Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Moaning!

I am so exhausted. I’m trying not to cry. If I cry then I will get a migraine. My blood pressure is already 169/87. I have not slept during the night since I went off Ambien on June 1. After 8 days, I took a 2 hour nap on June 9. I have had a few 1 hour naps on some of the days until June 12, Saturday. That day I slept almost all day. It was so healing, but it still wasn’t enough to heal my body. I didn’t sleep at all last night, but I took a nap this afternoon.

Maybe if I write about it, I can stop feeling like a victim. I have no one to talk with. I don’t suppose I have enough followers to help me, but maybe my two new buds will read this. My husband is my only confidante, and he’s been hearing this and living it for 30 years. Bless his heart (we say that in the south a lot!), he hurts for me, but doesn’t know how to help me. This blog is purposely as anonymous as possible so that my name can’t be googled and someone will read what I write. There are too many children and grandchildren whom I love dearly, and I don’t want them to read this.

I’m at such an impasse. I don’t sleep without a sleeping pill. Even with it, my sleep at night is troubled and sporadic. I’ve mentioned in my blog that I had to quit Ambien in order to lose weight. I have the curious side effect with Ambien of getting up in the wee hours and bingeing. Serious bingeing. I never do that during the day or when I’m off Ambien. My precious husband, probably to keep himself from being a Perfect Man, won’t/can’t abstain from having sweets in the house. Gourmet ice creams, (slurp), several different kinds of delish cookies, and bags of chocolate candy. When I wake up in an Ambien haze, I am into the stuff like a little child with no restraint. What I knew was that I had to stop Ambien to be able to lose weight. He does lock his goodies up at times, but then he’ll forget and I zero in on them.

I have post- traumatic stress syndrome. My first husband was paranoid schizophrenic. The last year of our marriage he turned into a monster. He never hit me, but he was verbally abusive beyond imagination. For a full calendar year he kept me awake every night. Our children were 13, 10, and 3. I was determined to go to any lengths to keep his rage on me and not my children. He would scream, yell, or talk loudly and disagreeably. It started as soon as I got in the bed. He had a litany that he followed every night. When I would refuse to answer him, he would get up and slam the door of the closet, and scoot all of the clothes down to one end.

We shared a long closet, my clothes on one end, his on the other. He knew what a perfectionist I was about my clothes. The closet would get his attention all during the night. Sliding with force the hangers, first to one end, then the other, bellowing his rage the whole time. I couldn’t leave the bedroom, because he would follow me and awaken the children. Later in the night, when I was so exhausted I faked sleep, he would go to the double dresser and pull out each drawer, banging it back as loudly as possible. (Checking for my reaction.) Then back in bed, when he thought I was asleep, he would bang his wedding ring against the headboard and continue to harangue me. Usually something about how I thought my dad was the only good man in the world. He was nasty about both my parents. That hurt me, because all during our marriage, they were the ones who would pick up the pieces for him after he had spent all of our money and then gone to a psychiatric hospital for several weeks or months. I was afraid to let myself go to sleep, because I was afraid he would kill me.

The short end to this part of the story is that I packed the car full on a June day, and took my girls and drove 12 hours (yeah, without sleep for a year) to get to my parents’ house. He wouldn’t let me bring our son, so I left and was able to rescue him before school started. The terrible, wrenching thing was finding out that when I was safe, I still could not sleep. I was 5'6" and weighed 105 pounds.  There would follow 30 years of struggling to regain my health.  On another time I will tell the rest of this part of the story, and how I’ve struggled to cope in the 30 years since. Obviously, it’s still a bleeding wound. I rarely think of what happened to me, unless I’m telling someone (mostly doctors, who are always horrified). I live a life of resignation when it comes to sleep. Except that now every pore in my body is screaming for sleep. I’ve done the warm bath. I’ll meditate, read, listen to music. Those things help if I also have the medication. Now I’m adrift.


  1. Oh sweetie, just giving you the biggest cyber hug you can imagine. Telling you you're safe and it's ok to relax and go to sleep, nothing is going to happen to you or anyone you love while you are sleeping. Do you want my email address so you can email me directly if you ever want to chat, get things off your chest or whatever and don't want it out in public? Let me know and I'll work out how to scoot it over to you. I'm in the States in about 6 weeks, shame I'm not going to Texas or I could give you a hug in person.

  2. Ok Jenny, you can contact me at

    Chat to you soon. I'll be up for the next couple of hours. 7pm here.

  3. Bless YOUR heart!! You have been through far more than a body should have to!!

    I'm sure I can't make any suggestions that you haven't already tried. Counseling/therapy? Hypnosis? Is there any drug other than Ambien that you could try?

    I haven't slept as well since menopause, but at least I do sleep. I wish I had some answers for you. I can pray for you, though, and I've already lifted up the first.

    I hope this blog will at least help with the need to "talk".

  4. Thank you, Kelly! I don't think counseling would get me any further, because it's so deep-seated. I would never have the patience. But hypnosis might help. Maybe another sleeping pill. Thanks for prayers and caring!