The Nightmares Return

After many weeks of sleeping relatively well, the nightmares have returned for no apparent reason. The last two nights have seen me restless and struggling within horrible dreams. Although I wake without any remembrance of what I actually dreamt about, I do remember the terror and I have the distinct feeling of foreboding. I also find myself covered in sweat; my hair sticking to my neck and forehead and my entire body clammy.

But why is this happening?

After Barry’s death, we all felt a stirring in our stomachs – you know the feeling when something doesn’t feel right or something is about to happen or go wrong. This feeling wasn’t that strong during the day, but always attacked us as the daylight disappeared and the darkness of night settled in around us. It was unsettling and only added to our fear or depression (whatever the case may be for each of us).

One day, I spoke to my councillor about this. She told me that it is common for this to happen in grief and she confirmed that it is always at night when the feeling is at its strongest. I guess this is because we keep ourselves busy during the day, but at night, when we tend to sit and relax, we are unguarded and the feeling sneaks in. However, the worst time is when we go to bed; when we turn the light out and try to turn our minds off. That’s when that feeling makes grief unbearable. That’s usually when the tears flow and we eventually sink into a fretful sleep, which often leads to the bad dreams.

I admit that I can control my grief more easily these days. When something upsets me during the day, I can usually hold the tears back and brush the sadness away. I find it much easier to put on a smile and try not to show my true feelings. However, when I climb into bed that night, I usually can’t hold back the tears any longer. I no longer cry for a long time, but I still need to release the pressure. Naturally, it depends on what occurred during the day too. Smaller things affect me less than something that really tears at my heart.

But none of this gives me a reason for the return of the nightmares.

I have trained myself not to worry constantly over Daniel. Don’t get me wrong, I still have that fear and I still worry, but I deliberately push it away every time it enters my mind. After a while this becomes easier to do and I now find I don’t have that fear on a daily basis (but that might have a lot to do with “time” too). I have to trust him or I’ll go mad.

I don’t feel the dreams are about Barry either. I can’t explain why; I just know.

So what’s left? Are the dreams about me? For some reason, I feel they are. But why exactly, I have no idea. All I know is that I’m feeling nervous and unsettled, but maybe that’s a result of two nights with little sleep followed by nightmares when I did.

I just hope the nightmares are not going to stay with me for any length of time. I can already feel my body weakening, which shows I’m not back to my “usual” self. And that statement leads me to ask: Will I ever return to that person?

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3 thoughts on “The Nightmares Return

  1. Wow.. very interesting.. My mind goes 100mph at night thinking about a million different things, I can’t imagine what you are going through I hope through time your heart doesn’t forget but heals..

  2. Hi, Karen, I noticed your last post is a few weeks back, and you signed off wondering when you’ll get back to your normal self. My experience told me “normal” for me is what I’ve become since my son’s death. The grieving lessens in its rawness, but it still washes over me in waves,six years on. Accepting this fact has been hard,its the “Last stage”of the grief process,according to experts. I felt you had a real lift in spirits after Barry’s anniversary, and I hoped for your sake it was to be lasting,but more recent posts made me realise you are into another difficult stage. Take care, you are a very brave lady. Maree

  3. Generally, my spirits have lifted and I am coping fairly well. I have my moments though, when I step back into disbelief and I miss Barry like nothing else. As you said, it comes and goes. I know I’ll be fine.

    Thank you for your support.

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