OUCH!

We’ve been talking this month about truth being stranger than fiction..  Yesterday, I shared with you some stories about a few of the wacky things my sister Michelle has done while she was sleepwalking.  Some of those were because she was on medication that had the side effect of “somnambulism” (or sleepwalking) which heightened her predisposition to walk around after she went to sleep.  But even without medication, stress and anxiety can cause sleepwalkers to do what they do.  There’s one more thing you should know.  Wide awake, Michelle is not a confrontational person at all.  In fact, she’s a bit of a wimp.  As a matter of fact, there have been plenty of times that she’s found herself in the middle of a disagreement with someone, and then unbeknownst to me, she’s volunteered me to step in and give her opponent a what-for.  But I digress.

We lived in New York at the time of the September 11 terrorist attacks.  We weren’t in New York City, but we were roughly an hour away.  However, a lot of people we knew worked in the city, and a few actually worked in one of the Twin Towers.

On the day of the attacks, my son Jeremy was seven years old.  His class was told exactly what had happened, and his school was dismissed early.  My daughter Stefani was in middle school at the time, and her school was dismissed about an hour later, though they weren’t told why.  I worked directly for the Vice President of a hospital, and I was not allowed to leave because we had to dispatch emergency crews from all of our affiliate medical centers to the City.  My sister worked for a pest control company.

After the first tower was hit, many of the phone lines were down.  I was able to call my sister and ask her to go home and be with my kids since I couldn’t call my house.  Michelle left work, though her boss demanded that she stay.  (Because of course when our nation was under attack, people would be calling in to get their earwigs under control!)  So she had a confrontation with her boss whom she already didn’t like, and then she left.  Her boss told her to not bother returning – ever.  As she drove home, she was rerouted because there was a suspected bomb on the bridge.  She had to drive another 50 miles North to the next bridge then find her way home from there.  (We didn’t have GPS back then, and Michelle is bad with directions.)  It was late that evening before I got home, but in the meantime, Michelle was there with spotty phone reception, spotty television reception, and two scared kids that didn’t understand what was happening.  So, needless to say, Michelle was stressed.

Fast forward a few more hours.  Late that night, after a very long day at work, and of course the turmoil that our whole nation felt, I was completely minding my own business, sound asleep in my bed downstairs from Michelle and my kids.  Michelle, however, was not sleeping so soundly.

black eyeA couple of hours after I drifted off to sleep, I was jolted awake by the sound of something that can best be described by clapping one’s hands together loudly.  But then it dawned on me, the sound I heard was not that of someone clapping their own hands, but the sounds of someone slapping me in the face!  Hard.  I sat straight up, and only briefly saw a silhouette standing over me, when BAM!  Michelle punched me in the face and gave me a black eye!  Then she giggled then ran out of the room.

I chased my sister back to her room upstairs, which she apparently forgot, and I slept the rest of the night with one eye open.  The next morning as I prepared to leave for work, Michelle came downstairs, then looked at me and said, “Oh, Rachel!  You’ve got a black eye!  What happened to you?”  (She really had no clue, but such is the life of a sleepwalker.)

Now, I’ll ask you, when you’ve seen those movies or read in the headlines about sleepwalkers who’ve killed their spouse or parent-in-law, did you believe them? Have you ever been afraid to go to sleep?

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52 thoughts on “OUCH!

  1. My husband attacked me one night during a dream. he didn’t know he was doing it, but he kept punching me in the face. Not enough for bruises but enough to know I had been hit. I tried to way him up, but he would not wake, so I went to another bedroom. Yes, truth is stranger than fiction.

  2. My youngest daughter was a sleepwalker when she was younger (she’s 26 now), not sure if she still does as she lives on her own. She never did anything extreme like your sister did but she one time cut her hair in her sleep and other things like that. So I can totally believe people are capable of doing all sorts of things in their sleep. It is of interest to note that people who take the sleeping drug Ambian have been known to drive in their sleep as well as other things they should not do while sleeping! It just goes to show you that we are never really totally asleep – part of us remains awake on some level.

    • I’ve heard of that with Ambien as well. The weird thing with my sister was that if she was awake, she couldn’t see a foot in front of her face without her glasses, but asleep she maneuvered fine. She had Lasik surgery since then and during the healing time, we were all afraid she would end up tearing off the sleep gear and ruin her eyes. Thankfully, she didn’t. 🙂

  3. Wonderfully weird – earwigs to boot! You triggered a 9/11 memory for me with this post. I had just served a bankruptcy notice on a likable old rogue; returned to my car; turned the radio on and got smacked in the face with the terrible news. Unusually for us Brits the very next day every other house was flying an American flag (where did they all come from) in support of your nation. Strange, sad times.

    • That is weird that they all had US flags! But then again, I keep a small Canadian flag in my bathroom and a full-sized Union Jack in my bedroom. As for the earwigs, I was going to actually say bats in the belfry, but I changed it to earwigs just for you! 🙂 (Yes, really!)

      • Cheers for the earwigs! I must ask why you keep a Canadian flag (small version) in the bathroom prior to moving on to the Union Jack (never my favourite flag I must say)?

