Waking and Sleeping Nightmares 

Need to sleep. So tired. Can’t sleep. Buzzing. Or anxious. Or both?

Andy and I both struggled to get to sleep last night interrupting the darkness with periodic “are you awake?” “Yes”. We did both finally get to sleep. Then I was woken at 1.30am by my daughter crying quietly. When I went to her she’d had a nightmare about spiders. I tried to settle her back to sleep but she was wide awake. I sat on the floor next to her bed. It was freezing cold and the darkness prickled at me. It was suffocating. I felt the panic rising. Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck. Got to stay ok. Got to stay ok.

I couldn’t take it. I needed to escape so I brought her into our bed. After all I would never leave her alone and afraid in the dark. I know that feeling. I feel safest in my bed but my daughter wouldn’t sleep. Now Andy is disturbed too. He’s already ill and exhausted. I feel such an idiot. Imagine not being able to sit in the dark with your own daughter for fucksake!

Eventually it’s too much for Andy. He tells our daughter that he will take her back to bed and sit with her. She cries and clings to me. I can’t bear it. I don’t know what’s right. He gives her a last chance and we all get some sleep. 

At 6am Andy’s alarm goes off. He can’t find it to turn it off so that’s everyone awake. My son bounces in. He’s super excited. It’s his birthday. We troop downstairs to where, I must admit, there is a pretty nice little present pile. He loves his presents. Awesome! Then Andy is gone. I get both kids ready. I’m so tired. My eyes burn. The anxiety is always there. Eventually my son leaves for school and my daughter is collected by her grandad. I immediately head back to bed.

I can’t sleep. For a start Trump has been elected US president. A man accused of multiple sexual assaults in the White House. That’s pretty depressing. All this stuff I’m trying to battle to process my own assault seems pointless really if a guy like that can become president. The thought crosses my mind that this terrible thing happened because I’m still alive – it’s the Universe all out of kilter because I exist. My rational mind gives a derisory snort get a grip! I don’t think you’re so important as to sway the vote of the whole of America! It’s a mad thought but I am mad so…?

I lie in bed unable to sleep. My mind is time travelling back and forth. I try and stop it but I’m too tired. Nothing feels real. Even my own hands feel odd – as if they belong to someone else – like I’m some sort of bodysnatcher. When I look in the mirror I look different. I can only describe it as marshmallow face. It’s me, but equally, it’s not. I’m confused by all of this but I guess it’s just dissociation. 

Physically apart from burning eyes I have the ever present nausea and a leaden feeling in my abdomen. I would really like to cut a wrist. Just to see. I can’t though. I’m starting to feel scared of myself again. It’ll pass, right? My weight has plateaued at 87.4kg. Bollocks. Need to get below 87kg to be overweight rather than obese. I was expecting a plateau as it’s been going quite well. I know plateaus can last a few weeks and I just need to stick with it. Should be easy really I don’t really want to eat much. I have to eat with my family at mealtimes so it’s difficult. I don’t want to raise unnecessary concern. I’m suffocated enough at the moment.

I need to get up. I’ve got so much to do. Nothing feels real. It’s frightening just how realistic this nightmare is. Time to wake up.


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