My therapist was wrong – By mousefuneral
From ages 14 to about 16 I was going through a really tough time with mental illness and had just started therapy and trying to find medications that worked for me. I was constantly stressed out and paranoid, especially at night. I would have sleep paralysis about five times a week. Every night I dreaded going to bed.
As you may know, it’s very common for people to see things during sleep paralysis.
For me, there were four or five reoccurring “people” (if you could even call them that) that would appear. The one that was the most frightening to me, though, was a man with stumps for legs that would “walk” across my floor on his hands. He would always start out in my closet before making his way towards me. He was slow, and maintained eye contact with me the entire time. As he got closer, a loud, almost deafening sound, similar to static on a television, would fill my head and my body would begin to cramp and ache all over.
It was excruciating.The pain would become overwhelming as he approached my bed, but I couldn’t shout or call out for help, or sit up to try to massage it out. All I could do was lay there until it was over.
I’m not quite sure what would happen, but every time he started to reach and put his hands on my mattress to pull himself up, I would wake up. I don’t remember ever closing my eyes or trying to snap out of it. It was the most bizarre thing. One second he was right beside me, rotten hands reaching so close to my face that I swear I could smell them, the next I was sitting bolt upright in bed, gasping for breath and crying for my mom, my entire body sore and ears ringing. I had decided not to tell her the specifics of what I saw. I’m not quite sure why, I just didn’t want to talk about him in my house. I felt like he would know, and that it would give him power or something like that.
But, as I said, I was struggling with my mental health at the time. My therapist told me sleep paralysis wasn’t uncommon in people with anxiety disorders, and the man and other figures I saw were a manifestation of my negative thoughts and paranoia. I got my medication under control and began to work things out. I was slowly getting better. Eventually the sleep paralysis stopped (though I still get frequent nightmares).
I wish I could say the man was left behind with my sick, struggling teenage self. That, however, is not the case.
I am now 20 years old. I hadn’t seen the man in about four years. I’d almost forgotten about him, until a few weeks ago.
I’d had a bad dream the night before and was in my mom’s room, watching tv as she slept. My mom has always talked in her sleep, often saying funny things that I tease her about the next day. So when I heard her mumbling beside me, I decided to try to get her to have a conversation, thinking it would be something silly we could laugh about in the morning.
I was wrong.
“What did you say?” I’d asked her, leaning in closer to hear her better.
“I don’t want him in here.” she told me.
She rolled over and said something that made my stomach lurch,
“The man in my closet. He’s not got any legs.”