It Terrifies Me...i Want To Talk About It, But Others Don't Understand

I want to talk about it to my friends, I think talking about it will make me feel better, but when I told my sister that I had SP episodes she said, "so does that mean you're, like, crazy?" Now I'm worried that people will think there is something really wrong with me if I tell them about this...basically, the main reason why I joined this site was to find others with SP experiences so that I could talk about it to people that really do understand what it is like.

My SP episodes have been getting worse because of stress and lack of sleep due to school, but it's hard for me to control that. If you have any tips, or advice about what to do when you have a bad SP episode, please comment below/message me. I have found one tip that kind of works to get out of a bad SP episode, try to arch your back(like when floating on top of water), it may take a few seconds, but it usually works :)
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More info-
I've been having SP experiences for about 2 years now. It has all started due do awful sleep patterns from school. Because of my demanding ballet schedule and rigorous coursework, I would end up getting about 3-4 (5 if i was lucky) hours of sleep a night. I was very stressed because of normal teenage things, but also because of some family troubles that surrounded mostly around alcohol (plus a few of my cousins were very ill and another was suicidal, which made me stressed out and worried for them). Not to mention, my eating disorder started around then too. The only thing I remember from those days was just feeling completely detatched from the world, the lack of sleep made my head feel foggy, and I remember just wanting to sleep every minute of the day. But when I finally got to bed and had a SP episode, I could not, and would not want to go back to sleep.

I can still remember my first SP experience. I always fell asleep listening to this one acoustic guitar song, but that night I changed it to a music box song. I remember that I had a dream that my sister found a bracelet, and she wanted me to put it on. I did, and then after she told me that it was evil. I then woke up in a panic, but I couldn't move or see, and I felt a very heavy weight on my chest. It was very creepy, because although music box tones can sound pretty, it sounded very erie when it was happening, and I felt an extremely bad prescence right next to where the music was coming from. I was even more panicked because I had no clue what was happening, so I thought that there was something medically wrong, like I was having a seisure!

Since then, I have had many other SP experiences, including both types(when falling asleep, and coming out of sleep). Almost all of them have come after a nightmare and have been horrifying, such as a man pinning me down and tracing my neck with his fingers, strange objects like broken dolls staring at me with flickering red lights and people yelling at me, something looking at me from the foot of my bed accompanied by a high-pitched ringing, strange whispering in my ear, and a man that watches me sleep. I have only ever had one good experience, which was when it felt like I was hovering/floating off my bed, I was still a bit nervous, but nothing scary happened that time.

My sleeping habits have gotten better, before I used to have SP episodes at least 2-3 times a week, and now its only a few a month. Still, its very hard to deal with, and as embarassing as it is, the only fool proof method to not experience it is to go sleep in my parents' room or in my sister's room. I'm heading off to college soon, and this can't be the only way to deal with it. Again, if anyone has some way to help, I will really appreciate it! Thank you so much for reading about my experiences, it makes me feel a bit better already :)
bespeckledbunny bespeckledbunny
18-21, F
2 Responses Jan 18, 2013

Hey. Sorry for only commenting now. Been really busy with work, and I happened to read this when I was at work, so I couldn't draft out a reply. Anyway, just wanted to say I feel for you and drop in a few words of advice from my experiences. I know what you mean by rigourous coursework and it being the cause of your bad sleep patterns by the way. I got it too in secondary school and in junior college because I took a really rigourous art programme. So I feel you there. Anyway, mm, in my case, I've been SP-free for almost a year now? It's been long enough that I actually can't remember. Which is good. I used to remember very clearly, almost to the exact month and time of year. Oh gosh I'm digressing, sorry. Anyway, for me, what's worked is being really strict about my sleep cycle (I know it's difficult, but it helps) especially in the initial stages when I was still getting it very often. Because it helps in the next step which is reducing your stress level. I typed it out to someone else before. mmm, it's not that the sources of my stress disappeared from my life, but I made a conscious decision to not stress over them? I realised that aside from bad sleeping patterns, what really triggered my sleep paralysis was stress. And the fact that I was getting sp when I stressed didn't help to decrease my stress in any way. Really vicious cycle. But yes, for me, closing my eyes and doing my best to wait out my hallucinations so that I don't have visual memories that plague me in my daily waking life helped me to gradually decrease the stress I felt towards sp. The evil presences can still be there, but not knowing what they'd do helped. Eventually I got less stressed, and with my sleep cycles becoming regularised, my sp started to stop. I still remember all the things that happened. It still affects me when I let myself think about it, but my life has gotten better since I stopped stressing. It's been enough for me to break my sleep cycle a lot even in the past few days. Really, not stressing helps. But I know that's easier said than done. It was a long journey. Difficult, but it's possible. I attest to it, it is.

And no, you're not crazy. Sleep paralysis is more common than people think. Most people just don't get it with the frequency that we do. Which makes it hard for them to understand. That, or they get sp episodes without the hallucinations and voices and presences. I feel you. I've had them all too. And please don't be embarassed about it. You have nothing to feel embarassed about. Sleep paralysis is hard to live with when it plagues you like this. It really is. If anything, you're a strong person because of it. And because you have to deal with it. Where others think of sleep and link it with rest, sp-suffers will think of sleep and link it with stress. It's nothing to be embarassed about. Stay strong. Hope this helps.

-Amanda

thank you so much!! I really appreciate it, and I will try all your advice ASAP :D

I have noticed several things with this... so it first happened to me when I was about 18 and then started to happen more frequently. I have found no trick to stop it and it is quite terrifying - mainly because its also difficult to convince myself that it is just that thing I remember from before of sleep paralysis... but I seem to be getting better at this.

The best thing I've found is to just try really hard to move and refuse to fall back to sleep - the alternative of resigning yourself to whatever and just falling asleep again doesn't often 'stick' with me and I just end up 'half' woken again.

Overall I try and embrace it as a part of my person - a natural thing that happens so often and encourages me to learn how to deal with fear and being weakened so much... toughens me up if you like.

Over the years I have had some particularly weird ones.... one that lasted for maybe a whole 5 or 10 minutes once and resulted in my eventually slipping myself out of the bed and onto the floor where i promptly woke up fully with that 'lights come on' moment.

I've also had once where the world looked upside down and back-to-front before I managed to break out of it.... this was actually only something I realised when I 'woke up', but at first I thought I might have been dreaming about sleep paralysis.

I've seen a guy leaning over me as well... but only once.

I had it once when someone else was in the room - that was especially strange. I could only recognise their outline which was disconcerting...

Mostly though its just a case of waking up, not being able to move very much at all and my vision being very weak and faint also - even though eyes are probably wide open.

thank you so much for the advice and for sharing some of your experiences too, I really appreciate it c: