Dream Journal

Every night at 2:15 am, I will wake up in a state of fear after a nightmare. Sometimes they’re the same, sometimes it’s a recurring one.

Tonight I had a dream that I was walking through a neighbourhood with my family, as a storm grew around the corner. We arrived at their house and realized it was more than a storm – it was a tornado. The tornado ripped open a wall and I saw a family member run down to the basement to safety. We, however, were trapped outside. We ran away from the tornado. It appeared to move away, but ended up in front of us again. We ran the other way and realized it was circling us. I curled up on the ground and closed my eyes, listening to the roaring winds around me. I thought, ‘I’m too young to die’, as I felt my soul being pulled up and being condensed into a signal atom. I thought I’d disappear, but I re-awoke into another dream (maybe another life).

According to dreammoods.com:

To dream that you are in a tornado means that you are feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Your plans will be filled with much complications and you will be met with a series of disappointments. If you dream that you come out of the tornado with no injuries, then it implies that the rough times are temporary and you will come out of it stronger and happier.

Unfortunately I did not come out of the tornado with no injuries. Not sure how much we can trust these interpretations but still very interesting. The emotions I felt during the nightmare and upon waking up were: fear, a feeling of being trapped, hopelessness.

The night I didn’t die

Trigger warning: May be upsetting to those who have previously attempted suicide or experienced an overdose.

The morning after, I felt groggy and unrested.

Walked downstairs to fill my water bottle. Holding it under the flow of water I noticed my hands shaking.

Stopped the flow of water. Tried to hold the bottle in front of my face, tried to be completely still. The bottle shook violently with my hands.

Walked quickly upstairs, with more urgency. Picked up a pen to write down what I remembered from the night before. Tried to write down my symptoms. My writing was unrecognizable.

Pulled clothes off the end of the bed. Struggled to dress. Struggled to pull my shirt over my head. Struggled to stop the shaking for long enough to put on pants. 15 minutes later.

Called my housemate who had a car to drive me to the hospital. No answer. Called the boyfriend.

“I’ll be right over. 30 minutes.”

Sat on couch, hands shaking. Pulled out phone and messaged other housemate.

“Can you please stay with me until my boyfriend comes to bring me to the hospital? I’m afraid I might have a seizure.”

My shaking hands and now blurring vision slowed me down so much, it felt like ages to type.

Realized I would need my health card and insurance. Walked up to my room, and my shaky hands pulled out a key. Fumbled to unlock the door, only to jump back, muffling a scream.

Spider. The size of my hand. Crawling up the door frame, twitching, ready to jump. Stood there in a panic for what felt like 10 minutes.

Finally opened the door and jumped back, anticipating the spider. Nothing. Looked closer and it was gone. Hallucinations.

Sat on the couch waiting for an eternity. Sporadic bolts of strong electricity would bind me to my seat. Completely paralyzed. Uncontrollable shaking. Electricity. Paralyzed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Watching spiders rise up from the carpet and crawl towards me before melting away.

“I always thought you were a little too well adjusted,” jokes the housemate.

Nervous laughter in agreement. “Jokes on you,” I say.

Boyfriend arrives. I can’t move. Pulls me up and walks me to the car.

Arrive at hospital. At reception. Try to speak, but my throat is paralyzed. Boyfriend completes registration.

When I can speak, all I can say is, “my hands feel so heavy. They feel so heavy. I can’t hold them up, they’re rocks.” Boyfriend encouragingly picks up hand to show that they aren’t heavy each time.

Feel like melting into the floor. Eyes roll back in head. Vision readjusts. Electricity. Paralysis. Tears that I can’t wipe away. My hands – they’re too heavy.

Dissociation. Slips out of body. White light. Fear. I’m going to die here. I’m going to be buried here, thousands of kilometers away from my family. Will they ship my body back? Will they fly it back?

I slip in and out of my body again. I’m calm and at peace. Complete serenity. Electricity. Fear returns.

Try to speak to the nurse but I’ve lost all speech. I’ve lost all movement. My soul keeps slipping out, I can feel it.

Fear. What if they shame me like last time? I cry. “Please don’t get mad. Please believe me,” I think as loud as I can.

