Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"What dreams may come, both dark and deep"

I've been waiting for the forewarned "pregnancy dreams" to show up and they have made their debut. And they suck.

I am not a stranger to bad dreams. It's been a lifelong thing, and I'm as used to it as you can be. I'm actually kind of an apocalyptic Bruce-Willis-esque badass sometimes. (Obviously positive thinking is my selected, forerunning combatant against night terrors.) So I had my fears and my expectations and my pep talks prepped for when/if these awful pregnancy dreams turned up.
They are so much worse than I ever even imagined.
Mostly because I used very little imagination and just thought they would be perhaps a more vivid or, shall we say, saturated version of the dreams I was already having. Zombies, apocalypse, family deaths, disasters and chaos. The usual.
Instead, these blessed pregnancy hormones went after something much more personal and soul-wrecking: my actual real life anxieties.
It hasn't even been bad per se until a couple weeks ago. I first noticed a change in my dreams far back in the beginning of pregnancy, when people I hadn't seen or spoken to in years, often even people that I probably never talked to, just went to school with (like, elementary and middle school), started showing up. The dreams also lacked the usual quality of the bizarre. It was just normal stuff. Normal people doing normal stuff in normal ways. I even thought to myself, "maybe my 'pregnancy dreams' are backward. This is boring! I'm okay with boring!"
But recently the normal people doing normal things has morphed into people I love and admire doing horrifically manipulative things and acting out every heartbreaking scenario my anxiety-ridden imagination could muster. My sleep has starkly degraded as a result and I find myself stuck in the mood of the dream as if a barrel of molasses has been poured over my head and I'm walking around the rest of the day with the sticky residue layered over me. So even when I wake up and rethink everything, I don't really feel better...just sick at heart and not well rested.
I woke up around 3:30am having a dream in which some people very close to me say awful, mean things and basically insist that my company is no longer desired, because I'm "awful and a bad person". Mark and I left the hangout only to discover that he agrees with them and has me move into the attic. During our argument he shouts at me, "I rely on you to be perfect at everything you do!" I eventually just It's a Wonderful Life the situation and leave, picked up by some trucker on Bush Highway who takes me to a combine where I have my baby and send him in a basket with a messenger to Mark to ask whether he wants to keep the baby or should I. But unlike It's a Wonderful Life nothing has changed and Mark's just mad that I inconvenienced him and it was at this point that I woke up with tears in my eyes and felt the overwhelming depression cloud smothering my very ability to breathe.
For a compulsive people-pleaser and perfectionist like me, this was the absolute worst dream I could imagine having.
The real Mark lying next to me sniffed and shifted around in bed and I shakily whispered, "honey, are you awake?" He replied with a soft yes and my voice broke as I asked, "could we snuggle please?"
He immediately shifted in my direction and opened up his blankets and arms to me. Then of course the tears spilled over (as they're doing again now just talking about it) and I sobbed quietly for a minute or two, Mark's fingers gently stroking my hair, his warm, solid body against my back making me feel comfortable for the first time in weeks. I had my moment of comfort and knew I needed to let the poor guy get back to sleep so that his early alarm wasn't too awful. But my mind wasn't ready to give up this ghost of anxiety and depression.
So now I'm here trying to write it out of me and I think it's working. Not sure I'll post it though. Quite unentertaining and a smidge personal, ya know?

I am so, so grateful for that man that loves me and lets me huddle up close to him when I'm feeling vulnerable and attacked by my own brain even at 4 in the morning. Who lets me cry it out and asks if I'm feeling better when the shaking subsides. Who gives me a tight hug and a tender kiss on the cheek when I can vocalize again and assures me "anytime" as I thank him. He is going to be my rock going into this baby venture and I don't know how I would manage it without him.
Head to a combine, I suppose.

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