Heather, The Sleepwalker: A Brief History

If you didn’t read HTS’s intro – check it out here.  Heather slept-walked quite a bit, when she was young.  She says that her family didn’t seem very concerned about it.  Her mom would see her walking around, but since Heather always walked back into her room, her mom knew she was safe, so didn’t see any reason to intervene.   

As a teenager, Heather doesn’t recall sleepwalking, I imagine she thought she had outgrown this behavior.  But, the episodes started again when she was in her mid-twenties.  This was a stressful time, as Heather was going through a divorce.  The sleepwalking didn’t stop though, after the stress of this event abated, and she has continued to sleepwalk ever since.

Heather explains that there are two types of sleepwalking: the kind you can remember and the kind you never remember. Heather’s sleep walking used to be of the latter variety. In her mid- twenties she would have no memory of getting up and walking around at night, but she would know she slept-walked because of the clues she found in the morning.  During this time, the obvious hint was generally the fact that she would go to sleep in her pajamas, but wake up with different clothes on.  Interestingly, the garb she arose in was typically a dress she hadn’t worn in years.  It was not always the same dress.  She never awoke in something convenient or comfortable to put on, but always a dress from the far corners of the closet.

From here, the sleep walking worsened, and it hasn’t gone away.  Sometimes, Heather remembers events from her nighttime amblings in the morning, sometimes her memory is sparked by a clue left behind, and sometimes she has no memory of the nocturnal escapades at all.  This makes it difficult for her to give a weekly average regarding how often she sleepwalks.  Her best guess is at least twice a week, sometimes much more.  She hasn’t found a connection between her sleepwalking and her times of either high or low stress.  The only trigger that she is sure of is when she sleeps somewhere other than her own house.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that she sleepwalks more when she’s sleeping at the new place, but more often than not, she will sleep walk upon returning home.

She’s slept in the same bedroom for 14 years, so Awake Heather knows every nook and cranny, while Sleepwalking Heather is quite often confused about where she is.  She’s found that cracking her curtains for a little light sometimes helps her orientation.  As mentioned above, this is exacerbated after overnight trips.  If she goes on a camping trip, when she returns she may sleep walk, thinking that she is still sleeping in a tent, or that she is fishing for crayfish.  If she sleeps at a friend’s cottage, she might sleep walk and picture herself in one of the cottage rooms.  This always means that the door is in a different place than the door in her actual bedroom.  This stresses her out to no end, and she struggles to find the door (where there is none) in the middle of the night.  Did you get a good mental picture of her banging on a dresser to get out of the room? Because that’s what she does. Sounds funny, but she says it is actually pretty scary. She doesn’t remember that her boyfriend is there, and that she could ask him for help, so she just panics, and sometimes cries, to herself.  

Sleepwalking Heather is often very confused about not only where she is, but also who she is with.  She says it feels like she has temporary amnesia.   One of the most disturbing things for her is waking up and not knowing who she is sleeping next to. She has been with her boyfriend for almost 7 years, but she often has to crawl over him and look at his face, because she is completely confused and disoriented. Once she sees his face she feels a huge amount of relief.  Often times after returning from a trip with her friends, she wakes up and thinks that he is just a good girlfriend of hers.  She says she will be laying there feeling incredibly embarrassed, because she thinks she went to bed with her friend, while naked, or, even worse, she thinks she is spooning with her friend. 

She does note, however, that she has never forgotten about her daughter, and says that she will often check up on her during her late night meanderings.  She admits that her daughter doesn’t always appreciate this, especially when she wakes up to Heather standing on the ladder of her loft, just staring at her. Poor girl.

A special thank you to Heather, for sharing her intriguing stories (and for writing most of this post, which I just tweaked, a bit).

This post is a part of Love Links – hosted by FreeFringes.com


Dream #2: A Vacation, A Bloody Knife and Mean Friends


I am on overnight vacation with 20+ people, some friends and some co-workers.  We are staying in a large cottage, and the weekend is over, so we are cleaning up and getting ready to leave.  There are tremendous amounts of food scraps (shredded carrots, zucchini, bread, onions) on the counter that I am putting into a garbage bag.  My coworker, we’ll call him Pete, comes into the cottage from outside, looks around guiltily and then tosses a bloody knife (one of my nice, sharp Cutco knives) into my garbage bag.  I worry that if the police find this, in my trash/cottage, I might be an accomplice to murder. While I am in the middle of cleaning I suddenly realize that the entire crew is waiting for me in a large Greyhound bus.  I walk up to the buys and they are all staring at me with incredibly evil looks.  They are all waiting for me and are impatient to get going.  It is going to be a several hour trip back, through the mountains. I try to explain I can’t leave the scraps of food on the counters or in the trash, as it will smell.  My dad is going to the cottage next week and he will not be happy if it smells like rotting food.  I am also still worried about the knife and do not want to leave the bloody utensil in the trash can in case the police come to investigate. All of this is going through my head, as my friends continue to eyeball me.  They are SO MAD. Everyone is being so mean to me that I cry.

Also mixed in somehow, during this entire time I am involved in a scheme supposedly helping young boys in Malawi. It is similar to the email scheme to send money to a millionaire in Nigeria – except snail mail instead of email.  I send MANY envelopes in blue post boxes.

At the end, I receive a call from my friend Arlene, who lives in Scotland, while watching a movie in a baroque theater – so I miss most of the movie.


BLOODY KNIFE: Okay, it was hard to find something specific, since  I wasn’t actually holding the knife, or cutting with the knife.  There was no entry for simply “bloody knife”.  So, we’ll just give up on that one, and here is a free plug for Cutco.  These knives ROCK.  They are super sharp.  My husband once cut right through an avocado pit and sliced his thumb in half.  It bled for days.  Disgusting?  Yes.  But, definitely a good advertisement for the effectiveness of their product.

SCRAPS OF FOOD:  Way of Tao suggests that foods such as vegetables indicate unknown gestation or not acknowledging growth within.  Well, I am quite sure I am not pregnant, so what other “growth within” could be happening in there?  Ooooh, maybe I absorbed my own twin in utero, and teeth or hair or other remnants of said twin are continuing to grow within me?  Or, do I have some kind of cancerous growth that will burst forth painfully in the future?  That seems much less fun.  I suddenly have the urge to get a CAT scan.

MEAN FRIENDS:  Dream Forth tells me that if my friends are troubled or upset they may be suffering from stress or illness.  Ah, finally an easy one. They are stressed.  I know this because most of my co-workers and friends are teachers and we are all stressed.  We deal with stressed kids and stressed parents and other stressed teachers, so the stress just sort of spreads out to everybody. This is one reason we tend to drink heavily.  My family has to deal with me, and sometimes my friends, which stresses them out.  So they drink.  On a positive note, the result of this stress-fest is that we now have a collective hobby and can go have a beer together at the cottage.

BAROQUE THEATER:  Not gonna lie, I didn’t even try looking this one up.  If you happen to check into it and find something amazing, let me know.

MALAWI:  None of the sites have an interpretation for what Malawi means.  I’m starting to think that there could be a very lucrative business, helping those who wish to discern the unique details of their dreams. Clearly, there is a gaping hole within the dream translation business that needs to be filled.

BLUE POST BOXES:  Dream Forth tells me that U.S. mail boxes mean someone might ask me to participate in unlawful activity.  I suppose I was asked, indirectly by Pete, to aid and abet his unlawful and bloody acts.  As for any future nefarious activity any of you might be plotting, it sounds like I’m your girl if you need some back up.

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