There but not there

Over the past few nights I’ve had a strange sensation of something watching me. I had sleep paralysis for years and so the creeping awareness of something being in the room and finding myself unable to move is familiar to me. But, I can move when I wake and I can twist my body around to see if someone is behind me, both things I know I couldn’t do when waking into sleep paralysis. I also would at least see something while in sleep paralysis. This always seems to be on the edge of my vision, always just out of view.

I reach back and I touch my husband on the shoulder, yes, he is there.

And then the presence is gone. It’s almost as though I’m not only comforting myself in knowing my husband is beside me, but I’m reminding whoever (or whatever) is in the room of this also.

On the third night this happened I started to trust my senses, and rather than dismissing it as sleep-limbo (that place between sleep and waking where Peter Pan supposedly lurks) induced hallucinations, I woke my husband. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen far too many horror films where no one says anything to anyone else and it turns out everyone was experiencing the same thing.

My husband didn’t know what I was talking about. Although I knew I wasn’t at the risk of tumbling down the crazy woman who ends up being locked away for expressing her fears trope rabbit hole, I backed down when my husband became concerned. He hasn’t been well and jumping out of bed to patrol the house wouldn’t have been good for him. Besides, the door to the bedroom is closed and whatever keeps waking me is in the room with us.

This might all be nothing, but I’m writing this now after a night of restless sleep. I woke as usual, but to my relief I didn’t feel any unknown presence. I thought that I’d be able to fall asleep easily because of this, but instead a wave of cold anxiety spread from my chest to the tip of every finger and toe. It was as though freezing water had been poured, not over me, but through me. I didn’t shoot up like waking from a nightmare, I just lay there, anxious beyond words but without any reason behind it.

I struggle with anxiety anyway, and if I think back far enough, something like this has happened before in stressful situations. But what came next, I am convinced has never happened. In place of the cold, heat began to rise from my feet. It felt as though it was creeping through my veins and the intrusive feeling stole away any comfort the warmth may have been able to provide. I began to panic, and this only increased when I became aware that my feet were uncovered, the blanket thrown to one side. I have had a childish fear of my feet being uncovered ever since I was, well, a child.

I gasped as though I was waking from a nightmare and this woke my husband. He reached over to put his arm around me, pulled me close, and muttered that I was freezing. By this point, I felt like I had been lying in the scorching heat and just reached the point where you either stay and melt or leap up and seek shade. I needed shade and his arms were the sun, every touch burning my skin, leaving sensitive, raw marks in their place.

I managed to push him away, which he grumbled at, but soon slipped back into sleep. I sat up and instinctively pulled my knees up to my chest.

I’m not sure if this was a fever, I barely remember what those feel like. Maybe it was? But it left me soon after and I feel like fevers know a thing or two about wearing out their welcome. The interesting thing? Through the entire experience I didn’t consider that anyone or thing else was in that room. Yet, the moment my body returned to feeling like normal, the presence was back. That certainty that something was in the room with us, but with every twist of my head to seek them, they were hidden.

Maybe I’m ill. Maybe I need more rest? It’s getting harder to sleep though, in that room at least. I’ll keep posting about these experiences. Maybe I’ll get to the answer sooner rather than later and maybe it will just be some kind of new house syndrome where an unfamiliar setting puts us on edge.

Thanks for reading.

Arbie X


note: check the tags, this is fiction!

2 thoughts on “There but not there”

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