“You are not going out with that boy unless his parents are driving and that's that. I'm not just Spitting Grits here, young lady!”

. . . My father, John Thomas Cravey, USAF, to me in 1956.

Night Hurts

My husband told me about last night’s upsetting incident this morning.

Our granddaughter has been very wakeful during the night for some time now. Last night she woke up about 1:30 a.m. calling for papa. She wanted him to sleep with her, which he will do in order to get her back to sleep. It took a while for her to fall back to sleep, and it was fitful sleep.

“She was thrashing around,” said my husband. “Then she started crying, ‘Mommy, mommy’. Then she kind of woke up and cried out, ‘Papa? Papa?’. I said to her, ‘I’m here, I’m here’. Then she finally fell asleep,” he said.

This retelling hurts. Knowing she's having such a bad emotional time also hurts. It also confirms to me that these dreams about her mother are interfering with her sleep. I can’t help but wonder about the content that is upsetting her so. Maybe it’s “abandonment” dreams. We all have had them, I think.

My understanding is that part of the function of dreams is cathartic. I hope the experts are right about this.

I am anxious to get an assessment from the children’s mental health professional who is guiding us in how to handle this and help our granddaughter to handle it.

Meanwhile, my feelings about my very ill daughter, who has a serious disease as well as mental health issues, have bottomed out, and these feelings do not feel right or natural. It’s a crummy place to be. I would certainly welcome insights and comments about this situation.


1 comment:

Jess said...

Joanna, I'm so sorry that your lovely granddaughter is having these bad nights. And of course, that means that you and your husband are having bad nights too. Disrupted sleep is terrible at any age, but it has got to be rough on you and you husband.

All I can offer you is my sympathy for all three of you and a comparison to a sort of "control group." I have a son about your granddaughter's age (he'll be three next month). He frequently has bad dreams, even night terrors once or twice. He has nothing like your poor girl's abandonment and past chaos hovering over his inner life, but my little guy's father is gone a lot as part of his job. He calls for Daddy, calls for Mommy, wakes up yelling. Frequently! So it may be a normal part of the toddler years, just made (of course) much worse by your J's circumstances. I try to think it shows how their brains are growing, that their imaginations are taking them into new and strange places, even though some that end up being scary.

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