I hope everyone had a delightful holiday weekend (for all of you who celebrate some sort of holiday this weekend past). I clearly did not. I’m doubly angry at myself because I left my Schema Therapy book at my parents’ house so I have to wait until they ship it to me in order to continue my blog series. I’m a little pissed because we’re very close to the end and I wanted to make a clean break before moving on to something new.
::sigh:: I’m trying not to beat myself up about this, but it bothers me that I don’t have what I need at my disposal.
So here’s a story I picked up over Thanksgiving dinner. We all know I have sleeping problems. It’s why I’ve been prescribed the Trazadone = help me sleep and stay asleep. Since starting the Pristiq though, I have been falling asleep pretty well without the need of my sleep meds. I’ve also mentioned on multiple occasions that I often have anxiety about going to sleep. This is an entirely different problem from my insomnia. I’m not sure why I’m afraid to go to sleep some nights. The thought of turning off all my lights, pulling myself away from my computer, isolating myself in some small way, it inspires this low level dread and anxiety in the pit of my stomach. I’ll check, double check, and triple check many things just to put off going to bed for a few more minutes.
It’s weird because I actually like sleeping. I absolutely LOVE dreaming. I have such vivid, wild dreams and I find them all fascinating, even if they’re bad or nightmares.
The act of getting into bed, alone, is just awful for me.
And apparently always has been.
I have a darling wacky aunt that loves to tell all the silly and embarrassing stories of our youth after dinner, just before dessert and coffee. They’re usually pretty funny. This past dinner my aunt was recalling the times we would visit and spend the night at her place. My sister would fall asleep anywhere, no problem. My brother was the same. Not me. I would fight and scream and not want to go to sleep. I would insist I wasn’t tired and want to stay up with her just a little longer. Then my mother chimed in. I would become incredibly upset if I had to go to sleep alone. My mother would lie down with me at bedtime until she had to go to work, hoping that I would be asleep by the time she had to leave. (Remember, she worked evenings so she would wake up in time to put us to bed and then go to work). I would apparently be inconsolable if she wasn’t there to fall asleep with me. I don’t remember any of this. I do remember often sneaking into my parent’s room at night to curl up in bed with them until I was too old (maybe 7 years old) and they forbid it. Now that I’m focusing on it I remember sleeping with my brother and sister whenever we could get away with it as well. My parents would send us to our rooms at night, but by morning, I would wake up next to one of my siblings.
One of my favorite things about being in a relationship is the fact that I don’t have to sleep alone. Sleeping alone is one of my most hated things ever. I also tend to have very affectionate friends that don’t mind falling asleep together. Sleeping together doesn’t have to be sexual, just comforting. Even having my cat to curl up with me is better than being all alone. One of the reasons I like having a roommate is that I’m never alone in the apartment at night. When Roommate is gone for weekends I often forsake my bed and bedroom altogether and sleep in the living room on the couch. The common area has an energy that is less solitary, more open, more comforting, plus I know right away if someone is trying to break in (there’s not going to be any sneaking up on me). It’s safer.
I don’t know why this is such an issue for me, but it’s apparently been an issue my entire life.
Logically I know there’s nothing waiting for me in the dark. All those breathing exercises and visualization techniques do me no good. It does help for me to have some kind of white noise on in the background, like a running fan or air filter, something to fill up the emptiness in the air. Even when I’m falling down exhausted the idea of going to bed alone makes me anxious. I’ll choose to sleep on the couch before going to bed alone (unless Roommate is home, in which case it would just be rude so I always force myself to go to my own room).
I just need someone to snuggle up to and I’m fine. This isn’t exactly a ‘cure’ for my anxiety but it’s definitely an acceptable fix as far as I’m concerned. I’m very curious as to why I have this problem and why I developed it so young. It definitely makes me think that this is potentially something I’m predisposed to as my siblings have no similar problem at all. Is this a problem for any of my Borderline readers out there?
Curiouser and curiouser. In the meantime I’m accepting Cuddle Buddy applications!