A nightmare is defined as an unpleasant or frightening dream. A dream is defined as a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person's mind during sleep. When one is sleeping, it is almost impossible to know that one is dreaming.
When I was a child, I used to talk a lot in my dreams. I used to have long meaningful conversations with my eyes open and never remember them once I woke up. And when I had nightmares, I used to scream and jump out of bed, as I guess most of us do.
That exact moment of coming into consciousness and realizing that the situation you were in a minute ago, was only product of your imagination, used to give me chills. I used to think that maybe another me, in another dimension, was going through that experience and was trying to communicate with me. Now I think, that it is just someone else in the world who is going through that at that very moment or has gone through something similar in the past and didn’t have the luxury of waking up in a safe bed with someone they love in their arms like me.
I only remember some nightmares now, when I was in a concentration camp because right before I went to bed I was thinking that I was not afraid to die; when I dreamt I lost all my teeth because I decided I was too lazy to brush my teeth that night; when I dreamt that I was in jail because I decided that my life was too boring and maybe I should start doing some illegal things or like the time I dreamt that I was pregnant (and right now is no time to be pregnant) because I was too annoyed that my period was coming.
It is strange how much you realize about yourself when you are really really frightened. I used to think that things important to you only flash before your eyes at the moment of your real death, but I have gotten accustomed to see myself die in dreams, as if it is so close to me and one of these days I will have no way of escaping it. So by now, I am very aware of everything and everyone that deeply means something to me.
One thing that kills me every time I wake up from a nightmare is the fact that I realized none of those are simple horror movies, but real events that could (have) happen(ed) to me if I only made different choices in life. Until recently, I never understood what nightmares meant to my subconscious. I never saw how much I have to be grateful and how instead I am still making broken choices. Lately, the moment I become aware of my surroundings and don’t feel as if my heart is about to stop, I look at the man lying next to me and smile because I am with him and safe instead of the disturbing environment I was in just moments before. And I am learning that growing up means being able to make the right choices without having to make that many mistakes first. Maybe, my subconscious is forwarding into the future of my mistakes, so that I do not need to make them to know that I should not have made certain choices.