I lay down. Close my eyes. Perform my breathing exercises. These feel like crying and laughing at the same time, but without the head and mind. Just the body performing these two tasks, with no sound and with no tears. No facial expression, just the body breathing and going through movements.
I become tired. I slowly drift off. I face my own decoherence as I observe my singular center dissolving into the confusing cloud that we call sleep. Most aren’t conscious while they sleep, it takes practice. Some believe it is boring, it isn’t though, time doesn’t feel the same way. The mind isn’t thinking unless provoked.
I begin to dream, and I notice that I have taken a bit of urgency with me. I don’t know why this is happening though but it becomes my entire reality. Just like waking up, I awake into my dream.
The nightmare part 1
I am in my room from when I was about seven or eight years old. Something odd precedes this vision, something I do not understand. A vision of me lying down, I hear a man’s voice, I can make out the sounds but I’m not able to understand the words. It flashes me forward into my room quickly, or maybe not, time is strange. I’m in my old room, it’s messy, because I hadn’t yet learned the quality of order. I now see it as messy, through the eyes of someone who have not learned the beautiful pattern of order. I recognise a strange tickling dissonance between my current and past self. A girl stands naked in the room, she must be between seventeen and nineteen, I can’t tell. She stands with her back to me performing some sort of operation. She’s a sex symbol, I understand, a sex symbol of my younger mind. Next to her is a small table with wheels, made from metal. It is like the trays you find in operating theatres. It has an undreamt number of tools that I simply know to be there, but my imagination does not bother to pull them forward.
I am filled with a kind of dread that I cannot fully explain to you. It is the dread of a child watching a horror movie for the first time. No parents are home, and I know I will need to spend the night alone, with the memory of what I’m about to see. Yet I move forward, compelled by the tide-like current of the dream. I am moved towards her, and she turns suddenly with a big grin. I cannot see her eyes, or maybe I will not see them. I am so afraid of this horrific witch-like demon who nakedly is performing some sort of operation in my bedroom.
She laughs at me, not an unfriendly or cruel laugh. A bubbly joyful laugh, which makes everything even worse, then she pushes me back. And I stumble back and fall among books and complicated toys that are scattered on the floor. I rummage around this pool of mechanics and literature that supposedly represents my childhood. Outside the door I hear footsteps, the door is right behind me. I am so afraid, because I know that if anyone comes in they will think I was the one doing the obscene operation of… Of what?… My mind instantly performs incredible jumps of imagination, a baby, a small pet. I used to have a hamster when I was a kid, what happened to it?
Filled with terror that someone would come in and see me as the awful butcher and torturer who then performed a malevolent disgusting autopsy in my room. They would think I did it. And they would then hate me. My eyes fill with tears, and part of my mind reports that I am crying with fear – outside of the dream, in the bed, in Austria. Hypnotism has its strange moments, most noticeable when you hypnotise yourself into reporting bodily functions like this. My obsessive compulsion to control my mind speaks volumes about how I perceive my own center. But I remain in the dream, caught in the shackles of a cold fear. A fear that someone will see, that which is lying there dead and cut open.
She laughs again and I start out of my premonition. I push myself up and push her aside, and with a magic stroke (some can fly inside their dreams, I can apparently produce black bags out of thin air) I have a big black bag in my hand, I begin scooping all the evidence into it while she laughs. Even though I know she must know that she did this, I feel shame at her laughter. She looks at me as if I am the one who did this, she shames me for the act of removing the evidence. I hear people at the door, I push the remaining tools, bloody paper and other surgical leftovers into the bag and clutch it to my chest.
She blows me a kiss from the window sill, and jumps out into the dark night. I remember the big windows of my childhood home. And how terribly square and black they would be at night. I always feared seeing a face outside of them. Now I just see my reflection, a young child clutching a black bag to his chest. Not knowing what is in it, I hold it close, feeling something move in there, probably dying. I just know it’s a baby or a pet or something horrible.
