Ever since I was a child I can remember having hallucinogenic nightmares. Now you’re probably wondering, what are hallucinogenic nightmares? Well I didn’t know for the longest time either. I just thought that the nightmares I was having were you know, nightmares. But they weren’t they were more than that.
To this day I can’t fully explain what they are. If you search up hallucinogenic nightmares you are likely to find little to nothing on the subject. So I’ll try to explain them the best that I can. I will go through the series of hallucinogenic nightmares that I’ve had as I’ve aged.
Age 4: This is where it all began. At around 3am every morning I would have the same “nightmare.” My eyes would be open, staring at the ceiling while lying in bed. All of a sudden a ghost would appear in front of me (a simple ghost that looked like a cloth, you know, 4 year old style ghost), slowly edging closer and closer to me. I could not move, and I could not scream. I knew I was in some type of dream state, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t wake up. The ghost would get so close to my face, and when it finally did, it would try to suffocate me. That was the worst feeling of all. Only then was I able to wake up, and each time I would I would wake up screaming, which was then followed by relief that I was ok and that it was not real. So I’d fall back asleep, and that was that.
Age 10: These hallucinogenic nightmares seemed to happen less around this age, but they would still occur every once in awhile. When they did happen, they would happen at about 5am. These nightmares always started with the sound of my front door opening, and heavy boots walking inside, toward my bedroom. Some things were consistent with when I was 4, like the fact that I could not move at all or scream. Soon the boots would reach my door, and I’d hear a voice from the other side, it was not calming, it sounded like an angry man who I now believe was supposed to be my former step dad. My door would then slowly creak open, and when it was finally opened all the way, there’d be a shadow of a man. I couldn’t see who it was, but I could recognize the voice. The boots were the only thing visible on him, the rest was a shadow. The nightmare would end when he lifted a gun and shot me.
Age 15: 5 years later and I still continued to get the same nightmare as when I was age 10. Only this time it was much more often, usually several times throughout the night. I could never get a good sleep. At this point I had moved bedrooms. I used to share a bedroom with my sister but had moved into the basement bedroom when I was 14. So my nightmare had changed just a bit. I could still hear the front door open, followed by the boots. The difference is that the boots would walk down the stairs, slowly, and then to my door. Sometimes the door would not open though, sometimes he would appear already in my room, and then shoot me. I’d wait in suspense, not being able to move or call for help, just staring at the door. Then out of nowhere he’d jump out from under a blanket that was located on my bedroom floor. It was truly terrifying.
Age 19: This was honestly the age where these hallucinogenic nightmares peaked. They
were altogether terrifying. It was to the point that I would go 3 to 4 days without sleeping because I was so scared to close my eyes. My most vivid memory at this age of a hallucinogenic nightmare was a woman in a black dress, floating towards me. She had claws for hands, no eyes with blood coming out of her eye sockets, and very active black hair, almost like snakes. She would inch closer to me just like with every other nightmare, and then when she got close enough she would suck my soul out of my body. Once again I could not call for help or move. Each time I’d wake up and fall back asleep, it would happen all over again. At the time I was living in an apartment with my best friend. She would wake up in the middle of the night to hear me screaming for help after I’d wake up from a nightmare. I even started sleeping in her bed because I was so scared to sleep alone. I thought I was going truly insane.
Current: I still get them every once in awhile. They have died down a lot now. I am not medicated for these hallucinogenic nightmares. You may be asking why I keep calling them that. Are they really hallucinations? Well the truth is, I’m not entirely sure. When talking to my psychiatrist about them he considered them to be hallucinations which confused me considering I was asleep whenever I had them, or so I thought. Maybe I am awake when I have them? I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that they are so vivid and real that they seem more like hallucinations, hence the name, hallucinogenic nightmares. The rare times I do experience them, they are still terrifying but not as much as before. I mostly just hear voices in the dark and I cannot tell who they are coming from. The voices get closer and closer. But that’s it, after that I wake up.
I just have to know, if anyone else has every experienced anything like a hallucinogenic nightmare I’d really like to hear it. I can’t be the only one who has dealt with these atrocities.
I really don’t know how to handle these “dreams” well and frankly I don’t think I ever will be able to handle them. Have I gotten better over the course of time? Hell yes, a lot better. Medication has helped me so much with this. More than I could ever imagine. I don’t know what I would do without it. The fact is though that when you can’t move or can’t yell for help, and there’s a creepy figure closing in on you, there’s reason to be scared. Honestly, each time it happens it’s just as scary as the one that happened before.