A friend commented on my blog recently about my insomnia:
Hey Thomas. I know what it's like to lay awake at night. Turn one way, you see a wall, Another, the ceiling, and maybe a computer. I've dealt with that a lot.
When I turn, I see Prester Bane, who has no face, The Many-Armed Knight, who wields many blades, The Harvester, his scythe, and feel the breath of the Scabbard Man on my neck as The Choir sings me away to the shores of Void. When I sleep, it's a further compromise. I have a feeling that my dreams are unpleasant, and have been for quite some time.
When I was young, I felt secure in slumber. I felt tucked in, and guarded. I clearly remember the beginning of dreams where I was in the arms of The Lord. He cradled me from before my baptism, and all through middle school. Every night I felt secure, like as long as I slept I was closer to God. Then everything changed.
I don't know if it was puberty, my disease, or both. Both manifested at the same time. No longer was I in the arms of The Lord; I was in the arms of women, girls really, my own age. At first, it was harmless: those kind of things were normal for boys my age. It wasn't long before the laughing followed me around, then a short hop to the man on the back of my hand. As the delusions and hallucinations intensified, lines between reality as you see it, as I remember only shards, and this hell I put myself through blurred. I started to drop time and gain time: time would pass in an instant, then I'd be locked into my hallucinations for eternities over thirty seconds.
I stopped going to church sometime in there. I felt distant, so distant that I don't remember when I stopped believing. I would claim a love for God in public; it was expected of me. However, I believed less. I can't say for sure, but it was lonely.
Now, I don't remember my dreams. I'm back in church, but it doesn't help me sleep. My nightmares are unpleasant, I'm sure. Sometimes, I wake up screaming, jumping out of bed and throwing punches. I made a bargain with my torturers sometime between the onset of my disease and my current state: the tormentors of my invention torture me about my Dad, my Brother, my weakness, my failed attempts at human contact, and my inability to escape the long, strong fingers of the hands that bind me. In exchange, I don't remember the nightmares. It's a far cry from a fair trade, but I need some time where I don't regret pulling the trigger again when asked if I wanted the gun to jam. I think things would be easier for me if I wasn't so trapped in my own solitude all the time.
Lately, I've tried to sleep in the arms of The Lord again. I don't feel warm, or protected. I feel cold and distant from those days. When I'm offered comfort, the hood of my comforter falls from his brow, to show a man without a face. The Choir sings me into slumber, as I mute their voices with painful songs I know could never be written for me. If I focus on Alison Krauss singing sweet words, and mix them with my conscious sentiment, sometimes I'm asleep quickly.
When the morning strikes me, I'm up and ready to face another day in this Hell I invented. I do what I promised, and try not to listen as Prester Bane and the rest taunt me into regretting pulling the trigger. I regret telling anyone sometimes. My feelings follow me. I wonder if I'd not written the note and made sure I wound up dead if the memories of my life in the hearts of others would suffer. I don't want to be the schizophrenic kid who suffers, and never lives up to the promise and talent everyone says I have. I want to sleep nicely. I want to feel closer to someone with a face rather than the bitter extremes of myself that usher me into the next moment.
The only prayers I can utter are pleas to "take me home." Every night, I go to sleep wishing to be home, and every morning, I'm back here in this compromise between my reality and yours. If this is home, I shudder to think what horrors await me as I turn inevitably inward into the shackles, dark rooms, and crowded solitude of my struggle. I sleep a lot.