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The Mind Is A Funny Thing

A Girl and Her Gun: The Mind Is A Funny Thing

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Mind Is A Funny Thing

For the past 4 nights, I have had nightmares. I go to sleep calm, happy and not worried about a thing and then I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic.

Every night in my dreams, I find myself in some kind of bad guy situation where I appear to be handling the situation and then wham-o, all goes south.

The first night I was walking into a garage, not a parking garage, one connected to a house. It was not my house, but a friend's, maybe, anyway, I look across the way and a man is standing there with a gun, he shoots at me, but misses. I draw my gun and shoot, but my gun jams, so I get behind a car(I don't know how it got there, it was not there at the start of my dream), clear my gun and shoot again, again, it jams. I do this 3 times. The fourth time small pieces of paper start flying out the injection port, I look down, the man cames at me and grabs me arm. I wake up.

The next night. I am at home. Someone knocks on the door. I answer, there is a guy standing there, he pushes the door open, I push it shut, take 2 steps back and draw my gun, shoot, but there is no bang. I can't get away, he grabs my arm, I wake up.

The next 2 nights I have dreams that follow the same pattern. All is well, bad guy comes, I try to defend myself, gun doesn't work, bad guy grabs my arm, I wake up.

I can't figure out why.

A while back Lima had posted on her FB page about a gun dream she had had and in the Cornered Cat's book she discusses that gun dreams are common, so I am not surprised that I would a dream involving guns, but not these kind. I cant figure out why now and why is my gun malfunctioning?
Why am I left there with the bad guy winning?

I practice the tap, rack, bang and I run scenarios over in my mind, in case of some kind of malfunction, but I am not afraid of it happening. I am aware that a jam could happen, probably not white pieces of paper flying out of my Glock, but something could cause my gun not to work. I get that, but in my conscious state, I am not worried about it. Equipment fails, so I read about how to deal with it, I try to train for it, but of all the things I am concerned about, this is not at the top of my list. I get more and more confident in my abilities to handle a bad guy encounter and I have a great deal of confidence in my gun.

I am not cocky. I know I have a lot to learn. So much to learn, but I am not defenseless anymore. Not in terms of equipment and not in terms of my mind.

When the morning comes, I talk things over with my husband and I search for an answer, but I never find one. I just kind of shrug my shoulders and go about my day. I don't spend the day trying to figure it out or obsessing over why. In fact, I completely forget about it.

However, it is starting to annoy me. I was kind of hoping when I started having gun dreams they would involve zombies or me saving the day, not me standing there again being a helpless victim with a defective gun. I don't really need an answer, but I do need for them to stop. All this intruppeted sleep is making me one tired and grumpy girl.


At January 16, 2012 at 6:11 AM , Blogger Tango Juliet said...

Even "experienced" gunners have those types of dreams. Mine seem to center around getting shot or shot at, but I'm not returning fire 'cause I've screwed up and got taken by surprise.

These dreams come and go, at least for me. I think they're related to work stress.

Tam writes about these kinds of dreams fairly often.

At January 16, 2012 at 6:25 AM , Blogger JD said...

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At January 16, 2012 at 6:26 AM , Blogger JD said...

It sounds like you have a little bit of lingering post traumatic stress regarding your "awakening incident" and it's affecting your subconscious but at least is including your new tools.

Nothing to be overly worried about, in time they should fade, talking about it helps. Consider talking to a therapist.

At January 16, 2012 at 6:30 AM , Blogger North said...

I've never actually gone to school only in my underwear.

At January 16, 2012 at 6:34 AM , Blogger ZerCool said...

I get these dreams a couple times a year. Sometimes the gun works, sometimes it doesn't. I just chuckle and say, "Man, that was a weird dream!"

At January 16, 2012 at 6:49 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

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At January 16, 2012 at 7:09 AM , Blogger poniegirl004 said...

I have had similar dreams for a long time. Usually they involve me trying to get out of a bad situation and get my kids to safety. They come and go- I usually just chalk them up to a active mind trying to think through possible future senarios.

At January 16, 2012 at 7:09 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

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At January 16, 2012 at 7:22 AM , Blogger eiaftinfo said...

I'd say you mind is simply acting normaly - it's just trying to work thing out. I wouldn't obsess about your dreams, just take note of them. You are proactive in each, you're doing the right things, you aren't giving up - you're in the fight all the way. I'd say they are pretty positive nightmares.

My single remaining gunfight dream revolves around clearing a building with a handgun. I see the last bad guy in a door way - nice clear shot, I'm "saved". Guy turns, brings his weapon up, I pull the trigger - "click". Shit!!! And I wake up. It's a "oldie but goodie dream" that simply hangs on. Usually pops up when I'm feeling stressed. Just life kiddo, just life. Hang in there.

It's a good thing to share so you know you're not the Lone Ranger out there.

