Let me start by explaining why I have doubts about my shadow man experience being related to a dream and sleep paralysis. I do have a history of sleep paralysis with what I've tended to call "waking dreams." I knew exactly where I was and I had sensory awareness of my surroundings, but all of my joints were locked, including my jaw. I could neither move nor scream. I've never felt as though someone was holding me down, as I've seen many people report here; it's more all-encompassing than that. Nightmares typically corresponded with the events back then. In addition to sensing my surroundings, I could also sense horrific creatures approaching and I needed to get away from them, but I was trapped. While highly unsettling, I knew they were dreams. I knew what I was experiencing was all "in my head." I tended to focus my energies on screaming my way out.
My "waking dreams" were most common during my college years when I was under a high degree of stress and experiencing very little sleep. I attended a local university, commuted from home and worked as many hours as I could at a local mall. I would often try to steal a quick nap on the couch between classes and work, and I would worry about waking up in time to make it to my job. Hence... The stress induced waking dreams.
I explain about those events to separate them from my shadow man experience. This was quite different: first, because I had never previously "dreamt up" a shadow man, nor had I ever heard of such a thing at the time; and second, because I was neither under stress nor suffering from lack of sleep.
In November of 2007, I was in the city of Chihuahua in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, for business. I travel often in my job, and have done so since around 1990. I'm accustomed to what others might consider the "stress" of frequently staying in strange hotels in strange cities. I actually enjoyed this particular trip. I was very comfortable in Chihuahua. The area where we stayed reminded me of many US suburbs. We even went to the local mall and walked around some. And yet, one night while on that trip, I had a visit from a Shadow Man.
I can't say what woke me (or presumably "woke" me), but I opened my eyes to find a figure/person/shadow man standing at the foot of my bed, on my left. He was looking down at me; I was sure of that, although I could not see any eyes. I saw no face, either. I saw, simply, a shadow, the size of a man, perhaps about 6 feet tall. He had no features, but he was very definitely man-shaped, neither fat nor thin, and somewhat solid. He was not transparent. I could not see through him.
While I fully admit that some nights I can wake up and be uncertain about where I am, on that night I knew exactly where I was: in a hotel in Chihuahua. And I knew I had an intruder in my room. And I was, as you would expect, terrified. But I was also trapped. My joints, including my jaw, were all absolutely locked, as they had been during the college-days incidents. I struggled to shout at him - not simply to scream, as years before, but to tell him to get out. Despite my jaw not working, I repeated over and over again, "Get out of my room!"
Try shouting that with your teeth clamped. That's the sound that resulted.
I can't say how long he stood there, absolutely still. But suddenly I saw him bending forward, and then falling forward, aiming to land right smack-dab on top of me. At the instant of impact - or what should have been impact - he vanished, my jaw unlocked and I screamed for real (fortunately neither shrill enough nor long enough to elicit a call from the front desk lol). I jumped out of bed, turned on lights and checked to make sure the door was locked. It was.
I've never had another visit. I've often tried to force myself to believe this incident had just been "in my head" like all those nightmares way back when. Unfortunately, I can't help but believe it was real - which begs the next question: Why?
Last week, after reading some of the shadow man experiences here... And finding none to be like mine...I've revisited the question again, and I'm beginning to believe that the "why" of his visit has something to do with what happened in the subsequent months and years.
Four months later, in March of 2008, several years of horrific violence were ushered into Mexico when the government initiated the current drug wars by launching "Joint Operation Chihuahua." Juarez, Monterrey and the city of Chihuahua itself, all locations where we traveled, became hot spots, with murder and kidnap rates soaring. I can't substantiate this next bit, but I was informed by colleagues local to the area that the hotel in which we stayed was "invaded" one night when a group of men loyal to one drug lord went looking for the girlfriend of another drug lord. They searched room-by-room until they found her. Then they took her away, and no one ever saw her again.
2008 also marks: the start of the recession; the fall of the auto industry (which is my bread-and-butter); the first series of layoffs my company has ever dealt out throughout its long history; and, on a personal level, a family crisis involving my parents' failing health. In the years since, I, myself, have remained fine. I kept my job and my health, but I've suffered "survivor guilt" to watch long-time friends and colleagues walked out the door at work. I've also experienced an insane amount of family crises - including a niece and a nephew - cousins, not siblings - who were involved in separate, head-on collision accidents. Both survived. With my niece, the impact had been off-center just enough to destroy the front passenger seat - where no one was sitting - and therefore did not crush her. With my nephew, I honestly don't know what saved him, except perhaps the grace of God. He'd been on a motorcycle. He does carry "souvenirs" in the form of all the pins now holding one arm and one leg together.
Other bad things happened as well; it would take too long to list every one. It all seemed to culminate last year when, in the span of 13 months, from August of 2011 to August of 2012, four people very close to me all passed away, all very suddenly - from illnesses, not accidents. This August, 2013, was marked only with a wedding (which I like to count as a good sign - sort of "starting fresh").
Now I can't help but wonder several things: Did that shadow man pay me a visit to warn me of all the horrific events soon to come? Did his falling into me signify shielding me, personally, from any direct harm (even if he couldn't shield me from the stress - emotional, physical and financial)? Or did he somehow make me a "magnet" to draw bad energies that extended to people around me?
Or did he make me a "shadow"? I say that because, in the years since his "visit," I realize I've become somewhat of a shadow at work. Where I used to be viewed as a "thought leader," I've been pushed aside without being cast aside. I'm like the "wild card" they pull out when they have problems they can't solve, but I'm not in the thick of things anymore, not like I had been when I visited Chihuahua.
Is he linked to Chihuahua itself, but something about me drew him to me? If something drew him, what was it? Was it the room, itself - maybe because that's where the drug lord's girlfriend would soon face a terror of her own? Or was it me, possibly linked to whatever has protected me in the past? (I had 3 extreme experiences between the ages of 13 & 19, any one of which could have killed me or resulted in significant physical trauma.) Was it the "fact" (if you can call it a fact) that I had been "accepted" by the spirits in my childhood home after having been conceived there (described in my first story here, "Was My House a Portal")?
It's all guesswork, certainly, but very intriguing to ponder.
(End note: I write to process experiences. This experience was no different. I ended up writing a poem that captured the essence of a shadow man's visit. In fact, I started to write a lot of horror-themed poems and stories starting around that time frame. I forced myself to stop a little over a year ago, because I felt I was inviting too much darkness into my life. That first poem is available to read here: http://dmkraft.livejournal.com/9683.html)