Too Late To Sleep Too Soon To Rise



You turn your head and there are the mocking electric numerals that glow showing 4:02 am. You waited up for us, in anticipation of our return. You wanted to ensure we were not too drunk and you were ready to provide us with a large glass of water and to ask how our evening went. You weren’t entirely sure where we had gone to or who with because our answers were vague, something muttered about friends and a new bar, but you knew better than to keep asking. You know if we want to tell you the detail we will do so, otherwise it is better to remain quiet. It wasn’t always like this. In fact, at one time we never went out without you. We either preferred to stay in with you, enjoying a pleasant evening of fine food, wine and a film or an early night in bed where we wrapped ourselves around one another, as we explored and delighted. You run a hand across the smooth sheet and it feels cold. There has been no body heat to warm the bed beside you. Once you would be able to turn and see us lying there, content and peaceful, a low snore emanating from our mouths as we lay on our back. Now you have to conjure up the image to see us there as it has been so long since you have seen us there.

You eventually headed to bed as midnight came and in your usual way you were concerned that we had not yet come home but exhibiting that reasonable approach you are known for, you preferred to tell yourself that we are obviously enjoying ourselves and you would be better served heading upstairs and going to sleep. Except you cannot. You close your eyes and all you see in your mind’s eye are pictures of us cavorting with other women. You do not recognise their faces but they are young, smooth-limbed, scantily clad and wrapped around us, a writhing tableaux of flesh with us at the centre. You wish you did not think in this way but this is what always forms in your mind whenever we are late. You wish you did not consider what might be going on but truth be told we have not given you the attention or assurances that we once did. Now you feel that you are being mocked by us as we pour our attention on someone else. You turn and look again at the clock and see barely five minutes have passed. Where are we? You would call but know there is no point. The ‘phone will either be switched off or it will be on silent shoved in a pocket somewhere to ensure there is no interruption. You wish your paranoia was just that but you know there is no good reason for us to be out this late. There never is. The evidence has been steadily mounting as these late night excursions increase in frequency from monthly to weekly. You have smelt the strong perfume on us when we have eventually appeared and slid silently beneath the sheets. You have noticed on other occasions the smell of soap or shower gel as it is clear that we have washed away the recognisable scent of sex from our loins, our fingers and our mouths. Sometimes on hearing us enter the house you have sprung up and switched on the light in the hallway, framing us in a bright light as we stand there. You looked over us and note how we actually look a little too composed, hair smoothed into place, shirt tucked in as if we have prepared how we looked before returning. That half-smirk we always wore as we looked at you never helped.

You used to ask the questions,

“Where have you been?”

“What time do you think this is?”

“What on earth have you been doing?”

But you were always brushed off. No matter what approach you adopted, concern that we might have been in an accident, upset that you have missed us, anger at our lack of consideration by returning so late (or so early dependent on how you regard it) it never engendered the reaction you wanted. We showed no shame, no guilt, no sorrow. In fact, it was quite the opposite, a swaggering arrogance as we stood soaking up your emotional output. That always surprised you. You thought we would slink away or push past you, telling you to shut up, but no, we just stood and let you unload on us. Yet more mockery and always with that strange look in our eyes as if we were regarding prey and that salacious slant of the mouth. What were we really thinking about as you tore a strip off of us or cried at how late it was and begged to know what we had been doing.

Now there is no point. You remain in bed hoping for the release of slumber but it never comes. So many questions reel through your mind.

Where are we?

Who are we with?

Do we kiss her like we used to kiss you?

Do we love her?

It hurts but you cannot let go. You want us to explain ourselves, provide the confirmation to you about our infidelity and admit the numerous transgressions but it does not happen. Eventually we appear, sliding in besides you but always somehow managing to radiate that air of do not question us, we do as we do. Each time it seems to become later and later until now it has entered the realm of preventing you from sleeping but it never being worth rising. The anxiety remains, sweeping over you as you are caught between wanting to confront us and not wanting to do so, because to take such a step will amount to an admission that there really is someone else. For now, you accept the explanations which we offer the next day.

“Ran into some friends I have not seen for a while so it became a late one.”

“Perfume? Yes, there was a lady who I know through work in the bar and she was wearing a lot of perfume.”

“You can smell soap? Well I do wash my hands after I have used the bathroom you know.”

“I lost track of time.”

“I was enjoying myself and wanted to carry on, is that such a crime?”

The comments are always made without looking directly at you, but we shoot you a sideways glance as if to check whether you are swallowing our lies. You recognise the signs now but still you cling to the hope that it is not true, that the lies are truths and that there is nothing to be concerned about. You wish you didn’t feel this way but you still love us and do not want to lose us, you fear the emptiness of a world without us and so you accept this status of being forgotten about as we embrace the night. You are resigned to your position of remaining awake, fretting and worrying, knowing that you are probably furthest from our minds. You cannot help the way you feel, but sometimes, as you lie in the ice-cold bed, the first rind of dawn breaking beyond the blinds, you wish you didn’t feel at all. Perhaps then this paralysis would vanish, this existence between something and nothing, the continuance of not quite knowing but not being ignorant either. That is what pains you the most. This living in between. This surviving in the spaces, residing in the gaps, occupying the hinterland between things. It is draining. If only you could remove your paralysis and reach one place or the other. As it is, you turn and glance at the clock once again and see that it is now too late to sleep and too soon to rise. You are in-between yet again.

