Wake Up

I wake up badly.

I sleep badly, too: long hours of failing to lose consciousness, interrupted with a start at every sound. But when sleep does come it is a dreamless black, and I am grateful for it.

I do not wake up gradually. There is no softness to it. I wake up gasping, startled, terrified until I can see that there is no threat imminent. No one strange in the room. No sign of fire. Nothing broken. No one hurt.  Or worse, in sleep I feel or hear something that could be a threat, and I wake up screaming.

A friend is coming to visit for the weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing him, and looking forward to the sex. But it’s near enough now that I’m thinking about sleeping, and I’m worried. Last time he was here, I didn’t sleep the first night. Problem solved. The second night I did, and within an hour of drifting off felt movement and warmth next to me. Woke up screaming. Woke up instantly aware of anxiety-brain’s error but unable, for a few moments, to get it to shut up.

It isn’t fair to him and it isn’t fair to my roommates, that I can frighten them all when absolutely nothing’s wrong. When they haven’t done anything wrong. I have meds that help–that work during bad days, anyway, and have worked on nights alone, but I can’t help but worry.

I am afraid of waking up. I am afraid I will wake up badly.

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