Welcoming the Chaos

The first time I had sleep paralysis I was sleeping in a hotel room while on a school trip. The sound of strong wind woke me up. I felt a cold wind running between me and the sheets, then it yanked me into the air. I laid suspended over the bed. I was paralyzed. I darted my eyes around the room, trying to make sense of what was happening. I saw shadows running along the walls and sensed that there was a man standing in the corner of the room. I closed my eyes, when I opened them I was planted on the bed and my hands clutched into fists.    

The second time I had sleep paralysis I had just closed my eyes and drifted into sleep when I heard my doorknob violently rattling. A shadow man came bursting in my room, growling. I felt the bed move as it crawled on top of me and suffocated me with its weight. My mind was fighting with my body trying to get my arms to move. I laid there struggling until the growling and static noise faded away and I could get out of bed.

The third time I had sleep paralysis I didn’t realize it right away. I had just laid my head down when I heard the faint rustling of paper, I assumed it was coming from another room.  The rustling got louder and louder until the noise was right by my ear, but I couldn’t turn around to see it. I was paralyzed looking at the far wall of the room as I felt movement under my bed. I saw hundreds of pieces of paper emerge from the darkness of my room. This paper raveled and unraveled, traveling around the room on a wave of cold harsh wind. “Finish it”, “Write it, Blanca”, “So Pretty”, “Blanca!”, “Finish it!” These soft voices came from under my bed. Long boney hands sprouted up and reached out to me on the bed and petted me. I laid in the eye of this tornado until the paper dissolved and the hands started to wave, “Good-bye”, “Time to go”, they said.

Since then there have been countless more times where I’ve had sleep paralysis. I realized it is caused by stress or taking naps. If I happen to accidently take a stress nap, then that’s guaranteed sleep paralysis. Those are some of the more extreme cases of chaos entering my sleep. Chaos always invites itself in.

I can remember my dreams most of the time. I dream about car crashes. That probably has something to do with a need for control. Those dreams were so prominent when I was younger that I often talked about how I died in a car crash in the past life.

I dream about being chased in the outdoors a lot. I’m always looking for a way into a house, but they are always locked. That probably has something to do with vulnerability and being left out in the open.

I dream about wandering around in intricate buildings, walking up and down stairs, like something out of an M. C. Escher drawing. These dreams happen when I’m expected to go or do something new.

The more I tried to avoid my disturbing dreams, the more intense it became. It took me quite a few years to learn to surrender myself to my dreams. Once that fear was gone I could wake up from a dream and take note of the images, symbols, and stories to piece together what my unconscious is saying. I welcomed the chaos and from it came order.

I’m still trying to figure out how to welcome the chaos of the physical world.

Mono-Type Print I did in 2015

Blanca JimenezComment