Last year, I did an entire series of posts for my personal website on what it is like for me to live with a visual impairment. Those posts are not archived here because I want to rewrite them, have them properly edited and then either post them or see what kind of book they would make. However, I am going to revisit one of those subjects here and talk about how I dream.
As I said, this is how I dream. You can’t assume that other blind and visually impared individuals dream the same way that I do and in fact, you should probably assume the opposite.
The most often asked question is whether or not blind people dream in color. A friend of mine who has been blind since birth has told me that her dreams only exist as sound. This makes sense. Her brain has never comprehended red or green, blue or orange, pink or purple. Because you can’t describe a color anyway, there would be no way for her to explain an image even if one existed.
I have a friend who is confied to a wheelchair. This individual does not dream of themselves walking. This surprised me a little because while they themselves have never walked it is something they can observe other people doing. I would think that it would be easy for them to visualize themself doing something they see other people do all of the time.
As for my own dreams because I have experienced color, I can still dream in it. However, it is hard for me to picture things in my head that I never visualized in real life. I can imagine an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ in my head using memories of watching the show back when I had better vision. I can picture Homer’s blue pants and white shirt and Bart’s spiky hair and Marge’s tall hair. ‘The Big Bang Theory’ came out well after my vision was reduced to near zero and so if I’m dreaming about that it is based more on assumption than anything else.
Yes, I do remember my dreams. In fact, I go a step beyond because I am a lucid dreamer. I am not only aware of my dream but can play and reply them in my mind like movies.
It is rare that I have nightmares. The one I had on my birthday was the first nightmare I’ve had in so long that I can’t recall the one previous to it.
What happens when I meet someone new, can I insert them into my dreams? Here is generally how this works, using my new friend as an example. I could have (and have had) dreams in which we have chatted online. I could even imagine what she might sound like and assign a voice in my head for verbal conversation.
Really, until I knew what she looked like my clues for knowing it was even her that I was conversing with were that I kept using her name in conversation.
When she described herself to me, at that point I could picture us interacting with one another. As detailed as her description was I think I can get a good picture in my head but don’t really know how close I am. Then after I heard her voice, it took the place of the voice I had imagined. In her case, the voice I heard in my head and the one she actually has were pretty close in terms of both pitch and accent.
Of course that accellerates if my first meeting with someone is in person. In that case, I can hear their voice clearly in my head but unless
they’ve described themselves or have been described to me my image of them is limited. It would be like a stock photo. I can judge height pretty well when talking to a person and if I judge them to have a youthful sounding voice that helps me determine which stock image stored in my head to use. Of course these stock images are probably just images of people I knew when I could see better but have forgotten.
Many of my x-girlfriends feature prominently in my current dreams. This is for a very simple reason. They are the easiest people for me to form an image of. The more physical contact I’ve had with a person the more accurate my dream representation of them is going to be. Inserting an X into a dream doesn’t require my brain to work all that hard.
I can remember doing things in my dream and I can remember dialog. If the dream is vivid enough I can remember it for quite some time but I also repeat dreams a lot as well. I do not keep a journal of my dreams.
One thing I almost never see in my dream is me. I’m either looking through my own eye or over my own shoulder.
I do sometimes dream that I can see or see better. The product of having more vision as a child than as an adult. I do dream of driving since I’ve always wanted to drive and I’ve never had any bad dream driving accidents, lol.
I would say that my dreams are pretty grounded in real life. They involve people I know and places I’ve been. Many dreams are really just recaps of events from my life. Dreaming about a particular date I’ve been on or a road trip I’ve taken or a class I once took. One common dream is that due to some sort of error I must go back and take more classes in High School so my graduation can be official.
I did have a dream once that I was in outer space exploring a new planet. This planet, for some reason was very yellow in terms of light…like really yellow, as in everywhere you looked, yellow. Stoplight yellow at that.
Do I experience Déjà vu? Yes, in fact Déjà vu is what inspired me to write this entry in the first place. When talking to my new friend
earlier this week, the conversation felt oddly familiar like it had happened before but also recently. It was a very Déjà vu moment.
I remember sitting in my 6th grade English class on the first day of school. As the teacher was talking I looked at the students in the next row over and felt that same sensation. A couple weeks earlier I had a dream about sitting in English class and getting that specific view. Essentially I had a dream in which I accurately predicted what desk I would be assigned the first day of English. That’s hardly as valuable as winning the lotery.
So far as I know, I have not had a dream in which I have encountered my future wife for the first time. However, when I do meet single women for the first time I do stay alart to see if anything about the situation feels familiar.
So that’s going to about cover it for this post. I think I will do a voice post later in case I want to add any more on this subject or if someone asks me a question about dreaming that I am able to answer.
The reason I picked this song should be quite apparent.