Disclaimer: This post describes a scary dream that could be triggering.
I woke up terrified at 2am. I had the most disgusting nightmare about a family whose patriarch was a serial killer. In the dream, I was the daughter who lived with the serial killer and my mother in the basement of a house. The man kidnapped many women, tortured them, made them die slowly, and taped the bodies to the steps that led up and out of the basement. In order for my mom and I to leave the basement, we would have had to step on the bodies of the half-naked women who were not all dead. I remember the last victim was a schoolteacher, about 65 years old with brown hair that she wore in a large bun. She was taped to the basement stairs, not dead yet, and had several pencils sticking out of her neck. I woke up terrified. I mean really frightened and disturbed.
It was very strange that this happened to me because I am a lucid dreamer. I can say that over the last 25 years, I have had at most two nightmares a year, if any. I dream a lot and my dreams are vivid (and colorful), but I don’t wake up terrified.
Even after I awoke, I tried to play the dream a dozen different ways. In the first version, my mom and I got upstairs, but we didn’t leave the house. We discovered our extended family was living a seemingly normal life on the first floor while we had been living in the basement with the dying women who had been tortured. Then the father came upstairs, put his arm around my mother’s neck, and took her back down to the basement. In one version, I tried to run away but the front steps were booby trapped. Splintered wooden planks shot through my legs. In another, I called for a taxi and he murdered the taxi cab driver. In another, I phoned the police. They sent one car and one officer. He murdered the police officer. In another, I made it to the police station in the dark and the officer was in on it. In another, the police brought me back to the crime scene and he murdered the police officer again. I kept running scenarios, but their were no solutions.
I know why I dreamt about a serial murderer. My mother loves true crime shows like 48 Hours and Cold Case. She always has the television on with highly disturbing shows about torturing and murdering women. I am a Disney girl. I never watch anything more violent than Dumbo (which is pretty violent). Watching those true crime shows is not good for my brain.
The real trouble started after I woke up. I couldn’t take a Valium because I have lost the original prescription I had from Israel. If I get drug tested for the pharmacy job, I wouldn’t be able to prove that I have an Rx for the Valium. The traumatic nightmare changed my brain chemistry like a small stroke. I needed a few days to recover. Plus I felt sick from not sleeping. I spent the whole next 24 hours in my pajamas in bed, trying to recuperate. Twice I dozed off and the telephone woke me within 10 minutes. My mom, ever the loving caregiver, got angry with me for being sick. It’s a very common reaction, to be angry when someone is sick, but it still hurt my feelings. By the end of the day, I took an Imitrex which is to prevent a migraine attack and that did help my headache enough so that I could sleep. Two nights of good sleep and I will be good as new.
So what did I learn from the nightmare attack? I learned sympathy for the devil. My narcissist, David, had PTSD nightmares every single night. Night terrors, too. He confided in me that he dreams about zombies. In his dreams, he is forced to watch the zombies hunt, kill, and eat people. They attack the helpless. He mentioned they eat homeless people and children. David is very sensitive and he is forced to watch because he is dreaming. His own mind is torturing him against his will. I don’t understand it at all, but that can be part of PTSD. Obviously, he dreads going to sleep, so the doctor prescribed a large dose of Valium at bedtime. Personally, I think that Valium predisposes the mind to having nightmares. I find that drug-induced sleep is different from natural sleep. But nobody listens to me. Anyhow, I had one nightmare and it f*cked me up for two days. David has nightmares several times each evening. Now I feel sorry for him.
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