Monsters in the Head of an Insomniac Scared of the Dark By Jessica Keely 1
Content Author’s Note —Page 3. Monsters in the Head of an Insomniac Scared of the Dark—Page 4
Authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note Monsters in the Head of an Insomniac Scared of the Dark is about the all too common inability to sleep on nightly basis. As a consequence of this lack of sleep there can be the side affect of sleep paralysis where the person becomes aware between the transition of either falling asleep or waking up, and are effectively unable to move or speakâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;alongside this there can be hallucinations which are said to be caused by the breaking in the boundary between a dream like state and full consciousness. I chose this topic due to personal experience and something I have struggled with most of life. I used my own diary as a base outline and did a variety of research looking into other peoples personal accounts as well as descriptions of symptoms and effects used in the medical field. I felt this was a topic important to portray due to the many affects it can have on a person throughout their daily life; such as being too tired to function normally in the day, as well as the mental health side effects which are often not explored. I wish to later on extend this project by exploring more effects and gain more knowledge to be able to possibly express it more clearly, but for now I hope I have done this topic justice and that it can be understood a degree more than at current.
Monsters in the Head of an Insomniac Scared of the Dark.
Monday night 01:34 Managed to fall asleep around 23:30. Ate too much for dinner and the consequential bloating made getting to sleep harder than normal. Whatever I’ve dreamt about just looks like white noise now. As every night goes, I’m making faces from the marks on the ceiling.
02:43 Something always makes my blood thicken, and my heart thump when the faces become a bit too vivid. Their eyes stare down at me and I can almost feel their breath rolling down my nose.
03:56 I’ve not been back to sleep. I don’t want to close my eyes. My body seizes up each time I almost drift off jumping back to consciousness only to be greeted with the dark figure stood in the corner of the room. I keep staring at the door. It feels like I’m waiting for something to come through. The dark seems to remind me that anything’s possible. My mind is going into overdrive and the sounds of birds are no more comforting. 05:32
I’ve got to get up in an hour. The guy three doors down has left for work, or so I imagine that’s where he’s going. I have his whole life built up in my mind after hearing his keys rattle each morning as he jumps down the steps and slams his car door. Each day he leaves behind his two children, boy and girl, still young at school. And his wife in bed who stirs each time he jumps out of bed but never quite wakes up to utter her goodbye. He leaves the house, suit blazer over one arm, carrying his briefcase and thermal mug filled with black coffee to awaken the senses on his way to some skyrise office building in the heart of London. 5
Tuesday night 23:58 Wouldn’t believe I’ve already had 4 hours sleep. I was knocked out cold the second my head hit my pillow. Tonight it was the rain that woke me. The window is wide open and the rain is hammering the windowsill so hard I expect to see drops rolling inside soon. The night is a strange time, especially when afraid of what’s in the dark. I think that’s the best way to put it most the time, that I am in fact afraid of what could be within it. I was told throughout my childhood, and now early adulthood, that I just have a vivid imagina-
tion which reflects on me being creative. I see nothing creative about what I imagine within my daily nightmares and the consequential figures I see lurking in the shadows. If this is what it means to have a creative mind then please someone rid me of it and I’ll do fucking maths or something. On nights like these I often plead with myself to sleep and stop imagining the people in the corners of my mind. Because there is no comfort in the dark, I am not aware of everything but at the same time I should not be needing to be, I should be asleep. Think of it when you want to watch a scary movie, but you watch it during the day because there is just something far more comforting about daylight. I often find myself sleeping in the day, any time where there’s daylight and I can stir from my slumber and completely see my surroundings.
03:42 Seems tonight is a night of deep sleep but with that comes clear faces. As I scribble this I can feel my eyes fleeting upwards and around me to track the shadows my mind teases me are moving across me. Tonight feels like intense claustrophobia. So many faces taking up my mind. I can feel my breath shorten like I’m stuck in a moving crowd with no one I know.
04:22 Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m yet to fall back to sleep. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a man under the bed with long, thin arms, cut up fingers and dirt under his bitten back nails. His thinning hair cushions his head against my carpet and I can feel his steady breath coming up through the mattress while he waits for my
eyes to finally close.
Wednesday night 06:58 Alcohol always makes me sleep better. My mind isn’t so coordinated, the faces can’t function. Five hours sleep and I’m set for the day, my body is used to this little rest. I’ll leave standing up a little longer though, maybe the man that sits on my chair and watches me every night could bring me a glass of water, maybe that’s too much to ask.
Thursday night 00:02 I watched the new day tick in like some lame New Years party. Not what I would call a good start to the day. Some overwhelming feeling of loneliness has taken over.
