Those of you who have been reading here and following me for a long time might know or remember that the two absolute worst things that happened in my life, both happened while I was asleep in my bed.They both jarred me awake – one with a constant ringing phone, and the other with the sound of a key turning in my door; then seconds later, my ex-boyfriend on top of me in what would be the beginnings of indescribable horror.
The sudden death of my husband, and the violent sexual attack/rape on me – two events that come with endless and unpredictable trauma,which occurs and re-occurs at the most horrendous of times.
Sometimes, I just get so damn sick of it all.
I grow exhausted at trying to guess if tonight will be a night where I may sleep okay, or if it will be a night where some innocent noise will startle me awake, and send me into instant panic mode. I become frustrated with the guessing game of “how much will it affect me in the morning if I take a sleeping pill? And will the simple act of feeling groggy from said sleeping pill be too triggery and remind me too much of that night where I was groggy from being jolted awake and then more groggy from whatever was in that cloth he put on my face so he could tear my life apart?” I get annoyed with the idea that a simple dinging sound on my cell phone can send me into hysterics because it brings me back to that ringing phone almost 10 years ago.
Sometimes, I just want to be a normal person who doesnt have SO MUCH TRAUMA surrounding sleep. It is so hard for me to relax , get comfortable, and feel truly safe while lying in bed and trying to sleep. I wake up several times in the night, my body is always on high alert while it should be resting, and if my husband reaches over and cuddles me in the middle of the night – my trauma response is to flinch and scream and maybe even try to push him off me. On the rare nights I DO get good sleep, there is still that part of me that always feels guilty for sleeping, because how could I have been asleep in my bed while my husband Don was collapsing and dying and I didnt help? Its not logical, but nothing about sudden death is. To this day, I still feel like an awful person and an awful wife because I wasnt aware or present when he left this world. So, its difficult for me to enjoy the act of sleeping. And Its exhausting always thinking about and living with not being able to sleep well.
Once a week I sleep over my parents house so I can spend time with my two kitties Sammy and Autumn. They live with my parents because our apartment building didnt allow pets. Anyway, last night I was over there and in the middle of the night while sleeping, I got this weird cramp in my leg that jarred me awake. Its happened a couple times while over there, and Im not sure why. It only happens in that bed, so I think it might have something to do with how my leg falls on that mattress. I couldnt sleep in the bed any longer, so I went upstairs and saw that my mom had fallen asleep on the couch, which she often does. So I went into her bedroom and slept in there, thinking if she comes in at some point, Ill just move to the couch. My moms bed is extremely comfortable, and so I fell asleep pretty easily. Until I was jolted awake by a male figure in the doorway – while the room is pitch dark. It was my dad. He sleeps in his recliner chair due to back issues, and he opened the door to my mom’s room thinking it was her in there, and so he opened the door, and I screamed bloody murder. He felt horrible, but he didnt really grasp why I was so terrified and couldnt stop shaking. He just said: “I came in here because I thought you were your mother and you were making noises like something was wrong, you sounded like you were in pain, wincing and moaning. I got worried. Im sorry.” Yes, welcome to my version of sleep. It often comes with screaming, moaning, thrashing around, and other fun things that I get embarrassed about when others witness it. There is nothing fun about any of this. Its really tiring and I grow tired of all the trauma taking over, sometimes.
Thanks for listening.