That's not really an emotion I like to have coursing through me like the Mississippi in the middle of the night. Especially when there is no ax murderer hanging over my bed (i.e. no real cause for the panic).
But do you know what I mean? Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night completely and irrationally freaked out by something? Or woken up and been wildly happy? If you have, read on for feelings of familiarity and mutual experiences, and if you haven't, read on for some hilarious-in-the-light-of-day stories.
So I'm a girl who has very vivid, complex dreams that usually include a storyline of epic proportions. If only Chuck Heston was still alive, they'd use him as the lead and make these into movies. Every so often, I'll be dreaming about something and not realize I'm dreaming. Like, for example, BUGS. And then I FREAK OUT.
This one night, I think I was still in high school, I dreamt that an army of spiders were coming up through my mattress right into the middle of my back. I freaked out so hardcore that without even being fully cogent and awake, I grabbed my Puppy and all my blankets and rolled completely off the bed. I was really into the idea of sleeping on the floor for a while. I had to get up and turn on the light and poke around my bed for five minutes before I was willing to accept the fact that my dream just seemed extra real.
Here's another pro tip: don't read about serial killers right before bed. Then you dream that they have a luminous green poison that's seeping across your arm and is going to kill you and then they're going to skin you, boil all the flesh off you, rearticulate you, and sell you to a doctor as a classroom skeleton. Try going back to sleep after that.
It's not always bad, though. Right after we moved in up here, my husband and I were sleeping and I suddenly woke up. I just felt so happy to be with him and to be here and not in the Valley and I just couldn't handle it. So I turned over and went whapwhapwhapwhapwhapwhapwhap. . .whap on his bottom. In my mind, it was a happy noise, and once I was done, I blissfully turned right back over and went to sleep. Understandably, my husband did not think that was a happy smack. He thought there was an intruder or something was wrong. So the poor guy wakes up all disoriented and concerned, and he comes and leans over me and is all like, "Babe, what's wrong? What is it?" Meanwhile, I've already gone back to sleep, so now I'm confused. Pile a little on top of that because I'm thinking, "Uh, that was a happy noise, clearly there's nothing wrong," and basically tell him so. Poor guy gets woken up for nothing.
Yet another night, I turned to him, frantic, and said, "WHERE DID ALL THE PEOPLE GO?"
Yeah, can't explain that one.
Last night (and sort of why I bring all this up), I woke up, all snuggled up with my Puppy, and I could have sworn I felt an extra heartbeat. Now this was like the freakout of all freakouts. Stuffed animals do not have heartbeats. Clearly. So my mind went immediately to bugs. I don't know why, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to feel bug heartbeats either. So I fa-reak out and roll over and snuggle up reeeeeeeeeeal close to my husband. Being the kind person he is, he sort of wakes up and asks me what's wrong, so I ask him if there could be anything in my Puppy. Dutifully (and truthfully), he says no, and then turns over to spoon me. Unfortunately, I'm already freaked out, so this was helpful and detrimental all at the same time. He is a heavy guy sometimes, and it got a little hard for me to breathe, and then I started feeling his heartbeat. And it was going THUBATHUBATHUBATHUBATHUBA at breaknight lightspeed. Naturally, I felt concerned over this, and started hyperventilating. Then, concerned that I was hyperventilating, he asked me what was wrong, and I go, "Your heartbeat is so fast! Have you ever had that checked out??"
The long and short of these stories is: I am waaaaaaaay too easily freaked out and messed with by my dreams, and my husband is a saint for putting up with these shenanigans. So if you get the heebie-jeebies, remember -- you can sleep when you're dead.
Pro tip #2.