Citation: The Learned. "Nightmare School: An Experience with DOB (tentative; sold as Ecstasy) (exp64330)". Erowid.org. Nov 9, 2007. erowid.org/exp/64330
[Erowid Note: While the author of this report believes he mistakenly took LSD, the onset of effects, duration and visual effects are consistent with a low dose of DOB. Given that some details of the report suggest the experience happened in the UK or Ireland, where there were documented cases of DOB sold as 'ecstasy' in the form of white unmarked tablets in 2003 -- the same year as the experience -- the material is tentatively categorized here as DOB.]
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I would hope that it be first understood of my choice of title to what proceeds that no exaggeration is intended. This was my most horrific of dreams come to a vivid and fearsome life of its own.
This also happens to be the story of a fucking idiot.
I'll not waste the time of the reader detailing my past drug experiences (this account is long enough) suffice I've been a user of drugs at one time or another for nearly 15 years and have experimented with numerous substances, largely to positive and fondly remembered effect.
On this particular occasion I realised the truth behinds warnings associated with hallucinogenic experimentation and as such would and have extended these warnings to all with whom I converse on the topic.
Before I detail the experience in question I shall first give a short description of my very first attempt at LSD consumption. It was at a house party at my home in around 2001/2002 and involved the taking of one tab of acid. It was in general a new and interesting experience though half way through my trip I fell prey to a nervousness I was unfamiliar with that forced my hiding away in my bedroom for the rest of the night. A strange and unnerving time to be sure but not of the level associated with my next experience and as such, its warnings of the effects of LSD on my system went unheeded.
The second time I subjected myself to this powerful drug was in 2003, again in my own home yet with a greatly altered environment. I shall explain, My family were out of town for one week visiting relatives and I had intended to use this time to enjoy some ecstasy with some friends in a free house with loud music. Intentions indeed. I had procured my 'ecstasy' from my usual guy early in the day, accompanied by the usual dealer boasting of the potency of said ecstasy and how the night prior some of his other lucky customers had found amusement climbing lamp posts and generally being fucked up. Nice I thought. Should be fun. So later that evening I sat waiting on word from my friends, and waiting, and waiting, and with no credit on my mobile phone and an incoming only house line it was all I could do but wait. So...
Patience being an as yet acquired virtue I decided to neck the first E, content if need be in smacking out alone. It was then that I first noticed the unusual nature of the tablets. They were clear white (usually the sign of a great E), smooth on one side but jagged and broken on the other, as if they were once cylindrical and had been sheared in half. Good I thought, must be pretty strong to required their cutting in half. Idiot. So, water in hand, I necked the first 'E'. Oh shit, was my first thought, no sickly bile-like pill taste. Damn, could be duds. Slightly puzzled at my suppliers assurances of the high quality of the pills and annoyed at the prospect of waiting hours for a buzz that will never come, I sat in front of my tv/computer and waited with some music.
Having consumed the first on a fairly empty stomach I guessed if they were the genuine deal I hoped they were I would have little longer than an hour to feel their effects. Half an hour passed and nothing. No tingle on my neck, no swirling of my stomach, no blurring of my vision, nothing. Growing increasingly annoyed with the burn I was facing up to I took the stupid and forever regrettable decision to neck the remaining, innocuous tablet, half out of a hope that they were just very mild E's and half out of anger at the waste of a good night.
Sat on. Listening to music and surfing the net. TV putting out some background imagery. Another hour or so passed, when 'it' struck. A slight and barely noticeable shifting of the image on my computer screen. Hardly anything a seasoned acid user might notice but for me it was a punch in my face. Immediately I recognised the sensation as being one I had felt much of on my first 'trip'. A wave of panic swept over me. Jesus fucking christ! That was acid!
Oh my god, I thought. What the hell! That shit was acid! I've necked two fucking acid tabs! My mind began racing at the prospect of what that horrible fact meant. Jesus christ! I'm alone here! I took a deep breath and tried to force myself calm. A futile idea given what was to follow. Relax, I though. Enjoy it. It might be good fun. After all, I had first tried acid in the hope of experiencing all the crazy world-bending effects they are reputed to induce. Perhaps I'll just have a conversation with God or spend the night in convulsed stitches of laughter at my cat, or something. But I knew such ideas were a joke at best as the creeping fear had already begun. And would continue.
