For the past year, despite all the other progress I have made with recovery, I have struggled to go to sleep on my own. My boyfriend goes to sleep later than me (we live together), and that means one of two things- I either do something (anything) until I am so exhausted than I have to fall asleep, or I watch.
I tell myself it’s because I got myself into this horrible habit of watching too much, and I’m not sure how to stop.
That, while it is the truth, is not the full truth.
I started this blog few years back, working through my issues of being raped. When I began writing, I couldn’t even say the word rape out loud. The first time I said it, I cried for hours.
Since then, I have written in forums, I have read books on recovery, I have written on here, I have gone to counselling, and for the most part, I have shared with the people I wanted to share it with. I have taken big leaps; put myself together, started a new life. Other than the first few months when I wrote on here very often, I have been writing on here only on occasion, when I had something to share.
And here is the BUT. While sharing, in so many way, has been so helpful at first, it’s now also restricting my recovery.
It feels as if sharing it, talking about what happened, would always be a release, a way to get rid of any leftover feelings I have. While that’s true sometimes…sometimes it’s deflection.
I’m not taking feelings out each time (though there was one time lately when I did share and that was a whole LOT of feelings). I’m rather…telling a story. It has me as the main heroine, and it’s deep and sad and profound. Except, I have said it so many times at this point, in so many ways, that telling it again is like a rehearsed speech. It’s nice feeling support, and sharing, but all that talking, it’s just deflection for my real feelings. See, I am telling what happened; in the past. It’s an old story, one I’ve moved on from, and as such my feelings about it aren’t quite as new. And because it’s a long story, I never get to my current feelings about it.
I write on here, but by sharing my previous experiences I avoid talking about the fact that there are feelings that linger even now. I avoid it so well I don’t even know what I’m doing, until I reach the evening. And I’m alone. In bed.
If I allow myself to be alone with my thoughts, I’ll know the truth.
I will know that I’m not anymore sad about what happened in general. I’ve chewed over it again, and again, because it’s easier. Because I am sharing old feelings. I don’t allow myself to accept that while I can be happy with my new life now, I can still sometimes be sad, or triggered, or have flashbacks. I know it’s natural, I just don’t allow myself.
I will know that sometimes I am so deeply sad, in a way that can’t be shared. In a way that doesn’t require long talks with resolution, because there isn’t anything to resolve. I’m just sad; I have to let it be. I can use a hug at those times, with no words attached to it, just warmness. I can use not talking, because then I can just feel however I’m feeling, and still know I’m not alone in it.
I will know that I’m sad that so many times when I feel certain way about a part of what happened, I have no way to share that. That I’m not sad for the things I do tell others, but for those things that I can’t; the things that I can’t digest, or which I can’t share because I need to share with the person the background story first. Or because the person I’m sharing with is my friend, and I don’t want them to worry. Or because…
There is always “because”- I think I can’t share the worst parts, the part that may have currently get me sad, because, at the end, if I say them black on white, may be I’ll scare myself. I’ve never been so great at expressing feelings, and those are so much deeper than any others.
It’s also scary to know that there may always be blank spaces in what I remember. I have pieced together a lot of what happened, a lot of the missing pieces…but there are still blanks. Perhaps that’s a blessing, but it is scary, too. The amount of emotions in the memory around it is so overloading, I can’t think about it, without getting emotional too.
It’s a huge freaking mess of emotions, and hey, I already said I’m not the best at those.
But then, lately, I’ve been wanting to get better. I’ve been trying to eat better and actually take care of myself. I’ve been trying to watch less then I do regularly, and it’s been working. And so my mind finds this new great- awesome- way to avoid thinking when going to bed- I do things until it’s 2 or 3AM and there is no other choice but falling asleep.
And then I know.
If I never go to sleep early, without watching- if I never relax enough to start sleeping normally, on my own- I’ll never truly have to feel that, sadness. Old, general sadness is better, reflecting on things is better than actually allowing myself to remember how bad it was.
But here is the thing.
I have done a lot to move my life forward, and this is one thing of many. And if I may be start doing it- a little, step by step, may be I win. May be I can be happy in general, and it’s okay to be sad sometimes. May be if I allow myself to feel, and let the bad feelings go through me, really feel them- may be then it will be easier to accept them, and get back to the living happy part.
And so I try.
And it is, sad, really really sad. Sometimes. And sometimes, I am just a girl, with a pretty nice life at that. I have worked hard for that life. So tonight, I will let myself feel, before I talk- before I share on here. I will let myself go to sleep, open to whatever comes to mind, even the sad parts.
I know I have a good life to return to.
Being sad for one night, is okay. Normal. Healthier than deflecting.
And it turns out, these days, when I let myself do that, I fall asleep. Easy, fast. As it should be. The sad part…well, it’s just opening room for better things to come. I would share why I was sad in a first place, but not tonight. Tonight, I feel.
And for once, I sleep easier.