Thursday, May 28, 2015

Better. Most definitely better.

Of course, since I'd slept in yesterday, I had awful insomnia last night. I was up until 4am. Finally did get to sleep, and the dreams I had, while strange, were still a marked improvement from the previous few nights:

The part I remember is waiting in a darkened room with someone else. I felt invisible hands come up behind me, up against my back, then push me up against the ceiling. Apparently no one else saw this happen. I was wide-eyed and asked the person I was with if she'd seen what just happened. She looked at me like I was crazy, and it appeared that as soon as the creature touched me I'd become transparent and was no longer visible in the darkness. 
I realized that ghosts/spirits/whatever were real, with a chill down my spine, and then started seeing weird shit happening. I have a very pretty ouija board in real life, and I saw it hanging in the air, with the planchette flying over to it like a bullet, smacking against the board and beginning to move. Various other strange things happened, including seeing a family of ghosts floating superimposed over their black and white portrait shot, but mostly I remember that sequence and the delicate feeling of beginning fear during the part with the invisible hands moving me.
I'm glad this didn't turn into anything worse. Thanks, brain!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I'm writing this to lance the wound

I had a nightmare last night. As quite a few of you (if not all) know, I take pills to keep my nightmares from becoming debilitating, and most of the time they work. Sometimes they don't.

I stayed home from work today because I was so traumatized from the nightmare I'd woken up from at 6:45. I know some of you have expressed amazement (in a good way) about my ability to recall dreams in such vivid detail. Unfortunately, that also applies to nightmares. They never go away, and they're present in crystal-clear detail. I live them, and they haunt me.

Last night's dream slowly built up the horror. I'd begun hearing rumors of something awful beginning to grow inside the local jungle. No one knew quite what it was, but they'd found items indicating that this was some sort of cyclic awakening, much like the objects uncovered in archaeological digs.

The stories and sense of fear became more insistent as the dream progressed, and I watched a video on a medium-sized TV, in black and white, of something grotesque beginning to take on features and become... whatever it was meant to become. The body of the creature looked much like a version of the Venus of Willendorf so far as girth goes, but without legs or breasts. It was several rings of flesh stacked on top of each other. As I watched, it slowly grew a head shaped like a combination of a German WWII-era gas mask and some sort of segmented animal face. A bit of static obscured the screen here and there, but for the most part it was plainly visible.

The animal portion involved the gas-filtering section turning into a segmented shape, while still retaining the gas mask appearance. It's hard to describe without pictures. The closest I can come is to tell you to think of it as morphing into smaller and smaller rings as it headed toward the gas filter. Imagine this, but in a horrible blotchy pale color, beginning at the eyes of the mask and terminating in the mask end.

I'd seen something like this before.

I've had nightmares since I was very small, and one night, following screams and sprays of blood as people were ripped apart, I stood behind an impenetrable yet see-through wall and watched as a creature shaped much like the one I saw last night walk toward me. In this case, it was a completely matte black, and light disappeared into it. The shape of the creature just sucked in all light, so it was a walking void. The shape of its face, as it turned its head, was only visible from the side, and the same diminishing rings were visible on its snout. Blood dripped from its claws, and its eyes burned red. It stared directly into my eyes, and I was aware that I was looking at evil in its purest form. I think maybe I was eight or nine years old.

This was the same creature I now watched developing in front of my eyes, with the exception of the new gas mask addition and the color. When I woke up from my child's dream, I was frozen in fear and unable to move. I did not wake up from this new nightmare for quite some time.

In what I can only guess was my mind's one attempt to calm itself, I briefly found myself inside a Tibetan-style monastery. I just appeared there following the video, and a little girl with long brown hair and dark eyes wrapped herself around me, hugging me and sing-whispering words into my right ear. In front of my eyes, an enormous scroll covered in black Sanskrit, yellowed with age and browned at the edges, moved slowly upwards. The girl was singing the words written on the paper to me, and while I don't speak Sanskrit, I can recognize it. I'd also recognize the same sequence of words if I were to see them again with waking eyes. I don't know exactly what it was that she was communicating to me, but it was soothing.

