You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us about what you find on the other side.
This has no title because the dream is a long soundless scream.
This one is easy. It’s my old one when I wake from my PTSD nightmares.
Well not exactly wake. You see I think I am awake. I am lying in bed and realize that it was just a dream. I think we can all relate to those type of dreams. The moment you realize it was a dream and, if bad, the relief that floods through you. That moment of euphoria when you say, “oh thank God, it was a dream.”
But what comes next is worse. In this dream, I realize it was a dream and I am awake. Then I realize there is something in the room with me. I can’t see it. I know it is there. Whatever it is hidden in the shadows of the room but it is there. I can’t move or it will see I’m awake.
My chest tightens and my breathing becomes more rapid. I can feel adrenaline flooding my body because of what I do for a living. You see I worked with the criminally insane so fight or flight was a weekly if not daily thing. It was part of the job to restrain a violent patient. So my flood of adrenaline is huge.
I decide to run for it but I can’t move. I’m paralyzed. I try to scream but I can’t. I can’t even make grunting sounds. I know the thing in the room is aware of me now. And I am helpless.
Finally a scream rips from my throat and in the early days when I moved home after leaving the job, my mother would come in and wake me to tell me I was screaming. She had cancer and I moved in with her until her death. After she died it would be my other half who came in if they were out of the room and wake me. If my cat or my bird was near me, I would be fine. I think their noise kept me from going into a deep sleep that allowed for the dreams to happen.
So I woke in a cold sweat shaking only to realize that I hadn’t been awake at all. But the dream was so real, I had assumed I was awake. It’s called Sleep Paralysis. The only time I had it is when I had one of my PTSD nightmares. Usually filled with blood and no one listening when I try to warn them. It always follows them and doesn’t occur on its own so it is directly related to the PTSD.
And I sincerely hope you never have them. They were worse than the nightmare.