She speaks to me and I see her far away. Don’t close your eyes. I wasn’t even trying to die. I just wanted to stop the pain. Regret and fear.

Later. I’m back in my body. The psychiatric nurse sits with me, so gentle and kind. Relief.

She tells me I’m lucky. I well-exceeded what should have been a lethal dose.

I don’t know what to say so I just cry. I thank her. I leave.

Depersonalization

An invisible hand reached through my neck, cutting my breath short, pulling my consciousness away until it was completely detached from my body.

I could move, but only very slowly.

I could see, but everything was choppy, as if I was looking at a broken screen.

I could hear, but it was like I was underwater. Voices seemed far away and echoed even though they came from right in front of me.

I instructed myself to smile, to move my head every once in a while so no one would know anything was wrong. I robotically carried out these actions when I could.

I sat beside myself and saw the dead, faraway look in my eyes. The blank face. My body swayed unsteadily. I felt nauseas, as if my body was a rocking boat and I was dangling off the edge.

I somehow found my way home and fell into a long and uneasy sleep.

Fetishism isn’t flattery

I am Canadian. I was born here, my mother was born here, my entire immediate and extended family lives here. However, my ethnicity is “Asian”. I don’t need to be too specific to get my point across here. I haven’t been in too many situations where someone was outright racist to me, but there have been small jabs throughout my life. The fact that I grew up in a country that places value in a eurocentric ideal of beauty has been very apparent.

Let’s go back to junior high. A classmate of mine was asking about my race, and when I told them, they exclaimed, “I can’t believe you’re full Asian. Your eyes are so big, you look only half!” The way they said this and the way everyone around me reacted made me feel like this was the best compliment I could have gotten. Now, if I heard that, I would be far from flattered.

I really do think this classmate meant well. We were young, around 12 years old, and they were trying to tell me that they thought I fit into the widely accepted standard of beauty. And while this was a nice gesture, this also has darker implications. I would compare myself and always end up glum because although I had some features of a white girl, I wasn’t a white girl. Therefore, I figured, I would always be second, less pretty, compared to a white girl. And it’s not just me – this is such a widely held belief. For Asian males and females – we have grown up in a society that tells us white is beauty.

A year later, things took a strange sharp turn for me. This was back when MSN messenger was a thing. I was messaging with one guy who actually did think I was pretty. This was my introduction to the Asian fetish. Our conversations became less than innocent after a while. Whenever I tried to turn the conversation around and talk about something else, he would tell me not to be so frigid and relax, take a joke! Me, being young, shy, and too polite for my own good, learned that it was best to brush these things off. I started high school with these people, and the comments would come to me online and in person.

Is it true Asians are the tightest? Is it true they will do whatever their man tells them to do? They’re always loyal and submissive. Some of them pretend to be innocent but they’re actually sluts. Are you an Asian hoe? Hey my friend hooked up with an Asian girl and she let him do this and that. Would you let a guy do that to you? I’ve only been with one Asian, I need to change that. 

This is the kind of talk I would hear from the time I was 13 and lasted throughout high school. I have an old conversation from MSN saved because my friends didn’t believe me. Here’s some choice excerpts.

You can hang out with me and my friends. That is, if you don’t think they’ll rape you. 
They would rape me? Why would you say that?
Well what if they were drunk and you were acting slutty? They like Asian hoes.
Ok, but I don’t act slutty.
No, but you should. You could get so many guys. You’re Asian.

By the time I left high school, just hearing his name would make me want to throw up. I couldn’t look him in the eye and I would go out of my way to avoid him.

If you tell me you think I’m beautiful or hot or whatever, but then you mention you have “yellow fever”, I am exiting that situation so fast. It’s not flattering. You assuming that I should be flattered for your attention under any circumstance is bullshit. You can be attracted to whoever you’re attracted to – but don’t think that telling me that you have a special place in your pants for Asians is going to go over well for you.

Yes, I’m more desirable to some, but it’s because of my race. That’s telling me that I can be easily replaced by another. That’s telling me I’m your hunting trophy or another number for your “Asian girl” count. I’m a landmark story you can tell your friends. I’m not a person to you.