Definitely Not Something to Take Lightly...
Amanitas - A. muscaria
Citation: Tripcat. "Definitely Not Something to Take Lightly...: An Experience with Amanitas - A. muscaria (exp74441)". Erowid.org. Nov 22, 2020. erowid.org/exp/74441
Here in the Rheinland-Pfalz area of Germany, Amanita muscaria are exceedingly common between September and October, so long as you keep your eye open. Iíve been collecting these left and right for the last couple of months. Every time I see them, I pull over and dig them out of the ground, wash them off when I get home and lay them out to dry in front of a fan. My roommate, D, has a few friends to whom he introduced me about two weeks ago who were also really into the idea of trying these mushrooms. I tried them last year with my roommate: we each had three caps, but nothing much happened. We just ended up feeling really high after about two or three hours and then having lots of really vivid dreams that night. That was fun, but nothing like what I expected from reading about othersí experiences. He and I and his friend J all tried them this year, this time with five caps each. However, I think we let the tea boil for too long; most of the water had evaporated and we had to add more water just to be able to get a drinkable amount. I think now that most of the muscimol must have evaporated with the water. We enjoyed some cannabis after our tea and felt pretty antsy a couple hours later, and we ended up running around a playground like it was the most fun thing you could do.
My story is about my third and most recent attempt at these mushrooms. Iíll tell you right now, it was absolutely terrifying. There are some rules everyone talks about when it comes to hallucinogens: Be in comfortable surroundings, know and trust the people youíre with, be in a good part of your life when you have a generally positive outlook, et ceteraÖ.well there are reasons for these rules. There are also reasons, when people talk of this particular mushroom, that you are warned not to take this one lightly because itís not like psilocybin, not to take it unless youíre an experienced tripper, not to underestimate it. I made the mistake of letting my guard down, thinking that my three good psilocybin trips and two largely uneventful experiences with A. muscaria made me some kind of expert, and now Iím not sure if Iíll ever want to do these again.
I was with the people D had introduced me to: J, S, and A. D was at work, and the other three and I decided to get together and try to really get a trip out of these. We boiled about 22 dried caps of all sizes from small buttons to large nearly mature mushrooms into tea. Split among four people, thatís about 5 Ĺ caps for each of us. This isnít much more at all from the last time we tried, but instead of boiling the tea for an hour, we boiled it for 20-30 minutes so that too much water wouldnít evaporate. S ended up sleeping all day instead of drinking the tea, so we saved his for him in the fridge. J, A, and I drank ours, and the onset was surprisingly quick. I started feeling really floaty within a half hour or so. I found out that A and J had both thrown up, but I never got that nauseous. A went to lie down, and J and I went for a walk. It was enjoyable at first. We were both really talkative, trying to describe what we were feeling. I started to lose my coordination. Speech was difficult because I kept forgetting what I was saying or trying to say, and I felt like I was floating. I started to stumble every once in a while. I decided we should head back to the house, because if this was working so well already, I was probably going to just fall down soon. (Thatís what Iíve read happens anyway.)
At their house, things started to flicker. Not lights or anything, but my consciousness. I lay down on the couch for a while because I didnít feel very well able to stand. Flicker. Iím asking if I can go to the bathroom. Flicker. Iím in the bathroom. Flicker. Iím about to walk back out of the bathroom, but I realize my pants are still unbuttoned. Flicker. ďCan I lie down in a bed?Ē Flicker. Iím lying down. Confused. How hard am I tripping? Where is everyone else? Am I alive? Can I do this? ďCan IÖ?Ē is a question I remember asking aloud many times. Flicker. I feel myself under the blanket and I wonder where my shirt is. I look up and see J staring at me. Flicker. Now my bra is gone. I see J and either A or S, and they look like theyíre laughing. I start to panic. Where are my clothes? Why am I not wearing them? Am I the only one tripping like this? Why are they laughing at me? Is this a joke? I think to ask for my phone, so I can call D. I want to go home. I donít get a chance to ask before I flicker out again. I come back in a few more times, each time exactly as the last. I get to the point where I want to ask for my phone, and never get to ask. Flicker. Again. Again. Again. Laughter.
