||May 16th, 2017 Tuesday|| I have some more childhood dream-related stuff to record but I wanted to record a nightmare I had early Monday morning first. The dream took place in a house that I know I have been in but I don't know who it belonged to. The only people I can think of having a house of that large size is my cousin A's parents, and I know I'm not confusing this as their house. As I showed my wife in sketches, while some parts of that house are a little fuzzy in my mind because they were the "adult hangout" areas, I could still pretty much remember most of the layout of the house and how it was designed. The house in the dream was a very, very large house like that but with a completely different layout and overall design. But I know I have been in this house before. In the dream, I thought it, but that's just a dream and I can convince myself of any number of things in a dream, and after I woke up, I still felt it but there's the issue of lingering emotions and general disorientation after waking from a dream. It's the next day and I am more sure than even I have been in that house, but I just can't place who it belongs to. Seeing that house sparked some vague memories of being in it for real, and getting a bit lost in it and my brother was there and young, but I'm having a hard time placing either of our ages. I feel like I visited this house more than once too, at least twice, and I think it's cropped up in dreams from a long time ago. But everything I can recall is just really, really vague. If only there was a little something more I could remember about it, I might be able to sort it out, but I just can't. This house is either three or four stories, and aside from the base floor, each of the upper floors has a square empty space in the middle because of how the stairs are. The stairs alternate sides each level. The "hallways" are essentially walking around the square or going through one room to get to another room, and there's a lot of open space to get into rooms rather than doors in some parts. Some of this seems off, when I woke up, from the original house, like my mind exaggerated certain parts of the house, but the overall design is still roughly the same. In the dream, I'm younger and everyone in my family is. My grandfather is still alive, but I can't remember if my great-grandmother is and my great-grandfather was definitely not there. It's Christmas eve and we're all spending the night there. (This is odd, as my family never did that.) Though you could barely tell it was Christmas in the dream since there weren't really Christmas decorations up. I think this was more just a "look your whole family is here and this is in the past" kind of thing. At some point, I was sitting with my brother and my dad comes over to me, but I can't see his face. He's like a shadow. He leans over and grabs both me and my brother, and we're both suddenly undressed. I want to get away and I look around at everyone, seeing that they can see this and none of them are doing anything. Like nothing weird is going on. Afterwards, my clothes are still gone. So, I get up to get some clothes to wear from my "bedroom" (I've never had a room that looked like this, it reminded me more of an office space in a house or some kind of spare room, not a bedroom.) and I felt really gross. I had this really strange, disgusting wet feeling in my mouth, and in the dream all I could think to say to myself is something like "maybe I was sucking on my fingers" but I don't know why I said that when I clearly didn't do that and in the dream I didn't remember doing that either. I couldn't find a reason for the weird, wet texture in my mouth. When I looked in the dresser, I mostly just found my wife's clothes. I kept digging until I found a pair of pajamas that were "mine" (I've never owned anything that looked like this). They were blue and had a unicorn on the front of the shirt. When I put the pajamas on, the unicorn turned into a horse. I went to bed in what actually looks like my real bed right now and my wife was there and I was present-day me. My pets were all scattered around the room sleeping, but I was still clearly in that house and there was no door. There was this opening and you could see out to the stairs, the one that went down to the lower floor and the one that went down to the upper floor above that one. Actually, the room my family gathered in and the room I went to as my bedroom...were identical in layout. I went to the same room, but it changed purpose, apparently. Strange. I know the view was the same when I looked out. I turned off the light and the rest of the lights in the house went out, except some dim light from one of the lower floors that illuminated the stairs slightly. I had this strange feeling someone was watching me, but I assured myself nothing was there because the dog would have been growling if there was an intruder in the house. The dog was sound asleep. Then I saw one of my cats get up and low crawl over towards the entranceway to the hall/stairs. Her hair stood up and she started hissing, but the dog stayed sound asleep. As if there was someone there the cat was afraid of that the dog wouldn't be. That particular cat takes a long time to warm up to people, so even someone that might be a regular around her may still set her off, while the dog is very friendly and won't really do anything if she sees someone she's very familiar with. I realized whoever the cat was hissing at had to be someone my dog knew well enough to not be remotely concerned with. And then I saw the