I’ve been experiencing sleep paralysis for as long as I can remember. Some years more than others. I never knew it as sleep paralysis until recently, I would aways refer to it as “Getting stuck”. It’s a rather excrutiatingly uncomfortable, almost torturous experience.
When you’re stuck in your sleep like that but conscious, you can visualize the whole room, but sometimes, the dreamworld seaps through and toys with you. I would have experiences where people would come in the room, family, friends, and talk to me and I would be pleading with them to come wake me up because I’m stuck and they would insist that’s not the case. This would go on for what felt like hours, even days. Sometimes I would hear fire alarms, or Co2 detectors going off and I would fight as hard as I can to wake up but ultimately would give in, exhausted, and lay there helplessly. Sometimes I would lay there for hours with my body cramping up with the feeling of bed sores, laying there helplessly once again.
But I wasn’t always helpless, I learned a trick that sometimes gets me out of it. If my feet are crossed and I can muster the strength to uncross them, or my hand under my head and pillow but close enough to getting free, or even close enough to the side of my bed so my foot could fall off, after I’ve exhausted all my strength to move just an inch or two, it would builds enough momentum to let gravity take over and pull me out.
For years I wouldn’t know if the movements I was making under paralysis were actually happening or not, until one day when I fell asleep with my partner on a car ride, holding hands, I started to twitch my hand using all my strength in hopes that this would get her attention, and she would in turn get my mine and pull me out. It worked!! She felt my cries for help and it answered my question that I was as conscious under paralysis as I felt like sometimes.
Fast foward a decade, in my early 30’s. The paralysis got heavier and weirder. I was really getting strong, those inches I was moving became feet. To the point where I would pull myself up like a zombie and fall back , it would pull me in and out, using all my strength to get out only to have none left to stay and back out I would go. It was getting harder to get me out of it so I had to be stronger.
One time I kicked a tall nightstand at the end of my bed to wake myself up, it had a cup of water and lamp on it that fell on my bed, the lamp was on, the bulb shattered and I still didn’t wake up. When I finally did wake up I had a nice mess to clean, along with a heavy realization that this was getting dangerous. That was more than a close one. Something to add to the fear of giving and and thinking you’re gonna die because you can’t wake up.
I can now talk while under paralysis, from what my partner tells me, it sounds quiet, muffled and I sound like I have speech impediment, but in paralysis I am screaming my head off with every ounce of energy that I have.
It’s surreal thinking about it all in one go like this.
I’ll save the rest for tomorrow.