Waking up immobilized, finding something has taken control against my will. What is this? Why is this happening?
Twenty Four Hour Demon
By Christopher Michael Carter
I slept well. I feel refreshed. I get out of bed with perfect fluid movement and am thankful, for yesterday this wasn’t the case…
We think we know ourselves pretty well, better than those around us, but we all have the capability of losing control. We are all players in the universe’s mystery and we are all susceptible to unknown forces. The night before last I had went to sleep feeling just fine and was on a regular sleeping routine; however, I had woken up feeling more tired than what I was going to sleep. ‘What did I dream?’ I thought, believing perhaps I had gone through another exhausting nightmare draining any and all of my waking energy. I couldn’t remember for the life of me. It felt as if there was someone was on either side of my bed holding down the sheets firmly. Imagine waking up to someone putting all their weight on you with multiple hands holding your limbs down with an unrelenting grip. I tried to get up but was feeling overly heavy as if being held down by some invisible force. Gravity was against me on every level as simply lifting my head was quite the chore. ‘What is this!? What’s wrong with me!?’ I thought in pure fear and terror.
I tried to get up for a half hour to no avail realizing that I should probably go back to sleep. I shut my eyes and tried to drift back to sleep but my mind seemed as heavy as my physical state. I was thinking about everything all at once however there was no focus to be found. I would’ve tossed and turned if I was allowed but I lied there like a stone monument. My eyelids were too heavy to keep open yet when they were shut they couldn’t relax enough to sleep. My entire being began to ache and I mustered up enough energy to turn over to my side and my insides felt like the crew of a capsizing ship on the sea. I hurt all over and tried to force myself up but that feeling of vengeful gravity wasn’t having it. I felt as if something had entered me and taken over; something sinister. Was this a spirit? Was I being possessed or is my house haunted? Had I caught a parasite? Was I bitten by something in my sleep? It was all overwhelming. I felt my eyes welling up but no tears followed so I tried to yell for someone to help me up but my vocals wouldn’t cooperate as I couldn’t get more than a grunt or moan out. I would’ve loved to cry. It would’ve been a great release, but no tears would come; no release.
This was driving me crazy, being held down against my will. I moved for my phone, just out of reach; my hand feeling like solid stone. I couldn’t reach the phone and I was drifting off. I was blacking out but still couldn’t fall asleep which, frighteningly, was making no sense to me. What was this damn force with its grasp on me? I was being held captive by my own body. If it wasn’t for the pain I would say I was completely numb but I had plenty of feeling with no ability to move. This invisible being, whatever it was, was relentless in its quest to keep my motor skills and functionality at bay. I was firmly in its iron grip. This thing’s large hands held my arms and legs and would constantly push my head back down whenever I could get it lifted. It was as if my head was in a vice while the rest of me lay in wet cement and nobody was around, not that they could’ve really helped me fight it from the outside.
Its touch was all over me; too aggressive to be a caress. Head to toe I was being strangled by this entity. It was suffocating, like an unwanted hug in which they refused to let go of. ‘What does it want with me? What does it gain by debilitating me?’ I would’ve asked it if only I could’ve spoken. ‘Let me go! Let me GO!’ My brain screamed while incapacitated. ‘Please… Please…’ My foe didn’t care about my internal cries. There was no negotiating or pleading with this…thing as it had its way with me, its prey. I had become a small mouse caught beneath the paw of a hungry cat or a weak child held down by bullies in a schoolyard. My bed was quicksand and I was struggling and falling deeper into the depths of its hold. I had to fight it, but how; it’s me.
I had to fight to pull my eyes open properly and when I did, every facial muscle pulled up to make sure they’d stay open. Every time I blinked I had used the same energy to make sure they didn’t snap back shut. I felt like titanium tentacles with the occasional barb tethered me down and my captor was refusing to let me up. Despite this feeling I mustered up enough adrenaline and might to throw my legs over the side of the bed. After having to reload, I slung my body up to a sitting position. It’s as if I was drugged, sitting there in a daze. I could feel the gravitational like force pulling me back down but I had already made it so far. I rocked back and forth a couple of times before shooting myself up to my feet.
The sensation was like standing while going through flu symptoms however beyond the weighty heft I didn’t feel sick at all. I walked like a child new to the motion with robotic-like and aimless steps while I had brought my still-heavy arms up for balance; even if it was the illusion of such. After a few steps I began to stumble but caught myself at the wall. When I walked I felt like I was dragging dead weight around; it tried its hardest to immobilize me and for the most part was doing quite well. I fought past it and continued through the house trying to do daily chores in hopes to break this phase; I had hoped it was a phase anyway. Everything I did was like I was watching through someone else’s eyes, through someone else’s body. I was on complete autopilot, doing my daily routine without actual control over my body. I was doing exactly what I wanted my body to do but there was no mental or emotional connection.
Whatever had taken hold of my body and mind had developed a certain kind of lamination over my being that separated my feeling the actual actions and the reality of what was going on. The autopilot feeling lasted all day and I couldn’t honestly focus on anything for the hours in which I was under this spell. I was thinking about every little thing going on in my life but each thought passed me by like strangers on the street. Whatever was ailing me, this unseen energy that had drained mine wasn’t letting go. The zombie-like state lasted all through the day and into the evening when I’d finally fall asleep from exhaustion of fighting my hidden attacker for so long.
I slept like the dead and woke up this morning starting with a sense of fear as if I’d go through it again. I found myself fully functional and in control. I felt refreshed and thankful that my struggle was nothing more than a twenty-four hour bug of sorts; or a twenty-four hour demon. This concealed enemy had hijacked my entire being, controlling and abusing my person. The intruder and I battled beneath my shell for an entire day as I struggled against my aggressor forcing itself on me. I was a victim of this uninvited guest who had snuck in; this invader that had forced itself in and taken advantage of my nervous system.
I got up and out of bed with the greatest of ease and I’m enjoying my freedom. I don’t feel any side effects or aftershocks of its hold but I certainly remember what it felt like and I curse the day it happens again. I’m certain it will come again, and I won’t be ready because it will surely creep up on me as it did yesterday. Until that day comes I’m going to enjoy functionality and control over my own vessel. I am able to walk without stumble and talk without stutter. I’m able to laugh and converse; having control over my emotions again is a near-euphoric feeling. When yesterday I walked like a novice, today I move like a seasoned vet with a spring in my step. I can form thoughts and control them at will. All of which are controls we take for granted on a daily basis and it’s frightening when they’re subdued against our will.
I’m happy but leery of my attacker’s presence. This intruder lives with me; an unwanted roommate. I go through this every so often and knowing this doesn’t make the restraint feel any better; doesn’t cushion the blow or soften the feeling of being forced upon or taken advantage of. This is a common day, sadly enough, when you have Multiple Sclerosis. When the fatigue takes hold, there’s no protection and I feel like a victim of un-sexual-rape. It’s a horror that I’ll neither get used to nor grow comfortable with; being bound by neurological chains that feels the equivalent of demonic possession. Yesterday I was mentally and emotionally on my deathbed and today I feel quite human; who knows what tomorrow will bring?
I’m almost afraid to find out.