If you ever find yourself newly consciously minted into a living horrorshow, here is my advice: lift up your arm. You see, fantastic, horrible, nightmarish imagery is the calling card of ‘sleep paralysis,’ a condition of consciousness common among children and adolescents, but far from unknown to the human brain at all life’s stages.
In it, the human brain finds itself temporarily — seconds, a minute or two — stuck between sleep and wakefulness. The ocular function is awake: so there you are, in your safe, warm, snuggly, bed-bug-ridden genital-secretion-laden blanket-fort. Complete with your aging concert posters on the wall and everything.
But the imagery apparatus of the brain is stuck between stations: it lays a freakshow phantasmagoria atop the quite real visualscape, just as easily as your sixth-grade elementary school teacher laid a transparency over the math homework on the projector, leading you to believe, say, a dark, deformed, demon is lording over the foot of your bed, staring at your decumbent, vulnerable body.
Finally, in such an in-between state, your motor skills and kinetic function have explicitly not yet come-to. So the horrifying part, for these seconds-to-a-minute-or-two, is that you are unable to move as lord-bed-demon glares down upon you. Fucked up, right?
So, I say, if things are horrible and nightmarish at any point in your life: lift up your arm. If you can’t, you are either now paralyzed for some sudden and terrible reason — sorry about that — or more likely, you are sitting temporarily in a transient, middling purgatory between your consciousness and subconsciousness. But, but, but: if you can lift your arm, of course, that means the hellish terror you are experiencing is quite real.