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10 December 2015, 01:59

I almost named this “INSOMNIA” but I have far too many entries labeled that.

I’m awake and it’s late. Not Hour-Of-The-Wolf late, but nonetheless it’s that time when the world goes dark and quiet. The reality of things goes away for a bit.

I’m awake and it’s late. I’m trying to feel comfortable. Of late, the best feeling I can manage is “uncomfortable”. It’s the stress and the fear. I don’t want to use that word “stress”. It’s something you can dismiss and ignore, and you don’t FEEL the meaning of it. It’s a buzzword that everyone uses too much. I feel a tightness and pressure coupled with just waves of fear. It’s from all that is happening, all this shit we are mired in, all this that I can’t seem to change or control. So I’m tightly wound and pushing the fright down below my stomach so that I can resist doing stupid things that aren’t thought out. So I can resist being out of control.

I’m awake and it’s late. It’s dark and quiet and everything that had sharp edges to it become softer and dull. I’m never afraid of the dark. In fact, I prefer the night. It’s still and peaceful, with all the expectations and deadlines of the day in some sort of suspended animation – I am in stasis till the sun starts peeking through the fog in the morning.

I’ve always preferred the dark. When I was a child, it was the night that brought the peace in my house. When it got dark, that’s when the screaming and the violence would stop. That’s when the cursing and yelling would be silenced, and the pain would cease for the moment. The monsters would leave, the demons buried deep inside my parents would sleep and I would have peace. Abusers as well as the abused have to go to bed sometime, and finally everybody would just shut up. There would be no fists pounding on flesh, there would be no ugly words drilling holes into my head, there would be hibernation for the waves of hate filling the house. Everything would rest for a while.

As I child, all I could hear at night was the sound of our grandfather clock chiming every 15 minutes. It is so ingrained in my psyche, that to this day, I hear the phantom chimes ring when it is silent. Night time is when I got to stop crying. Night time is when everything got numb, and that feeling was the first steps of recovery for that day. The pain gave way to numb and that lead into relaxation. Night was the time where I could be less hypervigilant of the terrors and missteps that would bring the flashes and tidal waves of violence, the thunder of evil words and curses that almost flowed like some sickening opera. Night time is when I could think of other things, relax my guard, and just be.

For a while in my preteens, probably between the ages of 10-14, I would regularly wait until everyone was asleep, and I would get up and wander the darkened house. I’d go out into the yard and sometimes I’d walk the block. I don’t know why. It just seemed warm and safe, and I wasn’t afraid. I would sit on our trampoline with the dog and look at the stars. I would walk down the block and really listen to the things around me. I was always struck with a happy feeling on how quiet everything was and how nothing bad was going on around me. It was a time that seemed unreal, a time where I felt better, a time when I didn’t feel a pressure upon me, whether it was to be alert or to be doing something I’m suppose to be doing. It was a time where I didn’t have to WATCH OUT, and even my body reflected that I didn’t have my arms and hands retracted into my torso and my legs stiff and together. I remember, at these times, I was relaxed and my arms and legs were free.

When you learn this, when this becomes a part of you, it never goes away. I have always preferred the night, and that’s probably why I suffer from insomnia. I am up at night, feeling the cessation of pressure, the quelling of my ever present fear, and I can relax a little if just for a short while because all the reality of the world has gone for a moment. There is nothing I have to do, no one I have to be, and nothing I have to control.

When Ken died, it was a spiral into the dark. I was up at night even though I went to work in the daytime. I had shut off the cable and kept the house dark though, in a gigantic ironic twist, I couldn’t go to sleep when it was black anymore. I had to have itunes on playing some innocuous comedy routine by Robin Williams or Robert Klein (of all people). For months, there was no joyous noise in my house, save for the computer playing whatever thing I could manage to listen to and ignore. I kept it dark except for one room. I started spending a lot of time in the backyard at night before the grass grew several feet from neglect. AND, I started wandering the neighborhood. It’s a wonder that I didn’t get hurt, mugged, killed or assaulted.

The day was too much for me. I had things people wanted from me. I had things people expected of me. If you’ve ever had something really bad happen to you, people will be nice to you, but it’s almost like a psychic vacuum of expectation you feel from them, this suction that comes from them because they are expecting that you will suddenly break down and feel touched by their special attention or that you’ll miraculously feel better and relieve them of the awkwardness of being unfixably sad. They want to be rewarded in some way, even if its a tiny little alleviation of their uncomfortableness at you being in this state. Then you have the regular demands of just life, that become almost impossible – things that were normal and easy suddenly become overwhelming and difficult and you have NO IDEA WHY. You feel guilty and horrified that you can’t do these things anymore, you feel humiliated that people see you can’t, and there is nothing in your brain that indicates you will ever get better, that you will ever become normal again, that you will ever be able to manage doing LIFE again. This is what was on me all the time, and on top of that, there was grief that I had never experienced in my life, something I had no clue of how to deal with.

So. Coping with it was escaping to the dark. It was comforting and let me relax for one brief moment by making reality go away. I don’t know if I ever could get anyone to understand that until this above paragraph just now. Maybe it is/was/will be different for other people, but that’s how it was for me. And I found comfort in the dark. Where everything just went away for a while and left me alone.

These days, we have stresses in life. All of it financial. That is a blessing I wasn’t expecting and I didn’t appreciate until I just typed it out. Most everything that isn’t going well right now is because of money. There is no death, there is no failing relationship, there is no hate or pain going on. Pangs of fear from violence isn’t there. The scared little girl isn’t aways alert and on the watch for whether her father was going to brutally attack her mother, and the scared little girl wasn’t listening to the hideous, almost insane hatred and twisted spewings being screamed at her by her mother. The scared little girl isn’t crying. The scared little girl isn’t trying to stop her 6’5” father from beating on her 4’11” mother. The scared little girl isn’t cowering, and retracting into a little ball from her mother screaming at her, whipping her with a wire clothes hanger (no folks, it’s not just in the movies this happens).

I’m only scared of our money problems. i have ungrounded fears that I’ll never get a job (this only feels true, intellectually I think I know it’s not). I feel a lot of guilt from not getting the government gig, although intellectually I know its because of forces I couldn’t control (my security clearance investigation took too long) but I FEEL like I’ve failed my family. I feel shitty 30 ways from Sunday that I am at the starting line again, when just a week ago, I had thought I was at least a ways into the marathon. I worry about so many things. But I just realized that it’s a very good situation indeed when the most I have to worry about is only financial and, well, not other things.

And so. With the stress I have now, I’m up at night. I’m am in the dark. I have wandered around the house, listening to the relative quiet around me. I have tried to relax a bit and try to put things in perspective, but I still am dreading the sunshine, because it starts another day of trying, failing, worrying and fretting. I’m awake and it’s late. I’m a tiny bit more relaxed, which, again ironically, I feel myself tearing up for no reason. I’ve loosened my coil a bit, letting me lose a bit of the control that keeps me from weeping. It is really scary, what I’m feeling and what I’m going through. I feel guilty that I may be making a terribly big deal out of what will turn out OK. I just can’t help tasting the bitter in my mouth of worry and feeling ill because my stomach is turning and knotting up.

And I hope you understand why I can’t just take your advice of “not worrying about it.”

I’m not wired for that. I don’t think I’ll ever be.