Last night I had a rather creepy experience. Though I can't be sure, it might have been due to the combination of a late night meal, over tiredness, and doing a short but intense Vipassana session right before bed. Anyway, the scary thing was that I dreamed I couldn't wake up.
I've got really good dream recall, and have been practicing gaining lucidity in dreams for many years now. Realizing I'm dreaming is not a big surprise to me, and it happens maybe once a week or so on average. A common side effect of beginning to influence your dreams once you realize you are dreaming is that you tend to wake up.
This time the problem was every time I realized I was dreaming and started poking around at things, my wakeup was false. I was dreaming that I woke up. This has happened to me before, and usually just means I've lost my lucidity and that leads me back to the normal chaotic realm of dreams. This time I remained fully aware of what was going on.
As this continued to happen, I began to get more panicked, and with it, my dreams become more frightening. The thing more-or-less started when I walked into the hallway of our apartment and found a room that didn't really exist in our building, and my mom suddenly appeared.
From that, I went to waking up in the bed with my girlfriend kneeling over me crying saying "Please don't kill yourself". Then when I started to float, I knew that was a dream, and woke up again, this time wishing to wake her up and make sure what I dreamed wasn't real. When I tried to get her to roll over, she spun in place but her back was always to me. So I woke up again.
This time there is a sickly looking dog laying at the foot of the bed and she's crying again, "You know I love animals!". At this point my mind starts getting so tightened up, I start frantically repeating "I have to wake up".
Thoughts go back to "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and at the time I'm cursing the movie for feeding my imagination, because as powerful of a scene that is to see, it sucks to live through it.
I start thinking more existentially: "Why can't I wake up?". My mind recalls all of the lucidity triggers it can, in an attempt to gain control of the nose-diving jet my brain has been piloting through all of this. Each time I wake up, I try to float. Again and again, it works. Fuck!
I look at the clock and the numbers are all fuzzy. Doesn't matter, I keep falling asleep and waking up and each time things get blurrier and slower and foggier. I feel like the scene around me is melting and that my muscles and arms are mush. I look out the side window ready to resign....
Wait, the side window? Our bed faces the window. Eureka!
Moments later I'm kissing my sleepy girlfriend and rambling on about my scary dreams and I'm sure that even if she was humoring me for the moment, she'd rather get back to bed. After a few minutes I calm down, knowing for sure that I was no longer dreaming.
What a wild ride that was, but I'm glad it's behind me. Oh crap... I'm starting to float again.