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{The Man with the Hat Fear02 (talk) 16:24, 26 November 2023 (UTC){PAGENAME}}[]

I worked as a taxi-driver which was the most stressful job that I had. Sitting in a car all day to get some payment while driving passengers was mentally draining. Don't get me wrong, many passengers are very friendly and polite, but there have also been those times there were people who were obnoxious or rude. It could be stressed people, drunk people and those who think they are more important than you and me.

The stress I had caused a lot of problems for me. Sometimes it was hard to eat, and I felt nauseated. And everytime I was going to bed, I would have a bit of a hard time to calm down, but I would eventually fall asleep. Every morning when I was going to the job, I knew the day would be tough. I do not like to be passive, and when you have a job like that, you don’t get to move often as you have to drive people from location to location. All day, in and out. But I needed a job so I could stay in my apartment. My landlord was fair when he needed to be, but was very strict. He even said that if I don’t pay the rent for my apartment, he would kick me out. So I had to keep this crappy job so I can pay for things that I need, which is something we all can relate to.

One evening, I remember it was a Friday, I was so exhausted after my daily shift. After I ate dinner, I fell asleep quickly that night, which was something I have not experienced for some time now, since I always had a hard time falling asleep. Many hours later, I heard the sound of my door to the apartment open! I remember that I felt dread, and thought a burglar had broken into my home, or worse…

I noticed I couldn’t move, like something had made me physically numb. I could not lift up my head either. I could only move my eyes. I heard that the footsteps got louder and got closer. I wanted to run, I wanted to shriek, but I couldn’t! I was stuck in a passive position, and I was voiceless. My heart was beating fast and I started to sweat. My door to my room opened, and I could hear footsteps. Then someone jumped up to my bed, and in front of me, was a shadowy figure with a hat. The figure from what I could tell, seemed to “stare at me”, even though I couldn’t see a face. Then it grabbed my throat to strangle me. I felt that I choked, and the shadowy figure felt heavy. I was wondering if this was the moment I was going to die.

What felt like an eternity, I started to feel I could control my body again! And in the moment I opened my eyes, the man with the hat was gone. I stood up, tried to catch my breath and I wiped away my sweat from my forehead. It was just a nightmare, a horrible, creepy one. I saw it was 03:05 o’clock in the morning on my alarm clock. I checked the door to see if someone broke into my apartment, but no one did. It wasn’t until 04:55 I could fall asleep again…

The next morning, I called a relative of mine on the phone, and told them what I had experienced that night. My relative said that I experienced something called sleep paralysis, a state where people experience hallucinations, the inability to speak and move and the feeling of being choked. My relative said it is completely harmless, and one of the causes can range from narcolepsy, insomnia or a long period of stress. The last cause of the paralysis they said, gave me the realization that the experience must have been the result of my high level of stress because of my job. The next Monday, I quitted working as a taxi driver, and I was unemployed for an entire year, as I was trying to focus on my mental and physical health. I went to a psychologist to handle my anxiety and stress, and I started to exercise more than I did before and socialize with my loved ones. I feel slightly better than before, and I could sleep and eat well, compared to when I was a taxi-driver. I am preparing to find a new job, and hopefully, I’ll have one which fits me well and not just any job I can say thanks to.

Sometimes I think to myself that the hallucination I had, Man with the Hat, would be a real person. The thought makes me unsettled, as I imagine that a real man with dark clothes would have broked into my apartment in the middle of the night, and tried to strangle me to death.

</dFear02 (talk) 16:24, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Story by Fear02iv>

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