I didn’t know this while my kids were growing up, but now that they’re adults, they’ve told me how hard it was growing up in a home with someone that had PTSD. They told me it was scarier for them to come into my room in the middle of the night after they’d had a nightmare than it was for them to stay in their own rooms, and console themselves. They said they would cower under the covers and call out to me instead of coming into my room because waking me up slowly wouldn’t elicit that panicked scream they always got when they startled me; especially at night.
It’s always the same nightmare. I am woken by a noise. I sit up and strain my ears to hear if someone’s in the house. I sit there for a few seconds trying to muster up the courage to go and make sure the doors are locked. I’m always in the house I grew up in and I always seem to be drawn to the back door. As I move through the kitchen and get closer to the door, I see that it’s open. I rush towards it quickly straining my eyes to see if I have enough time to lock the door before he ambushes me.
The trouble is when I get to the door, it won’t ever close; let alone lock. It either swings both ways like the doors in an old western movie; passing the latch completely, or it just won’t close all the way. It’s almost like its misaligned and although it comes to within a millimeter of closing, it just won’t latch shut. I push and strain, but no matter how hard I push it won’t close. I hear rustling outside and I turn and start running back towards my room. That’s when I wake up, or should I say, sort of wake up.
I can sense I’m back in bed, and I can hear him coming down the hallway towards my bedroom. I know it’s only a matter of seconds before he’s going to be on me, but I can’t seem to move. I try to scream, but it comes out as a whimper. I try to kick at him with my legs, but they’re frozen and won’t move.
I’m absolutely terrified and the horror of my situation makes me suck in my breath. All logic completely leaves my head, and I truly believe this time I’m going to die, but then I hear Xena, my “warrior princess” coming around to my side of the bed. She makes this guttural noise as she approaches me and I can feel, as well as hear her hot breathe on my face as she comes closer. She gently nudges me with her wet nose and then licks my face until I’m able to move and slowly all thoughts of the nightmare leave my head.
...Do you have someone to wake you when you’re in this state? Because whether it’s sleep paralysis, a nightmare, or both, it’s pretty horrible, and it makes it really hard to want to go to sleep.
Stay safe and stay strong. Thanks for following.