Took a nap. Had a complicated, unfortunate nightmare, in which I kept walking/levitating/something or other without it being under my control, which was really rather unpleasant. “I think I’m sleepwalking!” I said in horror to the woman in my dream, who said morosely “I used to sleepwalk. Then I found out I had a brain tumor.” Yeesh. Meanwhile, ghostly army officers attempted to communicate with me via the faint reflections in windows, and it was generally bad.

So I woke up from this to discover that once again, I was suffering full blown sleep paralysis. While I commonly suffer sleep paralysis when napping, usually it’s just “Aw, crud, sleep paralysis again.” This time I got the BAD kind–the intruder hallucination kind. I knew, knew, knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that somebody was in the next room and had just gotten the butcher knife out of the kitchen, and it was gonna be real bad in a minute.

I also knew I just was having sleep paralysis with fear of intruder manifestation, simultaneously. Knowing this didn’t actually help much, though.

I watched the doorway grimly, trying to move. Couldn’t. Felt like I was moving, felt perfectly as if I was moving, but as soon as I looked down, my arms hadn’t moved a millimeter.

And then, from that tiny voice in the back of my brain that I suspect is green and wears a beret and an “I heart Goats” shirt, came “Pull the blankets over your head and you’ll be okay.”

“I can’t move!” I radioed back. “I’ve got freakin’ sleep paralysis!”

“You feel like you’re moving, though,” said the ghost of Chu, “and as long as you keep your eyes closed, it’ll feel like you’ve pulled the blanket over your head.”

“But it’ll be all in my head!”

“The guy with the knife is all in your head, too, so that’ll be more than enough.”

Defeated by this logic, I pulled the hallucinatory blankets over my head. With the usual preternatural realism of hypnogogic hallucinations, I could see the pattern and the fringe on the blanket hit my face.

And heh, it worked. I calmed right down. Took a few minutes of mostly mental thrashing to break the paralysis, still, but the intruder thing ended immediately.

I guess laboring over “Irrational Fears” for those months really was some kind of weird auto-hypnotic. Go figure.

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