I occasionally experience a “night terror”.
If you have never heard of this kind of thing, it is a dream similar to a nightmare, but differs in several respects.
I seldom have nightmares.
I have “falling” dreams once in a while, and a couple of other recurring dreams, but very few nightmares.
And once in a while a night terror.
You can check here for the official details:
I will tell you about mine.
I do not remember when I had my first one but it was not longer than about ten years ago.
I had them when I lived in Morgan City and I have had them since I moved to Huntsville.
They occur about two or three times a year.
I cannot associate them with any recent event in my life or my emotional state, so I do not know what “triggers” one.
Night terrors for me are always similar.
In each one, I am aware “something” has somehow come into the house and is coming down the hallway to my bedroom to “get” me.
I am very aware of the presence of the “thing” that is about to get me, and I am scared.
In fact, I am terrified.
I can always hear it breathing (panting) loudly, stomping its feet, or talking loudly, but unintelligibly.
Sometimes it seems like there are many voices talking at once.
And the noises are not quiet.
It is not worried that I will hear it.
It is not trying to sneak up on me.
That is one clue that I am having an episode.
Strangely, I know that if I can wake up, I will be okay.
So when these episodes take place, my struggle is to wake myself up from a deep sleep.
I know the thing is coming closer and I need to wake up before it gets to me.
It is really hard.
I try to move, to make myself wake up, but I seem to be paralyzed.
Sometimes “it” comes into my room and stands next to my bed, or hovers over me in my bed before I can wake myself.
All the while talking or yelling loudly, threatening me, but I can never make out any specific words.
I just know I am terrified of this thing and need to wake up as soon as possible.
I am never sure what it is that is about to get me, but it is not human.
The entity is not like a burglar with a gun.
The threat is not from a weapon, it is from the creature itself.
It is either a space alien or some kind of human/animal creature or the Devil.
I am not sure about this last entity.
I do not sense much spiritual danger, the fear is more about physical harm.
But there is some spiritual element to the threat.
I do not know what “it” looks like.
I never actually see anything specific, just a white glow or a dark blur.
And my sense is that it is not the same thing in each episode.
Sometime it is the white thing coming after me and other times it is the dark thing.
The creatures are similar but not the same entity.
But I always manage to wake up.
And then I am okay.
The noise stops and the threat vanishes.
I wake up, look around, usually look at the clock to see what time it is.
I settle down and let my heart rate get back to normal.
Then, off to fairyland I go again, not to be disturbed again that night.
In this way, I am different from most of the people described in Wikipedia.
They do not remember the episode - I do.
I am not disoriented or amnesiatic – I know exactly where I am, what has just happened and what I am going to do about it (go back to sleep).
And most of the time I remember the episode the next morning.
I had a night terror last Sunday night, January 21, 2007 at 11:39 PM.
I was surprised that it took place so soon after I had gone to sleep – which was around 10 PM.
As is usual, when I woke up, I made a mental note of the event, rolled over and went back to sleep.
I slept through the rest of the night and woke up rested.
Thank you for listening/reading.
(More pictures from Oregon tomorrow.)