18 thoughts on “Too Late To Sleep Too Soon To Rise

  1. TruthSeeker says:

    Hi All,

    Do any of you feel that even though you know the truth, just cannot let him/her go?

    For me personally when I have been with them or when I have managed to go “grey rock”/discarded, I cannot stop thinking about them. For years. Is this even normal? Feel like I am totally paralysed despite knowing the truth.

    Hi HG, I read and reread your articles daily. I look forward to them every day to stop me from giving in and establishing contact. I would go as far as saying you are a lifeline. What is the solution of forgetting forever?

    Many thanks TS

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello TS, to forget is to become complacent. Do not forget. They key is to not find yourself being beholden to the memory or the thought of your narcissist and that means conquering your emotional thinking, something I can assist you with.

    2. ava101 says:

      Yes it’s normal but will pass, too.
      Replace the good pictures of him in your head with bad ones. Make the good ones smaller, drain the color out of them.

      1. NarcAngel says:

        I like that. Bloodletting narcs in your mind.

  2. Healing Victim says:

    The sad thing is, it is a conversation we have in our head over and over, as this happens over and over. I just hope my ex narc. drinks himself to death or takes a Viagra and his blood pressure medication and he is with a woman in some cheap hotel. Has a heart attach and bye bye…The truth is out NO more hmmmmm is it trueor not true. He can’t be like that. His GF who protecting him, will have face on her…. Karma is calling……

  3. Debra Sutton says:

    This definitely describes the many lonely nights.

  4. Amanda says:

    This sickens me so. I’m so thankful that while I watched the clock and the driveway on those exact same nights of which you speak in this post, that I eventually started digging into information online to educate myself about this behavior ( “doesn’t come home at night”, “ignores my calls of concern”, etc.) that I only put up with it for a month before unbeknownst to him while he was away for the weekend with the new supply, that I made the escape out from under him. Words from my mother 20 years prior served as primary motivator as I heard her say again, “What’s sicker, what he does to you, or what you let him?” At least I’m getting faster at recognizing it. I want to throw up.

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Haha yes they do themselves in by leaving us alone with a world of imformation at our fingertips. Glad to hear you are out.

      Also. I like your Mom. I bet you didnt appreciate it at the time she said that, but without further context it sounds like she meant it to be helpful. if that is the case and you are on good terms with her you should probably call her and tell her you love her lol.

      1. Amanda says:

        You’re sweet. Thank you for your kind words. I only crave eternally for the mother of whom you speak who would comfort me. Instead, she revels in the gratitude I had for her wise words with an “I told you so” instead. She doesn’t have the capacity to understand the kind of love I have always tried to give her and have always expected of her; how I spent my whole life trying to please her. She never will. A true narcissist herself. She’s the reason I have become a super empath, set up from a very young age to be swallowed by her kind. A question I have for HG…what switch occurs in children raised by narcs determines one extreme to the other? How does one kid go super empath and the other goes full blown covert narc?

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Ah. I understand completely and apologize, as my mother was no comfort either. I had hoped your position with her was different. No call for her then.

          1. Amanda says:

            NarcAngel, Haha…no, we won’t be calling her. Thank you for replying. His insight has been an ironic beacon of light and I’m so glad I found this blog.

        2. NarcAngel says:

          I believe his previous answer has been along the lines of: he has come to believe it points to a combination of genetic predisposition and environment.

      2. Ruth says:

        I believe HG is correct. My father is a full blown Upper Mid Range Somatic. I think my mother was a Borderline. My only sibling seems to be some combination of cluster B. I have had to diagnose myself as complete Codependent Doormat. Sigh.

  5. Quasi says:

    This is really quite beautifully written re – style and use of eloquent language. ( I really like the word hinterland for some reason, it’s also a great album by aim.)
    I found it emotive, having sensory reactions to the writing and content.
    Again I feel so thankful that I was not and hopefully never will be a IPPS to a narcissist. I am not so sure that my strength and value for myself would have held as steadfast in that dynamic.
    Torture of the heart and mind of another, to fill an abyss… it will never be enough.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you

      1. Quasi says:

        Your welcome, I genuinely mean every word of it…
        Apologies for the double post of my comment on the other article by the way… I was clearly an eager beaver on the post comment button before I realised that it was in fact on the wrong article…

  6. Somewhere over the rainbow says:

    I saw this while a child, I could never stand a man behaving like that…you see, my father gave me some years of such “lessons” but spared me a lifetime of taking this ugly behavior and slow emotional death from any other man passing through my life.

  7. LYNN says:

    My situation never got that far but if going out without me became a regular thing I would have told him to get fucked, I realise my boundaries are better than I thought. Once it gets that far it ain’t worth it.

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