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The Lamp: His wife and kids weren't real

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

This is the story, as reported by a throwaway Reddit account 11 years ago, about a man who lived an entire lifetime with a wife and kids in the few seconds after being knocked unconscious. When he awakened, the dream life had felt so real to him that he went through a period of deep mourning.

The Redditer claims that he was walking when he was physically assaulted by a football player nearly three times his size and lost consciousness.

While he was laying on the ground he lived an entirely different life in his head. He fell in love with a woman who he pursued for months before finally winning her over. They got married two years later and they eventually had a daughter and a son.

The wife stayed at home and he got a good job. He describes the son as the "joy" of his life, obviously his favorite, but says that he doted on both of his kids.

He's describing an idealized fantasy life free of the everyday troubles that can wear us down.. He couldn't live this way forever, and the illusion shattered when he became fixated on a lamp in his house. There was something off about it.

The man was mesmerized by the lamp and couldn't look away from it. He stayed up all night looking at it, and missed work. He stopped eating just to stare at it.

He says he stared at the lamp for 3 days, only leaving to use the bathroom. Of course, his wife was concerned and called someone else to talk to him. By this time, it was too late.

His wife was distraught and took the kids to live at her mother's house. This was when he realized that the lamp wasn't real. Nothing about this life was real.

The lamp swelled and deepened. It swallowed him up and all he saw was the color red. All he heard were screams. The lamp revealed to him that he was still lying injured on the ground and was in a lot of pain. Only a few minutes had passed.

People were freaking out around him, and he was eventually taken to the hospital in a cop car.

After this surreal experience, the man was emotionally shaken. He spent three depressed years grieving the loss of his wife and kids who had never existed. He still felt their presence in his life as real.

Often, he would hope he would see his wife in his dreams, but his brain would never again conjure her up. Sometimes, though, he would get a glimpse of his son, who is always five years old.

A lot of the Reddit commenters accused him of writing fiction based on Inception or Star Trek, but he insists he wasn't familiar with either of those. He also said he got a lot of people in his DMs sharing similar experiences.


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