The last several nights, I’ve been having these strange dreams. The first one started simply enough. I was lying in bed, asleep, or so I thought, and I started to hear this sound, like a marching band playing, outside the window. When I was a kid, we lived near a junior high school and as an adult, I lived near a high school, and in the mornings of marching band season, if you lay quietly in bed, you could hear the band practicing. The other morning, I didn’t think much about hearing the band at first, because of this, until I remember, I don’t live near a school any more, and there was no marching band in the swimming pool in the back yard (at least, I hope there isn’t).
That’s when I woke up. Or so I thought. The band stopped playing, and I looked around the room, dazed, because in my dream I just thought I’d awoken from, I had been lying in the same bed, wearing the same clothes, sleeping on the same sheets, head on the same pillow, everything identical to where I was right in that moment. The only difference was, in the dream, there was the sound of the marching band, then I realized I was dreaming, and I woke up, but nothing had changed–everything was the same as the dream, except the music had stopped.
But then… the music started playing again. I jerked awake.
Or did I?
This went on like this for what the clock–if that part can even be believed–for about four hours. Four hours of waking up with a jerk, marching band music, thinking I was asleep, but not being asleep, thinking I was awake but realizing I was dreaming, only to wake up again, and realizing that that dream was a dream… and I got scared, freaked out completely, every time the damned marching band music would start, and I would get these goosebump chills running up and down my legs and spine, and I was terrified–more scared than any nightmare I’ve ever had, but in a very different, very real sort of way. With a nightmare, at least I KNEW it was a nightmare, I KNEW it wasn’t real, even if it was terrifying. With this, I was left with this very weird sensation that I didn’t have any way to know what was real and what was not real.
So much so that when I finally woke other people up so I wouldn’t be alone, I caught myself wondering if I could even trust that I was truly awake. I finally was able to shake the feeling, because once I had gotten up and moved around some, I realized I had moved out of the ‘danger zone’ of being in bed and waking up from a dream or falling asleep into one, and that once I was out of that zone, the awake/sleep cycle stopped and I was fine for the rest of the day–but I couldn’t quite shake the feeling.
So when I went to bed the next night, I was a little fearful to go to sleep. I managed to get to sleep, but it took me a couple of hours of deep breathing and relaxation to finally doze off. Once I did, I jerked awake several times, for fear I was ‘falling asleep’. Silly, I know; I mean, I wanted to fall asleep but I was afraid to fall asleep… crazy brain. Then I finally fell asleep. I seemed to sleep pretty well for several hours, best I can tell, but then I woke and had to go pee (at least, I think I did). My oxygen wouldn’t reach to the bathroom. I remember that. So I actually, instead of calling someone or going to move the concentrator closer to the door, I simply took off the cannula and hung it on the closet doorknob and went to the bathroom without oxygen. That’s not a good idea, btw, but I won’t get into why in this blog.
I could FEEL my heartbeat just pounding in my chest and I was low on sats, but it wasn’t too bad. I only mention it because it was real, physical symptoms that I can recall that make me believe I was probably really awake for this and really did get up–but the fact I would go without my oxygen seems quite out of the ordinary for me. I also remember I didn’t have to pee a lot, and yet… in the bed, I had felt like I was just going to burst if I didn’t go pee right then. So that seemed weird to me too. I can’t honestly say if I really did get up and go pee or not–what I do know is, when I finally do know I woke up this morning, the oxygen concentrator was NOT close to the door and I could NOT make it to the bathroom with it, so it’s likely that was real that I did get up in the night to pee–but it seems strange no one else in the house seems to have heard or remembered me getting up.
I came back to bed, lay down and glanced at the clock. It was 5 in the morning, or a little after. For the next four hours, I lay in bed, and the wake/asleep cycle started again. I tossed and turned, woke up and turned the fan on, woke up and turned the fan off, woke up and turned the fan to oscillate. I realized later, I think I was doing something with the fan as a means of trying to force my brain to connect with the ‘real world’ from a sleeping/dreamy state, like I had to DO something to make myself know I was really awake. Around 9 in the morning, the phone rang, it was a call I had to take, and I detest talking on the phone–I hate it more than you can possibly know, these days–so that definitely woke me up. A few more phone calls to deal with a situation later, and I was up for the day.
