I don’t get much sleep these days. Every night is a struggle, an internal battle. I try to keep the demons at bay, try not to give in to my subconscious reminding me that this will never work.
The nightmares, the anxiety attacks, the sleep-crying, they all creep in when I’m my most vulnerable in the middle of the night.
So I am so very happy the little pill of bliss has entered my life. Something to numb the pain temporarily. Something to quiet the noise. At least for a short time.
Tonight is one of those nights. It’s been that kind of week. Tonight I will V up and shut my brain to the world for a full 8 hours and wake up in an oblivious daze.
I am so tired in so many ways.
I’ve been keeping track of my dreams. I don’t know why really, I guess it’s something Julia Indichova got me thinking about. Maybe it’s because they seem seriously messed up. Maybe it’s so I can look back on them later to decipher what’s really been going through my head during these rough patches and how it can be used to turn things around.
The recurrent nightmare has been absent for a few days. Last night, after I relinquished to an assisted sleep, it was replaced with this:
I’m faced with crossing a large river, much like the Thames but it’s deserted. There is a Mordor-like apocalyptic blustering grey landscape on both sides of the river but it seems necessary to cross it. The river is red, a deep muddy dirty red. There’s no one around. No one but my therapist. It’s her but she looks different. Taller, stronger build. She’s standing in front of me and I have to put my hands on her shoulders so she can lead me across the river. Except there’s no bridge, we have to walk on the water to get across. She’s able to do that with confidence and assures me it’s ok to follow her. It’s not miraculous, it feels practical. But I must hang on. It’s windy and I have to hang on tight.
We start to cross the river and she’s able to walk on the water and I notice I can too. After a few meters I can see we aren’t walking on the surface anymore but sinking, struggling with laboured steps to get through the muddy red water. But we can’t. And then I notice she’s not there anymore. That I’ve let go too soon.
And then I start to sink. I’m sinking through the water slowly like quicksand until it absorbs me. My view transforms to see myself from above. I can see my body slither into the water until only my hands are above it. But they’re not frantically trying to escape, they’re not fighting it. I can see my pale skin floating and slipping through the surface of the muddy red water as I wake up in tears gasping for air.
Just another cheery nighttime adventure! Sleeping is such a pleasure these days! But it is a weirdly cliche dream as well. I feel like I’m drowning everyday but now I actually do it in my sleep too. Great!
Why can’t I sleep? I wish I could remember when I had a good solid night of rest. I used to be able to sleep. To sleep in too.
Now it seems like every night I wake up from nightmares. Or I toss and turn restlessly all night without being able to turn my brain off. But the worst is waking up to that horrible sinking feeling of what has become my life. It’s like for a few seconds I’m light and free, then quickly, once I get my bearings, reality sets in. The anxiety and sadness takes over. It makes me not want to go to sleep at all. I hate waking up to myself crying.
I crave sleep so desperately. I spend all day exhausted, and can’t wait to get into bed. But once I do my mind starts reeling. Second guessing my choices. Imagining what our life would be like if one of our five pregnancies had actually succeeded. Thinking about what our current options are. Replaying the events up to now. What we will do if we don’t succeed. My mind actively seeks this stuff out in the night. It feels like a kind of self punishment. Like somewhere deep inside I know I have let everyone down and I am the one who will have to continue to suffer the consequences, continuously over and over. There will be no rest. It reminds me that whatever progress I have made in my waking hours is nothing. That deep down I know I am still a failure.
I wonder if the subconscious me will ever forgive the awake me. I wonder if that ever goes away.
The dream I seem to be having over and over these days is one that haunts me in my waking hours. Probably something to do with the freshness of having been told 10 days ago that our baby’s heart was no longer beating and waiting for the impending ERPC this Thursday.
In my dream I can feel our baby is still alive and strong and wriggling comfortably about inside when they force me into anaesthesia and rip out the baby in an ERPC only to realise afterwards that they made a huge mistake and they should have read the scan report properly. They confirm sheepishly that 1) this was my last chance to have a child and 2) I will have a 99% chance of developing Alzheimer’s later in life as a result of my choice to have the ERPC but that not to be discouraged because at least I’ll forget about the need to have my own child. They briskly, sheepishly apologise and ask us to please leave quickly because the waiting room is filling up with happy couples who are waiting for their positive 12 week scan report in order to be discharged to a local hospital for the duration of their joyously uneventful pregnancies.
The strongest feelings I get from this dream? Dread. Regret. The recognition the authorities got it wrong.