      • I keep a small Canadian flag hanging over the shower because my best friend is Canadian, so when she visits, she will have her flag here. {Plus she spends a lot of time in the bathroom doing her hair.} I have a big Union Jack because it was signed on the edge by my buddy Peter Noone once when I wore it as a cape to one of his shows. (No disrespect to either country intended.) I also have a few Union Jack shirts and some UJ guitar pick earrings (not earwigs!) and other such jewelry. The paraphernalia helps when I do my British accent and fool people. Other than that, I used to have a USA flag bathing suit as well as a Japanese flag shirt. But those are long gone. 🙂

  4. It’s the business about your kids that irks me. School systems are always bungling such things. Way back during Operation Desert Storm, I got a phone call from the elementary school, because my daughter was frightened and crying about her father’s being in the military, and that I needed to get help for her. Turns out that some eejit had decided that the school needed to do hold an assembly, to do anticipatory PTSD “intervention.” I was furious, because her father was in the navy, he was stationed in a CONUS shore billet, living with his family, and working in a job that ran no risk of being deployed to Iraq. The school, in its infinite wisdom, had scared the holy living heck out of my child for no reason, and I had to get her out of the rafters.

    • Oh, that is scary! How old was she at the time? Yes, that made me mad with my kids as well. We knew several people who commuted to the City and worked in the towers, and worse yet, there were a LOT of kids in their classes whose parents worked there. 🙂

  5. Never met a murderous sleepwalker thank God. However I did know a person whom his family asked people to watch if no one was going to be home. He was at university and 22. He lived at home of course because you can imaging what he could get into sleepwalking around a dormitory. So one night they asked me. I tried to sit up all night watching TV with not much success. Then as I was drifting I hear someone on the roof and when I ran out there he was doing what? Baying at the moon. Kid you not. I called the firemen and they got him down. Never agreed to watch him again. So I know how you must of felt being punched by your sister and of course it’s not her fault.

    • Wow! That is creepy! It was scary when my sister was doing it every day, but now it’s just 3 or 4 times a year so it’s just funny. But I would never volunteer to watch someone else who was known to sleepwalk. They get very strong and can also get mean! 🙂

  6. Apparently I used to sleepwalk but I just transferred all my stuffed toys to a make-shift bed on the couch downstairs. When I awoke and found them, I was convinced they were magical and came to life at night.
    Diana xo

  7. Wow! Some subconscious shenanigans there…not cool! At least black eyes heal.
    When 9/11 happened I was in my Geometry class and, for some reason, the high school had cable. Having friends in the Navy at the time, and not having any information other than that of the news channel my teacher wanted to watch (some big boobed bimbo bawling over the same ten minute loop of film) we were all just anxious and unsure. Now, as a teacher, I try to make sure the students are told such things by their parents; though it doesn’t always work out that way.

    • They didn’t release your school early? My work at the time told us we might have to stay for a few DAYS without going home, and as a single mom, that just wasn’t feasible with no babysitter and wanting to hug my babies. But I guess these days with social media and cell phones, the kids n your class would probably already know before their parents get there to pick them up. 😐

  8. wow, my emotions were all over the place with this one, rachel. how terrifying on many levels, with a bit of dark humor thrown in for good measure. my middle daughter went through a sleepwalking phase for about a year. she would wake up, walk into my room and just stand by the side of my bed staring at me with her eyes open but asleep. i would always sense it after a few minutes and wake up and jumping from the shock of someone staring at me. thank god she outgrew it )

    • UGH! My son used to do that and still does on occasion. It scares the bejeebers out of me! I used to have a friend that sleepwalked only if she ate chocolate! She’s fine on chocolate now, so I guess it was an allergy she outgrew? (Or else they changed the ingredients!) 🙂

  9. My husband does sometimes hit out in his sleep, and used to sleepwalk when he was younger but has never hurt anyone whilst sleepwalking, but it does make you think.

  10. Michelle’s boss: Best described as a jerk.
    (One time when I was little I actually got out of bed and started to watch TV in my sleep. The only problem was, I think it must have been Doctor Who or another sci-fi show or some sort of something like that, because I had a nightmare, and had nightmares for nights after that–and all because of watching late-night TV in my sleep. I have been known to wander around the house, write letters to friends, and go to the refrigerator to get a glass of milk without ever waking up. It’s the only good way of explaining how quickly we sometimes go through milk in this house, especially since I don’t drink milk that much when I’m actually awake. 😛 )

    • Yes, her boss was a definite jerk. LOL! About your sleepwalking, try drinking more milk when you’re awake. Perhaps your body is really craving calcium. You’re doing well if your letters to friends are polite… I knew someone once who would sleepwalk and sent hate mail to everyone including herself! In fact, I believe there was a true story of a woman who was being terrorized and stalked and they found out it was all being done by herself in her sleep! Yes, really, 🙂

      • I will have to try that. Thanks! (Maybe it will help if I eat more yogurt, too… I should really buy some yogurt cups, because then maybe I’d actually be able to eat lunch, despite the fact that I don’t have a lunch hour on Mondays and Wednesdays. (I have about ten minutes each in between three classes, but that’s about it. 😛 On Tuesdays and Thursdays, if I remember to get lunch started at about ten in the morning, then I can have lunch at eleven, before I leave, and on Fridays I can just eat after I get back from class. It would be nice if I could have a regular time for lunch, though… yet another proof of how unhealthy college can be… I’m planning on making up for it by walking the extra way on campus though, because the campus is HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE.)

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