Working On Us.

It’s week #4 of Working On Us at

Beckie’s Mental Mess

and I’m very happy to participate in this prompts series for the second time. Last week, I was answering the questions for prompt #1, but this time, I found prompt #2 really relatable. It’s a photo prompt, so I couldn’t actually see it, but Beckie described it and the image of a brain inside of a bird cage really spoke to me. I suppose I should include the photo in my post somehow, but since I have no clue how to do it, and am blind, so don’t need to have a clue about pics haha, I’ll just leave it as it is.

I was thinking about that prompt a lot last evening and thought I would make some piece of creative writing but since I don’t feel very creative at the moment it’ll just be a bit of a ramble.

I’ve been fascinated by brain for years, and it’s one of my main interests. But it’s not only that why I found this prompt so relatable. I could say I often feel as if my brain was locked in a bird cage, and unable to get out, just never thought about such a metaphor before. What does it feel like when your brain is locked in a brain cage? For me, among other things, it means difficulty in releasing emotions, there’s no way to get them out, whether you want it or not. Your brain fills up until it’s all full and all the feelings are one big mishmash, so that sometimes you don’t even know what you feel any longer. Things get mixed up, until finally the brain can’t contain anymore, and things start to leak out. But instead of leaking outside in a proper way, instead of being expressed, they spill all over the cage. It’s flooded with stuff that can’t be released otherwise, and the brain is swimming in all the intense feelings. That’s when overload happens, and I start feeling a lot of intense anger that gets turned inwards, so I feel like self-harming. Sometimes, when the flood is really strong, something will spill outside through the grating, but the cage is tall and thick so it’s really hard. The only way for me to get my brain out of that cage is writing. Then, the bird cage opens and it can fly out and feel more free.

Another thing that a bird cage makes me think of in the context of my brain, is the feeling of alienation, or feeling disconnected, or loneliness in the crowd, inadequacy, or however you want to call it. I like being different, and individualistic, and I like being on my own more than around other people most of the time and feel more comfy with it. But when it becomes a bird cage for my brain is when I do need to be with someone, but for whatever reason can’t make a connection with people. Sometimes it’s like you can see other people from there, but there’s no way of communicating effectively. You can only bang on the cage and hope that they will hear you, but even if they will, they usually won’t be able to help you out, or open the cage, or get close enough that you could communicate, or feel the way you feel. Even if they do get to you, you’ve been living in this cage for so long that you can’t even explain to them what it’s like, and what you need, and they won’t understand, because they live out there in the world which is so very different. So after a couple trials, you just sit in the corner of your cage and look out, watching people come and go. Sometimes they’ll glance in your direction in confusion, not understanding why you are the way you are and live in a bird cage, what’s wrong with your brain that you constantly keep it in there. As if it was your choice. Sometimes you might feel desperate, and try to jump over the cage, but that hardly ever ends up well and is risky, you can easily get hurt. Even if you do get out of there in one piece, you quickly realise that you don’t fit in, and lots of consequences come with it. And after so many years of living in a cage your brain just doesn’t know otherwise and has it hard to adjust and be just like any other brain living in the outside world. So after all, you put your brain back into the cage, voluntarily this time, ’cause a familiar enemy is worse than the one you don’t know anything about and don’t know how to deal with.

That’s the way my brain feels sometimes. Well, regularly. Again, writing, for myself or with/to others, is something that helps, to some degree, especially blogging and penpalling is what I’m thinking of.

Also, I think the bird cage analogy works very well in regards to my sleep paralysis experiences too. It feels like my brain and me are locked up in a bird cage with all my dream monsters. I can see the outside world but they don’t see me, and I can’t run away because my dream “friends” are all over me. The only thing I can do is wait for the dream cage to open and flee as soon as possible.

What’s a bird cage of your brain? How does it look like and what does it represent? πŸ™‚

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“Help!” – my short story.

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

I wanted to publish this story already a couple days ago, but I lost what I’ve written so had to rewrite almost everything. Interesting how when I write something, and then read it after a few days, I usually think it’s shitty and delete it immediately, but this time, I think that that first version I wrote was much better and vivid than this one. πŸ˜€ This one doesn’t feel quite as natural to me. I couldn’t rewrite it exactly the same way though because I didn’t have any plan or anything, the idea was very spontaneous and only based on the writing prompt from The Haunted Wordsmith.

This is the story about sleep paralysis. Mostly about the way I feel it, although the heroine is not me, I imagine her being quite different from me, and not all her experiences in relation to sleep paralysis are exactly the same. Most of them are though, or at least are based on mine, some things I made up because I thought they were very likely to happen in a sleep paralysis episode. My “Ian” is very similar to hers, although it’s not his name. Melanie’s dreams, hallucinations and thought processes are more logical and understandable and relatable for an outsider than mine are in sleep paralysis.

Also, while I have a lot of the same experiences with other people who have sleep paralysis, not all of them are the same – well, I guess that’s the thing with all conditions that everyone experiences them differently (is sleep paralysis a condition actually?), but some of the differences I experience seem to be a rare thing as I’ve never heard about anyone else having them, also I believe some other things I deal with, including, as I call it, my “sensory” anxiety (I don’t have a better name for it) seem to complicate my sleep paralysis. Many people who have sleep paralysis say they have a full consciousness during it and are often aware of their surroundings, their mind is fully awake, only their body is asleep and they have hallucinations. For me it’s usually different, I either have partial consciousness, or I’m only aware that I’m dreaming, or I’m conscious of what’s going on around only at some moments and not the other, or I have a wild mix of reality and dream which I am not able to distinguish, with dozens of false awakenings usually, which can be very very creepy and realistic as in Melanie’s. It’s not always that intense as melanie’s, sometimes I am able to wriggle out of there by accident, use my consciousness and evoke a more positive dream at least for a while, you know as in lucid dreaming but it doesn’t work long term and it’s still all pretty murky and creepy and I have to be in control of the dream all the time which is not always possible, or I can move my toe or something and then it’s over. But it’s very often very intense and I’m not quite as resilient as Melanie to get over it within a few hours if it is intense, the anxiety usually lingers for days for me and can be very bad at times.

My sleep paralysis is always very difficult to describe for me, first because it just feels so evasive and like it’s hard to find words that would make it comprehensive, but also because if I’m to talk about mine in details it can feel quite upsetting, for different reasons, so I’ve never really talked with anyone much about it other than that I have it or just had it or that it’s scary. So I thought writing that story would be an interesting way to share some of my experiences, and maybe spread some awareness, although I have no idea if it would be relatable for other people who have it. I am aware that it might feel a bit boring and repetitive at times, but sleep paralysis is no fun and you get sick of it even before it really starts, and there’s a lot of repetitiveness in it, so that’s how I feel it should be. When I was a child for a long time my sleep paralysis dreams would actually look exactly identical for years. I’m sorry for any potential linguistic shortcomings as I’m not an English native so they might happen.

If you are an easily upset and very sensitive person, or have sleep paralysis that causes you a lot of distress and you think reading about in detail could unsettle you, please be cautious or stop reading here. Hope it gives you some idea of what it’s like.

Help!

“Help!”

