Having worked as security for the NHS I have seen pretty much most of the appalling torture a damaged mind can afflict on a person, but despite not getting emotionally attached to the people I used to help, I still found myself thanking a faceless God I didn’t believe in that I myself was mentally sound.

A year later and I’m beginning to question my mental health and to say it’s been a very bad year so far is a bit of an understatement. So far this year I have been dumped by the woman I love, had two friends die by horrific deaths, ended up jobless after foolishly spanking a racist Asian guy in the teeth and I also ended up with a drink problem for all of six days.

I was dumped mainly for being fat and for not taking life seriously, the fat part I sorted and lost all my access baggage… but the taking life seriously thing has shocked my system so much that I think I may be losing the plot. Now I aint no mental health expert and that’s probably the thing that worries me the most, but during the day while awake I’m perfectly fine.

I take my life and responsibilities more seriously now that much is true. I now have drive, goals, physical energy and I have realized that my love for Sarah is not something that I just sit and watch… It’s something that I must work hard at appreciating, nurturing and she needs to be treated as the princess that she so rightfully is… so what’s the problem?

My night time world where dreams are supposed to be images of bizarre happiness and obscurity have suddenly turned into a world of horror, fear, untruths and un trust. It’s like a shroud of darkness that’s come down like a fucking anvil over the only thing that lets me escape from the boredom of life and to be honest, I am now literally scared to shut my eyes of a night time.

Last nights dream for example was particularly nasty because of it’s creepiness, but it started with me holding my phone trying to text Sarah. My predictive text was going mental and I had to meet her for dinner so I was getting rather frustrated to say the least. After a few moments I thought fuck it I’ll ring her and within a moment I was… now the odd thing is when it was answered at the other end all I got was a little girl whispering at me from the other end… it was bizarre. So I slammed the phone down and then all of a sudden I got a picture message of Sarah up to no goods with another guy.

Every single night since getting dumped my mind has ruthlessly made me dream of a reason why Sarah should leave me, it’s really horrible and the reasons range from the sexual all the through to the accidental and some dreams even involve one of us dying. The thing I don’t understand is that while I’m awake we are both perfectly happy, we both love each other more than ever and for the first time in our whole relationship both our futures and hopes are singing from the same hymn sheet… so why am I being tortured like this?

The thing is nightmares I can sort of handle and once I’m snapped out of my sleep I’m back in reality and I’m fine, but the one thing that has suddenly hit me every night is Sleep Paralysis. I used to get it say every six months or so and it was scary as hell, but now I am getting it every night and it gets to me more and more every single time.

Sleep Paralysis… the boring science bit…
Physiologically, sleep paralysis is closely related to the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is known as REM atonia. Sleep paralysis occurs when the brain awakes from a REM state, but the body paralysis persists. This leaves the person fully conscious, but unable to move. The paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes "after which the individual may experience panic symptoms and the realization that the distorted perceptions were false". When there is an absence of narcolepsy, sleep paralysis is referred to as isolated sleep paralysis (ISP). "ISP appears to be far more common and recurrent among Blacks than among Whites or Nigerian Blacks", and is often referred to within Black communities as "the Devil on your back" In addition, the paralysis state may be accompanied by terrifying hallucinations and an acute sense of danger. Sleep paralysis is particularly frightening to the individual due to the vividness of such hallucinations. The hallucinatory element to sleep paralysis makes it even more likely that someone will interpret the experience as a dream, since completely fanciful, or dream-like, objects may appear in the room alongside one's normal vision. Some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for alien abductions and ghostly encounters


When something fucks with my life like this totally macabre infliction I research it as you can tell from the snippet above, I’m totally sound in that area and I truly believe that the best way to tackle a problem is to get inside it, know it and understand… but then something rather unsettling happened while researching sleep paralysis. As you can work out from my rather odd outlook on life I’m a total firm believer of the supernatural, the occult and little green men… so when this next snippet of information reared its ugly head its left me more terrified than ever.

  • In African culture, isolated sleep paralysis is commonly referred to as "the witch riding your back".
  • In the Cambodian, Laotian and Thai culture, sleep paralysis is referred to as "pee umm" and "khmout sukkhot". It describes an event where the person is sleeping and dreams that ghostly figure(s) are either holding him/her down or the ghosts can just be near. The person usually thinks that they are awake but is unable to move or make any noises. This is not to be confused with "pee khao" and "khmout jool" which refers to a ghost possession.
  • In Hmong culture, sleep paralysis describes an experience called "dab tsog" or "crushing demon." Often the sufferer claims to be able to see a tiny figure, no larger than a child, sitting on his or her chest. What is alarming is that a vast number of American Hmong have died in their sleep, prompting the Centers for Disease Control to create the term "Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome" or "SUNDS" for short; this is now theorized to be a form of Brugada syndrome.
  • In Vietnamese culture, sleep paralysis is referred to as "ma đè", meaning "held down by a ghost" or "bóng đè", meaning "held down by a shadow". Many people in this culture believe that a ghost has entered one's body, causing the paralyzed state.
  • In Iceland folk culture sleep paralysis is generally called having a "Mara". Mara is an old Icelandic word for a mare but has taken on the meaning for a sort of a devil that sits on ones chest at night, trying to suffocate the victim.
  • In Turkish culture, sleep paralysis is often referred to as "karabasan" ("The dark presser/assailer"). It is believed to be a creature which attacks people in their sleep, pressing on their chest and stealing their breath.
  • In Mexico, it's believed that sleep paralysis is in fact the spirit of a dead person getting on the person and impeding movement, calling this "se me subió el muerto" (the dead person got on me).
  • In many parts of the Southern United States, the phenomenon is known as a "hag", and the event is said to often be a sign of an approaching tragedy or accident.
  • In Pakistani culture & Bangladeshi culture, it is an encounter with evil jinns and demons. It is also assumed that it is due to the black magic performed by enemies and jealous persons. Curses could also result in ghoul haunting a person. Some homes and locations are also haunted by these satanic beings.

So what now?

I aint got the slightest clue on how to fight this and to be honest the only reason I’ve created this post and left out my usual cut throat humor is because I’m hoping someone out there can help me with a bit of advice or something. My sleep is like to everyone else a very important part of my life’s escapism, without it I’m not sure what can happen or what condition I’ll be in six months down the line… but one things for sure… I aint letting it beat me.

1 comments

  1. Kevin Atteridg // 29 May 2009 at 03:07  

    I can connect on you with the whole "horrible dream" issue. Let's see...back..in the middle of 06 or so, I lost a girl who I loved, and it really messed with me. I fought with a little fit of rebellious depression, and whenever I would sleep, she would haunt me. I remember one dream, where I was some sort of knight in a castle-like building, and I was chasing a dragon that she was riding. I couldn't catch her, no matter how much I yelled and screamed and swung my sword. I would wake up in the morning distressed, and in a state of restlessness. For me, there was no immediate solution. The only real thing that helped, was involving myself with new experiences, and the passing of time. I just had to deal with my own issues, and my own doubts, and time eventually changed the way I thought, and changed the types of dreams that I was having. Maybe you just need to sit down, and really sort out what it is that you are afraid of, and face that so-called dragon. Just a few rambling-tips from moi.