Have you ever had a dream where you felt pain? I mean, physical pain so strong that you wonder how it was possible to feel that level of pain when nothing is actually causing it? I had a horribly painful dream that night that not only made me want to cry, but created a strong level of fear and annoyance.
I was a kid again, and all the kids of the neighborhood were playing hide and seek tag. (In the dream, there were tons of kids, rather than just the few I grew up with.) The person who was ‘it’ would count to a hundred, then try seeking the hiders. If they spotted you, then you could run to a “safe point” (one neighbor’s deck). If they caught you before you reached the deck, you were now “it.” Easy enough, but one kid had a different idea on being ‘it.’
The game started as normal. This one chubby kid with brown hair was ‘it.’ He began counting and we all ran into the wooded area between our houses. I hid up in a tall, full-brush tree. I sat there for a while, waiting.
“I see you!” the boy said from the base of the tree, pointing up at me. I squealed in childhood surprise and giddiness and shimmied down the tree, trying to find a way to jump far enough from the trunk and run past him.
I attempted a leap from one of the low hanging branches, and the idea worked, I had managed to not be caught at the tree. However, I was not fast enough to reach the “safe” point and he caught me…by stabbing me in the back…with a knife. It was a blinding pain, I could feel my never shoot across my back violently.
Even though this kid does not exist in reality, I felt a huge “Et tu Brute?” moment as he twisted the blade next to my spine. We had had a huge dream history together. He had been my friend.
The game stopped at this point and I managed to get away, the pain slowly subsiding. But the terror didn’t end there. The rest of the game continued in a two person game of tag where I was always running from “it.” He caught a stabbed me several times in the back, chest, and stomach, and each time I managed to escape and heal only to be chased all over again. The worst pain was the being stabbed in the stomach. I remember crying. I have never been stabbed in reality, but my dream did a great job at making it feel excruciatingly painful.
I’ve experienced pain in my dreams before, usually by being bitten or scratched, but the stabbing was by far the worst.