People With Disabilities Describe What They Experience In Their Dreams

Putting yourself in someone's shoes can be like climbing a wall with weights tied around your ankle: An uphill struggle for something you might never fully get. What can be understood is the absence of something, something that only our dreams can return to us.

Reddit user, u/WrongAnswerFriend, wanted to understand:

Physically disabled redditors, what happens to your disability in your dreams?

It's Back To How It Was

It's not there. In real life I can't walk anymore, but in dreams everything is how it used to be, no wheelchair at all. It's nice!


Were you born able to walk and you lost the ability later in life ?


Yes I haven't been able to walk in 5 years, but up till then was normal. So it's still pretty new to me and somehow doesn't seem real.


No Tics, No Exclamations

My tourettes is completely gone in my dreams, it doesn't even cross my mind.


Now that I think about it I dont remember any of my tics ever appearing in my dreams


Not Even Worth The Dreamspace

Not disabled per se, but I'm only 4'10" and have brachydactyly and not once in my 42 years have I ever dreamed about my size or my hands. I also have congenital heart disease and have to have open heart surgery soon and do dream about being in the hospital


Crash Back To Reality

For years I had an unmedicated misdiagnosed debilitating case of psoriatic arthritis. Every day was endless unbearable pain and it took massive willpower to even walk.

In my dreams everything was normal and I could walk and run and jump without any pain at all.

But then I'd wake up with all my bedding soaked through from night sweats and crash right back into reality.


You're Slower Than Slow

I have a rheumatological autoimmune disease that causes me pain and makes me walk with a cane about 50% of the time. I also have epilepsy and functional neurological disorder. In my dreams I still hurt, still have a cane, a stutter, and I have even had dreams I was having seizures.

It's actually a pretty common occurrence in my dreams that I am trying to go somewhere/ keep up with someone but fall behind because of my pain and get lost, or try to ask for help only for my neurological issues to suddenly make my stutter indecipherable. Sounds like I'm the odd man out here, I'm glad to hear most of you all get some relief in dreamland!


Very In The Spirit Of The Month

I have never been able to walk without support.

As a child I used a walker 100% of the time. Now I mostly use an electric wheelchair. Strangely, I've only used a walker in one dream that I can remember. In it, I was talking to some classmates in a school bathroom. Similarly, I can only remember one dream in a chair. In that one, somehow all the controls on my chair were gone and I was barreling down the street at a terrifying speed.

In the majority of my dreams, I am gliding around like a ghost, hovering above the ground. It's weird, but fun.


Take On The Role Of Another

I'm hard of hearing, 75%-85% hearing loss in both ears. Basically, I'm legally deaf when I take out my hearing aids and the loudest I can hear in this state are my dogs barking (as far as I'm aware).

Depending on the dream, it varies! A lot of time I'm not even dreaming as myself. I'm dreaming as if I'm someone else, like roleplaying another character, you know? And never are they hard of hearing/deaf.

Now, when I'm dreaming from my point of view, it's another thing. My disability is present more often than not. Literally last night I dreamed about me auditioning for a school play and there was a cute boy I was talking to. The room was noisy and it was imPoSSIBle to understand him, much to my frustration.


The Evidence Isn't Present

I have multiple physical problems, causing lots of joint pain, subluxations, dislocations, muscle weakness and lots of overall pain.

I've never noticed it before but I've never been in a cast or brace, or my constant knee brace in my dreams. I've never been crippled even in my nightmares.


Helped To Accept

After struggling for years with the angst of my first wheelchair, the loss of too many things I loved, the loss of who I perceived myself to be, and the struggle of getting to self-acceptance of how my body was now, I was so angry with my body and disappointed with myself. (I still miss the glory of my body that was, the fierce strength of who I was. Back to the dream.)

But then, one night, after two and half...three years of struggling with the chair..I dreamed I was outside my home on a lovely summer eve. I went for a roll down the sidewalk, and at the end of my walkway I turned to go along the sidewalk that ran beside the road. It was a sweet summer eve and I smiled, and I started rolling harder and faster and when I got to the end of my block I lifted off.

I lifted off, my chair and I, under the emerging stars of a summer night my chair and I rose up and I soared. I glided quietly over the tree tops in that damn chair. I swooped and zoomed around various shapes and sizes of trees in the neighborhood with deep satisfaction and outright glee as I looked down on the homes of friends and loved ones. God, it was a beautiful dream.

When I woke I realized I would never 'heal' but I also realized that I was going to be OK, a bit of a cranky pisser, but OK. I would survive. And I have.


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