I like books.


I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Night Terrors

I have night terrors. What happens is, I wake up from a sound sleep paralyzed. I can’t move, can’t scream, and something horrible is happening or about to happen. The truth is, I am still asleep, and when I finally am able to wake myself up, I am still, for a few minutes, paralyzed. I scream for my husband, my son, my daughter, who ever is in the house, and they all run to my room and I tell them the terror and they check my closet, under my bed, and my window and assure me, I am okay. It’s been like that my entire life, well since I was nine.

I don’t always talk about it, but sometimes, I write about it and when I write I put it away in a folder called secret. It was secret even when I was nine and writing on paper sacks tied together with strings and hidden in the back of my closet, then when I was older, in my diary, then in my journals, and now here it is about to be on my blog. Don’t judge me, don’t think I’m telling my secrets for the world to see, but I am, my psychiatrists thinks if I talk about it, the terrors will go away. I hope he is right.

I was nine and my mom, well she was working late at the truck stop. She was a waitress. I was in charge of my younger sister, who was five. We fell asleep while watching a western, on the sofa, in the living room. Our front door wasn’t locked, had no locks. It was really late, the television was off, that’s what I remember most, the television making that sound it made when the television station went to bed. I woke up and my mom’s boyfriend was carrying me to bed and I thought how nice of him and he put me in bed and I thought he was going to get my little sister, I had already gone back to sleep, then he did it. He raped me. When he left, I got out of bed and blood was everywhere, but I had to get to my sister and make sure she was okay and that he hadn’t hurt her too. I woke her and made her go with me to the bathroom and I left a trail of blood. I found a towel and tried to wipe the blood up off the floor, it was new bought just that day at the store, but it only smeared and I was getting sick. We got in bed and we hid under the covers and I kept bleeding, then I got feverish and started vomiting and my sister got me a wash cloth and I kept wishing my mom was home and I hoped I wasn’t going to get into trouble for all the blood and then she came home and she saw the blood and asked me why I was bleeding and I didn’t tell her, didn’t have the language to tell her and she made me take a hot bath and I was so sick and I remember seeing the water turn red. And she gave me a pad to put in my panties and it was so large on such a small body and she asked me why I was bleeding and I vomited and she gave me aspirin and then after a long while, I was getting sicker and passing out and she took me to the hospital and at first the doctor didn’t notice that I was only nine and wearing a pad, or that I had bruises between my legs, what he noticed was my appendix had ruptured and he was rushing me to surgery and then when the nurse was washing me with an antiseptic cleansers she noticed the bruising and the blood and she told him, and I remember hearing him telling my mom and she shook me and said what have you done? What have you done? Who did you let do this? That’s all I remember for about three days, until they made me sit in sitz baths to heal the stitches that they used to put my broken body back together, but the terror has stayed with me. I still remember it, still dream about it, still wake up thinking he is in the room. That night changed me, caused me to have fear and to never feel safe, made me dirty in my mom’s eyes and in my older sister’s eyes as well. I became the child who was raped or let someone rape me. My mom’s boyfriend continued to live with us until I was 11. I had to keep locks on my bedroom door and after begging for a year, finally, my mom put a lock on the bathroom door. When I was eleven, he tried it again, the rape thing, and I hit him with a broom and cut his ear, and then I told my mom either he had to go, or I was running away to Alaska. She made him leave and then she died a few months later. Even on her deathbed, she blamed me for what happened. So that is why I have the night terrors.


Blogger Mouse said...

my poor zelda. it makes me nauseated to think of folks hurting babies, and really at nine your still a baby. I hope your terrors go away.

8:22 PM  
Blogger zelda1 said...

I'm working on it. The good thing is that they don't visit every singe night.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I am assuming your psychiatrist is dong psychotherapy with you (most of them no longer do, since the advent of managed care). I am also assuming you have other PTSD symptoms, which he is also treating. I have treated many people with similar symptoms, and it can take a while, but you can free yourself of them.

6:35 AM  
Blogger zelda1 said...

d.e.d. thanks for asking. I have been under a psychiatrist's care for about twenty years, and in that time, I have had every kind of treatment you can imagine. I am bi-polar so the main treatment now is medications, although I talk to him and he talks to me and on and on. I did, for a while, see a psychologists but my insurance will only pay for the the psychiatrists.

3:29 AM  
Blogger thejerkstore said...

oh my god. i am very sorry.

3:49 AM  
Blogger zelda1 said...


12:15 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Try a Family Service agency and see if you can swing the copay (sliding scale); they generally have very good clinicians. There is cognitive/behavioral work which can do much to alleviate your symptoms. If your psychiatrist isn't doing it, perhaps someone else can.

6:56 PM  
Blogger zelda1 said...

Actually there is a pretty good mental health clinic in my area and I will give them a call, although, I hate to go behind my psychiatrist's back. I am due to see him again in a couple of weeks and I think I will tell him I need more and not more pills but more talk or something. I think the pressures from graduate school have open old wounds or the pressure has taken my defenses down and I am having these awful feelings that were not there even a year ago. More than anxiety and more than guilt, it is like I am getting flashbacks of that night over and over and I play the conversations over and over and why didn't I say this and why didn't I fight harder and why and why and why. I was only nine. I didn't have the skills and then I say to myself if I could see him now I would do this and this and say this and this. It is infinite the thoughts and plans and all of that. Really weird.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Cognitive/behavioral therapy can treat the flashbacks. I have no idea why he hasn't referred you to somone who can do this. It troubles me to hear that he hasn't.

11:29 AM  
Blogger zelda1 said...

It's my fault that I am not getting the intense thearpy, I quit my psychologists because of the money. My psychiatrists only treats me with medicine, but I am going to ask him to get me back into the psychologists for more thearpy. I was doing really well when I was seeing him. I think a lot of the flashbacks are from the stress of school. I think, I might be wrong, but I think stress brings on a lot of those old memories.

6:02 AM  

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