Tag Archives: amwriting

if only in a dream…

I feel awful. Not necessarily physically, but mentally. I feel like I’m betraying my life, my spouse, my goals and dreams. Ironically, ever since that dream…

It’s been a number of nights now and I’m still dreaming the same dream where I’m myself only better. This is what I mean. I’m comparing my life to that of a dream version of myself and I’m beginning to want things I never thought were important.

I never cared for expensive cars, big houses, carefully placed yet not sentimental ornaments. I always told myself, I made a promise to myself, that should I ever amount to any sort of wealth it wouldn’t see my pockets but it would go to charity. And here I am, waking up from the same materialistic Groundhog Day dream wishing I could go back into it when only a few days ago I wanted to stay out of it.

Oh, to add to this, there’s no crash. After that jarring experience where I would wake up and be dragged back into that same point of the jolt and the blackness, there is none of that now. It’s just the dream. It’s just waking up next to my husband, but rather than it being our life, it’s a different life. One I wonder, one I keep trying to tell myself, isn’t better than the one we built together. That is what I mean about feeling like I am betraying him, betraying us.

I feel like that is only the beginning though. It’s like an addiction is forming. I used to not look forward to sleep, I’d feel sad that the day was over, but now I want sleep just to go back into that dream. I’m starting to feel irritable if I’m woken just as I’m falling asleep. Our dog barked and I had to bite my tongue to prevent the anger spilling out.

In the dream we have a dog, too. This fluffy little thing that bounds around and wouldn’t look out of place with a gold medal swinging from its collar. Our dog is some kind of mix, some shaggy thing that got frisky with a shepherd dog or something. What is wrong with me? I love our dog. I waited my entire life to get a dog just like him and now I’m even comparing him to some dream variation of himself.

All I feel is guilt and the only answer to that guilt is the dream, and that thought process is one I keep pushing away. But, my arms feel weaker as the walls close in, comforting yet steel walls that draw my eyelids closed from this real world.

I can’t say if the presence is still there or not. I spend so much of my time in that room just willing forward sleep that even if it was I probably wouldn’t care to notice. I wonder if my husband has noticed anything odd with me? I wonder if he knows, or if I should tell him.

Every part of me rejected the idea of telling him. A thousand little voices all crying no filled my head. A warning that telling him would mean the dream would die. For that reason, I know that I need to tell him. I tell him everything. Why have I not told him about this?

Arbie X

 


 

Note: This is all fiction, none of it is real! I do wish I had a scraggy dog, though.

Part One – There but not there

Part Two – and now in dreams too

 


 

I didn’t write how this works in the previous posts because I wanted to just get on with writing it and not worry about anything. But, just so people know what I’m doing, this is my take on the subreddit NoSleeps form of storytelling.

Basically, people write about paranormal or just weird things that are happening to them as though they are real, and people reply as though it is real. It’s like a roleplay between a writer and their audience. I never really expect anyone to read my posts and so I didn’t take the time to explain. I hope this clears things up.

Please also note that this is purely for fun and these are drafts that I write, read through for error and then post. There may be inconsistency in this story (if anyone is following it) because I have no idea where I’m going with it.

A long time ago I wrote that I was going to do this on this blog, and then I never did. This is partly the reason I just got on with it two days ago. I haven’t been on reddit and read NoSleep in some time, but it is brilliant with some very, very good writers. So I highly recommend it.

I’ll be posting the above in a future ramble!

I do hope you’re all well.

Real Arbie X

and now in dreams too

Last night I dreamt that I wasn’t myself.

At first the dream was not particularly interesting. It was a normal wandering about in the world dream, the type that a partner might listen to but only with partial interest as not to seem rude. You’re not quite the captive audience, so I won’t go into detail on the beginning. It’s the ending that made me awake feeling uncomfortable, mostly because of how many times I went through that same damn ending.

It was partly similar to the previous nights. I’d wake up and feel like someone was in the room, but whereas on those nights it would be a struggle to fall back to sleep, even if I wanted to stay awake last night, I was drawn back into the same dream each time.

At the same point.

I would be walking down the street, in clothes that didn’t look like any I own or would own (a knee skimming skirt and long-sleeved loose blouse) and I would approach a car, and hesitate for a minute with that same feeling of being watched I’ve been experiencing while awake.

