So when I was in late high-school (I think), I read ABARAT by Clive Barker; it featured beautiful and disturbing full color art by Barker as illustrations. There’s a character–an antagonist/duagonist–named Christopher Carrion that wears, like, an apparatus that essentially lets him breathe and relive his own nightmares.
I’ve only read ABARAT once, but Christopher Carrion has been a haunting image for–what, twenty years?
Last night, I realized A Thing? A side effect of narcolepsy is vivid nightmares, probably from the intensity and prevalence of REM (dream) sleep, hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations, and sleep paralysis. It’s a struggle to control it. Mine are frequently violent and disturbing, to the point I’m not willing to describe them on a lark.
My coping mechanism? The evil that I know versus the evil that my brain might come up with on its own. I use sleep headphones at night, because I just can’t calm down if it’s too quiet but I share a bed with my husband. Frequently, I fall and stay asleep to a YouTube playlist of boring-sounding white men explaining things–including horror-oriented videos.
The things I hear while I sleep frequently show up in my dreams, and there’s something much less upsetting to my waking life if the horror imagery–which still disturbs me–is familiar and repetitive versus whatever horrific bullshit my sleeping brain comes up with on its own.
But–like–it’s still scary. Am I feeding myself my own nightmares? But if I don’t listen to descriptions of visceral media, my mind wanders to worse places.