The dog is having a nightmare and whimpers in her sleep
while the other feels lost and alone and unloved because I am
making him sleep in his own bed instead of next to me under the top blanket
where he feels safe and secure and warm.
The cat sleeps on my feet and moves to shove her head into my face
so I’ll pet her because for whatever reason,
4 a.m. is the time when
I should be awake to offer them attention.
And then I remember the paperwork I forgot to fill out and turn in to the
school counselor by 8 a.m. so it’s up and to the computer and finish that
-thank heavens for email or then I’d have to stay up-
(except that it’s due by noon and I see that only AFTER I finish filling it out)
and really, I should fill out the other form but what’s the use when I won’t be
approved for the assistance anyway,
and besides, it’s not so much to really need help
with paying after all, if only they could wait until mid-month.
Then there’s the bills I’m behind on and how much longer I can
get away with pushing them off until the next payday.
There’s the constant worrying over how my newly graduated son
is going to be able to be on his own when he is still so immature
and needs so many more skills that he refuses to learn.
How bad a parent am I that I haven’t taught him how to survive
…except even I’m struggling so how can I think I could possibly teach him?
Then there’s the growing tension between Him and I,
a constant bruise that never goes away. I struggle to not
fall back into a rut and fear that’s where He wants me to be again
while He tries to force me to be what He thinks He wants me to be,
and I can’t be that, and so the tension keeps mounting and I don’t know
how much longer it can go on when He keeps jabbing and poking and pushing
and accusing and saying things that aren’t true.
He’s trying to get a reaction,
-because nothing else makes sense and He doesn’t understand why I can’t make Him happy-
-because it’s not me who can do that, it’s Him and he struggles with this concept-
and when He does it makes Him angry and retaliative,
and it’s all just too much.
I’m going to break.
Adulting sucks and I don’t know why I was in such a hurry to grow up
when all my life I saw how hard it was in the example my parents set before me.
And no one else is up,
and the noises of a sleeping household:
a whirring fan, an air conditioner hum, sprinklers coming on outside,
the hushed breaths of those lucky enough to find sleep
a dear friend who visits every night
while I sit here typing away trying to shut the madness of worry out,
and hoping I can strain enough of these teeming concerns through
a mental sieve
and let my heavy eyelids fall
and shut out the world.
*I’m participating in National Poetry Writing Month this year and this is my offering for Day 3’s prompt, which is to write a story or action that takes place over time. I wrote about the thoughts that go through my head during a time when I can’t sleep.