shadow at the top of the steps. It was the shadow of a man, but I couldn't see where his body was. Only the shadow cast by the light. At first the shadow was at the top of the steps that came from the lower floor. I was afraid the person was coming to get me. My wife suddenly woke up and grabbed my shoulder and said, "(name), what is that?" "I don't know." I said. When I looked back, my cat was hissing more and the shadow was now at the bottom of the steps that lead to the upper floor. My wife said my name again, sounding really scared. I sat up slightly to shield her from view and grabbed my phone to shine a light at the shadow. When I turned on my phone, I had to put in my code for the lockscreen, but I couldn't remember what it was. I just kept hitting the number 4 over and over. (Looking at my phone now, the number I would have actually been hitting is 3 for that spot, so no idea why the hell it was displaying 4.) I got frustrated with the phone and threw it down and my wife called my name again. I looked up and the shadow had moved again, this time it was at the top of the next floor. Physically speaking, the shadow was now further away from us, but it felt like the further it went up the house, the closer it was to actually being in the room with us. I tried to call out to the shadow. I was trying to ask, "Who are you?" But I couldn't say it. It felt like someone was choking me. All I could get out was, "Who?" I tried again, but the choking sensation wouldn't go away. Again, all I could say was a barely audible, "Who?" Then the shadow was gone and I felt a strange heat against my back, like someone was pressed against me. It wasn't my wife. I couldn't look around to see them. I couldn't speak still, like I was still choking. I knew the shadow had me. When I woke up, my throat still felt tight and my back still felt like something was pressed against me, but nothing was there. It eventually went away, and I assume was just some post-dream disorientation. I have no memories of ever being choked, but obviously the being grabbed from behind is a recurring theme in nightmares. But it did jog my memory of something I hadn't thought about in a long time. Since I was a young child, I couldn't stand anything touching my neck. I couldn't stand to wear turtlenecks and I didn't like shirts that went up to high in the front because I didn't want the front of my neck touched. I still sometimes pull my shirts down a bit at the collar so it's not on my neck. Could just be a weird hang-up, but I feel like there was a point in time when I didn't do that. Like some of the outfits that my grandmother got on that one birthday I mentioned where my mom just locked me out of the house, I picked out some things with turtlenecks myself. So, I don't get it. Why did I like them then suddenly I couldn't stand it? I don't know. I had a lot of strange phases with clothes and sudden discomfort that I can't really explain too well. This nightmare was more intense than most of the ones I've had recently. The rest of the day, I was actively afraid of what I might dream the next time I fell asleep to the point I didn't get much of any sleep last night. I was so afraid I was going to see something I didn't want to see, like something might finally be unlocked, and then this fear of, and what if there's even more still left after that buried. When will it end? What if I have a flashback in the middle of the day suddenly? What if I forget where I am? I feel like I'm just waiting on edge for something to happen that I can't control. When I initially told the dream to my wife, it didn't dawn on me that the shadow was really moving up the house until I drew it out on paper. I just felt the more it moved, the closer it was getting to me. But it was clearly moving upward. My wife suggested that maybe this was from the feeling that if something is about you, it feels like it's already got you. I wondered though, given some of the recurring themes in my other dreams if this meant something a bit different. In past dreams, where I bury things I can't handle is underground/in the basement (and I've had to go down underground/in the basement to face that thing) and safety was at the highest point, in the attic. The shadow moving up the house may be more a representation of something I've tried to bury down below is surfacing on its own before I am ready to face it on my own. Or at least, that is something I am afraid of happening. I wonder if me recording all these memories, and how it's been jogging other memories I had forgotten about, has me worried I'm going to suddenly jog something I don't want to see. Telling her about my nightmares already brought back some strange, unpleasant memories as it was, and then there's the whole memory gaps issue and physical reactions I can't explain. Last night, my wife said to me, "I think you need to come up with a plan. There's a chance in the near future you may remember something very unpleasant. You need a plan for what you're going to do when that happens." I tried to come up with a list of things that might make me feel better or at least distract my mind. It was difficult, because well, it's hard for me to find things that will give me any comfort or joy most of the time, and when I'm very afraid, sometimes things that under most situations would be comforting can actually make me more terrified. Right now, I'm at a point where I both don't want to remember but I also want to just get it over with if it's going to happen whether I want it to or not so I can move on from it already.