Monday, August 15, 2005

The dark side of the Dreaming

I had a nightmare last night that woke me up screaming.

In my dream I was standing in my living room when the doorbell rang. I was only wearing boxers and a t-shirt, so I didn't answer right away. Instead, I was hoping someone else would get it. When the bell rang again, I sort of tapped on the door to let whoever it was know that I'd be with them in a moment. I looked up the stairs where my brother was, thinking he'd come down and get the door for me, but instead he walked into my bedroom. I didn't get the impression that he was ignoring me — just that he was going to do something else first. But not wanting to make the person outside wait any longer, I gave up hope of modesty and opened the door.

Instantly, someone rushed me and smashed me on the right side of my head with a sledgehammer. My body immediately hit the floor. I didn't see my attacker, and I didn't have time to react. It just happened so fast. In the following two seconds before I felt myself lose consciousness, several thoughts flew through my mind: I needed to warn my family that someone was in the house. I was worried for the safety of Misty and Emily. I needed to let them know that I'd been seriously hurt so that they could come to my aid. I knew that I was dying. And I gave thought to the state of the world in the news and something about cheesecake and a compass.

That last part is weird considering the scope of things, and I wouldn't bother mentioning it except that I don't want to overlook anything that might have some significance. As I said, all these thoughts flitted through my head in only a couple of seconds. After that, I screamed for help four times. The first two times, nothing came out, and as I tried, I feared that I would not be able to alert my family of the impending danger. The next two times woke me up, though, as I hollered, "Help me! Help me!"

For the rest of the night, I didn't sleep much. In fact, I was afraid to go to sleep. I was so unslettled from that blind rush of terror. Every creak in the house had me on edge. As I lay in bed I thought about going to see my physician about the dream. Or a psychiatrist. Or a fortune teller. I wondered if our house was haunted, causing me to have bad dreams. I thought about calling the previous owners and asking them why they'd moved — if they'd had similar nightmares. I wondered if the soup I'd had for dinner could have caused any of this.

Aside from the fact that I was attacked with a sledgehammer, two things continue to unsettle me about this dream. For one thing, whenever I dream about being at home, I'm at the house in which I lived in Houston. I assume the reason for this consistency is that I spent more time living in that house than any other (with the exception of an earlier house in Houston, but I was too young to remember it well). With this dream, though, I was in the house where I now reside. That element made the dream more real, and it troubles me that the shift to my current home would coencide with such a horrible event. The other thing that bothers me is that this is the second dream I've had within a month in which I've been murdered (the other time involving being shot in the head point-blank while being held as a hostage in a bookstore or restaurant).

Should I be worried about this sort of thing? Should I seek out professional help? At the moment, I'm inclined to see if it happens again before rushing off to see a psychiatrist. Two incidents is a coincendece, but three would signal something more significant, I think.

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