I AM SORRY THIS IS SO LONG!!!!
Linda and I don't talk about my nightmares a whole lot. She always asks me if I've had them, and on what nights, and if they've changed at all, and if they are about things that really happened (as opposed to those few things I sometimes dream about, but I'm pretty sure never happened). So the whole conversation takes about 2 minutes. She asked me more about them early on, and then when they were becoming different, or if I tell her I am really disturbed by something. But I don't have much to say. Generally, they are just about what happened, and don't change a whole lot. A lot of times, it's just part of it. Sometimes I see it like a movie, mostly I feel like it actually is happening. How much it disturbs me kind of depends on whether I wake up in the middle or after, and how disoriented I am when I wake up. I have terrible eyesight, and so when I wake up, I don't have my glasses on or contacts in, and I can't see anything, so I could be anywhere. Sometimes it takes me a while to realize were I am. Sometimes I know right away. I never knew what to tell Linda about them. I already told her what happened. The nightmares are the same thing, so ...
The main problem is that when I have nightmares, it feels like I have been struggling the whole night and don't feel as though I have slept. Plus, it's just not fun going through what happened every night.
Dr. M and I haven't worked on it at all, except she asked me a little about them when I first went to see her, and she will ask me if I'm having them and how often. I don't see Dr. M much at all. She does not accept my insurance, and so I have to self-pay, which is worth it, because I like her, but is still expensive. But she is so kind and handles most everything over the phone. The last time I actually saw her was when I was asking her about the medical stuff and had Linda tell her stuff. I used to talk to her about once a week to check on the meds, but we haven't been doing that because there is no sense changing any meds until the sleep doctor figured out if I had issues and if so, what to do about them. I will have to see her soon, though, because Dr. Krakow said in the report he wants me to review my meds with her to see if anything is aggravating the sleep disorders, because he said I am on a lot of "psychotropic medications." And he wants me to go on 2 additional medications - clonazapam and something else. I imagine she wouldprescribe those, although maybe he will. No clue. I already know Dr. Krakpw's recommendations. They were in his report. He said (I cut and pasted frm his report):
Recommendation: Ms.XXXXXXXXXX should initiate auto-bilevel as prescribed due to variable pressure needs based on position or stage of sleep and then return for a data download and Patient Management Appointment (PMA) in the first month of treatment, at which point she will be scheduled for a full night auto-bilevel retitration study to test pressures and reassess leg jerks and parasomnia behavior (see additional steps described in these Recommendations). We will also consider ASV therapy if centrals persist. Serum ferritin should be checked as values less than 50 have been linked to RLS/PLMD. But, at this point, we would strongly recommend initiating EBM pharmacotherapy (e.g. Requip, Mirapex, Neurontin, Horizant) for PLMD, because this step might further consolidate sleep and thereby enhance the response to PAP therapy. However, she is also on multiple psychotropic medications that might worsen leg movements, so she could discuss any possible changes of medications with Dr. Mxxxxxx. Furthermore, given the likely diagnosis now of RBD, the patient should initiate Clonazepam, which is 3rd-line treatment for leg jerks, but the top treatment for RBD. If the Clonazepam controls her RBD symptoms, we will then conduct the retitration study to determine whether Clonazepam is also proving effective for leg jerks. Initiation of Clonazepam for RBD starts at 0.25 mg and the patient should consider increases every 4 to 7 days depending upon her response to the mediation or its side-effects, such as feeling to groggy in the morning. Most RBD patients response to dosages between 0.25 and 2.0 mg. Last, there is still a possibility that it is her psychotropic medications that are worsening her RBD symptoms, so this issue should be reviewed by her psychiatrist.
Of course, I understand only about half of that. The whole report is 11 pages, and other than part of the above paragraph, the only thing I really understood was the tech describing what I was doing during my nightmares. I imagine they will have me come in and will set me up with a mask and probably a loaner machine (since I have to get things rechecked, apparently, in a month, and they may put me on another type of machine, from what I gather), and I will start doing that, and then Dr. M or Dr. Krakow will prescribe me the other meds, and I will come back and they will look at the data from the machine, and I will do another overnight test. I just want to get it started so I can see if it helps me sleep. And I want to get on the meds to see if it helps the nightmares. At the very least, it should stop me from giving myself a black eye in the middle of the night.
