Monday, April 18, 2005

Does Insomnia Ruin Your Life?

` I can't stay awake.
` I can't stay asleep.
` Don't you hate it when that happens?
` It's true for me all the time - therefore, I'm always somewhat asleep, and I really don't know what's going on half the time. I spent my teenage years at home, alone, sleeping a lot while my parents were at work, barely seeing anyone else but them when they got home.

` In sixth grade, when I had a 'real desk' with two of the other students, I slept on a bean-bag chair in the back of the room (after trying to sleep two hours in the short bus). In elementary school, I slept in my cubicle all morning, and usually nobody cared.
` I find that very strange, as another student was kept up all night by seizures and he was always being woken up! I didn't even have an 'excuse' to be sleepy that anyone knew.

` Of course, I did have a very good excuse - my dad did not always allow me to go to bed at night. He'd have 'talks' with me, sometimes until the sun came up! He'd say; "I'm glad I can have these talks with you." and I would say "Yeah, me too, really!" because I believed them to be quality time in which I learned many exciting, useful things about myself.

` As you can expect from people like my dad: 'Talking' = Logorrhea. And Logorrhea + me alone = brainwashing sessions. This, coupled with severe, chronic depression, is why I became an insomniac.

` Of course, it was not every night - most nights, he'd scream at me to "Git tibet!" (as he pronounced it) and "Don't wake up Mahm!" Wake her up? Okay... like... he was yelling?
` But whenever he felt like it, he'd make me stay up half the night or more 'having a talk' which consisted of me dozing off at the table, punctuated by my crying or otherwise responding to the crap spewing out of his mouth, though I wasn't really allowed to talk.
` What was more, I wasn't allowed to leave the room! He'd make me stand on the steps for a half hour - easy! - before I could take a bathroom break, unless I gave up and sat back down, because the way he engages you and looks at you as if you're really listening makes you want to try to tell him you're leaving for a minute, but he doesn't acknowledge it!
` Sometimes, I'd go into the bathroom and I could hear him, still talking like I was sitting in front of him!

` Anyhow, I thought that him paying so much attention to me and letting me stay up was some kind of privilege, because I didn't have many - I wasn't even allowed to draw at any time after dinner!
` It turns out he was just using me, abusing me, confusing me, depriving me of sleep, and not actually paying any attention to me or my feelings at all. Still, it was enough to make me feel special: I was getting attention!

` According to my mom and brother, he's been an insomniac since before I was born. He's had his own problems, not the least of which is his mental illness.
` To me, though, the child he blamed for everything, what do you think he said?
` "It's yer fault! Yer always up awl night an' yew keep me up! I heard yew up las' night! Yer lucky I didn't kill yew! Yew always shlam yer door!"

` "I-accidentally-shut-my-door-too-fast-because-I-was-standing-there-for about thirty seconds,
wondering-when-it-was-going-to-close,-and-then-I-realized-it-was-open too far,-and..."
` "That's no excuse!"

` Daily, I had to take this crap. Gee, sorry for causing you your lifelong insomnia, Dad!

` Now I'm stuck with it... There's problems galore. For example, I have the tendency to say things in my sleep over the phone.
` There was an entire year like this - I'd always answer the phone in my sleep, and usually people weren't able to tell, so that got me into a lot of trouble.
` That doesn't happen as often now, but it is annoying when I'm talking to someone and I start saying things I don't mean to.

` I've fallen asleep hundreds of times while driving, but only for a second at a time. Not only that, but I can't pay attention to anything properly, and therefore, I can't do anything I really would like to.
` At least not often... and when I do, I just don't enjoy it.

` Anyway, now I can't get to sleep when I need to. Thanks, Dad! I lay in bed all night, and I can only sleep during the day unless something wakes me up in the morning and I stay up, but usually not the whole day.
` Then I always cycle back to getting up in the afternoon. Sometimes I won't be able to sleep all night or day either and yet not be able to fall asleep until the next morning.
` I have to schedule all my appointments for the afternoon, like I did today. Luckily my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder group also meets in the afternoon. It's so ridiculous! In fact, every time I sleep a good eight hours and wake up in the morning, I still fall asleep before evening!
` Basically, sleep and lack thereof seem to cause all my awareness problems.

` Now I'm getting even more concerned! Yesterday at the kite field, Phil was chewed out by his former kite mentor, Larkin. Instead of telling him how to do things, he laughed at him and also told him that maybe his kite was not made for doing something or other, finishing, with his face two inches from Phil's; "What do you think about that?"
` And why? Aside from the fact that Phil noticed he smelled like he was high, it might have something to do with something else he said: Something about how I supposedly told him that I had 'whorish feelings' and stuff that he really didn't want to hear, and asked him; "Seriously, is she your sister? No really, man, is she? Because why would you go out with someone like her? She's not eccentric, she's insane!"

` Needless to say, Phil was in too much shock to say anything. If he hadn't walked away at that point, I think Larkin may have wound up black and blue.

` Whorish feelings? Now, did I say that to him the day before, when I was in the kite field? I don't remember even talking to him at all!
` As far as I was concerned, I spent the entire time crashing my kite into the ground, puddles, trees, etc, because I was busy watching everyone else or dozing on my feet. Was I talking to him in my sleep? Or at all?

` A few days before that, I also went to the kite field with Phil. Now, the last time I had seen Larkin, he was in our apartment and I was practicing this song on my piano about my insane dad that I wanted him to hear as an outsider audience - barely anybody I know actually knows that I even have musical inclinations, and it's hard to find people to at least listen to my music.
` It turns out that he also has an insane dad, although his dad just seems to hate people and try to live alone. I told him my song was about how my dad accused me of everything under the sun. I told him that my dad wanted me to grow up to be a whore so that he could yell at me, but in no way did I have any inclination to be one.

` So what really happened? What did I say? Was I asleep? Was it me? Was it him? Was it both of us? I can't say. If I really did say I had "whorish feelings" then I must have been dozing off, because what else could cause me to say that? (And not remember!)
` And my insomnia causes me to doze off. Is that it? What's more, the teacher of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder class thinks that I probably do really belong there. My next class is at three this afternoon. Now, I don't recall having 'missing time,' but such a thing is a common enough symptom of PTSD. Could it be that? Will I ever know what's going on?

` No matter - I have singlehandedly caused Phil to be alienated from the kite field, and he's having trouble finding another one from within twenty-five miles. Though this is the first time it's happened, will my lack of attention keep causing these problems? Will I always be too bored to stay awake, no matter what I do?

` Stay tuned for more 'Misery!' on SQN, with a special thanks to my dad!

Update! Go here to read about the fact that Larkin is a psychotic pot-addicted, conspiracy theorizing Nazi who is both delusional and blows up at people unpredictably. I think it means there's hope for me yet...

No comments: