I was being attacked. Or so I thought. They were touching me, grabbing me, clawing at me. I couldn’t escape. I screamed louder. I had been fast asleep, and here I was, somewhere in between the world of dreams and the realm of wakefulness, screaming with such fear and terror and intensity that surely, surely, someone would come to my rescue before it was all over. Before they ended my life completely.
They were there. They had finally come. They had finally found me. My brutal death was imminent. I escalated my piercing screams.
Suddenly there was a light on. What was happening. I stopped screaming. I listened. I slowly emerged from the cave of covers under which I had buried myself. What had happened? Where was I? Was I safe?
Adrenalin was coursing through my veins and I could hardly catch my breath. I slowly pushed the covers down. There was my partner, sitting at the end of the bed, her face overcome with worry and concern.
What happened? I asked. I don’t know, she replied. I am so sorry, she said, I am so so sorry. What happened? I asked again. I don’t know, she replied again. I was fast asleep, she said. You started screaming. Why did you touch me? I asked. I don’t know, she said. I wasn’t thinking. I had been fast asleep. How long did I scream for? I asked. Maybe 30 seconds..? she answered, with a confused expression on her face. Do you think the neighbors heard? I asked. Yes, they probably did, she replied.
My partner was so shaken up that she could barely walk. Her knees were shaking, she said. Her heart was pounding out of her chest. All because of me. I’m so sorry, I said. It’s not your fault, she replied.
She managed to go back to sleep, but there was no sleep to be had for my body which was now in an overly anxious and high-alert state. I was up for several hours until exhaustion finally consumed me. The next thing I know my alarm clock was going off. Too soon, way too soon.
I think I may know what this relates to. A traumatic event that happened years ago while I was traveling. Where I had been attacked. Where I couldn’t get away. I have had many screaming fits of terror, but none have come close to being this bad, or have lasted this long.
And I was hoping to finally get a good night sleep…