I didn’t sleep well last night. I didn’t sleep well at all. And, to be honest, I’m ever-so-slightly afraid to be home alone because of it.
Why? Because the silly and irrational side of my brain thinks that someone is hiding in my house.
Yes. Really. Even though I know there’s no one here. And I know because I’ve checked every room and every cupboard. Twice. Whilst carrying a less-than-weapon-like thin metal tubing.
You see, just before Christmas I met a seemingly nice man for lunch. It wasn’t a big deal; we just had lunch. Then we made plans for a proper dinner date and exchanged mobile numbers. Then he started to send me text messages; lots and lots of them, each one becoming more and more inappropriate.
I was uncomfortable with the messages and told him so. I also told him that I was not comfortable meeting him for dinner and cancelled our date, asking him to not contact me again. But the text messages kept coming; very inappropriate messages with adult, triple-X rated content. And they got worse and worse as it went on—even after I threatened to phone the police. It got so bad that I was in tears every time my phone would alert me to a new message.
Thankfully, the messages have finally stopped. But I am still a little nervous each time I get a text message. (Is it him starting up again?)
Anyhow, as I slept last night, I had a dream that he started sending me text messages again. Only this time the messages were of a threatening nature. In my dream, I was on the bus when a new message arrived telling me that the man “knows where I live”. And at that very moment, I woke up in a shot because someone was whispering “Hullo” in my ear whilst I slept in my bed.
The voice was so vivid; so real. I honestly thought that there was someone in my bedroom, standing at the head of my bed. When my heart stopped racing and I realised that the voice was only a continuation of my dream, I began to calm down a bit. And then I got up to check that the door was locked and that no one was in my flat.
And when I finally got back to sleep, I dreamt of text messages again and was jolted awake by a voice whispering in my ear—again. After that, my sleep was very patchy and disrupted.
When I finally got out of bed this morning, I was well-aware that it was all just a dream, but it still stayed with me all day. I found myself looking over my shoulder as I made my way to the office and I even got a bit panicked when a text message arrived when I was at work.
And now that I’m home again, I am aware of every little sound. Is that someone in my flat? Or is it just the wind? What was that noise? Oh, it’s just a dog barking outside. Is that someone at my door? No, it’s only my imagination …
I suppose part of my paranoia is my previous experience of having a stalker. After all, the man doesn’t know where I live or where I work so I really don’t have a real reason to worry about him showing up at my door. But I have to say that it’s making me wonder if I really want to re-enter the dating world. I mean, I’ve not exactly had the best of luck, have I? And do I really want to deal with crazy people every time I attempt to date?
I think I may go to bed early tonight to make up for last night’s failed rest.
[Photo is from my visit to the hermitage last summer and is of me pretending that a bear is chasing me out of a cave. You know, to represent fear.]