Prisoner in my own body. Held hostage. Can't trust my own being anymore.
3:00 a.m. ~ awake again. Not just awake. Wide awake. 4 hours of sleep. I need 8. But, I get up, go to the restroom...
Now I am awake. Strike that. It is more like, now I am Hypervigilant!
No longer can I just go to the restroom, then fall back in bed and crash back into a sound sleep. As Tommy realized I had awakened, we began to talk - he'd already awakened at 2:00. Neither of us could go back to sleep. As we talked, he asked a good question:
"Since Merry Katherine's death, over these past (what is now?) 5 1/2 years, have you had a good night's sleep?"
I had to honestly answer, "No." If I have had one, it's been the exception, but I honestly cannot remember a night of a solid 8-hours of sleep. He couldn't remember me having one either.
I have coped with that by finding some time during the day to take a long nap to ensure that my poor grief-torn body at least gets around 8 hours of sleep from somewhere.
But that's not all. The other development, really since Day One when we were told Merry Katherine was killed, is that stress takes its toll on me through my gastro-intestinal system. It's as if my body were wired to vent the stress through upsetting my tummy. Ouch. And my system must be finely wired, such that the alarm goes off with barely a trip of the wire it seems. And when that happens, then
I feel like I am a prisoner of my own body, and a prisoner of my own home.
The only people who can count on seeing me on a regular basis are my immediate family members, and my clients. A neighbor was teasing Tommy that he hadn't even gotten to meet me yet, and asked when was he going to get to meet me? Tommy teased back and said, "Nobody sees her. If you want to see her, call her and make an appointment and bring your checkbook with you, because all she sees are her clients." You remember the old saying, "There's a lot of truth in jest!" Well, there you go. That just about sums it up.
I don't like it. And I am trying to train my body to be more resilient with a pretty strong aerobic work-out routine, and a very mindful diet. But meanwhile, it is what it is, and I just deal with it.
For Tommy, his stress now sets off high blood pressure. And he thinks the wear and tear of the trauma of child-loss definitely contributed to his body succumbing to cancer (that he discovered he had just 5 months ago) as well. He too is working hard at trying to build up his immune system with proper exercise and proper diet, but it is a daily battle.
It is a daily battle for both of us. I wonder if the battle will ever subside to give us a few moments reprieve. I pray so. I miss my carefree health I could always count on.
And I am sometimes terrorized if I have some heavy-duty-traumatized clients scheduled, will my body cooperate today and allow me to help them?
Some of my clients have lasted the entire 5 1/2 years with me through the grief, and they learned they needed to call me 30 minutes before the appointment to ask, "Is this a good day?" before coming into their previously scheduled appointment. It has worked out fairly well that way. (So thankful to my clients who have been so graciously willing to be flexible!)
What about you?
How does the stress of the grief and trauma over your child's death play out in your body, or soul, or spirit, or mind, or behavior?
Do you ever feel like you are Grief's Prisoner?