The last two nights I have been having terrible nightmares. Three nights ago I couldn’t sleep at all. I don’t know what to do now. I’m terrified to go to sleep. At my therapist’s suggestion I have been taking the xanax I was given after Aiden died. My sister (the doctor) thought it was a bad idea because she sees a lot of people addicted to it. Nothing else has allowed me to sleep. The therapist pointed out that I have to sleep, and she is right. So I started taking half a pill right before bed and for a week or two it worked great. I slept through the night and if I had nightmares, I didn’t remember them. Now it is not working and nothing else I’ve tried (chamomile, valerian, benadryl, alcohol, pain killers – when I have a headache, melatonin) has worked.
Last night was bad. The night before I just kept dreaming about losing Aiden, it was just random images of what we went through. Last night was different. In one dream I was trying to fight off several male attackers in a bathroom, one of which I knew and thought was a friend. I kept trying to scream but couldn’t, which typically happens in my dreams.
The second dream I was at a large table with a bunch of people. I didn’t know some of them but many of them were friends from high school or people I knew but wasn’t close to. There was an older woman sitting next to me who was a nurse at my OB’s office (only in the dream – she wasn’t anyone I recognized). She was talking to the woman on the other side of me and she said, talking about me, “She saw the flicker on the screen and then she went and made the flicker stop.” The woman on the other side looked at me and yelled, very loudly so the whole table heard, “You had an abortion!” I jumped up and started screaming at her about all the horrible things that were wrong with my baby. I was sobbing so hard my voice was cracking. I actually did get the sense that the people there were sympathetic after what I said, but it was traumatic going through all that in my head again.
The last dream was the worst and most disturbing. I was with some friends and my mom called me. She was so angry she could barely speak. She told me that she had found a journal I kept when I was seventeen when she was cleaning out a closet. She said it described some really horrible things I did to my little sister when we were young. She told me I was a monster and she hated me and never to talk to her again. In the dream I couldn’t understand. I didn’t remember writing the journal or what I had done to my sister. Somehow I was sure that I had done something awful but just couldn’t remember it. I was trying to find my sister so I could talk to her when I woke up.
I can pinpoint the emotions that are behind all of these dreams. The betrayal of people I trusted, the guilt and shame surrounding my decision to end the pregnancy, the feeling that I hurt someone that trusted me to take care of them. All of this I understand and I know it is not true. But it doesn’t help one little bit. I still woke up feeling dirty and ripped apart. I still feel that way right now.
I’ve always had extremely vivid dreams that are frequently like Stephen King books. I used to jokingly say I had a Stephen King brain. But in the past they were rarely something that affected me emotionally. They were like watching a movie. Every since Aiden died it has been more real, more personal. I really can’t handle these nightmares. They have to stop. I don’t know how I’m going to go to bed tonight. I’m so scared.