Tag Archives: can’t sleep

The insomnia amplifier (and safe spaces).

Have you ever noticed how everything experienced through insomnia is amplified?

It’s not only the after effects in the following days, but also everything experienced in the middle of the night while I’m lying awake.

Tonight, the cat food smell is bothering me. It’s turning my stomach, and it’s the only thing I can smell… but do you think I’d make a move to throw it out into the kitchen trash? Nope. Because making such large movements would not only “wake me up more”, but it would also wake the animals up, who would then get restless… at least, that’s my excuse. I really just don’t feel like crawling out of bed when I have a mere 30 minutes left here anyway. It would have been 2 hours if I simply did it when it started bothering me, but it was easier to smash my face into the pillow than it was to move the trash. Now I’m regretting it…

It’s not only smell that gets amplified when I can’t sleep. It’s any sound or extra light. It’s textures and temperatures and thoughts…

I could text any number of friends who also deal with insomnia, but that would require a conversation, and I’m not sure I’m up for that just now.

It is also in the middle of the night when, before I think too much about the ramifications, I feel like I might want to talk more about the things my body remembers… before my brain kicks in and I worry about reactions and fall-out, before the shame and secrecy set it, I sometimes think it might be healing to talk about the sexual abuse stuff with someone other than just Dr C… it might be validating to have some honest and uncensored conversations about it.

Then my brain kicks in. I think about what might happen, who might react & how they might react… I think of all the invalidation and scrutiny I would get for it, and the lost relationships… and it no longer seems worth it.

I prefer anonymity. I prefer the safety-net of confidentiality… and my heart sinks a little. I feel defective. Even just thinking of talking more openly about it makes me feel like a bad person. The guilt and shame hit hard.

On the one hand, I know it wasn’t my fault; I know the guilt and shame shouldn’t be mine (but they are). I know they should belong to the person (people) who did those things… I know this, but I also can’t fully accept it.

What if I’m remembering wrong? What if I’m exaggerating? What if I’m really just doing this for attention? What if I’m just that horrible, spiteful child the voice in my head says I am? What if I’m just plain wrong?

The ramifications for the named people wouldn’t be huge, but they’d be there. The ramifications for me would likely be worse. If I mentioned someone, and they didn’t actually do anything, I’d lose friends and family (it’s not like I have proof. It’s just my word against their’s, and I have a history of mental health issues, so… gotta love stigma). I’d be branded a liar & attention-seeking by those closest to me. I’ve already gotten that label from some people, but they are not really people that matter to me; providers I’ve seen only once or twice, family or friends I choose to no longer have contact with…

It’s just easier to talk around it in anonymous circles, or to keep conversations in the safety of the therapy office. That might change some day, but right now, it’s all I can manage. The fear doesn’t exactly stop me from longing to connect more authentically with others, but it stops the actuality of it happening…

I miss the csa group Dr C ran. It was more structured, but we still had chances to connect around the experiences of having gone through what we did, and many of us having dissociation around it… it was a safe place to be vulnerable, and we seemed to share understandings around it all… I don’t really know how the group would work in the long run though. Part of the safety came from the structure and the limited time commitment… but some days I really wish I could sit again in a room of people who understood the struggle without having to search so hard to explain it; and to know it’s safe to give voice to some of the memories.

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Insomnia

I woke at 3:30 after only about 3 hours of sleep. It’s now almost 6 and I can’t shut my head off.
I have a headache, I’m exhausted, but my eyes won’t stay shut, and my head won’t stop the chatter.
:sigh:
Hoping just writing it here will trigger Murphy’s Law and I’ll finally be able to sleep some more.


I wrote her a letter

I did not sleep much last night. I fell asleep around 3am, only to be awakened by cats breaking things at 5:30am. I went back to sleep around 6:30 after cleaning up all the broken glass, then was up again at 8… I was in no mood to pack boxes this a.m. I was going back and forth about leaving TM a message in hopes of expressing what I couldn’t yesterday. The thought of it made me feel too needy and clingy though.

