Friday, 25 November 2011

Night Terrors

I haven't been sleeping well recently...... another symptom of the menopause I've been reliably informed........ but I was reminded by a friend of the excellent power of lavender. As I happen to have a handy bunch of dried lavender, lovingly picked in my friend's French garden, dusting nicely in a tin jug on the windowsill, I was able to create my on lavender sleep pillow by shaking the heads into one of those gossamer bags that jewellery often comes gifted in ....... knew it would come in handy one day. I slid the bag into my pillowcase and subsequently enjoyed several nights very good sleep.

Until the other night......... I sat up in bed, it was dark, the buzzer buzzed again. I was out of bed before I was awake. I had no idea what time it was but it was very dark and very cold. I knew my son was at home but I looked at his door just to check. Locked from the inside, it couldn't be him buzzing the buzzer. Maybe one of his friends? It had happened before.
"It's the police," came the response to my hello into the intercom, "open the door."

Still more asleep than awake, I felt completely confused, my heart suddenly racing. I looked at my son's door again: he was definitely asleep, he was in, he was safe. I buzzed open the door to the building and then my front door. A very tall, very young police boy appeared in shirt sleeves and a stab vest. Behind him stood a very short, very young, police girl also wearing a stab vest. It was very, very cold. I remember wondering why they were in shirt sleeves as I stood in the hall, shivering in my pyjamas. I still wasn't quite sure if they were just trying to gain access to my building or me. The police boy then whipped out his note book, he asked if a name I'd never heard before lived in my flat. I said no, I'd never heard of her. I really couldn't get my head around what was going on. I felt utterly dazed, shaking with cold and shock. The police girl asked how long I'd lived there and I had absolutely no idea, I couldn't even remember what year it was. They both kept apologising for it being 'after midnight' and understood I was confused. I hadn't even had a drink. Honestly your honour. I asked what it was about and they said she was a 17 year old missing person and somehow her care home had our address. At this point I began to come too, her first name rang the faintest of bells and I said I believed she maybe the girlfriend of my son's friend, I knew there'd been an argument with a parent, I knew his friend had nowhere to stay. But she definitely didn't live with me. They weren't terribly bothered, thanked me, apologised for waking me, wrote down a reference number and asked if my son might call the next day if he knew anything of her whereabouts. And said good night. I went back to bed. It was only quarter to one. Now I was wide awake.

They were perfectly polite but I was surprised by what a shock their visit had caused, my heart still pounding in my chest. I wondered how it might be if English weren't my first language, if they'd been banging on the door wanting entry, how much more confused I would have been, what I might have done or said or not been able to remember even if their visit had been a mistake.

The girl was 'found' the next day, never knowingly missing, and very sorry.

Top tip: new favourite chocolate, Co-Op's Fairtrade Dark Chocolate with Cranberries..... a taste of Christmas on your tongue


  1. What a nightmare it must have been, luckily it turned out ok. Have a nice Sunday, hope you can sleep better! Take lots of camomille and eat lots of tofu.

  2. How awful Its bad enough when the ph rings at crazy hours but police at the door I would have been so upset too.

  3. Yikes, how scary is that! Being questioned by the police always freaks me out, I somehow think they know that I smoked pot it college. If they came to my door in the middle of the night, I think I'd faint.

    On to the sleep thing...what's up with menoapuase and sleep? I have the same problem. Thanks for the lavender tip! I am trying middle of the night meditation and that is helping too...


  4. How scary. I always feel extremely guilty whenever I encounter the police and feel sure they know something I've long forgotten.
    You're right, it would be utterly terrifying if you weren't a native English speaker.
    How you get back to a normal sleep pattern soon. x

  5. Well that's disturbing isn't it!! How long did it take you to get back to sleep?! Just moments away from 50 myself, I can tell you that it would've taken me hours...


  6. Wow, scary…the menopause I mean. My beloved tried all sorts of remedies, but probably found the Evening Primrose Oil capsules the most efficacious.

    As far as sleep goes, a moderate dose of Laphroig works for me every time.

  7. I suppose a police officer at the door is always scary, firstly because you imagine they're about to tell you of some awful tragedy and secondly because you think they're going to accuse you of some crime or other. It's always a relief when you discover the visit is for some very mundane purpose and you can relax again.

  8. Police in front of your door after midnight - I would have been very scared too! And not knowing for sure that they really are Police... I would have thought also that they bring bad news. So you can be happy that all is well. And sleep better (a tip: they can check in your blood if you still produce enough melatonin - my doctor uses a very tiny dose and says she sleeps "like a baby").

  9. All's well that ends well I suppose. Hubby is a bobby and I suppose when they are working at 2am, they forget that the rest of us are fast asleep! Empathy coming your way for the hot sweats! Fellow sufferer here. xx

  10. I only get the odd night when I sleep right through, the night sweats are a nightmare and the Evening Primrose Oil ain't working for me!