Mental Illness Poem

Poem About Waiting For Sleep

I have dissociative identity disorder. I "lose time," not knowing where I went or what I was doing there. My husband continually worries what might happen to me, what I may do to myself, and if I will be successful next time I try to take my life? I can never sleep for long, I have horrific nightmares of the abuse I suffered as a child and adult. So instead of sleeping, I sit and watch and listen, trying to feel safe.

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My Ritual

©

Published: June 2011

In the early hours,
As most should be sleeping,
I sit in our bedroom window and perform a ritual.
Smoking a cigarette, wrapped tightly in a blanket,
I watch.
I watch you toss and turn, breathing heavily, in and out.
I imagine your dreams, your tremors.
I'm careful not to wake you.
Sometimes I walk over to you and touch your hair,
And pray that it is not me that keeps you here in this prison.
The anxiousness shows, reflected even as you sleep,
Worries too heavy for you to even confess to me.
You sleep on, albeit fitfully,
Not aware of my nightly ritual of watching you.
Careful not to disturb...
While you try with all your subconscious might,
To dream away losing me,
To dream away the certainty of my death.

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