Hello, and welcome to the beginning of Spooky Season.
As you’ve probably seen, we have a schedule. Sundays will be a casual time to talk about fears and horrors in general.
And today, I thought it’d be cool to talk about sleep.
Mainly because I’m writing this at 6 AM on a Sunday morning when I have no business being awake…
There are three scenarios that genuinely put me into a state of terror when I’m sleeping:
– A Bang
– A Whisper
– The Jerk and a Night Terror
If you know what I mean by any of these, you’ll probably understand where I’m coming from.
As a disabled person, in a disabled household, loud noises are a given. Whether it’s a wheelchair bumping into furniture or someone dropping a mug, we’re not a quiet household.
But at night, when you’re sleeping, it should always be quiet. And when it isn’t, it’s almost impossible to get back to sleep.
As someone who sleeps wearing earphones, so that I can rest with a combination of classical piano music and rain sound, a noise must be loud for me to hear it – especially considering I’m hard of hearing.
The problem is – I have sensory issues with sound. I can hear things that I shouldn’t be able to, I can hear high pitches but not low.
I can hear the lead singer but rarely the backing singers – unless I’ve adjusted my hearing assist settings on my device.
So, when I hear something in the middle of the night, I go through two experiences:
I bolt up, get out of bed, and run around the house trying to find the noise – which usually leads to me running around naked more than I’d like to admit.
I wake and freeze. Sleep Paralysis kicks in because my body isn’t ready to do anything, but my mind is very much awake. Sadly, if I’ve got my back to my bedroom door – this is worsened by 100% due to past traumas – I’ll likely also have a panic attack.
I have issues hearing whispers most of the time, but I can sometimes hear bits and pieces due to my hearing loss only being partial.
So you can imagine the terror that goes through me when I wake up to incoherent whispering beside my head.
As someone who doesn’t have children but deals with psychosis, it can ruin my chances of sleeping through the night if I find a living person whispering to me in my bedroom.
I regularly have audio and visual hallucinations, and I can almost always immediately tell that they’re not real. So waking to whispers, seeing someone, and it turning out not to be real is fine.
But to wake up and see a person standing next to my bed… Whether it’s my mother, friend, or partner – it doesn’t matter. Even if they’re sharing my bed or just checking up on me.
I will not sleep again until the anxiety vanishes, which can take days.
The Jerk and a Night Terror:
Most people have felt this before. It’s the sensation of falling when you’re drifting off to sleep.
Hypnic Jerks are harmless in themselves – they happen for an unknown reason and are over within a second.
But there’s nothing worse than having the jerk paired with a night terror.
I’ve had night terrors for over a decade; they started around 14 or 15 years ago. I’ve gotten used to them; they’re an everyday occurrence for me now, but I cope.
However, if the pair happen together… A panic attack will ensue. Most of my night terrors are about violence, whether being attacked or being (nearly) killed, so those dreams paired with the force of a Hypnic Jerk can be incredibly stress-inducing.
If you’ve ever woken up from a dream that was too real and mistakenly messaged someone about the talking unicorn you saw at their house in your dream, imagine if it was the worst nightmare you’ve ever had – paired with a physical movement feeling.
I don’t know how much more my heart can take.
Anyway, that’s my Horror thoughts for the day. I wish I could go back to sleep, but I got woken up by a bang, so… That won’t be happening any time soon.
I’ll see you tomorrow for some more spooky content.
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