Thoughts spin round and round

14 Apr

I kicked the covers off and then pulled them on again. Rolling over, I sighed and flipped my pillow to the cooler side.

What am I going to do? I know she is going to find out. Why do I always have to be mean? Why am I so bad? I never do anything right.

The thoughts kept coming. I got up and looked out the window and was met with darkness. I could see only the blue light from my neighbor’s computer through their living room window. I closed the shade and went back to bed.

Covers on, covers off. Covers on.

When is she going to know? How long do I have? Maybe I should just tell her. Everybody is going to hate me. 

I pulled the covers back off and sat up, letting my feet dangle over the side of the bed for a moment before swinging them onto the floor.

As I maneuvered my way in the darkness over piles of clothes and books, I pulled the back of my T-shirt down to cover my backside. My bedroom door didn’t make a sound as it opened and I took a sharp right into the room right beside it, pushing open that door with a hesitant hand.

I crept alongside the bed in this room and snuck around to the side closest to the window. I touched her cheek.

“What is it, Katie?” she asked, almost as if she anticipated my visit.

“I colored on Sister’s doll and hid it underneath her bed,” I whispered.

“It’s okay,” she sighed. She stroked my hair. “We can talk about it in the morning.”

I hugged her quickly and with a burst of relief I scurried back around the bed, through her door and into my own bedroom, diving back under the covers, finally able to sleep.

I wish the story ended there, but my poor mother was awakened countless times with my late night confessions and even now my head is working all night.

Is he mad at me? What time do I have to be up in the morning? I can’t remember which meeting is first tomorrow. Did I call my mom back?

“Did you want to go out to dinner or stay in tomorrow night?” I ask.

“Katie, let your brain relax- it’s after midnight,” he responds half asleep.

“I didn’t realize I said that out loud,” I reply.

He lays his hand on my head like he can will the thoughts from spinning. It works. I cuddle deep into the covers, put my head on his shoulder and allow myself to sleep.

One more night down.


I am taking part in the yeah write weekly writing challenge. You should join me!

Kate sig

40 Responses to “Thoughts spin round and round”

  1. The Next Step April 14, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    I have that problem too. I don’t recall having it as a kid – I am pretty sure I never felt guilty for the stuff I did. But now – oh the tossing and turning and planning for the next day. Sometimes I have to sleep in the spare room just to make sure we all get some rest.

  2. Stephanie M. Hasty (@smj274) April 14, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    this is my kiddo in a nutshell…glad to see it’s normal! 🙂 i enjoyed and found comfort in this story.
    visiting from A to Z. thanks for visiting my blog!

    • Another Clean Slate April 14, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      At least you know your kiddo will always tell you the truth 🙂 Even if it is in the middle of the night…

  3. Sheethal Susan Jacob April 14, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    It’s the night time that guilt of whole life till then comes rushing to mind and spoiling the sleep. And also it’s at night my mind comes up with weird ideas i could do. 🙂

  4. southmainmuse April 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Tossing and turning and ruminating at night. I can relate. Though lately a regular 4 a.m. wakeup call has me sleeping soundly. My husband said this morning that I must have woken up several times last night the way I was sleeping but I have no memory. Hope you get a good night’s sleep tonight.

    • Another Clean Slate April 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

      Thanks lady! I’m glad you at least don’t remember your sleepless night!

  5. f1nallymom April 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    ah you nailed the voice in this. too much worry does a hair no good. i know. so does my gray hair. 😉

    • Another Clean Slate April 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      That’s why I am blonde- you can’t tell yet if I have any grays 🙂

  6. icescreammama April 16, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    oh the stress! my head is spinning as well. i was so into finding out what you did. 😉 if i learn how to relax… i’ll let you know..

  7. Doina April 16, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    It is a bad habit! My son is six and thinks all night, I feel so badly knowing it will probably stick for life. The midnight confessions kill me, I think I’d say anything was was ok to avoid making a midnight “issue”. Sounds like your mom was onto this tactic.. Stop thinking and go to sleep!

  8. Vanessa April 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Whenever I can’t get my brain to be quiet I play the if I won the lottery game. I usually fall asleep before I get past designing the kitchen of my dream home. Sometimes I don’t make it past the laundry/mud room.

    I find it easier to force my brain to think about something than to force it to not think.

    • Another Clean Slate April 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      That is a great idea- I will have to try it out. I know i can think of lots of way to spend money 🙂

  9. zoe April 16, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    I think I grew out of this. I was a painfully neurotic kid. Now Im a psychologist. Nuff said.

  10. Joe April 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    My brain used to do that to me; it doesn’t happen quite so often now that I’m retired.

  11. cynkingfeeling April 16, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    I had a good friend who told me about not being able to turn off her brain. While I “got” what she was saying, this post helped me imagine and relate to this kind of anxiety.

  12. kirsten oliphant (@kikimojo) April 17, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    I don’t do this often, but once it starts…forget it! You describe it really well. I was feeling the guilt. 🙂

  13. marcyl April 17, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    I can really relate because I get insomnia from time to time and obsess on certain worries. It has lessened compared to the past, but it can still strike anytime. Some steps I took that helped for me: no caffeine after two p.m., dealing with problems right away rather than avoiding them, no reading work email at home, and learning a bit of meditation. I like how you told this story and interspersed your thoughts with the narrative.

    • Another Clean Slate April 17, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      Thanks for the tips- I do find if I do yoga or go for a walk after work it helps. Deal with my problems right away?! Yikes…

  14. nataliedeyoung April 17, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    Once the obsessing starts, it’s hard to put a lid on it! I love how weave the past together with the present, it’s a seamless portrait of a busy mind.

    • Another Clean Slate April 17, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Thanks Natalie! You are definitely right- I’m not even sure there is a lid that fits 😉

  15. mamarific April 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Great descriptions. You had me right there tossing and turning with you, as I am prone to do on occasion. Hard to turn off the brain at night.

  16. Samantha Brinn Merel April 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    This happens to me sometimes, and once my brain starts going, it’s impossible to turn it off. I always think about it like a washing machine. It just spins and spins and spins and there is no way to turn it off until it finally tires itself out.

    • Another Clean Slate April 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      A washing machine is a perfect comparison. I need to stop adding quarters (can you tell I live in an apartment building?).

  17. TreadingWaterInTheKiddiePool April 17, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Oh man! This is me at 4 am all the time! I start going over everything I have EVER done wrong in my entire life and living it all over again.

  18. Michelle Longo April 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Why do brains stay up so late into the night and obsess on things? Great story. Loved the past and present component.

  19. Larks April 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Oh, man! I struggle with this too! No matter how tired my body is my brain just won’t shut up.

  20. Kim at Mama Mzungu April 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Wow. Great description of insomnia (ask me how I know). I remember fretting about things as a kid, but I’m not sure if it caused insomnia. Nightmares and that weird thing where you wake up half paralyzed, but there was probably some insomnia in the mix too, since I’m so good at it now. : )

    • Another Clean Slate April 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      Oh, I’m so sorry you are struggling with insomnia. That can not be fun! Your mind must work overtime as well!


  1. I know you wanna know- why did I start blogging | Another Clean Slate - May 7, 2013

    […] My local good friends’ lives all got a lot busier. My head was spinning more than usual. Basically, I needed something new to distract me. This feeling isn’t new to me, but this […]

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