For the past two months or so, I’ve been having some strange dream experiences. If you know me at all, you’ll know that’s saying something. I’ve been a lucid dreamer since I was 9 or so and heard a program on NPR that gave tips on how to develop the skill. My dreams have recognized patterns in a way that some consider premonitory (I just think my brain put pieces together when I was sleeping – nothing supernatural). And I’ve had hypnagogic hallucinations since I was very young. So you could say I’m a very active dreamer, one who remembers dreams well. I spend a lot of time in the sleep borderlands. I’m not sure if it’s an effect of being a light sleeper or the cause.

So what could possibly be new at age 43 and a little? Well, twice now I’ve had sleep experiences that are sort of like hypnagogic hallucinations in that I’m aware of my waking world reality – the light and shadows in the room, the sound from the road, etc – but different in that I am being invaded by an entity of some sort. I can feel it in my deepest self, and the only way I can “evict” it through a tremendous force of will, followed by a strong round of shoring up barriers. I’ve never had such a sense of invasion, not even when I was pregnant. I can’t get a sense of who or what the thing is, only that we are in a deep struggle for control. I’ve managed to get it out twice now, but each time I wake up feeling unsettled and attacked. It’s not a fun way to be.

Last night I had another new experience, also when in the sleep/wake hypnagogic state. In this one, I was listening to the noises around me – the cars on the road, the rattling windows, and so on. Suddenly the sounds disappeared, and I could hear nothing but wind and bird song and water. I received a message of “this is the true reality” from a genderless voice. And then I was right back into the real sounds. I felt peaceful, and I drifted back into deeper sleep.

I find myself switching between science and the mystical in trying to puzzle out what’s going on. Maybe my hypnagogic hallucinations are morphing somehow in response to some aging hormonal change? Or are things actually changing? What the hell is up with the attacking thing? The first time that happened, I kind of shrugged it off, though I did tell Jeff about it. The second time shook me. Of course if it happens again, I’ll go through the process of “Who or what are you?” “What do you want?”

In the meantime, I’m not having much luck finding anything on the ‘net to help me puzzle it out. I’d be interested in knowing if any of you have had these experiences. I remember how relieved I was years ago when I found out I wasn’t the only one who saw the sleep spiders (this is one of the “normal” manifestations of my hypnagogic hallucinations).

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