A few hours later, though, I was sitting at my computer, and this weird, disorientation came over me, and I felt… dizzy. I felt odd. I can’t explain the feeling, but it wasn’t normal. I also couldn’t keep my eyes open, couldn’t hold my head up. It was like I was drifting into this half dream state while sitting up at the computer in the living room. I finally told Lynn I had to go lay down. So I did. We were at the house alone together, just me and Lynn and the furry creatures.
Here’s where things get weird… I went into the bedroom. I crawled into bed and turned on the fan. I was already in a groggy half-alseep state. I grabbed a pillow and put it behind me and called Jake the Dog to come in and take a nap with me. He loves pillows. So he hopped on the bed and crawled up and laid on the pillow and I yelled to Lynn in the other room, “Look, Jakey dog came to sleep with me…” that’s the last thing I remember. I fell asleep probably nearly instantly after that.
I woke later. Or so I thought.
I remember the dog was no longer in bed with me. I picked up the pillow he had been sleeping on, folded it in half, and moved over in the bed to lay on that pillow, laying sideways in the bed instead of like normal, with my feet hanging off the edge of the bed. I know I did this, because when I really did ‘wake up’ for certain, my leg had the crease from the side of the bed on it, and the dog was licking my foot that was hanging off the bed. Pretty sure that really happened. But in the middle of that, I thought Lynn had come into he bedroom, and had spoken to me. I remember speaking to her. I had a short conversation, we talked about Jake and how he had left the bedroom, and I asked her a question. I can remember the entire conversation. Then I dozed back off, and she went back into the other room.
Then I woke again and got up to go the bathroom. I came into the living room, because the oxygen wouldn’t reach into the bathroom. I moved the concentrator closer to the bathroom. I talked to Lynn when I did this. I went to the bathroom and went back to bed. It was similar to what had happened earlier in the morning, but I was wearing different clothes and it was a different time of day. In the morning, also, the bird was in the bedroom in his cage by the bed, and in the afternoon, I had to reach around the bird cage in the living room to move the concentrator, so I know it was two different events.
Regardless of all that, Lynn says I never spoke to her. She says she was never in the bedroom. That I never asked her a question. She never talked to me about the dog, except when I called her to tell her the dog had come in to take a nap with me. She confirms that happened, but not the second conversation about me taking his pillow. She also confirms I did get up and go to the bathroom, but I apparently didn’t get up and come into the living room or move the concentrator to the door. I just got up, went to the bathroom, and came back to bed, without saying anything at all.
Also, I only slept for about three hours. Yet when I woke up, it felt like I had been asleep all day long. It seemed like quite a long time, and it felt ‘late’ when it was really not that late. I woke up starving too, like I had not eaten all day, and I had actually eaten immediately before I had gone to bed.
So basically, my gist here is that it felt like I was asleep/awake-asleep for a lot longer than I really was. I feel like I ‘lived’ more during that sleep than what I really lived, like I actually experienced conversations and actions that didn’t happen–but they did. I would swear to you in my life that they happened, to the point I assure you I could pass any lie detector test who would tell you I wholly believe these things happened.
But there’s no way they did happen. My family isn’t gaslighting me here. I believe they didn’t happen. I know I was ‘asleep’… but I wasn’t.
And now, it’s 4am, and I’m afraid to go to bed.
And I feel like I’m loosing my mind.
Any advice? I can’t help but think what a great potential this is for a book plot… crazy me, but everything I experience has that potential, but I can go so many different ways with this. Maybe that’s why I get so scared; ’cause my brain can extrapolate out potential plots and worst case scenarios! LOL Imagination: blessing and a curse!
Love and stuff,