Within minutes of the first rush the circular motion of the tv, floor and walls was in full swing and the fear was growing. A bizarre reaction to be sure, to be utterly petrified by nothing in particular. I paced the living room in a nervous funk, hoping for some kind of solution. I have to throw up. At least try anyway. Maybe purge whatever my stomach lining had not yet absorbed of the drug. Forcing my own vomiting was something I had never done before. Never needed to. And I understood perfectly how violent and unpleasant it would be but I was more than willing to pull my own stomach out from my throat if it would only save me some of what would later happen anyway. I dashed in to the bathroom, lifted the toilet seat and assumed the position. Without a second thought I shoved my hand down my oesophagus a wiggled my fingers, retching immediately but not throwing up. Tried again but nothing. It was at this point that when I took a moment to catch my breath the urgency and true seriousness of what I was currently doing occurred to me. And this made me even more terrified. Vomiting now seemed my only chance. Resolute I again pushed my hand as far down my throat as I could and kept it there, eventually producing the desired result. After a few heaves I knew I my stomach had given up all it would. I washed myself off, temporarily calmed, and returned to the living room.
Once cocooned under a duvet on the couch only a few moments passed until the sounds began changing. The violent angry insanity that was blaring from the t.v (a program about the WRC world rally tournament) was taking on an increasing menacing air as the acid decided to fuck with my hearing. Sounds would drift out to a far away distance and then sway back in to a brief booming din, and then back away, and then back again. Back and forward, back and forward. Scary as fuck. 'Eeeerrrrggghhhh!!!' Fucking noise, had to make it stop. Clambered for the remote to hit mute, terrified by having to move at all. Lay there in silence, almost. I could hear my fucking heartbeat do the same shit, louder, quieter, louder, quieter. FUCK! Then a car drove past my house at speed, producing the sound of an insane fighter jet. 'AHHHHAAAAaaaaa'. I turned the mute back off.
Things were getting worse. I'd be caught in grips of rushing fear that would force my eyes closed and clench my fingers tight. And all the while I knew I had many, many more hours, never mind minutes or fucking seconds left of this shit to endure. I was trapped in a self-induced mental cataclysm, unable to form rational thoughts, pleading with my own consciousness to just fucking relax. I knew I was fighting the effects of the acid and thereby making things far worse for myself but attempts at calmness were met by increasingly powerful waves of terror. It was as if the acid had a consciousness of its own and had directed it entirely toward making this experience as horrible as it could. And with the swirling noises in my head I could on the odd occasion almost make out the snickering laugh of my new worst enemy.
I began succumbing to desperation, looking every few seconds at my mobile phone in the hope that it would somehow become useful. Anyone could phone. ANYONE, and that would be all I would need. Even if someone dialled it by accident I could beg them to phone one of my friends and they could come over and help me get through this. But this too was futile, and only served to increase my anxiety. I began pacing the house again, staring at walls in horrified fascination at the swirling mass of confused colours. Then I found myself out in the hallway, staring at the house phone. Did I mention it was incoming only? Because that meant I could only make ONE type of phone call. To the fucking emergency services. But knowing that would be a phone call that could have far longer lasting repercussions that just riding it out I held back the temptation. Instead I went outside to flag down a car. It in itself a fucking stupid idea given how tight-knit this community is. To have the pastor of the local church being flagged down in the middle of the night by a jabbering drug head in the grip of an acid psychosis probably wouldn't help my image at the next school play.
Now pacing my garden in the middle of the night with tears of fear and loneliness dried in to my face, a car sped by my house and I decided I had to do something so I stumbled out on to the road to wait for the next one. Thankfully (or not as later events might have it) it was late at night and given the country location of my house no cars came while I was on the road. Again my mind was in a panicky debate over what possible 'out' I had from this nightmare. My nearest neighbour was a few dozen yards up the road. I could call there and beg the use of their phone. Didn't take much to decide against this given how 'straight' they are. And that it was now about 2am... And we barely knew each other... And I was fucked on acid. I could call to my friends house down the road a mile or so but he lives with his parents and they already suspected the nature of my drug usage and the shame would be a stain that would never wash away. Plus it would have meant walking down a pitch black country road with a head full of acid. No chance. It was enough to try and ignore the monsters in my well lit house never mind being chased by trees and whatnot.
So here I was. Crunch time. What to do? Wait on the road for a car, hope it doesn't hit me and pray its not packed full of neighbourhood watch type wankers who'd probably tie me to a tree to 'serve me right for bein' a druggie baaast'd'? Call at my equally judgmental neighbours house and cry on their doorstep until the husband wakes up out of bed (undoubtedly with his shotgun in hand just in case I'm there to steal his fucking ride-on lawnmower)? Walk down to my friends house and truly say goodbye to what tiny morsel of pride I had left (providing I made it past the leering shadows in the bushes)? Or, do I phone 999?
Upon reflection, I might have made a better choice. Really any choice would have been better than what I opted for.
