Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Two a.m.

(Somewhere, someone else feels this way, or felt this way, or will feel this way.  Some of us need to name it, for the rest of us, who will be up in the middle of the night, not wanting to wake anyone else up but desperately needing community.  This post is for those people.)

It starts with anger this time.  No discernible focus, just rage, building, building ...

I want to bite something.  Myself, preferably.  But J gave me a contract to sign - no hurting.  ("You've been hurt enough", she tells me.)  I roam the house looking for something to take edge off.  An ice pack, shock of cold on my palms, my face.

Breathe.  Breathe.

I know this is a memory struggling to surface - some come so hard.  (Some strike swift, stunning me out of myself, but not this one.)  I decide to go to bed, remember J's advice:  "Surround yourself with items of comfort."  Right.  Essential oils - there's a new blend I'm trying, the word "sleep" in the name on the bottle.  A few drops on my pillow, a few drops on a teddy bear.  Music on, low and gentle.

I sleep.  "To sleep - perchance to dream - ay, there's the rub."  Less than an hour later, I jerk awake from nightmare.  Lie disoriented in the dark, and I cannot remember what year it is, but I am convinced that the world is not a safe place for the people I love.  Find my husband, my almost-grown children.  The older one is out with friends, doesn't answer my text.  I am about to dial her number when I remember another promise I made to her, to myself - "My anxiety is not my children's problem."

More essential oils on the pillow.  Breathe deep, deep - it's a layered blend, soothing.  I try to name the separate aromas.

I finally decide that I'm sabotaging myself by insisting on sleep as the final goal. One slow breath becomes my goal, and then another one, and then another one.  When I am still wakeful after an hour of this, I run a cool bubble bath, thankful that I do not work the next day.  Open the blinds, lie in the cool dark, looking for stars, considering the misshapen moon.  Damaged, I think, like me, and yet - still lovely.

Terror shivers beneath my skin.  "'Old stuff", I whisper, "old stuff.  Let it move through you."  The fear, long suppressed, rises to be released.  The fear is real, from so long ago, but the danger is not.  There is no danger.  When the shaking stops, I go back to bed, and finally, as the first rays of the new sun feather the window, sleep comes.


Kay said...

How like you to make even this thing beautiful with your words. It's a poem.

Gloria said...

I am one who not only appreciates the way you put your experience of trauma revisiting into words; but can also relate....thanks for your encourages me in my own willingness to be vulnerable in my writing but most of all it encourages my soul.

Annie said...

I love you. Xoxoxo

CC said...

Someone once told me...What you embrace becomes yours...what you give to God becomes His, and He is in control, all the time. Let it go to Him...and He will set you 'free'.
It's true you know.
Much love to you!