Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Last night, I slept for seven hours straight with no wakings by either me OR Swee'pea. That's the first time that's happened since he was born. Strangely enough, I don't feel as rested as I thought I would. In fact, I feel quite tired, like my sleep debt is so huge that it's only once I start trying to pay it off that I am faced with the enormity of what I've been ignoring for so long.

Incidentally, Swee'pea did NOT sleep through the night, he woke twice, but the wakings were at 10 pm and 5 am and i went to bed as soon as I settled him at 10.

Anyways, when I swam to consciousness this morning long after Sugar Daddy had already jumped out of bed to tend to Swee'pea, I remembered the dream I'd just been dreaming.

A long, long time ago, I mentioned tangentially (is anything I ever write NOT tangential?) that I used to have nightmares about tornadoes. Just so you don't have to click and dig, this is the bit I'm referring to:

When I was about 7, I saw some footage of a tornado at night; it was all red and black. For many years those colours were how I thought of tornadoes. That image, along with watching the Wizard of Oz around the same age or just before, must have made quite an impression because I developed a phobia of tornadoes; my nightmares in adolescence and my early twenties always featured me seeing a twister on the horizon and panicking while I waited to see if it would hit us or our neighbours. I knew I turned a corner when I dreamed that I wasn't scared; I just went down to the basement and calmly waited. I don't have nightmares about tornadoes anymore.

Last night, I dreamed of twisters again. Only this time, I was on some kind of tour, maybe even a storm chasing tour. We (Swee'pea and Sugar Daddy weren't there, it was just me and other tourists, including an old friend) kept being driven to a new farm with a dusty driveway, and every time we got out of the van there was another twister coming. I couldn't see many of them because of all the outbuildings surrounding us, so I never really knew whether we were actually in danger. There weren't any basements to shelter in, and that was kind of the point I think. Our tour guide felt that being in a doorway of an old barn was safer than the van, so every time he notified us of an approaching twister, we each squatted in a doorway with our arms over our heads. Once in a while I'd catch sight of the giant twisting column of destruction and feel a tiny jolt of fear, but mostly I just calmly waited and hoped.

I find it interesting that on the night I had the longest stretch of uninterrupted sleep in nearly 15 months, I seemed to have turned another corner in my anxiety dream motif. I'm not only calm in the face of scary twisters, I am actively seeking that fear and mastering it, deliberately putting myself in situations were I can't keep a close watch on the threat and not hiding from it either.

* * *

Did you see the video of the magical Rheostatics' singalong? Seriously, you should watch it... as Sage said in the comments, it "almost caught the final moment... almost."


NotSoSage said...

Oh, Sin, that's exactly the way that I felt. It's as though your body says, "Oh, cool, we're doing this again? Alright, time to catch up!" But I still found feeling tired that way much preferable to actually being sleep deprived.

I think it's so interesting that you are facing those fears in your dreams. When I have a bad dream and it wakes me up, I have tried in the past to fall asleep and dream it again and try to change the outcome. I don't know why this is important to me, but it is. Maybe you've just explained it, here.

Mad Hatter said...

Ya, that's one of the key problems with sleep deprivation. It takes a long, long time to cure. Witness Mimi's insomnia. My late bed times... Ahhh! The mark these kids leave is indelible. Thankfully most of the indelible mark is for all the right reasons.

Aliki2006 said...

I just watched the video--it IS awesome and thank you again for turning me on to them.

I dream of hurricanes, not twisters. And the dreams are scary and leave me feeling uneasy.

slouching mom said...

I am so happy for you. Only more sleep to come for you, cin/sin. (I don't know which it is! Help!)

I often revisit nightmares, and you're right, they do evolve.

nomotherearth said...

The Boy slept through the night long before I was able to. It was ironic. And terribly annoying.

Suz said...

The boys have been sleeping pretty much through the night for the last week or so, but I have not. As you said, the sleep debt is so huge at this point, that even making a dent in it just causes my body to want more sleep.

Denguy said...

Oh, the joys of being a man. I don't hear the kids at night, they never wake me up. There has to be some biological reason we don't stir to crying babes. However, a hard elbow to the ribs from my wife wakes me every time.

Beck said...

Cin, a tornado WENT THROUGH MY YARD two summers ago! It wrapped itself around my house, bending the giant old trees down in the front yard to fill the porch, and then fled to the backyard, flipping over the pool, uprooting trees that had stood for a century... it did even more damage in the rest of town, flipping cars onto houses and ripping off roofs.

Sleeping is SO great. I love sleeping.

crazymumma said...

I think last night was the full moon, maybe that had something to do with it.

I often have dreams about tidal waves. funny.

It is incredible how our dreams resonate into our day.