I took a deep breath and dialled the number. Got through to a clearly bored and uninterested operator who asked what the nature of the emergency was. This is roughly how the conversation went,
(Operator) What service do you require?
(Me) I need an ambulance.
(Operator) What is the nature of your emergency?
I should probably point out here that I learnt some very valuable lessons about the nature of humanity during what followed. I had already decided to be completely honest about what I had done and what help I needed, sure in the comforting propaganda surrounding our medical professionals and servers of society. They would understand, and would help me regardless. They would see my desperation and would want to help me. Of course they would. T.V said so....
(Me) Okay. I've taken some acid. But I swear to God I didn't think it was acid I thought it was ecstasy - (Like this made any fucking difference!)
(Operator) Excuse me?
(Me) Please I really need help. I took something not knowing it was acid but it was acid and now I need help please. I need an ambulance.
(Operator) (Audible snickering) Okay. Right.
(Operator) Where are you?
I gave them my address.
(Operator) Okay. What actually is wrong with you?
(Me) Oh God help. I'm so fucked up. I'm so scared and I need help.
(Operator) (More audible snickering)
(Me) Are you laughing at me? (wasn't sure about this as I knew I could have been hallucinating, but yes they definitely were.)
(Operator) No no, not at all. Your ambulance will be there soon.
After hanging up the phone I felt a little puzzled and more than a little hurt by the operators coldness and for the first time wondered if the benevolent ambulance men and hospital staff that I had just invited in to my life were really going to be the beacons of kindness I was hoping for. This was however largely a subconscious notion. I was altogether relieved at ending my acid based house arrest, drastic means accepted. It was too late now though anyway. I had made my choice. I found my coat at waited outside for the ambulance.
Whilst waiting for my savours to arrive the enormity of what was happening sat heavy on my frazzled brain: I had just taken, half by accident, two hugely powerful LSD pills and had now called an ambulance out to my own house. My own fucking house! I contemplated what had gone so wrong in my life that I'd be here in this self-formed human tragedy. Oh yeah, I took drugs. That's what happened! Not that I'm a posterboy for the anti-drugs brigade as a result. Quite the contrary. In fact my love of recreationals is as strong as ever. But still, at that moment, waiting for an ambulance I had called for myself, grappling with a chronic fear of just about everything, I couldn't help but curse the entire concept of 'expanded reality'. Back then I would have gladly settled for an entirely sedentary life full of nothing more chemically stimulating than sex and video games. But at least I had help on the way out right? Hmmm...
Actually to be honest, hindsight is a marvellous, useless thing. Given it, I may, no would, have told those ambulance men to fuck right off. Or at least hidden in the bushes until they had driven away. But for those minutes before their arrival I wasn't waiting on fuckers intent on chauffeuring me to hell. Rather I had actually phoned a Batman-type superhero, right to his cave and him and Robin were screeching ever closer in their Batmobile to save me.
I heard their vehicle approach from quite a distance away. Shit, I thought, I hope my neighbour doesn't wake up given how deathly silent the night was. They, like most of the 'norms' around these parts are nosey fuckers and the after hours sight of an ambulance calling to my house would stir a great manys a debate amongst the locals. No, it'll be cool I thought.
Its volume grew loud as it approached. Quite a lot in fact. Sure, accentuated by my new acid-perception but still damn loud and this new level of paranoia was not helping me deal with things. Then it arrived at the front of the house. At last, people! I'll just run up and get in the front. No I wont. That wasn't their plan. Instead they reversed up the driveway as loudly as possible. Then one guy opened up the rear doors from inside causing a sound resembling a printing presses impression of a road drill. Oh fuck. There is no way my astute neighbours missed this shit. Might as well have had the sirens blaring, lights flashing and have called to their house by accident. Fuck it. At least I'll get help now. I clambered in to the cold, terrifying confines of the ambulance and once he'd slammed the doors closed as hard as he could we were off.
My God what a sight I must have been. By this point I was desperately fighting back the waves of terror and nausea and frankly was in no state to answer any of the battery of questions the paramedic had in store. To be fair this guy seemed pretty okay though. He did almost seem to give a shit about why I was in so much apparent pain. He'd ask what I'd taken and what the circumstances were and while he was taking my blood pressure I'd answer him as best I could. This was a chore in itself though as I was having real trouble talking through my clenched teeth and agonised yelping. I remember he kept asking me what exactly it was I was feeling and I couldn't really answer. All I could get through to him was that I was experiencing waves of utter horror that would not stop and all I needed was some kind of counter-drug to chill me out. He seemed entirely unsure if the hospital itself would have anything that might help. No shit.