– Melanie shouted, begging her lungs to cooperate. But she could only hear it in her mind. Nothing came out. “Help!!! Help!!! Heeeeeeeelp!!! Help… me…!!!”. She shouted so much, that she didn’t know anymore, was it her real voice, or was it all just in her imagination? But she kept holding on to the hope that, finally, someone will hear her, they surely will, this time it will be different, someone will save her. Chris will see something is wrong, he will save her, maybe he’s right there, sleeping beside her, she just needs to wake him up, scream loud enough. Did she just hear him snoring? Or maybe it’s morning already? God, please, let it be morning, let me wake up. Lily will wake up soon, she has to go to school. “I need to wake up, I have to!” But nothing happened, except she fell deeper, and deeper, and deeper down, no matter what she did, down into the abyss of her mind, which she knew so well, but which always held so many new surprises for her. She was falling faster and faster with every second, unable to control her body, unable to stop or slow it down. Yet at the same time it felt as if she was falling like that for centuries, and was still to do that for many centuries to come. What if I never wake up? But she didn’t have any strength left, or so it felt, to shout more, or to try and go out of where she was. Besides, deep down she knew it all too well that no matter what she does, she won’t be able to stop it, if her brain decided to keep her trapped. Suddenly, the pace of her fall increased much more, and shortly after she reached her destination, falling hard at the bottom of the abyss with a spectacular thud. The fear gripped her throat even more tightly, and the grip tightened even more when she heard the familiar, heavy steps.

– “Aaah, so you’re already here! That’s fantastic… We haven’t seen each other in ages, right? You can’t ignore me like that.”. Before she would even manage to say anything, he fell on her heavily, pressing her to the ground. That was how it usually started. Ian wasn’t a very clever man, but he was certainly a master of suspense. Ian loved routine, but his passion was also to surprise her with something new every time, and everything she had to endure was planned to the smallest detail.

Melanie knew him since she was a very little child, but never told anyone about his existence, and the overwhelming influence he had on her and her life. He would visit her in dreams, scare her to death, leaving repugnant signs of his presence scattered all over her brain. Then he would sometimes leave her alone for weeks, months, sometimes even years. ANd just when she thought she’s cleared up her mind of him, and that she’s free from him, or that she has found a strategy to deal with him and avoid him, he would come back. And with time, she has just gotten used to it, even though the fear never disappeared.

One day when she was a young girl, one of her teachers said something that stayed with her: “We are most scared of what we don’t have a name for. Once we name it, we feel more familiar with it, it feels known, and we aren’t so frightened anymore”. And so, Melanie decided to name him Ian. But it didn’t change anything. The fear was the same.

And now she laid there, with him on top of her, strangling her with one paw and fingering, or rather “clawing” her skin with the other, breathing loudly and yelling insults in her face, threatening her in all the ways he could come up with. His “crew” surrounded them, making eerie, wailing sounds. Someone tied Melanie’s hands and legs so that she was unable to move at all, unable to fight or escape. She felt as if the walls were closing down on her, about to fall down right on her, and the atmosphere of this place was seething with fear, hatred and everything was covered in sinister, impermeable darkness. Ian’s “crew” presented her with all sorts of scary visions, sounds and sensations. In a blink of an eye she saw her father being killed with premeditation, and shouting for help, she knew he could see her, but she wasn’t able to help him out, she was grounded. She saw her house being bombarded in a spectacular way, and then her daughter, Lily, standing beside her mother’s bed and crying over her dead body. She wanted to tell her she’s not dead, she wanted to scream, to console the poor child, but she couldn’t. She could no longer recognise whether it was truth, “just” a dream, or maybe something yet different. All that, and countless other things, she saw as in a flashlight, yet each of those visions looked like in slow motion at the same time. she could hear the strangest and most scary sounds echoing in the abyss, sounding distant yet piercing her ears at the same time. Those were Ian’s “crew”. They imitated voices of people from her life, said scary and cruel things to her in situations that felt as realistic as it was only possible, so she didn’t know anymore what’s real and what’s not. They played with her memories, reviving them, editing them so that they looked sinister. Once in a while, a loud, crazy laughter echoed in the distance. Scary shadows creeped around the ceiling, was it the ceiling of her room, or of her mind’s abyss, she didn’t know. They danced before her eyes, whispering, singing and making unnatural, unhuman noises. Everything was spinning, her body felt numb and floaty, her limbs jerking, her mind foggy. Her mind was all covered in a black, smooth veil, that didn’t let her feel anything other than fear. Her rational mind was switched off and locked away, where she couldn’t reach it. Fear was the only emotion she was allowed and able to feel. And it consumed her whole, not knowing any boundaries. She had no control over it.

Despite being grounded, and unable to move, Melanie tried to fight desperately, to push Ian off herself. Deep down she knew it was a waste of time, because the more she fought, the deeper they both fell down, and the more she was sucked in the dream, but it was an instinct that was stronger than her, and driven by fear. Ian loved when she did it. “Fight as much as you want” – he said one time, with his unnerving grin – “I’ll always win anyway.”.

Somehow, despite being barely able to breathe, move or do anything, she managed to push Ian off herself. As soon as that happened, the ties on her limbs fell down and she got up immediately. Now they started real fighting. With Ian, trying to knock her off again, and herself, trying to run away, or at least keep herself up, to hurt him if possible. The ground beneath her feet felt unsteady, and she felt Ian’s breath on her back all the time. Everything was against her. She was exhausted, and knew she couldn’t keep like that anymore, her body was giving up, soon she’ll be on the ground again. Ian’s “crew” stood around, looking at the battlefield with their soulless, transfixed eyes, yelling “Ian! Ian! Ian!” on top of their voices, as if supporting him. As they fought, the ground under their feet started to transform into sticky mud, that was growing deeper and deeper. Wading through it, Melanie was barely able to move her legs. Finally… it had to happen. Ian knocked her off. She fell down, head into the mud, and as soon as that happened, the mud changed into a stormy sea. The waves crashed erratically, roaring deafeningly and throwing her around like a ball. She could hear Ian’s voice far away, his sinister laughter, silent, but carrying through the water. She fought against the waves with all her might, all the strength she still had. She swam, not knowing where, just to e far away from Ian, and not to sink. Yet it was increasingly difficult. The fear gripped her tighter and tighter, pulling her in the water. “I want an end to this. When will I wake up? Chris! Chris, please help me!”. She screamed and screamed, didn’t even know what, just screamed, in hopes someone from the outside world will finally hear her voice. “Lily! Lily! Come here! Someone help me!!!”. but soon her body succumbed into the water.

She lied there for a long time, her body covered by the water and washed over by the waves, that have calmed down a little. That was better than having to fight all the time. She wouldn’t even mind dying there, or so she felt, but somehow, despite she sank, it didn’t happen. After a while of lying there, she noticed that the water was flowing away, faster and faster. Not much long after, she realised that she’s now on a shallow, her hands touching the sand. From the overwhelmingly big, scary sea, or perhaps even an ocean, this strange body of water suddenly changed into something smaller than a lake. She stood up, and came out to the land, disoriented and weak…

“Mummy! Mummy! Did you call me? What happened?” – suddenly, she saw Lily standing by her bed, worried.

“Oh, nothing, sweetie. I just couldn’t wake up. – she said, laughing nervously, hystericaly, as she thought, at the ridiculousness of her own words.

“Don’t be silly mummy. You wouldn’t call me if you were asleep.” – Lily grinned. Melanie hugged her, breathing in her smell and feeling thankful for the dream to be over. But why did she still feel so floaty and foggy, and so fearful?

“I just had a very long dream.” – she said.

“Oh, Lucky you! I love long, long dreams! It’s so nice to dream and dream and dream, and dream, and dream, and dream… and dream… and dream… and dream… and… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… dream… …” – Lily’s voice suddenly multiplied, echoing around the room, and sounded very unnatural. But where was Lily, actually? One moment she saw her daughter right beside her, and the next there was no sign of her at all. Or maybe it was Melanie who disappeared? It felt much more likely, as she found herself feeling floaty again. Drifting through something as soft as cotton wool. It would feel as a gentle fly, if not the fact that she could feel falling lower and lower, and she knew she would inevitably fall to the ground. With every “dream” her body lowered and fell deeper, and deeper, and deeper down, her mind fell deeper into some strange kind of trance, every single “dream” sucking her into one more eternity of sleep. Her body felt like a ton of bricks, and as if it was weightless at the same time…

Thud! “Yes, you bloody bitch. Now you’ll really have a very long dream. You like to dream, and dream, and dream, don’t you?” – Ian asked her, in his slow, deep, unnaturally calm voice. “He’s not right. It’s just a dream, I wil wake up. I will. I will. I just need to try hard enough”.

