I need a new favorite pastime

By Mir
December 10, 2005

I’m not really sure what the appropriate timeframe for post-traumatic stress disorder is, but I do know that I am so often INappropriate that this should be of no consequence to me, anyway.

Yesterday we enjoyed a snowday, my kidlets and me. We watched hours of mindless television! We didn’t get dressed until after lunch! We (they) played in the snow and we (I) cleared the driveway! We had grilled cheese for lunch and baked a delicious meatloaf for dinner! We decorated the tree, or at least a one foot square area where the kids hung most of their ornaments!

It was a fabulous day, albeit rife with extra exclamation points!!!

And then my ex came to pick up the kids last night, and I gave him a big chunk of meatloaf to take home, because nothing says “thank you for not yelling at me for almost killing your children” like ground up cow mixed with ketchup and then shaped like bread.

And then… it was quiet.

I have a snowblower, so I didn’t have to shovel much, earlier, but it’s still fairly strenuous to push that thing around. I was definitely feeling the exertion. I considered a glass of wine, then figured I’d be better off with some pain pills (which certainly should not be mixed with alcohol). So I took those and settled for a rootbeer float, because it has the word “beer” in it but involves ice cream.

My float and I crawled into bed (okay, the float stayed on the nightstand) to watch some television. By 9:00 I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I turned off the television and fell asleep immediately.

I woke up at 12:04 from a horrible nightmare wherein I’d lost Chickadee in a gigantic mall and some security guard kept telling me that maybe I should just let her go, which caused my panic to mingle with horrified indignation. She was missing and no one would help me. I woke up right before I ripped the guard’s face off, which was actually a little disappointing.

I woke up at 1:57 from a slow-motion replay of the actual accident, except in this one, I couldn’t get Monkey out of the car for some reason. He was trapped inside, and Chickadee was bleeding to death, and no one had stopped to help, and I had to figure out which one of them to tend to. It was very Sophie’s Choice.

I woke up at 4:12 sobbing. I don’t remember if I was having a dream then or not.

I. Am. Tired.

I’m afraid to go back to sleep.


  1. cristin

    wow. so sad for you for those stress-induced (and inducing) dreams. Hang in.

  2. Amy-GO

    GAH, I hate nightmares. I have them all the time, too. So sorry to hear you’re not sleeping – try the wine. Heck, try some Tequila.
    I know it will take time to recover from this trauma – believe me – but keep counting those blessings! They are FINE! Thank God! And you did everything right taking care of them. You are such a good mama. Eat a bunch of chocolate today and only do things for MIR. Know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. And go take a nap! ;)

  3. bella

    that happens to me every time I fall asleep before 12 a.m.

  4. alektra

    I had a dream last night where I had to stop zombies from killing these two girls and all I had were two knives that were blessed. I kept having to throw the zombies out of windows because they would heal too quickly otherwise. I woke up, and my arms STILL hurt.

    Hugs. Trust me, they’re scary, but they’re dreams. Cause I did not just kick 8 zombies’ asses last night. Hugs.

  5. daysgoby

    Ooh, poor you. Terrifying.
    When I was little and had nightmares my mom used to come in and stroke my hair until I fell asleep…ummm, wanna borrow my mom?

    It’s hard, being the grown-up all the time, isn’t it?

  6. Kestralyn

    I know you may not want to hear this, but the nightmares are actually a good sign at this point. Your brain is reliving the accident to sort and file everything where it belongs. As long as you talk with your therapist (and us!) about it and your dreams taper off, you’ll be fine. If they DON’T taper off, definately force your way into your therapist’s office!

    But as you and your kidlets heal physically, your mental and emotional healing will move along as well. I know you’ve heard this from us a lot this past week, but you’re going to hear it again: you did a fantastic job, you’re a wonderful mother, and you did everything that could have or should have been done. I’d have been a mess, and you came through with flying colors. Your children are safe and have another little note tucked away in their subconscious about just how much you love them.

    And yes, ice cream is good for healing — so’s homemade meatloaf ;-)


  7. Emily G.

    I had a nightmare that my father was cheating on my mother with a woman who was my age and a total slut, which made me so upset and angry. Not that it really compares with anything child-related, since I imagine that’s a totally different world, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m sorry and I hope you get healthier sleep soon.

  8. DebR

    Aaaaw, Mir, that just totally sucks rocks. I know that’s not very eloquent, but it’s true. I hope you get a better night’s sleep tonight.

  9. Holly

    I have trouble with seditives or pain pills of almost any kind bringing on horrific nightmares. Maybe a glass of wine and a Tylenol or Ibuprofin instead of the prescription?

  10. Jenrigg

    I am so sorry you are having nightmares. Not nice. I don’t have the right words without souding trite, so I’ll just send you hugs and positive vibes to get you through this. Jen

  11. Sheryl

    Gah, how horrid. I hope you have sweeter dreams tonight. How are the kids sleeping?

  12. Bob

    I’m so sorry.

    You can’t blame yourself for what happened. That’s why they’re called accidents. You are a good person and a terrific mother. BELIEVE IT! Keep on telling yourself that, and we will too.

    Take care.

  13. Shiz

    So sorry, Mir. It’s gonna pass. Promise. I was banged up 2 years ago and it scared the hell outta me for quite a while, but it wasn’t long before I couldn’t remember how long ago the accident had been.

  14. Dawn

    I think Kestralyn hit the nail on the head. Your brain is processing all that’s happened. The painkillers may have contributed, too. It was a pretty tramatizing event. I’d be surprised if you didn’t have nightmares about it. Don’t fear sleep. It’ll help you heal. I hope with no more nightmares…

  15. Cyndi

    OK, this has been said…but I want to echo a second…

    Remember how I said you would see the damn accident over and over? I did that awake and asleep for weeks. It is your mind trying to process it and get past it.

    Also? I had a big problem with codiene. Gave me nightmares and kept me from sleeping more than a few hours a night, which in turn, nearly made me insane.

    So…if you can do without narcotics, better…not sure if muscle relaxants do the same thing or not…but you probably do need those.

    Glad you are still writing and doing and cooking and living and stuff. And I LIKE ground cow with ketchup shaped like bread. Yum. :D

  16. Aimee

    Ugh…how terrible. When I had nightmares as a kid, my mom used to give me a tube of mascara and tell me that it was monster repellent, or shark repellent, or whatever. It always worked — maybe you should make a bottle of nightmare repellent. And I second the thing on pain medication — much like cold medication, it always makes me sleep restlessly and have whacked-out dreams.

  17. Kris

    Give it time. If it lingers say 13 years after your back surgery…erm, after your accident, then you can call it PTSD.

    In the meantime, talk to your therapist and work out a solution. The nightmares are much scarier than reality, so cling to that. It helps.

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