I feel like theyíre trying to hold me down. I lunge from the bed frantically, covering my chest with my arms, look around for my bra. J has it in hand and hands it to me. She looks worried. Flicker. Iím running through the living room doorway. I see my phone on the couch and lunge for it. Iím held back by arms around my waist. Why wonít they let me call D? Flicker. Iím lying down in bed again. I bolt up and beg for my phone. I beg them to let me call D. Flicker. Again. Again. Flicker. Iím on the phone. ďHow many times have I called you?Ē I asked this every time the scene replayed. Iím told later on that I repeated this over and over.
Flicker. Iím being held down. S is here by now to help them. Theyíre afraid that their neighbors are going to call the cops because the apartment has really thin walls. All they want is for me to be quiet. Iím convinced that theyíre trying to rape me. That theyíre using my inability to do anything as an invitation. I look to A, sitting on the foot of the bed, pleading with my eyes. I didnít think HE would let this happen, even if it was Sís idea and J went along with it. I scream as loud as I can. All I want is for some neighbor to hear me and save me from this. S covers my mouth and yells at me to shut up. Flicker. Iím flailing around, trying to get away. Flicker. I reach for Jís hair and pull her by it. Everyone stops for a minute to help her. Flicker. I scream. Flicker. Sís hands are around my neck. I canít breathe. ďIf you donít shut up, Iím going to choke you until you pass out.Ē I nod. He lets go. I scream. Flicker. Iím aware of my teeth sunk into somebodyís flesh. I think itís their arm. (I found out later it was Sís chest). Flicker. Sís hands are around my wrists. He threatens to break them if Iím not quiet. Iím terrified. Flicker. ďMaybe we should put her out in the car until he gets here.Ē I want nothing more than to be away from these people. I want to go out there, but I canít speak. Flicker. Dís voice. Iím calmer. ďYou were holding her down? That was really a bad idea. You probably just freaked her out more.Ē Iím sitting on the couch in the living room with my arms around D as if he was my mother and I was a frightened child. I donít know how I got here. Iím not panicking anymore, because I can move and because I know D wonít let them hurt me.
Flicker. Iím being led down the stairs. Every few seconds, I would by myself lose all coordination and fall, so I have to be held up and guided by D. Weíre outside. He leans me against the car and helps me in the passenger side. Little kids are staring. I slump into the seat and try to listen to what J, D, and S are saying. Just talking about what happened. Flicker. Dís put on Pink Floyd in the car. I keep apologizing. J is on the phone with D to see how I am. More apologies. Flicker. Weíre home, but that was just part one. D helps me out of the car. If I try to do anything myself, my knees buckle and I fall. He walks me up to our apartment. Flicker.
I donít become conscious again for a while. D tells me later that during this time I was asleep, I started choking and he had to make me stop. He also tells me that I started screaming as loud as I could and he couldnít soothe me. He says at one point he put a pillow over my face to muffle it, and I didnít even notice. I went right on screaming.
When I become conscious again heís sitting on top of me. I try to sit up but he grabs my arms and pushes me right back down. He tells me to close my eyes and go to sleep. Flicker. I sit up again. I have to get out of here. He pushes me back down. Tells me to close my eyes and go to sleep. Flicker. I sit back up. He pushes me back down. Says the same thing. Flicker. I donít know how many times this happens before it dawns on me that Iím dead. I must have died somehow. Did I take too many? The wrong kind? Did I just jump out of a window in my delirium? But Iím dead now. Flicker. I sit up. He pushes me down. Tells me to close my eyes. Is this Hell? Were all the Christians right all along? Am I in Hell now and this is my world?* Flicker. I sit up, he pushes me down, tells me to close my eyes. I start babbling about forgiveness. Flicker. I sit up, he pushes me down, tells me to close my eyes. I realize that this is Hell, and for the rest of eternity Iím going to relive the last ten seconds over and over and over again forever, and Iím tortured by the idea. All I want is to get out. This is a realization that I forget every time I sit up, right up until he tells me to close my eyes, and then I realize it again, and remember Iíve realized it a thousand times before. I canít resist what he tells me to do, and every time he tells me to, I close my eyes again. Flicker. Up, down, close your eyes, I realize again. ďThis is going to go on foreverÖĒ He laughs. This only tells me Iíve figured it out.
