3 am Ramblings by a Tired Mom

In writing this blog, I swore to myself that I would point to hope and at the same time be really authentic about my feelings. So, while the last four nights Josiah has slept great (thank God!), before that I had three nights of very interrupted sleep. For many parents dealing with autism, erratic sleep is a constant reality for them. Something goes pretty whacky in your mental faculties to “deal” when you’re exhausted. I captured this poem (don’t even try to see if it fits into conventional stanzas) during one of those times for me.

3 am. Woken again.
What prodded him up?
What ceased sweet sleep?
Mild mannered boy by day
Whirling dervish in darkness
Melatonin drops—ha! No good.
Prayed he’d have good rest
Feel like I’m obsessed
Trying to have a decent night
He pounds. He wraps on the wall.
Rakes the vent. High squeal.
Make it stop, Lord. Peace!

 Can’t enforce, bribe or plead
He doesn’t get it. I need sleep
A full workday arrives in moments
Have to perform 100 percent
Fractured faculties—mine—
Because of his. What is this hold?
My neck gets hot. Want it to stop
He yelps. Turns circles. Laughs.
Jumps on the bed. Summersault.
Touching everything in the room
What is driving him?

 Won’t stay on my lap to be calmed
I’m tired and adrenaline surges
Good God, it’s nights in a row
Now he’s jumping on the bed again
Not sleeping in it
I feel utterly powerless
Make him mind? Ha, I wish I could
I’m in prison

Sweet angel face, love you more by day
You don’t know better
Only God himself could untie this fetter
I’m exhausted and broken
Where are my prayers going?
Your eyes look puffy too
Why do you fight it?
Babble, babble, yet few real words.
Jump. Jump. Still going.
I sit here not knowing when
My head will hit the pillow again

 When I dream, it’s better
Sometimes I get to see you whole
Life is different. Right
Then it’s broken by a thud
Come on, rest tonight, please
I lay and hold my breath
Whimpering means he’ll go back down
Laughing, and it’s going to be a while

 It’s now 4 am and I feel the weight
Autism, just how much will you take?
God, I’m trying not to break
He’s so beautiful. Gorgeous.
Inside he must be tangled up
Almost two years now like this
Days marked on my heart
And on my face too
I don’t want to be upset with him
So I both seethe and pray in silence

Mother’s spirit broken at the moment
But chasing hope in the morning
The morning. Oh, the morning


7 Responses

  1. Good grief, girl. Have you called your doctor about increasing his melatonin dosage?

    • Well, thankfully Josiah has been sleeping great the last six nights. I seriously wonder if the melatonin had the opposite effect on him for some reason. He seems to go in phases. I’m feeling less um “whacked out” too now that I’m getting some good sleep!

      • Valerian Root is a herb in capsule form that helps with sleep, too, if he doesn’t do well with melatonin.

  2. Oh, thanks RKF. I hadn’t heard of that! So far so good on an 8-day run of good sleep, though!

  3. Tahni,

    Hope Josiah is doing better sleeping through the night since you took out the Melatonin. I just wanted to tell you what an amazing writer you are – I loved your poem. You definately have a way of putting your feelings and emotions into words that many of us can sooooo relate to. Thanks for being you 🙂

  4. I understand the sleep issues. Melatonin worked great for Christian for awhile, then it worked wonderfully in helping him fall asleep only to have him up and bouncing off the walls in 4 hours. For now, we are doing better without it and every time I try to add it back in he only gets 4-5 hours of sleep.

  5. Tahni, this poem is INCREDIBLE. i felt and understood every word. thank you for articulating everything that goes through my head on nights like this.

    we gave up on melatonin some time ago. now i’m looking into a bed tent for rhema. she needs the input of being surrounded on all sides. i know josiah is like this, too. i’ll let you know how it goes.

    praying for sweet rest for you all.

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