The story repeated again, with some additional surprises to the mix, just as Ian liked it. Tons of horrific visions, sounds and sensations that she no longer new to which world they belong – were they the reality, or “just” a dream – raced through her mind.

“Enough of it!” – she cried in her thoughts. “I have to wake up!”. “I need to! I don’t even know what time it is. Someone help me out of here.” In the midst of all the havoc she was going through, the ground started spinning even more under her, so did the ceiling. A big, dark hole opened a milimetre beside her arm, and started to suck her in. The crazy floating started all over again. Melanie yelled for helpfor all she was worth, yet again, no sounds came out of her mouth. She screamed, and screamed and screamed, and again, finally reached the ground, which felt like her own bed. Melanie looked around in disbelief. Was she finally awake? It did look like her own room. She tried making a sound, move her body, and succeeded. Or did she? She knew all too well that what feels true, doesn’t always have to be. It could be as well that her imagination was playing tricks on her. She still felt dizzy from the dream, and completely horrified and disoriented. “Chris?” – her hand searched for the pillow next to hers in the darkness of the bedroom. But Chris wasn’t there. There was only darkness around, but that Chris wasn’t there meant that it’s probably early enough to get up. “Lily?” – she called out, and immediately heard the sound of her daughter’s feet patting on the stairs.

“At last! You woke up, mummy. I’m already late for school. I was wondering why you’re sleeping so long.”

“Oh, really? Is it so late?”

“I guess very late. The sun is up.” – Lily didn’t know how to tell the time yet, and this was the only way she could do it. Melanie reached for her phone, to see what exactly the time was.Β  Although the relief has been rushing through her body, she still felt very strong consequences of her dream, her body still felt numb, her mind foggy, and the world was spinning. She was more tired than when she went to bed, and didn’t like the perspective of getting up and out of the house. And the fear was still crippling, she needed time to pick herself up. But she must have been felt even worse than she thought, because suddenly she realised she can’t unlock her phone. Well, she was sure that unless something happened to her brain, her password had to be correct, she was using the same gesture for ages, so maybe the phone was broken…? Phew, finally, the phone started to cooperate. Her wallpaper was changed, and some of the settings appeared to be different than how she usually had everything set up, but oh well, the phone was old, and yeah, Lily was playing games on it yesterday so maybe she did something to it accidentally. When she looked at the clock though, she was even more amazed and concerned about her sanity. The hour was changing! All the time. When she looked at it once, it would show 5 PM (way too late to go to school, let alone wake up), then 2 AM, then 6:30 AM, etc. etc. sometimes the hours were really out there, like 111:35, and weird things would appear on the screen next to them. Melanie panicked slightly – she knew all too well from her dreams that the numbers Ian seemed to always like were 111 and 35, they were symbolic for him in her dreams. “Really, Mel, pick yourself together!” – she thought. – “You have a nightmare and you go crazy. Something’s wrong with the phone, that’s all.”

“OK, darling, let’s have a quick breakfast then.” – she said, slowly getting up and battling the fog. Whatever the hour was, something to eat would be a good idea.

She got dressed, wondering when she’ll start to feel normal and more energised. She still felt like one leg in Dreamland. And the fear, the fear was still there. No smaller than at the beginning. She made breakfast for them both, which tasted like soap, still feeling unsafe and wishing that Chris hadn’t gone to work yet. She did a quick make-up, made sure Lily had everything she needed in her schoolbag, and they both went out. Melanie was a fit and healthy woman, an avid swimmer,and tried her best to live healthily. Therefore Lily’s school, being only 5 minutes away from their house, was never a problem for her to get to. Many parents having a similar distance would take their offspring to school every day by car, and were astonished seeing Melanie and Lily walking all the way even in the rain if there was a more comfortable alternative and taking less time and effort. But today, this short walk felt like an eternity to her. The ground under her feet was spinning, and felt as it was about to crack and consume her, she felt unsteady, barely able to catch her breath, fear rushing through her veins. Somehow she finally reached the school though, left Lily in the class, and slowly went back home. The way home was even more difficult, without a little, warm hand squeezing her hand. As she approached her house, she shakingly took out the key, warily opened the door, and not even thinking much about it, peeped in the house before coming in, as she supposed someone would be there. She couldn’t see anyone or anything, so came in, and through the dimly lit hall, not really knowing where she was going or where she should go. Her feet carried her upstairs to her room. She opened the door, and again, peeped in cautiously before coming in. She closed the door behind herself, and only then she saw…

There he was… Sprawled on her bed, with his legs stretched out, he laid on her bed, grinning appalingly at her. “God, I’m still dreaming! Or is he real”. The floor under her feet, feeling more and more unsteady, finally didn’t manage the pressure of her feet. She fell. ONce again. “God, can you help me? Will this ever stop? And if it will, how will I know it’s real? How can I know that when I don’t know when I’m awake, and when I’m dreaming? I already am not sure. Maybe it’s just a fucking psychosis.” – she thought in panic. Melanie was by no means a religious person. She didn’t have anything against any religion, and did believe that there is some God, although she never thought much about him, other than optimistically hoping he’s good, and doing all that He can to care for the world, and has a good plan to come out even from the worst things that happen to people, and that one day after she dies, maybe she’ll see Him, and be happy in some celestial, glossy new world with her family, and this enigmatic God being something like a good grandpa figure for her. She didn’t have a habit of praying though, and didn’t really feel it. And now, as she was trying to pray, so desperately, she couldn’t. She couldn’t find any words, neither of the prayers she learnt from her grandmother as a child, nor could she pray with her own words. Her mind was blank.

Let’s spare you the details of yet another episode of the neverending series of Melanie’s encounters with Ian. It’ll be enough to say that during that short time, she endured dying in a plane crash (by falling out of its window all the way through to the ground without a parachute), her legs being cut off by her own mother, who threatened to kill her if she’ll ever tell anyone who did it to her (no, Melanie’s real mother wasn’t a sociopath, just a tiny, cuddly, elegant lady, full of smiles and gracefulness, which made the execution the more spooky, to Ian’s pleasure), and seeing deformed corpses wandering around her kitchen and eating random stuff right out of her fridge. Melanie wasn’t a squeamish or oversensitive person. She was a very down-to-earth lady, working as a sales assistant, and, in normal circumstances, was always calm, collected and level-headed. In normal circumstances, she’d probably laugh it off, but with that black veil covering her mind, the atmosphere of the abyss of her mind, and Ian’s presence, which always freaked her out just by itself, the fear was unbearable.

“Mel! Mel! Wake up sleepy head, I’ve made pancakes for you!” – Chris called out cheerfully, standing in their bedroom door. “Have some good piece of news for you.”

Melanie felt a bit surprised. She couldn’t complain about Chris. He was always very caring and loving for her, but making pancakes for her, that wasn’t very like him. Suddenly, not thinking much about what she was doing, Melanie sprang out of bed, and ran right into Chris’s arms, who was now looking very astonished and worried, as she was sobbing and shaking uncontrollably.

“Oh dear, what’s happened?” – he brought her back on the bed, sat her on his knees and hugged her, running his fingers through her hair. Melanie desperately wanted to get rid of the fog sticking to her brain. SHe felt sluggish and weak, but wanted to share with Chris her dark secret. She never did before. “You know… I have those bad dreams…” – she said hesitantly. – “Yeah? And you had one now?”. – – “Yes. It was so… so creepy.”.

