That’s No Angel

Two Decades of Sleep Paralysis or Demonic Attachment?

WITNESS

Danielle (Final Girl)
Date | Throughout the course of 20 years
Location | Wherever she slept

THE STORY

I’ve only shared this story publicly one time. It’s a very real and very frightening account of my 20 year long battle with sleep paralysis and how it affected my life.

Its somewhat of a saga, spanning decades of my life. I’m hoping that maybe it might help someone else.

In order to understand the lasting impact these experiences have had on me, allow me to briefly explain my upbringing. I was the youngest of 7 kids. There was a huge age gap between me and the next sibling and there was always a sense of not belonging in my own family. I felt very alone and in addition to that i was a big nerd. I was an anxious and really cautious kid, so much that I avoided things that normal kids were doing and ended up isolated further.

My family was and is very strict fundamentalist Christian. I was taught that God was the most important thing in my life and an existential fear of hell and punishment was instilled at an early age by Sunday school teachers.

My first experience happened when I was about 8 years old. I was staying the night with my nieces at my sisters house. We were sleeping in sleeping bags in the basement. We had left the lights on because like most kids the dark made us anxious. I woke up in the middle of the night staring up at the light fixtures in the ceiling. It didn’t take long for me to realize I couldn’t move. I was frozen and my chest began to feel heavy like someone was lowering a weight down onto it. I felt like my breath was being slowly crushed out of me and soon I could no longer breathe at all. I tried desperately to move my body… anything, a finger….but nothing. I remember looking over to the side and seeing my niece sleeping soundly. I tried to move my lips and mouth HELP ME but I was frozen and utterly helpless. A black mist began manifesting itself into a writhing hooded shape. It had red slits for eyes. I don’t remember how I was eventually able to wake up but i do remember that when I did I was gasping for air and terrified. It was weird but I chalked it up to a vivid nightmare.

I almost forgot about it until it happened again around a month later. Almost the same exact thing. Then it happened again. And again. And again… the timing between episodes became shorter and I suddenly found myself questioning what the Hell was could be going on. Why was I having this strange weird nightmare all the time? And out of nowhere too it just started happening.

The episodes would come in waves….and cycles. Sometimes happening a few times a week for several weeks and then nothing for a month. But that was before it got really bad.

From the ages of around 11, I started to experience auditory and physical disturbances along with the visual ones during the episodes. What i am about to explain is something that would happen to me sometimes nightly for weeks on end. I am trying to cover a lot of events in a short amount of time, so just know that what i am about to describe happened so many hundreds of times throughout the years from when i was 11 until around 29 or 30 I couldn’t possibly give every separate account.

I would wake to find myself in my room looking up at the ceiling. My eyes would dart around and I’d become aware of a sinister presence. There would always be a low rumbling and hum permeating the air too. Then these shadow creatures would swoop into the room. They would fly around and swoop down, scratching me and cackling. They would whisper in my ear and breathe hot putrid breath I could clearly feel and smell onto my neck….
My blanket would begin to move like things were skittering underneath it, crawling all over me…and squeeking like mice. They would crawl in and out of my mouth nose and ears and …also other more private areas.

That brings me to probably the most disturbing part. I began to feel these things sexually assaulting me. And now I’m like 12 or 13 years old by this time. But I still have no idea what sex felt like. I was taught I’d better be still be a virgin by the time I got married. And here i was, feeling myself being penetrated by things i couldnt describe…entering my body in the most intimate ways and I was utterly powerless to move scream or cry for help. I tried calling to God. I tried praying. I tried everything I could think of to make this nightmare end but it never did. It would only ever end through some sort-of miracle where I would finally jolt awake sweating breathless and terrified.

Those were only a few of the things I was subjected to…others included feeling myself levitating and turning over to see myself floating above my body, floating out of my bedroom window in a red beam of light, one time where I saw what I thought was an angel. I realized very soon that that is NOT what I was… and this was a unique addition to the usual torment.

