When I was little I had this reoccurring nightmare where I was being attacked by something- usually aliens- and I’d try to scream but no sound would come out. That was always the scariest part of the dream: that no one could hear me. Sure, the aliens were pretty creepy, but the idea of being completely silenced and paralyzed by fear was what really got to me. Since then, I’ve had a similar experience while awake, it’s a strange feeling that I don’t have a word for. It’s brought on by a lot of different things. Sometimes I’ll be having a conversation with friends and I’ll be smiling and laughing and speaking normally but on the inside I’m completely panicked and it puts me in this weird state of confusion because on the outside everything is fine but in my head I’m having some sort of meltdown. I notice it when I listen to certain songs. Like the music and the singer’s voice is calm but the lyrics are unconnected, disjointed, chaotic. Songs like that stir this feeling within me. I don’t know if this only happens to me but I wish I had a word for it. It’s always strange to me, as a lover of the English language and linguistics, when I find things that have no connecting word, or at least a word unbeknownst to me.
What’s the word?