Monday, April 21, 2014

Sleep Paralysis

Do you know what sleep paralysis is? You know, when you're half asleep and half awake on your bed and you kinda feel something.. or someone heavy on your body or pushing you and you can't breathe. Sometimes people will also be able to see or hear frightening things. You tried to scream and move but you can't.

It has been said that this has nothing to do with paranormal and demonic activities. This is actually a sleeping disorder. So they said. You can Google about this if you want to know more about it.

I had a previous episode of sleep paralysis while I was in my hostel. 

But before that, I want to tell you that I always sleep on the side of my bed which is near the wall. I don't know why but I love being near the wall. I could feel the coolness of the wall and it makes me feel cozy. A lot of time I faced the wall too. It's kind of my habit of sleeping. One of my roommates, Brenda, told me that I am a lizard since I like sticking on the wall haha! But here's the thing, because of how I slept all along, there was an empty space beside me.

There was this one night when I slept like usual. I was so tired that I just fell asleep when I lay down. The semester had been rough on me, hence to my exhausted self. I was facing the wall and being very near to the wall. After a few hours, I felt this feeling where I was in the state of half awake but still in my dream. I was in my dream but I can feel what was happening around me in my hostel room. I felt like someone climbed on my bed and laid down beside me on the empty space where I usually left. I was still half in my dream so I didn't even have a frightening thought on who was beside me. All I wanted to do was to turn and see who was it.

And then that was when it happened.

I couldn't move. I knew what was going on. I was awaken from my dream. I realized that I was in m hostel room already. But the thing was, I couldn't move. I felt that thing behind me was pushing..and pushing me nearer to the wall. I prayed, but no words could come out from my mouth. I could feel its body pushing against me to the wall. All I was thinking was to get out from that sleep paralysis. I was more to being panicked than being scared actually. I remember praying, "In Jesus' name, don't get near me!" over and over again.

Then, I heard.

I heard it breathing right on my left ear. It's like the sound of a person trying to push something heavy in great effort but more to whisper-like and.. more scary and...

it was gone.

As soon as I feel free from it I turned and I realized then that my mouth was mouthing the prayers I said in my heart and in whisper. I could feel how fast my heart beat was. But thank God it only lasted about 5-6 seconds. I climbed down from the top bunk bed and Hilda, my other roommate, heard me. Apparently she tried to sleep but can't because she felt that we weren't the only ones in the room that night. Something else was with us. I checked my phone. It was 3.30 am. So, when I climbed down my bed in panic, she knew something was not right. I was shaking and I came to her and she grabbed my hand. I told her what happened and I slept with her. I was in tears. I was no longer panicked but terrified. I was afraid that if I close my eyes again, it will happen again... even when Hilda was next to me. So I prayed to God. I put my faith in God that no devil will disturb me while I was asleep again. I asked God to cover me with the blood of Christ. I prayed for other things too but I forgot. So I slept, having faith that God will protect me. It did not happen again.

I slept with Hilda for two nights after that. Something happened after those two nights but I will get to that later on the next post.

The day after what happened. I went to my classmates' room and I told them what happened the night before. While I was telling them, Mar was surprised and scared. She had this look where I sensed that she knew something about it. I was right. Apparently, the voice that I heard... she heard it too. She had sleep paralysis a few days before me but longer. I think it was hours.. I don't know I forgot. Sorry. So she told me what happened and her story was EXACTLY like mine. She told me that she was facing the walls and something was pushing her. I haven't told her that I was facing the walls but she told me that she was. She did not made that up. I mimicked the voice that I heard and she was like, "EEEHH! THAT'S IT!! THAT'S THE VOICE!!" I was like.. no way.

Now that made me think. Is it really true that it was just a sleeping disorder? How did it felt so real? How come if it was just a sleeping disorder, Mar heard the exact same voice too? I don't know. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Maybe I was too tired. But I can't shake the feeling that it wasn't just a sleeping disorder because how real it felt. But to be honest, I still don't know for sure. All I know, I must pray before going to sleep. I didn't that night. I was too selfish and slept straightaway because I was so exhausted.

Pray before going to sleep not only asking god for protection but remember to give thanks to the Lord for his blessings for the entire day. Ask for His forgiveness on anything that you've done on that day that may hurt our Father God's feeling. Then, ask for protections from the devils and nightmares.

God is good. All the time!

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. -James 4:7

Sunday, April 13, 2014

End of Second Semester

It ended two days ago and I arrived at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport at around 3 p.m. yesterday. Now, I'm home!! Oh the Land Below the Wind!
How was my second semester, you asked? Well, it was pretty tough. At the end of our first semester last year, Mr. Zaidi told us that the pressure on our coming semester (which is the second semester) will be different and we have to prepare ourselves physically and mentally. He was right. The pressures were too much for me and I am kind of overwhelmed by everything. Often times I came to class with unfinished assignments and made some of my lecturers disappointed in me. I admit that I did broke down in tears a couple of times. I was down when I knew that they expected more from me but I failed to do it. Especially now when I have been labelled as "The Best Student" since my result on the first semester. Best student? Lah sangatt!
You see, being labelled like that.. I just can't take that kind of pressure. As time goes by, I didn't even care anymore. I didn't care if I messed up and I didn't care if people were shocked that I didn't get the highest mark in Art History class because I realized that I am doing it for myself and not for anybody else. However, when I started to not care anymore... I realized that I feel... I don't know... free? Also my performance got better too. Funny how it started to go well when I decided not to care. But still, I sacrificed my sleeping time a lot! My will to stayed up late at night fires up when I decided never to disappoint my lecturers again. That was my goal. And most of the time, I achieved the goal. Way to go, Susan! Way to go of getting only 3 to 4 hours of sleep every day though. Except of course, weekends.
But the day that was truly extreme for me has to be the day before the assessment day. Assessment day - the day that ALL of our artworks will be assessed and critiqued. Scary much? 
I did not sleep the whole day and the next more than half of the day. Basically more than 36 hours. Man, I looked so horrible during our assessment day. Miss Val even asked me, "Eh? Kamu tak tidur ka?" (Hey, did you not sleep?) Yup, I looked really tired. Even my friends mentioned how tired my face was. I did not even get to put on my makeup that day and I was really pale. Like a zombie. Because of the lack of sleep, I got mood swings all the time. I remember crying that morning because I was too disappointed that even though I stayed up all night, I still did not managed to finish all my assignments and I was already late. I almost puked because my head was so heavy and dizzy and all I wanted to do was to sleep but I can't and I felt irritated at almost anything. I was not myself that day. My back hurts so much. But thank God it all went well. In fact! Some of my artworks were chosen as the best! :D

Painting "Op Art"
Wooden Sculpture (Front)


Oil painting on canvas
2' 6" x 2' 6" 
Oil painting on canvas
1' 6" x 1' 6"
I remember all the blood, sweat and tears I shed throughout this semester. Yes, I literally shed blood doing my artworks a few times while carving this plywood for printmaking..

Um well, I wasn't actually carving in the picture but that was the plywood I was talking about. The picture above showed that I was rolling ink onto it. Didn't take pictures of me while carving.. I had some accidents with the carving tools and accidentally "carved" my fingers. Ouch. Don't worry, it wasn't that severe. I think.

Anyway, I'm impressed with it though 'cause it turned out to be like this!

I can't believe I managed to endure my second semester! I survived! Maybe I am not getting straight A's anymore but I don't care because I have done my very best! I'm a weak girl but I have a mighty God! I boast in my weakness because that will be the time where people would see how mighty my God is! 

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