Last Thursday night I didn't get much sleep.
I'm not the best of sleepers anyway but last Thursday was windy. Not just windy but proper blow things around windy. Things banging outside, and even bins being blown over. The wind also blew open the side door to the garage and that was banging away.
Now although I don't sleep well anyway natural things like that don't seem to bother me. Never the less I woke around 4am and went to get a glass of water. There, huddled up at the top of the stairs, was my son.
The banging had disturbed him and he'd convinced himself that someone was breaking in. He thought he'd probably been there for an hour or so and despite not hearing anything inside the house he couldn't leave his 'watching' place just in case. He had even grabbed something from his room to defend himself if needed.
I went downstairs and checked around for him; even going outside and shutting the garage door properly. I came back upstairs and told him there was nothing wrong downstairs and whilst he was obviously to some extent relieved he was still very much on edge. After about half an hour he went back to his room and I went back to mine. He finally slept, I didn't.
You just can't. Yes everything is fine but you know that anything might reignite his anxiety and even though I was sure he was asleep it made no difference.
You miss a lot of sleep as a carer. Whether it's things like this or just lying awake worrying in general, you see a lot of darkness. Even the nights you sleep through you're still not really settled and I can't remember the last time I woke up feeling properly refreshed.
Things like sleeping tablets are out of the question in case something happens. Maybe the most help your sleep can get is a cheeky glass of whisky before you go to bed but that doesn't really help. In the end you just get used to it, and that phrase probably sums up being a carer.
You just have to get used to it.