Drunk With Fatigue
Are you reading this through bleary eyes as you desperately await the effect of a caffeine boost to kick start your weary self into life to endure another day? Perhaps you can vividly recall that drained sensation that haunted you and that nagging ache which was ever present behind your eyeballs? The need to close your eyes and slip into a deep and restful slumber. All you wanted to do was to close your eyes and allow the tiredness to evaporate and shrouded in the amnesiac qualities of sleep you would be given respite from the nightmare that enveloped you. Yet, you were never able to achieve that sleep. Your near permanent anxiety meant that as you lay in bed you were tensed, ready to respond to the next jibe or manipulation. You heard a click. Was that me exiting the study at long last and coming to the bedroom or was it just the house settling? You were hyper vigilant and you cannot now recall how long that state had existed but you did know that it caused a nightly battle where you tried to sleep but each sound made you twitch and ready yourself. Sometimes you must have fallen asleep, such was the extent of your exhaustion and you dreamed and then suddenly you awoke. What had happened? Why did you awake so suddenly? You twist and see me there lying fast asleep, unburdened by any concerns. Even now you want to reach out and touch me in the hope that my hand will be placed on your shoulder and then my arm will envelope you, making you feel safe and secure, like it once did. You have learned not to reach out though for the consequences of waking me from my rest are not worth experiencing again. Instead, your shaking hand retreated and you turned to look at the clock and you sighed with resignation as you realised that the fitful sleep you had endured was only about an hour in length.
You lay there, eyes stinging and head heavy giving thanks that it was not one of those nights where I repeatedly jabbed you in the back to stop you sleeping. How did I manage to do that and then bound from the bed refreshed and revitalised as you rose like a zombie? How had I been able to interrupt your sleep through the night by prodding you and yet I was energetic? Was I sleeping during the day like some vampire hiding from the sunlight? At least this time I am sleeping and you have been spared the intermittent prod in the small of your back. It is a small mercy since the questions and thoughts race around your mind, as they always do in the dead of night. Why is this happening? What has gone wrong? Why am I doing this? When will it end? How can you stop it? Should you ask me to talk about it or will that risk another argument? How much more can you take? When did you last sleep properly? These questions and more besides whirl around in your mind, having taken a hold in your head. Your eyes flick to the silent television set in the corner of the room and you debate watching something, anything, just to break the relentless churning in your skull, but even with the volume set at barely audible you know it will disturb me and then it will be your fault again.
You look to the door now closed. You managed to resist a lock being fitted to the bedroom door, wary of what further horrors might be unleashed against you if your exit was barred but each day you fear that on your return that you will see an invoice from a joiner on the kitchen table and a lock has been fitted. You ponder whether you should head downstairs and see if sleep will come on the sofa or at least you can put the headphones on and listen to a radio play or some music. That would provide some sanctuary but yet again, as if possessed of some sixth sense, you know that I will appear and demand to know what you are doing downstairs in the middle of the night. No matter how deeply I appear to be sleeping it as if I sense your absence and come looking for you. It is then that you face the accusations of texting some man behind my back even though your ‘phone is not to hand. It does not matter what the facts are does it? I always find a way of twisting the blame on to you. No, you cannot steal downstairs and instead you must remain board stiff in bed as your eyes watch the incessant march of time and sleep remains evasive. You can feel the hammering of your heart in your chest. Even though nothing is happening and all is quiet and still, that sense of foreboding remains. A cold hand of dread has gripped your heart and squeezes, driving the breath from your body and causing anxiety to spread across you. Perhaps you ought to see the doctor and see if he will prescribe something for this? You will need to do it without my knowledge otherwise I shall accuse you of attention-seeking by going to the doctor without consulting me first. I, of course, know what is best for you and I screen everything you do before determining whether I shall allow it. You know you ought to fight against it but you are so tired, so weary and you need what little strength remains to help you navigate a way throughout the day without treading on a mine and causing an explosion of fury. It is getting harder. You forget things now. Your memory used to be excellent or at least you think it did. Even thinking is becoming arduous and sometimes you just sit, staring into space, caught somewhere between wakefulness and hypnosis. If only one night of rest could come, if only this anxiety, this fear, this wariness would leave you and let you gain some strength, then you would not make the mistakes and I would not be angry. Perhaps then we could be as we used to be. You can still remember that and hope with all your heart that somehow this situation can be retrieved. You never felt tired then. You never walked with a shuffle or placed the milk in the dishwasher in error. You did not forget you were baking something until the acrid smell of smoke jolted you from your daydreaming and had you running into the kitchen, cursing your foolishness and immediately wondering if you could cook a fresh batch before I came home and witnessed another of your failures.
The clock shows 5am and sleep has evaded you once more. The dull throb in the centre of your forehead remains. You would have to be up in an hour anyway. There is no point trying to sleep now. You can see the first rind of dawn trying to permeate through the curtains and another day has arrived. You may as well rise and weave through this day, whichever day it is, is it Wednesday or Thursday? You cannot quite remember. You slide your feet from the bed and sit up, glancing at me over your shoulder, back now turned to you, my body rising and falling in a steady rhythm as I sleep on, oblivious to your exhaustion. You stand and sway a little as you ready yourself for another day of feeling drunk with fatigue.
