Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Drugs for Dreams

I love my new psychiatrist.  He’s so warm, empathetic, hilarious, and really freaking brilliant.  It's funny because I always thought I would be uncomfortable working with a man but I have really liked the male doctors I have seen recently.  Today he cracked a joke about the program being like Hogwarts School. “Sorry that was a really nerdy joke,” he said, but I was too busy laughing because the way he said it and his timing were hilarious.  “It’s so good to see you laugh,” he said.  He seems to know more about me than I do and I never feel rushed when I talk to him.  He talks to me for about half an hour or more each week and he actually really genuinely seems to listen and care.  Like REALLY care.  He asks questions and gently nudges me to be honest about where I’m at if I give him a generic or less than honest answer.  He never seems shocked or seems to judge me for my feelings.  Today he asked me if I have any feelings of suicide or hurting myself.  I told him that I don’t have any plans or feelings of actively wanting to end my life but sometimes I wish I wasn’t here.  Sometimes I wish I’d get hit by a bus or be in some kind of lethal freak accident.  I would never tell my therapist that because she basically told me she doesn’t want to hear about my suicidal thoughts anymore.  He explained to me that those kinds of feeling are called passive suicidal ideation.    

One thing that makes me a little uncomfortable about Dr. Patrick, but I also kind of like it, is that he seems to get angry when he feels that I am being or was treated badly.  He doesn’t hide his feelings about it and even says that he’s sorry that certain things happened or are currently happening.  He makes me feel like my feelings are normal and valid and that I shouldn’t be ashamed of them, which is something I struggle with.  I’m always ashamed of my feelings and my behavior.  Sometimes he explains to me why my feelings are valid and normal.  Today he told me that I must feel so bottled up (with feelings).  “My whole life,” I said.  Dr. Patrick is going on vacation this week and next week but when he comes back he wants to put me on a new medication that treats nightmares related to PTSD.  Did you know that you can medically treat nightmares?  I didn’t.  That’s so bizarre, exciting, and a little scary.  I’m not sure how I feel about taking ANOTHER medication with more potential side effects but the thought of not having nightmares is seductive.  It's an old drug that was meant to treat high blood pressure but it wasn't really all that effective.  Scientists recently discovered that it cured the nightmares of soldiers with PTSD and Dr. Patrick knows about this new use of the drug because he used to work with veterans at the VA.  I might not be able to take it because I already have somewhat low blood pressure, which is why I have to wait until he comes back from vacation to try it.

Most nights that I’m able to sleep, I am woken up by nightmares.  I often wake up screaming, crying, sweating, with my heart racing.  I often wake up, run to another room and have a panic attack.  I feel bad because I wake up my girlfriend often and sometimes multiple times a night.  I'm sure my neighbors don't really appreciate my screaming either.  Sometimes my nightmares are just flashbacks to a painful time in my life, kind of like hitting rewind and repeat on the DVD remote.  Sometimes my nightmares are not so obviously about my past but they are scary anyway.  I had this horrible dream the other night.  It felt so real that I was terrified to go back to sleep.

In the beginning of the dream I was a little girl and my parents were murdered, chopped up, and their bodies put in the refrigerator.  This really poor woman took me in and I grew up in her trailer in the forest.  She was amazing and sweet and wonderful and I loved her very much.  We didn’t have any money but we had each other and that was all that mattered.  As I grew up with her, I went to this school in the middle of the forest.  The school was beautiful and earthy and right beside a little creek.  I always had to be very careful not to tell anyone who I really was because the person who killed my parents was still out there.   I was very happy and made a lot of friends despite never being able to tell them who I really was.  After a while my friends began to disappear one by one.  I didn’t know why but later in my dream I discovered that they were all murdered and chopped into pieces like my parents were.  When I grew up, I went to work on a train for some reason.  I have no idea why.  I was the only girl working there and the work was extremely hard.  The men did not want me to be there and were always trying to get me to quit and leave. 

At one of the train stops I saw these older biker guys with my cat, Zealie.  I ran up to them and demanded to know why they had my cat.  They told me they bought her from some lady in the forest.  I took my cat and went back home to ask my adopted mom why she was sold to them.  When I got home my mom was not there.  The trailer looked abandoned with dirt and spider webs everywhere.  I searched all over for my mom, calling her name.  When I opened the fridge I saw her body all chopped up.  I began to sob and a group of friends came out of nowhere to comfort me but one by one they disappeared throughout the night.  Someone was killing the people I loved and I didn’t know who it was.  One of my friends said to me right before I woke up, “Don’t you know that it’s you?  Don’t you know that you’re the one killing us?  You are the reason people keep disappearing.  You are destroying our lives!”  I woke up sobbing and choking and terrified to go back to sleep.  I was not able to sleep after that dream.  I just laid in bed thinking about how awful it would be to find out I was some kind of horrible monster that was responsible for the brutal deaths of people I love.  I have a lot of dreams like that one that are not a direct correlation to my life but totally make sense after my therapist or someone analyzes them.  If a pill can make these dreams go away, I would be insane not to try it.