Friday, June 10, 2011


I do not like night, or dark. Never have. I am haunted by all the things that seem bad. It has been this way as long as I can remember, since probably age 8 or so. I hear things, see things, and think of all kinds of sad things...often staying awake, unable to sleep, crying. Often these things do not make sense, either...not surprising. As a child I often walked the house in tears and tried to sleep in my parents' bed. They didn't like me sleeping in bed with them though, so I often ended up in their floor, scared. Over and over i was asked what I was scared of, but a kid can't put strange images into words, especially when you think it will be brushed off as silly, and told to go back to bed. When you are frightened, you just are. it is what it is, irrational as it may be. I mean what is really scary about a darkened room with ballet shoes on pointe and sad music playing? or a little child's beaded purse on a log headed for a table saw? Strange, but those are some of the images I recall from childhood that disturbed me. At least one of my kids has this same thing happening. I don't like to turn my kids away when they want to sleep near me. I know what they are feeling, and how sad and scary it is not to be able to deal with it, when all you need and want is parental closeness to hold you until it passes. Plus, I love and will one day sorely miss the children in my bed.
As an adult, the night is filled with sadness at my kids growing up so quickly, time slipping through my fingers like sand, fear of not protecting them well enough, regret at all the things I have done and said that were hurtful, and wrong. Also with hearing things that are not there, seeing things that are not real, sometimes smelling things that are not existent. And I can't seem to shut my brain down for the night no matter how tired I am. I spend countless hours praying and walking the house and reading the scripture for comfort, and as soon as daylight comes, it generally leaves me. But on days like today when my oldest is having his 13th birthday, daylight comes and I still struggle with not crying at his childhood being left behind. It is a minute by minute fight with the tears of love. And sometimes I go for weeks with none of the above happening.
Peaceful sleep is a treasure. A very rare treasure. But it generally only comes when i am in my bed here at home, never when I am away from home. I wonder if it will ever stop, but it probably won't, and the bittersweet sadness of children growing up will only get worse.
People who don't struggle with feelings like this think it is weird, and sometimes ridiculous to feel these things. Life happens this way, some say. But that doesn't make my reality any easier. Daytime is MUCH easier, and often joyous, but I dread nights. Maybe I need medication for some chemical imbalance....I am sure my parents thought I needed it as a child. But I just keep praying, and trusting that the Lord will give me strength to face the changes life brings and to help me savor each moment of each day, because they all pass too quickly, like a vapor.

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