Bedtime Blues

Last night I had the I-Don’t-Want-to-Go-to-Bed-Blues, big time. This is nothing new. For as long as I can remember bedtime’s been fraught with turmoil. As night descends I find myself nearly in a panic, loathe to give in once more to my body’s need for sleep. Why not play one more hand of Mah Jong? So what if my eyes are fluttering shut, I can force them open long enough for that.

So last night I got to wondering about this whole bedtime dragging of the feet. I’ve collected quite an arsenal of assumptions (and justifications) regarding my motivations for this and that. I hate going to bed because there’s so much I want to accomplish that sleep seems a waste of time. That’s one assumption. When it popped up last night it made good sense to me until I thought, Wait though–just what do I have to get done that’s so important it can’t wait til morning? In all honesty, nothing. Nothing’s that important. I’m not racing against the clock in an attempt to find a cure for Aids. I’m not trying feverishly to pack as much into each day as possible because my doc told me I have 6 months to live. Nothing I do on a regular basis justifies my bedtime stubbornness.

Lately I’ve been bombarded with all kinds of insights I never asked for. Last night another puzzle piece fell into place. I hate going to bed, I realized, because as a child I never knew when I’d be awakened in the middle of the night to my stepdad’s probings. Never knew when I’d awaken only to find that he’d carried me in my sleep to another part of the house. Hmmm, I thought with growing horror, can this be another sexual abuse, DID related hang-up? One more repercussion of all those years of torture?

I can be slow of understanding when it comes to connecting the dots regarding my DID. See, I don’t mind admitting to myself that I have this disorder as long as that admission stays demurely in the background of my mind. As long as I don’t have to think about it every second of every day. As long as I don’t have to go around connecting my behavior to DID.

But wait, hold on! I thought with triumph, maybe this isn’t childhood related after all. I don’t like to take naps, either. In fact I hardly ever do, no matter how exhausted I am. So that proves something, huh? Only of course it doesn’t. The abuse didn’t happen only at night, under cover of darkness. And I should know by now that I spent 8 years under that roof on high alert, never once relaxing my vigilance for fear of what was lurking around the next corner.

I’d like nothing better than to spend my days in a safe, serene little world of blogging, making softies, laughing with my grandkids and watching old black-and-white movies. If I had more physical energy that list would be longer, and more interesting. And at night how cozy it would be to slide under the covers with sweet anticipation of a good night’s sleep. I know lots of people who fall asleep the moment their head hits the pillow. The kind of individuals who can nap anytime, anywhere. This amazes me. It’s inconceivable. How wonderfully delicious would that be, anyhow?

The fact that I’m different because of my DID burns me. I want the option of a full night’s sleep, unmolested with nightmares and fears. I want to wake up in the morning refreshed and rejuvenated. I want I want I want . . . oh I want to not live like this any more. To not have to question every thought and assumption for deeper meanings and nuances.

Does it help me to understand, finally, my resistance to bedtime? Not much, not yet at least. The knowledge is too new and unwelcome. It makes me feel like a freak all over again to not be able to get even the act of sleeping right.



5 thoughts on “Bedtime Blues

  1. Wow, your timing of this post is amazing! We were also resisting going to bed last night and I couldn’t figure out why either. I slightly pondered it, but wouldn’t give it much thought. Just couldn’t look at it last night. Your entry certainly provokes us into really looking at it and finding out more about it, instead of just ‘dealing with it’ because that’s what we do. A lot of what you said resonated with us.

    Take care,

  2. John helps us every night by telling us “the words”, words of comfort every night before we fall asleep. One part of “the words” is what he tells us about our safe place and that is “1745” our street address and it is our safe place because we own it, because none of the bad people own it, only we do. Because we own it we have the power and the right to say who can come in and who cannot come in. So, none of the bad people can come in which makes 1745 safe for us.

    Maybe you can tell your littles that where you are and they are is your safe place, tell them why it is, and how it is and see if that helps.

    We really hope it does.

    peace and gentle hugs


  3. One way the new information can be helpful is that now that you know why you can see the justification in staying up. What you’re doing is reasonable and common for what you’ve gone through. It’s not by accident that I’m writing a comment at 4am EST. I just shut down Mah Jong. As long as I keep playing then I don’t have to go in there and lay down. I know what’s going to happen. That’s why I wrote that thing the other day, Seize The Day. So, this information you have is actually good in that you now know the real reason and you know that reason is valid and common. I put off sleep until it feels like my head will break. I DO NOT WANT TO SLEEP. I won’t rest. I’ll lay there listening to the silence and not trusting it. My imagination will run wild and my flashbacks will show up in vivid colour. It’s no wonder I put it off until I just about drop. The point is, I know why and the reason sucks but its a valid reason. It is also proof that you are telling the truth about the abuse and the severity of it. Knowledge can be bittersweet. Bitter in that it reminds you of ugliness but sweet in that it can give a sort of calm to self doubt. I think your new info may be a bittersweet understanding.

  4. It makes me angry that I have DID. It makes me feel separate from everyone else and like maybe normal people wouldn’t want to hang with damaged goods. I do not see DID as a gift like some say it is. I see it as a result of something terrible happening. And every time those three letters are put together I’m reminded of why. What why is the hardest reality of all. It’s easy to have fun with different alters, big, middle, small but we also know how they came to be and they were not born from love but pain. So see, it makes since that it burns you that you have this disorder. It’s a daily reminder that the past is one step behind ya. The thing is this, it is over. The abuse is over. This is your life now with your choices and your rules. If you want to put off sleep then by God put off sleep. You’re 50 something years old. You can do that. It’s your right to do that without explanation. That’s the good thing about being and adult, we can say screw it I’m having cake before my meal or screw it I’m playing this online game for another 3 hours. We can say that because we are big now and because the abuse is over and we share the same relative safety as every other adult in the United States. If you want to stay up all night and sleep during the day then so be it. You can do that. It’s your choice and I’ll stand right here and tell anyone their wrong if they decide to say its not your choice.

    Aussie, in your corner but shortly on her dogs bed

  5. Aussie,
    In a comment you left about my post re. sleeping, you said something about my putting off sleep and how it’s proof of the severity of my childhood abuse. For some reason, that cut me to the quick. I actually had tears streaming down my face, just reading that one sentence–and I hardly ever cry.

    I think it was the word severity that did me in. I can easily admit that I was an abused child. I’ve told that tale so many times that there’s no longer any emotion attached to it. It’s all worn out. But as far as how deeply the abuse has touched my life–that’s a whole different story.

    I grew up, as all victims of childhood abuse do, pretending I wasn’t in massive emotional pain. Pretending even to myself. I played the role expected of me at home, at school, at church, at Girl Scouts. Something always seemed terribly off to me and I couldn’t pinpoint it. But I think this is it, that I was being SEVERELY abused, and instinctively I knew no one would believe me if I told.

    Oh, it’s so hard to admit that the abuse really touched me. That’s like letting my abuser win! That his inappropriate touches could have such an everlastingly devestating affect on me is about the saddest thing I’ve ever known. It maybe, just maybe, was worse abuse than I’ve always thought. Just maybe it went deeper and hit harder than I’ve ever allowed myself to realize.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.