Sunday, November 05, 2006

Not Sleeping Well

I don't think I've ever talked about it here but those who are close to me know that I am a sexual abuse survivor. To be honest, I really prefer not to talk about it most of the time. Part of the reason for that is that I know it makes my mother very uncomfortable. She did everything that a mother should do to try and protect me from this sort of thing but even her best efforts were not able to prevent it all. Sadly, there are just too many pedophiles in the world for even good parents to be able to shield their children from at all times. I was never sexually abused by anyone in my family but I'm not sure if that really makes a difference in how I feel about what happened to me.

The reason why I'm writing about this here and now is because it's starting to be a real problem for me. A couple of months ago, I started having really awful dreams. At the time I thought it might be because I was starting on a new medicine and my body was reacting to the new mix of chemicals in my body. In my dreams, I am being abused by different people from my past. The hard part is that they aren't even the people who did violate me; It's just all sorts of people I've known and cared about. I don't understand why that is. If I was just re-living some of the incidents from my past, then that would make sense to me but this just doesn't.

The German has been really great about this, as usual. Only a few people in my family know that he's been sleeping on an air mattress in the living room for the past few months while I'm going through this. Occasionally I've felt comfortable with him sleeping in our room but most nights I have my daughter sleep in the bed with me instead.

For someone with the sort of issues I have, a person could have no better partner than The German but this situation just isn't tenable. It's absolutely unfair to him. Because he's so tall, he can't even fit on my daughter's wicker day bed so he's stuck on the mattress. This is really terrible because he has a severe problem with his back from when a couple of discs in his back were basically disintegrated in an attack by a dog while he was at work. He's never complained about things but I can see how he's really saddened/hurt that things are like this. If he was being a jerk about my issues then I think I wouldn't feel so bad about him being relegated to sleeping on the floor but his uncomplaining compliance only increases the guilt that I'm feeling right now.

Last night was the worst night so far. My daughter had fallen asleep in the living room so The German was attempting to sleep in her room on her bed which leaves him with two choices--either let his feet hang off the bed or try to contort to an angle where he can at least have his entire body on the mattress. Anyway, I was sleeping in our room in the bed by myself. I heard the bed creaking every time he moved, so eventually I told him that he could come and sleep in the bed by me.

I'm really glad he was there because the nightmares were terrifying. Every time I fell asleep and started to dream, it would be some situation where I was attacked and raped by someone I know. In my dream I'd be screaming and trying to get away until I eventually woke up crying out and damned near jumping out of my skin. Needless to say, this woke up The German even though he is a really heavy sleeper. He reassured me and rubbed my back until I fell asleep and started a new round of dreams. Then I'd wake up and he'd have to do it all over again. This went on until almost five o'clock in the morning.

I got up around ten o'clock feeling like I'd just been in a fight. The German was knocked out and I was hurting all over because of all the thrashing I'd done the whole night. Once again, he didn't complain about it at all and it's driving me crazy. How can I be so screwed up?!! I pride myself on being a survivor. I've survived the cancer and lupus. I've survived hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I've survived the two decades of cultish indoctrination by my old denomination. I've even survived sexual abuse at the hands of several different individuals. It's killing me that I'm not able to just deal with this on my own right now.

I believe in keeping things normal around the home because I am determined that my daughter will get the sort of functional home life that I wished I'd had. But this is ripping things apart. It's only a matter of time before she figures out that The German isn't just sleeping in the living room because he likes to watch his big screen television at night instead of the smaller one in our room. Also I know it isn't fair to her that I'm so paranoid about every single thing she does. At some point, you aren't just being a vigilant parent; You're being a clinging nut who's considering switching to homeschooling just to keep a better eye on the child. Yes, I'm at that point. If it weren't for The German reminding me of how VanGoghGirl's special needs as a Gifted and Talented child really couldn't be met at home, then I'd have pulled her out of school months ago despite how great it is and how hard it is to even get a child into it.

I am going to call the three therapists that one of my doctors have recommended to me. I really need to find a way for this to go back to just being something in my past. I am NOT going to waste the rest of my life being so preoccupied with the past that I can't enjoy the present.


Droid said...

You have been through some nightmare situations; have you spoken to a councilor or a psychologist about these things? Perhaps there is a therapy that can help. If you can learn to lucid dream you will be in control and bad-dreams will be a thing of the past.

Random Links:
Lucid Dreaming
Nightmare 911

BHCh said...

Oh girl... One of those rare occasions when I don't know what to say.

Crazy Fat Chick said...

I am sorry for your troubles. I cannot even begin to comprehend how hard this must be for you. Definitely contact a therapist. I read a couple of your other posts and you sound like an extremely strong person. Something tells me that you will be victorious in the battle against these nightmares as well.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that. Do you have a religious or secular counselor that you can trust? You are truly lucky to have a really supportive significant other.

Maybe your dreams are telling you something in regards to your relationship with the people in the dream.

Michelle said...

Hi! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I visited your other site too, and your daughter is beautiful! (She takes after you!) Those dreams sound awful. I see a therapist for various reasons, and have found it quite helpful in letting go of things that have happened in the past. I hope you are able to get some help.

Anonymous said...

damn, bint! i'm sorry to hear this. i'm also a survivor (who also prefers not to talk about it very often), so i know how PTSD can fuck up your life. my last partner (who i was with for almost 3 years) suffered much worse PTSD than i; more along the lines that you are dealing with, including the lack of sleep.

i wish there was an easy answer, but i don't know of one. thankfully you do have such great support. a therapist is definitely a good idea. as for sleeping, have you tried skullcap or kava kava or anything? its not a cure-all, but it can sometimes help.

take care of yourself, bint. my heart's with you!

Blackamazon said...

* so much love your way so much*

belledame222 said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this now, BA.

I also think it's good that you're looking into therapists.

You know, in my experience, it might seem counterintuitive, but old stuff like this tends to bubble up -exactly- when things are otherwise going well, when you think you've gotten to a relatively stable point. it's like your unconscious put all that shit on hold until such time as it felt you were (better) able to deal with it. Frustrating and upsetting, I know.