Who Is Sleeping In Your Bed?
I am asleep and you are not. There I am. Sound asleep, eyes closed in blissful repose seemingly unaffected by what unfolded earlier. My chest rises and falls in a slow rhythm, my breathing relaxed and regular. There may come a time when you want to halt that breathing. You may wish to place one of those full pillows across my peaceful face and press down with all your strength and will. You may wish to press it tight against my mouth and nose, leaning what bodyweight you have in order to prevent my frantic scrabbling hands from ripping away the pillow so I can breathe once again. That desire, although you will not do it, few have the willpower to see it through, may well appear time and time again and sooner than you think. The image of snuffing out such a toxic life through the concerted application of something so innocuous as a pillow. It is unlikely to be the only image which takes up residence in your head. Pictures of slips off cliffs, a hit and run, a toaster in the bath, some obscure and undetectable poison administered in a setting where there would be more suspects that Cluedo. So many murderous scenarios which you may well come to envisage say exactly as you are now. In our bed. In the middle of the night.
I sleep soundly, the sleep of the just and the righteous. The earlier incident has not troubled me. Or is it that I have fallen asleep in the stupor of drink, the alcoholic fumes having coaxed me into a coma? Then again, might it be a reliance on certain prescription drugs that I repeatedly avail myself of which has rendered me dead to the world? It may be any of those things, but whichever it is, I am asleep and you are not. You remain awake because you cannot sleep. You are sat, knees drawn to your chest, eyes fixed on me as your mind whirls. Amongst all the tumbling thoughts, the whirling considerations and the surging memories, one thought above all dominates, repeats and looms large.
Who is he?
What has prompted such earnest consideration? It was an isolated incident. Perhaps a savage rebuke when all seemed peaceful. A pleasant day that suddenly was torn apart by the acidic tongue which sprayed cutting remarks in your direction. You remember how I looked. It did not seem like me. I appeared possessed. Eyes darkened, brow furrowed, mouth twisted and expression set in one of hatred. You had never witnessed that before. In fact, you found the way I looked more frightening than what I said. Where did that come from? You are struggling to remember how the argument began. Something to do with not listening, that was it, but how it escalated. The irritation lasted but a moment before anger, rage and fury erupted and you found yourself shrinking away from this verbal violence. This had never happened before. Everything had been so wonderful. Yes, you had heard a couple of people remark about my temper but in all those blissful months you had never seen it appear once. Even during testing times, I remained calm, serene, almost glacial at times when the pressure mounted. That was part of why you admired me. My ability to keep my head. So what just happened but a few hours earlier? Who was that? It did not seem like me, but it had to have been me, there was nobody else in the room.
Now you sit in the still of the bedroom. The low glow from the lamp to your left shining across my features. There is no anger etched upon my face now. I look just how I always look when I sleep, as if nothing in the world could matter. You have often stayed up and watched over me, happy to stroke my chest or my brow, my occasional murmurs of satisfaction and the slight upturning of my mouth denoting the contentment that I derive from your attentive ministrations. So, I lie there, just as I would any other night. Sleeping. Calm. Tranquil. I am just the same as I always am on every other night when you have watched over me. Yet, still the question comes again. Who was that who appeared earlier?
Following the eruption, I went out and left you. You did not know what to do at first. You felt shell-shocked. Once you had gathered yourself you telephoned your best friend and explained what had happened, providing her with every detail of the wonderful day beforehand and every frame of the storm which blew up in an instant.
“Oh it’s nothing,” she said in her familiar reassuring voice, “couples argue, Pete and me we are always having rows. Let him cool off, he will be fine. Now, tell me about that new book you mentioned the other day, is it any good?”
Your best friend brushed it off. Perhaps she was right. After all, don’t all couples fall out at some time? Of course. Your parents did not do so, not often anyway, so perhaps you have an unrealistic idea of how you should get on together. Despite her reassurances you remained worried and called your sister.