The door opens and my father comes in, he is naked. He is very happy and starts talking and poking dad-jokes. He walks like I remember he did – he still walks this way now that I think about it. With a bit of a dance to his step, as if he is a little bit more happy than everyone else. He tries to see what’s in the bag, and I cry harder with fear. I push at him telling him to go away. I am so afraid that he’ll see what I am hiding and think I did it.
A second mucknh harder fear hits me. This is by far the strongest fear I have ever felt. It feels like an icicle going through my breastbone. Like a hard sharp thing cutting through the front of my chest. This is the feeling of that fear, it is so intensely physical that I don’t bother identifying it. This is the fear that as long as I hold this bag, I will need to push everyone away, because if anyone saw what was inside, they would hate me, and think I was awful. So in that moment I know that I will have to push anyone who gets to close away, that I will be alone forever, because of this bag. Because of this horrible evidence of a crime I didn’t do. Something awful happened, but I didn’t do it, I wasn’t at fault, but who would believe me? I’m sure no-one. So I push him away.
My mother comes in now. She is slightly mad (crazy mad – not angry mad), but also very jolly. She tries to get the bag as well, and I cry and tell her to go away. I scream that they should all just go away and leave me alone (I’m not kidding, this nightmare truly was this symbolic, it seems a bit silly and over the top, but I report it exactly as it was dreamt).
I sit there, so afraid that I will be alone. That I will never let anyone close, because I know they will want to see what’s in the bag. I’m alone in my childhood room, crying on the floor, and crying in my bed in the Austrian mountains as an adult. Knowing that anyone who comes close must be pushed away, violently if necessary, especially those who wishes to get close. I will need to hurt them in order to hide what is in the bag. The alternative is too painful, to be judged as the torturer.
The waking nightmare
I wake up. Partly by choice, also from sheer emotional stress. I’m gripped by the same fear, but now I begin seeing faces on the walls. The swirls in the wood become judging eyes. The solid night behind the curtains stare at me through its gaping mouth. I am experienced with psychedelics so I know to control myself and acknowledge that experience isn’t always reality. I feel like I have two minds, one is very calm, almost detached, and one is completely in terror, close to hysteria. This is what it feels like to experience a traumatic experience, I know this from books.
I reach out to my phone, almost not daring to reach out from under the covers. I fumble to get it out of flight mode through eyes that are filled with tears. I’ve turned on the bedside lamp when I awoke somehow, I don’t remember doing this. I open my facebook messenger and look for someone active. A girl I know who is a psychologist is active, I write her, and she is there. I let my consciousness flow directly into the keyboard, and she gives space and listens.
She can tell that I’m fairly distraught and my battery is running low, I’m at 8%. She suggests listening to some music I like, and I feel almost stupid to not have thought about it. I put on some of my own piano playing. The second the wellknown song played by myself sometime in the past comes in I feel that this is absolutely right. I begin to calm down slowly.
The nightmare part 2
I drift into a dream like state. Still holding the phone in one hand. The music keeps playing through it’s lonely solo piano, I know every note, they came from my own hands after all. I know exactly why they are timed the way they are. The dream begins to resurface, the child sits there, among books and nerdy toys. Clutching a black plastic bag, sobbing silently.
My mind is completely held by the music, so I hold out the bag in front of me. I decide to open it up. I reach in and pick up something soft, and warm. It moves slightly, a small spasm, a cramp. And I’m so afraid to see this babys head or pet or part of something, some gristly gory thing. I take it out, and I’m astounded. Not only in my dream but also my meta-self is astounded. I feel my meta-personality go “Oh wow”, and it begins to cry tears of joy. My meta-self stands behind me and goes “Oh wow Theis, you didn’t know… Neither did I”. And my meta-self is right, it didn’t know, and I didn’t know. No part of me knows this…
In my two small hands in front of me is nothing more or less than my heart.
And I look back on a life of keeping people away, because if they saw what was in the bag they would hate me, they would condemn me. For having a heart, for having needs, for being vulnerable, for not being ok when something hurt. They would only like the man without the heart, the perfect man I had built who could not get hurt. So I hold my heart there, and finally understand that a small step has been taken towards a vulnerable life.