I am fascinated with dreams. I don’t necessarily buy into all the symbolism and interpretation that some do, but I really am intrigued by what the brain can conjure up when we enter into unconsciousness. Dreams interest me so much that I even have a dream journal. In fact, I wrote about this dream journal of mine in a blog post once. Dreams fascinate me enough that I constantly ask the ones that I love if they dreamed at night and then if they did, I question them about what they experienced.
However, old fashioned dreams are not the only part of the not-fully conscious state that grips my attention. I have discussed and written about near-death experiences. I enjoy looking into that weird state right before you fall asleep when many times you suddenly grip the bed as if you were falling. Sleep walking is a condition that I have also explored before. But probably the one phenomenon that really shakes me is what happened to me again last night.
Many of us have experienced that terrifying state where we are laying in our bed while seemingly conscious but unable to move a muscle. It is as if there is absolutely no flow between the brain and the body parts. It is a feeling of absolute helplessness. What makes these experiences even worse is that most times these paralyzing episodes are accompanied with the perceived presence of a threatening stimuli. Many times people will feel that someone is in the room with them, someone evil. I have experienced this more than once and as I said before, the darkness and helplessness are overwhelming. I also had one experience where I was paralyzed in my bed and everything was perfectly in order in my room but when I looked outside my window I saw a firestorm as if the world was coming to an end and I was powerless to move my head the other way. Now I don’t know if these paralyzing moments really occur while our minds are conscious while our bodies are not or whether the whole thing is just a dream and it happens to take place in the room we are sleeping in but nonetheless they are very interesting (that is the next morning of course after the terrifying part has faded away).
Last night I had another of what I perceived to be one of these experiences but fourteen hours after it happened I still don’t know if it was actually just a dream.
At 3 a.m. I opened my eyes in the bedroom of my apartment and heard what seemed to be the voices of two or three men right outside my window. At my apartment complex I can easily hear chatter that is going on outside as foot traffic passes by but this time it was different. The voices were much louder than what I usually hear but oddly I couldn’t make out one word that was being said. I only knew two things: 1. I couldn’t move a muscle and 2. I felt frightened. The loud voices went on for about twenty seconds and then all of a sudden the noise shifted from outside my window to the entrance door of my apartment, located just a few feet from my open bedroom door. All of a sudden a terrible noise of banging, scratching, and yells overtook the door. I laid in my bed, absolutely helpless, unable to move, scared. My mind was able to race during this experience, I cognitively recognized that my clock read 3:00 a.m. on the dot. The cacophony seemed to go on for about 30 seconds, a pretty long time to listen to such a noise. The assault on my door finally stopped and time seemed to pass. The next time I looked at the clock it was 3:15 a.m. I was able to move again. I got out of bed and made sure the door was locked. I lay in bed for about an hour before falling back asleep.
Bad dreams and experiences like the one I just recounted always seem scarier at night. When I got up this morning and thought about what had just happened a few hours ago I was able to think about it rationally without any thoughts of true terror. The number one thought on my mind was whether I did have maniacs banging on my door. I opened up my door to get the paper and looked at the outside frame. No evidence of any pounding or scratching. My doormat was in perfect placement, absolutely no trace of any disturbance. I mean in all reality, why would a few guys (probably drunk) hammering on my door scare me in the first place? I can defend myself, my door is safely locked, and I got neighbors who would probably respond to the commotion. Again, I think just the feeling of helplessness and lack of control frighten our souls the most.
So who knows what happened last night. Was it a dream or did I in fact have people at my door? Going with the norm for these types of experiences, my best guess is that I was in fact dreaming. However, I could always be wrong, so let me say this: if you came to my apartment door last night, how about you make a return visit again tonight? I promise I won’t hide under my covers this time. Don’t Blink.