Inner Dialogue -or- Sleep Talking

Bellevue  -or- Who Wrecked the Car?

Speaking during our waking hours is considered an everyday happening, however when we start talking during sleep this can sometimes prove to be disconcerting if someone is sleeping next to you. Many will go to sleep tonight and before long provide a somniloquy before a hallucinated audience. Here is one such dream; 

Wendy, 27 Student 

This is a dream i don't remember but my boyfriend told me what I had said in my sleep. 

He told me that; I sat upright in bed yelling at someone for wrecking my new car. My boyfriend thinking i was awake asked who wrecked the car? and where? I replied in my sleep; that myself and some friends had left a party from a place called Bellevue and that someone claiming to be sober had driven and wrecked my new car in a ditch on the way home, and i was screaming and yelling at this person threatening them. My boyfriend realized I was talking in my sleep again, he just told me to shut up and he said I fell back and went back to sleeping. 

Now here is the kicker. I don't know the people he said that I had claimed to be with and I've never been to Bellevue. He also informed me that Bellevue is an insane asylum in Southern Illinois. Is not the only time I have talked to or mentioned people or places that I don't know. Why, what is behind this? 

Mr Hagen's Reply: Somniliquy at Bellevue Hospital -or- Stranger than Fiction 

Your dream vision story begins, with you yelling at someone for wrecking your car. You have already provided your dream with a narrative structure and a plot. That your dream is a fiction, with people and places that you don't know or don't recall is commonplace. Many dreams sent to the International Institute for Dream Research are fictions based on the creative imagination. Realist fiction although not true, could become true. Playing out such simulated consequences of drinking and driving in a person's mind eye has survival value. Other dreams such as "DUI" sent to the IIDR, speaks about the very real consequences of drinking and driving proves the point. 

You seem concerned about the fact that you had left a party from a place called "Bellevue". Your boyfriend tells you that Bellevue is an insane asylum in Illinois. Well now we have to start to begin to separate facts from fictions. At one time you most likely heard that Bellevue Hospital in "New York City" is the oldest public hospital in the United States. It does have a psychiatric facility. From a clinical psychology perspective, your dream presents no schizophrenic features, because schizophrenics usually speak in what is known as a "word salad" fashion. Most likely that is also the way schizophrenics speak while dreaming. So, not to worry. It would be prudent to discuss your ongoing sleep talking with your family physician, there may be other sleep related (parasomnia) problems present. Getting a check up seems indicated. 

Doing some searching on the web, I read with interest that after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln's behaviour became increasingly irrational. She was committed to "Bellevue Place" in Batavia, Illinois. Perhaps on a few final notes; for me, the reference to the place "Bellevue" has a very different connotation. Having lived in Switzerland for twelve years, the "Bellevue" square in Zürich is a place that became part of a dream vision plot device of an important dream I had many years ago. The word from the French means beautiful vision or view. In the popular film "King Kong" (2005), when Kong climbs to the top of the Empire State building he gesturally signs to Ann Darrow (Naomi Watt) that the view is "beautiful". Finally Roger Cook's "Talking in Your Dreams" may not be a hit, the lyrics convey the emotional problems of listening to a partners sleep talking.

Postscript: Irma's Injection -or- Freud at Bellevue

Having posted this dream yesterday, I sensed something was missing. What I had forgotten was Freud's dream of "Irma's Injection", the dream that was the paradigmatic cornerstone of psychoanalysis. Freud had the dream while vacationing at "Bellevue" a resort villa in a suburb of Vienna. This dream is discussed in the interpretation "Freud's Self-Deception". 

Further Reading: 

  • Simon O. Lesser "Fiction and the Unconscious"


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