The thing about shame might be right. I don't know. Or maybe because my sister had no shame at all in showing her body, and I went the opposite way, as I did in most things. I don't know. I was beginning to feel a bit more comfortable with it all in college, but then that happened.
As to the tv shows - before that happened, they didn't have those kinds of shows on tv. Plus, I didn't watch very much tv at all. Maybe one show a week or something. I just had a lot of other things I was doing. I started watching them when they started to have these kinds of shows on. At first, there were just a few obscure ones on random channels, with the occasional dateline special. Now, as you know, they are everywhere. And yes - it is my preferred type of show. Definitely. I find it hard to go to sleep unless there are detectives or Das talking in the background. I mean, I have trouble sleeping anyway, so that may have nothing to do with it, but it seems so. But I also can go to sleep to other non-crime documentaries. I like real-life stuff way more than fiction. Except when I read - I like reading fiction. I don't know. I like those shows. I usually feel nothing when I watch them. At first, when I would watch them in the den and P. would be in there, if someone was raped, I would sit there hoping P didn't say anything. But she never did, so I don't worry about it. When I am by myself, I usually don't think anything.
Yes - if you did make fun of me, it would fall into line with what my family would do. But my family never had this much information abut me, either. And I am no longer used to anyone doing that. It would really really hurt my feelings and I would stop talking to you. That's a trust thing, too. I have no idea what your reactions are because I can't see or feel them. I have no idea if you are sitting there rolling your eyes or making fun of me without telling me. I don't see the point in it, and I can't see why you would do that, but it is a possibility, and I have to trust that's not what's happening.
That all makes sense about you recognizing defenses more because that's what you are trained to do. Are you taught to react the same way to everyone, depending on the "defense" employed, or different ways for different types of people, or do you just have to take what you know and make a judgment call? It's kind of nice talking to someone I can't BS. Linda said, pretty soon after I started seeing her, that one of my problems is that I think I'm smarter than everyone else, and in the past, when I felt like I was smarter than a counselor, I didn't take the person seriously, and if I was able to control what they thought and knew (in regards XXXXX XXXXX), then I thought they would be of no help and discounted what they said. But she said it was ironic, when they said I was doing fine and was "over it" (not really those words), I would believe that. She told me that I might very well be smarter than her, but she could guarantee that she knew more about how to help me than I knew how to help myself on this. She told me I was my own worst enemy. I think that's why I liked her, too - because she could see through some of my crap. And then she could see things I wasn't even trying to hide - I had no idea were even there.
That would be an interesting dynamic - 2 therapists in the same household. Although, I think just having one would have the potential to be kind of unfair and lopsided. But if he is a therapist, it must mean he is a pretty compassionate person, so that would be great, especially in a guy.
That is so cool that your husband is the one who showed Christ to you. Did it take you long to "get it"? I'm so glad your kids are saved!
I grew up Lutheran. We went to church every week, but I never learned about having a relationship with Jesus or anything of the sort. I went through first communion classes, then catechism classes, and was an acolyte for years. But I was clueless. And I really think most people were. I learned all of the rituals and all of the creeds, and some stuff about Martin Luther, but nothing more. It was a very small congregation, and a 150 year old church. There were actually about 7 kids around my age that went there, but we didn't have much in the way of youth activities. The pastor was one of my friends' dads, and I couldn't stand him. And every week he wore more and more robes and capes and gold. We didn't have many youth activities, because our youth group leader had a sex change (or was starting his year of hormones and cross-dressing before the operation), and so he was asked not to come back to church, which sucked. Then anything the pastor tried was a disaster, and would end up with drunk kids or a fire or something.
But I always had a strong sense of God and was very curious. I used to draw crosses around my room with nail polish and I wrote the Lord's Prayer on a piece of wood and stuck it in the window, and would ask God to visit me. But I didn't really feel like I ever got an answer.
My freshman year in college, one of the girls on my basketball team told me about accepting Christ and gave me a tract with the "prayer" on it. I didn't even think it over - instantly, I was like "okay," and I said the prayer. But I never really did anything about it, never went to church or any Bible studies, never even read the Bible. I went to a few Christian concerts with her, but nothing more. Then she graduated, and I kind of forgot about everything. I knew it, and I knew it in the back of my head, but I never did anything. And I was still drinking and doing the same things I always had. When the thing happened, I never even asked for God's help. I did not seek Him at al, either during or after.
