Nightmares. Evil, lurking, dark. And changed. It’s no longer just a rewind. Not enough with devouring the past, it’s planning to gobble down the present. To infest it, to make it as miserable as the past. What’s scary is that it’s both predictable and unpredictable. Predictable because they occur with frightening regularity. And unpredictable because it’s not known how scary it can get. They’ve changed, and they might change again. It’s no longer a repeat of the past, it now integrates the present. Haunting dreams, where he is seen under the bed, or behind the door. And sleep vanishes, replaced by a massive headache that takes away present reality and brings in the miserable past. Pain both physical and mental. So deep, so intense it threatens to rip everything apart – both from the inside and outside. What a relief it would be to bang the head against the wall or cut out the innards with a sharp knife. And there is no respite on coming back to the present. Because the mind is convinced what it dreamt was true. Wild dashing about – each nook and cranny of the room explored, the heart skipping a beat just before the hand slowly yet suddenly draws away the curtain or the eyes peer under the bed – and then beating a little fast as if expecting someone standing behind, arm outstretched. It dulls slowly, the pain. The haze clears. It’s like waking up the morning after an alcohol binge, and not knowing how you got onto the floor or why your head is going thud, thud, thud. Like someone banging an iceaxe against the skull. And the mind a jumble of images, trying to regain control of the ability to think what you want to think.
Sleep is a lost cause now. Sit against the wall, head in hands. Hold back the tears and tell no one, because weakness is death.