Hypnagogia and/or Hypnopompic

I didn’t realize these conditions had actual names. I always just said I was half awake and half asleep. I’m not sure if my hallucinations come as I fall asleep (hypnagogia) or as I wake up (hypnopompic). Either way it sucks.

I used to have this happen a lot when I was much younger. It happened off and on over the years, especially during periods of great stress. It hasn’t happened for a long time, but last night was terrible!

The most common hallucination I would have when younger was that I am in bed but not really asleep or awake. I am looking in my room and am aware I’m not really sleeping. But, I can’t move or make a sound. I feel someone/something crawl into my bed and hug me very tightly. I can barely breath and I actually smell this thing! I know it’s evil. I wake suddenly and it takes a long time to shake off the feeling. I had a lot of sleepless nights from this. Another one was a giant spider in my room, slowly advancing and I couldn’t do a thing about it.

Last night was different. I am not really able to move and I am staring towards the bedroom door. The room is pretty dark, but I can still see an outline of what looks like a skinny man. The shadow man is much darker than the room and it is clear. He/she/whatever slowly approaches me. The arms are so thin and the fingers are long with claws at the end. Suddenly, a blindingly bright light is flashing in my face and that startles me out of the trance. It happened three times between 12:30am and 3:00am. I tried to stay awake but would start to doze off and it would happen. I was so upset after the third time that I made myself get up and didn’t try to sleep again.

I am going to have to do whatever I can to not think too much about this or tonight might not be much better. I have a headache today and I am so tired. I am hoping for a better night tonight!

The 2am Food Call

A letter to our cat, Tony.

Dear Tony,

I love you. I have to start with that. But you do test my limits at times. You push all the buttons! Did you know that 2 am is not breakfast time? No, not 3 am or even 4 am! You need to stop screaming at my door and scratching on it! And just because I don’t get up at those horrid times to feed you doesn’t mean you try to get Chris or Beck up, either! I know you are hungry, but try to go back to sleep or chase pretend mice or something.

Also, when I do open my door, please don’t be laying right there on the carpet. Your coloring is so close to the carpet color that my blurry and exhausted eyes don’t always see you in time. You weigh like 10 pounds and my 140 pounds tromping on your ribs is not a great way to start the day. I don’t want to crush you!

Yes, I see your adorable squinted eyes staring up adoringly at me. I want you to stop doing that in the middle of the night, too! Why? Because you wake me up at 2 am and if I try to shoo you away, you give me those eyes and I can’t be angry at you! I need to be angry at you at 2 am.

Your cooperation on these matters is greatly appreciated.