Nightmares and Cognitive Flexibility

Nightmares

I have not slept well since getting to Hilltop.  I have had a couple nights where I have been totally emotionally wrung out and thus crashed in that “I can’t cope another minute with the stuff in my head.” But even then, I have been having nightmares pretty much nightly. So far, only one time was so bad that I woke up in “freeze.”  (And lemme tell ya, it is hard to ground yourself with the usual, “I am in my bedroom with dh. I am home. This is now. There’s my door/closet, etc.” When you aren’t actually home.) But mostly, it’s just nightmares.  Something unusual is that I wake up from having them and then fall back asleep.  But in the morning, I can’t remember the nightmare at all.  Usually, my memory is pretty detailed and the emotions are fresh.  I am not sure why it is different here.

The nightmares indicate that things are getting stirred up, which likely means they will get worse before they get better.  I am ambivalent about this since nightmares are almost run-of-the-mill for me anyway.  I guess it depends on how bad they get and how much they trigger the intense fear and “freeze” response.

A lot of my therapy so far has been my therapist collecting history data from me…With bits of real therapy mixed in. Basically, when I can’t tolerate the real therapy, I switch back to the interview part.  My therapist….Guess I will call her Meg.  Meg points out that I am avoiding when I do this, but I usually allow the conversation to loop back around whatever the sticky topic was and we end up talking about it.  I just need some pacing and some distancing.

But, the data collecting is not easy either.  Talking about my life history just points out exactly how it sucked.  Like, it is no wonder that I am totally fucked up.  I pretty much never stood a chance at having a normal life.  Someone, I don’t remember if it was here or if it was the AT commented to me that likely the issues with my parents and attachment and the relationship disconnected probably even started when I was a baby.  You know what it makes me think of….That Little Me video.  Like did anyone every really want or love me?  Or was I just always second best and an afterthought?  I can ask these questions, but I refuse to let myself feel the answers.

Cognitive Flexibility

Last week, a huge thunderstorm roared through here.  And by huge I mean HUGE.  The power went out for about 24 hours and things were all disrupted in terms of our schedule.  They also moved us to another building about 20 mins away because we didn’t have AC in our usual buildings due to the lack of power.  I did not do well with the disruption.  I didn’t have a sense of balance here yet, and I hadn’t made any friends yet, and I was feeling isolated and like a misfit and judged and body shamed.  I was just in so much pain and then they disrupted the status quo by moving us.  I held it together for a while in the other building and then had a melt-down. And as is par for the course of my life experience, I really had no one to support me.  One of the Direct Care people did get me to talk a little bit, but I was so closed and guarded that mostly I just shredded my tissue and avoided looking her in the eye.  I couldn’t really even allow myself to accept her comfort.  Sometimes, I wonder if this is a punishing behavior on my part…Or as a new concept Meg has tossed out there…the idea of re-enacting old patterns. Come to think, the AT also has talked about it, but with just a little bit of different verbage.  So, probably I am punishing myself in a way….because even though I desperately wanted support when I was growing up, I never got it.  And if I didn’t deserve it then, then I must not deserve it now.  And I didn’t deserved it then because I was somehow bad, and that belief hasn’t changed….I don’t know. Something is trying to connect about this in my head, but I am not quite getting there.

But, I have totally digressed.  Last night, we had a big thunderstorm. And the power went out.  And thus we are again transplanted to the other building. This time, I am rolling with it a bit better. Yes, the place is familiar so it isn’t all new and so bad. But I am also in a little bit of a better place so I am able to be a little more flexible.

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