Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

Have you ever, ever awakened from a bad dream the way they do in movies?

Asked by Jeruba (51917points) December 2nd, 2020

I mean sitting bolt upright just as you break from the dream.

“TV Tropes” calls it a catapult nightmare.

When I awaken from a terrifying dream, I seldom move at all. Sometimes I open my eyes. It’s enough just to know I’m conscious, even if the dream lingers hauntingly for a time.

Have you ever experienced a catapult nightmare, or ever known someone else to do it?

This is in Social, but it’s not a political question and it doesn’t refer to the upcoming 20th of January.

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26 Answers

mazingerz88's avatar

Nothing that dramatic as in a Hollywood over the top waking up from a nightmare shot. I think that’s a good thing for me. Don’t want the old ticker to get too excited.

snowberry's avatar

I have. I think I was on my feet before I was awake. It was so real I thought it had happened and I ran downstairs to check.

ragingloli's avatar

No. I just wake up, thinking “well, that was weird.”

rockfan's avatar

It’s happened to me a couple of times when I was younger.

A year after my Bar Mitzvah I stopped going to Friday services at my synagogue, and I felt really guilty about it. I had a dream that my Rabbi pushed me off a cliff. It was the most intense falling dream I’ve ever had

janbb's avatar

@rockfan That is funny, although I’m sure it didn’t feel that way at the time.

I have woken up shaken and frightened but not sitting bolt upright.

(And I like your little aside about January 20th.)

elbanditoroso's avatar

@rockfan did your rabbi know my rabbi? Mine was pretty hard core strict.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I had some nightmares this year. One was extremely intense, and I thought I was dying. My heart was pounding harder than I thought possible. Still, I didn’t sit bolt upright when I awoke. (I was having symptoms of PTSD.)

kritiper's avatar

I use to worry about not waking up for danger of some sort. Once, while asleep, I tried to wake myself up but it was a slow almost painful process. One other time I thought I heard a noise in the house and woke up immediately. Now I know I can wake up fast if I must so have never worried about it since.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have. But only when I have horrible dreams about one of my kids.

Demosthenes's avatar

I’ve woken up with a moan or a gasp or a sudden movement, but not to the point of sitting upright and panting.

rockfan's avatar


What’s funny is that he wasn’t strict at all, he was extremely nice and understanding. Years later I told him about my nightmare and we had a good laugh about it.

filmfann's avatar

Never bolting upright, but I have woken myself up from my screaming.

Zaku's avatar

Not exactly. One time, I did spring physically from sleep and try to physically attack the spirit I knew in my dream was lurking maliciously by the side of the bed.

ragingloli's avatar

Nah, just the cat torturing him with her subvocal oscillations.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m not quite brave enough to ponder what @ragingloli might consider a weird dream.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Probably Teddy bears singing him/her a lullaby!

ragingloli's avatar

Well I got shot in the head once, then just laid there on the ground in a tunnel as my vision faded to black.
Another time a nuke went off behind me while I was at school, and I could feel my back getting warmer and warmer.
And then I was buried under rubble in a destroyed city, and after digging myself out, I witnessed alien walkers from war of the worlds herding humans into extermination camps.

janbb's avatar

@ragingloli And those were the dreams you enjoyed!

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Nah, I never have night mares. Just goofy mundane dreams not even worth remembering. I do recall one, in which I was wearing a tux standing next to my old HS girlfriend, (whom I haven’t seen from heard from in years), and she was wearing a formal, and the audience was in swimming suits.(?) And I was introducing her as my wife, no idea what that was all about. Better dreaming of being chased off a cliff by Bigfoot I suppose.

Jeruba's avatar

Wow, @ragingloli, those aren’t actually any weirder than my own most bizarre dreams, including dreams in which I died, once by drowning slowly in bright blue water with multicolored blossoms floating in drifting suspension, and once by a sword through the throat. And others. [Pondering.]

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Damn you folks are skeery. Thank goodness I nave have dreams like that. I’ll stick with the goofy shit.

smudges's avatar

I woke up like this at least twice a week, most of the time screaming. I had terrible nightmares/night terrors for years. As long as I can remember I walked, talked, and did things in my sleep – like when I was 2, my mom got me up to use the bathroom before she went to bed and said I tried to flush a dress down the toilet. At age 43 I broke the toe next to my big toe while walking in my sleep – I got tangled in the blanket hanging off the bed. This sort of thing happened until sometime in my early 50’s.

My favorite story happened early in my marriage: I was scrambling around on the bed, asleep, and that woke my husband up. He asked what I was doing (he hadn’t been exposed to my ‘nighttime entertainment’ for very long).

I exclaimed, “There’s a huge spider under that table!!” indicating a table that didn’t exist at the foot of the bed, and holding my hands about a foot apart to show the size of the spider.

He said, “Honey, there’s no table there.”

Panicking and annoyed because he didn’t believe me, I said indignantly, “Well just because there’s no table doesn’t mean there’s no spider under it!!”

I wet the bed until I was 12, so I suspect there was some childhood trauma somewhere in my past. I’m also adopted.

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