Fallout: Sleep (or the lack thereof) pt.1
One of our most pressing problems is the lack of sleep. We are one of the most tired families I know. Sleep is a major problem around here. No one is getting enough of it.
Sleep is affected by trauma, at least in our experience, in many ways. Anxiety is running rampant around this place. The anxiety is played out in a number of different ways, but mostly in distractability; either by not being able to be distracted by the trauma or by using various means to distract oneself. So we have kids that are highly focused on Vale and his needs and can’t sleep because they are worried about him and we have kids who are trying to deal with things by becoming obsessed with other things. Vale’s youngest sister is totally into Les Miserable right now. She read the book, is trying to memorize the music, it’s a constant companion to her. But all this obsessing distresses her sleep.
Couple this with nightmares which seem to be like a virus throughout the house. They bring the stress of the day into our dreams. It makes the strain almost inescapable. Some of the children have reoccurring and vivid dreams that they can’t shake in the daytime. Thus, even though the children are very tired and need to sleep, they don’t want to, because they know what awaits them.
Now anyone who’s ever experienced lack of sleep or been around people who aren’t sleeping well, you know what follows; contentiousness, augmentative behavior, short tempered, lack of patience, tears, etc. So we have moments of really petty fighting which wears everyone down. People don’t have the wherewithal to resist bickering and people don’t have the wherewithal to not bicker back.
As a mother, I don’t know what to do about this problem. I can put the family to bed early, try to make sure they sleep in as much as they can. Try to provide comfort and reassurance during the day, hugs and kisses when they need them throughout the night. But I can’t reach in and turn off their minds. I can’t remove the problem. Some days I can almost hear the creaking of the walls as stress bears a load more than they were build to sustain. All I can do is pray, stay steadfast in the knowledge that God will provide the strength for each day, and do my best to reinforce those walls when I see the plaster crack. But, I’m really tired too.