“Blimey, that is a surprise,” she remarked after hearing your recollection, “he is always so lovely, I didn’t think he had it in him. He will be back. They always come back, he is probably feeling a bit of a tit for shouting at you and just needs to go and have a beer or something. Seriously, it is nothing to worry about.”
But worry you did. The succession of calls was made to other friends, your brother and your grandmother. They all rolled out reassurance and posited platitude in order to assuage your concerns.
“Oh don’t be so sensitive, you’ve had your first argument, welcome to the club.”
“I bet he is stressed, probably working too hard, you did say he has been working long hours recently. I bet he comes back with an apology and flowers. Just give him some space for an hour or two.”
“I would go berserk if I had to live with you sis, no, seriously, he is just letting off steam, you two are great together.”
“Oh your granddad had a foul temper but we never went to bed on an argument. That’s how we were married for fifty years. You expect too much; you have to work at a relationship my dear.”
They all thought along similar lines. It is part and parcel of a relationship. It just hurts because it is the first time. You want to hug me and say sorry for worrying so much but you do not want to disturb me. You chastise yourself for thinking too much into it. Of course, you always over-think things and as everybody said I came back. I returned after a couple of hours, smiled and took you in my arms as if nothing had happened. You did not want to talk about the incident. That black mark on an otherwise golden day and therefore you did not. Your relief at my smiling return was so great you did not want to let go of me and we stood hugging for several minutes. The rest of the evening passed with dinner and a film before heading to bed together where I fell asleep in an instant.
I showed no concern at what had gone on. There was no apology but you didn’t mind. You hadn’t any desire to re-visit what had happened, at least you did not want to do so with me, but you have not been able to help doing so for the last two hours as you have sat here in bed, looking at me, wondering and pondering. Those words were so venomous, that expression so hateful, even now the memory makes you feel on edge. Still, everybody you spoke to reassured you and they must be right mustn’t they, if they all thought along similar lines? People who have had longer relationships than you. They clearly know something about it and everybody played it down. It must be you over-reacting to a spat, a frightening one, but perhaps that was all it was. A one-off. An isolated incident. You hope it is because you did not like that person who I turned into, not one bit. You do not want to meet him again. He is not the person you fell in love with. He is not the person you adore and care for. He is not the person you moved in with and want to be with for the rest of your life. You did not recognise him. Whoever he was, he does not belong in your bed.
There I sleep. At ease. Content. Untroubled. You think you know me. You think you know who sleeps in your bed with you.
You have no idea.
That’s how easily it starts and neither you or anybody else knows the truth of who is sleeping in your bed.
25 thoughts on “Who Is Sleeping In Your Bed?”
Today I read about “elite sleepers” compliments of the UK Daily Mail.
Apparently Donald Trump, Elon Musk and Dwayne, The Rock, Johnston, can all be classified as “elite sleepers”, needing only 4-6 hours of sleep a night.
Since you have mentioned only needing 4-5 hours of sleep, HG, I’ll assume you are one of these “elite sleepers” (matching your narcissistic profile as well – curious to know about Musk and Johnston, we already know about Trump), and this lack of need for prolonged sleep is apparently based on genetics, which also leads to less risk of Alzheimer’s according to the article.
It’s a fascinating read and I struggled to understand how four hours could provide you with a restful sleep, but there you have it – genetics.
This has to be differentiated from poor quality sleep which can also be shortlived and has a different basis. It is described as “efficient sleep” and only about 5% of the population have this genetic make up. Some celebrities, politicians and entrepreneurs claim a shorter sleeping cycle is the basis of their success. No doubt, you would deem it as part of your success, too, HG.
It’s unraveled a mystery that has had me stumped here for a while – your lack of need for more prolonged sleep. I never thought there might be a comparison to DJT, but how much narcisissm is a factor which can also be connected to sleep which can be connected to genes would be interesting to know.