It didn't last.

The nightmare began again in earnest when the girl had finished singing and turned into a shower of white sparks after smiling at me. I found myself outside in the jungle, aware that I was being hunted. The jungle was very thick, and on my left side a huge cliff, covered in vines, rose up high enough that it disappeared from view. No escape would be had from this place. For some reason, I had with me a combination of two of my cats. I have three in real life, one of whom is black and one Siamese-colored. (These are Widget and Monkey. Gurgles is buff/light orangish.) The little one I ran beside was black like Widget, but built like Monkey, smaller and more agile.

Despite knowing we were being stalked, we didn't see anything obviously threatening for a long while. This made the shock even more wrenching when two yellow wolves with fur like blades leaped from the foliage, snarled, and attacked us. I tried fighting them off, and my cat did her best, but there wasn't a lot we could do against them. Blood streamed from my arms as the wolves inexplicably backed off. I looked around apprehensively, and sure enough, there was the creature from so many years ago, changed only slightly. It grinned, if something with a gas mask for a face can be said to do so, and lurched with a menacingly slow stride toward us.

This is where a common dream experience kicked in: the feeling of yourself running as quickly as you can, while never gaining any ground between yourself and your pursuer. On the contrary, they usually close the distance between the two of you despite your best efforts. That was what happened here.

The creature didn't attack us itself, as I had expected. Rather, it called minions to help it. We were surrounded by shrieking, laughing, vile-looking little beings, some of whom threw rocks, and some who threw knives, blazing sticks, chains, whatever they could think of to hurt us. I tried to curl myself around my cat and protect her, taking the blows myself. At length, they disappeared. I can only guess the thing had decided to let us live so it could continue torturing us another day.

I unwrapped myself from around my little cat, and I saw that her eyes were beginning to fill up with blood. Her right one was slowly filling, and the left had already turned completely red. She had survived the barrage of stones and worse, and I was desperate to heal her. I ran as quickly as I could back to where I thought the camp would be. Somehow I was able to yell across the distance and let the people inside the camp know that I had a wounded creature who needed help.

I told my cat I loved her, and gave her to the lady in charge of the place. Some time passed, and I went to find the woman to inquire how the medical treatment was progressing. She gave me a bright smile and told me that I wouldn't have to worry about that anymore. I had a horrible sinking feeling of dread, and then the surgeon came out. His hands were covered in blood, and he had this terrible grin on his face, the same as I'd seen on that creature. His mouth was also coated in blood, and he had chunks of flesh between his teeth. I was handed several Polaroid shots taken during the interim between me dropping her off and his awful emergence from the operating room.

He had torn her apart with his teeth and nails, and I had been the one to give her over to him.

I began screaming and crying at the same time with the horror of what had happened and the role I had unwittingly played in it, until the screams overtook the tears and I just screamed and screamed with my entire soul until my throat ruptured, filled with blood, and I blacked out.

That was when I woke up.

I was in no shape to go anywhere, and stayed home today. I finally managed to get back to sleep, thankfully without horrible dreams, and while I now have an absolutely atrocious headache, I've also recovered sufficiently to try lancing the poison by writing it down. Maybe the pain in my mind is what happens when a nightmare has taken up residence inside it and my body is trying to fight it off.

I hope the pills work tonight. I would say I couldn't handle a second straight night of this, but I have done so in the past. Before I started taking the drug, I'd have night after night of terrible dreams like this. That was back in the days when I desperately wanted to kill myself, and only my sense of responsibility to my cats kept me alive. I'd adopted them, so I was responsible for their care and making sure they were loved. I told myself that as soon as they were gone, I'd finally set myself free from my awful existence.

These days, I'm no longer in that place (most of the time; I do still have very bad periods). The nightmares are less frequent thanks to modern medicine, but I'm always wondering if one day the drugs will just stop working and I'll be back in the same hell I inhabited for most of my twenties.

I guess we'll see.

P.S. If I'm not around much on text or whatever tonight, please don't take it personally. I need to hide for a while.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Blue lipstick! And also why didn't I know about clear lipliner until now?