This particular episode had started with the paralysis, the awareness of a presence, and the terror of knowing what was to follow. The room felt like it was vibrating. Like there was electricity in the air along with the growl and drone of whatever darkness was present. The usual rumbling grew louder until it was almost deafening and the entire room shook violently as plaster fell from the ceiling. I could feel my body and bed shaking. Suddenly a light appeared at the foot of my bed and began to grow into something more solid looking. It stretched itself into the form of a glowing robed figure. It was so bright it was like I could barely even look at it for long.

As I stared at this thing terrified not able to move, i noticed it had two glowing red slits for eyes on an otherwise featureless face. It had no mouth but Somehow I could feel it smirking at me. The most overwhelming part was the wings that protruded from this things back; the wingspan filled the entirety of my room and beyond; through the walls on the right side and out my window on the left. I thought perhaps an angel was appearing to me but then why was I so terrified. Why couldn’t I move? But people in the Bible were always terrified of angels right? Made sense….but something in me just knew this thing didnt have good intentions.

It was attempting to trick me.

I’ve never had another time in my life where I felt so completely terrified like I did during these episodes, to the point where even in my waking hours I was having panic attacks, and went through periods where I was afraid to leave the house.

After this experience i was pretty much terrified on a daily basis. I couldn’t sleep and when I did I was tortured. I thought I was being raped in my sleep by demons and I’m supposed to be a virign when I get married. How the hell was I supposed to even address this???

My mental health began to decline. I still pursued my interests but made really poor life choices that would ultimately mess up a lot for me. I couldn’t sleep. I was afraid to sleep most of the time and then when I didn’t sleep my mind got worse.

Anxiety and depression sey in, i was plagued by panic attacks and agoraphobia, and the lack of sleep made me paranoid.

I was in my twenties still sleeping with the lights on, and still needing to fall asleep to some comfort thing like a book or TV show.

My life basically fell apart…I was performing music and pursuing art but at the same time I passed on a lot of opportunities and chose not to go to college for fear I would simply fail due to the fact that I couldn’t sleep properly, and I was scared to death to be on my own out in the world with this curse or whatever it was that haunted me.

At one point i made the mistake of trying to talk to my older sister and explain a little of what i was going through and just left out the assault parts.

Big mistake. She took me to a deliverance session which is basically just a fancy way of saying exorcism. This was a humiliating and harrowing experience worthy of a story all on its own and needless to say…it was of course all mumbo jumbo and changed nothing. The guilt and shame and failures I had experienced due to this problem had made me suicidal, paranoid, addicted, histrionic and unreliable

No one knew what had happened to the person they once knew. I was a walking nervous disaster. I wasted SOO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY being afraid and doubting myself..if only I had reached out to someone besides my family for another perspective . But I didn’t feel like I could talk about it to anyone. How do you even start with something like that? I didn’t find out what sleep paralysis was until I was around 27. And even then I didn’t know if that is what was happening to me. It seemed too easy to be true and nothing was ever easy for me.

When I turned 30, my doctor referred me to a sleep specialist for insomnia. We had a very long talk where I kinda broke down to him and let out some stuff I had been holding onto forever. He brought up sleep paralysis. I asked him if he was sure that even the most horrific of the episodes had been symptom of a chronic sleep disorder and not real. He assured me it was.

The more research I did on the topic the more convinced I became of the rational explanation but it does still baffle me how for centuries people report seeing eerily similar things all over the world.
Funny thing is once I stopped being afraid?….it stopped happening altogether. Once I took the away the power it had over me and turned around to actually confront it, it stopped finally.

There’s a lot of details and stuff I’ve had to leave out but please feel free to ask me anything or follow up. I am now making up for lost time and getting back to the things I love most; writing, horror and music.
explanation for all this it does puzzle me how folks all over the world throughout different centuries report seeing VERY similar things and it does make me very curious as to why we see and experience the things we do during these encounters.

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