Instead, I wrote her a letter. It’s not great, but it’s got more in it that I had wanted to express. I also made her a mini-award with one of the “endings” quotes she had printed out for me on the back… the unicorn is supposed to resemble the one in her office. It’s not quite right either, but I suddenly can’t remember what her’s looked like (except for the crazy hair).

Awesome Counselor AwardJohn Irving quote

 

 

:shrugz: I’ll send it out tomorrow after the little card is more fully dry… can’t think too much about the ending though, because my eyes will start leaking again.


Fear of going to bed

After yesterday’s conversation with TM, my fear of going to bed returned last night. I couldn’t move off the couch until 4:30am. I managed a few hours though.

A friend passed on some meditations for kids (in looking for the Relax Kids website before I knew what it was called, I also stumbled upon Magical Meditations 4 Kids), and having them on repeat allowed me to get past the anxiety enough to walk to bed. I have to find a way to make the “reality checks” around my current safety help me with this. I tried so much last night to get over it: grounding, reality checks, trying to reach out to the crisis chats (super busy and lagging last night), distraction, music, talking to friends… finally the meditations worked.

I haven’t had to deal with this fear for several months. I thought I had moved past it, but it seems to be making a re-appearance… Another thing to address with TM (time to make a list for all this stuff so I don’t forget).

This fear has been with me on and off at various intensities for many years. I finally think I know why, but it doesn’t seem to make it easier to overcome. I am better able to reality-check around it. I’ve got a semblance of a reason why the fear is there. I know the monster I’m scared of, and I know what to try to tell myself to refute the fear, but it’s old and huge. The anxiety can take a choke-hold at night. But now I have a new tool for that toolbox: the meditations. I also have a video of L reading a book to one of the kids in the family. Hearing her voice and losing myself in the story helps also…


My head may explode

I’m not sure what triggered it, but I’m finding that is not relenting. I developed a headache sometime during the art journal workshop and it’s been getting worse. I tried tea, more water, Aleve, sleeping with the pillow over my head… it’s to the point where I can’t sleep from the pain. I’ve turned off the music (first time in about 3 weeks it’s been silent here). I’ve turned out the lights. I was hoping sleep would help. I was wrong. Every little noise is grating and loud. Every bit of light burns my eyes. Every movement hurts as if my brain has detached from my spine and goes crashing a great speeds into my skull. I don’t get migraines, so I wouldn’t know if this is what one feels like, but the intensity and relentlessness makes me think it might be. :/
Whatever it is, I’d appreciate it stopping. I’m tired and stressing. Sleep would be welcome… here’s hoping that simply whining about it will get it to go away so I can sleep again. Wish me luck.


Another first

For the first time I can remember, I’m resentful of therapy. I don’t want to go today. I don’t want to open up. I don’t want to trust her. I don’t want to do this… but then again, I don’t want to do anything right now, and I’m in a helluva bad mood this morning (no benadryl for the first time in a while, which meant no sleep, lots of anxiety, and a whole heap of resentment). Ugh.  Someone shoot me?


More insomnia again

Feels like the story of my life.  It’s 4 am and I’m still not sleeping. My anxiety is high and I suddenly don’t remember how to deal with it. The stupidest little things trigger me. I startle at any sudden noise. I just want to cry, but I can’t seem to. I keep going through the basic grounding De reminded me of today: I’m an adult.  It’s 2014. I’m 35 years old. We have 4 dogs in the house. I am free to leave at any time, for any reason or length of time… I’ve gone through this list close to 3 dozen times tonight. My head still is not stopping. I can’t shake the feeling of being a kid. I can’t get the memory of the anger out of my head. I’m trying to just breathe, but unless I’m totally focused on it, I forget to breathe. Back to the list: I’m an adult. It’s 2014. I’m 35 years old.  I’m married to L. I can leave the house any time I want, I’m free to come and go as I please. We have 4 dogs. It’s 2014.  I’m an adult… but then I forget to breathe, so back to concentrating on my breath. I do that again for too long and I need to ground again… sleep doesn’t fit into this equation at the moment. I wish it would. I keep yawning. My eyes are tired, my head is tired. But I close my eyes and I’m 14 again. So they fly open once more. Will this cycle end? Can I maybe get some sleep tonight?
Just breathe. Gotta remember to breathe…