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Old August 22, 2012, 02:17 PM   #1
Dr_Rich
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Self Defense Scenario v. Dreams

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After doing a lot of studying and training I'll sometimes have a dream where I'm in a situation where I need to draw/use my firearm. It always freaks me out a little and I question carrying. But then the need for self preservation kicks in and I strap up.

Has anyone else ever had this happen?
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Old August 22, 2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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tl;dr

Cliffs:

Once in a while I'll have a dream where I have to draw/use my weapon. Am I the only one?
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Old August 22, 2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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I've not had dreams in a CHl context. I have had dreams about vampires, BG's, Bigfoot (when I was a kid), and also as a band of troopers led by the Three Stooges taking after Geronimo (yes as wacky as it sounds - would have been an excellent show).
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Old August 22, 2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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Old August 23, 2012, 07:02 AM   #5
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Bump for edit.
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Old August 23, 2012, 07:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
It always freaks me out a little and I question carrying
Can you elaborate? If I needed to draw my weapon in a dream, it seems to me like that would only reinforce carrying in the waking state...
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Old August 23, 2012, 08:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWKahrFan
Can you elaborate? If I needed to draw my weapon in a dream, it seems to me like that would only reinforce carrying in the waking state...
The dreams just seem so real, that when I wake up it feels like it actually happened. From there, I have had to deal with the thoughts/feels of drawing/shooting someone. Until I can process the data and realize it was just a dream. Then its like "oh well, theres another good reason to carry. I'd rather have to deal with putting 2 in a bg vs my wife having to deal with my funeral".
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Old August 23, 2012, 08:28 AM   #8
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I do that sometimes. A recurring theme is that I have a malfunction or I can't hit anything. That part freaks me out.
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Old August 23, 2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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Yes. It's normal, though naturally a bit unsettling.

Two things:

1) During training, you naturally get a bit of an adrenalin dump. The more realistic and engaging the training is, the more you will experience this. You can & should burn off the residual adrenalin with some exercise before bedtime. It will help.

2) If you do have a nightmare-type dream, don't try to shove it out of your mind. Instead, deliberately take some time the next day to reprogram your mind with a careful visualization of what you were dreaming about, right up through the scariest part that woke you up. When you get to the scary part, instead of visualizing failure, visualize success. What, exactly, would you do if your gun failed to fire? What, exactly, would you do if the criminal kept coming after you shot him? Think it through, then picture yourself doing those things and picture it working.

Sometimes, scary dreams are the subconcious' way of telling us that we don't really trust either our training or our equipment. If that's the case, it's a good idea to get a little more training or invest in better equipment.

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Old August 23, 2012, 10:23 AM   #10
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I've never had any "real" defensive firearms training and I've never had a firearms related dream but I did have regular, very realistic dreams about flight training when I was doing that, always the first night after training.

I also found that when I returned to practice the same skill the next day I was always better at it than I had been the day before.

It seems to me like your brain uses dreams to program procedural memory.
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Old August 23, 2012, 11:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Towe

I do that sometimes. A recurring theme is that I have a malfunction or I can't hit anything. That part freaks me out.
I had one dream where I thought i was missing but then I saw red holes in the dog/lion/thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
Yes. It's normal, though naturally a bit unsettling.

Two things:

1) During training, you naturally get a bit of an adrenalin dump. The more realistic and engaging the training is, the more you will experience this. You can & should burn off the residual adrenalin with some exercise before bedtime. It will help.

2) If you do have a nightmare-type dream, don't try to shove it out of your mind. Instead, deliberately take some time the next day to reprogram your mind with a careful visualization of what you were dreaming about, right up through the scariest part that woke you up. When you get to the scary part, instead of visualizing failure, visualize success. What, exactly, would you do if your gun failed to fire? What, exactly, would you do if the criminal kept coming after you shot him? Think it through, then picture yourself doing those things and picture it working.

Sometimes, scary dreams are the subconcious' way of telling us that we don't really trust either our training or our equipment. If that's the case, it's a good idea to get a little more training or invest in better equipment.

pax
Good advice.

So far, the weakest link has been me, or what I thought was me. I had a dream where I was out with my dog and there were these lion-things (it was, after all, a dream) and my shots were hitting their intended targets (center of mas) but they were ineffective. I moved to head shots and that stopped the threat.

For what its worth, I've never had a equipment failure to speak of. I had a few bad rounds around the 700rd mark. But I'm just a tic over 3K now.

I don't normally have nightmare-ish dreams. I've had a couple where I was being chased by a Terminator, but that was loads of fun.

I'll have to remember to try and burn off that last bit of adrenalin at night.