A weird thing then happened. Melanie felt as if at this moment, Chris could see what it was like for her. Look into her brain. See all the horrors she’s been through as clearly as if he experienced them himself, with the exact intensity. And she knew he understood. After a long while, he just said: “Now I see. I just wish you told me earlier. We will do something about it, together we’ll do that I promise.”. It sounded so reassuring. So doable. That she started sobbing all over again. “But I have a good news for you. A little surprise. I want to invite you to a ball today. My company is organising it and we can come with our family members. You remember? We were there last year too, weren’t we?” –

“Oh, really! Today? This is a surprise indeed!” – said Melanie, happy that something will distract her from what happened at night, and that her relationship with Chris suddenly looks so much better than ever, so much more harmonious. She was just a bit worried about her condition. She felt weak, wiped out and really not the best. Oh well, it will wear off until the evening, won’t it?

It didn’t, but as they were entering the exquisite hall, that was changed into the colourful and elegant ballroom for the night, Melanie tried her best to distract from the inner feeling of insecurity and fear lurking in every corner of her brain. She had Chris. There were loads of people. Many were their friends. SHe’ll have fun. It’ll be OK.

She danced with Chris, his one colleague, then another, then his boss, feeling more and more dizzy with each dance. The bright lights and loud music were really unsettling for her. THey felt really aggressive. “I guess I’m getting older.” – she said to Chris with a giggle, telling him that she doesn’tΒ  feel well. “You just have to relax. You’re too stressed out by your work. I told you many times you’re going to suffer from it.” – “Maybe you’re right”. – she sighed, unconvinced. And just as she did it, she felt her heart sinking. She automatically looked in the direction of the entrance. She could barely contain her fear. “How can a real person look like that… I must be going crazy.”. She came closer to Chris, who was now chatting to one of his colleagues. “Chris?!” – she said, and he must have heard the urgency and panic in her voice as he apologised to the colleague and took her aside. “What’s the matter?”

“Did you see that man, the one who just came in?”

“Which one?” – Chris appeared slightly confused. “The one in red. He’s all in red.” – she uttered feeling a lump in her throat. How come everyone didn’t notice him? He looked so overwhelming, so different, his eyes so evil, how could people not see it? And why was he here? Melanie desperately wanted to believe it’s just someone looking very similar. “Ah, yeah, I see.” – Chris said after a moment. “What’s the problem with him?” “What’s the problem?!” – Melanie thought in panic. “He… he looks like… him… you know… like… like him” “What him?” – asked Chris, a slight hint of impatience in his voice. “Him!” – Melanie felt tears filling her eyes. The connection that was between them not long ago has gone now. “The… the guy from my dream? Do you know him?” “No, Mel, I’m afraid I can’t read in your dreams, I don’t know who you’re talking about.” “I’m asking if you know this man!” – she said, exasperated. “Hmmm… guess not, can’t remember him, and he’s quite characteristic, but it’s possible I’ve seen him somewhere, there are so many people milling around here every day. Maybe you know him too, and that’s why he looks so familiar to you.” “Maybe. I don’t want to talk to him anyway. i don’t want to talk to anyone. Can we go now? I feel completely shattered” “Don’t be silly, honey, we’ve been here only for two hours, we can’t go out just yet. Maybe go out and get some fresh air in. I’ll be with you in a moment, I need to the loo”. Melanie thought it was actually a good idea. She’ll go out and won’t have to look at that man, whoever he was. She can always call a taxi and go home on her own if she feels really scared. But first of all, what’s the reason to be so scared? Just because he looks like Ian? It wasn’t like her, she tried to rationalise, but her mind wouldn’t listen. The fear rose with every second.

She gasped for air when she came out on the balcony. For some reason, she felt constantly out of breath since she woke up. Just like she did in her nightmares. She gratefully appreciated the cold, brisk wind blowing in her face. There were a couple other people on the balcony, whom she didn’t know, mostly smoking their cigarettes, and one woman whispered nervously to someone on the phone. As she stood there, looking at the sky, she suddenly heard the door opening and someone else came out on the balcony. She turned around, expecting that it was Chris who came out of the loo, but it was one of his colleagues’ wife – Ellen. – Both her and her husband were occasional guests at their house, so Melanie knew her a bit and although never particularly liked, always admired her for her style and wit.

“Oh, hello, Melanie.” – she said, smiling politely only with her mouth. “We were looking for you and I thought you may be here.” Only when Ellen said “we” did Melanie noticed that there was a man accompanying her, whom she just glanced at and thought it was Ellen’s husband. She wondered what they might want from her. The only contact they had with her so far was through Chris, with Jim being his colleague and friend, and there really wasn’t much apart from their social connections that Melanie and Ellen had in common. “Turns out we have the same friend, Ian told me he knows you.” Hearing the name “Ian” Melanie jumped up as if someone pricked her with a pin. “You know Ian?” – she asked, feeling all the blood going down to her feet

“Oh of course I do! He’s my long time friend! But I’d better go, Jim doesn’t like me to disappear at parties for too long” – she giggled, and went back to the hall with the click-clack of her stilettoes. Ian heavily placed his hand, or paw, or however he prefers to call his extremities only he knows, covered in a velvet, red glove on Melanie’s shoulder, which she felt like a flame burning through her skin.

“Do you understand it now?” – he asked, slowly, calmly, quietly, scarily, in his deep, low voice. “Do you understand that I’m with you all the time?”

“No you’re not! You’re just a dream!!!”

“I know Ellen. She’s not a dream. And I will gladly get to know everyone that will give me the access to you anytime I want. Now will you go back with me where you should be now, or do I have to convince you?”

“I won’t do anything you want from me!”

“We’ll see.” – he just said, and laughed cynically. “We’ll ask Chris if he needs you, and if he doesn’t I’ll take you with me. I don’t want him to be jealous” – he laughed again, it was a dry, unpleasant sound. He dragged her into the hall, and found Chris, who was just happily chatting away with Ellen. If Melanie’s ability to feel anything else than fear wasn’t muffled at the time, she’d probably kill Ellen with anger and frustration, not caring for the consequences. Not only had she now her dream enemy – Ian – but also Ellen, who was real, who was happy to leave her with this monster and then spend the time happily with her husband, who was unaware of anything.

“Nice to meet you, Chris.” – Ian said, trying his best to smile. “Would you have something against me taking your wife for a short walk outside? We are old friends and I’m so happy to see her here again, so many years have passed…”

“Of course you can if you want” – Chris said happily. Chris. The one who was always so jealous about her even simply hanging out with other men. Now, when she needed him, he was happy to leave her with Ian, and would rather spend time with Ellen. “Chris! Please, don’t let him!” – she said. But there was no Chris, no ELlen, no ballroom, only darkness and fear. And herself falling down… and deeper down… There was even no Ian.

She was falling like that for a good while, and then fell down with a thud again, but falling on to something smooth, and not as violently as usual, her limbs jerking at the same time.

She slowly opened her eyes. The morning sun was cheerfully peeking through the window, but to her it felt unbearably bright. She felt as if she had a hangover. The room felt hot, her whole body sticky with sweat all over her skin, yet shaking and feeling chilly at the same time. Her head was throbbing, her ears ringing, heart racing, lungs gasping for breath, she felt dizzy, foggy and floaty… a very familiar feeling. Now she knew. She had sleep paralysis again. She felt so exhausted, that she would most happily close her eyes and fall asleep again. But she couldn’t. He would wait right there to get her in his claws again. But was she truly awake? Wasn’t it another false awakening? How can she know that? Melanie looked around paranoid as if she expected someone to be lurking in the corner of the room or behind the courtain, holding her breath. She couldn’t see anyone. battling the feeling of drowsiness, she sat up in bed. And she sat there, staring in the ceiling and not knowing for how long, the scenes of her dream replaying in her mind. When she finally felt strong enough to get up, she looked at the clock. It was only 7:30 AM. THe hour wasn’t changing, so she could hope she was indeed in the real world right now. Deep down she knew it, but she needed time to believe in it and feel sure. She found a small piece of paper on her bedside cabinet. “I took Lily to school. I was awake and you seemed to sleep so heavily and blissfully I didn’t want to wake you up. Chris x”. Melanie flinched. How was it possible someone could think she slept heavily and blissfully? Once more she realised there was no one who could help her out of those dreams other than herself. And how long could that dream last? Maybe 30 minutes, not much more. And she had experienced so much in this short time. It felt creepy.She had experiences from her past sleep paralysis episodes where she could see Chris getting up, or going into the room, and she would yell for help, but he wouldn’t hear her.

