Sustainably Single Parenting

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

If only… April 5, 2013

If only I could get more sleep. Nohra tends to have her most alert time period between 9pm and Midnight. I feel like I’m neglecting her because I should be engaging her during that time. I should be showing her contrasting colors and talking and reading and listening to classical music…something. But I’m often nodding in and out of sleep, holding her and nursing her while silently flipping the channels on my television and eating ice cream, trying desperately to stay awake.

If only I could sleep peacefully. I still have nightmares, and they’re not just about him. Last night I was being hunted. It was like The Hunger Games meets The Ghost and the Darkness. Dying in my dream would have been more relaxing. I woke up after less than five hours in a twisted position, exhausted from all the running and mental exhaustion from being in constant fear for my life. I didn’t even attempt to fall back to sleep.

If only I could stop eating ice cream bars and poptarts. I don’t even really like them when I’m eating them, but they’re sweet and easy. I am constantly running around and there’s so much to get done and I hardly find the chance to sit and eat. If I sit and eat I miss out on doing something else that I could’ve done while I had the chance. I know, I should stock up on fruit and veggies and easy to eat healthy things. And I will…when our money for food comes in. But then, of course, I have to find the time to brave a shopping trip with three little kids.TimeRunning

If only I could stay on schedule with my Directed Study this semester, and finish my proposals for my last two courses, and turn them in and get them approved.

If only I could start exercising again. I feel so flabby. I know, I know, I had my third baby six weeks ago, and to the outside world I look fine, great even, but I feel fat. And I’m not being my old teenaged delusional self who was really skinny but said she was fat; I’m really out of shape. I haven’t worked out regularly since I had my first daughter, and she’s almost six. I swore that I’d work out during my pregnancy, but I really didn’t do much. I even purchased a Postpartum Yoga with Baby DVD, and I haven’t even opened it. Ugh. I know that I’d feel better if I could start exercising, but I can barely fit in time to breathe.

If only I could stop stressing about these court cases. If only they were all wrapped up and in the past already.

If only I could push past these automatic thoughts/distorted thinking habits. I’ve been doing some work with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy…I’m trying. I’m trying so hard to better myself in various facets. I know that thinking of myself as a failure is one of the feelings/thoughts I must combat. I know that all is not lost because I’m two days late on my homework. Deep down I know these things, but it is not yet habitual for me to change my way of reacting.

If only I could spend a few hours shopping (and not have to worry about my big girls or the fact that I don’t have any money).

If only I could be out in nature awhile. Go hiking or fishing or running. Hell, go rub my hands in the dirt and jump in a puddle.

If only I could have ten minutes to just be, completely alone, without any worries or responsibilities.

If only…if only.

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The Haunting Continues December 12, 2012

It had been so long since he had haunted my dreams. A week or so of semi-peaceful lack of sleep. But last night he returned with a ferocity, a vow to ruin me, and my well-crafted safety plan does nothing for me while I’m in an REM Cycle.

Sometimes I don’t realize it until waking. Sometimes, like the first of my four nightmares last night, he is back to being my typical husband. In my dream, I go through the motions of “staying in my place” (something he repeatedly instructed me to do throughout our eight year relationship). I ride the roller-coaster of our marriage through my dream and everything feels strangely familiar. I even feel the knot in the pit of my stomach and the frog in my throat; that constant conflicting feeling of wanting to avoid confrontation while simultaneously aching to defend myself.

In other nightmares, The Big Incident occurs in the same way that it did, or varied ways. The result is my pain, my fear, and my lack of control. He always wins.

If I were to believe Freud, then every one of my dreams is some form of wish-fulfillment. So in some sick subconscious way do I wish that my husband was still here, controlling my life, haunting me day and night? I suppose there was comfort in the familiarity of our relationship. There is something addictive about abuse.

But despite my loneliness, my constant state of uneasiness, my inability to control his presence in my dreams, I do not want to return to the daily terror of being his lady. How is it that after nearly seven months apart, a restraining order and other legal proceedings taking place, and with over 1000 miles between us, he still possesses me?

I want to feel free; if only in my dreams.

 

Maybe I’ll Cry Myself to Sleep November 12, 2012

It seems as though my get up and go has gotten tangled up in the struggle; my overwhelming list of things I need to accomplish.

When I say need I really mean NEED and not want.

I WANT to find a hairdresser and get my dead ends cut off; it has been over a year since a professional touched my hair and this pregnancy is not favoring the weeks that I go without washing. Washing natural African-American hair is time-consuming. I do not have time.

I WANT to sit down with my daughters and color. Play board games. Have tea parties and play dress up and do each others hair. I want to pull out the couch bed and pop popcorn and watch a silly animated movie.

But first I’d NEED to get the six loads of clean laundry off the couch and folded and into drawers. I need to run another load of dishes before we run out of spoons. I need to take a shower…not sure how long it has been. I need to do my schoolwork…

I NEED to sleep. But even on the weekends, when I should have more time for peace and should worry less because I don’t have to wake up at 5am to get everyone up and out the door on time for class, I cannot sleep. I have not been able to sleep properly since The Big Incident, but lately it is worse than ever. I sit around like a zombie, always tired, but never able to settle down. When I do sleep, I have these terribly vivid and horrific dreams. He is always in them. He is always in control.  Upon waking I feel like I have just finished the fight of my life. Sleeping is more exhausting than staying awake.

I feed and bathe my daughters. I read to them – we’ve recently read almost every book in the Skippyjon Jones series and the How Do Dinosaurs (do various things) series several times each. I take them to their appointments and therapy sessions and sports lessons and educational programs. They are the focus of all of my energy.

I have no energy for me. I NEED to focus on me, because she’s inside of me, my growing baby. I am now 28 weeks pregnant, and she is growing steadily, healthily, and I’m hoping she comes out nice and chubby. But still, I cannot find the energy: to sleep, to complete my grad school assignments, to rid myself of my preoccupation with my husband. Why should I care about him? Why should I give him the satisfaction? I’m almost certain he’s not thinking about me. He is probably already wooing some other woman. And why should I care if he is with somebody? He DOES NOT LOVE me! But I do care…and I do worry, and I am afraid that he has already replaced me, and it still hurts, even though he has hurt me.

I am not certain that I need to weep, but maybe that would help me. I hear that crying is healthy, but I’ve always considered it a sign of being weak. I hate that once I start crying I find it hard to stop; I hate the lingering headache, the animal noises that come along with crying fits; the wetness. I haven’t cried since The Big Incident; I’ve been too busy with making ends meet, taking care of my babies, and not utterly failing at life, but maybe I can find some time to weep this week. Yes…I’ll have to schedule in crying. Maybe I’ll cry myself to sleep.

 

Insomnia-60 Me-16 August 8, 2012

Filed under: Mama Moments — Jet @ 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.