||May 10th, 2017 Wednesday|| I will continue to document various unpleasant memories, in part because sometimes it's difficult for me to really parse everything that's happened in my life, and I also have large gaps in my memories. For the things that come back, I want to make sure I don't forget again. I don't really think I'll forget again, but there's a part of me that's afraid I will. I've mentioned before that I have always mostly had nightmares. When I was a preteen, I was flat out afraid to fall asleep because I knew odds were I was going to have an intense nightmare. I already had trouble sleeping since I was very young, and I know part of that is because I was always having nightmares. That, and when I was really young we lived in a heavy crime area and there were regularly criminals camped outside my bedroom window because that spot happened to be really convenient in hiding from cops. So, yeah, there was that too. But I didn't have to worry about that once we moved and my ability to fall asleep only got worse. At this point, I've gotten my body to feel tired at roughly the same time every night, and I've been trying to make a point to sleep only at that point and take no naps, but I still mess that up from time to time. Back to the nightmares. I thought it might be useful if I outline some of the common recurring nightmares and themes from dreams. I don't have many of these kinds of dreams anymore, but I also don't remember my dreams as much these days. I presume that means I'm not having nightmares as often. Typically, if I can remember a dream these days, it's either a nightmare or a dream that's mostly sad. -My first recurring nightmare involves me being chased in a party outfit I hated wearing down a street in an abandoned neighborhood with a T-rex behind me. Eventually, where the T-rex and me showed up together changed. I stopped having these dreams IIRC in either my late teens or early twenties when I decided to just let the damn thing eat me. This initially stood out as odd amongst many of my other nightmares, but after writing out this post, I have realized a very disturbing connection. -This was primarily from younger years to high school. I haven't had a dream related to this as an adult. I call these the arms dreams. In the first dream, I'm in the woods somewhere what feels like Decatur or somewhere near Decatur but I don't know where. It's behind a school, either a high school or a college, I don't know it's just some kind of school?, and it's fall because all the leaves are on the ground. There's somebody there with me, but I can't see who. Then I'm on a bed and these arms come up from underneath the bed and grab onto my waist and pull me down. I can't see who the person under the bed is. I just know it's an adult man with light skin who must be middle age or younger, because the arms don't look like they belong to an old person. I can't escape. As this is going on, I hear reports about someone being raped on a campus but that person was killed and they can't find the body. (Which begs the question how anyone knew a rape happened, but it's a dream.) But I can see that person's body, it's someone I don't recognize laying there dead in the leaves. I can't escape those arms, they keep pulling me down, making me sink into something. I feel like I buried something in the woods, a box, but I don't remember what I put in it. In other dreams, sometimes I'd just be lying on a bed and one or both arms would suddenly reach up from underneath and pull me down and try to pull me under the bed. I can't get away. In my head I can almost see who the arms belong to, someone naked, but all the distinguishing features are blurred out. Sometimes, I'd go back to those woods and it'd always be fall there and I know it's somewhere in that same area. And I'm always starting from the bottom of the hill. The building is to the right of me and up the hill. I'm looking for something there, and sometimes there are other people there, including the boy I'll mention in the next set of dreams. I never find what I'm looking for. I don't like people touching my waist from behind when I'm awake, not even my wife. I actually felt physically ill when describing these dreams to my wife. I also don't like people touching my shoulders with both their hands or grabbing my wrist, but that's from my parents. I can't explain the waist thing though. -Around when I was five, these dreams started. They were mostly confined to elementary school, but would occasionally happen in middle and high school and early adulthood. I was being taken from my parents by these strange military people to be used as an experiment. This set of dreams have a very defined narrative to them, which makes me think most things in here must be very symbolic in nature or something I got out of a TV show or movie. I'm taken to this underground place and it's always snowing over it. I'm given a completely white, padded room, like a prison cell for an insane person or something. I kept writing messages for help with something red on the walls. Sometimes it's a crayon or marker, sometimes it's my own blood. I'm giving