15 April, 2012

N is for Nightmares

You can find a full list of my A to Z challenge posts here. :)

Okay. Nightmares.

I think I'd rather go back to talking about God or Fear, but here goes.

I have had nightmares for as far back as I can remember. For most of my adult life, I lived in a state of non-dreaming, or rarely dreaming, and trained myself to wake up every 20 minutes or so, all night long.

If I didn't wake up soon enough, if I allowed myself to dream, I'd sit up in bed, screaming. This isn't good for anyone - especially not my poor husband trying to sleep beside me. My not-really-sleeping became a state of normal for me (also an N word, ha ha) but it also invited depression, anxiety, and a host of physical complaints.

People need to sleep. Even folks like me.

I learned that sleeping in the daytime, where it's light out and I can see when I open my eyes, helps. That's probably a major reason why I'm a night-owl. The dreams can't get me if I'm awake all night. The real world doesn't embrace that backwards schedule so I have to sleep at night like everyone else. I'm forty seven years old yet I need a fairly bright nightlight, somewhere nearby, so I can see. If I can't see, when the nightmares come, I'll wake up screaming. Since we keep the hallway light on (which indirectly lights our bedroom), it's not so bad. When Bill was working nights I also had the curtains and blinds up so the streetlight down the block and our neighbor's back yard light brightened things up quite a lot.

Imagine waking to this every night
only with a black cavern mouth.
Screaming at you.
And, oh, the teeth. Lots of teeth.
Most of the time - not always, but most - my nightmares consist of something big and heavy falling toward my head to crush me, or a crazy, horrifying woman in garish makeup beside the bed screaming at me. I call her 'that kabuki bitch'. Imagine if you will, waking suddenly, heart pounding, because you'd just woken from the certainty of getting your head crushed under a falling car or boulder or airplane part, and you're laying there, gasping, trying to calm yourself and keep your heart from leaping out of your chest and running away, only to turn your head and some crazy Kabuki bitch is right there, just past your nose, is if she'd been breathing in your ear, and as soon as you see her she lets out an ear splitting scream. Only it's probably you, screaming, because she's actually laughing because she knows you'll do this same damn dance with her in 20 minutes, if you dare to fall asleep.

Yep, super fun times with the kabuki bitch.

She didn't follow me to this house after we moved (thank God), but the falling things... they're still here. As is the less prevalent but still common dark, looming thing in the corner (it left a few months back, thanks to Bill). Other less common nightmares include being chased, stabbed, cut open, beheaded and falling from great heights.

Creepy little bastard.
So, um, yeah. They're a blast. And Kabuki bitch would laugh at me then, too, but she's gone. Yay!!

Now that my eyes are fixed (had them lasered 2 years ago to correct severe nearsightedness) and we have lights on, when I have a nightmare I can open my eyes and see that everything's okay. Before... not so much.

And, oh, yard gnomes creep me out, too. Sometimes, in my dreams, they follow me, no matter how I try to hide. Shudder.

Kabuki bitches and yard gnomes. They're the stuff of nightmares.


Jean said...

The only one I can recall that really bothered me was a recurring dream where my vision increasingly narrowed. I think the content of the dream changed, but it was as if blackness was closing in all around me and my field of vision continued to shrink until it was a pinpoint.

I'm not sure what brought it on or what allowed it to stop, but I thought it was pretty creepy.

(I woke up this morning, realized I hadn't done my post for today and got it posted before I remembered we aren't supposed to post on Sunday, so I changed the post day for "O" until Tuesday. Grin.)

Erin M. Hartshorn said...

Oh, no! That sounds awful. Usually my nightmares are directly triggered by something I've seen (which is why I don't do horror movies, and even some TV shows are bad ideas right before bed). I can't sleep with a closet door open, though. Part of me is certain that there's something in there that will get me if I leave it open.

Glad your kabuki bitch didn't follow you to your current house.

Jean said...

For the longest time, I had to have at least a sheet covering my body. It was as if any body part exposed (with the possible exception of head and arms) would be consumed by the "bedcovers monster."

My younger sister was freaked out by the giraffe in the closet that would come out to haunt her. (I think she's gotten past that now.)