She went to the bathroom right away, and had a very cold shower, to get rid of the sweat, the headache and the fog around her brain. Only then she was able to really believe that the dream was over, and she was safe now. She wanted to believe it, despite the dream felt so bloody real.

She went back to her room to get dressed and make the bed, then to the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea and something to eat, then back to the bathroom to brush her teeth and hair, etc… And everywhere she went, she turned the lights on, so that soon the whole house was lit up. She felt like a child, scared of monsters lurking in the darkness under the bed. She constantly looked around as if she supposed someone was observing her. This too needed time to pass. Despite that sometimes she felt that if she was going to have such dreams often enough, at some point she will truly believe they are real.

Thankfully, it was Wednesday, meaning that she wouldn’t have to go to work until the afternoon. She knew that until then, she’ll recover, she will have to. She can’t go around looking like a frightened hare at work. She has gotten used to her sleep paralysis dreams, this one was just long and particularly difficult, but she will get over it.

And – of course – she did. Melanie’s clients and colleagues would never believe that only last night she spent ages fighting her worst enemy, and never knew when she will see him again. Therefore, she was trying to make the most of all the time she had in between. And not to believe all the bullshit he was telling and showing her. because as long as she didn’t believe it, he couldn’t win.

 

Question of the day.

How do you sleep? Side, stomach, or back?

My answer:

I’m normally used to sleep on my left side, like it’s a sort of default sleep position for me, and once I read an article saying that sleeping on the left side is good for your brain, that in some way it can help you get rid of the toxins…? something like that, so thanks to this you can help your cognitive functions. While I couldn’t really gather how those two things could be connected, and found it quite funny, of course as a big brain freak I was happy, first to know that, and second, that I already do that so won’t have to learn to sleep in a different position. πŸ˜€ Even if I didn’t treat it fully seriously, I can do a lot to keep my brain fit so why not. However, recently, like in the last two years or so my sleep paralysis has gotten a bit worse, or at least much more frequent and way more creepy anyway, so although it’s always been a downright scary experience for me and affecting me sometimes for days on end, I normally didn’t care much about it, and for a long time I didn’t even know what it is, when it has worsened and I got sick of it I started to look into it for ways to alleviate it somehow. And among other things I read that the likelihood of sleep paralysis, as well as other of those lucid dream experiences is increased for everyone when you sleep on your back, it’s most likely then, and the second position in which you’re most likely to get sleep paralysis is to sleep on your left side, and it looked like sleeping on the right side is the safest in terms of this. I really didn’t think that for me there was any strong connection between the position in which I sleep and sleep paralysis – quite the opposite, if I ever had to lie in bed during the day for any reason and was afraid of falling into sleep paralysis, I would lie on my back because then I felt like I was less likely to fall asleep. – I can’t fall asleep on my back usually, unless I’m really exhausted or really close to sleep paralysis anyway, I think it’s not the most comfortable position and I admire my Dad who had to go through a heart surgery a couple years ago, and was in very long recovery during which he wasn’t allowed to sleep in any other position than on the back, which wasn’t how he usually slept. I actually wondered how he can do that and sleep well, or if, maybe I should say. Anyway, he’s gotten used to it so much that he sleeps this way all the time now. But even though I never associated my sleep paralysis with sleeping in any particular position, sleeping on the back always felt sort of unsafe to me for some reason. and in my sleep paralysis dreams I often think that I’m lying on my back which makes it easier for my sleep friends to deal with me and makes me feel everything more intensely. But after some observation I realised that, OK, maybe for me it’s not like I have sleep paralysis in one position and don’t have in the other, but if I do happen to fall into sleep paralysis while lying on my back, it’s way more creepy and intense than when I’m lying on my right side. Same about the left and the right side, although the difference is not as strong. Sometimes when I would fall asleep feeling that I have it almost guaranteed that this time I’ll have sleep paralysis, I managed to avoid it because I slept on the right side. So I still do have it, and as regularly as before, sometimes I do have very creepy stuff, but overall it’s less intense. I usually like to sleep curled up with my legs bent, I have lots of pillows in my bed for different purposes hahaha, and I sleep on two of them, usually with my one hand under one of them, and if Misha’s with me we hold each other’s hands and paws until we both fall asleep and this way we sleep the best. I don’t know how people can fall asleep on their stomach either, it feels very uncomfortable to me for a longer time, but my brother sleeps in this position most often and likes it and he says he has very cool dreams when he sleeps this way, so maybe I should try. πŸ˜€ Not that I suffer from lack of nice dreams, I tend to usually have very vivid dreams, no matter whether nice or not, so when they are nice, they are twice as nice because I can remember lots of details. But it would always be cool to have more of them.

What is your favourite position to sleep in? πŸ™‚

River.

River. I like this word in English. River is one of my favourite nature baby names for both genders. I would never use it, but it’s very interesting. And I like rivers in general. I like to hear them lapping, I like to dip my feet into a river. We have a river running through our backyard. As you may remember from my earlier posts, because we have the river running through our backyard, and because our street is literally called Acacia Street, we named our house, even if it’s not common in Poland, and its name is Acacia River.

And I like how this word is versatile and can give a lot of space for your imagination.

I can say that my mind is a river – of neverending thoughts, dreams and memories. They can be calm and gentle one minute, I can hear its waters splashing peacefully and playfully, I often let the water carry me wherever it wants, and sometimes would like to never have to come back from wherever it brings me to. Because the river of my mind can bring me to some very nice, interesting places, where I could never be otherwise. I happily drift at its waves, immersing myself in the water, which feels so very smooth and calm, and I am happy to play in it like a child.

The next minute though, it can become very unpredictable. It’s more like a sea than a river then. I can suddenly feel there is more and more water around me, and it’s hard to get out. The splash becomes deafening, I can’t hear anything besides. The waves surround me and it’s harder and harder to fight them, IΒ  can fall over anytime. My thoughts are racing, memories overflowing, and I can’t have any control over them. My most beautiful dreams become the most dreadful nightmares which overwhelm me so that I can barely move. Sometimes, everything around gets flooded too. Once in a while, through the mad roar of waves, I can hear someone jauntily sailing by. I want to scream to them, ask them to rescue me and help me out, but I can’t. Even if I could, there’s way too much water all around, and waves are roaring, so they wouldn’t hear me. All I can do is wait. Sometimes, I feel I’m sinking and there is just no way out and will never be. I subside into the mud and the waters are closing above me, not willing to let me out. It feels scary. Even though you’re at the bottom, your darkest thoughts, saddest memories, scariest dreams, your depression and all your anxieties, they can still reach you. And now you can’t fight. So you have to wait…

Eventually, the water will always throw me ashore and let me go, which doesn’t make it less difficult and frightening, but always gives me some small glimmer of hope that it will be better.

And then, after all, things get back to normal for some shorter or longer time, and the river of my mind is peaceful and safe again, with some occasional stronger waves flooding through it, until another storm comes.

What would you compare your mind to?

If We Were Having Coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare.

Weekend Coffee Share at Eclectic Alli’s.