LET, I have wondered about the same thing! The summer narc only slept a couple of hours at a time twice a day. It was so bizarre! And he was so sick but he said that’s always how he’s been. He was a dynamic person, had made a fortune several times, and lost it in between! Haha, he was high energy and very disciplined but also chaotic. He had the clean thing going on also. And then the are narcissists like my mom, 7 hours every night like clockwork, and my dad, erratic hours during the week but loved to sleep in until noon on the weekends. He’s the one that died from Alzheimer’s, my mother shows no signs of it. I would love to learn more about this aspect also, it is very interesting to me.
AV, so interesting about the summer narc and his lack of need for sleep. Maybe that’s part of the equation for the Upper Lesser’s, but it seems the Greater’s also have a foot in the door there as Obama was also mentioned along with Trump in terms of needing less sleep. There seems to be quite a variety of sleep patterns amongst narcs (as you describe) and maybe not all “elite sleepers” are narcs (pretty sure ‘The Rock’ has been given empath status), but it certainly could add to their effectiveness and perhaps relates to some extent to their fuel matrix or their need for fuel. The longer they’re awake the more fuel they can acquire … your summer narc sounds like a greedy bastard who couldn’t gather enough fuel, sleeping a couple of hours twice a day! He really was pumped up on fuel or adrenaline. A large fuel matrix might also mean many matters to attend to while the fuelling prevents them from needing as much sleep as their satisfaction comes during waking hours. Off on another trajectory, but it’s interesting to contemplate.
Online headline in the Boston Globe today – “Frequent daytime napping by older adults linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s” – reinforces the notion that more sleep is not necessarily better as you are aging – naps are the enemy! The narcissist is on track to maintain their level of superiority if empaths don’t get a handle on this … daytime napping is one of my favourite things when I get the chance. Damn! Obviously there are often conflicting studies in relation to different issues, but this does seem to confirm the notion that shorter sleep creates a lesser risk of Alzheimer’s in those who are “elite sleepers”.
I hate napping though on a couple on occasions very recently I did take a short nap right after my workday was done. It was very unusual and also very nice. I better not let it become a habit though, given what you’re saying. I would love to be an Elite Sleeper. Not if I’d have to be a narcissist to be one though.
AV, I was a little ‘tongue in cheek’ here, but I tend to be an “elite sleeper” at night – garnering about 5 hours on average – and therefore an occasional napper during the day when that has caused a very early start (and if I get the chance). I cursed this sleeping pattern previously, but now I know that in some ways I may benefit from it. Although I do think sleep patterns change as you are getting older, so you potentially need less sleep as opposed to babies and teens whose developing brains and bodies need heaps of sleep 🙂
I scanned that article briefly.
I can’t help wondering if this is a situation where, when A is linked to B, that causality is assumed.
A must have caused B.
But that could actually be a correlation and that sometimes when things are correlated, they both have a relationship to ‘C’.
The aforementioned study,
“links excessive daytime napping by older adults to a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s, the disease that causes severe cognitive decline.”
Long term narcissistic abuse causes both severe cognitive decline and severe fatigue and exhaustion (maybe resulting in the need for frequent naps, or even slipping into naps unintentionally). Therefore, I would be hesitant to point the finger at naps being the enemy.
WC, delighted to see your input and one of the reasons I mentioned opposing studies was because it can be easy to make a correlation where none necessarily exists. Also because often you’ll read a study one day which will be counteracted by another the next day. This is what science and research is about and evidence is all important.
I really appreciate the point you make about being hesitant to point the finger at naps being the enemy. The considerations you mention are important ones to keep in mind and one of the reasons I’m glad you joined the conversation. There are many factors to contemplate and that will be very much based on individual circumstances. These studies are always interesting, but when being applied must also cater to the individual.
I was being somewhat ‘tongue in cheek’, as I mentioned to AV, but there is a serious side to this conversation that needs to be acknowledged. Interesting that HG provides an option to help encourage sleep which he knows many empaths will have been denied during their experience with the narcissist. I think that in some ways tells us what we need to know about some of the after affects of narcissism and how empaths can be impacted.
