My head is a scary, scary place. I’ve been aware of this for long time now and have even come to deal with the fact that my subconscious hates me. Until now it’s been fairly benign – the odd bit of dancing on the table when I’ve had too much to drink, the occasional bout of foot in mouth at the dinner party table or the inability to speak to someone cute because my mouth is inexplicably full of peanut butter. beoutq com My friends had come to accept my quirkiness as harmless blond-itis that makes me, and so had I.
This was all before last night when things took a new and sinister turn. I guess I should start at the beginning and if I knew where that was I would. For many years I’ve been conscious of lucid dreaming and always thought that it sounded rather fun. My mother, a frequent lucid dreamer, regaled us with her childhood dreams of a futuristic world where people had watches that they could talk to and see other people on, where you could have an entire world’s worth of information in a little box in the corner of your study. Considering when mother was young the mobile phone hadn’t been thought of yet and the internet was something you hung at your window, I think she was remarkably spot-on with the make-believe world she hid behind her eyelids.
So when I came across an article several years ago I decided to play the game. I repeated my mantras when falling asleep; I dutifully filled in my dream log every morning, month after month; but as time drew on I had no idea if I’d even had a dream at night, never mind being conscious within it. With time and the change of jobs I grew bored of my log and the countless mantras and settled down to a future of nights with half remembered lotto wins, fast cars and racy blondes.
Then, out of the blue, late last year I had a dream where I dreamt that I was lying in bed dreaming. In the dream, I suddenly realised that I was actually lying in bed but also dreaming at the same time that I was lying in bed. So I floated up to see myself lying on bed and I thought ‘how nice’ before promptly falling ‘asleep’ (again).
I quickly forgot about the episode (presumably I filed this somewhere away in the back of my mind marked “interesting” and continued to sleep the regular, sleepy sort of sleep). Then a few months ago I had the dream again, this time though I didn’t fall asleep. I was waking up, or rather, trying to wake up in the kind of darkness you only get in the middle of winter in the middle of the night. In fact I was desperately trying to wake up. I knew I was in bed, I knew I was asleep. I knew I wasn’t the only one in the room. I tried to turn my head to look around the room – nope not possible – apparently my head had turned to lead along with the rest of my body. I was utterly paralysed. Now I’ve had a toe-nail pulled off without anaesthetic (I can show you if you like), I’ve had a fake gun pointed at my head (I didn’t know it at the time, or at least couldn’t be sure), I’ve had to navigate my way down the pitch black stairwell of the Nile Cruiser when I was on holiday with hundreds of others with only a lighter to see by as the engine gently exploded (those people will never complaint about smokers again!). None of this though, none of my bizarre little life comes one iota close to the absolute terror that flooded my mind as I lay paralysed in the darkness with the demons of my subconscious lurking around me. It’s difficult to explain the kind of fear you get when something grabs your legs and starts pulling your body of the bed. I can explain the sound though and it was loud – very loud, screaming. I know because I was still doing it when I sat bolt upright in the middle of the night drenched in sweat.
If this all reads as a bit story-like and dramatic then I apologise. I don’t know how to tell it another way. Well I do. I had an attack of Sleep Paralysis (SP) and Associated Hypnagogic and Hypnopompic Experiences. It happens to 10% of human adults according to some research. But if you really want to know what it was like, and if you want it to be interesting then I must write it as a tale. I also feel that it’s something I need to do. As for the dramatic, well it’s as dramatic as it is has become traumatic to me.
These ‘episodes’ as I’ve come to refer to them have occurred a few times this year, each time increasing in intensity and duration, each more realistic and each more terrifying because of it. Last night’s was the fourth and lasted approximately 25 minutes. I don’t know how I know this I just do.
Last night’s was the worst because it contained all the elements of the previous dreams and some new and interesting ones to boot. I’ll leave my little tale now and switch to the stream of consciousness that poured out of me at 12:30 last night. I damn well wasn’t going to sleep again so I wrote it all out hoping that I might make sense of it and stop it happening again. Anyway here it is word for word:
Grey, darkness. Lights won’t turn on. Laughing, Music, Laughing at me? Not sure. Scared, hiding under the cover. Watching people, colour green. Who are they? Can they see me? Don’t know, scared they can, scared they’ll notice me watching through the gap in the sheet. Some kind of fit. My whole body shakes. White noise fills my head with music, blinding light waves the whole world judders. Wave after wave; 4 or 5 fits.
