Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nightmare on my street...

So, is anyone else out there just freaking exhausted?

I am in a constant state of frenzy.

Yesterday in a rush to put my son down for a nap before I had to frenzy off to pick up the den and frantically shove something muffin-y down my throat, I gave him the wrong bottle of milk. I gave him the one on the bookcase that my husband left there God knows when, hot and starting to curdle, instead of the cold, fresh bottle sitting on the changing table. I didn't realize it until he had gulped down over an ounce of spoiled milk. Great. Thank goodness, no tummy ache.

This past summer has been the worst summer I can remember. Financial problems, death, unemployment, miscarriage, stress, lots of tears, lots of anxiety. We made it through with the faith that fall and winter will bring happiness and relief. So far, so good.

But, the scars left from this Summer of Sam, are the reason, I think, that my nightmares are back.

Now, let me insert this disclaimer before you all delete me off your blogs: I am not a psychopath. I'm just repressed. That's better, right? Anway.

Close friends and family know about my nightmares. I have had brutal nightmares for as long as I can remember. As a child, I had dreams about sharks biting off my legs in the pool, or a two-headed monster slamming my sister and I down on parking lot concrete, or riding my tricycle off the roof of a tall building. I rarely had good dreams. Just nightmares.

As I got older, the dreams became more gruesome. Let me put it this way: my dreams would have put Rob Zombie and Clive Barker to shame.

When I turned twenty-nine, I went to therapy for a year to deal with childhood issues, my parents' divorce, problems I had in my own romantic relationships. I dealt with issues of resentment, repressed anger, insecurity, fear, shame. You know, all those really fun core issues.

Insert soap box here:

I'm proud of facing my demons and going to therapy. More people should. It isn't something to be ashamed of, as some might believe, instead something of which to be proud. Most don't have the guts to face themselves in therapy. Those who do, I say, "Bravo!" And I am glad the negative social ideas about therapy are starting to fade. Anyway. I'll jump down from my slippery, soap box.

To continue. After therapy, my gruesome nightmares stopped.

Until now.

Yes, five years later, they have returned, although not as frequent. And, instead of being as gruesome and abstract as they used to be, they are now more personal. This week I had one I haven't been able to shake off.

I won't go into the details of the dream, but it dealt with murder. It was the worst nightmare I have ever had because it was so real. I felt every emotion I imagine those left behind might feel.

In the dream, I knew how this person was murdered and couldn't stop thinking about how they must have suffered, how scared they must have been, how desperate to get away. The horror of it replayed over and over and over again in my head. I thought about how we would never do the things together that I wanted to do, how I would never see this person again. I felt sick, angry, I could no longer function in my own life or even move about the house. Most of the dream, I spent bent over, sobbing and screaming.

Eventually, I woke up around 4:30 am. I was crying in my sleep. I curled up into a ball on my bed and sobbed long and loud. I cried harder when I realized it was just a dream and not true. Meanwhile, my husband didn't move. Sound asleep. I wanted to wake him up but realized there wasn't much he could do anyway. It was just another bad dream.

I cried for an hour. I turned on the TV for comfort and eventually fell asleep right before my son woke up. Then, I cried on and off the entire day.

I know the more I deal with this past summer and find peace with everything that transpired, the nightmares will cease and I can once again go back to dreaming about Jon Bon Jovi or flying in and out of castle windows, watching my deceased grandfather, who in the dream is now gay, flying around holding hands with his boyfriend.

Does anyone else have nightmares?


  1. I have always had horrible gruesome nightmares too. My husband never wakes up either. I think the more stress I'm under, the worse they are. Guess we have good imaginations. I went to therapy too for issues with my dad, depression, and anxiety. I think every one should go to therapy at least once in their life. It's good for the soul.

  2. You poor thing! I have nightmares, just like anyone else, but I don't go through that process you described, nor do I have them frequently. I applaud you for seeking help and for sharing that. That is the BEST thing you could do for yourself. Hope they get better...

  3. I saw that bottle sitting by the rocker Friday. I meant to rinse it out for you but forgot. Glad the Golden Child is okay.

    You are going through a lot right now. The dreams will go away soon.

  4. Yes, you have had a rough time and you seem to be surviving. I hope you have a fantastic fall and winter. I am overwhelmed with the pain you feel.

  5. Wow. I've had nightmares but nothing like you are describing. I'm so will get better!

    I see that you have had this award in the past...but I always love reading what you have to say so you're getting it again!

  6. Seriously, can't you catch a break?? You deserve a break!!! Well, maybe it will make for a great book one day. Trying to find the bright side here! I dream most nights but thankfully for me it's usually a sexy dream???? I have no idea why??? It's very odd. But I have to tell you they're fun! Sometimes I'll hear my son crying ready to get up for the morning but I keep my eyes closed for a few minutes more just to finish the dream! Here's hoping you have some fun dreams too!

    I would LOVE to go to therapy. Does that sound odd? I have so much to work out it's unreal. My Dad got sick when I was 3 and it impacted my life and my family's life in more ways then I would have ever thought possible. There is so much swirling around in this head of mine!

