Saturday, November 10, 2012

What ____ Minutes Gets You

One night - over a year ago at this point, though I haven't forgotten it - I had a terrible experience with sleep paralysis. It wasn't your "normal" experience in which you feel an unwelcome or strange presence in the room while immobilized. ....It came aout because I read into "out of body experiences" and how to manipulate sleep paralysis. Out of curiosity. Someone said it could work, and proceeded to explain the steps.
Skeptical, I tested it.
It worked. I was able to walk around my house without feeling the weight of a body.

The next night, however...
I was dragged out of my body and out of my bed.

Up until a couple of nights ago, this was the most frightening experience I'd ever had to date. Imagine not being able to stop something dragging you out of your body. Your vessel. And if you don't believe that something like that could happen, then fine - but what would something like that feel like, to be separated from your self? How do you get back..? I still don't know how I did it. But I hoped that it would never happen again. I stopped fooling around with it.

Not only did something very similar happen more recently, but it seemed even longer. And each instance (yes, there were several) overlapped with another in a way that's difficult to comprehend.

But as I began to try telling Matt:

this one was terrifying.
it was right up there with the one where I literally got dragged out of bed...and this one was way longer, too. :(
it was one of those weird experiences that overlap with one another.
you know how I tried to explain how I dream of two different things at once..?
it was sort of like that, but instead of them completely happening at the same time, they would overlap in beginning and end of each sequence.
there were so many....

I fell asleep on my back without my even realizing it. For a while, I thought the door was open and I was listening to a conversation, but then I realized it was just in my head...and so I tried to stop making things up and shift positions to start over, in a sense.
But I couldn't move.

So I gathered my thoughts and said to myself, All right. I'll just lay here and fall asleep before the panic part sets in...

But then - of course - I was too nervous that my mind couldn't fall asleep. And instead of moving in to a lucid dream, I was just completely caught inbetween sleep and awake. This is what my light research told me was the beginning of an "out of body experience." You can just... tell that it's not a dream, yet it's not quite sleep paralysis either. I was much more aware.
I tried to move again and wake myself up, or at least sit up in bed in whatever state I was, but I ended up pushing myself back into sleep paralysis. The pins and needles set in. It feels like the sound of electricity. It feels like panic.
And then, very very slowly... I felt my fingers move on my right hand:
my third and fourth finer stayed next to each other, but my pinky kind of moved outward a little bit, and my index finger began to straighten itself out, as if it was pointing at something. As if that wasn't terrifying enough, to feel an invisible hand lifting your entire hand moved up in the air. It was now hovering in front of my face, limp as could be.

I was trying. SO. HARD. to move it back and take control.
But it was just like someone was holding it there...playing with my hand.

After a few minutes, I gained enough control to form a fist and put my hand back to where it was on my stomach.

[that's when it would overlap again with another sequence]

-in which my hand was lifted again,
fingers moving.
This time my whole arm was shifting. From elbow to fingers, my arm moved. My hand was limp and I wasn't moving a muscle, yet there it was, my hand slowly moving up toward my face, trying to gesture at something. I could feel my fingers struggling to take control. I couldn't help but feel like I was wrestling with something.
And then, I felt the backs of my fingers lightly stroke my lips and cheek as my hand moved to the right side of my face. Until I was pointing at myself. My closed eyes, actually. It remained there for a few long seconds -- long enough that I thought it would stay there and I could move it back -- until my hand formed a claw.

STOP. IT. I was panicking. That was my hand, inches away from my face. But I wasn't in control. What I imagined was my self not quite lining up with my body. That I was half in and half out and would keep moving out of my body if I didn't hang on to my consciousness. But I took it back for a while; enough time to place my hand back to where it's supposed to be. And I put my left hand on top of it to keep it from

[overlapping with another sequence]

-in which my feet were moving towards the end of the bed. I was being dragged. The blanket was lifted a little bit, so that my ankles were exposed.
I took control and desperately moved myself back up to my pillow

[overlap again]
- and was about to shift positions entirely

- when I realized I was already being dragged farther to the end of the bed, and I could open my eyes enough to see my feet in midair. I couldn't put them down. Something held my ankles. I couldn't feel anything touching me, but I knew it.
So I tried to scream, and I reached
Layer -2: it came out clear, but then I realized it was just in my head that I heard it. So I tried again.
Layer -1: it came out as a loud whisper. I could almost feel myself back in bed the same way I initially fell asleep, so once more...
Layer 0: my scream came out only as a whimper. I was so exhausted from all of that mental strain, trying to climb my way back up to Awake, that I just couldn't do it. I couldn't scream. But I felt myself back in bed as if I never moved. Except for my right hand, which was still pointing. And I felt my heart pounding.

[overlap again]

My hand was beginning to point, my arm was raising itself up... and it began to motion something. I don't know if it was trying to write or point, but those were controlled motions. It tugged on my shoulder, it reached out so far.
And my feet were in the air again.
And my left arm was moving outward, sliding until it hung off the edge of the bed.

It took all of my strength to focus to get myself out of that, but I did it. I used all my strength to curl up into a ball. And I found myself back in bed once more. I felt everything around me.
Nothing changed. I never moved. I was totally awake this time.
I was still on my back. My blankets were still tucked nicely at the end of the bed, so my feet were never moved. My left arm was back to where it originally was. But my right hand was still pointing.

I very deliberately formed a fist and tucked it away.

I opened my eyes. There was nothing in the room, of course. And the door was never opened. No one was awake.
I shook myself. Literally. I shook myself, as if that would release anything left on me. Get out. Get off. Get out, get out, out out out.......out, leave me alone...What is wrong with me..?
I felt so violated.
I rolled over to my side, hiding my right hand, and reached for my phone with my left.
Funny, how that's one of the first things I do after sleep paralysis....
That whole series felt like two hours.
I was asleep for ten minutes.


  1. this is most interesting. As I began to read the post it started to remind me of dreams I would have as a young child. These were so hard to describe to anyone (so i never tried) and even harder to make sense of. I would be hovering, sort of flying, but not flying, just hovering, out in a vast darkness, i would be anxiously waiting and something would come by or I was supposed to get to a certain place, and terrible dread would overcome me if I could not get there or get lined up at the exact correct time. very disturbing.
    back to your experience - this is so interesting. I am going to have to do some research into this. I have been reading up on lucid dreaming, but sleep paralysis is not something i want to try, yet I have this urge to research it, and hear other's stories.

  2. Amy, I just saw you posted a comment! Thanks (you're the only one ever does) :)

    Sleep paralysis is one of those things you want to try. You're so set on it and you psyched yourself up, and you're gonna conquer it, damn it!
    Until you get the chills.

    It sounds ridiculous, to be scared of feeling pins and needles.
    But. it. is. scary.

    Don't ask me why I continually test myself..

  3. My advice: don't try to bring it on. It's exhausting, both physically and mentally. If it happens, it happens. That will probably be enough experience to understand how bad it can be. In the meantime, just research. haha