I've had insomnia before when I just can't get to sleep no matter how hard I try, and it's so draining both physically and mentally. I think it tends to happen when i'm stressed. I'm a bit of an anxious person to start with, so I guess I worry about things more than the average person.
Recently i've been having trouble getting to sleep again. There's no one big thing that's troubling me, but there are a couple of little thing. Fucking Linda across me in the office is being a pain. She keeps stealing my lunch. Just because it's in the communal fridge to keep cool, does NOT mean you can just help yourself. I think I might put something in it like laxatives to catch her out. Maybe tha's taking it too far, but I've told her a million times to stop. But it's not enough of an issue to keep me up all night.
I'm doing an online university course from home which is causing some stress. I want to better myself and not just work in an office my whole life. I'm finding it quite difficult but i'm pushing through. My boyfriend Ben is lovely and I think living together is really calming and keeps me grounded. So there are a couple of things worrying me, but not too much.
I've tried sleeping pills before, I can't remember what they were called but i've written it down somewhere. But they caused stomach pain and dizziness so I gave up on them and eventually the problem solved itself. Ben has had issues sleeping before so he's being very supportive. He's given me some different pills he said helped him. I know you're not supposed to share, but prescriptions are so expensive, and they might not even work on me. Bodies react differently to medicines and all that. It's worth a try, I just hope I don't get any stomach pain.
I take my first with a glass of water on Thursday at 10pm, and Friday morning I wake up after a long deep sleep, i'm a little groggy, but I feel it's done me good. For the next week it is the same, i'm feeling refreshed and happy.
Not long after I start noticing strange marks on my body, and I don't know what has caused them. Like a bruise on my arm, but i'm sure I haven't bumped into anything? And a mark on my neck which is another mystery. But everyone has noticed things like that before, so it's not worth mentioning to anyone. I've also been having bad nightmares, I guess it's all my worries manifesting in my imagination in order to sort themselves out. But i've noticed a pattern emerging in my dreams. There's a strange dark figure, like a man but worse.
Over time my dreams become more vivid and memorable. The dark figure is in all of them. He looks almost human but his eyes are wrong. They're too big for his head and they seem to glow. His smile is disconcerting. It's too wide and there are too many teeth. I can't make out any details for his body and face, it's like he just blends into the darkness. In my dream he is after me and I am desperately trying to get away.
In my latest dream, the figure had a knife. A sharp kitchen knife not unlike what I use to cut up chicken for a stir-fry. In my nightmare i'm running away in the pitch black forest and he's after me. I'm running but I trip, and the figure draws closer, the blade glistening in the moonlight. I'm on my back in the leaves looking up and hold my arms up to protect my face, and the knife cuts in a quick slash in my forearm. Then it goes black and my nightmare is over. I've had bad dreams before, but not on this level. The scariness doesn't go away when I wake up, because when I reach to turn off my glowing alarm clock I notice something unsettling. On my right arm is a cut, about 3 inches, in the exact place as in the dream.
I can't write this off as a bump I must have forgotten about. There is no way I could have accidentally cut myself in the night. I have no sharp edges nearby; the bed-frame in faux leather and my bedside table has a rounded edge. I don't keep a knife in the bedroom, why would I? There is nothing in here which could have caused it. In the morning, as soon as i've fully woken up enough to comprehend the situation I ask Ben, who is already getting dressed, to come and have a look. He looks at me funny but loyally inspects my wound. He has no idea how I must have done it, but carefully dresses it to keep it clean. I'm worried, but I have to get to work, so I don't have time to ponder it too deeply.
Over the week I keep having bad dreams involving the strange figure, and find new injuries which match whatever it did. I look up the side effects of sleeping pills to see if that could explain it, but I know it won't. It does mention 'unusual dreams', but nothing about injuring yourself during my sleep. Could I be sleep walking? I've never before, and I can't find anything to explain why I would suddenly start.
I don't believe in paranormal stuff, I never have, but this is creeping me out. I want to find a logical explanation, but I can't uncover anything that would account for what has been happening. Who is the dark figure in my dreams? What does it want? Why is it hurting me? I tell Ben parts of what has been happened but I can tell he's not taking me seriously, although he still tried to comfort me.
I'm feeling stressed, and Ben knows just what to do, he gives me a back massage and a glass of wine in the evening. And I know it may sound like the last thing i'd want, but that night we thought getting intimate might help me feel better. I'm generally quite submissive, I guess as i'm an anxious person that makes sense. Ben is definitely more dominant despite how he seems in the outside world. That night I don't have a nightmare and I feel much better. Maybe being relaxed helps somehow? Or did the wine made it a deeper sleep? Or endorphins? Whatever the cause, i'm thankful for the rest.
