I used to have a recurring dream when I was a kid. I would sleepwalk through it, and it would take all my parents’ energy to wake me.
It started off where I would be eating M&Ms or smarties. I was little. Not age-wise, I was a tiny tiny person. I would be riding my trike. This is when I would get out of bed. I know this because my brain would flash between the reality of walking through our house, and the dream world. (One particular time I ended up in the front driveway at some ungodly hour.)
I was being chased by a horrible monster. He was enormous, bigger than a Titan of ancient Greece. He wanted to hurt me, possibly eat me.
There was always this moment where I knew I could wake myself, but was never able to. This was about the time my mum would usually wake up. According to her, I would be screaming. I don’t recall this aspect. In the dream, I couldn’t speak. My mouth was glued shut. She would come out of her room and though I vaguely recognized her, I knew I was about to be led to my doom.
She would bring me to my parents room to try and calm me down. This is where the monster was. As soon as I would see my dad, I would be frozen. He was the monster. In my brain, he was a giant mound of garbage, much like a junkyard. When he would rise from the bed, his true form would show itself. (My dad was very good to me growing up. Outside of the usual father chest-puffing when I was being an S-H, he was fair. Definitely not some sort of deep-seeded mental distortion of how I saw my dad).
The sleepwalking always felt like some sort of purgatory. I knew that the images in my head weren’t real, but it would take a lot of energy on all three of our parts to wake me. I would only wake up when I felt I was in the worst possible peril. Right when I thought I was finally about to be hurt or eaten. The next morning I would be so tired I could barely function.
Even as I’ve grown up, I still feel the ephemeral grip of the dream. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with the residual feeling of it. I’ll feel exceptionally small within my home, my fingers get a weird tingling that fills me with utter dread and anxiety. I’ve figured out how to wrestle myself from the dream’s grip…but it seems it will always be lurking in the shadows of my sleep.