Monday, July 09, 2007

Nightmares are back

It was absolutely freezing when I woke up or at least thought I was awake. Shaking so badly that my teeth were chattering. I know I had been dreaming about being tortured outside in the cold and snow shortly before something startled me from my sleep. The details of what kind of torture and who the perpetrator was escape me. Maybe it's for the better that I don't remember.

It's the middle of summer and I had to not only put my robe on over my pajamas, I also had to grab an extra blanket to rid myself of the chill the nightmare left behind in my consciousness. It doesn't make sense. Aren't dreams supposed to end when you wake? Usually I can't even recall having dreamt at all due to my drug induced nightly coma. But the nightmares...they usually continue to haunt me well into the daylight hours. They often linger, sometimes blurring the line between fantasy and reality to the point that can't decipher which is which.

Not sure which type are the worst, the ones where you wake up screaming, remembering every little detail of what was going on while desperately searching for a way to shake the horrid memories from your mind; or the ones where you wake up, but the nightmare seems to continue without missing a beat, sending you into what feels like a hallucinatory state.

When I was at my absolute worst so far in my battle with mental illness and spent two months in the hospital in early 2004, it was preceded by at least a month's worth of nightmares that didn't end once I was awake. I became extremely paranoid. Logic told me the things I was seeing and hearing couldn't possibly be happening but yet it all seemed so real that it eventually drowned out all rationale. So when I have something like last night's unbearable chill take hold, I panic that I am headed down the path to another complete meltdown.

I'm afraid to sleep now. Afraid to take the Seroquel. Worried that it won't knock me out hard enough to kill the nightmares that have now come two nights in a row. It's going to be a long and arduous wait until morning.


Anonymous susan said...

Just a guess, but I suspect you have been triggered by thoughts of your estranged sister and all of the dysfunction that surrounds her. It all came to the surface with your other sister's visit and her report back to you. We think that we have let go of our past, but our subconscious holds it in limbo. It seems that when you have had such trauma in your early years, it never really goes away. Be kind to yourself and nurture that little girl that is still within you.

10:12 AM, July 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a horrid, horrid experience while on Seroquel. I think it actually increased my anxiety, to the point where I had to be subdued by my husband because I was climbing the walls.

Anyway, when your anxiety is high, does that usually trigger nightmares or even what I call anxiety dreams so when you wake up, it feels like you hadn't slept at all?

I'm back to taking trazodone to sleep, but I think the Klonopin I take at night offsets the nightmares or bad dreams. But when I do get them, they stay with me for days sometimes. Just know you aren't alone. :)

4:37 PM, July 10, 2007  
Blogger Marie said...

Sid, I remember having nightmares like thoes when I first got into therapy. I was so afraid to go back to sleep. The nightmares were my brains way of remembering the abuse. Once I talked with my therapist the nightmares went away.

I hope this passes soon. I will post a poem I wrote about the nightmares on both blogs. Stop by and read it when you get a chance.

Thinking of you!

7:59 PM, July 10, 2007  

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