Apologies for the title; there's a character limit and I really didn't know how to give this experience a "specific, meaningful title" as it is ongoing...
To give a small amount of background info: I'm 29 years old, live on Long Island in NY State and I've been actively involved with the paranormal and have an obligatory, life-long relationship with it in many ways. My father was an Empath and had a number of very real experiences throughout his lifetime; he helped me deal with and understand my experiences through the years as that "gift" had passed on to me; he passed away in 2006 at the age of 47. He was very open-minded and though he was not religious, he was a very spiritual person. I was raised in such a way that I've never been 'fed' ideas or 'led' to believe anything - my father always insisted I educate myself and never subscribe to anything without careful research and consideration, to be aware, to keep an open mind, and to be receptive yet logical.
Although I've had many paranormal experiences, I've always felt one singular, familiar presence - no matter where I've lived, and was at one point chronicling my paranormal experiences in my old home on paranormal.about.com (a lot of heavy energy and poltergeist activity - very physical in nature and events had been witnessed by many people, including the 3 housemates I'd had as they all experienced it frequently); I have seen multiple spirits/entities/energies, etc, and when I'd felt I could no longer handle the 'visual' aspect of these encounters, I no longer 'saw' them as vividly but started to 'feel' them; now, it seems they form what I can only describe as "thought-feelings" in my mind - I can't really find an accurate way to articulate what exactly it is. I do see shadows, energy and lights - but mostly I feel an image start to form in my mind and that's what I go by. I've suffered from insomnia for years and have to take medication in order to sleep at night. Otherwise I'm completely awake and cannot sleep due to the overwhelming sensation of being watched. I'd been to psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists throughout my life in an effort to try to understand what was happening to me, and all have agreed that I'm completely sane. My mother, although in denial of her abilities out of fear, has prophetic dreams and has experienced paranormal activity as well. She blames most of it on me.
Currently, after a period of either dormancy (or ignorance on my part due to mt focus being on an overwhelming level of stress and personal issues) I've been experiencing this singular, familiar presence more than anything else. My current boyfriend is complaining that he's being woken up during the night multiple times, says that he has been choked and feels that a presence is intentionally keeping him from sleeping. I attempted to explain 'sleep paralysis' and how the brain releases chemicals during REM sleep to keep us mildly paralyzed so we don't "act out" our dreams, that sometimes we wake up suddenly, that the effect hasn't worn off yet so we may still be in a sort of "dream state" (hence hallucinations) and cannot move due to the protective paralytic until it wears off and things come into focus again. I've also explained that this can cause very scary and vivid hallucinations and the fear can be overwhelming. He's adamant that is not the case. Now, if this experience were unique to him, I would simply conclude that he is in fact experiencing "night terrors" or "sleep paralysis" and would not link it to what I'm experiencing. However, along with him, both my ex-fiancée (which preceded my current relationship and was a 5-year, domestic relationship) along with the ex I'd dated for 3 years preceding my 5-year relationship have complained of the exact same experience, all three vehemently denying sleep paralysis and acknowledging that they've never experienced this prior to dating me! I can't believe that this is the third relationship where my boyfriend is actually being attacked in his sleep. It cannot be coincidence. All three of them have been very convincing in their defense of this. I, myself have never experienced sleep paralysis or anything like these "attacks" but most certainly have felt this presence, especially at night when I'm going to bed. I'm fairly sure this may be one of the most common symptoms of a personal haunting.
Over the past few months, I've woken up with mysterious bruising, scratches and cuts as well; some rather large, yet I have no memory of injuring myself in any way or of anything hurting me... I am anemic so if I were to injure myself the bruising would definitely come easily and be quite apparent, but some of these bruises have either looked like someone had grabbed me with their fingers and were gripping tightly, or were simply dark, large and completely unexplainable (placed strangely: inner thigh, back, inner upper arm). I'd go to bed without them, and either wake up to find them once I'd showered or while I was getting dressed or have had them pointed out to me. Strange cuts have appeared, mainly on my hands and arms; sometimes on my chest, under the collarbone area. I really just thought that I'd possibly done something in my sleep or had forgotten that I'd bumped into something, but I've never been known to sleep-walk. My ex-fiancée (who again, lived with me for 5 years and who has observed me in my sleep many times), as well as my current boyfriend (whom I'm living with, and obviously also has been awake when I've been sleeping) have reported that when I do sleep, I sleep completely through the night. I've never had anyone assert that I walk in my sleep. I'm pretty much dumbfounded. The lights in our apartment have been turning on at night, as we go to bed with them off, and wake up to them on: the light in the foyer, kitchen, bathroom, etc... Every light but the room we sleep in! Just this morning the door, which had been locked, unlocked somehow on its own. Things go missing, and then turn up in random places a week later - very typical.
I have noticed that the complaints coming from my current boyfriend have coincided with our arguments, some of which are immensely frustrating and upsetting to me, and since I feel I'm not getting anywhere with him, I hold it all in and have considered that it is possible that my subconscious frustration could act out on its' own, BUT - it's not the first time this has happened, and this feels completely separate, like an external presence. I don't know how to describe it. It's doubtful to me that it's defending me in some way because it has (with what seems like intent) terrified *me* over the years - touching me in my sleep, slamming doors, opening doors, banging on walls, moving or throwing objects, breathing on me, calling my name and just keeping the air thick with a general unease that's palpable. It has never, to my knowledge, hurt me though, unless the unexplained injuries have been sustained from this thing? I don't know if they're related. This presence is completely segregated from the number of other paranormal experiences I've had, or other spirits I've felt or seen.
I'm fairly educated when it comes to general haunting, sleep disorders, etc but I really don't know how to classify this at all, or what to do about it. It seems I cannot get a handle on what this is. Usually I could feel if it was a human spirit, but this thing eludes me. I've tried cleansing, sage, crystals, salt, meditation and affirmations, "taking control over/claiming my home", etc... My father, while alive, warned against the use of a Ouija Board as it is a doorway and you don't have any control over what happens, yet suggested I try automatic writing? I always felt it was worse to attempt this because in essence you're allowing something in; to use you. I can see how it would be 'OK' for an experienced Psychic-Medium who channels and can manage a certain level of choice/control, but not for someone who has never attempted this with some kind of (seemingly) dark entity.
I'm open to any and all suggestions. I'd really like for this entity, whatever it may be as I cannot sense exactly what it is, to stop harassing me; my boyfriend. Even my Chihuahua is flipping out; barking all night at nothing and it's stressing her out. She paces back and forth on top of me all night and barks at whatever this thing is. I'd like to be free of it. It seems to be completely tied to me in some way. I'm apprehensive to attempt to communicate with it - aside from my occasional shouting at it, which leads me to feel foolish, lol - because I do respect and fear that I am completely ignorant to what this 'thing' is.
If anyone has had or is having a similar experience, I'd really like to hear about it. A solution? I am not crazy... The people that know me; some of which have known me for 20+ years, would all attest to the fact that I am sane and not prone to flights of fancy. I'm the first one to dismiss a bump in the night or a creaky floorboard as a "ghost".
Thank you in advance to anyone who has any input that could lead to a better understanding of what this could be.