I’m one of those people that love to sleep though most of the times I’m unable to. My mind is always in overdrive and even when I’m exhausted, I’m still not one of those individuals that fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow. Add into the equation that I suffered from sleep paralysis from a very young age and you may understand why I dread falling asleep. I grew up with people that believed in tikoloshes, mind you I even saw one once, black magic and supernatural beings and even though it scared the living daylight out of me, I found it fascinating. At first, that was the explanation for my sleep paralysis and I believed it until I’ve heard about more people suffering the same fate and done some research on it.
For those of you who don’t know what sleep paralysis is, here’s the Wikipedia explanation: “sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which a person either during falling asleep (hypnagogia) or awakening (hypnopompia), temporarily experiences an inability to move, speak, or react. It is a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, characterized by muscle atonia (muscle weakness). It is often accompanied by terrifying and unusually powerful hallucinations (such as an intruder in the room) to which one is unable to react due to paralysis, and physical experiences (such as strong current running through the upper body).”
It’s a very scary thing to experience if you’re only 9 years old and no one has an explanation for it. Scarier than that was the actual explanation they’ve had, as aforementioned. I’ve been too afraid to go sleep for so many years and most people don’t understand, they don’t get why I’m still awake at midnight even when I’m extremely tired. They don’t get why, even if I’ve slept for 10 hours I’m still tired or have circles under my eyes or look like someone who hasn’t slept a wink. Some suggested alcohol or sleeping pills but I can’t do either because they mess up my dreams even more. Speaking of dreams, the reason for this post by the way…as if sleep paralysis isn’t bad enough, I dream. And no, not dreams in the common sense but dreams where it actually came true.
My dreams literally becomes my worst nightmare…every morning I wake up,praying that I won’t remember it because if I do…it never ends well. The dreams started long after the sleep paralysis, I was 17 at the time and in matric. I won’t mention their real names but all of this actually happened. I’ll only mention 4 incidents even though there’s a lot more because I really don’t want to relive everything right now.
My grandmother passed away at home when I was 17 at the age of 86. She had a mild stroke, lost feeling in the one side and passed away a week later. Everyone was in the room with her when it happened except me and apparently her eyes were scanning everyone intently (she couldn’t really talk at the end). Everyone could see she’s holding on to see someone, we thought it was one of her kids as only my mom was there out of the 4 but as soon as I walked in, her eyes fixed on me and she blew out her last breath. A week after her funeral I had a dream about her. She told me that they never washed her at the mortuary, which I think is standard procedure. My mom washed her after she passed but she laid there (mortuary) for almost a week. We were too distraught at the funeral to notice she’s wearing the same outfit she left home in even though my mom send a new one along. I told my mom about the dream, she investigated and it turned out to be true, shame on them. I didn’t make anything of it because it was my granny, I missed her terribly and it made sense to dream of her.
My friend was in a relationship, extremely happy in love. I had a dream that they broke up and I didn’t tell her. My reason for that was that I was afraid she might freak out and find reasons to break up with him to avoid heartache. About a week later she called me to tell me that they broke up because he’s moving away and they don’t want to have a long distance relationship.
A friend of mine had a loved one in hospital. Very ill but the doctors were hopeful this person will pull through and even talked about releasing said person later that week. I fell asleep at around midnight, as usual and woke up (at least I thought I was awake) around 01:00am to someone calling my name. Recognized the voice as the person who’s currently in hospital and I got scared. Person called about 3 times and then the voice went quiet. Next morning I get a text that the person passed away around the same time they called my name in my dream. I often wished that I’ve responded as the person wanted to leave a message for loved ones left behind perhaps but I was too scared.
Most recent one and the pattern changed dramatically. Had a dream about a loved involved in an accident, car went over a bridge into a river and they miraculously survived. Less than a month later I get news that a loved one (closed to them) passed away. Said person suddenly struggled to breath, was taken to hospital, got medication and was sent home where he passed away
I’ve had dreams as recent as this morning and for the first time I featured in it. Kinda scary but I’ve learned to live with it. Next time you see me with circles under my eyes, yawning or looking haggard, just know that I have very good reasons for it.