I'm a pretty vivid dreamer. I also am not a solid sleeper - I wake at least three times a night. Fully awake, not just roll over and go back to sleep. I generally do fall back asleep pretty quickly, but sometimes it's hard.
It's particularly hard after I've had a nightmare. I still have those. Not the anxiety or panic induced kind, where I'm naked or I'm late for an exam or a meeting - although I have A LOT of those. Particularly the naked ones. In my dreams, I always think initially it's a good idea to be naked and go to the mall, but then I get there and realize that pants would have been a great option.
But I digress.
My nightmares are scary nightmares, filled with ghosts and monsters.
Once, I was sleeping and I dreamed that a ghost had picked me up and was tossing me around my living room and hallway. I distinctly felt myself butting up against the ceiling. I was afraid - no, I was terrified. It got worse when my daughter came in and asked if I was o.k. Not wanting to scare her, I said that everything was fine, I was fine, just playing. But that feeling that something else was in control, that I couldn't act to save myself, was horrifying.
I woke up panting. I was scared, but didn't want to wake my husband [I save waking him for panic attacks]. I decided to go to the bathroom, but that meant leaving the relative safety of my room and going into the hallway. And looking into the living room.
I did it. But I'm not kidding when I tell you that I wouldn't look directly into the living room and I made sure that every light I could turn on was on and I don't think I've ever peed and wiped faster.
I still remember that feeling - tearing me from sleep, that residual fear or being unable to control myself.
Hmmm . . . maybe that was an anxiety dream, too.