it has a name. i don't know what took me so long to look it up, but i finally did. typed in 'dream paralysis' and low and behold found out that it wasn't just me. there really exist a clinical definition for what i experience. i read through a couple of different sites and checked out several videos. some videos were documentary type; other videos were people explaining there experience. oh, and there is apparently some lore behind the whole thing, 'old hag' and others. there are two different types, one that includes hallucinations including sound and shadows; the other type is simply the inability to move. very interesting really.
there are some discrepancies with my experiences. one, they state sleep deprivation as one of the reason for it. As far as i'm concerned, i am most definitely not sleep deprived. i actually curbed the amount i slept to keep it at bay because it seems the more i sleep the more likely it is to happen. i'm also a little interested in finding out what waking from this sleep paralysis is like for others. for me, i am not only physically a little sluggish, but my mind/brain is in a big giant fog. it takes a good hour or so for me to finally feel normal after waking from an episode.
knowing though helps. it should take some of the fear out of it. though i doubt the fear will ever disappear.