“often you’ll read a study one day which will be counteracted by another the next day. This is what science and research is about and evidence is all important.”
True. It is usually good to read opposing studies.
“There are many factors to contemplate and that will be very much based on individual circumstances. These studies are always interesting, but when being applied must also cater to the individual.”
Definitely good to take into consideration individual circumstances, but also helpful to inform oneself of how some of these studies are executed and the related nomenclature.
One of the things that stuck with me from my past studies is with regard to the relationship between ice cream sales and robberies. (Which, if one hasn’t encountered this example before is worthwhile looking up. Especially if you have an interest in various scientific and psychological studies.) Of course, sleep, cognition and naps are much more closely related than the ice cream sales scenario, but still can be examined similarly – or at least with a grain of salt.
LET, I think many studies should be taken with a grain of salt or looked at critically before being accepted wholesale. For the reason that you pointed out, the very next study may contradict the previous one. But further, I am a stickler for not immediately accepting what we hear in the news and various reports because I grew up on a diet of “They say…” from my mother. “They say this causes that…” or “They say the tendency to this one thing leads to this other thing…”
I would always ask my mother, “Who are ‘they’?”
“I was being somewhat ‘tongue in cheek’, as I mentioned to AV, but there is a serious side to this conversation that needs to be acknowledged. Interesting that HG provides an option to help encourage sleep which he knows many empaths will have been denied during their experience with the narcissist.”
I see that now – you being tongue-in-cheek. 🙂
Yes, sleep is absolutely something that suffers during ensnarement. I think HG’s emphasis on having a good sleep aids with healing and recovery, but also with assisting the new learning on narcissism to take hold.
WC, I agree with you about noting how studies are executed as well as their conclusions. It is important to get all the information which includes opposing studies.
A grain of salt approach is a good one if it allows you to keep an open mind, which also enables you to think critically. I’m also a stickler for doing my own research and coming to my own conclusions based on that.
The “they say” approach is one to keep in mind, and I concur with your questioning: “Who are they?” Also, what are their influences and what is their aim?
Glad you could see the ‘tongue in cheek’ aspect 🙂
“…and what is their aim?”
Very important point! ☝️
Thank-you for the conversation. ❤️
WC, thank you, too <3
I think we've highlighted some important issues and also linked them to narcissism 🙂 xox
The “they” part of your comment made me chuckle. My mother used that extensively also. I too asked: by “they” are you referring to specific people, or the sum of the opinions you have heard and read to this point but do not want to claim as your own? I never got a proper answer. She dismissed my question by saying “don’t be an asshole”. Haha, good times.
Yesss, the mysterious “they”! You got it, too?
I also got the (just before I went no contact): “What would *they* think of your behaviour towards your mother?!”
Nice try, mom. I had had my fill of guilt tripping and emotional blackmail. That particular button wears out if you press it too much. Haha, who knew.
I am sorry that your mother was dismissive in such a nasty fashion, NA. At least we can laugh about it now!
Pronoun use is so helpful to chaos creation, vagueness and circular conversations. Probably also blameshifting and lack of boundary recognition, I always had the feeling that I was supposed to be in my mom’s head with her, thinking identically. If so, I’d be able to follow, right? She was the queen of this in our home. My dad, himself a narc, would look at me and say, “Who is ‘she’, ‘he’, ‘they’ and ‘them’?”. And my brother would say “Why do we care what ‘they’ say??”. Neither in front of her of course, both my dad and brother were wiser than that. It’s interesting that it is apparently not uncommon.
“It’s interesting that it is apparently not uncommon.”
I think it’s not uncommon because it often becomes internalized, usually by the empath, and works to the narcissist’s advantage as a means of control…even without the narc being present and engaging in a direct assertion of control.