I think that this is the point where I became fully conscious that I was dreaming. Interestingly, though, the moment I began the episode was when I tried to turn on the light. That’s the point that I realised ‘I’ve been dreaming this before’. العاب النت 2022 The light won’t turn on and I realise it’s because my hand isn’t attached to my body any more – that’s when the panic sets in and I start scrabbling to get back in my body. I normally try to do this then I have to struggle to actually make it move. Either that or I float/get dragged of the bed. The people in green are something new and so are the convulsions/spasms which are weird to explain but I wasn’t having those it was the world that was convulsing Anyway….
Then I’m sliding, not being pulled this time. Just sliding backwards out of the bed. Floating away from myself into darkness. I let go a little ask to go forward they allow this. Who are they?
This is new too. This is the first time I’ve been able to be conscious enough to realise this is still my dream even if I’m not in full control. It’s the first time I’ve asked for something.
Forward this time through the wall of the house again and again, the brickwork the grain of the wooden door like walking sliding, solid thick not cold.
Think I was trying to describe the sensation of passing through the walls, of the house and then the houses in the neighbourhood as I sailed forwards.
Ask for control, something, scared.
This is the point where I lost my cool. I was getting too far away from my body. This is where weird got terrifying, yet reading it back now it really doesn’t sound bad. Just trust me that it’s the scariest thing I think has ever happened to me.
Try to wake up. Can’t lift my hand my. Pull myself up, I weigh 40kgs. Lights still out.
I’m pushing the button but the light won’t turn on. It seems to me that the moment I realise I’m dreaming is like a reset switch, suddenly I’m back in my bed and I have to try to get my body to move again.
I’m not awake yet. Try again, still can’t. I get to the door next time, maybe the bulb’s gone. Have to wake up before they notice, before they see me. I get to the door again – maybe I can see Duncan, wake him up. I shout but there’s no voice. Open the landing door to wake him so he can wake me. No point I’m asleep, I’ll have to do it myself. There’s something at the door.
The something at the door is hard to explain it’s the feeling of a presence the flicker of a shadow in the darkness. I don’t know what it is but I know at the time its terrifying, image the alien movie when one of the characters is trapped in a room with the face hugging thing, kind of like that.
Try again, getting closer, can feel the surface. Feel my eyes moving, darting. God! I can’t wake up. Terror, fear ? they’re going to notice, find me, drag me away from my body. Get back in, try to pinch my face. My head won’t move. My body weighs a ton. Manage to get back into my head. I feel the pillow on my head, move head. بطاقه ابل باي So heavy. Finally shake my head awake. Turn on the light. It worked! Thank f*!?! . I’m shaking, drenched in sweat. I text a friend make sure I’m awake. Can’t sleep now.
Now I’m not particularly one of these new age people that go in for astral projection, alien abductions, or other such. I had a dream in which my conscious was, well, conscious when it wouldn’t normally have been. There are various chemical imbalances that can cause this and even explain away the paralysis as blockages in certains sections of the cortex. All very reasonable; all very scientific.
However, having had the experience a few times now, it’s so unbelievably real, so authentic that even now, four days later, I can remember it as well as I remember what happened on Sunday afternoon. I can now quite understand and sympathise with people who believe that they are being abducted night after night and I can honestly say I feel for them – in comparison my SP episodes are quite boring.
So what does this all mean? What next? Well the first step is to learn as much as I can about SP so that I have the information at hand for the next SP attack. Some people have reported that they find instead of trying to move that you should simply imagine your body going into a spin that frees you from your slumbering form and allows you to float above yourself. This can then lead to Lucid Dreaming and from there to normal REM sleep. So that’s kind of my plan for next time which if the schedule continues the next time should be in about two months.
As I’ve said, I’m not sure I believe in astral projection, but then a few months ago I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me about Sleep Paralysis. I’m choosing to see this as a challenge. If I can master my fear during SP sleep it presents a remarkable avenue for self exploration. One I’m looking forward to, if with a little dread??