 

Welcome to another coffee share. We’ve had some rain today so it’s cooler (a little bit), but still I’d rather recommend ice coffee than normal hot coffee.

If we were having coffee I’d ask everyone of you how you’re doing and what’s been going on for you…

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve had a rather rough week, particularly last days of it, but I’ll get into it later on.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you it was my aunt’s 40th birthday on Monday. I supposed she’d be doing something massive as it would be quite her style but there was only a small, or relatively small, family gathering. I planned not to go and just phone her and wish her happy birthday, but eventually I decided to go because she wouldn’t answer. We aren’t really getting along too well with that aunt, despite she’s my God mother and it wasn’t always this way, I guess our personalities clash totally and in a way are too similar, but on the other hand we’re too different in other aspects at the same time. And there was a minor but quite nasty incident with her that regarded me which left me feeling quite unstable, but I got over it rather quickly since it’s rather about her issues than mine or anyone else’s.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I’ve started some collaboration with Nameberry. Don’t know yet what if anything will come out of it long term, but as you could notice I wrote a guest post for their blog. It was a lot of fun and I feel quite excited about it, and proud of myself cause I think the post is really good.

The following few paragraphs may be a bit lengthy and might feel hard or perhaps potentially triggering for someone, so if you feel uncomfortable just skip them.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I had an awful, absolutely shitty day on Thursday. I just thought my brain will explode with anxiety, even on my extra anxiety meds, it was just nuts. That night my Mum couldn’t sleep so she came to me – ’cause if anyone can’t sleep in this house it’s of course usually me so she usually comes to me when she can’t sleep and checks if I’m up too so we can share the pain haha. She took a mattress with her and said it’s very hot in her room and whether she could sleep in mine, so I agreed. There was my poor Braille-Sense charging and the light was flickering so I told her she can switch it off and she did. Then we both fell asleep and slept rather soundly. But at like 6 Braille-Sense couldn’t stand it any longer and woke us up that it wants to eat. It’s so old it literally can’t make it without a recharger, even when you don’t do anything to him, a total addict. So I jumped out of the bed to shut him up immediately. Unfortunately Mum woke up too and decided it’s time for her to get up. We chatted for a while and she went out, I still felt quite sleepy though so went back to bed. Despite sleepiness, I couldn’t fall asleep for like 15 minutes, maybe a bit more. Usually, when I wake up at night but still want to get back to sleep but the break is too long, like 30 minutes or longer, and I still can’t fall asleep, I don’t try anymore, because then I usually end up with sleep paralysis. But it was just like about 15 minutes and I definitely felt like I still could use some sleep. I guess my brain was in a rather malicious mood and it wouldn’t let me. Instead, I did fall into sleep paralysis. Sometimes it lasts longer, I can notice when I float away and with some physical and mental effort get away from there, but this time it all just happened so rapidly, plus like I said I felt sleepy so didn’t fully realise when my sleepiness turned out into floatiness and everything felt distant, gloomy. It was only when I felt that awful, huge wave of anxiety washing over me, actually filling in the atmosphere arund me, that I realised what’s going on, and it was way too late. My brain felt tired and floaty, my consciousness started to change in that weird way and my limbs felt heavy. I started to feel dizzy and slip down into the darkness with light speed, I actually never was falling so quickly before, or can’t remember.

I won’t go into details as for what happened next, I mean as for the exact content, because it’s incredibly hard to describe those, hm, “dreams”, first because it’s just all so abstractive, elusive, subjective, but also because it’s just too scary. Sometimes I feel I maybe should write about it in detail somewhere or talk to someone but it’s always too scary and way too hard to describe. But what I can tell you is that it was al full of anxiety, doom and gloom. I feel like maybe in other circumstances it wouldn’t be so scary, it’s mainly just the atmosphere of anxiety and inevitable danger around that makes it so horrifying, most of the anxiety provoking things are actually things I was very afraid of in childhood, now either not so much (in real life) or I just don’t have contact with these things anymore. These dreams are full of very anxiety provoking, aggressive sounds, don’t know if they’d sound so for everyone, but so are they for me, often with very intricate, gloomy harmonies. All those anxiety stimuli are actually weirdly personified, they’re all like real people, spirting with hatred towards me and doing everything in their might to make me feel more helpless.

Besides all those anxieties, there’s also often some plot in those dreams, often very chaotic and consisting of single, not related, scary events, although I’ve been having those dreams since very early childhood and at the beginning they were always very schematic and predictable.

I actually don’t know if it’s exactly sleep paralysis, because people who have sleep paralysis usually seem to have full consciousness, while in my case it’s like I’m half-conscious most of the time, and often things that happen in the outside world mix quite creepily with my dreams. Sometimes I am only aware that I am dreaming, or sometimes I have sort of two perspectives – one is inner where I only see what’s in my dreams, and another is where I only can see what’s on the outside, can hear the music, people talking, but obviously can’t interact or anything. Sometimes I know I am dreaming but I don’t know what’s going on on the outside and my brain makes up things that don’t happen, but are very, very, very realistic. Also, people with sleep paralysis often have a sensation that someone or something is literaly sitting on them, like they feel strong pressure which makes breathing harder. For me breathing in those dreams is often very difficult but I had this pressure only once, however I’ve had the motive of someone assailing me, knocking me off, wanting to harm me physically, not letting me move etc. But I too, like many people with this condition often feel some sense of someone’s presence before I fully fall into it and am having other sorts of delusions before it really starts. Besides those people with sleep paralysis I know of usually feel very frustrated with not being able to move, they are aware they can’t move, while I often am not aware that I can’t. I see myself doing different things in dreams, hear myself screaming, fighting with my dream “friends”, getting up, etc. while in fact nothing happens and I’m just lying. Sometimes it may be that I dream I am going to my Mum to help me, and then another creepy thing happens, making me realise I’m still at the very same dead point I was before and no one is going to help me except for myself. I dream I am turning on music on my Plextalk to get rid of the nasty sounds and the anxiety but of course since I can’t move my hands I don’t do it in reality, so either my Plextalk also is against me, or doesn’t work, or something creepy happens. Also some other things don’t look exactly like sleep paralysis but I don’t know what else it could be and still it’s incredibly similar to what I experience so that’s why I call it this way, since I didn’t know for years what it actually is, I just thought everyone’s nightmares look this way for a long time.

And what’s very characteristic to those dreams for me lately, and the most exhausting I guess, are false awakenings. I just hate them so much.

If you don’t know what a false awakening is, although I guess it’s pretty easy to guess, imagine that you sleep happily, or not happily, doesn’t matter, then you get up as every normal human being, do your morning routines, go out to work, or do whatever else, and out of the blue you realise you’ve beenΒ  in your bed all the time and it was just a dream. Incredibly realistic, with all the things you do during the day, just in the same order as you do them, with people saying normal things, the only abnormal thing being it was just a dream. And, if you’re particularly lucky and dreamy, then it can go over and over and over again. Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast… back in bed…

And so it is often for me, only that if it happens during sleep paralysis, it occurs in a very scary form.

I scream, fight, run away, choke, fall down, rise up, do whatever to just survive, and then… boom! it’s as if you fell down from somewhere high on your bed. Oh, great, so I’m awake! Thanks Goodness, finally! Get up, get dressed, feed Misha, and suddenly… hmm, where did actually Misha disappear? he was right in front of me a second ago wasn’t he? But now it’s not Misha, but one of my dream “friends” right in front of me, laughing at me like crazy, everything is dizzy and I slip back right where I was before. Etc. etc. etc. in the same pattern.

