Today I woke up from a nap but no matter how or what I tried I couldn’t move. I could hear my children joyfully playing with their Christmas toys and the tv show my husband was watching in the living room. It was so frightening. It is every time. I tried moving my legs, I tried moving my arms, I let out what I was sure was a scream that could have been heard for miles but no one came to see what was wrong. I realized I hadn’t screamed, I couldn’t. I tried to move my toes and made a little headway. Then I tried my fingers. Yes! They were moving slightly. Now it was time to try for the arms again but no matter how hard I tried, nothing, and now my damn fingers won’t move again. I wish someone would come find me before I stop breathing. Every time I try to move an extremity it sounds like a freight train is rushing between my ears. What if I never wake? What if I don’t die but I’m stuck in this state forever? What if I do die? Why isn’t someone checking to see what’s wrong? Because I told the kids I was tired and needed a nap so for once they are listening and letting me rest. Everyone knew that I needed a nap so no one wants to disturb me. Damn…
Finally, I surrender to whatever is wrong with me. There is no point in fighting, it isn’t getting me anywhere. It’s only making the situation more scary. Soon after giving in my eyes pop open, what a relief! My arms begin to move again, my legs, toes, arms, fingers. I test them all. They work flawlessly.
It was another nightmare. These nightmares are called sleep paralysis. I don’t have the normal nightmares about something awful happening or the monster in the closet. No, in my nightmares I can’t move. I have done a lot of research regarding the condition and apparently it isn’t that uncommon. People suffer from this awful condition worldwide. No matter how many times I read,”don’t fight it”, or “this is normal”, I still fight, I still try to scream.
I have had sleep paralysis on and off since I was in high school. The first time it happened I was at my grandma’s. I had fallen asleep on the couch watching tv. I awoke to her singing as she washed dishes, the tv show in the background but I couldn’t move. It was the single most terrifying event in my life up to that point. As I’ve gotten older I continue to have this occasionally. Sometimes I willgo years without experiencing it and other times it will be semi-frequent.
Sleep paralysis is a very scary thing. Although, the research I have done has shown me that it isn’t dangerous, there is no demon holding me down, I will wake, and it is common. I don’t remember all of this when I’m in the midst of an episode but it is comforting to wake up and know what has happened rather than think there is something seriously wrong. Has anyone else ever experienced sleep paralysis? If so, id like to hear your experience and what you have learned or know about the condition.