And to Brian. I think back to when I was learning Chess I had a few dreams where would play King and Pawn end games in my dreams. I don't believe I had the same success as you though lol. My end game is weak
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Old August 23, 2012, 11:11 AM   #12
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I've had a few dreams where I was in a predicament where I needed to draw my weapon, and most times it ends up either like falling apart in my hand or not working. I don't understand this because both of my pistols have worked absolutely flawlessly and I have full faith in them.
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Old August 23, 2012, 01:30 PM   #13
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Thats weird man. I would be forced to believe you, going by your sig. S&W and Ruger are not known for falling apart lol.
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Old August 23, 2012, 01:32 PM   #14
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Yeah I know man lol. It's weird too because in my dreams the gun I pull out is nothing like either of the guns I own either. It's always like this weird looking plastic toy like revolver lol. I don't get it.
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Old August 23, 2012, 01:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Towe View Post
I do that sometimes. A recurring theme is that I have a malfunction or I can't hit anything. That part freaks me out.
I've had dreams where the trigger pull on my LCP would go on forever and the gun would never fire. Seriously - not trying to be funny.


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Old August 23, 2012, 05:21 PM   #16
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Had a police shrink tell a class once that it is a quite common dream to have confronting a situation where deadly force is needed and you feel like the weapon has a thousand pound trigger pull of some other malfunction.
She credited this with the inner conflict most of us have to both the huge amounts of stress involved and the need to take a human life. I had these dreams a couple of times a year as a rookie until I had been involved in some major violent incidents and then they stopped. Don't let them bother you to much, and keep on training. In the end its your training mindset that will take hold.
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Old August 23, 2012, 08:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junglework

Had a police shrink tell a class once that it is a quite common dream to have confronting a situation where deadly force is needed and you feel like the weapon has a thousand pound trigger pull of some other malfunction.
She credited this with the inner conflict most of us have to both the huge amounts of stress involved and the need to take a human life. I had these dreams a couple of times a year as a rookie until I had been involved in some major violent incidents and then they stopped. Don't let them bother you to much, and keep on training. In the end its your training mindset that will take hold.
Rely on your training. Thats what they said in flight school lol.

Well **** man, glad you're still here to give your advice. Thank you for your service.
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Old August 24, 2012, 02:27 PM   #18
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Lots of my dreams are pretty frustrating - like I move in slow motion and my punches are light as a feather. I know what to do but nothing works. The only firearms dream was a doozy though. Some normal looking guy walks up to my car while I'm stopped with lots of pedestrian traffic and some festival or something going on, he's asking me for directions when all of a sudden he draws a gun and BANG - I wake up wondering where the hole is. Never had a chance.
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Old September 4, 2012, 02:53 AM   #19
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I saw an interesting documentary about dreams, the theory was that dreams are our brains way of recompiling our short term memory into reflexive programming by creating scenarios of possible conflict based on those memories and allowing our cognitive sectors to process and encode a response. I find the subject fascinating. I suggest keeping a dream journal and spend some time deciphering and reflecting on these dreams, I believe they are more important than most people give credit.
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Old September 4, 2012, 05:27 AM   #20
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It's well known from studies that when you are learning something, especially something new, your subconscious mind will "play with the new experience" while you sleep. The next day you're usually much better at dealing with the task than just after your training.

The same thing happens after many traumatic events. You "re-live" the experience, often in great detail and/or slow motion as your mind tries to deal with it. I had this happen after a bad motorcycle crash but a few days later realized that my brain was literally chopping up the bad memory and analyzing the things I did right and should have done instead. It made me a much safer rider too.

As far as dreams go, I've had the ones where the hammer falls and you hear that hollow *click* instead of bang just when you need it most. And I've had the "running in knee deep molasses" dreams and the shoot-the-big-beefy-guy-four-times with no effect one too. I consider these normal dreams where your mind is bringing up your fears to work out better or alternate plans.
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Old September 6, 2012, 02:54 AM   #21
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I've had some really weird dreams. Usually the ones that bother me are emptying a mag into an attacker and it doesnt even stop them. But, its just a dream.
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Old September 6, 2012, 12:40 PM   #22
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For some of us who have "seen the elephant", those are called nightmares or flashbacks. Same guy, same bullet, same day, but 40 years later.
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Old September 6, 2012, 08:36 PM   #23
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I used to have dreams that my guns would go phutt phutt instead of bang bang. Totally anemic and not do me any good. Last 3 or 4 dreams about engaging with a firearm, I have been completely successful in eliminating the threat. But the gun still goes phutt phutt. If dreams really mean something maybe we're finally going to see some easing of restrictions on silencers?

Naw probably just auditory exclusion, even when dreaming.
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Old September 6, 2012, 08:43 PM   #24
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This is an interesting topic and comes up fairly regularly. I used to have the dreams where the bullets had no effect, would fall out the end of the barrel, the gun would malf, all bad things which concerned me because I was new to carrying and had just got my 45.

It made me want to go shooting more. It was like I was trying to confince myself that it would work in reality. A strange thing happened then. As I began shooting more and more, my guns began working in my dreams!

So that makes me think that it is related to confidence. I was getting better in real life, and in my dreams.

Go shooting more. Cast if you have to to get the price down. Thats how I did it.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:48 PM   #25
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Yeah. My handgun never works and the Bad guy remains unshot.
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