I recalled a nightmare I had as a kid due to watching a commercial and told my girls about it. It totally freaked my oldest out which I found funny. That got me thinking about other nightmares that I had as a young child that are still pretty vivid or at least I clearly remember them to this day. So, I thought I’d share!
The one I told my daughter was about this nightmare where there was this small creature with giant eyes. I don’t believe the creature ever actually did anything harmful but it had a very scary freaky feel about it causing my dream to be a nightmare. I don’t remember much more other than this big eyed creature that I’d never seen before. A few days later after the dream my family and I were driving somewhere and passed a large bill board sign possibly for something like the Wild Animal Park and on the picture there was the exact same looking big eyed creature I saw in my dream. It was a bush baby. I remember being a bit confused as to wither bush babies were actually evil or not. After all I was pretty young. Still, after a while I decided they were just an animal and couldn’t possibly be a demon or some evil thing come to life.
When my sister and I had bunk beds I utilized the bottom one and she had the top. She is three years older then me, by the way. One night I talked my sister and my parents into letting me sleep on the top for the night. I didn’t make it all the way through the night because as I lay there either asleep or awake, not sure which, I suddenly say a giant face of King Kong directly facing my face about a foot or so sway. I never wanted to sleep on the top bunk of that bed again.
I don’t remember the order of those two dreams but I’m pretty sure this next one was after those two because after this particular nightmare my nightmares took on a whole new dimension.
I was in bed. I don’t recall going to sleep but I may have. In real life my mom and my sister were still up and my mom was helping my sister pack for camp in her room. I lay there watching them from my bed. My parents room was directly across the hall from mine and my bed was on the same side as the door so I could see what they were doing. I heard them mention me and assume I was asleep. I attempted to tell them that I was actually still awake but found to my horror I couldn’t speak. I then also learned that I couldn’t move either. I kept trying to yell out to them cause by this point I felt I needed help but I couldn’t. I now understand that it’s called sleep paralysis. While in that state of horror and frustration I looked up and saw a pair of hands with long fingers and long nails come out of the ceiling towards me. It didn’t come further then just above the elbows so I never saw the face or body. The arms and hands were waving as if trying to get me. Eventually I was able to fight through and wake myself up. Of course I immediately called my mom and sister in a panic.
Later when my dad heard about it he said he had dreams like that too and found that he had them when he was laying on his back. He suggested I always lay on my side to avoid those kind of nightmares. He also told me about some of the crazy dreams he had as a kid. I remember the one where in his dream he was being chased and ran to his parents room. In real life he actually did run to his parents room and rudely woke them up by pulling the sheets and blankets off them and falling on the floor. It was hilarious to hear but terrifying for him when he had actually gone through it.
Nightmares for my dad as a kid weren’t surprising though since his mom had a thing for telling him and his two sisters horror stories just before bed. Thankfully my parents believed that was wrong and didn’t do such things. They were also very careful about how much TV we watched and what we watched. From what I can remember it was always kid and family friendly TV shows for us. My mom did read to us as we drifted off to sleep from either the Bible or missionary stories. Even then it wasn’t graphic and though the Bible can be graphic I don’t remember it ever really bothering me. What bothered my sister and I most was although my mom told us we should drift off to sleep she couldn’t stop herself from asking us questions about what she was reading. How were we supposed to drift off to sleep and answer her question about the reading material at the same time. Kids are smart and we did come up with a solution that wold serve me well as well as hinder me the rest of my life. We learned to recognize her inflections and know whither to give a yes grunt or a no grunt, thus drift off to somewhat asleep and still able to answer her with out actually knowing what the question really was.
I don’t recall wither I had another sleep paralysis episode the remainder of my time living in a house as a child. I do recall that after moving on the boat at about the age of ten some time later they became almost a regular thing for me to have. My mom would pray and try to figure out why I got “demonic attacks” (a we called them then) so much. She started noticing a pattern and deducted that I had the problem when ever she and my older sister, Kari, fought and then went to bed with out making up. Naturally I hated having sleep paralysis so then I wouldn’t go to sleep till they made up. Some times they would hit the hey and fall asleep right away and I would lay there awake terrified of having another “demonic attack’. After a while I would wake them up and plead with them to make up so I could go to sleep. Thankfully they got it and would oblige me.
One time while stuck in sleep paralysis and trying desperately to get out of it I heard my sister roll over and rebuke the devil in Jesus name out loud in her sleep. I woke immediately and started thanking her. At first she wondered why and when I told her she did remember rebuking the devil and didn’t know why she had. She was happy that she did and that it helped me break free.
For the remainder of my life on the boat, ( to the age of 19) I would have sleep paralysis from time to time. At that time the only thing I figured out was that if I let go and didn’t fight it I felt like I was going deeper into it so I continued praying, rebuking the devil and fighting to get out. Later after moving off the boat I met a lady named Monica who taught me that saying “thank you Jesus” the whole time would break me free. I tried it the next sleep paralysis I had. I just kept repeating “Thank you Jesus” over and over and eventually I woke feeling a bit less wore out then usual. As time went by I learned new techniques. One time I was just plain exhausted and didn’t want to fight. Even though saying “Thank you Jesus” was less stressful it still took mental effort to keep it up and sometimes my virtual mouth felt like a rag was stuffed in it and I couldn’t talk, or get thoughts out clearly. So this one time when I was exhausted I felt myself going into sleep paralysis so I virtually told the devil that he could go ahead and do that to me forever but that he would have to listen to me praise Jesus the whole time. I woke immediately. Another time I felt myself going into sleep paralysis while resting on the couch I was able to get garbled noises out to my mom who actually heard me this time. She came over to me and slightly lifted me causing me to wake. Then she started to lay me down and I felt myself go back into it. I panicked and made odd noises again causing her to lift me to a sitting position again and thus fully waking me. She was just about as horrified about it as I was. Mostly though in my early adult life I learned to deal with the sleep paralysis in different ways. I felt it was actually teaching me a lot and what I learned could somehow be used in the real (awake) world. As I got older the sleep paralysis got less. It didn’t go away but it just was less often.
Over the last five or so years since leaving religion I have only had a few sleep paralysis episodes. I remember one time rebuking the devil and then hearing my subconscious challenge me because I wasn’t a “believer” anymore. I acknowledged that it was true but I am what I am and I have good reason for what I believe and don’t believe so tough! And then I woke! The other two or maybe three times I have had it I refused to be scared and woke with a smile on my face. Nightmares for me now are still rare and usually are about past events like when I was in that cult I was in. As I deal with myself and finding my inner peace and balance those have gotten more few and far between.