Trying to reach Kafka's Castle: a Nightmare

The nightmare, like Kafka’s novel, was left unfinished, and perhaps for the same reason.

At some point I decided I had enough of being a madman and that I should go immediately to a hospital. The hospital I had in mind had a particularly sinister aspect but I was oddly unconcerned, the crime seemed to fit the punishment.

However, my efforts to reach the hospital were thwarted at every corner. The most bizarre obstacle took the shape of a Muslim woman that simply popped into my life out of nowhere. I was still married in the dream, so I was doubly perplexed when I bumped into her in the bathroom while she was fixing her makeup. A few minutes later she was making herself comfortable in bed, with her hijab still on and an incongruous whisky and cola on her bedside table. A puzzle within a puzzle as it were. And probably a meaningless puzzle at that, only there to distract me from my quest. I woke up in utter anguish for having failed to reach the hospital and its grim prospect of redemption.

My own interpretation is that the psychiatric hospital probably symbolised my natural place in the world, a discreet Shangri-la for the mind. But in a truly insane world, but not ignorant of irony, reaching my castle proved to be impossible, at least to ordinary mortal men.

I’d be happy to hear your own interpretation.

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The mind winds down and does some things that may seem amazing or insightful but really aren’t even…

From my perspective. I had my subconscious leak out during psychosis. I didn’t realise it but I was saying comedy routines I’d watched in movies whilst at work thinking I was being engaging and funny. I did some strange stuff but it honestly wasn’t anything special… a bit of repression and a mind disengaging from reality.

I’m not into dreams or meanings. I think most such things are debunked these days. Freud was a hack and I’m not really into Jung from the little I’ve seen…You have a mind that is simply winding down. Does it mean more than that? I would say not from experience but we’re all different. :slight_smile:


It’s hard to say what your dream is about without knowing you, that is if you believe dreams have real meaning or significance anyhow. Maybe your dream was about a desire to be more connected to reality, but you keep getting in your own way somehow or else there’s some obstacle in your real life preventing this from happening. And maybe the woman was there because you saw a Muslim woman in the news. The drink was there because you thought it sounded good. I have no idea really. I’m awake early and thought I’d take a stab at it.

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I love Kafka.

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You call it a nightmare, were you frightened? Have you been bothered a lot by nightmares?

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I agree dreams can be easily overinterpreted. This one is struck a chord because of my status as a sz: am I really sz? Am I faking it, especially seeing that part of me does wants to be sz? I really wanted to reach that hospital. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks, your guess is as good as mine.

More than frightened I was in anguish. And yes, I have nightmares virtually every night, including the ones when I wake up crying. Recently I woke up screaming because someone had just shot me blank range. What is odd is that my mood is mostly good or even very good during the day.

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Do you want to get rid of the nightmares or are you fine with them?

Kafka was proper facked up but there is no evidence that he ever experienced psychosis. Really sad man.

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I want to get rid of them. I’m often scared of going to sleep unless I’m intoxicated.

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I’ve gone through several long periods in my life where I was having nightly nightmares that were disrupting my sleep and making me suffer emotionally. My pdoc put me on a med called Prazosin and once we got the dose high enough, I believe it was 5 mg , I just stopped having nightmares and started getting more sleep as a result. Maybe you could talk to your regular doc about it, it’s commonly used for nightmares.

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It was originally a blood pressure med I guess, but as they were administering it to vets with PTSD who suffered with nightmares they realized it stopped them. Well that’s the story I was told anyway.

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Deep down you recognise sz and yet you cannot accept it, and every single path you take is hindered to learn to accept it.

The alcohol is part of your life connected to sex which you believe is prohibited as in context to a Muslim woman of which you would have to marry to have sex with. The contradiction of sex and alcohol reflected in a Muslim woman who was your wife illustrates how life and marriage was ruined by the alcohol perhaps.

What do you think?

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Interesting, and perhaps right about the illness, but looking back I think the woman amalgamates different images from my past. Who knows…

PS. I’m not an alcoholic! My divorce had nothing to do with that.

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I am not saying you are, but worries about it are often magnified in dreams.

My medical notes say I have a drinking problem, as when I applied for a driving licence they were reluctant to give me it under that condition. Currently I have a house full of alcohol with a couple of bottles of vodka, half a bottle of ouzo, about a dozen bottles of wine and 3 crates of beers and yet I haven’t had a drop of alcohol for 5 months. Is that really an alcohol problem or the action of an alcoholic? Puto doctors, don’t know anything…

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