Terrifying as that first time was, I eventually grew to recognize the signs of an impending night terror. Deep in REM sleep my eyes would open, fix on a certain point of the room, and that’s where the hallucination would begin. It wasn’t always scary; sometimes I saw glittering necklaces drifting down towards my face, disappearing only when I tried to grab them out of the air. Occasionally there were the more violent ones, like the time I pushed my husband out of bed because I saw a tree crashing through our bedroom window. (That one was pretty funny, in retrospect.)
There’s no known cure for night terrors, and they’re supposed to go away after puberty, but mine have stuck around and so I’ve learned to live with them. My therapist encouraged me to keep a journal to “work through it” so here I am.
Yeah, my therapist. They weren’t so bad when I was a teenager, just scary dreams with an interactive twist, but lately they’ve gotten worse. A lot worse. My husband noticed I was staying up later, sleeping less, and the first night I stayed awake until the sunrise he took my hand and gently said he thought I needed to see someone.