Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. Thomas Dekker
Last Saturday, for the first time in over two years, I managed to get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep! For once, I was able to switch off both mind and body for a whole night. No thinking about him, no reminiscing, no anger, no resentment, no anxiety, I just peacefully drifted to sleep and woke up eight hours later on Sunday morning, feeling refreshed and happy (“post-narcissistic-abuse-happy”, ie not depressed), next to my lovely cocker spaniel, Monty.
Since the day had started well, I decided to continue in the same manner and not spend the day moping around the house as usual. So, I made myself a cup of coffee, drank it in the garden while reading my Kindle, went for a two hour stroll by the river Thames, browsed in the market and even indulged in some retail therapy. After this, I came back home and caught up with the work I had been postponing for weeks. My day was productive and I felt great (“post-narcissistic-abuse-great”, ie not miserable). This was the first Sunday in a while that I had managed to actually enjoy (“post-narcissistic-abuse-enjoy”, ie not dislike).
Sundays have been extremely difficult since I broke up with him because it was the only day that he kept the pretence of being in a committed relationship . Since he was working every evening until 10 pm, I had insisted on having at least one day spent together as I was trying to convince myself that there was “something” between us. So we developed a Sunday routine: wake up, have sex, have lunch in a restaurant , go for a walk by the river, go to the market and come back home. After that, he would catch up with his work, while I read the Sunday newspapers.
Although I appreciated having a day for us, it became clear that it was a chore for him. The sex was very often either taken out of the equation because we had “argued the previous night” and “he wasn’t a machine,” or added as a reward : “If you’re a good girl and you don’t complain for a week, I will give you sex on Sunday”. Sometimes, he would message one of his ex-girlfriends while we were in the restaurant: “Why are you texting Lourdes now?” “She’s going on holiday to Tenerife, I’m just wishing her a good holiday!”, or start answering texts: “It’s Dave, he wants to know when we’re training tomorrow.” or check his Facebook or Instagram, anything to show me that he was doing me a favour being there while he was so very much in demand . After I complained several times that it was rude and inconsiderate (at the time, I did not know about devaluation and triangulation), he started putting his phone on quiet hours or flight mode or on silent or leaving his phone at home, which actually made me worry even more as I wondered what he might be hiding ( this is apparently another triangulation tactic using an inanimate object, as I found out later!)
It is really amazing how a good night sleep made such an enormous difference in my disposition. It made dealing with negative emotions much more manageable, and therefore made me less likely to reach out to him for comfort. I am able to recall his awful behaviour rather than romanticise the past. I hope that I will fall asleep more easily from now on and break up the pattern of insomnia that I have been experiencing for the past two years. I still need to fully understand why I fear falling asleep before i can make real progress, but I am working on it. I know that sometimes, when I fell asleep before he finished work, he would turn up one or two hours late, so I started waiting up for him. This might have contributed to me fighting to stay awake when my body needs rest.
I don’t have to anxiously wait for him anymore and I have now developed an elaborate sleep inducing evening routine: have dinner, wind down, watch television, have a bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil, read my book, take one Zopiclone sleeping tablet and then hopefully fall asleep without thinking about him.
Sleep tight! Don’t let the narcissist steal another night!