We were not far from our destination and I was getting noticeably worse, the waves were wracking my entire body in to stiff convulsions accompanied by whiny screams. Then something happened that really frightened the shit out of me, the driver began to mimic the noises I was making. Oh dear. I really started to think that I had made a seriously bad move in calling these nazis for help. Heartless fucker was taking the piss out of me? You asshole. Cant you see the state I'm in? I am a broken human, humbled at your feet and crying for your assistance and compassion. And you fucking mock me? Wanker! Not that I actually said any of these things as I was now unable to speak through my chattering teeth. I do remember though apologising at one point for wasting their time when a more serious call could be waiting. Didn't help. They were pretty disgusted.
Finally we arrived at the casualty department. The driver opened the back doors and motioned for me to exit the ambulance. This was not an easy feat whatsoever as my legs were alternating between rigidness and jelly. So, he 'helped' matters by saying 'Get out!'. Oh christ. He lead me through to the emergency ward where nurses and I think a patient or two were already staring at this human flotsam that just dribbled in. He said to a woman sitting in an office 'What do you think of 'this''. Oh God. I thought he had meant for me to go in to the office but obviously not as the woman half panicked and said 'No. Go over there' and motioned towards an empty bed.
So, I had arrived. Quite possibly the WORST PLACE on the face of the earth for a paranoid acid fuck up to be. There probably are in fact worse places to end up but when you've made your way to a hospital and are literally crying for help and have made the utterly mistaken impression that these people will actually want to help, this is as bad as it gets. If there is one thing that I've learnt its that acid psychosis and the negative judgement of strangers DO NOT GO TOGETHER.
Frying pan in to the fire springs to mind. Honestly, I would far rather have had the complete shit kicked out of me by other drugged-up wankers than be exposed to the soul destroying coldness of these people. One thing I will NEVER forget as long as I live is her eyes. And that bitch doctors utter disdain and revulsion that poured from them. I was begging her. BEGGING her to help me. Her cruel responses were more than I could bare as I sank deeper in to confusion, fear and now, self-loathing. I remember telling her that I hadn't meant for this to happen and that I had meant to take ecstasy. Her response, 'What's the difference?'. What's the difference? WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? YOU FUCKING MORON!!! I knew now that these people were not only dispassionate 'norms' but they also had had years of medical training to inflate their egos and instil them with the ability and willingness to look faaaaaaar down upon those who they disapprove of, or simply do not understand. She had lumped me in with all the junkie, baby-rapist, crack whore scum of the world. And despite all my faults, and all the stupid choices I had made that night, I did not deserve to be there. And all the while she reprobated me her eyes would pierce my own, through my mind and burn never healing scars in to my soul. The acid must have been laughing its head off.
She then left me to my screams. And I do mean screams. I feel really sorry for any other patients who were admitted that night having to listen to the sounds I was making. Constant pleading for help mixed with frightful bouts of screeching noise. I guess it eventually got too much for the staff as the head bitch doctor finally returned with a small tablet and a cup of water. I asked what it was, 'Just take it okay' her reply. Interesting that she would now be providing the drugs! I swallowed the pill and returned to my nightmare. It mustn't have been more than ten minutes when everything changed. I was calm. Completely calm in fact. If I were in any other place on earth I would have felt pretty damn good. It was in this semi-blissful state that I began noticing the trails. I'd stare fascinated at nurses walking by and the cool outline shape of their figures would trail for seconds behind them. I waved my hand in front of my face and thought, 'Hey. This is the shit people describe. Cool!' I think I even managed a smile.
I must have slept very briefly as I remember opening my eyes with the distinct feeling that whatever it was she had given me was rapidly wearing off. The irrational panic was returning, if not quite to the levels prior to me taking that wonderful drug of hers. There would be no more screaming. It was then that a nurse was brought over to talk to me. Compared to the other nazis I'd been faced with she was a fucking saint. Still had that mild air of superiority mixed with a healthy dose of judgementalism but at least she could be reasoned with. It was while talking to her that bitch doctor (witch doctor?) overheard me mention that I was a father. She immediately demanded to know if they were in the house during the night. I told her they were away on holiday, realising that if I had said yes (remember I had been intent on being honest with my 'saviours' so if they had been I might indeed have replied 'yes') she would have been on the phone to child services and the police like a shot. Fucker. That would have made her fucking day I'm sure, trying to put well loved and well parented children in to care.
