Prompt: Describe your bedtime ritual
I know most women have long, drawn out bedtime rituals; you see them all the time on sitcoms and memes… especially if she is a wife and mother. Putting the children to bed, doing the dishes and laundry, having five minutes of sex with her husband, getting up to take a shower, do her hair, putting on night cream… on and on and on.
I’ve never done any of those things. Chores happened during the day because in the evenings I was usually teaching a class or something.
I’ve never done the night cream stuff, even now, I don’t use anything on my face other than baby shampoo and water. The only time I use any kind of cream is when I get a flare up of hives. The rest of the time nothing.
So all I do before I go to bed, is to strip down naked and crawl into bed. Even that was difficult for me; not the being naked part, but crawling into bed.
I’ve always had a problem with going to bed at night, ever since I was 9 and was sexually molested by a male babysitter. Since it took place in my bed, I equated bed and bad pain together. I was okay about sleeping on the couch, or sleeping during the day, but night and my bed equaled scary pain.
I got to the point where I started staying up all night, starting when I was about 15 and sleeping all day. This was difficult when I was in school and I’m sure it contributed to my lack of educational achievement. After graduation, I worked in a job where I could work at night and that was perfect for me. I did have jobs later where I needed to work during the day, and I adapted to that somewhat, sometimes I would still stay up all night, go to work and sleep after work.
Now I’m retired and I don’t have to get up at any specific time, which helps, that is until I got sick and now have to revolve my schedule around doctors and home visiting nurses. Sadly, they don’t do appointments at 3am.
I finally bought a new bed that has a wonderfully soft mattress and that has helped greatly, along with a medication that I’m not thrilled to be taking, but it does help with the anxiety.
Even still, I stay up until my brain just can’t focus or function anymore and my body aches that tell me its had enough and then I get up, turn off the lights, visit the bathroom to pee, go into my bedroom, undress and crawl into bed. And hope that I will sleep without nightmares and night terrors, without having to get up too often to pee yet again and hope for the best.
Things have improved somewhat… I no longer have to toss and turn for 2-4 hours before drifting off to sleep. And I give the credit for that for that wonderful mattress and necessary evil that is medication.