a white hospital gown to wear while I'm in the base. My room has a number I can't ever remember. Beside my room is this boy's room who's my age and my friend. His face is similar to my face, but we're not siblings. In a much later dream, I acknowledge him as a representation of a piece of myself. We're a "set" in my mind. Sometimes, I would try to escape. The hallway is pure metal and I can see my reflection as I'm running. Like there's two of me. At some point, I pass an open doorway and there's people cutting open someone, ripping open the ribcage and cutting down the stomach and messing around with the organs inside while the person on the operating table is cuffed down and screaming. While I stare at that person, I see a vision of me on that table while someone is doing the same procedure to my body but I'm watching this from third person and looking down at myself and all the blood. I can see my heart beating inside my body while the me down below is screaming in agony, but I can't see my lower half or the people at all from this angle. Just that clear view of my face, my ribs split in two, and my heart beating really fast inside my body while both my lungs seem to barely be working at all. I escape above to where the snow is in my bare feet. Sometimes, the boy is there with me and we escape together. I'm always barefoot when I'm running away because I can see my feet bleeding from the coldness of the snow and leaving bloody footprints behind while we run through the woods at night and try to catch a train away. We always get caught and put back underground. Sometimes, I'm with these other people, these other children in the woods. I'm definitely in Decatur at this part. They're all brainwashed to think the adults are good, but I know better and I keep trying to tell them they're bad people. They make us do these military missions for them and when we're brought back, they mess with our heads. As a punishment, I'm often put outside inside a giant net in the woods I can't escape from. It feels like I'm left there all the time and for days on end. Eventually, one dream, I snap and kill all the other children in the experiment except the boy and we try to escape together, but we get caught by the adults. One of the adults rapes "me" in the woods but I see this from that boy's perspective, and then the other adult there kills the boy and leaves his body in the woods, but I watch this from my perspective. They lock me up underground but I escape finally and kill everyone involved. I then start going on a killing spree of every child I come across to "save" them from bad things happening to them. I would cut them up into pieces so there was no "part" of them that anyone could "corrupt" even after their death. In that dream, when I escape, I am playing the role of a detective while the other me is running rampant killing children. I don't know the other me is me until the end of the dream. During the whole dream when I'm trying to uncover who the murderer is and why they're killing all these children. I explore the underground military base, now abandoned, in darkness with a flashlight and find files about this person/the other me. Eventually, I look in my reflection in the metal and realize I am the murderer I'm searching for and I've separated my consciousness into two, the side that remembered what happened and the side that blocked it out to become a normal person. When I realize this in the dream, all the memories start coming back and I return to my "insane" state and try to kill the police officers there with me in hopes one of them will shoot me and put me out of my misery. But I end up killing all of them and no one is able to stop me or catch me. So I take it upon myself to slit both my wrists and die inside that metal hellhole. This was either in late middle school or early high school when I had that dream. These next few mostly happened as a high school/adult. I'm inside my house and something is calling me to go into the basement. I go down a flight of stairs and find another set that shouldn't be there to go deeper underground. I can't reach the bottom in most of the dreams because I get so afraid of what's waiting behind the final door at the bottom of the deep steps. Eventually, I do open the door and I find a picture frame of me and that boy together, again as a "set". It's faded and in sepia in a wooden frame sitting on a wooden table. I pick it up and realize the boy is also me, and that he was trying to tell me something the entire time. I'm still too afraid to take in the message beyond "we are one person" and close the door and walk back up the steps. The first dream in this set is the one in which I'm separated from my parents. They're both there and we're inside a school cafeteria but I don't know why. Nothing particularly bad happens in this dream beyond me being taken from them by a man with a helmet on. I can't see anything about his face. My parents seem much nicer in the dream than in reality to the point they don't seem real at all. These soldiers that invade the school specifically came from "a base in the forest" in the dream, but I don't