I have hallucinations with my sleep.
I’ve had them as a teenager, a couple of times per year, and now more frequent. More complicated. More worse.
Last night with the storm raging around my flat I decided I should plug up my ears. I don’t like doing that because the plugs hurt my ears when I wear them too often and it causes me to have stronger reactions to softer sounds the longer I wear them. I think I get more sensitive to sounds if I shield myself from it too much. That said, I do really need them when the BF snores (because that hurts my ears without the plugs). And last night, with the storm.
I know from experience that wind and stormy sounds trigger my falling-asleep-sound-hallucinations. I start to fall asleep and then suddenly, this noise happens and I think someone has broken my window and tries to get inside, when in reality, none of that happened. Just the wind blowing. These falling-asleep-hallucinations often consist of only sound. I think I hear someone call my name (my mother or my BF) and I wake up with a shock. Sometimes I think I hear the doorbell or the dog bark. Occasionally I feel someone tucking me in.
Last night threw in some interesting twists. I had the standard window-breaking and people yelling things at me. Actual yelling, I did not like that. And also someone or something shaking my bed. That hasn’t happened before, my brain seems to get more creative the less I believe.
I’ve had auditory hallucinations at least three out of the past seven nights, maybe four. I don’t remember, I should write it down.
I haven’t had any sleep paralysis with the really nasty hallucinations and I think those didn’t happen because I wear a sleep-mask. The nasty ones include Gollum on the ceiling (I don’t wear rings so why on earth would he stalk me…), someone in my closet, someone on my desk / chair. I wear the sleep-mask and I don’t see it when I wake up. But I still sometimes think someone got into my room. Without seeing them I just lie there, breathing, telling myself to wake up, trying to wiggle my fingers because they can’t see that and they won’t know I’ve woken up. Of course, by the time I can wiggle my fingers I have actually completely woken up and won’t find anyone in my room. If I don’t wear the mask, I’ll see them. I will blink my eyes and tell myself in my head to wake up. The blinking doesn’t really help, except for signalling myself I am sort of awake. Not entirely. I will try to speak or move, but can’t, and when I can, the person (or creature) has disappeared.
At first, these hallucinations scared me a lot, especially combined with the not being able to move. After a while I learned to check the dog. If I couldn’t hear her bark or react, or see that she kept on sleeping, I knew that I imagined it. That I just had to wake up more. They got less scary.
And then my brain adapted, by throwing in extra things. Whenever I can’t see the dog, I get these thoughts that ‘they’ killed the dog. Or I feel more things moving around on the bed. Or I feel like someone tries to choke me, even though I don’t see them near me. Sometimes I don’t see them at all but I can clearly feel a presence on or near me. Touching me.
But if I can see the dog, and see her sleeping, I know I have to ride it out. Keep breathing and try to wake up.