Did it just get serious up in here?

Last night, even through the Ambien, I had a hallucination that a man was standing at the foot of my bed waving a large metal tree branch above me.  I could see it so clearly that I woke Husband to tell him “Hey! There’s a guy in here!” 

“No there isn’t” he said.

“There is! I can see him” I replied, growing increasingly more frustrated. 

“Stop!  There isn’t anyone here!” he replied, growing increasingly more annoyed that I had awoken him from a dead sleep with my yelling.

“I can SEE him!  I’m turning on the light.”  Angry and sure that I would prove my point, I flipped on the light. 

We both blinked in the sudden brightness.  Nothing.  There was nothing and no one there.  There never is.  And yet I was so sure!  I always am. 

I don’t blame Husband for being irritated with the situation.  He’s been living with it for ten years.  I’ve been living with it for longer but when I’m alone in bed, I don’t have to apologize to anyone else for ruining their sleep. 

Since I never know when it’s going to happen, I always warn house guests and hosts that if they hear me screaming, they should just ignore it…you know, unless it lasts for longer than a few seconds, then maybe they should lock their door and call 911. 

I take medicine daily which is supposed to suppress these “visions.”  I take Ambien almost every other night in hopes that I can fall and stay asleep.  I don’t drink coffee or soda.  I exercise.  My doctor tells me that I could take GHB and just completely knock myself out (no really, it’s a real treatment) but something about that makes me, oh, I don’t know, a little nervous.  But it still keeps happening.  Not as frequently as it did but still enough that everyone in my house gets annoyed.  Even the four-legged family members. 

So what do I do? I laugh at it.  I laugh at myself. I tell people my dreams with an air of humor because, in the end, there’s not much else I can do.  And if I didn’t laugh at it, I think I would be the most miserably exhausted person that I know.  I don’t want to be that person, so I laugh for real. 

But sometimes, just sometimes,  I wish I could dream about Jon Hamm my husband every night.  That’s something I wouldn’t mind waking up to.

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2 Responses to “Did it just get serious up in here?”


  1. 1 Senor Baker May 14, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Hey, since you never brought this up back in the day we never really got to compare notes; but the truth of it is your “hallucinations” sound an aweful lot like the night terrors that I suffer from as well. Same scenario for the most part except my strange figure is usually next to the bed instead of at the foot and usually less definable than what you see. On more than one occassion I would wake my ex or my roomie up with cries for help (don’t believe me, ask Poltrone and Halfhill)

    Anyway, I’ve never gotten any sort of treatment for it despite family and friends urging to do so. What’s worked for me is firm awareness. I can tell when I’m in danger of having my night terrors; it’s just an uncomfortable vibe that I get every once in a while and as a reflex I wake myself before they happen. I’d love to tell you that there is some secret technique to doing this but I just kind of do it whenever the vibe gets to strong.

    Another technique that worked for me once or twice again comes with awareness to some extent. If you are having a “Hallucination” and are remotely aware that it is within your mind, then change it. Have a favored fictional character show up and coldcock the shadowy S.O.B. at the end of the bed.

    For me, the big step in all of this is something that you seem to have gotten to already; which is that this thing that you see is not some sort of malicious phantom or personal haunting but a product of your subconscious’ imagination. It took me quite a while to be convinced of this, because like you; what I see seems wholly real to me. However I do know (now) that it is my mind messing with me. Honestly, since I started writing I haven’t had to deal with it as much. Also, having the cats around helps a great deal bc/ I believe that there is legitimate merit to the belief that they are guardians when we sleep. Dogs guard person and property, cats guard the soul.

    Honestly, I don’t know if I have a singular solid point to all this other than to let you know that you’re certainly not alone in dealing with these sleep issues. Know that I’m pulling for you, and if you ever want to talk with someone who’s been there I’m always happy to lend an ear.

    • 2 ruehllin May 14, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      You were the first person who came to mind while I was being diagnosed. I kept saying “Greg has this too.”

      Many times the hallucinations hover above me, stand next to me and, unfortunately, they also try to kill me. That’s happened 3 times. Each time I woke up my entire apartment complex with my screaming. The last one promtped me to get tested. Well, that and Husband yelling at me constantly to get tested.

      I’m hoping that my four-legged friends will help me but so far they seem content to sleep on my windpipe.


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