Have you ever heard of being attacked by something unseen while you are asleep? I don't know what to make of this, but this has happened to me 3-4 times over the years. It's very scary.
The first time it happened was over 24 years ago, on my wedding night I was asleep and knew I was asleep, but yet I couldn't move. I could open my eyes that was all. I felt something enormous sitting on my chest and I was having trouble breathing. I looked over and something unseen was taking all of my clothes out of my closet and throwing them at me ... also threw my wedding dress at me! I chalked the whole experience up to nerves, but I remember trying to scream or move ... but I couldn't.
Last night I was sleeping on my side and felt something attacked me. I felt it land on my back and dig into my neck and back. I couldn't move or scream out. It happened twice last night. I was afraid to go back to sleep.
The only common denominator that I can think of, is that this must have something to do with my mother. She wasn't invited to my wedding and hated me for it. She sent me letters spitting venom at the time.
Yesterday after malicious horrible emails over Christmas (to which I refused to respond) she called me and started on me again. I told her to LEAVE ME ALONE! And hung up on her. I can't let her near me, she will stop at nothing to destroy me. The whole experience yesterday left me shaking. Last night while I slept, I was attacked. I have never heard of this happening to anybody else.
In order to explain further you I have to tell you what I experienced as a child growing up. I have never met another person that could HATE like her. She used to beat on me but mostly my older brother. I used to stand there and witness her beatings, and the look on her face of pure HATRED........I felt it.......it was almost tangible it emanated so strongly from her. As a child I would have constant stomach problems, I lived on Alka Seltser! I know she is what Sylvia Browne calls a dark soul. She is also quite insane, but she hides it from others very well.
The whole thing scared the beejeezes out of me. This felt very real, not a dream. I swear I was awake and could hear my physical body's reaction to what was happening to me during the assault I was experiencing. Very rapid heart rate and sharp panting type breathing. I was trying to move even just a little and couldn't. I could see my husband sleeping soundly but couldn't move to wake him up! I was in terrible pain! What was this?
Similar things have happened to me too ... and my experiences were very fearful, at least until I realized that it was my fear that was making it so scary. I know that sounds crazy, but once you accept these experiences you have a lot more positive ones, and fewer scary ones. If you look up "Old Hag Syndrome" and "Sleep Paralysis" in Google, you will discover that this kind of experience is actually quite common, but no one is really sure what it is, and people have only been discussing it openly for the past few years.
In your case, I think this is a combination of things. The symbolism of the clothing and the timing do seem to point to a psychic attack on your mother's part. It is possible you picked up the energy of her thoughts, and interpreted them as an attack, or that she actually did attack you on the astral plane. I feel it is obvious your mother was at least partly behind it. The symbolism and the timing is too obvious.
The part about being awake and not able to move sounds more like sleep paralysis, but the difference between the dream state, sleep paralysis experiences and astral experiences to me is only one of depth of consciousness - there are dream elements in all these experiences, but they are not all dreams. When you feel that "more than real" experience, you have gone to the astral level.
Astral experiences are similar to dreams, but they sometimes feel "more real" than "reality" - if you know what I mean by that, then it was an astral experience, not a dream. If you felt it was more like a dream but you were awake and unable to move, it could be sleep paralysis. I have that from time to time, and it is terrifying. It is considered a medical condition, not a psychic one, but it can have psychic components. I believe it is caused when the person has a partial out of body experience. My guides tell me they sometimes force me to stay in the body because my connection to physical existence is quite tentative. I stay out too long and I won't come back ... so they stuff me back in, and it is not always pleasant.
For now, pour some salt in the four corners of your home, if it is a house, and it is possible, get some sea salt and draw a circle around it. I say an affirmation like "May this circle bless all our comings and goings, and bar all harm from entering". If it happens again, dip your feet and hands in cold water, draw a mental circle of light around your home, and ask God or Jesus for protection (that never worked for me, but it's worth a try if you come from a Christian background). I sometimes say "Please send these energies back to their source with light and love." If you have any crystals (rose quartz is extra good for you right now), make sure you clear them on a regular basis (leave them overnight in sea salt).
I also recommend Love Bombing. You meditate on someone or something you love, filling yourself up with positive and loving emotions. Then, whenever you are ready, you beam them in your mind "at the source of your discomfort" - do NOT specify your mother, it is remotely possible this is not her! If you leave it up to them upstairs (God, Jesus, your angels or guides, whatever fits your faith) to deliver the energy it will get where it needs to go. Then release any cords or connections with light and love, and ground yourself.
The upshot to this method (besides the fact that it nearly always works, sometimes with a few repeats) ... YOU feel better, and it's "karma free". Sending nasty thoughts always comes back on you, like pissing in the wind. But sending loving thoughts can't hurt you. And the other party will get a jolt of energy that snaps them back on their feet. If they are truly evil, they tend to react like they were slapped in the face. If just misguided, I have seen some amazing attitude changes after a Love Bombing.
You don't sound crazy to me, and you are not alone. I have experienced far stranger things. I used to have these things almost every night. I would wake up screaming for Jesus to help me, I couldn't move, there was an awful roaring noise in my ears, these terrible vibrations ... the sensation was like having a finger stuck in a light socket. It was awful. In some cases, there were negative entities that tried to sexually and physically assault me. I thought I was crazy or possessed by the devil. Finally this fellow who owned a new-age store told me to put my feet and hands in cold water, and sent me to a naturopath who told me that these sounded like out of body experiences. That advice put me on the path to getting control of my life again. It probably saved my life. I was so frightened, trust me, I understand that fear! But now I know it is the fear that colors the experience - our imagination has a much stronger effect on the astral plane than it does on physical reality. If you are sensitive and okay with it, you'll have positive experiences, but if you are fearful, it will be a horror show. It's that simple. In your case, to top it off, you have a lot of family stress - so did I when mine first started, but my mother was a fundamentalist Pentecostal Christian. It's no wonder I thought I was being attacked by demons.
Things are very different now. I occasionally have the odd “sleep paralysis” experience, but as often as not, they are actually quite positive. They usually happen when I am under more stress or am worried about something. I have a lot more positive lucid dreams now too. Once I let go of the fear, my own and my mother’s, things changed a lot for the better. I actually miss having them as often as I used to, sometimes!