didn't even exist that no one could help me.
I think you are one of the few of us who are fortunate enough the ability to dream lucidly, have recurring and ongoing dreams, and can potentially even problem solve with the use of your dreams.
With some practice and patience, you can possibly direct you dreams to be helpful to you, rather than scare you. You see, I am very similar to you and my lucid dreaming began at a very young age as well.
I can still remember the dream which started it all off, and have been able to re-dream that same dream in some variations to this day. It has been over 43 years.
I would love to discuss this with you, although at this moment I must run ...I will return to the thread when I have the time I need to respond thoroughly. I will be right back..
I thought most people could tell they were dreaming, its rare? I rarely have a dream now where I dont know Im dreaming haha on good nights I can also control what happens by clapping my hands it takes me to a different place lol I also rarely have a dream I haven't had before, wow it would be great to chat!
My "clue" that I am dreaming is when I need to use a phone, and I cannot get one to work. I then know I am in a dream and can get myself out if I want to.
In my dreams, my feet never touch the ground, I am always flying, either about a foot off the ground, in and out windows rather than doors.
I have actually solved a major problem in my real life with the use of a dream, as well as have had my real life situations made more recognizable after seeing them in my mind during my dream state.
Dreaming can be enhanced with the use of certain medications accidentally. For example I was put of one medication that had a side effect listed as lucid dreaming. While everyone does not experience the same side effects, I loved mine...it added to my already intense nightly dreams, and I loved it!
I have also survived damage to my brain, following 4 strokes. The dreams became even more distinct and I believe they aided in my recovery that has taken every bit of strength I have had for the last 7 years.
The strokes also left me with other sleep disorders, both RLS and restless leg syndrome, for which I must take both medication and use of a CPAP breathing machine while I sleep. None of above which has interrupted my lucid dreaming.
While I am no expert, this is all based on my experience, and what I have learned while dealing with my health issues.
I would encourage you to learn as much as you can about dreaming, and use some of the tools to make the best use of your dreams...such as keeping a dream diary. You might find that your dreams will often mirror real life issues and bring those issues to the front for you to examine and deal with in real life. Do not allow your dreams to scare you, when you know it is a dream and you want out, simply use your personal "clue" to get out, wake up, or change the subject.
Try and take the positive out of this, there is one. Keep writing, the more we find others who share our dream secrets...the more we can learn to manage them for out best use.