I accept the results of this research as true! Ha ha ha 🙂
My friends and family keep stigmatizing me for too little sleep. 3-5 hours is enough for me. I go to bed at 1-2 am and wake up at 5-5.30 am.
When I was younger, I could only sleep 20 minutes-half an hour a night. But after a few days like this, I fell unconscious for several hours.
There is one reason. I feel sorry for my life to sleep. There are so many interesting things to read, think about, see, it all absorbs and absorbs me so much, that I don’t have time to sleep 🙂
And – important note – I do not work physically!
My sleep is also very alert. I hear every rustle – this feature appeared with the birth of the child and has remained with me, even though the child has not needed supervision for a long time.
I appreciate sleep for the fact that it often brings me solutions. I fall asleep with a problem or a riddle, and in the morning I wake up and – eureka. I know what to do 🙂 As if the brain had shifted the puzzle into place by itself.
At work, they laugh at me because they know, that I have the best and the freshest ideas: when I wake up, while bathing, at the toilet, on a cigarette (I smoke and like it). Wherever I can be alone for a while and let my thoughts go.
During the devaluation, once there, I actually slept even during the day. As I received a heavy blow, my brain became cloudy and heavy, and all I could do was fall into the fog and fall asleep. It was very difficult to reconcile, because I was taking care of the baby myself and at the same time I worked from her 4 months of age. Enormous, dire need of sleep after each blow, almost unstoppable, immediately.
“My N” slept constantly. As if he had to waste his energy elsewhere, so while with me he was still sleeping and sleeping. Or as if life with me bored him. Sometimes I felt like kicking him. Even when we lived together, I was living alone.
Joa, thanks for sharing more of your thoughts and experiences. They are always valuable and you must have had your mother on her toes as a baby requiring so little sleep. I’ll bet she needed sleep even if you didn’t … the bane of parents the world over 😉 I’ve got a book called “Go The F*ck to Sleep” which I’d recommend to any sleep deprived parent. Perhaps my need for less sleep is due to having adjusted to parenting requirements as well. Like you say, you became a lighter sleeper after your daughter was born. I’d say ‘efficient’ sleep and ‘light’ sleep are two different things. It must be our body’s automatic response to sleep more lightly after children are born, always on the alert.
You seem to have a lot of energy and enormous curiosity as well 🙂 What a combination! Life will never be boring or possibly straightforward for you. Thankfully sleep appears to give you some respite where solutions are found in the unconscious, or quieter moments when you are able to reflect. I can relate to much of what you say.
Interesting how the narcissist affected you during the period of devaluation. That brain fog can almost be like a form of depression, definitely a form of dissonance which likely required you to ‘switch off’ in order to escape some of the dissonance. It deprived me of an ability to relax and did not allow me to focus on anything else. The anxiety levels were high as I played the game of second guessing his actions and motivations. When things were good, excitement and happiness ensued. When devaluation occurred, depression and sadness set in. Anger was also part of the equation, but whatever way it went it was a rollercoaster ride which is bound to affect relaxation and sleep.
We are always living alone when we live with a narcissist. There is no room for anyone else in their lives except themselves.
“My sleep is also very alert. I hear every rustle – this feature appeared with the birth of the child and has remained with me, even though the child has not needed supervision for a long time.”
(Although, I feel that the intensity of this has lessened for me due to my son getting a little bit older and no longer having a narc within the same four walls.)
LET, apparently I was not a “tiring” child. I liked being outside, and after putting the cradle or pram in the garden, I looked at the tree and lay quietly. As if I wasn’t there.
Apparently, I didn’t cry even when, in the middle of winter, my father forgot about me and left his pram in the city park. The whole family was looking for me, and I was lying quietly in the frost.
But my sister was very absorbing 😊
I also “owe” light sleep to dogs, especially one with cataracts and Cushing’s syndrome. She can walk aimlessly at night and bump into furniture, so I react as soon as she get up from lair.