17 thoughts on “Drunk With Fatigue”
THIS! The failures added up. Milk in the dishwasher does happen. I am as hard on myself as they are. The 5hr energy drinks consumed constant. The dr saying you have add prescription of adderall that still hardly broke the fatigue with crash from hell. Him finding you out of the bed even in 6000 square feet no place to hid. I bought a mattress that he couldn’t detect motion as he knew as soon as my feet hit the floor on the other. I always had to say with him and another that a drank to much water just going to the bathroom. The mattress helped. I could get out of the bed to crawl out of the room. I am just fresh out of a midrange relationship years later after the greater, the sleep abated me ounce again. Although this one did let me get out of the bed. It will be weeks for my health and brain to return and to feel rested. My red head DNA is dented so if I don’t get rest with eggshell walking my immune system crashes. My entire magnetic thing goes wacky I blow things up by touching them. I use to joke I was like the Stephen king novel fire starter. Strange side effect I guess if the magnetic personality out of balance. This!!!!! Is the killer… fatigue
Sleep depravation worst from of torture. I’m amazed I’ve kept my looks!
I feel for the ex-MN’s wife. She literally has changed so much in her looks over the years. She used to be such a pretty 37 year old (when she married him), but her looks have changed drastically. She’s only 55 and seriously looks like she could be 70. The ex used to say how they didn’t sleep in the same bed because she had terrible insomnia and kept him awake at night. Clearly there was some truth in what he said, just by seeing the way she looks now, but I know now that the decline I see in her is because of him. I can’t even begin to imagine what she’s been through with him. I pray for her often.
I certainly recognise the lack of sleep. I’m tired today as my sleep pattern is still all over. I remember struggling to sleep one night and reaching for a teddy. Despite him having ear plugs in he suddenly woke up and told me off! He never liked that teddy. It was like he was jealous of it which I found strange. Best time of the day for me would be when he’d gone to work and I’d go back to bed and grab a few much needed solid hours sleep!
Claire- the teddy bear thing is not so bizarre, they take anything and everything from us that gives us any semblance of peace. A teddy bear with an old squeaker tummy went with me throughout life, from the time I was born to my first N and survived until the second N. The bear was no threat whatsoever, he lived in a box in the garage minding his own business yet I was hounded as Mr N2 OCD would make a habit of going through my things, taking a whole day out of a weekend to spend time in the garage pretending to be busy (let’s face it how much can a garage change in a week). I went out after his complaining about this one lone teddy bear one afternoon to check if he had turned into some muscled up male Adonis being the threatening presence that he was all alone in a box and was astounded to see that he had been semi mutilated! My now- one eared bear with his legs twisted off their rotating devices had been attacked, no I joke you not!
Teddy bear was taken over to the outside bin by his only ear remaining and I said to Teddy, sorry you are crowding another mans wife and it is getting to hard to keep you hidden any longer! N2 lost his head, pity it wasn’t literally!
PURPLERIBBONHEALING – I wonder if my current estranged husband was angry at the teddy bear cos it had connections to my first husband? I had a pink elephant for years from the age of 5. it fell apart n d******d (his new name) bought me this big fluffy teddy. I kept it after the split because I’d named it Shaddy after my mum. In the love bombing period I would turn to current estranged husband for comfort. I guess that started to change and I was using the teddy! another reason for his jealousy!
I was accused/blamed of doing this…. as a form of devaluation and discard! and it was all projection as well
Did you wake her on purpose? I always assumed it was the lack of empathy and consideration and the utter entitlement mentality “wake up and serve me” rather than a deliberate strategy to wear me down.
He didn’t need much sleep. I read somewhere that narcs don’t dream but didn’t you write about some dreams, HG?
X used to say that “dreaming means your oversleeping” (so get your lazy ass out of bed and serve me FACEPALM)
This is chillingly accurate picture of my experience. I also always wondered if he knew he was keeping me awake by elbowing me or whatever. Wow.
How did my narcissist stay brought eyed and bushy tailed with little sleep while I walked around with big bags under my eyes drunk with fatigue? Cocaine?
Possibly or it may be the case he just does not need much some sleep, many of our kind do not.
Mine needed no sleep at all for several years, used to tell me he’d sleep when he was dead…until he was discarding me…then he couldn’t talk to me bc he was so exhausted that he needed to go right to sleep. Liar
makes one look forward to those “respite” periods
If you take,as supply someone who doesn’t feel alot of emotion say a,sociopath, is it easier to remain in the love phase longer?
No, this would shorten the golden period.
Oh, I remember those nights. I wasn’t allowed to get out of the bed and go to the computer (because cheating of course) and I wasn’t allowed to be on my phone (because you guessed it: Cheating!) so I just had to lay there staring at the ceiling for hours while he slept peacefully. He also slept with his eyes open (literally) which was spooky at best and just downright bizarre. This post is triggering me, though. Now I am recalling the rise and fall of his chest in the light cast by the tv…I recall wanting to touch him, to pull him to me and somehow make him understand how much I loved him and how I would help him fix what was wrong with him. How stupid I was. His skin was like mahogany satin stretched taught over long lean muscles. A body built for love making…unable to love. Such cruel irony…I think I need to rest now.