  7. Oh you poor thing!
    I hope you can get rid of some of the stress in your life and the dreams back down. Have you tried getting a massage or doing something for yourself? Even if it's just your hubby giving you the massage. I'm just thinking maybe that would help with some stress. Not for long, but for a little bit. I do hope that you are able to kick these crazy dreams and you feel better soon. I don't know all that you are going through, but I hope fall and winter bring GOOD your way!

    There is an award waiting for you at my blog :)

  8. I find myself having dreams where I put myself in situations that terrify me and I HAVE to work them out in the dream or else i wake up unsettled.
    Either I'm in danger or my son or my husband and I have to get them to safety. It's disturbing but I do know how you feel.

    Take care.

  9. I have nightmeres too. It is not terribly uncommon for me to wake up with the pillow soaked in tears. Sometimes the feeling of those hellish nights can carry on through the day..They seem to happen when I am really under stress, not eating right, and odly enough, not getting enough sleep.
    You most certainly are not alone.
    Hang in there!

  10. I think lately I'm too tired for nightmares. I used to be afraid to fall asleep. In the '90s I saw an art therapist who convinced me to keep a notebook by my bed and when I was calm enough - draw the scene and then over the top of the drawing "fix" it. Put the legs back on and cage the sharks for example. somehow this allowed my subconcious to feel "in control" of whatever I was freaking out about and at least allowed me to fall back asleep. Truthfully, I haven't had those kind of nightmares very often since. I can't say they totally stopped; but they are very rare now. I took to drawing like that during the day too. There are a lot of family relationships that I feel cross boundaries - I would draw really big lines/walls and put those people back on their side, draw bubbles to put them in - whatever. It helped. We are not talking Renaissance art work here - stick figure imagery. As long as you know what it represents you are good.
    Also consider some vitamin B. That stuff rocks when I'm anxious or tired.
    I'm sorry about the dreams. I hope you catch a break and get some good sleep soon.

  11. yikes. I've had nightmares, but not Freddy Krugeresque ones. Mine are usually a play on what's going on in my life. I had one the other night where Eliza slipped through a closing elevator door and I lost her. I think that was because I was away from her for a weekend. I think therapy is awesome. Other than that, have you ever tried writing the dreams down in a journal, or journaling in general? That might help to get it out of your brain.

  12. i rarely dream or maybe i just don't remember them, or maybe it is b/c i rarely sleep. although you are struggling now, you still had the fortitude to write that your deceased grandfather is now gay and holding hands with his boyfriend in you dreams and if that isn't enough to sustain you i don't know what is

  13. I'm slightly neurotic anyway, so bad dreams have a tendency to pop up every now and again, and, when they do, they're terrifying. It takes me a bit to regain my composure, and I walk around in a daze - knowing it was a dream but feeling emotionally exhausted anyway.

    They got worse when I first started having kids. I still believe it's hormonal, or something going on behind the scenes I need to deal with that cause them to pop up when I least expect it.

    Oh, and one more thing - therapy kicks ass!

  14. Okay, Sweetie. Here are your 5 words...Enjoy!
    1. Motherhood
    2. Poetry
    3. Music
    4. Christmas
    5. Education

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  16. So sorry to hear this Amy. I dont have nightmares and hope yours end soon. Sendinig 1000 positive thoughts your way. And I hope you get answers or solutions soon.

    Sorry, I accidentally posted above before finishing.

  17. I have nightmares but not nearly as graphic as I imagine yours to be. Mine wake me up in a cold sweat, absolutely freaked out, so I cannot begin to imagine what you must go through with yours. Here's to hoping they gett better!

  18. i have random nightmares. all of them very personal. I am a worrier!
    I can't sleep if I hear a noise. I can't see scary movies because i can't sleep for days. Not referring to the gruesome kind, but the could happen in real life kind. Scariest movie I saw recently Taken with Liam Neson. Let's just say my daughter is NEVER going to Europe without me!

    Any who, sounds like you have been through a lot this summer. Maybe a little therapy would help. I've been to therapy and i love it. if u can't afford it, try talking to someone outside your circle. Even me if you like. i wont judge you... i dont even now you. :)

    And next time, wake your husband up. You said there was nothing he could do but thats not true. He could have hugged you! And i believe that hugs have a certain healing quality.

    found you through 1chic mommy. i'm a leo too!

  19. Wow...that last part completely threw me! The whole Grandaddy gay thing. Weird. Anyway, I'm ok...nothing happened to me so no worries. I have faith your nightmares will go away. This always happens to you during stressful times. Think happy thoughts and remember I love you!

  20. I sometimes have nightmares. It's usually that sense of panic or sense of urgency or dread... not always that they are that "scary". I don't like them at all!

    Sometimes my dreams are just down right wierd...

  21. I used to have nightmares all the time but not so often now although I had one just the other night. Its not a wonder that you're having nightmares with everything you've had to deal with. Dreams (and nightmares) are just your mind's way of releasing all the emotions you can't (or won't) deal with in your waking hours. Murder dreams are usually about anger directed at the person you have killed or have seen being killed. Are you having issues with the person who was killed? Maybe you need to have a convo with them. And I think I might need a bit of therapy myself :)


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