“When I was younger, I would sometimes wake up late at night, unable to move or speak. I found out that I was suffering from a very rare form of sleep paralysis, one that affects only three percent of those who suffer from it. Although many of the symptoms easily explained, the doctors couldn't explain everything. I sometimes awoke to a figure sitting on top of me, looking into my eyes. The sensation of a malevolent presence is common, and known as “the intruder.” But most of the time this isn't a visual manifestation, and never does it speak.
It began when I was around eight years old. Many people struggle to remember things from that far back, but it is hard to forget the first time it happened. I awoke suddenly in the dead of winter, the streetlamps failing to brighten my room because the shades were drawn. It was cold, and I realized that I needed to use the bathroom. Only I couldn't move at all, my eyelids refusing to close, my muscles refusing to stir. Time passed, and I began to become aware of my eyes burning, and the growing need to urinate. Minutes later I wet the bed for the first time in years. When I finally could move I began crying, screaming for my parents.My parents were horrified. My sister was fascinated.
The weeks that followed were filled with tests and doctors visits, my parents often visiting me throughout the night to make sure I was okay. Sometimes my sister would be with them. She seemed to worry about me a lot. Eventually I was given medicine as a preventative measure, but nothing was able to make it go away completely. Months passed, and though terrifying, I began to adjust to the infrequent episodes. Only one day wasn't like the others, and I awoke with a horrible sense of fear. But not like before. Instead, I felt as if someone was watching me.
At first I kept it to myself, but soon my terrors began to become more frequent. My parents had my medicine increased, and that seemed to do the trick for a while. But then my medicine began to disappear, a months supply going away as soon as my parents brought it home. At first it was simply replaced when we failed to find where it had gone. But soon my parents became upset at me, accusing me of purposefully throwing them away. I couldn't understand why they would think that, but soon I began to pretend that I was better, and that the episodes had stopped. They stopped needing to replace the medicine, but the incidents began to increase in number.
Then one day, I awoke to the sensation that something was in the room with me. At first I was able to dismiss it as being part of my condition, and though I wanted desperately to have my medicine again I would endure it if it meant my parents wouldn't be upset at me. It was a child's sort of logic, and it lasted for a while. Then one day I awoke to a figure sitting over me. Even in the dark I could tell it was staring directly into my eyes. It just sat there, looking at me, only somehow I got a sense that there was something wrong with its eyes. They were bloodshot, and never blinked.
This continued for days, as I would wake up to its blank stare, leaving only when it was becoming apparent that I was regaining use of my extremities. Desperately, I wished to tell my parents. But I didn't know if I was going mad. Added onto this would be the fact I would have to admit that I had lied to them. But weeks passed, and the figure did not go away. If anything it became more bold, and started to do things I couldn't dismiss. Like speak.
It would lean in close, right next to my ear, and start whispering. It would say things...cruel things. It would talk about hurting my parents, about torturing my sister, tearing her nails off one by one. Eventually it became too much, and I broke down and told my dad. My mother and father were upset at me obviously, but understood I needed help. I went back to the doctors, and they put me back on medication, with the addition of an anti-psychotic, in the hope that it would deal with the visions. Turns out it didn't get the chance.
That night, I took my medicines and put them on the side table. Soon after I fell asleep, the long day of tests getting to me. I awoke as expected, my body paralyzed, but without the fear I normally felt. I was back on medicine. Whatever I was going to see would go away in time.
But then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the door to my room open. Light bathed the room from the nightlight in the hall, but was extinguished as the door closed. I heard something quickly move across the floor, and then the rattle of medicine bottles.I heard movement across the front of the bed, the shade of the window drawn open, the light of the streetlamp poring into the room. And then, the sound of the window opening. Cold air hit my face, stinging my skin. I began to feel myself shifting in the bed, rolling closer and closer to the open window.
The figure was breathing heavy, and stopped pushing me when I was less than a foot away. I was on my back, and felt a weight shift on top of me. Despite my paralysis, I could feel myself crying.My sister, unblinking, her nails torn from their base...she ran her clammy, bloody hands hands against my face and chest, caressing me. Then she leaned down, and bit me hard on the cheek, until at last she drew blood. Shifting off of me, she moved onto my side and began to push again.
Soon I was against the sill of the window, only a foot separating me from the lip. I screamed in my head, working to regain control. I felt her lift me to the edge, felt my legs dangling over open space. All the while, she just stared at me, unblinking. At last I felt myself regaining control, my mouth managing a groan.
“Please don't” I begged.
She looked down at me and merely frowned, putting her bleeding finger up to my mouth. She only said one thing.
She moved out of sight as I felt myself shifting again, the cold seeping into my body. Then I felt myself sliding, slipping through the window with the ease of a rag doll as I felt myself plummeting to the ground.”
The boy broke both his legs and his jaw. He also split open his skull when he hit the concrete sidewalk. The boys parents were awake, arguing about their son when they heard him hit the ground. He was rushed to the hospital and was stabilized after being in critical condition. At first they were unwilling to believe their son's story, only relenting after the bite matched the teeth of their daughter.
Despite work with a psychiatrist and a case worker, no explanation could be found for her violence against her brother. Eventually she was removed from the home when she was found removing the nails from his feet.. She currently resides in an asylum out of state, undergoing intensive treatment. Unfortunately, there has been little progress and she has refused to offer any clues.
To this day, the boy still struggles with sleep paralysis, though his episodes have become infrequent. He claims sometimes he still will awaken to something sitting on his chest, whispering in his ear. However, doctors have assured him that this is likely just PTSD brought on by the horrors of his experiences.
I went to the asylum to meet with the girl, after gaining permission from the family. However, I only made to the front gate before I became overwhelmed by a feeling of panic. I have seen this place before...in my dreams. My nightmares. This cannot be real.
It just can't...