The next night, the figure comes back with a vengeance. His eyes stare right into my soul as he laughs manically. In the dream i'm tied to a bed, I can't move. It feels real. I plead with him to let me go, to not hurt me. I promise I won't tell anyone. I'll do anything. He doesn't care, he's enjoying it. He enjoys my misery. I frantically look around for a way to escape and notice my bedside table and alarm clock. What. I'm in my room. Is this real or am I dreaming?? I struggle against the ropes and feel them burn my wrists as they get tighter. I sob, hot tears streaming down my face. He grins. He touches my leg with his cold hand. It goes higher and higher, under my nightie. I hyperventilate and pass out.
When I wake up, I freeze and tense up, afraid to feel what I think has happened. I slowly bring my wrists into vision and seen the rope marks. I let out a sob, my eyes brimming with tears. I try to hold it in as I mentally check over my body to identify which bits hurt. There is one area in particular that hurts. The idea fills me with dread, I feel the bile rising and I want to throw up. I run to the toilet and see the blood between my legs. I throw up in big heaving wretches. Ben walks in looking concerned. “What's up Laura?” I try to explain but I can't, it doesn't even make sense. Where would I begin. How could it be real? But it was real, somehow.
Crying, I manage to tell him a few words at a time between deep gasps while my whole body heaves. He thinks i'm going crazy. He doesn't say that, he says all the right things in fact, but I can tell while he frowns that he is concerned in a different way. Perhaps for my mental health.
I decide i'm going to stop the sleeping pills. I don't know if they have anything to do with it but it's worth a try, this is unbearable. I call in sick for work and spend the day on the sofa with a blanket. Ben says not to involve the police yet, to have a shower and a rest and see if I remember what really happened first.
At bedtime I down a large glass of wine with the lovely dinner Ben has made. He smiles. He's such a good boyfriend. Despite all the rest i've had i'm happy to go to bed and spoon with Ben. I feel safer with him close.
That night the figure comes back. He thinks he's outsmarted me. He gently strokes my head, almost lovingly. How could he come back? I see that i'm in my bedroom but I can't move, so I can't turn to see Ben and ask him for help (If that's even possible). Surprisingly, the figure leaves the room and everything goes black. I don't wake up with any more marks.
The next morning I decide I need to stay awake. I'm too afraid to go to sleep tonight. I book an appointment with the doctors because I need to tell someone even if they think i'm crazy. I dread the thought of sleeping. The doctor seems sceptical but I can tell she wants to help me. She prescribes me a different sleeping pill and gives me a number for counselling. She says to come back if things haven't improved. Thankful, I head home.
That night I don't have any wine and eat the leftover curry from yesterday. I try to stay awake. Sitting in the sofa I read some of my book, read though Reddit and obsessively check my emails, not that anything would have changed. I don't normally stay awake this late and my anxiety is definitely present. Any sounds make me jump and the tree tapping on the window is unsettling. I decide to have a little wine to help me relax. Snuggled up in a blanket I get sleepier and eventually succumb. When I 'wake', it is there. But it's not. In my tired state I can't focus, but somehow everything is clearer. I look at the creature and see a familiar smile. But not the same as the creature, it is the same smile as Ben. My eyes widen as he approaches.
In the morning, everything is clear. Whatever I thought were sleeping pills from my boyfriend, were not, they were something much more sinister. It was him all along. At first I'm horrified and distraught. How could he do this to me? Why? I'm overwhelmed. What should I do? Thinking fast I realise he doesn't know that I know. I have time to strategize. I need to decide what to do. It goes to work. I start preparing.
When he comes home I've made him dinner. I'm not going to confront him yet. I make sure to only consume the food or drink i've made and not leave my drink unattended, even for a second. I pretend like everything is the same as yesterday, still worried but no more than I have been over the past few weeks. I hope i'm fooling him. As he gets sleepy I lure him upstairs with a cheeky wink. I wouldn't like to try an haul him upstairs myself. Soon he is unconscious. I tie him up with the strong rope I bought from B&Q (it costs more than you'd expect!). He opens his eyes in his groggy hallucinating state.
He sees a small dark figure with glowing eyes, grinning. It stuffs and tapes his mouth so not a sound will be heard. It has an array of tools to use, all lined up neatly. It wants revenge, and justice. It starts with the smallest knife and cuts, and cuts, and cuts. He tries to scream. It turns on a little music so the neighbours don't hear. 'Highway to Hell' is playing. It picks up the nest tool, a corkscrew. It prods around looking for a nice soft spot and begins. It's harder to break the skin as it's not that sharp, but once it's in, it's easy. It turns and turns until it's as deep as it can go. Then it pulls it straight out with all the force it can manage. It makes a mess. He writhes in unbearable pain, sweat beading on his forehead. It puts the corkscrew down and taps it's fingers trying to choose what next. There are so many choices! The small dark figure remembers what happened underneath her nightie and picks the next tool. An evil smile creeps over its face as his eyes widen in horror and the blood drains from his face.