Depression in contact with N2 – no. It was more like a fast steep descent and the need to “turn off the brain” immediately. Sometimes vomiting too. After 2-3 hours of sleep it was much better.
Happiness, sadness, yes, identical. Interleaving.
Joa, you reminded me of my eldest daughter, how she would wake in the morning and just begin playing with the toys in her cot while ‘baby talking’ to herself <3 She didn't cry for attention, but seemed happy to amuse herself until I could respond.
She also turned her back on me when she was about 5 months old in what seemed like a deliberate snub when laying on a blanket on the floor. I'd obviously 'displeased' her somehow. She had a very strong and determined personality from a very young age.
Interesting, you were wakeful, but didn't complain. That's what reminded me of my daughter 🙂 Thanks heavens you came to no harm after being left in the park!
Dearest lickem, AV and Who Cares,
Interesting conversation about sleep patterns
As you get older, one ends up emptying one’s bladder more frequently during the night and into the early hours.
Thank goodness I don’t have daytime nanna naps, phew 😮💨 Mr Bubbles on the other hand does and can sleep on barb wire anytime. We both have frequent midnight dances with each other as we make beelines for the loo. 🐝🚽
Narcs sleep well because they are not emotional thinkers like us. I’ve trained my brain to ‘switch off’ so I can sleep. My mother sleeps very soundly, she simply does not stress.
The weasel never needed a lot of sleep, military and all. Our greater friend I hear, sleeps well. I average 4-6 hours sleep.
Regarding “they”, my mum used to say it as did hers. I do say it and my family always pull me up on it and ask me to be more specific, it’s just my lazy brain haha. If you pass on information, you need to supply the source for it to be credible. I’ll just blame my advancing years 😂
I too, have read where top productive performers have stated they require minimal sleep
Thank you lovelies
Luv Bubbles xx 😘
Bubbles, glad you joined in 🙂
LOL to the bladder emptying … I think I just drink too much tea <3
Interesting that you don't nap, and you're also more of an "elite sleeper", not needing a lot of sleep either. There seems to be a few of us, and if the purpose of sleep is to wake up refreshed, then I'd assume as long as we feel that way in the morning we can trust our body has been restored during the night. We probably put too much emphasis on it sometimes, which creates anxiety in itself, but if you're not waking up refreshed on a regular basis then it might be worth looking into. A few people I've come across have been diagnosed with sleep apnoea which also affects sleep patterns and can have more serious consequences. As is obvious, there are many facets to sleep and while I find the studies interesting, it's always best to follow up with a professional if you have any concerns. There's my 'disclaimer' 😉
That's so funny about Mr Bubbles and his ability to sleep on barbed wire! He must be a heavy sleeper … does he snore as well? I believe I can be very unladylike at times 😛 Interesting thought about narcs not having the entanglement with emotions and you obviously found a way to manage by switching yours off, Bubbles. That must have been a relief. So, of course, she sleeps well after dumping her chaos on you. You nailed it, though <3
“We both have frequent midnight dances with each other as we make beelines for the loo. 🐝🚽”
Hahaha! I can just see you and Mr
“If you pass on information, you need to supply the source for it to be credible. I’ll just blame my advancing years 😂”
Nice blame shift! 😉
It HAS been a fun and interesting conversation.
Dearest lickem and WhoCares,
Thank you for your replies lovelies
The blame shift was deliberate and my narcissism showing 🤣
Yes, Mr Bubbles has always snored, I must really love him, cos he’s still alive haha
I too, found I became a light sleeper after having children and I hear anything that goes bump in the night, especially the local possums scampering over our roof tiles.
There’s a reason one should settle any issues before retiring for the night, to get a good nights sleep.
Narcs keep you on edge and easier to control when you’re tired and exhausted.
They sleep with not a care in the world, typical.
Eat healthy, drink lots of water, exercise, maintain a positive mental attitude, learn to love yourself more and hopefully good nights of slumber will follow.
Hugs my lovelies
Luv Bubbles xx 😘