Meditation was supposed to be relaxing. Nobody told me about the nightmares, or medimares or whatever the hell you call them. The visions of horror that jump out of the nothingness of the cleared mind. Not horror like you see in movies. Personal horror. Seeing yourself strangling puppies kind of horror.
It started about a month after my first attempt at meditation. It took me that long to learn how to clear my thoughts. To think about nothing. It was a slow process but there was progress. Then one day I did it. I was just there and there was nothing. I was relaxed and receptive.
Then my six grade teacher was there, only he wasn’t just being his usual asshole self. He was carving runes into the skin of my friends and there was nothing I could do to stop him.
Another time I was sitting, feeling very mellow and free, and suddenly I saw myself picking up a kitten and throwing her against the wall over and over again. That one sent me to the therapist.
Obviously I was doing something wrong the therapist told me. She had me do my deep breathing and relaxation ritual. She kept whispering good and yes. Slowly she, and everything else faded away. I felt calm. My last thought was to let go of thinking about not thinking. Then out of nowhere came the vision of my aunt falling from a great height and splattering on the sidewalk.
The therapist suggested that meditation might not be my thing. Instead, she gave me some pills to try to help me relax.
No more pills! At least when the meditation went bad I could snap out of it pretty quickly. The pills trapped me in the nightmare. Hours of dogs with knives, talking bloody cabbages and me, killing or hurting everyone and everything I could get my hands on.
The therapist got mad at me when I described my childhood as normal. After a few sessions she hypnotized me. When she brought me back up she pissed, having found nothing to blame the horrors on.
I’m a nice person. Never arrested, well once, drunk in public the night of my college graduation, but I never hurt anybody. The thought of these horrors living in my brain makes me vomit. Literally. I started to wonder if I’m too nice a person, working too hard to suppress the bad in me.
No meditation. No pills. Just sleep. It happened again. I was in a workshop. On the counter was a bird cage with eleven robins. I took each one and crushed it’s beak with a vice. The noises they made. I woke after the eleventh had surrendered its beak. Surely I am insane. I never want to sleep again.
My therapist has given up on me. She says I’m not trying to get better. She referred me to a new doctor. In our first meeting he wired me up to a bunch of machines, asked me a bunch of questions and said “huh” a lot.
A week later they removed the tumor.