Iím going to sit up panicking, and realize again and again and again forever that this is going to go on and on. Iíll realize a million times that this is going to keep going, and a million times more. Itíll never end. Flicker. Again and again and again. Every time itís worse. His voice echoes. Have you ever put two mirrors facing each other and looked into the infinite reflections they produce? Once after another after another after another. Thatís how I felt. Thatís how he sounded. Thatís what he looked like as my eyes closed again and I fell back against my pillow. Reverberating and happening again. Flicker. Again. I hear an ambulance outside. I see the lights. ďIs there an ambulance out there? Is it for me? I want to look!Ē I try to get up, he pushes me back down. ďYou canít go! Youíre going to jump off the balcony!Ē Immediately I wonder: is that how I have to end this? Am I supposed to kill myself? Will that get me out of this infinite torture? But Iím already dead! So what would it matter? Flicker.
I donít want to jump off the balcony, I just want to do something, ANYTHING thatís different from whatís been happening and happening and happening. ďPlease let me up!Ē I have to escape from this! ďClose your eyes.Ē Flicker. I bolt up. Heís not on top of me anymore. Heís across the room. I jump up and try to run before itís too late, but heís too fast for me and even though Iím halfway through the door to the living room heís grabbed leg and waist. Iíve gotten so far! I have to break out of this. I beg him to please let me up, please let me get out of here. I promise I wonít go anywhere. Reluctantly, he lets go and watches me. I run to the bathroom. Iím so happy I didnít close my eyes again. Iím so happy. I make the mistake of going back into the room and lying back down, and when I wake back up, Iíve forgotten that I ever left the room. Itís all happening again. I feel my phone ringing and I take it out. D runs over to me and takes it away before I can answer it. But Iím so close, so close to making something different happen, to breaking out of the infinite mirror of events, I beg him to just let me see the phone, let me talk to whoever it is so they can get me out of it. Something dawns on me. ďWhat time is it!?Ē ďWill that make you feel better?Ē ďPlease let me see!Ē If there is time, I canít be dead. This canít be Hell. The same moment cannot happen forever.
Itís 7:22. Now itís 7:23. ďIím justÖ.Iím justÖ.justÖjust trippingÖ..Iím just tripping! Iím just tripping!Ē Time is moving. Itís been three hours since the start of my trip. Iím not dead. Iím not in hell. Iím in my room. D is there helping me. Iím so overwhelmed with gratitude that I start to laugh and sob at once. I forced my way out of hell, I found my way out, Iím alive and Iím so grateful. Time is moving again. I have free will again. Oh god. It feels so good. Iím hugging D as hard as I can, Iím so happy this is over. The feeling is still there, the glitches in my brain, but Iím back in my own head and I can tell the difference between whatís real and whatís not. The next three hours fly by, and Iím feeling much better. I just want to talk. I just want to relax. I donít even want to do that again.
D tells me that he only pushed me back down onto the bed a few times. 4 or 5. The tiny number feels so impossible, and Iím not sure I can ever believe it.. Iím told that in all my flailing, I kicked A in the face. I have some nice scratches/bruises on my arm, and a big purple bruise on my right thigh. My wrists ache, and my hip hurts. I find other little bruises on accident when I touch them, but theyíre not the kind you can see through your skin. Iím embarrassed more than anything, and Iím not very happy overall after this. Iíve never been so terrified in all my life, never felt worse than I did. I never wanted to understand the concept of infinity, but I do now.
I donít think Iíll ever trip on anything with those people again, because how they handled it only sent me further into delirium. You canít choke someone and threaten them while theyíre having a bad trip, sorry. Iíve never had a bad trip before this, so it was reallyÖ..I didnít know how to handle it. Shit, I didnít even think I was alive and tripping anymore.
(*Iím agnostic, but I firmly believe that the Christians have got it all wrong, and they use their religion as a tool for money and power, disgusting. So my thinking that Iíve died and gone to Christian hell pretty much means that I have lost my mind.)
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