01:56 Tonight there is a man on my chair, he’s made out of the pile of clothes I haven’t sorted through yet. My mind knows he’s just clothes but the fear in me sees a stick thin man hunched over to his knees. His head is hanging but his face is watching me directly. His skin is caving into his cheeks and the colour in his iris has all but turned grey. He’s not here to be a beacon of hope but to remind me of all the wrong I’ve done and will continue to do. I may try my best but I am only human and at 2am I cannot forget what I’ve done recently and all the wrong done to me. It haunts me being I this bed alone. Never thought I’d sleep alone again.
03:45 It may annoy others, but I love noises outside. Whether it’s screaming students from a night out or that annoying pigeon that won’t call it quits. The night seems a lot less lonely when there’s noise. Silence is golden unless you’re an insomniac, especially scared of the dark. However, thinking of it, I would never listen to music or watch videos in the middle of the night. I want to be totally aware of any movement. Why am I so uptight about what could be in the house? What’s programmed me to be so afraid of something that shouldn’t be there?
Friday night 21:35 I hate Friday nights. I have work tomorrow, early, and somehow this causes me to sleep all the less. It’s as though my body wants to shut down when I need it fully charged, at 1pm while waiting at the pass for chef to scream at me to run food I often feel my body slow down, my thoughts are slower, my eyes glaze over, I start to shut down.
02:50 He’s at the end of my bed again, standing over me. His grin from ear to ear, jaw clenched. His eyes have started to droop, maybe being awake so late with me over the years is taking a toll on him too. His eyes are so sunken you could fit fists within his sockets. His skin hangs off him like some forgotten piece of meat. He’s sitting in front of my light, hasn’t brushed his hair in days. I’ve seen that same messy bun on myself, haggard and dirty, but his hair has started to come out. I can see the bald spots, the bun pulled too tight like a cheap facelift to keep his gaunt grin ingrained in my mind for so many years. He’s the same monster I knew at 12 when dad wouldn’t let me leave the light on.
08:54 So much more I wanted to write last night. So much more going around and around in my head. But I couldn’t look down for a split second. It only takes a split second for the dark-
ness to morph in to something new.
Saturday night 00:50 Deep sleep interrupted by the need to pee. Now deep sleep seems an impossible concept for the rest of the night.
01:30 Deep sleep not so non-existent after need to pee was relieved. However sleep pattern tonight seems to be extreme. Deep sleep to complete alertness. Feels like coming in and out of consciousness after fainting. Body doesn’t feel right, it feels light – not in control. I hate the sudden alertness, when your body jolts itself awake. Feels like adrenaline hitting my body too hard. Heart jumps and my throat closes.
02:54 I’m writing now after an episode of what felt like absolute paralysis. It’s like all the monsters I’ve created in my mind merged into one single grand figure which laid above me, pushing its whole bodyweight upon me, strangling me from the inside out like fear gripping my lungs. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t stop this. I couldn't shout for help and I couldn't close my eyes and make it go away. It stuck above me for what felt like hours but was only minutes. It felt too real, every sense was alert. I could smell its breath while it beat down on me, and feel its skin stuck against me.
Struck with fear. My body feels like a solid weight closing in on itself. There’s a mass of men under my bed waiting for a part of me to hang over the edge which they’ll grab and pull
me under. If I make it away from the bed the skeletons in my closet will fall out while the girl in the wall crawls out behind me.
05:20 My mind isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t my own.
06:03 Right now there is a monster under my bed with 4 heads, each face as emaciated as the other. Hunched over. Every bone protruding and its hairless skin suctioned on to it. Like a monster under a bed a child would imagine, this feels more comforting than the others.
Sunday night 20:34 Last night has been playing on my mind all day. It was a different feeling of fear that I just can’t understand. It feels like a dream, a feeling of distant reality.
I’m scared to sleep. I’m scared to see what will happened when I drift out of consciousness and my mind somewhat becomes uncontrollable. I hate this feeling of being unable to control what I see. Even when conscious it seems like my imagination runs wild, to all the dark places.
02:45 I grew some sort of confidence and sat at my window. I can see over the hills and down the roads to the city and my mind loves to make up stories for every cars headlight’s I see pass
over the hilltop. This distracts my mind perfectly, I no longer think about what’s around me, I no longer care what could be creeping up on me out of the darkness.
05:02 The more I think about sleep the more I feel myself realising how unnatural my sleep pattern is, and how much it affects me. It’s upsetting in ways I hadn’t realised before. I skip seeing people and going out because a nap in daylight is so much easier. I fall asleep in lectures because the man under my bed wouldn’t let me rest. I make clumsy mistake after clumsy mistake because my muscles start falling asleep and I can no longer hold my cup of tea with the strength of one hand, but rather two for good measure. 13
My life is becoming ruled by the man under my bed, and the monsters in the wardrobe. My life is no longer revolving around a healthy eight hours sleep per night for a fully functioning mind but rather those scattered hours I get across the full 24 hour daily timeframe.