I originally believed that the night terrors were triggered by the Cannabis cream. But when they happened again after three weeks of not using the cream, I realized that was not what the trigger was. But what was it?
I have battled nightmares since I was a child and over time I learned to reprogram my dreams in my sleep so that I fight back and win. I never lose… I either win or learn.
I’ve also learned that facing my fears usually gives me the same result, so using those ideas plus the one from our therapist, Pat, of having an extra observer, I set out to try to understand what was so terrifying in this dream that it caused me to wake up screaming. These occurrences are rare. The first time they happened was when I was nine and just days after being molested by a male babysitter. I couldn’t tell anyone what the dream was about, and I had not told anyone that I had been molested. Like most abusers, he told me to not tell and that no one would believe me anyway. I started to have these “visions” or hallucinations when I was awake too, but I stopped trying to tell anyone about them because I was told I was just trying to get attention. The solution all of the adults in my life came up with was to medicate me, rather than use therapy to understand the cause. So I tried to bury the fears and memories as deeply in my subconscious as I could. The dreams persisted as I grew up, usually during times of stress, but I still couldn’t tell anyone what it was in the dream that scared me so badly. I would just wake up in a cold sweat and sob.
Finally, 20 years later, I forced myself to face my fears and keep my eyes close and actually see what it was that scared. It was running down a tunnel trying to escape. I would explore this further until I came to the conclusion that this was a past life experience that I was even able to confirm using genealogical records. I thought my problem was solved. While I still occasionally had the same dream, they became less and less common.
Thirty years later, when I had cancer and was in chemo, losing my hair triggered the detailed memories of the four sexual abuses I had encountered as a child and teenager, details that I had also buried very deep. I finally got some counseling for both the rapes and the dreams. I thought that was the end of it.
Until I suddenly woke up screaming three weeks ago. At first I didn’t realize it had any connection to my childhood experience, other than the screaming and the fear. Why suddenly after 60 years? Like when I was child, the visions didn’t come just when I was asleep, but when I was awake and cognitive what was going on. The other night it happened again. Finally, last night, I had had enough.
I was going to face these fears once and for all. As I laid in bed thinking how to go about this, I looked over at my pink leg warmers sitting on the table. I could see a face in the folds and creases (I tend to see faces in everything). This face look just like the face of Odin, the Nordic God. Okay, Odin would be my observer.
I rolled over with my back to the door and immediately felt the icy cold air when the “entity” arrived. I started chanting… “You have no power over me. You are not real. You do not exist. You can’t hurt me. Go away”.
I could tell he was confused by this. This wasn’t going according to his script and he backed away, only to come toward me again. I continued to chant; “You have no power over me. You are not real. You do not exist. You can’t hurt me. Go away”.
Over and over he backed off and then tried again. After about doing this six times, I finally got the courage to turn over and face him. Like before I could see his arms reaching towards me to grab me again and then it hit me… like a ton of bricks.
This entity was the embodiment of all of the men who felt they had the right to use me sexually, and molested me, raped me, assaulted me, harassed me. But it was more than that. I was the church telling me that I was damaged goods because I “allowed” men to have sex with me. That I had to be obedient and do everything I was told to do. That I was admonished to never touch myself or let anyone else touch me because sex was a sin, while at the same time never telling me how I was suppose to stop it. It was school and society telling that I will never find a man to love me unless I lost weight. It was everyone telling that nothing I did was ever going to be good enough. It was religion lying to me. It was doctors lying to me. It was teachers who decided I wasn’t worth their time. It was friends bullying me and demanding that I play only by their rules while making fun of everything I did.
Once I saw all of that, I got pissed and instead of backing away, I attacked the entity. I grabbed onto him with both hands and kicked and screamed at him “YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME!” Grabbing him was like grabbing on to dry ice.. it was cold and painful, but I felt empowered. When I pulled my hands away, I had a bug in each hand, that looked like brown cockroaches with metal wings. Once they had lost touch with their host (think BORG), they died in my hands. I closed my fits around them and crushed them into a dry powder that disappeared. That’s all he needed to see and feel and left. But before he left, I learned he called himself Morotoi. My fears had literally taken on a life of their own.
Another interesting aspect of all of this was that two scifi shows triggered both of the recent night terrors. The first one was watching the TV show “Project Blue Book” and the second one the other night was Star Trek the Original Series. I knew going in on watching this one that I might have a problem with the episode. It was about a young boy named Charlie who was just discovering his own sexual desires, and believed he had the right to have anything and anyone he wanted. Almost like an original incel. This was the attitude of the four males who molested and raped me. And all four were people I knew and should have trusted… the neighborhood pharmacist, a babysitter, a boyfriend and a neighbor. We had been taught about “stranger danger” but nothing about what to do it when it was someone you knew that abused you.
The night of the molestation, I wanted to stay up and watch a movie that was being shown on TV, “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. Sci fi was, and still is, one of my favorite genres and I was glad that I never equated the sexual assault with that movie.
He told me I could stay up if I would do something for him. I agreed, not knowing what it was I would have to do. I was nine, what did I know about sex? I quickly learned.
I realize that conquering my fears and facing Morotoi just once might not be enough. This toxic primordial stew has been simmering in my subconscious for 60 years. The damage has been extensive. I know it’s going to take some time to heal from all of that, not only the abuses, but the losses.. my daughter, my four babies, my mother and grandmother, my car accident and loss of mobility, cancer, drug addiction.
But I proved to myself, yet again, that I can both win AND learn! And if I can do this, anyone can do it.