Welcome To My Night of Relentless Horror

I just woke up physically exhausted.

It feels as if I’ve swum a hundred laps; I don’t even have enough energy to wiggle my toes or move my head from side to side. I can’t even pinch myself and check whether I’m actually awake.

I don’t know if I am, in fact, awake.

I’ll take you through my dreams in the order that I woke up from them.

3:23 a.m.: The First

I remember sleeping on my back. That’s how I woke up. Except I wasn’t actually awake yet. So I’m “awake” and suddenly I hear a loud, terrifying bang. My body tries to react voluntarily. But I can’t move. I’m completely and utterly frozen. I recognize the sleep paralysis for what it is. I make a rookie mistake: I fall back asleep.

3:40 a.m.: The Second

I wake up again. The heater is on as I left it before I fell asleep. My night light warms the room with the same safe glow. Something is different, though. Something isn’t right. I start to hear a gentle hum, as if I’ve tuned into a far away radio station and am hearing the fuzzy bits. I wait for the transmission to clear in confusion. Suddenly, a loud voice comes through, filling up the entire room. It is my boss’ voice; he wants quick changes to a recent document I wrote. His voice drowns out my internal hyperventilation; I would move, but I can’t. Round two, and sleep paralysis is relentlessly winning.

I wiggle my toes with superhuman effort and shudder into real wakefulness. And then I fall back asleep.

4.05 a.m.: The Late Night Horror Special

So begins the singular most frightening sleep paralysis I have ever experienced. I wake up with a jerk just as my door opens and an old woman walks into my room. She looks at me for a couple of minutes. I stare back, my mouth dry, my heart fluttering, trying to escape. Of course I can’t move, of course I am paralyzed. I try to pray, I fail.

Right after, I wake up to another dream: this time I am trying to find my phone. I find it, hold it up in front of me, and all I see is blank air. I mean I can feel the phone, I can hear noises coming from it. I just can’t see it. I try to scream. I try to cry. Nothing happens. I am mute.

I wake up again. This time, I’ve decided I’ve had enough. I get out of bed and run to my sisters’ room down the hall. I peek, they’re both sleeping. Disappointed, I make my way back to my room. I calm myself down, assuring myself I’ll sleep again. Except, I see someone else lying in my bed. Someone else curled up in my quilt, who looks a lot like me, sleeping. In the bed that I just left. I stand and scream. Oh but I can’t. Because I am actually still ‘asleep.’ I am paralyzed. I am being tricked by my own head.

Immediately afterwards, I wake up in tears. This one’s real. Here is my chance to run to my mother’s room. So I make a dash for it. I make it! I slip into the warm blanket right beside her. I feel much better. I think of work in the morning and how I don’t want to be tired for it. Thank God. Just as I’m beginning to finally fall asleep, I feel someone standing beside me. It’s my mother. She’s just staring at me blankly in a room that has become dark and shadowy. I gape in confusion, realizing I’m paralyzed. Toes wiggling, I sweat and pray I wake up again. And then I do. But I wake up back in my own bed. I never left.

Imagine being completely helpless in the face of nightmares come to life

5.33 a.m.: The Real One

I finally woke up after over an hour of continuous, relentless sleep paralysis. There were things I didn’t mention, mostly because they were too disturbing to write down. Also, I don’t want to remember them.

But I cannot get over my experience. I felt completely vulnerable, open to danger. And I was frozen. And completely mute.

I’ve had sleep paralysis before but it’s never been this terrible. I feel wrecked and I don’t know why my own mind would do this to me. I’m writing this, partly because I need to touch base with reality and partly because I need to make sense of what has happened.

If someone has tips, please send them my way. I need help.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Easter Ellen says:

    I, too, have suffered from those harrowing dreams. and have been feeling like I was kept awake all night when I really was sleeping. I would “wake up” to find myself frozen in fear in my bed afraid of even reaching for the phone. Eventually I started to make myself pray in my dreams (yes, you can train yourself to pray in your dreams therefore changing the direction of the dream.

    I still get bad dreams, but not like they were before.”I hope that this ends for you soon.

    1. Nayab Tariq says:

      My sleep paralysis strikes when I’m particularly stressed out and then I can’t function properly. I wrote this because I didn’t want to feel alone and I was successful. Even one person sharing their experience means that I’m not in this by myself. Thank you for taking out the time to comment on this. I will train myself to pray in my dreams. Hopefully I can accomplish that; it will be a massive help.

      1. Easter Ellen says:

        I wish you all the best.. I know how horrific these dreams can be. All the best.

  2. bilalsidiki says:

    Are you troubled about something? Like stress or anxiety? Pressure at work?

    After reading it I feel like its your head that has too much pressure and is letting out anomalies which you are unable to comprehend. You mentioned your boss too I think there’s something going on in your head and you should share it with someone to get it off so that it can function properly.

    Less sleep and even in that if you get such nightmares you are already preparing for a bad day at work so I suggest you calm yourself down, know everything is fine and understand that none of what you saw or felt was real – they were just manifestations being made in your head and nothing more.

    I pray Allah gives you the tranquility of mind and state, and good sleep every single night. Ameen 🙂

    1. Nayab Tariq says:

      Yeah, I’ve been extremely stressed out at work recently. Not only that but I have had trouble sleeping in the recent week and you’re right: I was probably just gearing up for a bad day at work. I try to tell myself that it’s all in my head but sometimes it’s difficult to remember.

      Thank you for taking out the time to comment. I hope I have better dreams as well. Inshallah.

      1. bilalsidiki says:

        Hmm yeah it’s understandable, ever since I have been given responsibility over other people at Job stress has become my best friend (who no one asked for).

        I guess that’s a part of growing up and no matter how much you convince yourself that stress is bad and evil it just keeps haunting you back.

        But yes if it disturbs your sleep and dreams then it’s definitely crossing its limits of acceptability.

        I pray you have better dreams or better yet good sleep every day. Ameen.

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