I would then think nothing of the brief chill that caused goosebumps to rise on my shoulders, and instead get into the car. It was only upon checking the mirror that I’d see, despite the life I had been living previously in the dream, and the way that I acted and talked (much more confident) that it was my face staring back at me. I didn’t greet it with the usual sunken feeling in my stomach, instead I fixed a piece of loose blonde hair as though it mattered very little, pulled on the seat belt and started the ignition.

All of this would have been a very pleasant dream, perhaps of an ideal version of my life, until this next point.

The shortest moment in the dream. The crash.

At least, I think it’s a crash. I think from the way my head jolts forward and stomach lurches upwards that something has crashed into the back of the car. I get that same cold feeling I was talking about, followed by a heat that travels through my veins. I spoke about this in yesterday’s post. I think then, that I must die, because I wake up and I’ve been told you can’t die in a dream.

This happened about four or five times. Which might not sound like much, but by the time I was able to keep my eyes open and truly fight being dragged back into sleep, my body ached and I leaned my head over the side of the bed thinking I was about to vomit. It was like riding a rollercoaster one too many times in the middle of Summer.

Even worse, I felt that presence in the room every time I woke up. I felt that it was closer than usual. That I was being drugged and unable to defend myself. I felt my body tighten just now in only writing about it.

It’s as though whatever is in the room is playing games with me. I wanted sleep and so now I have it, but it comes with its own terms and conditions, and who reads those, really?

I’m pretty exhausted today and so it doesn’t matter how much I want to avoid that room; I imagine I’ll be in bed and out of it within minutes of my head hitting the pillow. I just hope I don’t have that same dream. Not only because it left me feeling physically sick, but because dreams are precious and should be reserved for more fun things, not boring and repetitive rubbish.

Anyway, that’s all there was too it. Fingers crossed for restful sleep!

Arbie X

 

note: check the tags, this is fiction!

click here for part one

There but not there

Over the past few nights I’ve had a strange sensation of something watching me. I had sleep paralysis for years and so the creeping awareness of something being in the room and finding myself unable to move is familiar to me. But, I can move when I wake and I can twist my body around to see if someone is behind me, both things I know I couldn’t do when waking into sleep paralysis. I also would at least see something while in sleep paralysis. This always seems to be on the edge of my vision, always just out of view.

I reach back and I touch my husband on the shoulder, yes, he is there.

And then the presence is gone. It’s almost as though I’m not only comforting myself in knowing my husband is beside me, but I’m reminding whoever (or whatever) is in the room of this also.

On the third night this happened I started to trust my senses, and rather than dismissing it as sleep-limbo (that place between sleep and waking where Peter Pan supposedly lurks) induced hallucinations, I woke my husband. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen far too many horror films where no one says anything to anyone else and it turns out everyone was experiencing the same thing.

My husband didn’t know what I was talking about. Although I knew I wasn’t at the risk of tumbling down the crazy woman who ends up being locked away for expressing her fears trope rabbit hole, I backed down when my husband became concerned. He hasn’t been well and jumping out of bed to patrol the house wouldn’t have been good for him. Besides, the door to the bedroom is closed and whatever keeps waking me is in the room with us.

This might all be nothing, but I’m writing this now after a night of restless sleep. I woke as usual, but to my relief I didn’t feel any unknown presence. I thought that I’d be able to fall asleep easily because of this, but instead a wave of cold anxiety spread from my chest to the tip of every finger and toe. It was as though freezing water had been poured, not over me, but through me. I didn’t shoot up like waking from a nightmare, I just lay there, anxious beyond words but without any reason behind it.

I struggle with anxiety anyway, and if I think back far enough, something like this has happened before in stressful situations. But what came next, I am convinced has never happened. In place of the cold, heat began to rise from my feet. It felt as though it was creeping through my veins and the intrusive feeling stole away any comfort the warmth may have been able to provide. I began to panic, and this only increased when I became aware that my feet were uncovered, the blanket thrown to one side. I have had a childish fear of my feet being uncovered ever since I was, well, a child.

