Saturday, 13 June 2009

Withdrawing to my sci-fi pod. Again.

Oh, darlings, but the Empress is tired. So tired. This evening I lay down with weak but salutory gin and tonic at 8 and fell deeply asleep, waking myself laughing half an hour later at the ridiculousness of my dream. I knew I ought to write it down, it related to some kind of animal (? or person?) called Didier Calypso (or was it Didier Castor? I have a doubt, suddenly), but then I drifted back to sleep only to resurface when Fingers' insistent requests to be put to bed finally penetrated the fug. By that time Didier was sadly forgotten.

Trauma is so tiring. I am not being flippant. My whole being seems to sag with exhaustion when something impenetrably difficult, or sad, or disastrous arises. 'Too hard' says something deep in my being. 'Now sleep'. The something deep in my being has a guttural Russian accent and tends to eschew prepositions and articles and other non-essential parts of speech. It knows what it wants though. It wants oblivion.

On the day my mum died, we packed up the car and our 18 month old baby and headed straight up the M1 to York. I remember dithering around for a couple of hours wondering what to do and if it was the right thing, but once we got there I couldn't believe I had ever had any doubt. Of course we had to come. But I remember with indelible certainty the physical sensation of total exhaustion that hit me as we reached somewhere around Nottingham and the initial adrenalin of sorting out logistics hit. I was bone achingly exhausted suddenly - exhausted for everything I knew was still to come. The road ahead seemed impossibly hard and unnavigable and I couldn't imagine how I would ever dredge up the energy to get along it. That feeling of exhaustion lasted for about a week, I recall. The exhaustion would hit me across the back of the head like a sandbag, and I would have to crawl away to the attic to lie terribly still with the World Service on in the background to lull me, eventually, to patches of sleep. I would have to walk away from relatives, friends, the CFO, at the most painful and important moments, sleepwalk up the stairs and lie down. Admittedly I was also 6 months pregnant at the time, but I don't think that was it, principally. It was my body rebelling against everything it would have to go through in the weeks and months to come.

Eventually, through the power of Yorkshire Tea and fondant fancies, ginger biscuits, inappropriate laughter and expensive clothes, my body rallied. Some other force took over and carried me through all the events of the next six months and beyond, and they were quite some events, believe me.

And here I am again, and the 'Sleep now' voice is insistently bullying me to lie down, to curl up, to give up. On a bench, in bed, in the park, anywhere is good for me to shut my eyes and zone out. It's irresistible. I simply have to sleep, because whatever lies ahead will be long and hard. One of my favourite correspondents of recent days (oh, ok, it's M. It's always M, she's my brain twin) described it as "trudging through a six foot pit of shit". It sounds about right.

So it's barely ten in the evening, it's still light outside, I've already slept for half an hour, but I simply can't keep my eyes open a moment longer.

Night, internet.


littlebrownbird said...

Sweet dreams Belgian Waffle x I feel for you. Be kind to yourself x

Anonymous said...

you are a strange and wonderful woman. Like a slinky as it slinks down some stairs, I have no idea quite how you work - but I remain amazed, I just hope I don't accidentally tread on you and kinking your slink.

No young homosexual could ever hope for a better surrogate-belgian-cyber-maman. A woman who can eat a belgian butty with such poise, whilst also telling hilarious stories is a rare thing indeed.

Bon Nuit Wafflemere x

Anonymous said...

Oh sweetie. Be strong. xx

Pochyemu said...

If the brain says sleep, sleep. It's like Freud's theory of the 'psychic skin'. The 'skin' protects our conscious - when external stimuli start pounding in, the brain says 'Hold on a second, I can't deal with this shit, feed it to me slowly', and so the psychic skin stays up nights at the brain's bedside, feeding it information in teaspoonfuls from a bowl of psychic broth so that the brain can absorb it and deal with it and get stronger.

Freud was a nutbar and this is all fucking nutty, but I think in this case he may have been kind of right. And so, the moral of the story is: if your brain says sleep, well then you just go right ahead and sleep.

Anonymous said...

You've got to listen to your body. Sometimes it knows more than your mind. So don't question it, just sleep. Sweet dreams!

WV is "rowsme". No, I won't rouse you, no matter how much you ask. You must sleep!

screamish said...

the other comments have said it for me...big bises

Anonymous said...

I am also very very fond of sleep.
It is my favourite coping mechanism in the face of stress and anxiety, and I relate entirely the trauma of my son's first three months on this Earth to the fact it was denied me.

If the brain says sleep, then listen to the brain. Trauma is heavy, and the sense of physical and emotional tiredness is normal. I have no idea what you are going through, but everything tells me it is a lot. So sleep.

Although if you find yourself sleeping 18 hours a day and feel deader on waking up than on falling asleep, re-think the strategy at that point. (I so wish there was a sleep bank and I could have withdrawn all the sleep hours I deposited during my unemployment and used it when my son was born).

The Gossamer Woman said...

When I am emotionally overwhelmed, I do nothing but sleep. It is how I survive. I can sleep anywhere at any tie of the day and it always helps me to sleep as many hours as possible. Interrupted sleep won't do, I have to wake up on my own.

Good luck, sweetie, keep sleeping, it's good for you.


justme said...

I too am exhausted every day at the moment. I have come to realise that it is my natural response to stress. Sleep is good. Also chocolate. Also gin.
I hope you feel better. Soon.

bevchen said...

Sleep is good. Sweet dreams!

I too am constantly tired at the moment. Except at night... as soon as darkness falls I am no longer able to sleep.

Anonymous said...

Dear Belgian Waffle, I have just spent quite a few hours reading your archive and I would just like to say that I hope you find yourself in a happier place soon, because you are obviously a Special Person. That's all. Just sending you anonymous good wishes and hoping things get better soon.

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