Why We Make Wishes at Night

I don’t wish on stars every time I see one.

And I don’t wish in the morning, unless it’s 11:11am. Even then, I struggle to wish for something really focused and thought-out. My default is world peace.

Here are the times I’ve actually made a wish. I’m sure you’ve made wishes during these same times, too.

When I was about five, I wished that people believed me when I said I was abused. I remember that first moment how scared I was- and that’s when I made my first wish.

In middle school, I wore the same clothes for a few days in a row, and our water was turned off. I hid my hygiene behind two large jackets, and I was still made fun of, and so embarrassed. I wish I had more clothes to wear, and I wished I had running water. I cried in my seat and prayed to God that I had the strength to deal with the pain in my head and in my chest.

My eighth grade year, my sister and I thought we were losing our house. I wish we didn’t feel so responsible. I wish she at least didn’t feel so responsible.

I wish high school didn’t have to be a complete blur. (Or maybe, it’s better that way.)

I wish I was more respected.

I wish you didn’t lean on me.

I wish that, a lot of things were different.

There were times I wished during the day, as I was bullied or made fun of or abused. Most of us do.

And now, I’m an adult, breaking free from these moments (some of them). With our lowest moments come our deepest and most sincere wishes. Not the 11:11 wishes where you feel rushed and panic so you silently ask for world peace.

They are the wishes that come to you as these moments find you when it’s all quiet at night. Just as the world shuts off, the distractions of life are at bay, and now these memories follow you into the peace and quiet.

From there, it isn’t quiet for me much longer, because I start wishing.

I roll around heated with the shame and anger of all the things that I wish didn’t happen. I replay these sad moments, these buried memories, and these made-up situations over and over again, when it’s so painfully quiet. And my mind is wired and distressed, and yet so tired. There’s nothing to distract me, no music, no work, no person, just me, and what used to be, and still is.

I can’t get up and fix all of these things right then and there- although I’ve tried.

I’ll bring out my phone and create texts that never send, calls so close to being made, and drives that lead to nowhere. I look for peace, or apologies. For answers.

Instead as I’m looking into the dark I create fake memories where for once, they finally understand that they’ve hurt me.

The memories that don’t exist hurt so incredibly bad. At some point when it wasn’t so dark outside, they weren’t fake memories. I’ve fought in my house, and I’ve begged to be heard so much and I’ve lost my mind and I’ve cried, hoping what was so broken could be fixed in the hands of someone else. At night, I wish for that same thing.

When these night dreams play out and finish, I’m tired and mentally exhausted, and my eyes are swollen and will be swollen for the whole next day. Maybe even two.

I have to reconcile with myself somehow, that I cannot make someone see what they never saw. Listen to what they chose not to hear. I don’t have control over what I wish could be, not during the day, and not at night.

All I can do is wish, when everything’s quiet, when I can pretend they’re finally listening.

We make wishes at night because we have a life so hard to sleep to, that all you can do is wish things were different.

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