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"Our lives are a book that has already been written. The brilliance of the plan is that we are only given a chapter at a time..." ~A. Drayton Boylston

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Diary of an Insomniac

I think I was born an insomniac.

My parents remember me being awake at all hours of the night when I was little.  I would either be in the kitchen concocting something that may or may not be edible.... using my mother's good china to serve it to my dolls....or I was knocking on neighbors' doors in our apartment complex looking for someone to talk to.  An old lady next door named Bertha, used to take me in if she was awake.... and we would sit at her table, drink tea, and talk while I played with her dog "Happy".  My culinary experiments and the visitation with my neighbors usually had the same punishment.... my Mom would bring me to my Dad who, without saying a word, would put me over his knee and spank me with either his hand or his belt.  This despite that some of my concoctions were actually pretty good.... and my neighbors were sometimes glad to see me at 4am.  

When I wasn't working on becoming the next Iron Chef, or having tea with neighbors.... I was mostly scared shitless.  The apartment that my sister, my Mom, my Dad, and I lived in was haunted.  I saw faces in plates, heard footsteps, bells ringing and lights turning on and off when I was the only one awake.  For the most part I just froze until my body forced me to go to sleep.

Hauntings didn't stay a regular part of my life though.... aside from dreaming of my Grandfather's death just before it happened in 1984, and a past life vision in 2010..... that was the extent of my "otherworldly" experience.

Then around age 12, I acquired a lot of Pen Pals from around the world.... back in the days before the internet.  It was so important to me that I answer all my letters on time... I was getting at least 10 per week at one point.  Thoughtful replies required time and creativity.  I used to go all out.... as did several people I used to write to.... not only did we write to each other, but usually we decorated our envelopes and the pages of our letters with artwork.  I still have many of those letters.... and they are fun to disassemble (they were sometimes folded in origami shapes, or had pockets of treasures in them), and relive the memories.  Some people I wrote to used to spray their letters with perfume or cologne.... and some of the scent still remains when the envelopes are opened.

It's amazing how much communication has changed since then (mid-80's).  Often nowadays, people send quick email messages.... even to close friends.  The art of letter writing is definitely lost.  When I think back to the sentiments that have meant the most to me.... it was usually written communication.  The words that seemed to pour out unexpectedly.... surprising feelings expressed in black and white.... on paper.  There it was...and no one could argue with it.

I created a small letter gallery on my website that I have been meaning to add more to, but its a work in progress.  http://www.starfirescircle.com/lettergallery.html

When I wasn't writing to Pen Pals, I was drawing.  I was obsessed with solar homes when I was younger, and would often draw them in my spare time.  I came very close to going to school to become an architect.... I was accepted to Monserrat College of Art.  But I knew a lot of poor artists... and although architecture isn't just artistic, I was afraid to fail in that area.  So I opted for something I considered "safer" to go to school for.... Psychology and Counseling.  I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and learn about myself at the same time I was learning to help others.  Undergraduate school was easy..... but once I graduated and started going to grad school.... I realized I hadn't completely healed from a lot of things, and in grad school all your issues get the spotlight.... and rightfully so.  The idea behind that is "If you can't help yourself, you can't help anyone else."  I kept at it, as difficult as it was, and almost graduated.  I was three months away from graduating when I got pregnant and had to have an abortion (boyfriend not ready to be a father.... and according to his parents, I wasn't rich enough to be his girlfriend anyway).  So just when I started to heal from major issues.... there came another one.

School....life dilemmas.... trying to work three jobs at one point.... all just made me lose more sleep.  There never seemed to be enough time to do everything.

These days my heart keeps me awake.  They say being in love is a choice.... and that we can choose to fall out of love when we want to.  I don't agree.... but I wish it were true.   I don't feel like I chose love.... I feel like it chose me.  Sometimes it doesn't make any sense, and I wonder why I was chosen.   There have been a few exceptions, but more often than not the love is not returned.  For me, the love has not been returned in over a decade.

I guess I experience a different kind of "haunting" now.  I am separated from my husband and still live in the home we shared for seven years.  I have tried to make things look different here.... but with a limited budget there isn't much that is realistic for me to do.  I have some very nice memories of us.... but also some traumatic memories.  There are rooms in the house that I still feel uncomfortable in.  My bedroom for instance.... where lots of fights and unpleasant interactions took place.  I've changed the bedding and rearranged the furniture..... but the room still has a memory.  I have vivid and unpleasant dreams here for the most part....when I do sleep.

It would be great if it were realistic and financially feasible to move.

I wish I could create new memories with someone new.  But although I have a roommate, I spend more time than I would like to alone.  It would be really nice to have someone special to spend some time with.  When I'm in a great mood, I do my best to focus on that, and the kind of person I want.  My heart is definitely still with someone I've loved for a long time.... but if the right person were to come along, maybe my heart could heal and great things could happen.  I miss having love in my life.... not just dating.  I tend to be very giving and supportive to my partners.... but I haven't had one who genuinely cared about me for a while.  I think when two people who care about each other get together.... the sky is the limit as to what they can accomplish together.  Its a wonderful thing, and makes life worth living in my opinion.

I miss being held, and waking up in someone's arms.  Unfortunately I have a roommate who is very "active" with his girlfriend....so pretty much every night I get reminded of all the fun I'm missing out on.

For now, I will sign off and probably turn on the "White Noise" app on my phone, wrap myself up in some blankets, try to get warm..... and wait for sleep.

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