I don’t often talk about my sleep issues, however they have been with me since my earliest memories. I do not claim to have a perfect memory however I have had to learn many ways of making it as dependable as possible as my dreams have been so vivid, so real, for so long.
It looks like I have RISP which is has a striking similarity with narcolepsy but on the other side of sleep:
ISP episodes tend to occur during awakening from sleep (hypnopompic) as opposed to narcolepsy-associated paralysis, which is more closely associated with sleep-onset (hypnagogic) events.
Basically there are chemicals that the body produces to stop you acting out your dreams, thus paralysis, but you only feel it when things go a bit wrong (temporarily) and you feel as though you are awake but can’t move. Sometimes this leads to trying to put an explanation to this (ghost, demon, stranger, etc) and then if you are really “lucky” hallucinations that are full sensory episodes- smell, vision, auditory, physical and not just the pressure most commonly experienced.)
Normally this occurs infrequently in a lifetime. I’ve been having them on average every few weeks.
Over the years (since childhood) the hallucinatory aspect has changed. The first one I remember included the full out of body experience (where your brain can’t wake the body but can “leave” the body so as to evade the Presence- it’s a bit trippy but I dream enough to regularly do this in my dreams) but I haven’t had that since.
The menacing figure has changed often, though I never actually see it. I just “know: what it is- which is usually my personal guide as to whether it is a dream or real. So I do have to talk my brain down by pointing out I do not have telepathy so cannot possibly know what I can’t see. I do, I try to reason with myself- why do I think it’s that? What evidence do I have, what circumstances could there be for two people to be inside my locked hotel room- the one with the fliplatch and everything?
It’s been “intruders” for years- because I do not trust my dream brain as it tries very hard to keep things “real” it does often feel like it is self sabotaging as it keeps learning from my own interventions. This happens with normal dreams too. Over the years each test of mine has worked then failed as my brain learned. Pain is now possible in my dreams, actual pain, not just fear of it. Any real experience of pain will be used and transferred to my dream body.
Most recently, my sleep episodes have been incredibly cruel. Because clearly my “must terrify you” brain has learned that I use logic.
I do not think my boo would chose to frighten me in this way were he trying to make a connection and if it were possible, however it has happened enough times that I am trying to retrain other parts of my mind to welcome this as a totally different experience of remembering. I am not sure if I also need to do more to see and hear him during the day- photos and videos, but I think that will help. I know I have been particularly sad in the last few days and my dreams are reflecting those anxieties.
And so I hope to beat my dream brain at its own game. Welcoming it as just a different form of memory. If I can do this during my waking hours, remember everything I can about the hallucination (easy, it’s so real) and create positive memories I should be able to either stop them happening, or transfer them back to normal dream episodes. That has worked in the past, and it is rare that my dream brain will retry something that has failed in the past.