Eventually it got to the point when they wanted to know if there was anyone I could call to pick me up. I named a relative and gave the nurse her phone number, feeling sure that she at least would be pretty cool with what had happened once I explained the situation. A few minutes passed when she returned. The asshole doctor asked if there was someone coming out to pick me up and the nurse replied 'no'. The doctors IMMEDIATE reply 'They wont come out and pick him up?' Notice that? A perfect example of the opinion of me she had formed all by herself without knowing a fucking thing about who I really was. As if this shit happens all the time to me and my family are sick of it. Christ what a prick. The nurse replied 'No. It was an answer phone.' That was the last straw for me, and seeing as the ability to control my own body was quickly returning I told them to just call me a taxi and I'd make my own way home. I staggered slowly up off the bed and made my way outside, saying 'Thanks a lot' as sarcastically as I could to the female doctor as I left. I heard her mumble something as I left but I didn't make it out, and didn't care anyway. My lessons had been learnt in that hellish place and I had no further need of anything she had to say.
I waited outside with the okay nurse, smoked a cigarette and talked while we waited for my pick up. I was mildly amused at one comment she said about how I would probably not really learn from this and would do drugs again. I told her she was probably right about ecstasy but definitely not about LSD. She didn't seem to believe this at all so I asked her how long she had seen me in the hospital for. She said about an hour or so, so I pointed out to her that for a long time before she arrived I was screaming and begging for help. This seemed to shock her a little and she seemed less sceptical when I again repeated my intention to never take LSD again.
The taxi arrived and I explained to the driver that I had no money and could I please use his phone. I tried everyone I could think of, the first being the guy who had sold me the 'E's', but no one was around, probably because it was now after 9am and everyone was away to work. I asked if he could drop me at a friends house close to there, hoping he would be home and could pay for the ride. We got to his house and I banged on the door praying hard for him to answer. He did. I asked him for the money and paid the driver. I then stepped in to his house and closed the door behind me to an overwhelming wave of relief and shock. I was safe. At last I was safe. I was no longer alone with no one but demons to taunt me. Finally I was with a friend. He could clearly see something very bad had happened and certainly seemed a little shocked at the story I relayed to him. He too was stunned at the coldness of those whom I had encountered that night and the harshness with which I was treated. He said I could crash until I had come down (I was not out of the woods yet) so I went upstairs to the bathroom to put some water on my face. I was shocked at how I looked. My face was grey, my features were gaunt and my hair was stuck up in the air at a weird angle. My God, I thought. I must have looked like this for hours!
I returned downstairs and curled up foetus on his couch. I asked him if he could phone the guy who sold me the shit and get his fucking ass out here to take me home. He said he would phone him from work and have him call round to pick me up. I thanked him deeply, feeling truly humbled by his honest desire to help me. He left and I laid there exhausted, unable to sleep as the panic was not quite done yet but calmer nonetheless. It was over.
Soon after, the guy who sold me the LSD arrived to pick me up and take me home. The first thing I said to him was something along the lines of 'You fucking muppet. That was LSD.' He kind of laughed slightly, genuinely surprised but he soon realised the seriousness of what had happened once I told him the details of the previous night. He apologised and that was okay. I wasn't mad at him for what had happened. Maybe when I was in the depths of the psychosis I had cursed him but not any more. Even if I had had the energy to be angry it was not his fault. It was mine. And besides I was already feeling like some other higher power had put all of this in motion to enable what ever learning could be gained as a result. I arrived at my house and he asked me if I needed him to come in and keep an eye on me. I told him I'd be okay so he left. Now I really did want to be on my own. I knew already that the whole experience had effected me greatly and there was much I needed to understand. I walked in to my living room, identical to how I had left it all those hours ago. I collapsed on to the couch and began to cry. I didn't stop until I was asleep.
I've never known terror even close to what I felt that night. Compounded a thousand-fold by it first being caused by nothing whatsoever in the physical world, and then by the barbarous uncaring nature of someone who you so desperately need salvation from. Just one time that whole night had someone simply said 'Its okay. You'll be all right' I would have been. No less under the effects of the acid of course but still, a human sympathetic voice would have calmed my mind enough to see it through. But this never happened. And that is the point. All these events were absolutely meant to occur. The trials resultant from my own errors and choices I now know were an essential part of what I had to learn. If only to shake off the falsehood in believing in the always reliable good nature of all peoples. To lose that level of immaturity and innocent naivety.
We simply do not work that way. Good nature is often buried under a myriad of prejudices and social formalities and cannot always be counted on to be there when needed. And it is this priceless fact the whole experience has taught me, true goodness of spirit must be sought out in the people who form our lives and our relationships. It must be looked for and discovered if we are truly to build trust in our fellow human beings. And when we find it we must cherish it and help it grow. We must in turn share our good will so that it might spread. It is up to us to find those capable of enduring compassion and love. And once you've found them don't ever forget, do acid at their house.
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