It’s 1:30am and I’m still restless and edgy. It’s been this way since about 9pm.
This is no surprise really. I can’t remember the last time I actually got a decent night’s sleep without the use of some serious medical help.
Even with the medicine…the sleep feels unnatural. It shuts me down, keeps me still, keeps me quiet, keeps the dreams locked in the marbled mausoleum I keep in the center of my mind…but I never wake up with that rested feeling.
My medication has stopped working. It only took me a few weeks to become immune to it this time. Now starts the process of weaning me off, waiting for my brain to go back to its own version of normal, and then slowly putting me back on it.
It’s a cyclical process that is really time consuming and disheartening.
I’ve asked several doctors if there was any long term help for the symptoms since the disorder itself is not fixable.
They never quite meet my eyes when they shake their heads and shuffle those papers around. “Can’t treat the cause…only the symptoms.” Whatever.
I know its time to back off the medication and try a different approach when the dreams come back, And they always start out the same.
When the medication is working, everything is black. I am still there, still aware, but there is no thoughts. No racing images. No emotions to entertain. I’m suspended in the middle of a black room by invisible strings. It’s slightly relaxing and I quite like it. But then I start to get used to it, and the process begins.
I start to feel the warmth at first. It’s a nice feeling – like lying on cool grass, eyes closed, with the sun gently warming your skin. I have no sense of self. No physical body. Just that feeling. There are brighter shadows that move across my closed lids, making me think of clouds moving slowly across the sky.
I like that part. It feels safe.
After some time, the warmth starts to drain slowly from the top of my head, dragging its caressing fingertips slowly away from my presence, leaving awareness and a chill in its place.
It’s at that moment that I remember I have a body. I start to shiver from the cold and I’m always surprised when I wake up in the dream itself – lying on my back, arms extended to the sky, reaching for that warmth. My limbs don’t feel like my own.
Everything aches; tissues, bones, organs, nails…I can feel every single hair on my head and they burn as if something has been pulling at them furiously.
All my dreams start out this way when the medicine’s effects start to lessen. But that’s where the similarity ends. I’m always in a different place, confronted with different memories.What bothers me is that sometimes these dreams are really good dreams. Dreams of me accomplishing my goals, of my wishes coming true. Of happiness. I “wake” up from them feeling whole and complete. Emotionally sated. Never fully rested, but still better than I was before.
It’s the ones that drop me off in the middle of my own personal demonic-run hell that have me struggling to pull myself out of them.
There’s a moment, an instant of understanding, when those dreams occur. I know I have one chance to get out of them. If I make it, if I succeed, I’m able to wake up. I won’t be getting any more sleep that night (and possibly the next night), but that’s OK. Anything to keep me out of that hell. If I don’t, I really feel it in the morning when they finally let me go.
I don’t think the word ‘Nightmare’ really defines what they are.
They have ceased being bizarre to me, and have become my norm. They don’t scare me so much anymore when I wake up – unless I wake up and I ‘see’ them right in front of me. Like a hazy hallucination…it usually takes a few frightening moments and several attempts at grasping reality to make it all go away.
I don’t even remember when these first started happening…early teens, maybe? I’ll have to remember to check with my mom.
Note: I do not take any illegal drugs. Prescription only, closely monitored by a doctor. Just in case you were wondering.
Guess I’m just lucky like that. All the crazy whacked out dreams with none of the harsh side effect and cost of drugs.
…I really have no idea where I was going with this rambling post. I would talk more about my dreams – even give you a lesson in REM sleep and how REM Rebound can really give you some bizarre dreams. But I don’t want to start down that thought process and then get so lost and turned around that this turns into a novel instead of a blog post.
My friend tells me that I can sleep when I’m dead. And that’s true, I suppose. But there is no coming back from death, so wouldn’t I be stuck in my fucked up Wonderland forever?
I wonder if the gates to my mausoleum would open when I die, letting every dream, good and bad, come rushing out. Elongated fingers with spike nails clawing the foundation of my mind in an attempt to propel themselves forward and reach for my consciousness first.
I can just imagine the noise. The cackling and screeching. The howling wind and a strong sucking noise – like a void pulling the air out of the room. The wide mouthed silent screams of the many characters in my imagination…they always seem to echo throughout my mind.
It’s the silent dreams that completely paralyze me. They have three colors to them. Black. White. Red. They are granulated, like sand or sugar, and the scenes shift constantly, pushing and pulling me through one area to the next, shutting and blurring out the scene previous.
There is one particular character that seems to dwell within the shifting sands of those silent dreams. He is male, and female. Both and neither. He is the embodiment of my darkest thoughts, I think. The ones that I’m afraid to even think of for fear of someone finding out. He’s my ugly in physical form.
He is stunningly beautiful. Powerfully built, with a grace that makes me automatically follow him when he beckons even though I know that nothing good can come of this. I follow, and it amuses him.
He takes me places I never want to go. Always to places that pulls the very breath from my body. When I wake up, I wake up crying, my throat raw as if I had been screaming. My limbs burning like I just ran a marathon with nothing but fear-laced adrenaline as my fuel.
He perches on things. Climbs the walls. Hangs from the random things that hang down from a ceiling I can’t even see. And he’s always so still. Just watching. Waiting. Gauging my reaction I suppose. Or maybe its that he looks so still because everything shifts around him.
I can’t be sure, but I think he admires my attempts to outwit him. My desperate tries to pull in other images and feelings. Noises. God, if I could pull in any sound, I would gather it and wrap it around me like a security blanket.
He likes it best when I go the bravery route. I stay brave for awhile. I face things. I grasp at hysteria and run full steam ahead toward the maze….but like in real life – I eventually find myself overwhelmed and confused. And he…well he is always there when I turn around.
He never touches me.
I will turn around and our noses will be so close I can feel the energy radiating from his skin, but he never touches me. I have tried to reach out – claw his eyes out, rake my nails down his chest – but it never happens. One moment I think about it, the next he already ten feet away from me, holding out his hand, an amused smirk on his face.
His eyes never change, but when amusement creeps into them, his face transforms. His skin shifts as if alive, and I know if I stay there and stare at him I’ll get pulled into something worse. Its not the transformation that scares me, its the manic light to him when it happens that does it.
And he is just one of the many that visit me. But to be honest, he is the only one that is unpredictable. The rest of my nightmares I have become fairly adept at figuring out where they are leading me to and can “reroute” (for a lack of a better term).
But he is different. We are playing a very sick game in my mind, he and I. Nightmares, no matter that they are a product of our minds, feel real. I don’t want you to think I think he is real, I’m not that unhinged…hell, maybe I am. I think this is why I stopped talking about my dreams to my friends and family. I sound unhinged, even to myself.
I’m so tired. Maybe I should write horror novels when I’m like this and erotic romance when I get the good dreams or the dreamless sleep. Productive, right?
It’s times like this that I wish my therapist was still alive. It took me forever to find her and she was one of the few people in this world that seemed to understand my brand of crazy.
I miss her.
…If you can read this from wherever you are – I am a fucking wreck. If possible, please ask the Creator to help me. And I know what you’re going to say, “Aurora, you need to find another therapist. You need to find someone else to talk to.” Yeah. I know. But it still seems wrong to me.
I’ll work on it though. Promise.
Sincerely, That one bipolar girl’s life you saved,