Thursday, February 3, 2011

Post 43- Nightmares and Dreams

Last night I blogged about having a horrible night. I want to expand on that because I realized it didn't sound too great. Lately I have really been having sleep issues. Ive been having issues with nightmares since I was a very little girl. I used to dream that my step father was kidnapping me from my foster homes. I used to dream about the sexual abuse and physical abuse I had endured. I had horrible nightmares. Then, they just stopped. No explanation. The nightmares just went away. They would reappear around the times I would be the most stressed out and overwhelmed. Sometimes I would remember them, sometimes Id be told I was having a nightmare by the person waking me up and have no recollection of what I was dreaming. The war nightmares started before KC deployed. I had a couple nightmares about him being tortured by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Then, after watching "Brothers" the movie with Natalie Portman the dreams got worse.

I had issues sleeping to begin with. It is just hard for me to fall asleep. A million thoughts curse me at night. My brain starts and never wants to stop. KC always said I wait until bed to want to talk about things and we need to go to bed earlier. It is horrible. I could lie in bed until two or three am before falling asleep. Then, after our first causality and the subsequence injuries I started hearing things and being paranoid. Every time a car pulled in my driveway at night I would fear it was casualty notification coming. Every time my phone would get a text or call I was scared it was someone notifying me that KC was injured. I worried over the littlest things, meanwhile telling myself no news is good news.

A couple nights ago I had a terrible dream. It was vivid and so real. It absolutely freaked me out. I dreamt KC was captured by the Taliban and they had kidnapped me. I was forced to kneel under a large wooden beam that they had him tied to as they tortured him. I wont go into the gruesome things that they did but I can tell you that what happened in my dream could be the movie Saw to shame. I was kneeling there and he was constantly made to look at me, they would dump water on his head and prod him and force him to stare at me, and I couldn't look away. If I closed my eyes or moved my head they would torture him worse. They were torturing him and using me to do it. They cut off each of his fingers and theyd fall around me, and my body was covered in his blood. I was screaming, begging them to stop torturing him and they wouldn't.

I woke up shaking and sobbing into the pitch black night. My male dog actually woke me up, he was licking my face, licking the tears away. I gasped for breath, I was crying so hard I was almost hyperventilating.

I didn't go to bed again for almost 48 straight hours. I was a mess.

The doctor gave me ambien to sleep. But now I am in this weird place. If I take it the dreams I have are so vivid, so real, sometimes they are good and sometimes they are bad. It is like flipping a coin and hoping it lands heads up. If I don't take it there is a good possibility I wont be able to fall asleep, or if I do it is sporadic throughout the night, and I may only get two or three hours of sleep all together. I am sort of in a bind. I have tried everything you can think of to get to sleep. Hot bathes, hot tea, warm milk, natural herbs and supplements, massages, candles, prayer, mediation, etc etc etc. I had posted about having issues sleeping on facebook awhile back and had tons of ideas thrown my way and I tried each and everyone before giving in in October and going to the doctor. That is when he gave me the ambien.

Last night I was so frustrated. I was going back and forth about whether or not I wanted to go to bed, whether or not I wanted to sleep. When I have good dreams I have great dreams. I don't want to wake up and I am disappointed when I do. I want to stay in bed, under the warm covers, and continue the dream I had, that's what I meant by I don't want to wake up by the way, no I am not suicidal. When I wrote that I meant what I said, sometimes I don't want to wake up. I don't want the dream to end.

But when I have nightmares it rocks me. I wake up and I am so sad, scared, anxious, depressed that I cant go back to sleep. That the mere idea of sleep makes my heart race. I don't go upstairs, don't go near my bed. I stay awake until my body shuts down or I am too exhausted to stay awake any longer.

After my last nightmare I didn't go near a bed for two days. I didn't sleep on the couch either. I kept myself going and going. It was funny because at some point I got a second wind and when I should have been really tired I found myself with a lot of energy. Day three though my body had enough and I had to go to sleep. So I did. I don't remember dreaming anything that night.

Now I fight myself over sleeping. Last night was a good dream, a very very good dream. I had a good day today, hung out with some friends, had a girls lunch that lasted four hours. Went shopping. Made a yummy dinner for Mandi and I. Then went back to Amanda's and had ice cream and watched Grays Anatomy. It was a good day. I just wish I had a way to guarantee my dreams tonight will be good. Do I take the pills and face having horrible nightmares, I mean I do have nightmares without the pills but never so vivid. Its almost like the pill makes the dreams appear in high def or something. Do I not take the pill and face tossing and turning all night, every noise being an intruder, every car door being casualty notification?

It is so frustrating.

I just want to be able to sleep, without horrible nightmares, for eight straight hours without waking up five or six times a night. Really. That's all I want.

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