know what they came there for and their base seems to be right outside the school building. I was definitely five when I had this dream, because I remember I had started kindergarten recently around that time. The first time I actually saw the inside of the base was after one of, if not my first trip to a Home Depot. I think I was also around five still at that point. We went into the lawnmower section and something about seeing all those lawnmowers lined up made me feel like I wanted to run away. I wanted to leave the store immediately, and felt like I was suddenly trapped, but I don't know why. That night, I "walked" into one of the hallways of the base by walking down the aisle the lawnmowers were on. They eventually disappeared and then I was underground in that dark metal place and all those creepy people were messing around with children. I never saw the faces of any of these people either, now that I think about it. All their faces were obscured by masks and the only bright lights down there outside of the pure white room. But they were all men, young men. A lot of my early dreams about this would begin with me walking past a string of lawnmowers. I have no idea why lawnmowers in a dark, confined place specifically. What does that have to do with anything? I hated going to Home Depot as a kid, and would avoid going near that part of the store. I would even beg my parents to let me stay home so I didn't have to go to that store and would always request that they let me stay in the car while they went into Home Depot. I did this with my grandparents too, and looking back, it just seems bizarre. I hated lawnmowers as well, but again, I have no idea why lawnmowers are remotely related to anything. It just seems really random. Outside of the dreams where I'm going down the stairs, all of these dreams in this set are set during nighttime or it's impossible to tell because everything is dark and underground. I also have no idea why these set of dreams seem so out there, narrative-wise. It sounds like some weird kind of conspiracy type horror movie or an X-Files episode or something. Maybe some of it was influenced from something I watched as a kid, story-wise, but I can't think of what specifically and these dreams happened collectively from age five on into adulthood. The boy from this dream would sometimes show up in other dreams. He would usually be trying to warn me about something dangerous about to happen to me that I end up not avoiding. Like a dream when he warned me about walking into the road only for me to get hit by a car seconds later and get knocked off a bridge and me drown as I'm sinking down into the water. Being thrown from a bridge and drowning was another recurring nightmare, but I almost drowned once so that's probably why. He would also show in dreams set in a post-apocalyptic setting where we would be working together (or we would actually be one whole person) trying to collect information on the government and expose some hidden secret from our basement in this old house we were hiding out in. I often had an older brother in these dreams who would warn me/the boy that if we dug too deep, it would get us killed or we would go somewhere we "can't escape from" so we shouldn't go poking into those things. I came to realize the older brother was also another side of me, a side that didn't want to remember something. As we/I would get closer to the truth, the older brother would get captured or killed because of me and I would know they were coming to lock me up inside some dark prison where no one would ever be able to find me or help me escape. While these dreams always ended before I got captured, I had a clear image of what the prison cell looked like. Like the hallway of that base, it was pure metal with no windows and at the bottom of a large building, underground. Sometimes the information would be on a floppy disc, sometimes a small CD. The information was locked and once I/we got past that, the information itself was in some kind of code we had to decipher. The CD/floppy disc was always red. In a dream where we were separate people, the boy finally cracked the code and was going to show the information to me, but he got captured and taken away. I got the CD from him before then, but the CD broken in my hands. From inside the prison, he got out discs and CD to me, but I could never understand what was on them. Most of the time, this post-apocalyptic place, though unfamiliar looking, is referred to as being Decatur or part of Atlanta. I just realized that my actual brother is nowhere to be seen in any of these dreams, not even the one where I'm separated from my parents. He was definitely a couple of years old at that point when I had the first dream. I wonder why he's missing when my parents weren't. -Much like with the T-rex, being chased by raptors. Who are sometimes men who want to either kill me or rape me. It's not usually a pack of them, but like one raptor. Though the first time I had this dream, they were in a group (as actual raptors) wearing masks over their faces and chasing me into the basement. They had human voices, but they