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#440097 - 07/05/13 04:46 AM Night terrors / sleep paralysis
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
I'm putting this in the OT forum because while night terrors can be a symptom / result of CSA, they can also strike people quite at random and not necessarily every survivor will get them either.

Wanted to see if anyone else had... experience... with these ghastly and all-consuming visions.

I've had several night terrors / hypnagogic episodes throughout the years. Some have subsequently blended together but I'll never forget the first. I was being chased through a giant abandoned hotel by a shadowy figure of pure evil. I fled the shadow long enough to return mostly to wakefulness: my eyes opened, I could look around and see my room, the world was "real". Except... I couldn't move. And the evil shadow had followed me into my room. It was actually two horrors simultaneously - a shadowy humanoid lurking right at my bedside and at the same time a gigantic black hand lowering from the ceiling to crush me. All this perfectly clearly with my eyes, and me hearing the desperate reedy moaning sounds which were all I could make instead of screaming - because with my whole body paralyzed, I couldn't flex my diaphram either. As my panic grew worse I got closer to wakefulness and was eventually able to move my body, clumsily. Now really more conscious than asleep I lurchingly rolled my way over to my lamp and turned it on.

For the briefest fraction of a second, the shadowman was still in my room next to me, in the full light. Then, nothing.

I did not scream - I could move but was now too purely terrified and in shock to make a sound. If I'd had a gun handy I'd have emptied the entire clip into the wall where I'd seen it. When all of your senses tell you something is really happening, how can you feel it as anything other than that thing really happening? Have never, ever forgotten the feeling. I am a scientist with a Master's degree and used to be a science teacher, but I've since been very sympathetic to the people who claim to have been abducted by aliens or, in prior centuries, attacked by vampires, witches, and succubi.

Does this sound at all familiar to anyone else? Anybody else here deal / have dealt with these?

My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#440099 - 07/05/13 05:08 AM Re: Night terrors / sleep paralysis [Re: SoccerStar]
GoldStone Offline

Registered: 05/28/13
Posts: 220
Loc: Far East
Deleted by gold.

Edited by GoldStone (07/06/13 01:01 PM)
Edit Reason: Kinda hijacked you there :)

#440111 - 07/05/13 08:17 AM Re: Night terrors / sleep paralysis [Re: SoccerStar]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6384
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
i realize this sounds like bible thumping BS, but i swear to you this actually works for me. i am plagued by horrific realistic nightmares from time to time, and i tried all kinds of methods, but nothing really worked.

i treat these shadowy figures that terrorize me as if they are real demons. i stand firm and say...

"i am a child of god. i belong to him.
you have no business here.
i rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ Jeshuah Messiah... GET LOST! (sometimes i am so upset i say F__K OFF!)"
the creatures, or whatever they were, scattered like cockroaches when you flick on a light. i am not joking.

it worked the first time i tried it, and it works every time.

i only did it as a last resort, because the nightmares were getting fierce, and my religious aunt told me to try it.
i did not even think it would work, there was no faith behind the words, only desperation. but it worked!


#440587 - 07/10/13 09:43 PM Re: Night terrors / sleep paralysis [Re: SoccerStar]
focusedbody Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 541
Loc: NY

Night terrors and hypnagogic episodes have been part of my life. What was helpful was reading the information about the different periods of our sleep cycle.

At one time, I tried to deal with these with the help of a psychic. Rather than go into the whole thing, she spent a lot of time getting me to interpret the hypnagogic episodes as spiritual experiences.

Sorry to say, they were not. They contained a particular emotional significance that in retrospect can each be attributed to various phobias that developed much earlier in my life.

What resonates most about your post is the sense of paralysis and the difficulty breathing. Slowly it has dawned on me that a lot of my waking life is lived in a kind of muscular lock-down. Sensorimotor therapy has been helpful in dealing with that. In addition, taking deep full breaths during the day has put me in touch with the milder states of panic that are in the background a lot of the time. Confronting all the sources of these states in the present moment is not always easy but usually yields results (yes, the horrible thing about triggers is there's never only one!). Exercises from books by Peter Levine are also worth checking out as way to shed traumatic memory in a physical way.

Recently my son had some night terrors, i.e. bad dreams and yelling out loud that he couldn't remember. Although he can be too scared to talk about them, he did make up a song about how bad dreams and nice dreams could be put together to make new dreams. This was a pretty cool concept that seemed like a way of coming to terms with life's ups and downs.

Hope you will find what you need to restore yourself. Recovery can be draining and we all need some good R&R too.

Lose the drama; life is a poem.


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