The Experience I Had That I Can't Explain

THE EXPERIENCE I HAD THAT I CAN'T EXPLAIN: Most uncanny experience I’ve ever had.

When I was ten years old, we had a small female dog named baby damm. One day I put damm in a plastic container. I closed the lid. It was one of those air-tight containers. I didn’t know that. I was pretending that damm was an astronaut and having space travel. Then there was my favorite cartoon on television. I instantly got engrossed. Back then, cartoon channels had this successive five scheme that got kids to binge-watch.

I spent maybe a couple of hours watching TV. Then I returned my attention to the transparent container. Damm was lying on her side and looked like she was sleeping. I opened the lid. Damm didn’t move. I touched her, and she was warm. So I thought she was sleeping. Hours passed, and the sun went down. She hadn’t moved at all. I got worried. I got back to the container and saw that her eyes were half-open. I still remember it vividly. Her eyes glistened in the gloom of the living room. Then it clicked, and I touched her chest. It was cold. I will forever remember the cold panic that crept up my arm and ran through my entire body. I cried for hours. My mom returned at night, and she cried too.

She tried to comfort me, saying it was a mistake, but I cried the entire day, and the next morning, I remembered what I had done and started crying again. I’d watch TV, then cry during the commercial break, then watch cartoons again, then cry again. I felt most horrible. I tried to strangle myself, to experience what damm must have felt until she died. Suffocation felt terrible but never as much as the guilt. Fast forward five years, and I was 15 and one of the unhealthiest teenagers around. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and I was starting to hear things. It first started with a little girl singing somewhere. I’d lie in my bed in my quiet room, and I’d hear this girl singing uncanny melodies with unintelligible words. Had I lived in an apartment, I’d have regarded it as a neighbor down or upstairs, but I lived in a detached home.

I never mentioned this to anyone because, thanks to bipolar disorder, I had done a fair amount of research on mental disorders, and this symptom was clearly pointing at schizophrenia. I tried to ignore it. Then one day, the voice started talking to me. At first, it was innocuous, such as “I like that” when I saw a picture of a cake. I absolutely ignored all of that internal voice. Then she started asking, “Why are you ignoring me? I am so lonely here.” I was freaking out at that point. I had dropped out of school two years ago, and I never left home. I never turned off the lights in my room because I couldn’t bear the idea of having to deal with the voice in the dark. I developed insomnia and slept during the day, playing video games through the night. I was seriously considering killing myself, more sure as days passed.

Then one day, in the afternoon, at around 1:00 PM, I fell asleep in my bed. Then I instantly opened my eyes, and the sunlight hadn’t changed, so I thought I was asleep for a few minutes or so. Then I felt a presence at the doorway. I turned my head to look at the doorway and was petrified. There was a thing at the doorway looking at me. I can only describe it as a creature made of smoke, with glowing red eyes. It was the shape of a dog. It was sitting in a pose that cats often assume, with its forelegs upright and hind legs sitting. It was staring at me with its glowing, scaring eyes, half-buried in its smoke body which ever so slightly billowed to the current of air. I knew it was the dog. I have clumsily tried to draw it.

The eyes were glowing, like emitting light. I couldn’t get that right. In the midst of the intense fear, I felt the long-forgotten guilt. Tears were streaming down my face, and I explained to the thing that I was sorry, I have been sorry my entire life, and that I was planning to kill myself soon anyway, so maybe you could take my body. Such gibberish. It just kept on staring at me. Then I was no longer afraid of it. It looked so forlorn and lonely. I wanted to give it a hug. My mother had bought the baby dog because she was feeling sorry for me, watching TV all day all alone until her shift ended at night. I felt like I was looking at myself at age 10. I just wanted to hug it and tell it that it didn’t have to be this way and that it was all my fault.

Then I snapped out of it. I was in my room, but the warm afternoon sunlight was gone, and the cold blueish light of 7:00 PM was filling my room. I was still petrified, with cold sweat covering my forehead. I couldn’t leave my bed that day, except for the time when I jumped out of it for 10 seconds to turn on the lights before the night took over. Strangely, the voice was gone after that “dream.” I heard no voice of the little girl or her singing. My brain was quiet. And anxiety was gone too. I recovered over the course of years and eventually went to school, and everything has been stable ever since. I know logically this was my guilt or rather childhood trauma playing with my mind, but still, it’s the most uncanny experience I’ve ever had.

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