Paula S's Experience

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Experience description:   

It started in 1987. I was reading a book which was enthralling and in spite of being very sleepy, I couldn't stop reading. I was laying in bed, holding the (heavy) book in front of me, propping my elbow on my belly. At some point I realized I must have dozed off, but I was still holding the book, I could see it, but I was paralyzed. My eyes were open, I could see in front of me, but could not move at all. Then I tried to call my grandmother but my voice wouldn't come out. I then started hearing/feeling a strong vibration on my left, as if something was "pounding" my ear. After a certain panic and struggle, it all sort of "crumbled" and I could move again. I think this must have taken seconds, but it was very scary for the duration. This was the beginning. I felt that many times again, thinking I was waking up, only to find myself paralyzed, unable to open my eyes, yell or anything.

After attempting a few times to take a deep breath, it usually goes away. Sometimes I can feel it coming on, while I'm about to fall asleep: I feel myself vibrate intensely, or just shoot up like I'm a rocket... But an even stranger, much more frightening thing has happened a few times since. Sometimes I feel as though I were waking up and I feel like I get out of bed and try to move around. But I sense that I'm not really out of bed, as though a part of me, my consciousness perhaps, is out there, but my body, I'm sure, is on the bed (Iíve never seen it though). But to consider this an out of body experience still stops short of explaining the terrifying side of it. I feel I'm thrashing around in the dark - I usually can't see much - I'm terribly confused, don't know if I'm really awake, although I KNOW I'm not dreaming. I can't move freely, I'm stiff and totally impaired. I manage to move somewhat, but certain parts of my body, my limbs mostly, are either numb of too stiff. I try to shake off the sensation, but it's like I'm trapped in a straight jacket with a hood over my head. I can see that I "move" around my apartment, but am not able to actually do anything, see or talk to anybody. I get a feeling, also, that I'm avoiding something that can harm me. Like I'm trying to confront it. I know that during this I sometimes remember to pray. I try to impose my own will and strength on it.

Once (I was then 22), I lay down to wait for lunch - I was hungry and light-headed. I started dozing off and felt my toes starting to get numb and the sensation kept creeping up my body. I had the feeling that when it reached my head I would lose consciousness, so I decided to run over to where my mother, in her studio, was painting. I remember going down the hall and opening the door of the studio and seeing my mom painting, with her back to me. Then I suddenly "woke up". I then literally got out of bed, opened the door of her studio and saw her there painting, exactly as I had a few minutes before...

So, that's the best I can do in terms of expressing what happens to me. The first phenomena doesn't scare me as much as it fills me with a sort of expectation, since I would be incredibly happy to actually "see" proof of the beyond, as it were. But the second occurrence I described (where I thrash around in the "dark") terrifies me because I get a feeling that it is not coming from anything "good"; just the opposite in fact, although it could be just my fear of it, which is more likely.

Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience?     No

Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Yes

how it felt as it happened.

At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event?          No

What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience?           mixed. like I said, i knew i wasn't dreaming, but had difficulty understanding what it was, so that, and my fear of it, may have impaired my perception of it. I think that if i am calmer, i can better assess what is happening. I can remember it well enough, but while it's happening i don't have much clarity.

Was the experience dream like in any way?   only in the sense that i couldn't command my body as when i'm in my "normal" state. The frightening aspect of it made me think at some point that it must be a nightmare, although like i mentioned, i knew it wasn't a dream. When I am dreaming, actually, i usually know it (lucid). So I can usually tell the difference.

Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body?     Yes

As I "thrashed around in the dark" I had a distinct feeling that my body was still in bed, I knew I wasn't in it, even though I didn't see it (or anything else for that matter). It made sense that I wasn't able to move freely.

What emotions did you feel during the experience?            Anxiety and fear, but also positively overwhelmed because I knew it was a spiritual experience. And I don't mean anything mystical; I believe in the spirit as a form of energy, always from a viewpoint that doesn't clash (to me) with scientific experimentation.

Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises?           The first time I experienced the paralysis I heard a rhythmic sound/vibration "pounding" my left ear.

LOCATION DESCRIPTION:  Did you recognize any familiar locations or any locations from familiar religious teachings or encounter any locations inhabited by incredible or amazing creatures?    No

The first time I experienced paralysis I was in my room, could only see ahead of me (unable to move head) and therefore saw only that part of my room. When I involuntarily go out of body I still cannot see.

Did you see a light?           No

So far I've been limited to my immediate surroundings (i THINK, since I can't really see anything)

Did you meet or see any other beings?           No

same as above

Did you experiment while out of the body or in another, altered state? No

Did not get very far with obes yet, just the panicki experience i described. But intend to try to obtain clarity in order to take it further.

Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?          No

Did you notice how your 5 senses were working, and if so, how were they different?          Uncertain

couldn't see. Heard vibrations or even myself thinking. Never touched anything.

Did you have any sense of altered space or time?   No

Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?    Yes

I had a feeling there was a reason this was happening, but nothing has been revealed to me yet. I also have a distinct feeling that i'm supposed to learn how to work and control this for some reason I don't yet know.

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?   Yes

In a way I was able to confirm that our spirit exists and have consciousness outside the body.

How has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices? Career choices?       see above. greater hope.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?         Yes

like I said, there's hope in me that I'll live thru more exciting and enlightening things, but my day to day has not changed radically.

Have you shared this experience with others?         Yes

different reactions. mostly though, people don't relate much.

What emotions did you experience following your experience?  anxiety curiosity hope happiness fear, about everything i'm entitled.

What was the best and worst part of your experience?      confirming existence of spirit. all the possibilities that my result from this. hope. on the bad side, FEAR (sometimes I just thought I might be loosing my marbles...)

Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience?        Feel better nowadays, after I've found people (thru internet) that have described similar experiences. Although most experiences described don't match up in terms of the sleep paralysis, the thrashing around in the dark, etc which made me feel a little isolated from others who have obes.

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?         No

Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?               Yes

Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire.    yes, what can be explained in terms of the sleep paralysis? From what i've read, it seems to be a "preliminary stage" to obe's but by no means essential. Just one of many ways of going oob, i guess.