In Law School, I pretty much continued as I had been, except I went out to bars less, I guess, because I didn't feel comfortable. At the end of law school I joined a band and we sang at bars, and actually, a lot of gay bars, because the guitar player was a lesbian. After I took the bar exam, and after living alone for a year, I ended up moving in with the guitar player and 2 more people, in a big house, and the things I witnessed there were beyond bizarre. It's like I was exposed to a whole different side of society. I'll just say I learned a lot. And to them, I was like their straight-laced mascot. Most of my good friends from college lived in the same city, so I hung out a lot with them, which helped balance out things. But I just knew that I was kind of on the edge during that time. Then I moved to NM, which is a whole other long story of which I'm not too proud, but I knew I was supposed to come here. I came for the wrong reasons, but God had His own reasons.
I had interviewed with a few firms when I came here to take the bar exam, and I was offered a few jobs. So the day after I got here, I started working for LP (my former partner, with whom, by the way, I am having lunch on Wed.). I ended up being totally alone here, with no friends and no money. And that was a great time in my life. It really was. I sang at our office managers wedding a few years after coming here, and so LP's wife asked me to join a women's singing group. She told me we practiced at a church, but it was not a church group, etc. So I went. Pat was the director. I learned pretty quickly that it WAS a church related group, and I had to go to church a few times because we were singing. Another woman started working at our firm, and she went to the same church, and asked me to stay for Sunday school once. I went out of obligation. But I started to make friends, and joined the choir for a Christmas production, and just started going all the time. I think I went for about 4 years before I joined, and I had to get baptized. I knew about Jesus and I knew the language and what to say, etc. I was the chairman of the personnel committee and sang all the time. Then we had a revival. It started on Sunday morning for the members, then was in the evenings all week, and I had to go because I sang on the praise team. This guy, Ronnie Hill (?), was our speaker for the week. On Sunday morning, he was giving the message, and he was talking about being involved in church and doing the right things, etc., but not having a relationship with Christ- a REAL relationship. He said it's like baseball - you can round all the bases and hit home plate, but it won't count if you missed first base. I felt like a brick hit me in the chest, and I just started crying. During the prayer before the invitation, he asked for anyone who feels they need to commit to Christ to look up at him during the prayer, and I did. But during the invitation, I couldn't bring myself to go forward. I just stood there and cried. That night at the service, I asked C if I could come and talk to him the next day. I knew I had missed first base. I got the Jesus as Savior part - but not the Jesus as Lord. I was a bit humiliated, because I was a leader in church at that time. But I told C everything and told him I didn't really have a relationship with Jesus like I was supposed to, etc. I told him I just knew. So I prayed with him, and he said that he knew I was embarrassed, but the Bible says I need to get baptized again, so that night we told Ronnie Hill, who was able to turn it into a message and use me as an example, since I had been up there singing in front of everyone but apparently wasn't really saved, and C baptized me and everyone was a bit surprised, but what could I do? This was very important, obviously. I just had to tell everyone I missed the boat and was just playing the part and not really living it. That was about 5-6 years ago.
None of my family is saved. My parents believe they are Christians because they go to church every week. They won't listen to me. I feel like my sister got close, when she was taking classes to convert to catholicism, because it raised questions and we were able to talk about it. My brother has moved from atheist to agnostic. I worry so much about the kids. I am my nieces' godmother. (My brother's stepdaughter and his son got christened a few years ago, and they let her choose her godmother and god father). I take that seriously. My brother's daughter has gone to an evangelistic church with her great aunt a lot, and she kind of gets it. But my nephew doesn't at all. My sister's kids go to a catholic school, so are fairly focused on God, but don't really get it, either. I pray for them a lot. I don't want to spend eternity without them, and I cannot stand the thought of any of them spending eternity in Hell. I would do anything. I would go through what I did 20 times if it meant they would be saved.
Kate, I want to unhook myself from those guys. I don't want them to be a part of me. They had no business being in me and on me and doing what they did, and I feel like they've stayed with me, and they have no right to be here, and no right to be with me when I'm sleeping. Can you help me get rid of them??