I indulged in a bit of makeup searching the other day in an attempt to find something that would allow me to temporarily change my eyebrow color to match any fantastic wigs I manage to find. I went to Sephora, and they gave me this awesome girl who's worked in theatrical makeup.

We did indeed come up with an ingenious way to do this, and I successfully had blue eyebrows! It was surprisingly long-lasting. I was a little concerned about that, but then my concerns ended up being for naught as it wiped off really easily with makeup remover. SUCCESS!

I don't want to post a picture of that awesomeness until I've got the whole thing sorted it out, but in the meantime I have a picture of some dark blue lip gloss stuff that I found. Now, as anyone who has ever tried to wear dark lipstick knows, getting the edges smooth is REALLY DAMN HARD. Usually you get what they call "feathering". Basically it just kinda spreads thin a bit around the edges and looks a little weird.


I was introduced to the miracle of clear lipliner by La Fille Fantastique, and that shit is AMAZING. Get it. Any girl who wears dark lipstick shades should know about this. Go here. Thank me later.

Me using dark blue lip gloss with the clear lipliner. Smooth as silk... And I so do not look dead, as Patrick opined. Unless I do. Do I?

Totally not dead. Although possibly UNdead... But that's cool with me.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day or How to Adopt a US Soldier

Hi, all.

I was trying to think of a good way to honor our servicemen and -women, and went through several options. I considered flat-out donating to one of the organizations that helps soldiers and their families during and after their time in service. I pondered purchasing some gear from a different non-profit, with the proceeds going to basically the same causes as the previously mentioned organization. Both of these seemed like good plans.

But then I thought perhaps I could do something to help a soldier for the longer term, someone who needed to feel appreciated for risking his or her life to protect our country right now. I can't afford to donate a large amount to those charitable organizations to help soldiers, much as I would love to, but I CAN write letters and send occasional care packages indefinitely.

This led me to Adopt a US Soldier. The description on their website:

Adopt A US Soldier is a non-profit organization that seeks volunteers to help show the brave men and women fighting for our freedom that their sacrifices will not go unnoticed. It connects supportive civilians with deployed troops and offers a channel by which to communicate encouragement and express gratitude to those brave men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Sounded like something I could definitely do! I signed up here, and I am waiting for word on who my soldier will be. I don't care whether they are a man or woman, but it might be extra interesting to have a lady soldier. I'd love to hear what it's like being a woman in our armed forces. Always a scientist...hungry for more data... hah.

Anyway, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to help out in a longer-term way. I shall write my soldier weekly letters and send care packages as I am able. I sincerely hope the added support will help our protectors to feel loved and appreciated. They certainly should be.

Please consider adopting your own US soldier! We cannot support our troops too much, and everyone adopted is another serviceperson who does not feel alone, and who knows they are honored.

Addendum: I would like to thank all members of our armed forces for their service, past and present. My family has a military history, and I am very proud to be related to many honorable warriors. I love you all, both those I personally know and those I do not, and I am so grateful for all your sacrifices.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Something good happened? You're gonna pay for it later.

Remember the sort of good, symbolic dream I had in the previous post? Well, apparently it was time to pay the piper last night. These dreams were full of plagued creatures without faces, just blank walls of flesh where their features should have been. Those infected with the plague had tentacle-worms burst through their flesh. The worms were dark purple, twisting and grabbing while seemingly operating independently of their host bodies.

I was running, chased, climbing along catwalks and balustrades. At some points in the dream, I was trying to read books to children in the hope of comforting them, but these moments were always ripped apart by my incessant pursuers.

I remember seeing some horses, still with their saddles and blankets on, and wondering aloud to my companion why it was that they hadn't been properly cared for and curried after removal of their riding gear.

