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.