Turning Fear Into Empowerment: Nighttime

Nighttime used to be a place of fear. Because when I was younger, and my mom was married to meanie, I had trouble sleeping. To this day, I’m still haunted from nighttime trauma from that time.

My mom married meanie a few months after divorcing my father. I was only 7.

We moved to Pasadena to live with meanie and his son. I remember having a hard time adjusting to new family members, a new house, a new school, a new life.

Bedtime was the most frightening. It was dark and everything seemed more threatening. I often needed my mom.

But I wasn’t allowed to see my mom at night because meanie was controlling and would lock their bedroom door—keeping her away from me.

I now know that meanie was a narcissist and would threaten, manipulate and control my mom. She had to do everything his way–or suffer. If he didn’t want her to leave their bedroom, she didn’t. Plain and simple.

I spent hours in the dark crying for comfort. To this day, those nights were the scariest and the loneliest I’ve ever experienced.

And I believe that childhood trauma is what created my nighttime anxiety. I still suffer from it. I get into bed and I ruminate on the day I’ve had and what I could’ve done differently and mistakes I made and oh I need to do this first thing tomorrow etc. etc. etc. My brain loves to go off and I have a difficult time trying to calm down and actually sleep.

Lately, I’m just trying to embrace it. I’m framing my situation differently: nighttime as my creative playground. So what if I can’t sleep? Yeah, I have anxiety, why not use that time to create?

According to my chronotype, I am 1000% a dolphin. I get bursts of sporadic energy throughout the day, but mainly at night. “When I should be going to bed” (take note of the air quotes please) is when I think best. It’s when I get my greatest ideas and feel most motivated.

I’m trying to lean into my childhood nighttime anxiety of and use it for good now. I’m using this time to stay curious and playful.

I’m excited to see where it will take me.

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