Feeling like a clueless kid who got in over their head seems to be a common theme, too.
When I was thinking about how to describe that feeling I had a memory of my first day of preschool when my mom handed me off to the strange man who took me to the classroom. Even then I must've intuitively known that school sucked since I put up quite a fight against being abandoned by my mother, which is what I believed to be happening.
So the first half of a strong DMT trip sort of like being forcibly pulled out of mom's arms for the first time and marched into an unknown and bewildering classroom (or Boot Camp, depending on how harsh it gets). By the time class is over that feeling has usually been replaced by awe at what was learned, and if it went the other way around it's safe to say that no one would ever do DMT a second time.
I've been getting better at barely keeping my shit together enough to explore that space rather than just being floored by it like my first few times; I can make the fractals expand or contract or bend depending on how I breathe (among a few other things), which when I remember to do it is a good way to dispel the fear much more quickly than passively letting it run its course.
But then occasionally something rocks my world like I'm still in psychedelic kindergarten. I'd like to hope I'm at least out of preschool by now, but it's hard to tell.
Then again, nothing never changes so trip-space must be evolving in its own way, too.
We're growing/changing in school even as the school is growing/changing. And it seems to me that this would all be a spectacular waste of time and energy if this one lifetime spent stumbling around in a monkey suit was the sum-total of our existence. Maybe there's a co-creative process going on here? On second thought, how could it be otherwise?
We are here now existing on the leading edge of the expanding and evolving wave-front of our conscious Universe (or Universe of consciousness) because this is where we've always been and it's the only "place" conscious awareness can "be." Sure, we can sometimes remember fleeting moments from the past all the way back to the Beginning (I don't recall any Bangs, oddly enough), but we're not in those times anymore even though our Universe is built out of them, like an expanding colony of mycelium radiating outward from what's already been colonized.
No, it is an expanding fractal structure identical to mycelium; its architecture is not a metaphor (or simile, rather), merely a different manifestation and scale of the same underlying phenomenon, or architecture (not sure which). Ergo, it's turtles all the way down! Now if only we could figure out what a "turtle" is...