Hand on My Back

It is late, almost 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.  I woke up at 1:30 a.m. with terrific nightmares, the sweats, and a pounding heart.  This happens anywhere between once per week, to three or four times per week.  Lately, the nightmares have been getting better.  Of course, they are still there, but they hadn’t been affecting me as much.

So far, I have been able to keep things pretty steady even in the face of the insurmountable nightmares, night terrors, whatever you want to call them.  There are certain things that tend to set me off, however, and there have been no shortage of these *things.”

Many of my dreams are nightmares within which it is the end of the world (quite literally), and I am running to save my life.  Running from being raped, being beaten, frantically searching for a person (usually my sister) or an animal (always Kizzie).  In most cases, my sister or Kizzie are also being beaten, raped, tortured.  I have been through plenty of nasty domestic violence, but these scenes from my sleeping brain are quite vivid.

The dreams share similarities of what I feel in real life, and here lately, with the attacks in Paris and a person in my inner circle who constantly talks about the end of the world (as we know it), I get more and more hyped up into these nightmares.  I have learned to tell the person in my inner circle to not talk about these things around me, but as the world turns, some people have very little filter, or at the very least, not much ability to slap the muzzle on themselves when it comes things they find so very *true.*

So while my body screams out to lay down, my contrary brain shoots messages that all is not well, things are not safe, staying awake (at this point) is necessary.  I have been dealing with this problem for most of my adult life, and even a bit into childhood and adolescence — the bad dreams.  They come and they go, wax and wane, intensify and fade.

At some point, I decide I am safe and release the death grip I have on the computer mouse, ease myself out of my computer chair, and lie down.  At this point in my life, I have LarBear, and I use him as a tool, and snuggle up to him and get extra kisses and fall asleep with his hand in the middle of my back, no doubt with him able to feel the steady thump-thump of my heart.

For every nastiness about Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, Anxiety, and the lot, there is a warm hand on my back, held out from the man I love more on this world than anything, and that, my friends, is something to be ever grateful for.  Nightmares come and go, true love doesn’t fade.

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12 thoughts on “Hand on My Back

  1. Nightmares DO go … mine are not gone, but they are not nearly as common as they were or as evil. I think there’s a link to my anxiety level. The more anxious I am, the more intense and frequent the nightmares. So let’s hear it for a more peaceful life! You are on a good road and I think if you keep walking it, you’ll get to a lovely place 🙂

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      • And I’m sure you will make it. I never thought I’d get past the anxiety. I conquered the days, but it took me decades to conquer the nights … and even now, I have troubling dreams that don’t rise to the level of true “wake up screaming” nightmares. Time helps. Patience. That you understand the process is beyond price and that you have a partner … well … You’ve got what you need 🙂

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  2. I have worked with a few people using some of the psychological tools derived from “lucid dreaming” to help them develop a sense of greater control over nightmares. One key step seems to be to develop a strong sense of awareness that what you are experiencing is a dream. This ability to both experience a terrifying dream and to be aware that it is a dream can eventually lead to the ability to shape the course of the dream… It is hard work but it can be helpful.

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  3. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of your relationship with LarBear. I’ve taken to sleeping with my old teddy bear and it helps. I refuse to watch the news right now. I feel terrible for all of the people who have been touched by the tragedy, but I’m like you. It’s just too much for me to process.

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    • It has taken many, many, many steps to get to LarBear, and although things are good with us, we work very hard at it. Both of us are in therapy, both of us working on the relationship every single day. I think that’s really the only time things might work out, is when BOTH parties are willing to put out a lot of hard work.

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