I woke up at around 3:30 this morning sitting on our bed, gasping for breath – choking, gulping in air, panicked, unsure of my surroundings, Lisa’s concerned voice foreign to me. Even through the darkness I was able to make out items in our bedroom but not even those familiar things seemed right, nor did they restore anything that resembled calm in me. I was aware of where I was and was even aware that I was awake and safe, yet I continued to choke and gulp air, as if I was barely rising above water to gasp in breath. Overwhelming fear crushed my chest. I felt Lisa’s hand on my back and heard her voice urgently saying “Pat, are you okay?” Unable to respond, I could only try to choke in air to try and stop the burning in my lungs that had begun. A little more panicked and a little more high-pitched I heard her ask again “Pat, are you okay?”

As I finally began to gulp in (and swallow) air, I nodded my head. It seemed like an eternity before I was finally able to breathe and my heart felt like it had leaped up into my throat, hammering away.

I had been drowning – that’s the only way I can describe it.

For many years I had violent nightmares – horrific dreams starring my abuser, nightmares that just wouldn’t give me a break. While I would awaken panicked and breathless, I was always nauseous and choking but never like this. This was strangely different and I have no explanation for it. I don’t believe I had been dreaming at all. I haven’t had those nightmares in a long, long time, thanks to some good therapy and excellent hypnosis.

Lisa thinks that maybe my saliva just went down my throat the wrong way. I suppose she’s right, but the way I was gasping and wheezing for air, I somehow doubt that a little bit of spittle could have done that.

Once my heart slowed, I lay back down and, with Idgie camped on my chest, I drifted back to sleep – not at all what I would have been able to do with those long ago nightmares. I’m a bit unsettled by it all today, not sure what it was all about.

Lisa had a job interview today – in fact, it started just a little over an hour ago. I would have thought I would have heard from her by now, as we both believed it was just a preliminary HR interview that is often done at large companies, just to sort of “size” up any potential employees.
She’s been so disenchanted at her job lately. There is nobody there with any meaningful managerial skills, including the President of the company, who drinks during the day most days now. I pointed out to her last night that, when the “big 3” are away (President, GM, and Sales Manager), they leave the company in the hands of a very capable HOURLY employee (she makes just a tad over $12 an hour, and is in charge of a company at times????) And she’s worth so much more than what they’re paying her.

Lisa does inventory control these days. Before she took it over, each year they had to adjust inventory in amounts that would equal just about 1% of sales. That’s a lot of unaccounted for inventory when a company makes more than $5 million in sales.

Since Lisa took it over, the past two years their adjustment rate has not even equaled one one-hundredth of a percent. Last November, they adjusted only about $1,000 worth of unaccounted for inventory – as opposed to more than $50,000 in the past.

Inventory control specialists make almost double what Lisa is making.

I’m proud of her, that she’s taking this step, even if it amounts to nothing. I think it will do her good to get out there and look around, and reinforce to herself what her worth is.

I finished that GD blanket over the weekend. I put it in the washer on a delicate cycle, same with the dryer, and found I didn’t need to block it. It looks great and it’s ready in time for the little guy’s birthday February 7th. That’s a huge, hairy gorilla off my back!
No word yet on whether the remains found down in the southern tier are those of my uncle, although there’s a reasonable certainty that they are his.
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