Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Insomnia-60 Me-16 August 8, 2012

Filed under: Mama Moments — B_Momof3 @ 11:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Insomnia is draining me.

After reading stories, brushing teeth, and sometimes a bit of singing, the girls and I all settle down to go to sleep. Lately everybody sleeps with me. Terra is typically asleep before I turn out the light, but wakes up several times throughout the night needing to be calmed and taken to the potty. Amara flits about for 10-30 minutes before falling asleep, but she’s peaceful until morning once she’s dreaming.

I cannot sleep.

Exhausted, but wide awake, I lie in bed listening for heavy breathing. Every sound conflicting with their respiring jolts me from near-sleeping and I am vigilant once more. Is there someone outside of my door? Outside of my window? Will this be the night that the house catches fire? That the phone call will come? That he will seek revenge and we will not be ready to run?

If I do fall asleep I usually have nightmares. They are horribly vivid and unshakeable upon waking. Waking is constant. When did I fall asleep? How long was I sleeping? I try my hardest not to think about how impossible it will be to fall asleep again. But I cannot help wondering what made me fall asleep? That meditation technique? The white noise and fan oscillating? Will I be able to stop thinking about not being able to sleep long enough to let the sensation take over me?

I cannot sleep.

Thinking about my inability to fall asleep solidifies my failure. I stare at my ceiling, rehearsing for the courts, replaying my marriage, imagining the birth, recalculating expenses, trying to make a plan for the future, trying desperately not to commit to thinking, because I want NEED to get some sleep. After I’ve spent a significant amount of time changing positions, making trips to the bathroom, kissing my daughters’ cheeks, watching the sky change colors, and narrowly avoiding dreaming, I admit my defeat.

With the sun just starting to rise, the girls will still be sleeping for three to five hours. I do have a lot to get done, so I drag my feet and make my way to the living room to handle the business that danced around my head while I lie in bed. But of course, now the ease of remembering details and coming up with brilliant schemes does not come. So I sit, slumped in my computer chair, clicking random news stories, looking at blogs, filling online shopping carts with things I cannot afford, and debating on whether or not I should retry sleeping. I sit that way for hours, until finally the girls are awake and there is motivation to start my day.

I try not to contemplate sleeping, but I’m yawning while they’re eating breakfast.

By bedtime I will have the renewed strength to fight fatigue; that insanely-helpful-during-a-battle built-in defense to keep me going, that which will ruin one more night of possible peace. I suppose I could talk to someone, or take melatonin, but medicine worries me. I don’t want to be in a deep sleep if my children need me, it’s a risk that is not worth taking. I suppose being a zombie during the waking hours isn’t healthy either, but at least I’ve gotten the hang of doing that safely.

I suppose I should at least keep trying. Every once in a week I get a decent amount of sleep and do not wake up with haunting images from my dreams. Maybe tonight sleep will come easy. Maybe the calm of meditating will not be overrun by the jam-packed to-do list and the unpaid bills. Maybe I won’t drive myself crazy worrying about possibilities. Maybe…maybe…

I’m getting sleepy.


7 Responses to “Insomnia-60 Me-16”

  1. Teresa Cleveland Wendel Says:

    Sweet dreams…………………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………………………..

  2. this sounds more like ptsd than simple insomnia. therapy that addresses trauma is definitely needed to work through this stuff. i think i read that you are doing therapy, which is really good. keep it up. be gentle with yourself. have a safety plan (a working phone in arms reach, a phone in a room of your house that has a lock on the door, changed locks if you haven’t already, a bag packed in case you have to leave in a hurry, and an idea for where you would go like a neighbors house if you had to leave quickly. goddess forbid you would ever need to use your safety plan, but it may ease your mind to have it.)

    • Jet Says:

      You’re right, I do need a solid safety plan, just in case.

      The girls have a counselor, but my support group was abruptly cancelled due to funding issues. I’ve been without any form of support for a few weeks now and I’m hoping to find another form of therapy soon. I hadn’t thought about the insomnia as possibly being more like ptsd, but it certainly could be more along those lines.

      The Big Incident still has a hold over me and I try to stay grounded by revisiting it (reading the police report, thinking of things that could’ve gone differently) but I am not sure if that is the best method of handling something which evokes so much pain. I don’t know. Most of my life, if something has hurt me, I try to bury it quickly without mourning so it seems healthier to brood over The Big Incident, but…it would help if I had someone else to assist me with these difficult feelings.

      I will work harder on finding a therapist. I find it so hard to make myself a priority. Thanks for the insight.

      • i definitely think you should find a therapist. i know how hard it can be to find one. i definitely empathize. but keep it a priority to look. it’s not good to bury stuff, but it’s not good to drown in it either. what you need is a healthy balance where you can mourn but not become possessed by it. and to do that you really need outside help. in the meantime maybe do a search at your library for books directed to survivors of domestic violence, even reading is a form of support and is better than nothing. and remember also that this takes time. it will get better, but not over night. remember to that missing him is easier for your psyche to handle than acknowledging the fear, terror and trauma. so you may often revert to those feelings of sadness, grief and loss. those feelings are real and natural, but keep in mind that they may also be covering deeper feelings: betrayal, shame, trauma, terror etc. it’s important to keep this in mind because when we focus only on the feelings of loss an ‘easy’ solution can pop into our minds (if only i could go back to him… if only we could have found a way to make it work… etc). it’s important to remind yourself that you did not create the situation, he did. and nothing you could have or could ever do can stop him from being abusive. take good care of yourself, and do seek therapy. blessings.

      • Jet Says:

        I printed your comment, and I read it every day (instead of the police report). Thank you! This three weeks without a support group is getting to me; I know that I need help and I am going to be more diligent about finding some support (be it via therapist or book format). I will not allow myself the “easy” solution this time around. A million thank you’s and blessings to you as well.

      • it warms my heart so much to hear that. you deserve to be happy and to heal. seek out the support you need. ❤

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