HG Nightmares

I’ve had the worst nightmares in the last two weeks.  Mostly I just remember them in snippets, like little vignettes that play out all night.  Sometimes I am the victim, running for hours from a killer or zombies.  Worst, sometimes I am the aggressor, once even killing people and stuffing them in freezers.  Every time I wake up gasping, exhausted and sweaty.

Every once in a while, I have a nightmare that plays out completely, from beginning to end, like watching a horror movie.  These are the most frightening of all.  Why are these things even in my mind?  A lesson that those seemingly harmless horror movies I watched in my college years are not so harmless after all.

Yesterday was my third bad day in a row.  I tried to make it through the work day but finally gave up around 2 and went home.  I made it home in time to vomit uncontrollably for about 15 minutes.  Finally, I peeled off my clothes and curled in the fetal position on my bed.  It took about an hour, but at last I drifted off to sleep.  Normally this would be sweet relief from the endless hours of nausea and vomiting.

I am myself, a woman in her early 40’s, but I have just gotten out of the hospital after a long illness.  I can’t really remember what happened, but I know I’ve been sick for a long time, perhaps decades.  I am frail and weak, and a little confused by the bustling world around me.

I’m with my family, brothers and sisters and their children.  They’re taking me to see houses in Austin.  The family will buy a house as an investment, and I will live there as long as I need to.  Later on, we’ll sell the house for a profit and the money will go back to the family.

They take me to see an old house in the heart of Austin.  It was once an old farmhouse that was added on to through the years.  It’s one of those old places that gets caught in time while the city grew up around it.  The whole property is surrounded by a high cement fence, and there are a few small outbuildings near the house.  It’s a 3-story house, with an attic, old and rambling.  Inside, it’s dusty and there are holes in the walls and floor where the wood has rotted.  Why would the family want to put money into restoring such an old house?  Why not just tear it down and start new?

I walk slowly around the house, watching the children explore.  I notice on the third floor, there’s a nice balcony the looks over several outdoor music venues.  I can hear one of my favorite Austin locals from years before playing below.  It’s nice to be able to sit and listen.  But in the room just behind the balcony, next to the window, there is a huge dark stain on the floor that disturbs me.

We come back to the house several days in a row.  The others discuss possibilities while I wander aimlessly.  By the gate, I see the mailman, an older gentleman.  When he sees me, he drops the bundle of mail he is holding.  “Well, I’ll be.  I’ve been delivering mail for 30 years and I never thought I’d ever deliver mail here again, much less see anyone here.”  I can tell he recognizes me, but I don’t know why.  He is kind and friendly, but doesn’t answer my questions before going back to his route.

I begin to notice that it seems the previous occupants of the house left in a hurry.  There are still plates on the table and pots on the stove, although the food long ago rotted away.  There are toys and clothes strewn about in the bedrooms.  My nieces and nephews bring me toys to see, an old doll bed, a rusty train.  I try to tell the other adults about how cute the kids antics are, but they just stare at me blankly for a minute before going back to their own hushed conversations, ignoring me, the daffy, invalid older sibling.

As I begin to really examine and touch the items lying around the house, I realize, I recognize these things.  No, I don’t just know them, I’ve used them.  They are my things.  This was my house, long ago.  My siblings aren’t here to buy me a house, they’re trying to talk me into signing the papers to sell this property.  This house where I lived long ago when I was young and married and had a young family.  Where one day, I suddenly lost my mind and one by one, I slowly drowned my young children in a bathtub, down to my newborn, all the while softly singing them a lullaby. 

As recognition dawned, I turned and saw the children gathered around me, not my nieces and nephews but my own children who drowned 20 years before.  No wonder the other adults looked at me in confusion when I talked about the children – there have never been any children here with us.  No living children, anyway.  I turn in terror and begin to run, up the stairs, through the dusty rooms.  As I run, the memories come flooding back, and in a haze I see my drowned children in the tub.  I rise from the side of the tub, wet, and walk to the window, where I slowly cut my own throat.  The blood pools below me, making that terrifying dark stain.  I remember my husband finding the scene, how I was sent first to the hospital then to the asylum, and never saw him again.

Eventually I have run to the attic, with no where else to go.  The children are right behind me, coming closer, and I stumble backwards, tripping.  I hit a rotten spot on the floor and I’m falling through … landing exactly on that frightening stain in front of the third floor window.  I have fallen on the old wooden doll bed and several pieces of wood have impaled me, and the blood begins to pool below me, covering the old stain I made so many years before.

As I lay gasping, dying, I feel soft little hands on my own, and I see my children gathered around me, softly singing me that lullaby I sang them so long ago.  They are so happy their mother is finally coming home to stay.

I start awake, gasping, and for a moment I can’t move.  Then I roll from the bed, dragging my pump behind me, and make it to the bathroom just in time to throw up.  I curl up in my favorite arm chair, a towel and a barf bag beside me.  I turn on the TV for company but can’t stand the sound of it.  I mutely watch brides try on gowns and brides compete for honeymoons.  The same round of commercials show again and again – a man sits at a little table with grade school children asking them stupid questions (a phone or internet commercial), Kaley Cuoco is a car genie who makes a baby talk, every store in Austin is having a Father’s Day sale. 

Monotonous but so much better than the nightmares.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Another Dreamer
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 20:34:37

    Yikes 😦 Could the nightmares be a side effect of one of your meds? Not that you can do without them right now though. Ugh. Could also be pregnancy related, but wow. Sorry that you have this on top of everything!

    Reply

  2. Hope
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 21:57:30

    I am so sorry about the HG. I was sick, but not that sick, it must be terrible. I’ve been having the pregnancy nightmares though and it is horrible. I dreamed Quinn fell 30 feet from the top floor of our house, then I dreamed I was on an ocean cruise with the Kardashians (yeah, I know!) and I left her on a life raft in the ocean. Another night I dreamed my dad was crushed by a falling crane. I actually dread falling asleep because I don’t want to dream. But of course, I’m exhausted and I always fall asleep. As much as I am SO grateful to be pregnant, I am really ready for it to be over this time. I hope you feel better soon and the dreams stop!

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jun 18, 2013 @ 13:30:38

      Argh, I blame everything on the hyperemesis so I didn’t think about the dreams being from pregnancy. My deepest fear is something happening to Davie, so I guess that’s why children keep coming up in my dreams. Argh, I hope they stop soon!

      Reply

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