I'm new here, but I feel I have an answer.
If you experience the ability to choose what you do in a dream, then you're having a lucid dream Like you, I've experienced (once in my life) a lucid dream by "dreaming within a dream" (in the first dream, I sit in the backseat of a car and fall asleep. In my second dream I realize that I'm sleeping in the backseat of a car, thus dreaming - I didn't realize I was in my bed all along). I was able to manipulate the "second" dream too. In the end I woke up in bed (not the car), so I had lucidity all the way and good dream recall.
I think you experienced lucidity in the second dream (like me), followed by loss of lucidity due to failed reality check in the first dream (if I had woken up in the car, I'm 100% sure I would have failed my reality check too, thinking the dream was over).
The mind can and will do anything imaginable, so don't be surprised that you got confused this way. I've come to understand that if you don't remember to do reality checks often, you can forget that you are lucid, slipping back into a normal, subconscious-controlled dreamstate, even during the same dream.
We have to train ourselves to think about dreams and dreaming very often every day, so we learn to make realiy checks often. This is one of the reasons why a dream journal/diary is good You should also know how to stabalize a dream, once you realize you're lucid, so you don't wake up too fast.
First deliberate LD: 4/1-2012 (DILD).
Lucidities after that: 26/3-2012 (DILD during nap), 1/6-2012 (DILD during nap),
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