I was awakened in fear this morning. I'd had a dream that I was being pursued ruthlessly by armed killers.
I hardly ever remember my dreams. Either I don't dream much, or my waking brain isn't typically alert enough to process what just happened. But I will remember the dream I had last night/this morning.
Last night, a Friday night, I decided to stay in and get some extra sleep - I'm typically a 6-hour guy, so weekends help me catch up. I got in bed at 10:30 and didn't end up falling asleep until closer to 12:30, which is typical for nights when I consciously try to sleep early. Without waking up fully, I realized probably a few hours into my sleep that I was having a series of very vivid and violent dreams.
The good news is that I was just dreaming. I became aware of this, and continued to sleep. After what felt like a full hour of tossing and turn (running and driving in my dream perhaps in avoidance of those aforementioned killers), I woke up in fear. I knew it was a dream/series of dreams, but the last 10 seconds of that last dream felt real. I actually felt like my death was imminent. I felt I could no longer outrun the killer's intent.
This is not me trying to become part of the Aurora shooting. This is just me saying how afraid I was when I woke up this morning, and that I think it has something to do with how many times I replayed the Aurora scenario in my head yesterday.
I almost never remember my dreams. I'll remember last night/this morning's nightmare. I woke up at 6:14 a.m. after less than 6 hours of sleep on the Friday night I stayed in to get an extra couple of hours.
One of the last time's I had a nightmare this vivid was when I was 8 or 9 years old and accidentally stayed up too late and found myself watching Batman (with Jack Nicholson as The Joker) on TV. That night, I had the scariest, most realistic nightmare I've ever had.
That nearly 20 years later, The Joker - I mean James Holmes - has impacted my sleeping in this way must not be a coincidence.
Like Batman conquering his fear of bats, I will conquer any fear lingering from yesterday's Aurora shooting. I have tickets to see Dark Knight this weekend, and I intend to use them.
More importantly, I will sleep comfortably again.