But most often it’s like I am in there, in my dreams, and desperately want to get back to life, try to move, test whether everything around me is real or not, do anything to get rid of the floatiness in my brain and get closer to the real world. I often hear people calling me, like my Mum waking me up, even if it is not true, motivate myself to get up and… finally I manage. I am glad, but still the anxiety flows everywhere I feel floaty, and often even like I was still in some way paralysed, like I wouldn’t have much control over my moves or something. But I try to not care, or ignore it completely, usually in this situation I go to whoever is around to help me and make me feel safer, although I never do this when I really wake up. They often help me, are very compassionate, sometimes are cruel and turns out they’re collaborating with my dreammates, like when I was a kid I once dreamt that my Mum wanted to cut my foot because they forced her. πŸ˜€ Sometimes they don’t want to cooperate with them but have to, sometimes they’re very willing. Whatever happens though, finally I always slip back there, scared and disappointed, and confused as for what is real. Sometimes it is so that I may live my “normal” life for quite long and then finally realise that something doesn’t really look very realistic and that then it has to mean it is a dream, and then everything starts over with a lot of chaos. Usually then I see some creepy scenes not necessarily with me in one of the main roles, often as an observer. And then again I’m scared and want to wake up, gradually more and more confused as for what is real, am I sleeping or awake, what’s generally going on.

Often after that episode I’m exhausted and fall into very deep, heavy sleep, sometimes it’s completely dreamless and sometimes I have some disturbing bad or weird dreams, but rather mildly bad in comparison to the sleep paralysis. But despite it’s so heavy it’s rarely really good sleep.

When I finally wake up for good, I am usually very puzzled for a little while and obviously usually feel a lot of anxiety, but it usually passes away quickly. I mean, I can be anxious for quite a while, but not as much as when I wake up, when it can be really really high. I usually get over it quickly.

But the last time, that Thursday morning, it waas a hardcore. It lasted for like THREE HOURS, I fel like it was scarier than ever. I have very good dream memory, which is also a blessing in many circumstances, but when I woke up after all that and remembered what I dreamt about, it was hard to get over it and get some distance to it, just feeling relief that it was only a dream. When I wake up for real, after all those false awakenings, I always know well I’m awake and am no longer confused, but last time I started to wonder. What if I am still asleep? Deep down I knew it’s over, but what if not? What if some day I’ll wake up and just won’t be able to tell what’s real from what’s not? It scared me even more.

I went downstairs still feeling a bit floaty from the dream and very scared, tired as if I really was fighting with someone for three hours and unsettled. Mum was in the kitchen and said she couldn’t wait for me to come and that now I am surely well rested after so much sleep. She said she was in my room twice and I slept so heavily. I guess I could hear her once, or it was my imagination.

I usually try not to make too much drama around my dreams because I know there isn’t any universal cure for it and that it always distresses my Mum cause she doesn’t know what to do about it and feels helpless, but this time it was that little bit too much to bear for me. I felt shaky like jelly and couldn’t stop tears from falling so she was quite amazed what’s going on, and it took her a while to get it out of me because I was a real real mess. I took all my anxiety meds, I mean two pills of my basic one and one of the extra med, but I was still shaky, my head was hurting like a bitch, and I felt like a true drama queen because it was actually Mum’s nameday so the guests were about to come. Poor Zofijka was looking around puzzled askign everyone what happened and not getting any consistent answer. Finally I managed to take a long bath and then Mum sent me back to bed although I was really anxious as for that since I didn’t want to get trapped by my beautiful brain again.

I was so tired that I did fall asleep almost immediately but slept very soundly. Things have changed a little bit after I woke up, I mean outside, not so much inside, I was still in pieces and very hypervigilant and all. But felt good enough to get down to the guests for a while and keep a socially decent and logical conversation.

I got back to my room and then I realised the cold, hard truth… the Internet was off! That meant a really hard day for me. After those dreams I am always very sensitive as for silence and can’t stand it, same as some particular sounds. Most of my music was online. Most of things I could do at that moment to distract myself the best were online, particularly now as the guests were in. Smalltalk isn’t particularly stimulating nor distracting for me and I would rather feel bored, and I couldn’t ask my parents for any help as they were with them, and Zofijka was playing with other kids who came in. Misha always escapes when too many people are around, and usually to my room, but when they came I was asleep and my room was closed so he went somewhere else and I didn’t know where he was. So there weren’t many things I could do, I was mostly reading, and listening to music I had, helped Mum in the kitchen afterwards, but was still incredibly tense and overloaded. It was just so horrifying, I haven’t feel such extreme things for a long while before then.

The Internet hasn’t come back even at night, so again I was left to only my own resources, and night was twice as hard, even though sometime later on Misha had mercy on me and came to me. It was nightmare and I had a feeling I’m just going crazy and things won’t be as they were before anymore, that I’ll just always live with such high level of anxiety. Needless to say I didn’t even try to fall asleep, quite the opposite.

The next day it was slightly better though. And you know what turned out then? My brilliant Mum, when she slept in my room, she messed up with the router somehow while she was switching things off. And it only needed to be rebooted. It was funny but also frustrating because I really needed some distraction that day and Mum told me there is probably some more general damage like at our Internet provider or something, so I just accepted it and didn’t even try to fix it myself. πŸ˜€

I was still very anxious, but since I had many more productive things to do then, and some time has passed, it was much more manageable.

And so it is now. I still haven’t recovered fuly from that nasty episode, I feel. But I am a bit more stable and don’t freak out without Misha.

I wonder what was actually going on with those dreams. Was it just an accident it was so long and so rough, just a random thing, or is something changing and it is going to get worse? If so, I think I’ll really need to try hitting it with antidepressants, I once saw a neurologist for that and she said it sometimes works for people, but then I decided I will try to handle it with some better sleep hygiene and stuff. But if you have messed up sleep cycle by nature, regular sleeping and waking up and maintaining sleep hygiene isn’t always that easy, so I guess the time for antidepressants will finaly come sooner or later, even though I haven’t heard about people for whom it would be helpful. But it shouldn’t be harmful, so I guess I’ll try if it’s going to stay this way.

If we were having coffee I’d tel you today is my friend’s 1st death anniversary. Man I still can’t believe he’s dead. I never told you about that, I feel weird talking about his death still, not like I can’t accept it but like it’s just so weird to talk about him that he’s dead. I am talking about Jacek, that Jacek who was writing the novel about vikings. He was such a lively, energetic person, always full of ideas and so bubbly. But he got osteosarcoma and then there were some nasty metastases, it just progressed very quickly. I couldn’t get it for weeks that he was dead, and still my brain doesn’t fully get it I guess. I will maybe do some longer post in memory of him, because he was such a remarkable man, I need to think about this. He was only 25 when he died. And he told me he’s going to Valhalla. πŸ™‚

And quite in the same topic, if we were having coffee I’d tell you that yesterday my friend wrote to me, with whom I haven’t have any contact since before Jacek has passed away. She is our mutual friend Jacek’s and mine. She is Swedish – Jacek had lots of friends in Sweden and Finland and I’ve met some interesting people via him – and this particular girl I met when we were all three collaborating on Jacek’s online radiostation, I was volunteeering as a sound engineer there and has learned a lot during that short episode, about broadcasting, vikings, not to mention sound engineering, and many other things. And that girl, Annika, she was one of the presenters and that’s how we met online. She is a Slavic languages freak and has been learning Polish and other Slavic languages since early childhood just as it’s been with my Swedish. ANyway. We were never very close because we just knew each other through Jacek, but I’ve always liked her, she’s really sweet and down to earth. We haven’t talked almost at all since Jacek’s death though, there just weren’t any occasion. And I was greatly surprised seeing a message from her. She wrote to me to say she’ll be getting married soon. With a Pole, haha. And I am very happy she shared it with me and that I could catch up on her, and that she seems to be in a happy and already quite long lasting relationship. And because it was so close to Jacek’s death anniversary we also talked about this in length. And seems like we both feel the same way about this, that we don’t quite believe it yet. I was really glad to be able to write with her for a while. And it’s so cool she’ll be living in Poland for good now.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you we went to the beach today. My parents, Zofijka, me, and uncle and aunt, from Dad’s side. But, turns out, we’re incredibly lucky. We’ve been having an incredibly hot week, but due to various things happening we couldn’t go to the beach earlier, so we just waited for Sunday to come. and, as soon as we came to the beach, the rain started falling. We were all wet and me and Zofijka were feeling very cold and now we both have sore throat, I hope we won’t be sick. πŸ˜€ Moreover, when we came home, got rid of all the mud we’ve brought in, showered and stuff, the clouds disappeared and it’s hot again, only more humid. Isn’t that a pure luck? πŸ˜€ Mum has some sort of ear infection, I actually was telling her not to go to the beach with it as it could only get worse, and it looks like it did get worse, she’s barely hearing on that ear. She tried using geranium for it and other home remedies, but looks like our lifestyle guru will have to see a laryngologist, probably tomorrow.

