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I Can’t Sleep

Volume 4

By Heather DonaldPublished about a year ago 4 min read

I can’t sleep. I’m not feeling great lately, and I’m tossing and turning even more than normal.

It’s nice to once again meet your acquaintance, dear reader, if you even exist. We shall just have to see, won’t we? You probably don’t though, I’m pretty sure.

I was laying here thinking about people, the intrinsic nature of humans. They all have needs, wants and dreams. Some of them even have goals if you can imagine such positive energy. People tend to pair off in complementary to their nature pairings, you know the old adage ‘opposites attract’, well it’s true. Which is lovely in the fairytale land of vacuous, lifeless robots with lots of privilege and little imagination. However, in reality, most people are, to some degree, broken and in a relationship one person’s needs are paramount to the other’s. Even in a fairly balanced, marginally dysfunctional union, one person’s dreams take a backseat to the other’s. Ostensibly the person with the best and most profitable opportunities wins over their less successful partner. What’s really fucked up is the less successful partner is most likely less successful because they took a backseat to their partner’s ambitions. Regardless, this is pretty close to the aforementioned fucking La La Land because the less successful partner, while perhaps secretly or not so secretly bemoans their lost chance at being the first tap dancing television chef, benefits from their partner’s success and lives a privileged existence. Then, there’s everybody else, in varying degrees of dysfunction.

There are people with a Sheldon level need to have things their way, in a very exact manner without ever veering from that. Something in them is broken. They have many needs, their wants aren’t wants - they’re needs. Their needs are not up for compromise or discussion and attempt to do so are tense and uncomfortable and completely pointless. They build a prickly, gruff exterior to protect their inner fragility. In their yearbook they’re voted most likely to tell kids to ‘get the fuck off my lawn ya little vagrants!’ in their dotage. That’s a joke, in reality they hate all people and eventually become a hermit living only in the company of animals until they die alone. That’s a joke too, don’t write me fucking letters, if you’re even reading this... which you most likely are not. Anyway, whatever, I don’t care, I’m sorry, like in the Canadian sense which is to be polite, but not sorry - no tea, no shade bitches. But I digress, where was I?

Obsessive people tend to pair up with the person with a deep seated need to please, to be accepted and loved the most by absolutely everyone and will despise anyone who doesn’t, because they must be psychotic. But most of them do, love them the most I mean. With a need to protect and fix every single situation put in front of them, solve every problem whether you asked or not. Oh, but if you asked?! They will fucking deliver! Failure is not an option because you’re going to say they did a good job, they eat that shit up like it’s birthday cake... and they never, ever want to fail at anything. Something in this person is broken. Perhaps a dark childhood; abuse, violence, abandonment. Mental illness; maybe CPTSD, depression, addiction - a plethora of options and cocktails of crazy.

So the Perfectionist Pleaser has to cede everything in order to accommodate their Obsessive Boo. Since that’s what’s required, that’s what they do, and they do it well, just ask them. They’re martyrs, at least in their minds. They’re bravely demonstrating the depth of their dedication, falling on the proverbial sword for those they love! Beautiful, tragic hero of the story! They’re sure to be immortalized in prose.

The problem in this scenario, what makes it unsustainable, is there is no give and take. Eventually their life is playing out like fucking Groundhog Day and there’s only ever benefit to one person. Eventually, probably after many years, for the other person it’s no longer a partnership, it’s a hostage situation. Resentment is unavoidable, probably a secret seething ball of evil rage shoved way down their gullet, boiling away for years before BAM! It fucking explodes and everyone carries emotional shrapnel scars for the rest of their lives, the relationship irreparable. Sad.

There’s darkness in this pairing phenomenon, there are nightmares of varying degrees playing out in the shadows. Pairing monsters that devour souls and feed on pain, paired with the most damaged, the most timid little mice. The monster lures in their prey, then gaslights the little mouse, uses manipulation tactics to undermine self-perception by regularly dismissing their partner’s feelings as untrue, crazy, ridiculous or unworthy. Over time, little whiskers accepts these false realities as the truth, manipulated into obedience. It’s insidious mental and emotional abuse, often punctuated by violence, more often it’s routinely violent. I’ve been witness and/or participant - unwillingly and willingly - my whole life to this pairing phenomenon. Hunters and prey. Broken, lost souls hunted and haunted by monsters, both literally and figuratively. Regardless, they were paired by the universe because they are opposites.

Fairytales, real fairytales, the original dark and terrifying tales spoken to children of monsters in the dark woods. Wolves, ogres, witches hidden in the forest, in the shadows, in the dark places. Patiently waiting to devour the flesh of naughty boys and girls that cross their path. These stories terrified children and taught them not to trust, not to wander, to be wary. Stay close to mother or the boogeyman will get you! It’s true, the big bad wolf is out there, and at any sign of weakness, they will eat your face right off your skull.

Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about.

Good night.


About the Creator

Heather Donald

I believe in love & kindness, that we should embrace joy, sing, dance & be silly! I am a survivor, damaged but not broken. I have a lot of love to give, free of judgment and given freely because I believe love can heal the world. 💕

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