I am tired. I walk around looking lovely (sarcastic) with bags under my eyes that I’m too lazy to cover with make up. I am clumsy and stupid and forget things, and I need my 2+ cups of coffee in the morning to try to resemble a normal person.
I’m not really the best person for going to sleep to begin with, I’m more of a night owl… Early mornings, no thank you. But even when I do go to bed at a decent time, getting to sleep is a whole different ball game…
There is the just lying there, no matter how shattered you are, brain going haywire, refusing entirely to allow you to sleep. Making you more anxious and more angry as the night turns to day and you’re still bloody awake.
Or, maybe you do fall asleep, but your deep sleep for the entire night of actually okay sleep resembles 14 whole minutes (fitbit doesn’t even grace that with a percentage because its so bad).
Or, you fall asleep but you’re woken up covered in sweat from disgusting or mean dreams. My more than a decade long recurring dream of being hunted down and raped after they’ve murdered my family…. Now that one im definitely tired of.
Or, an all time favourite (though thankfully rarer these days) of waking up somewhere in your house in the pitch black after sleepwalking, and not being able to work out where you are, (trust me it’s surprisingly harder than you think it is, and involves plenty of bruises the following day), and having a panic attack when you can’t figure it out.
Or, a CSA special… Trying to go to bed, but feeling young and scared and unable to shut off the trauma state. Of watching the door, listening out for footsteps. Normally taking place on a day your body is already going crazy with memories. Sensations that you can’t get off your body, uncomfortable or painful or just plain gross. Those nights are always so much fun.
And of course not sleeping well is definitely not unique. It goes for everyone from time to time, or even frequently. Everyone has those nights or spells of bad sleep. But im tired of being tired now, id love to wake up actually feeling rested for once…. Wouldn’t that be bloody amazing? And how much difference would it make to all the other stuff? Actually feeling rested? Lots, I bet.
And there are lots of other things I’m tired of…. My parents, my family, my job, my brain, my hurts and all the feelings I really actually don’t want to feel. I’m tired of having crappy days, I’m tired of not getting what I need, I’m tired of life right now, dramatic as that absolutely is. And it’s a crappy time of year for me, but seriously, I’m over it already. Give me a lovely warm summer already, I beg you.
oh god. this word.
i don’t know how many times i’ve sobbed about being tired in a therapy session. and i’ve meant it in terms of the hundreds of nights of stolen sleep, the physical exhaustion of my ridiculous on-call work life, but mostly, in the aching fatigue that comes from dealing with the fallout of incest and trauma. with battling parents and a brother who deny it happened in the first place, with a mother who thinks i’ve been hypnotized and a father who thinks my lesbian man-hating therapist planted ideas in my head (never mind that she is quite heterosexual and incredibly man-loving, never mind that i’m not a brainless blob that believes everything thrown her way). when i sob that i am tired, it is of the isolation, the shock, that this is in fact my life. i am tired of knowing this stuff, of carrying it. i don’t know when it will stop hurting. i don’t know how it ever could.
i spent much of my life convinced that there was something wrong with me. that all the labels and medications were to try and name and then fix the inherent brokennness that was me. and i was a fierce advocate for mental health issues, i disclosed often and in varying detail my journeys of depression, anxiety and panic disorder, because i hoped that i could help others (and myself?) by staring it in the face. i took full ownership of the wrongness of my neurotransmitters and hormones, medicated them, attempted to forgive my brain for its idiosyncrasies, and just tried to live the best life a damaged, sick, crazy person could live.
until remembering sexual abuse in my childhood, at the hands of two members of my family, turned it all upside down.
and over these past three years, i wished, so many times, i could just go back, that i could just unknow it all and go back. i have been gutted, time and again, by how difficult it is to share the responsibility for how i am; have been razed to the ground by the realization that the inherent wrongness i have always felt was a fucking lie, planted in me by the people meant to love me most. it is exhausting to flinch at the word family. it is exhausting to be reminded, with every interaction with my parents, that i am unseen, unheard, unknown. it is excruciating to nearly drown in the waves of abandonment, terror, and shame, and realize that this is how it felt, this is how little pocketcanadian felt all the time back then.
she wasn’t crazy. she wasn’t sick. she was damaged, oh yes. she was so so hurt, she was made to know things that she never should have, she was unsafe in her home, she was the receptacle for so much shame.
and unlearning all the things that were inserted into me, when i was too little to know different? is a full-time, full-body job. there is no amount of sleep that can remedy this sort of tired. there is just time, i am told. the passage of minutes, and days, and years, becoming accustomed to this new reality, to this identity, to these new labels. hoping that the sting eases. hoping that i can build a new life: of safety, of love, of compassion and gentleness, and that it can be enough.
i spent my whole life trying to be good.
good enough. good for something.
looking back, i actually was a really, really good kid. i didn’t make a fuss. i monitored myself, my behaviour, especially at school. i didn’t talk back. i didn’t talk much at all. i was an A+ student, i was delightful, i was diligent. i did my homework. was kind to my peers. strived to be my best. was quiet, was acquiescent, blended in. they never came to my parent-teacher interviews, there was no need, my mom said. they knew i was doing fine. they didn’t want me to get a big head. i was fine. it was all good.
i bet all they had to say was that i was a good girl.
that i was so good, that good girls didn’t tell. that good girls didn’t like it, didn’t do that, didn’t let them.
that would have been all they needed to say, but once. because no one ever said that to me. i could never be good enough, i never was. no matter what. and i was desperate to be good. to be right. to belong.
i’m sorry because this all feels totally disgusting. i hate this word. i feel sick and i’m not good. i’m not good at all.
Sometimes I get so dammed mad and jealous that pc and I are so far apart geographically. Like, I’m a total jealous pain in the arse when other people get her in person and I’m stuck way over here. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what she says, or how genuinely she means it, she is just too far away for me to feel her care. It doesn’t feel enough. It drives me mad that the one person who actually claims she cares (and she does care, to be clear) and would hug me, be close and gentle and loving, is too fucking far away to prove she’d actually do it in person. Like, what good are words when everybody close enough to have to prove their words has told me different? Has not touched or hugged me, has not cared?
And then there are other nights, like tonight, where her words make me feel like I’m right next to her, like I can feel the things she’s saying, like I can feel my head leant against her side. These days make me feel sad too for some reason that I can’t completely pinpoint yet. I know she means it, I feel it, I feel her. And it’s more than I could ever ask for, and somehow I feel both so far apart from her, and yet right there next to her. I feel both simultaneously (and yes, I’m aware that makes zero sense). But I do. I long to really actually be in the same room, and yet I can feel it from here, it’s warmth and safety and gentleness. I feel close, really close. And that bit feels very very good. 💜