Vishwas Gonsalves – Sleep Paralysis

“The Realm of the other dimension”

Waking up and realizing you’re frozen in one place, unable to move. The panic you feel influences your dream, which turn into a nightmare. Suddenly you see figures moving around you, a silhouette standing at the corner of your bed, maybe a women screaming at you while hovering above you. You feel choked, unable to move a muscle, you feel you’re being sucked into the bed or being levitated off your bed by an unseen force. Terrifying, ungodly, paranormal, otherworldly; No other words come close to describing these experiences. They seem so beyond belief that people think you’re crazy when you talk about them.

I have had sleep paralysis for most of my life; The occurrences were more prominent during my teenage years and left a lifelong impact. I often pondered over the reason behind it, unaware that it was sleep paralysis. I often referred to such events as demonic attack or paranormal activities and tried to look for ways to fight it or drive it away. I’ve woken up with bruises, rashes, scratches, cut marks that would later, the body ache felt like I was beaten and left back in my bed. 

The thought of sharing with family and friends was always accompanied with the fear of “being made fun of”. Every night I would go to bed, confident that I would defeat these unnatural forces, only to be caught off-guard. Every experience was creepier and scarier that the last, terrifying me to my core. That is, until, I found art as an outlet for my sleep paralysis experiences. 

It was when I starting noting down and showcasing my experiences through art that I was experiencing, I found out it was Sleep Paralysis. I researched and found out that it was a condition that was still being researched by scientists and medical professionals; this gave me a sense of relief and hope. In due time, I connected with people who shared the same experiences as I did. As time went by, I realized that I wasn’t alone as I kept coming across more people who went through and were going through the same.

I consider this ongoing journey to be one of empowered journey that I had been on. It helped me explore and discover more about myself. One that helped me find a deeper meaning to my existence. 


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