all had the same male voice. In some dreams, the raptors were humans who were just called "raptors" for some reason. Outside of the first dream inside my house at night, all the other raptor dreams happen in the day, usually in or by woods. -The girl in the attic I would meet in empty neighborhoods. She was older than me (in her teens, I think), and very different looking from me physical so she didn't look like family. She had light skin and long blonde hair and I thought she was kind of ditzy at first but she would reveal herself to be very smart in the early dreams. She always wore a long coat and a skirt and I'd find her in attics in different houses. She knew all these tunnels that connected other houses together. She would tell me nothing could reach us while we were in there. It reminded me of a play area for kids at restaurants, the tunnels that is. We were looking for something together. I wanted to find my family, but she told me I shouldn't. They left me and were bad people. I should stay with her instead. I always had this sense of dread in the dreams, that something was following behind us or just outside the house or below the ceiling and was trying to get inside to where we were to catch us and I was terrified of asking why there were no other humans but us there. Something inhuman that would reach up and grab me through the floor and pull me down with it. She had something special in a suitcase that glowed, but I can't remember what it was. Monsters would sometimes lurk outside the attic windows and she would hide me. These dreams got creepier once the girl in the attic disappeared. She told me she was from another world/time and that she wouldn't always be there with me to protect me, but I didn't know when or where, or how to find her again. I would go into attics to look for her and I would rarely find her. When I did, we would end up getting separated again. The monsters started breaking through the ceiling floors and windows in the dreams when she wasn't there. In dreams where there were people, I would tell my parents about the girl in the attic and that I wanted to find her, and they would tell me one of a few different responses each time: -there is no such girl/I'm making up stories for attention and there's nothing bad out there either -she died a long time ago and that had to be a ghost/I'm lying -she was an old friend of mine who moved away a long time ago I don't recall having any female friends who looked anything like this girl. When I'd wake up, I would desperately miss her and sometimes I wondered if she was someone I met only once but couldn't remember how or why we met. This wouldn't be too odd because I tended to have dreams often about people I'd only met a handful of times that stuck out as strangely important to me, like if they were particularly nice to me since I was already convinced at a young age I was worthless. In the dreams where my parents were there, we would always be inside a hotel somewhere away from home and as soon as they gave me their answer about her, things would start to creep around outside the building. I would tell my parents there were monsters outside trying to get me, but they told me I was lying. These dreams started around when I was seven or eight. After age eleven, I don't think I ever saw her in a dream again though I would still look for her sometimes up into middle school. The "hotel" in the dream seemed to be a mix of a real hotel we stayed at on a vacation and an apartment complex one of my relatives was staying in for a while that I visited on the same vacation. I'm pretty sure we stayed at that hotel during the summer when I was seven, but I don't see why that place would be connected to the other dreams. Another weird, random element. But now that I think about it, I feel like I did have a weird conversation with my parents at that hotel or in that apartment, but I can't remember what about. Something where they looked at me like I was stupid or something. IDK, I'm misremembering. -Many nightmares of people/"ghosts" in a room with me trying to attack me and specifically grab onto my waist. Because they're ghosts, my hands go through them and I can't get them to stop attacking me. -Some nightmares would begin with what I can only describe as "having my soul ripped from my body". That's what it "felt" like and then I'd look down at me in my bed, completely unconnected from myself, wondering if I was dying. Other times, it felt like someone was pulling me from my body from behind me. I would watch my sleeping body lying there while something dragged me away, something I couldn't see and I couldn't escape from. I'd claw at the "floor" but whatever is pulling me is stronger than me. Then I'd be in darkness, feeling completely disoriented. I'd scream but no one could hear me. -Returning to my old home in Decatur. There are always ghosts and monsters everywhere, lurking to hurt me. Everything is decayed. Certain places are completely evil. I can't go to certain places at all because it's so "evil". All the paths in the woods by where I used to live look strange and overgrown, and every plant I touch