You know how they show people waking up from nightmares, screaming their heads off because well, they had a nightmare of zombies or scary clowns or whatever they are afraid of?
Well I had my first one last night. A nightmare that woke me up. Shook me right and proper.
When someone asks me about my deepest darkest fear, I have the answers ready. I have irrational fear of heights,elevators/escalators, driving and spiders (fear of spiders would be counted rational though right?) But I didn’t realise what scared me the most until now. I have had a nightmare for each of my phobia at a certain point in my life.
Disclaimer : I am weird. My brain is weirder. My dreams/nightmares are weirdest.
Nightmare 1 : I am on top of a cliff with someone (don’t know who this crazy girl is and I don’t recall) and she keeps insisting in a soothing tone that it’s ok to jump from the cliff I am on, to a nearby one just a metre away. But I keep looking down screaming unable to do it.
I have forgotten to mention that while I am having such nightmares, I am aware that it’s just a dream. I am in my REM phase and as such know that I can wake myself up before it ends. I don’t though. I mean might as well watch a horror movie for free yeah? Especially when you are the main character of the movie.Ok quit joking Aaliyah. Focus.
Anyway so the cliff I am standing on suddenly crumbles and starts breaking and I go down along with it.My eyes open slowly.Not panicking too much.Momentarily confused as I adjust to reality that my bed is just a metre away from the ground not 1000 metres away.
Nightmare 2: I am at my university, heading to a lecture, waiting for the elevator. The elevator arrives and everyone rushes to it. I am the last one to board and as I run towards the elevator, the doors start closing.Now in normal situations, the sensors at the door pick up the motion of a person and don’t shut. But since it’s a dream, that’s exactly what happens. The doors close on me and well, it is a brutal and painful end.Eyes flutter open thanking Allah it’s just a nightmare, nothing else and a reminder that stairs are always good. Physically and mentally.
Nightmare 3: I am in the car, this time in the driver’s seat. And I am driving along this solitary road wondering when did I get my full license to be driving by myself at night all alone. And I don’t even know where I am heading, just driving aimlessly until all of a sudden, a huge truck appears out of nowhere. It is huge. As huge as a train. In fact it resembles more of a train the way its hooting. I freeze and my hands are off my steering wheel, legs off the pedal just sitting in my car watching the truck thundering towards me in fascination. The truck driver is shouting for me to move but the truck horn is even louder and at the back of my mind I can see my imminent death but I do nothing. I am paralysed. The truck comes and crashes and suddenly the silence that engulfed me when I was frozen moments ago, is suddenly broken by the crash, metals getting mangled, my body getting jerked forward and then backward all too quickly.And although I am lying dead, I can hear the driver cursing and I want to apologise because it’s my fault for not moving even though he was shouting and honking so loud it would have woken the dead (Irony eyy?). Eyes open, not really wanting to because I want to say sorry to him, but it’s no use ; he is not listening.
Nightmare 4: This dream is inspired by Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (Don’t laugh or else I shall take you with me the next time I go :P).The movie scene where Harry and Ron are in the forest and witness Aragog. It is the exact same forest and the exact same humongous black hairy spider with gigantic beady eyes is staring at me (I am shuddering as I recall the memory). Again I am paralyzed to do anything. My eyes won’t listen to my brain that tells it to close because maybe the spider might disappear when you open them again. It seems all my body parts refuse to listen to the brain because the mouth doesn’t want to scream like in horror movies and the legs refuse to run. My eyes are wide open in fear, mouth wide open in shock, brain sending mental missiles to launch the adrenaline : the fight/flight hormone but the missiles don’t land at targets. I don’t fight (it’s useless) and I don’t take flight. The spider sensing no motion from me, proceeds towards me, shaking the whole forest. I stand there welcoming death with open arms. As its monstrous mouth open, my eyes open up to reality expecting to see the spider by my bedside but find my cat purring instead.
Nightmare 5 : This is the one that occurred last night. I am with my loved ones at some embassy and we are filling forms. All of a sudden, the scene shifts and we are sitting on a ledge atop of this tall tall building. Might be on the 170th floor.Now my loved ones know I am afraid of height so they push me in towards the building and they themselves are sitting at the edge. We are still completing the form and talking to each other when the inevitable happens. One of them falls over. Just like that. No push, no nothing. And I push my face against the glass building and start crying before I even hear the inevitable. This time my eyes close.This time my heart shudders. This time it feels real. This time I am not in command and it’s not a dream. I see the others looking down with pain. That searing pain. That feeling like someone is scorching you with a burning stick or tongs and you can’t do anything to avoid it because your hands are tied. Only this time, our tongues were tied and it was the heart that was getting scorched. Soon officials arrive and are nudging me,gently pushing me away from the ledge on to the stairs into the building but I don’t want to leave. I just want to sit and cry and cry. I want to close my eyes and stay there begging them to leave me alone. And again my eyes betray my brain. They leap wide open.I shoot up from my bed.The scream that I had pressed inside pierces through my mouth in a shrilling scream and I am awake, confused because this time it didn’t feel like a nightmare that I was in control of. No, this time it felt too tangible.My heart is still thumping with fear 15 minutes later. I realise that I am clenching to my bedsheet so tightly that my fists have turned white and a continuous flow of tears is streaming down. It takes a while for me to settle down but oh that dream keeps haunting me. It is so vivid, everything is so clear that would I wish to forget a small detail I could not. I wish it was me falling to my death instead of my loved one. That’s the strategy Aaliyah working inside. Working on how to fight the situation next. And I already know that I won’t be paralyzed next time. I know that next time I shall push them all towards the building and sit at the edge of parapet. No matter what. Because it’s not my death that scares me. It’s my loved ones.
So now if someone asks me what is my biggest fear, I won’t be answering spiders, height or elevators anytime soon. Its that hopeless feeling of losing your loved one. A feeling that shook me in my nightmares and shook me awake from it.A terrorizing momentous feeling that makes me pray everyday that I am the first one to be taken away from my loved ones than to have to face the helpless feeling of my loved ones being taken away. Because my heart is weak. And I am weak. I can bear getting crushed by elevators and roaring trucks but not by the goodbye of my loved ones.