As I’m writing this essay, it’s late afternoon at the end of a busy workday in the middle of a hectic work week.
And I’m tired. So tired.
Unfortunately, it’s the kind of tired that doesn’t respond to caffeine or sleep. I tried both. Right before I wrote this essay, I closed my eyes, tried to take a nap on the couch. Nothing. It wasn’t just the sunlight. Or the way the leaves whispered through the open window. Although I suppose those were stimulating.
I couldn’t sleep because there was an unease within me. My body wasn’t confident it could rest.
And although I’ve been feeling a lot better lately (in particular, the Poly Land Discord has been a great help to my mental health, the people on there are great), I had a pocket where I was curiously stricken by my former depression. The somatic symptoms. The way that my body can feel so heavy. Troubled. Unresponsive. Often my body knows before the rest of me that I’m upset.
So I couldn’t take a nap. My cockatiel, however, well… I can see him as I type this. He’s sitting on his perch with his little eyes squeezed shut. Sleeping away the afternoon. I wish.
My cat sleeps the same way at night. Trusting the safety of our little pack. Trusting that I’ll protect us.
I have a vague memory of that kind of trust. Back when I thought my parents were invincible.
Whenever I’d worry that someone was going to break into our house and come get me, my mother would say to me, “Your father would never let that happen.”
And I’d believe her. Even though he was away for work, I’d believe her. I’d believe that Dad could just show up at the moment of danger and save us all. Somehow knowing of the danger and teleporting to the spot and dispatching it handily. Kind of like Santa math but applied to being the family protector.
It was preposterous then of course. But once upon a time, I believed it.
And I find I miss that feeling now. Even if it was never true, it made me feel better.
There are days when I just want someone to tell me everything’s going to be okay. And to be able to believe it.