As for your thoughts on your own bad-guy encounter, it's your encounter, not anyone elses. Your fears are real, your concerns are real, the event was real. There is not a "grade" for these types of things - they are all specific to the individual. There is a difference between "stupid" and untrained. There is a difference between "angry" and using anger as a tool to grow and learn. Don't cloud these differencs. You are on the right track, don't over think it - just keep growing in the skills you need to defend yourself and yor family.

At January 16, 2012 at 8:01 AM , Blogger 45er said...

You are having the university student's dream equivalent of showing up for class and having a test that you forgot to study for. Tam regularly posts about the goofy gun dreams she has and I can't think of a more mentally prepared person for dealing out firearm self-defense. Mine is most commonly a situation where I have a gun, it shoots fine, but the bullets have no effect on the bad guy. I haven't had one in a long time and I don't know why. I have done a lot of training and practice lately, but I don't think that has much to do with it. You have a relatively new situation that your brain is dealing with. You're right, the brain is a weird thing and how it tries to sort things out doesn't make sense sometimes. Try not to read too much into it. They will come and go. Here's something to think about. You aren't having a dream where you are totally defenseless. Yes, the firearm is doing wacky things, but it's there. In a real situation, more than paper will come out of the barrel and deep down you know this. Your brain is playing weird "what if" stuff, but run the dreams through your logical mind and you'll be able to blow them off. Unfortunately, I can say this as someone that hasn't had to deal with what emotions of the past dreams like this may conjure. Do some dry-fire practice and may your dreams be more calm in the future.

At January 16, 2012 at 8:30 AM , Blogger George said...

I've had those dreams. I think it is an artifact of your brain dealing with knowledge that you might have to use your firearm.

Have you taken any training? Not target training...gun fighting training. They are not the same thing at all. When I first started shooting, I always wondered if I was going to be able to use my gun to defend myself. After my first training class, I know that I could make the shot if need be, every time.

At January 16, 2012 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Weer'd Beard said...

I used to have the crazy malfunction dreams, and I still have REALLY weird ones, like one when my wife and I were in a hotel room and some creep tries to force their way in. I grab the travel box I had taken the gun in (obviously we must have flown or driven through an unfriendly state) and open it up and there is my 1911...perfectly field stripped and laid out.

So now I'm putting a 1911 together as fast as I can while the door is breaking down.

Just weird.

Still the most common nightmares everything works as I practice, my draw is smooth, I keep the gun in a position where it can't be grabbed and I shoot and hit my target....and nothing changes, the attacker keeps coming, and eventually my gun breaks or falls apart, or jams just because my mind is out of bad ideas.

I suspect the reason for this is I've never actually SHOT a person. I know what its like to draw and fire, and I know how to fix a gun that's stopped working...but I have no idea (in practice) how to stop an attacker because I've never had to do it.

I know my biology, I know my ballistics, and I've read a ton of books about such things...but I've never seen it happen, and so my mind has nothing to draw on.

I remember one dream where I ended up doing a Mozambique drill on some big monster of a man aiming to do me harm. Shot him a bunch of times in the chest, and he didn't seem to particularly mind that, so I put one right above his nose.

Now with a the .45 I had in the dream that'll kill anybody graveyard dead right there....but not in my dream, I woke up screaming when my vision could only see his twisted eyes and that hole where the bullet went...

Happens to us all. Still you know you're comfortable with guns when you're ALWAYS carrying in your dreams even when the gun isn't used or payed much mind.

At January 16, 2012 at 4:12 PM , Blogger Critter said...

my favorite dream is the one where i show up to work naked.

At January 16, 2012 at 4:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As others have said, your dreams aren't unusual at all. Everyone has dreams of doubt: showing up for a test unprepared, not being able to resolve some emergency, etc. Don't read too much into them. I'm not a Freud fan at all. I find my most bizarre dreams come when either I'm sick or coming down with something and the body is fighting to heal itself.

Absent additional info, I suspect that your body is simply responding to stress, perhaps from your new-found Net popularity or something else. You're fine. Drop your engine to neutral, maintain your normal routine, and perhaps step back from the new stuff for a week or so. Let you body adjust. The dreams will pass.

At January 16, 2012 at 4:53 PM , Blogger John Smith said...

This kind of dream is fairly common among military/law enforcement types. I had them when I came back from Afghanistan for a while. If you ever get a chance, read Grossman's book "On Combat" and "On Killing". It discusses this quite a bit and references one of the persons interviewed who says that after he has this type of dream, he goes to the range and practices not just shooting, but his malfunction drills until he's reassured that he's good to go. He says it works really well to get rid of his dreams. Hope this helps in some small way.

At January 17, 2012 at 3:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I won't attempt to analyze your dreams, or why you're having them. I simply hope that you will soon stop having them. I know all too well what it is like to sleep poorly. You think you're grumpy when you don't get good sleep ...


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