/r NoSleep - The Harold Wallace Interviews, Part 1
I just got done with a session, and I have to tell you, I’m rattled. Hypnotic regression is already considered fringe, in a broader field that already puts people off. Normally I work with people who are just convinced they were abused as children, or if they go far back enough, they can figure out why they smoke, or drink, or eat until they’re huge. Usually, it’s not so dramatic as that. Most people don’t really even need my services, but if they’re paying, they’re paying. This patient is different. Something is going on...
Anyway, today was the first time we tried regression with “Harold Wallace.” He’d been having night terrors, waking up in the middle of the night screaming, and the screaming would continue for as long as an hour at a time before he woke up. His young children are staying with their grandmother, and his wife, bless her, is staying until the bitter end. I’m going to share this transcript with you, and while you look it over, I’m going to pour a stiff drink. Book will be me talking, HW is the patient.
Book: All right, you should be fully relaxed now. Nothing will wake you up until you hear me clap twice. Are you relaxed?
Book: Are you comfortable?
Book: Why are you here today?
Book: What kind of dreams are you having?
HW: (long pause.) They’re scary.
Book: What makes them scary?
HW: *They* come...in the dreams.
Book: Who is ‘they’?
HW: (Shaking his head, his hands clench the arms of the chair) I don’t….I don’t want to say.
Book: That’s okay. That’s fine. Don’t worry.
Book: According to our conversation, the last dream you had was the 5th, last week. Do you remember the dream?
Book: Can you tell me about it?
HW: I don’t want to.
Book: Let’s start small. Where are you in the dream?
HW: At home.
Book: Your current home.
HW: I don’t know...we’ve always lived here.
Book: Who lives there with you?
HW: Mommy and daddy.
Book: Oh, I see. And how old are you?
Book: That’s a good age. So you’re at home in the dream?
Book: What room are you in?
HW: My room.
Book: What are you doing?
HW: (grimaces) I’m playing.
Book: You don’t look like you’re having fun.
Book: Are you playing with a toy?
Book: What toy is it?
HW: I’m not sure. They gave it to me.
Book: They gave it to you. Can you describe it?
(The patient’s hands are moving now, as if manipulating a puzzle of some kind.)
HW: It’s...a lot of metal pieces. They’re very cold. They look like Cheeto Puffs. But they’re locked together. They hurt my hands.
Book: How does it hurt?
HW: (hands still moving, there seems to be a fair amount of muscular tension) They’re real cold. And they won’t let me stop until I solve it. My hands are sore and cold. It’s hard to move my fingers.
Book: Are they in the room with you?
HW: (turning his head side to side, then leaning forward and nodding. He whispers.) Yes….(inaudible.)
Book: Where are they standing?
HW: (tears come up in his eyes.) Please let me stop. I don’t want to anymore.
Book: Where are they in the room?
HW: Behind me. They’re in the corner.
Book: Can you see them?
HW: No….no, they said not to look. They said don’t look, don’t look, I’m bad if I look.
Book: Have you ever seen them?
HW: (Agitated, fingers drawn up in rigor-like state, moving in short jerks.) Yes.
Book: Can you describe them?
HW: NO. No! No, nono [inaudible] No, I don’t want to!
Book: What are they doing in the corner?
HW: I don’t know. I looked one time and they were facing away.
Book: They weren’t looking at you?
HW: WHY WON’T YOU LET ME STOP I DON’T WANT TO PLAY ANYMORE [inaudible].
Book: You couldn’t see their faces?
HW: OWWWWW. OWWWW STOP IT OWWWW I’M SORRY!
Book: You’re out of the dream, back in the blank place. [Hands clapping.] Forget the dream. Forget it. You’re coming back from the blank place. You hear my voice. You feel the chair. You’re coming up. The blank place is nearly gone. You’re back. Take a deep breath.
HW: When are we starting, doc?
Book: You’ve been under for the last twenty minutes.
HW: What? Wow!
Book: You won’t remember going under.
HW: Did you figure anything out?
Book: Well, I’m not sure. Do you have a history of any kind of abuse in your family?
HW: No, we were a happy family. No one was ever abused, or even all that angry.
Book: Let’s see if we can suss out some details from your conscious memory. On [Date] you indicated that your wife, [REDACTED], said you were screaming in your sleep about ‘them.’ Do you have any idea of who that might be?
HW: Doesn’t make sense to me. ‘Them’ is pretty broad. No, no I don’t think that means anything to me. Monsters in my dreams, I guess.
Book: Let’s explore -
The rest is me carefully questioning him about past contacts in his family, family history that might have lead to something like what he described. I’ll report back after our next session. I’ve learned that you don’t want to pressure patients into remembering too much, too quickly.
I’m left with a few questions:
Who are “them,” or “they?”
Why are they forcing him to play with that puzzle?
What is the purpose of the puzzle?
There could be any number of reasonable explanations: observation as a child for certain types of learning or developmental disorders, pushy parents or grandparents, a bad nightmare that’s reoccurring…
But why are the people, if people they are, facing the corner?
Let me know what you think.