Sleep paralysis happened to me once before when I was still in College. It did not give me too much of a fright. I brushed it off as something that happens to everyone in this lifetime. However, the year 2013 gave me such chills I have never forgotten the experience to date. It happened sometime in winter, those two incidents have stuck in my memory bank all this time and nothing will probably shake it off, just writing about it is actually starting to make my heart beat very fast. This is my sleep paralysis experience…
It had been a long day and all I wanted to do that evening was take my evening bath and get some rest. I remember fixing a hot water bottle and making sure my apartment was securely locked and all lights were switched off. (I am extremely sensitive to light so I sleep in complete darkness.) Within minutes I had dozed off to la la land. I rarely dream, or maybe I just forget the dreams because they are probably not that interesting but on this particular night I felt a presence in my apartment. I wasn’t sure if I was asleep or awake but I lay as still as a log to make sure whatever that had entered would leave without noticing me. All my doors were locked and closed but from my bed I could see through the walls and I saw a dark shadow move from the entrance to my apartment all the way to my bedroom. I could not make out the face of the shadow but it had an outline of a woman. The shadow came right next to my bedside and started moving down towards me. Petrified does not even begin to explain what I was feeling at that moment, I was unable to move or scream for help. The shadow kept coming closer and closer, it felt like it was trying to suck the life out of me, I saw the hollow outline of a wide open mouth and my eyes nearly popped out of my sockets! I started screaming for help but in my attempts I could tell that I was screaming but no sound was coming out of my mouth. I was paralysed and could not do anything; I honestly thought I was going to die right there and then. I started to say the Lord’s Prayer over and over again and just before the shadow had completely enveloped me I woke up! I was sweating, panting and crying all at the same time, I didn’t understand if I had been awake or asleep but whatever the case was I had no intentions of staying at home after such an experience, I checked the time, it was 1am and I had to go somewhere, anywhere but home…
You would think after such an experience sleep paralysis would never occur anytime soon right? Wrong! Just a few days after that incident I had another bad “dream”. I was being chased by a woman through the woods. I was running as fast as my feet could carry me but this woman kept coming for me. I ended up in a graveyard. There were men at work digging up a grave but I was puzzled why they were doing so because it was late at night. I called out to them to help me but it seemed they could not hear me. I tried to hide from the woman chasing me. There were several tombstones in sight and thought she would not see me if I was behind them. It was pointless because they kept crumbling down each time I went behind any one of them. I started feeling tired and I was running slower now and before I knew what was happening one of the graves I stepped on started giving in and I was being swallowed into the ground! I kept screaming for help to no avail and as I was being swallowed in I found myself falling right onto my bed and feeling an uninvited presence pulling me from underneath my bed. This time around I could not move, scream or say a prayer, I just felt tears streaming down my eyes. I remember hearing a knock on my door but it felt so faint. Within minutes it kept getting louder and I somehow managed to wake up and rush to the door. The moment I heard a female voice from the other side of the door I screamed the place down and woke up. Almost everyone in the apartment building was alarmed and the woman on the other side kept asking if I was okay and if I should open the door. I simply said I was okay and she explained that she had not been knocking on my door but on my neighbour’s door. I didn’t open my door and went back to my bedroom. I looked at the time. 1am!
That week was probably the worst week of my life. I had a friend who worked by a 24 hour food outlet and I had to go and sit and chat with him or sometimes just sit in the shop and play on my phone. I needed a distraction, something, anything that would stop me from experiencing another sleep paralysis incident. I remember bumping into my friend Larry on one of the random days. We were both grabbing pizza at the food outlet and I am sure he was puzzled as to why I was getting food at around 2am. I was sleep deprived for an entire week, going to bed was my biggest nightmare. I didn’t know what to do to make it go away but it eventually did go away after popping some sleeping tablets and then having trouble sleeping without taking them, the vicious cycle!
I did get back to sleeping soundly and I have not experienced another sleep paralysis incident. However, I did learn that sleeping alone might be a great thing but can be a great disadvantage when things like this happen. It got me thinking that I could actually die in my sleep and no one would know until days later. It also got me thinking that when you are scared out of your mind it would be nice to actually have someone to cuddle up to and probably have them wake you up when they hear that you are experiencing some form of disturbed sleep and cut your horrific experience short!
I am curious to hear from you, have you experienced sleep paralysis at any point in your life? If yes, how did you deal with it? Please share tips, I am sure they will help a soul or two.