feels like a razor blade on my skin. My parents keep trying to force us to move back there and everything will be "good again" according to them. I want to leave, but I can't leave. I can't escape. No matter what road I run down, I end up stuck in that place. My parents see nothing wrong with the area. There are strangers everywhere, strange faces that give off a malicious or creepy vibe to them. Sometimes, there's a video tape of a ghost, but no one believes me that there's a ghost on it. Sometimes, I want to escape to the library where it's "safe" somehow. I want to go to the top floor and hide among the books. The worst part is being taken to my own old bedroom, now an empty white room. The windows are somehow gone and the closet too. It's just four white walls. I can't stop the feeling that something bad is going to happen to me in there. -These dreams started when I was young, but I'm not sure how young. I'm much older than I was when I dreamt these dreams, a young man, I have to be in my early twenties or so in the dream. I'm in a dark bedroom in an apartment. There are giant windows on one side of the room. From there, I can see Atlanta at night and the silhouette of all the trees that surround the city. Inside my apartment, everything is in shades of white, silver, and black, and most of my furniture is made of metal. The only thing of color in the room are potted plants that fill every corner. Most of my furniture is black with silver, and my bed is covered in white. I feel empty, and my body is completely in shadow. Everything about the room feels suffocating, like it will consume what's left of me inside until there is nothing of me left. On the balcony, the wind is chilly and it makes me think its early spring or fall. When I breath outside, I feel momentarily alive, but I still feel like I am slowly dying. There's some kind of running water around me, like the water is flowing off of the building itself. Light reflects off the water, but there's no light source. I watch the water flow and my reflection distort in it. When I touch the water, it's as cold as the wind, but again, I can feel alive. I want to stay outside in the wind and touch the water, but I look back out at Atlanta. The lights of the city at night are both beautiful and terrifying to me. Something makes me feel afraid seeing the lights. Even though its far away from me, with all the trees in between us, it feels like an overwhelming presence, much like the bedroom, that will suffocate me. I look to the stars for comfort, but the lights are the city obscure the stars. There's a body of water beside the city that shouldn't be there, an ocean. It too terrifies me as much as the city. I both want to escape from it and drown in it. Sometimes, there's a party down below me with strange people I don't know. I watch their party form a distance. They look happy, but I can tell there are just as empty inside as I am. Everyone in the building is missing something, but I can't hide it anymore. I always wake up when I realize in the dream I want to die. Not surprising, as I was suicidal for most of my childhood. (I'm not now.) -In a similarish kind of dream to the ones above, I would be with the older brother person and we'd live either alone or with our "parents" (the nice version of my real parents from the first dream with the military people). We lived in a cabin in the woods near some mountains completely away from everything. We would watch the stars from the balcony together and the wind was nice and warm and I remember the sound of crickets and frogs and how the trees moved in the wind. I'd feel safe and happy there, until I asked him if I could go explore in the woods. he would tell me no, and just thinking about living the house would make those military people come and take me away to their base near the mountains. If we were outside, he'd take me inside and lock the doors and we'd hide in our room, which was a loft with a single window to look out at. The moon would shine in through it, and we'd sit in darkness in our room. Those people would lurk outside looking for me. If we were already inside, he'd lock the doors and we'd do the same. As we sat there, we'd sometimes watch our parents from the loft as they sat idly watching TV, completely oblivious to what was going on around us. The older brother would tell me I have to do what he says to stay safe, and I have to stay inside. If I go exploring the woods, I'll surely end up captured and die. These are all the dreams I'm going to talk about for now. This is getting pretty exhausting. Some of my other nightmares are less focused on anything in particular other than someone trying to hurt/kill me or something bad happening to someone I know or someone dying. I'll have to slowly get through some of the other recurring ones at another time. I feel sick and uneasy again. TBH, I'm kind of surprised I don't have a long history of having nightmares about my parents beating me or anything like that, but more about locations. Strange. The government/experiment thing is also really bizarre to be such a long, recurring theme. I don't get it at all.