This is a frustration rant.
I am frustrated right now because I can’t sleep during the day no matter what and it is not for lack of trying. On days like today, when I arrive home from work overly exhausted and badly in need of rest, I give it a concerted effort by taking two sleeping pills and drinking a cocktail, expecting to go to right to sleep, but guess what? I can’t.
I would like to blame my sleep issues on my dad just for the hell of it because I blame him for everything else, but I guess that wouldn’t be fair. My dad could sleep through a hurricane. I’ll never forget how he would doze off during a church meeting and my mother would nudge him in irritation and wake him up. For some reason I took special delight in this, maybe because he was breaking the rules by sleeping, who knows. I had to glean pleasure wherever I could as a child.
So anyway here I sit typing after taking two sleeping pills and drinking a cocktail to take a nap, with no success. Don’t be alarmed by this confession of the pills and booze because my tolerance is higher than most, but I figured it was worth a try. By the way this confession is not an open invitation for you to write me a comment and scold me for the pills and booze. Now if you want to come visit me and spank me, we can negotiate something, but no scolding or lecturing, I’m not in the mood.
When I can’t blame my dad for my issues, the next person I like to blame is my mom, but I can’t in this case because she never had one bit of trouble sleeping during the day either and neither did any of my siblings. What is wrong with me!!
My mother’s attempt to cope with having so many children was to send us to bed early and make us take naps until we were quite old. I desperately wanted to sleep when I was supposed to sleep in order to get on my mother’s good side, but I just couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried.
My mother would play little games with me. She would be nice for awhile, then she would play hard ball and go into the kitchen and rattle the kitchen drawer to let me know she was taking out the wooden spoon and if I didn’t get to sleep soon, she would be in my room with the spoon to spank me. My mother wasn’t nearly as strict as my dad, so sometimes she followed through and sometimes not. I would stare at my sister as she snored and contemplate killing her just on principle.
One particular afternoon my mother was quite frustrated with me and I realize now it was probably a result of build up from several difficult days. When my dad got home from work that night my mother lost it and went into one of her “rages.” She complained to my dad about my unwillingness to nap and how frustrated it made her. My dad HATED it when we upset our mother. I learned this early on. I am not sure what I was doing at the time, but I remember freezing as I listened to my mom complain to my dad about my not napping again. My dad became angry. “Julie,” he called.
Guess what, I didn’t respond. No one scared me like he did. I was young, probably four or five, who knows. I wonder sometimes how I survived all the stress. My lack of response really pissed him off. He came and found me and grabbed me by the wrist and yanked me to the kitchen were he proceeded to sit down on a chair and pull me over his knee. “You better take a nap when your mom tells you to.” My dad was a master problem solver. I’m glad I don’t remember much else about the situation. The only thing I know for sure is that my mother never complained to him again about me not napping. He must have wailed me good and she probably realized she had made a mistake by telling him.
I would imagine I lost some trust for my mom that day because I really wasn’t trying to be obstinate, it’s just that I couldn’t nap and it wasn’t for lack of trying. I became fearful of what would happen to me after that, and I tried like crazy to nap and be good, but I couldn’t, not often enough to suit my mother. Finally she gave up on me, but I never felt she truly forgave me for not being like her other children who napped. My mom talked about it for years. I realize now I was nervous and high strung as a child and that was part of the problem.
I remember hiding from her under the bed a few times and faking sleep, but she always caught me and scolded me, or got mad when I got under the bed or hid in the closet in fear. I’m sure I was a thorn in my kindergarten teacher’s side too because I simply couldn’t sleep in kindergarten during nap time like the other kids. But you know, I’m a lot older than four, I’m forty years older in fact. Why can’t I fucking nap!! I guess I’ll have another cocktail and hope for the best.