Aimée Cartier—– *author *psychic *mom *wife *speaker *dabbler in comedy

FLOURISH BLOG: Providing tools and (true) stories for creating an inspired, intuitive life.

True Confession– Reptile Takes Over My Brain at Night

20140625-115556-42956883.jpgOnce my husband called me a terrible word in the middle of the night. Thankfully he spelled it. We were both sitting in our children’s bed—both kids were crying and honestly, I was being a total ass. “What is wrong with you?” he practically yelled to be heard over the mayhem. “You are being such a freaky (insert spelled word) right now?!” The moment I heard him say that I shut my mouth. Not because I was mad. Because I knew it was true. I could hear the ring of truth in his words, even the spelled one, and I had no excuse.

Honestly sometimes I feel as though someone else is operating my body and mouth in the middle of the night. It happens when I haven’t had enough sleep yet and I’m being forced to act on some tiny person’s need. I mean, why else would I be up? In those moments I have a hard time keeping it together. It feels more like I am a shell of a being and the person or part of me operating the controls is a real bitch.

Recently I learned (in parent class) that what is actually happening in those moments is that my brain has literally shut down. It can happen from lack of sleep. The only part of my brain then operating is called the brainstem. You know, that part we share with reptiles. It is without higher reasoning, intuition, or compassion just to name a few of its lacking qualities. It’s the piece that controls the fight or flight response. And in my case its obviously fight. I start all sorts of ludicrous arguments with my husband (whom I love) in the middle of the nigh when this part of my brain is functioning. I literally can’t help it. That’s not an excuse. There is no excuse. It’s just true.

I’m just saying— confessing really—that the combination of not enough sleep coupled especially with a certain time of the month, when my hormones and not my higher brain or neocortex are completely dominant provides a sucky-to-the-max combination. And makes for confessions like these as I slid back into the sheets, child disaster handled. “Honey, I’m so sorry. I’m not in control… And thank you so much for spelling that word instead of saying it—even though I totally deserved it.”

That night, when I said that I swear I heard him smile/sigh in relief. I’m not sure if it was because he used that word on me and he understood it was forgiven or if it was because Aimée had finally returned. Then, I heard the sheets move in response as we both moved to the middle of our king size bed to snuggle as we fell back to blissful sleep. (Fingers crossed.)

6 comments on “True Confession– Reptile Takes Over My Brain at Night

  1. MELewis
    June 26, 2014

    If only I could blame it on sleep deprivation. My kids are grown but I still react that way when I feel pulled in too many directions and denied my basic (reptilian) need for space and quiet by too much work, annoying family members or distracting pets. Sweet dreams!

    • aimeecartier
      June 26, 2014

      Ah, the “I’m not getting my basic needs met” form of reptilian impulse. Understood!

  2. JennyO
    June 26, 2014

     Well that explains a few not so beautiful moments in my life.  


    • aimeecartier
      June 26, 2014

      🙂 Glad to be of service. Thankfully I find my memory is a little foggy in the morning too— having only part of your brain active makes you conveniently forget exactly what it was that you said! Thank god!

  3. jorja40
    June 29, 2014

    I totally understand what you mean. In my case it happens during the day too. Not enough sleep and I am a nightmare.

    • aimeecartier
      June 29, 2014

      I hear you sister. I highly recommend the Dr. Jeffery Thompson Delta Sleep CD. It’s amazing. Truly I shudder to think what I would’ve been like without it for the first year + of each of my kids life. But even before that I would play it when I knew I wasn’t going to get my requisite 8 hours– and I would wake up feeling refreshed because of it.

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2014 by in Humor, Motherhood and tagged , , , , , , .
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