Boris Bender

Moscow, Russia

I became conscious in my dream almost immediately after falling asleep. I was in my apartment standing in the corridor. Being surprised by having so suddenly found myself in lucid dreaming, I started to touch the walls with my hands to test their firmness or, "realness," as well as to intensify lucid dreaming by touching. I entered the room (M.R.: no plan of action). There was a bed standing next to the wall, with my mother sleeping on it. I could not see her face, only her body under the blanket. The room and corridor were exact replicas of their real-life counterparts.

While thinking about my sleeping mother, I suddenly started to feel somewhat uneasy. When I approached the window, I saw a grotesque landscape behind it that was similar to pictures from movies about catastrophes: a wasteland, houses in ruins, odd pileups of building materials, slabs of concrete, garbage, craters from explosions here and there, and I noticed human figures in some places.

Fearing a foul caused by the fact that I was taking in a panoramic view (the view from the window spanned 180 degrees and cut off at the horizon, which is in fact almost exactly as the view from my apartment is in real life), I turned back into the room and started to touch the wardrobe, and then knelt down to touch the floor. All the while, my fear had been growing stronger and stronger: both out of thinking about my sleeping mother and due to the view from the window. Anxiety turned into real fear within a matter of several seconds, and then graduated into terror and panic. I lost the ability to think critically. I had only one thought: I had to go back to my body (M.R.: wrong logic). I darted back to my bed and suddenly found myself lying on it. I closed my eyes, but could not understand if I were in my real body or still in lucid dreaming. My terror grew even stronger when I half-opened my eyes and saw that my mother was getting up from her bed. She looked like a character from a horror movie and apparently was hostile to me.

I wanted to disappear, dissolve, and wake up! I hectically tried to recall the techniques for an emergency exit from lucid dreaming, but with poor results: I tried to freeze, relax and touch my fingers to my toes in order to feel a connection with my real body. At some moments I felt like I had it, thinking, “The connection had been restored!” I opened my eyes, but realized that I was still in lucid dreaming when I saw that the room had changed, and was now awash with garbage.

The fact that the attempts kept ending with false awakenings was driving me crazy. I was especially shocked when I got up after one of the false awakenings and saw my mother standing at my bed, still looking threateningly at me, like a vampire or a zombie from a horror movie. Plus, she started to reach out toward me with her hands!

I nevertheless kept on and tried to freeze and wiggle my toes, this time without opening my eyes, and not checking where I was. I started to calm down after some time, but I was unable to feel my real body, which was confirmed by the fact that sounds were coming in from lucid dreaming: I heard sparrows chirping outside the window, though it reality it was too late for sparrows to be out. However, the chirping and the associations that it brought (i.e. day, warmth, sparrows, and sun), probably helped me a lot and calmed me down, as I finally managed to sense my real body and found myself in reality. Nevertheless, after I got up, I immediately started to verify for about half a minute that I was no longer in lucid dreaming by touching objects, making sure that they were hard, and feeling all of my bodily sensations.

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