And if we were having coffee I’d tell you that Mum went to a coeliac disease specialist last Wednesday, but it looks like her referral didn’t get through to them. So now she’ll go to another one that can see her much quicker, on Tuesday, and without a referral. So she’ll have a real health week. But I hope the news she’ll get will be good.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee? πŸ™‚

 

A shitty, Zombie day.

Yeah, today I have another Zombie day, which means, if you’re unfamiliar, that I’m after a night of completely no sleep. I think the reason of my sleep being so poor recently is that I’m significantly anxious over many things. A bit more than a week ago my term exam session started, which is always some stress – almost none in comparison to final exams that I’ll have in May, but still, makes me quite tense. Besides, almost at the same time my brother picked up some tummy bug or something and was sick, with vomiting and all the attractions, which obviously triggered my emetophobia. It lasted for very long for him and then Dad got infected too and it lasted very long too, so I was freaking out literally, because they were sick and because I could get sick and anyone else could. I didn’t get it luckily, but still don’t fully know if it’s actually over for them. Moreover, my Mum had gastroscopy and colonoscopy on Tuesday before Easter. Well it didn’t regard me directly, but still it made me feel anxious for some reason, I almost felt like I myself was going to have gastroscopy, which would be just traumatic for me I guess and I was stressed for Mum. Don’t know why I reacted so strongly for it. And then Mum had also some not serious complications after that which contributed to my anxiety. It’s crazy. and my final exams are in a month now, which is the thing I’m most anxious about currently. It’s not only about the exams themselves and whether I’ll pass them, but also about the circumstances in which I’ll be writing them. I’m not sure whether I finally told you or not, I guess I did, but I won’t take them at my own school that I formally go to. My school is a normal, mainstream school and my Mum was kind of afraid I might not get all the adjustments I could get if I’d write at a special school for the blind, especially as for math, as this is the subject I particularly suck at and is very difficult for me. I agree with it and so my Mum came up with the idea she’ll ask the headmistress of one of the schools for the blind – not the one I was going to as a child, a completely different one – if it would be possible for me to write there. There was a lot of paperwork and other stuff involved, but it was possible and I got the permission finally. But this school, although is much closer than the one I was going to, is still quite far from where I live, in a different region. So we would have to stay in the boarding school. I know, I won’t be there on my own, there will be Mum and maybe Zofijka with me, I will live with them and the circumstances will be completely different, we’ll be out of there most of the time, I desperately try to think rationally about it, but the anxiety is still there. I know it’s so irrational and stupid and all, but it doesn’t seem like I could do much about it now. I’ll probably just have to face it and see if it was worth all that anxiety or not. Also, I’m having lots of nasty dreams recently, with sleep paralysis and without and they scare me so so much. Just last week I had sleep paralysis twice. It’s knackering and makes me feel just helpless. Often such dreams leave me anxious for hours after they pass away. So yeah plenty of issues that may contribute to that lack of sleep.

Luckily I didn’t have to do anything important today, apart from preparing to my History exam which I’ll have on Monday, but it wasn’t hard to do and I actually could do it tomorrow as well if I really needed. I feel absolutely crappy today, with no energy (despite three strong coffees), lots of anxiety and depression, but that’s normal I guess for everyone who didn’t sleep for an entire night, or at least it’s my normal when I don’t sleep properly, the more tat other things get in the way.

Recently I was writing that I plan on buying a new Braille-Sense, and it turned out that it’s time now for applying for funding, so I did some of that endless paperwork with Mum. Well I guess don’t have much more to say now. Just had to rant a bit.

How are you guys doing? πŸ™‚

TMI Tuesday.

1. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, your future, what would you want to know?

What am I going to do in future? Where does it all actually go… well, pretty abstractive thing, but I just ask it myself so often. Also, I’d like to know why do I have such strange, weird, just soooo hideous and frightening dreams every time I get sleep paralysis? I just had such a “blissful” night last night, which left me very anxious and wondering what actually causes such weird dreams, and that is why I’m still up at 2 AM, I’m just too scared to go to sleep and I think I’ll go when I feel really sleepy, because then I’ll be too tired to have dreams. Actually I’m scared of staying up as well, but that’s better of both these options and I can always distract. Another thing I would like to know is something more about my past, like, why do so many things cause me so much anxiety like I had some awful memories with them or something, but in fact can’t recall anything? I think that actually there are more things that I don’t know about myself and my life than those I know, and even if I know something, I am very often not sure about it when I start to think about it more. Sounds a bit weird, but true. But that’s another thing, overthinking. πŸ˜€

2. What do you value most in your sex life?

I didn’t start my sex life yet and don’t think I’ll have any opportunity soon, but anyway I know what I would value in my sex life. I’d definitely value if my husband had some imagination as for sex. I think I’d have, so it would be even better if we both would. I always value creativeness, no matter in which area of life. I would value if we had the same values as for sex, or would be able to accept each other values. Like I am a practitioning Christian and I surely wouldn’t have to have a boyfriend or a fiancee who would desperately want to have sex before anything else. First I need to get to know you more before you start to finger me, second if you respect me, we should marry first. I would also appreciate if he’d be understanding because I have often issues with people touching me and sometimes intimate situations just scare the hell out of me, but if we got each other’s perspective, I think I would get over it with time.

3. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

I feel like there are different kinds of jokes and while humour is generally a good thing, in some areas we should definitely use it carefully and use milder jokes, that wouldn’t be hurtful for others. But I don’t think there are such things that are completely FORBIDDEN to be joked about. Or maybe they are, but I just can’t think of such right now. I think things like death, or very serious illnesses, should be treated with a lot of carefulness. But sometimes a mild joke may discharge the uncomfortable situation. The thing is just to be careful and had a healthy distance to things and to yourself, and be perceptive if others do have it or not.

4. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one in which you currently live, where would you move and why?

I have many favourite countries which I like equally and I’d visit eagerly, but I think I wouldn’t like to move to just any of them. I think I could most eagerly move t the UK, but somewhere to the countryside rather than to cities like London. This country just somehow resonates with me. I think it would be the best if I could move to North Wales, it is so beautiful there, people have such a lovely accent and I could practice my Welsh. I think Finland would be also absolutely great to live in.

5. Are you too nice?

It happens. Usually when I don’t like someone, or don’t feel comfortable around them. It also depends in what we mean by “too nice”. Sometimes I could say I’m maybe too nice for someone I like and want to for example do something nice for them and then it turns out my efforts were actually pointless, as they either don’t care or want to take advantage of me being nice to them in future. So usually now, if I like someone, I’m rather distant towards them, just to not lose them immediately, but it also depends on the case of course.

Bonus: Falling in love is… (one word only) a rollercoaster.

https://tmituesdayblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/tmi-tuesday-march-27-2018/