So....I've done some research into night terrors and....this writeup isn't part of that node.
There's an overlap, but I think it would be a mistake to just label
the things I'm describing as "night terrors" and assume that it's all
part of the same thing.
Phenomenology changed my life, so instead of trying to fit a
concept into a context of psychology, or religion, or whatever, I'd much prefer to describe to you my experiences as
they happened and let you make your own minds up. I reserve the right
to present some of the new things I've found on the subject in a later
writeup. Please try not to infer that I'm pushing a particular agenda
unless I specifically do so, I'd like to leave my own tentative
personal "spirituality" out of this for the time being. Thanks.
As I said, I've done some research to try to understand these things that happen to me, and I have
read the night terror writeups. I don't feel like this belongs there.
I've never read anything on "night terrors" and felt like it was really
describing the experiences I have. I've found lots of documentation
that confidently describes symptoms, causes and the criteria for night
terrors. Very few apply to my case. That said, some things do ring a
bell. Like the sleep paralysis element.
One last thing I'd like to mention is that similar experiences to
mine have been "reported" (traditionally, orally, or by
anthropologists, etc) by pretty much every cultural
group we have a record of. I'll spare you further analysis for now.
I was lying in bed, somewhere between sleep and waking. Suddenly I
was wide awake, feeling that almost essentially indescribable feeling
we all get sometimes when we just know that something is about
to happen. Tension....real tension. Impending....something. I didn't
know what, but it broke suddenly with a soundless explosion in my head.
I flinched, it occured to me that the shock I had (kind of) heard and
felt wasn't real, because my mum hadn't woken up. Then I noticed that I
couldn't move any more, and I started to panic.
So here I am, about 15 years old, paralysed, fully conscious now,
staring at my ceiling and a little worried about the possibility that I
was having a brain embolism/heart attack/epileptic fit. Ten years
later and I'm still a little bit weirded out by what happened next. I
became aware of a threatening presence in my room, which I could only
spatially define as being above and around me. I couldn't see it, but I
could feel it. It felt very bad.
I'm not saying this was "real" outside my head, I'm just describing my perceptions as they happened.
Parallel to my awareness of the room I was in, was my awareness of
my own mental state...this thing that I felt in my room....was in my
head as well. I could feel it, and I could see it. The best word for
how it felt is one I've already used; threatening. Also, evil, really
fucking evil. Evil like a force of nature you can't escape. Dangerous,
dangerous like something that could damage you to any extent at will.
Its visual representation in my mind's eye shifted...not constantly but
sporadically, there are two main images of it that I have retained. The
first is a huge, dark, brooding vaguely humanoid being and the second
resembled a vampire; teeth, eyes,and it was flying, no, whirling
around the inside of my head. Use your imagination. It wasn't nice,
it seemed calculated to terrify me. There was no question in my mind
that all these impressions were aspects of the same thing. I just knew
it at the time. I was paralysed in my bed, and for the first time in my
life I was paralysed inside my own imagination. I was stuck with this
horrible ( a word I dont use often or lightly) inescapable thing in my mind that was somehow also this presence in my room. I had a kind of direct awareness of its nature (it was in my
mind, after all) and I was seriously scared at this point....the thing
in my mind was what was paralysing me, it felt like something
drastically bad was happening. I remember the vampire-avatar leering
at me while I just watched, defenceless, more or less cowering with
nowhere to hide. I was so scared of literally losing it at this point,
as in crumbling under the pressure of my own fear and dying, that I
instinctively reached for something...a kind of safe place or a point
of control. I found a phrase and kept repeating it in my head, not
with any sense that I had found some kind of magical protective
talisman, more like someone rocking back and forth whispering
"there's no place like home" over and over again...
Hard-headed atheists, critics, cynics, and well established
contributors, forgive me for what comes next. This writeup has no
ideological agenda, my artistic agenda in this case is to simply
present the events as I perceived them.
...I prayed, I was praying my little heart out. I just remember
praying for my life, over and over again. I remember the words I used,
but I don't believe they were what mattered. If I'd have been born a
muslim or a jew or a buddhist or a hindu or an animist or a viking then I'm sure they
would have been different but no less effective. Obviously if I was an
unbeliever then I would have been in deeper trouble and my soul no
doubt mercilessly devoured. (I joke).
Almost as soon as I started this I felt the power of the thing that
threatened me receding, I got the sense that I had done something right
almost by accident. I felt calmer. I became less stuck in my own head
and more aware of the room I was in. I felt the presence of the thing
that had attacked me withdraw and literally disappear out of the window by
my bed (a really striking part of the experience). I sat up, I looked
out of the window for a long time. It felt fantastic to be free. A few
hours later I got up and went to school. It was years before I told
anyone about it. That was the first time I fought a demon in my
sleep, but not the last. Demons 0 tiger cub 1