The dream shattered into pieces several times, one of which I was convinced was reality until something started feeling a little off. These dream layers can be shattered in a number of ways, some of which involve screaming, slapping my cheek, or realizing that something isn't right. I crashed through several layers of dream before finally awakening for good this morning, and I'm not sorry that mess is over.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dream of 5/23/15 (in the morning, between 11am and 1:30pm)

I'd arrived at one of those old single-building schools and was in the parking lot wondering if I needed to leave a placard or something on my car so they wouldn't tow it. A parking person came by, so I asked her, and she said it would be fine until I got a pass from the office, so long as they knew it belonged to me. I thanked her and took off toward the school.

I was supposed to be teaching class, and I saw the schedule. Various classes, at various times. I could choose an elevator or the stairs. I remember thinking they had the elevator in the building, but that only the lazy ones took it. Everyone else used the stairs. I climbed the huge, worn-looking wooden steps to the third floor, only to look at the door numbers, see they were of course in the three hundreds (I was looking for 323), then get engulfed in a wave of students as the bell rang and they all flooded out. Next class? First floor, of course. Room 10.

Went back to the stairs, clomped down to the bottom and noticed a bunch of students standing around something, yelling. I broke through the mess and saw it was a girl, huddled up and crying, while they wrote nasty things on her with a marker and the students told her she was worthless, etc. I asked what the fuck was going on, and one of the students told me she'd tried to kill herself and she was weak. I told them all to get out of there and helped the girl up. I took her home with me.

Got her cleaned up and calmed down somewhat. I remember thinking that she had the most beautiful caramel-colored skin, giving her the face of those lovely bi-racial people who seem to have inherited the best parts of both ethnicities. Meanwhile, a few people came to the door, all with packages for me. I had to sign for them and look through the packages. Some had really weird glass vases and shit in them.

At this point, we were both sitting at a sort of picnic-style table with my folks and the members of Halestorm. I reached over between a couple people to pull up the cord of my salt lamp, which was on the table, and turn it on. The girl told me she wished the suicide had gone through, and I replied that I knew how she felt. I'd tried to kill myself numerous times, and now I was starting to be glad I hadn't. I motioned to Lzzy Hale, who smiled, and told the girl who she was. Then I described how seeing Halestorm was one of the things I was really happy to be alive for, that I'd started finding other things to look forward to, and told her that she would find her own. She started looking a little better, and gave me a tiny smile.

Then I was climbing pipes in some basement or other, either one pipe or two parallel ones (kept switching), grabbing hold of one, then swinging my body and grabbing either the other bar or the same on farther down to move myself along. The basement was fairly dark, only lit by a few lights here and there along the way, and the pipes were both copper and covered with a bit of rust in places, along with some white chalk (much like in gymnastics). Kept going, using momentum to propel myself, until I came to a right angle, turned, went about 50 feet, and encountered a vertical ladder.

The lowest rungs of the ladder were at the same level as my horizontal pipes, so I was going to have to climb vertically. I grabbed both sides of the ladder and reached up with one hand to grab the next section. Got that one. Same on the other side. I made painstaking progress up the ladder, and finally reached the point where I could start trying to drag my legs up onto the rungs. I used every bit of strength I had in my arms to pull myself upward until I could get a knee braced against the wall, then the other knee, and reach up higher with my arms, which allowed me to remove one knee from the wall and hook my foot over the lowest rung. Did the same with the other leg, then sat there for a few minutes recovering, before getting ready to continue on up.

Then I was awoken.

The dream is particularly interesting if you think of it as my therapist once said, where every part of the dream is you. So the part of me that had wanted to kill herself was being tormented by my demons who wanted it to happen and cursed her for failing (in their eyes). Then the other part of me got rid of them and helped my battered self up, cleaned her off, turned on a light, and started explaining that I had found stuff to live for and so would she. After that, climbing horizontally for a long while until encountering a ladder up out of the dark, having to use all my strength to get onto it, and start climbing upward.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wigs, darlings, wigs! [Edit: now with boots]

Or at least one so far. I wore this out and about to work today, and it is a hit! I've already had someone ask to take pictures of me, lol. That is the sign of a great outfit. The first two are of me working out how exactly to wear the thing. I tried to take the next ones of the outfit, but I don't have a full-length mirror, so that's what you get. Enjoy!

Happy Thursday, everyone!