Friday, April 4, 2014

It Was Almost Sleep Paralysis...

Inspired by my sleep-paralyzing friend, I decided to recount the latest almost-encounter I had with sleep paralysis.
I was more than familiar with this concept.  In fact I even researched about it 'cuz I wanted to avoid it as much as possible. Based on my eccentric friend's personal experiences with sleep paralysis, it ain't fun.

I was always one of those people who just believed in the supernatural - because I believe everything is possible. So even though I never had a concrete experience with ghostly encounters, I was always scared of anything ghostly - i.e. the dark, creepy silent places, being left alone, 3 fucking a.m., ghost stories, and even the most ridiculous horror films (shoutout to that 5 minutes of courage that I managed to muster before I exited my stream of Scary Movie 1). Well, in my defense I do have some of my own personal ghost stories, but in them I could never say for certain how sure I was of what I saw. For all I know my brain could've just decided to randomly mess with me at the time. Like I said, anything's possible. In short I'm a skeptic of skepticism - which is probably damn confusing so I'm just moving on.

Speaking of horror stories, I did have an earlier experience of an almost-sleep-paralysis before. At the time, I didn't yet label it as such. I knew it existed, but never in my life would I have thought I'd experience it. The memory's so hazy now in my brain that there's no way I can narrate it in detail here. Let's just say you have to trust me when I say that it wasn't the most comfortable way to fall into sleep - or try your best to break out of it. I just realized that it was an almost-sleep-paralysis when my friend talked about her experience and I understood that it wasn't so rare after all.

Here are the things I knew about sleep paralysis:

1) It usually happens when you have a fucked-up sleep pattern - check.

2) There are degrees to how bad it is:
     - you just really feel paralyzed
     - you start hearing voices in your head
     - you start seeing hallucinations (which involve all of your sensory organs that explains how sometimes, you'll feel like someone's staring at you)
     - occasional OBE (out of the body experience)

3) It possible led to lucid dreaming.

4) It's pretty damn scary.

**There was also an odd similarity that I found in most sleep paralysis accounts, and that's feeling like someone or something's on top of your chest. I felt this during my first almost-experience.  It wasn't on my chest though.  It was on my whole body, like somehow I became heavier, but nothing on top of me was actually heavy. Weird.

It makes sense that I'm damn scared of ever experiencing this, especially 'cuz I'm pretty sure that accounts of sleep paralysis that involve hallucinations may not necessarily involve just hallucinations. What if those people were experiencing actual supernatural experiences and were in denial? What if their experiences just manifested into something akin to sleep paralysis so they just contented themselves with that answer? Oh, I believe in sleep paralysis and its hallucinations - but I don't believe in just them. We'd never really know if it's a supernatural experience that looked like a sleep paralysis experience, or the other way around. Chicken and the egg and all that shit. 

Suffice to say I wouldn't ever risk being put in a position where I'd want to ask myself which one it was.

So around two weeks ago, I came home early with my sister. I can't remember what day it was. We came home around 2-3 pm. Summer in the Philippines is hot as shit. Just ask anyone. And I was so damn tired that time. I opened the air conditioning and went straight for the bed - laying flat on my stomach. My sister was in the washroom so I was alone. 

It was still early at the time (obviously, the sun was sky high - more actually, if we're taking that literally), and it was cool and it was the most relaxing thing - hitting the sack when you were dead tired in an air-conditioned room while the sun was hell-bent on its mission to burn every living thing alive. So I really don't know what came over me when I checked if I could move. I did that sometimes. Paranoia regarding supernatural experiences will do that to you. As it turns out, I couldn't. I couldn't lift my head, and my fingers were stiff as sticks.

Damn it. Not again.

Like I said I was always paranoid of reaching the next level so when I saw the (possible - still a skeptic) signs of sleep paralysis, I did my best to break out of it. I could see the washroom's light was open, but my sister wasn't coming out. At some point I actually thought I was either in a dream or I was transported to the supernatural dimension of all things silent. (Don't judge.) So I only had one option to validate my theory, I shouted for my sister.

The first few times I tried calling out to her, I couldn't. Never mind the fact that I couldn't lift my head, my vocal chords were strained from the pressure of the blanket I was on. It was like an invisible force was crushing me to my bed. It didn't hurt, but it sure made things damn harder than how it was supposed to be. My mouth moved first - forming an O-shape but without sound. Imagine the sound of yourself gagging. It was kind of like that. It's not as dramatic as you think, because there wasn't any pain. There was only frustration that nothing was coming out. From the neck down I still couldn't move. Thankfully my head was eventually able to raise itself so my vocal chords didn't find it as hard anymore to form words.




(If you were Chinese, you'd get why I called her that.)

Of course the quotations aren't as precise as I'd like them to be, but you get the general idea. The overall situation was kind of like that. By the fourth or fifth time that I managed to shout my sister's whole name out, she came out of the washroom looking irritated. 

"Ano?" She asked me. (What?)

"Wala." (Nothing.)

She looked at me weird and then opened the TV inside the room.

'Cuz really I had no answer. I called her just for the sake of it - for there to be a goal set for my almost-paralyzed body, and so that I was sure my theory was wrong, that I wasn't alone in whatever dimension I was in, which was apparently the regular dimension. Thank God.

All that happened in less than ten minutes, but while I couldn't move, it felt like forever - so much so that I managed to concoct conspiracy theories to my own situation.

I didn't really see anything; I wasn't hurt and I didn't end up with hearing anything in my head. If it was an actual sleep paralysis experience then I'm damn lucky. 

Paranoid people will understand when I say that one of the best experiences in life is to be proven wrong.

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