I gasped as though I was waking from a nightmare and this woke my husband. He reached over to put his arm around me, pulled me close, and muttered that I was freezing. By this point, I felt like I had been lying in the scorching heat and just reached the point where you either stay and melt or leap up and seek shade. I needed shade and his arms were the sun, every touch burning my skin, leaving sensitive, raw marks in their place.

I managed to push him away, which he grumbled at, but soon slipped back into sleep. I sat up and instinctively pulled my knees up to my chest.

I’m not sure if this was a fever, I barely remember what those feel like. Maybe it was? But it left me soon after and I feel like fevers know a thing or two about wearing out their welcome. The interesting thing? Through the entire experience I didn’t consider that anyone or thing else was in that room. Yet, the moment my body returned to feeling like normal, the presence was back. That certainty that something was in the room with us, but with every twist of my head to seek them, they were hidden.

Maybe I’m ill. Maybe I need more rest? It’s getting harder to sleep though, in that room at least. I’ll keep posting about these experiences. Maybe I’ll get to the answer sooner rather than later and maybe it will just be some kind of new house syndrome where an unfamiliar setting puts us on edge.

Thanks for reading.

Arbie X

 

note: check the tags, this is fiction!

Blogging Insights – Self doubt and writing

I saw this prompt being answered by Melanie over at sparksfromacombustibelmind and felt it fit perfectly with the poem I wrote earlier this week.

The prompt/question is from the blog Salted Caramel:

How often are you afflicted by self-doubt and what do you do about it?

Although my poem was written about my self-doubt when it comes to a whole host of things, yet stemmed from interacting with people (something I try to avoid because of the spiral afterwards) I have a whole host of history with my self-doubt when it comes to writing.

I even started writing a post with the intention to delve into it in-depth, for myself as much for anyone else. A chance to exorcise some demons, so to speak. But I find the topic so uncomfortable that the Word document sits open but with little more than a few paragraphs to it.

So, am I afflicted with self-doubt when it comes to writing?

Yes. Massively so. So much so that after publishing my indie book I took it from advertising, put it to $0.99 (I couldn’t set it to free), and hoped it would just linger in the abyss rather than anyone read it. When people asked what it was called I said I didn’t want them to read it, when a friend who had read it asked if he could share it on his twitter account (where there were people who once knew me) I said no. When mixed reviews came in, despite knowing that I fucked up on advertising (I advertised a fantasy as an urban fantasy) and that everyone has their own preferences, I allowed negative reviews to lead my own thoughts on the book and dismissed positive.

It was as though I was looking for justice to hate my work and I had found it. I both wanted people to read and enjoy my book and wanted to remove its existence from Amazon. I fluctuated on this here and there and eventually just left it alone, where it sits now. I still check it on goodreads and amazon, but it’s a negative feeling, as though I’m picking at a scab and not allowing the wound to heal.

That’s where blogging comes in. Blogging is freedom. Blogging is no drafting, no editing, no more than I ever feel like I might want to, and blogging is liberating because I write here without any doubt. Well, hardly any doubt. The odd thing though? I prefer my blog to not grow. I don’t want thousands of followers. That would be intimidating, and I know myself, I shy away from the spotlight. No matter how much at times I might convince myself I want it.

And, as anyone who has followed me for some time will know, I whine and moan and bitch on here and I write things that are embarrassing to remember having written. It can be like the morning after an intoxicated night and thinking back “did I really say that?” But that’s how I like it. This blog was never here to entertain others or to promote myself, it was here as a blog. As a virtual diary where people can come and go, if they so please. It encompasses all of me, I suppose.

I believe I come back to my blog whenever I seek courage to begin writing fiction again. It serves as both practice writing and practice in posting what I write. And, that is exactly what I am doing now. I want to begin writing fiction again, telling stories, and publishing them and advertising them for others to read. So, this is what I do about the self-doubt that afflicts my writing: I write posts I don’t care about. I practice in different arenas. The same way a comedian might trial their material in a small club before they take it to the big stage, I suppose that would be a way of expressing what I am doing here.

 

There is much more to all of this, including why I believe I harbour so much self-doubt in my writing and what fuels that fire into an important existence. For now, I hope the above few paragraphs answer the questions that were asked. I’m grateful for the prompt because it opened the door for me to begin talking about this, after putting it off for so long.

 

I hope you’re all well.

Arbie X