I couldn’t sleep the other night. It was the second night in a row that I had a bad dream. The first night, I dreamt that my ex-husband had died. And I was in a car driving around looking for my kids because I knew they needed me. And I couldn’t find them.
I woke up in a panic. Trying to figure out where I was and who was sleeping in my house that night.
This happens to me often. I wake up in the middle of the night, with a start, and spend 30 seconds thinking, “Ok, what night is this and who is here?” It’s a side effect of being divorced and sharing custody with my ex-husband.
Most nights, asleep in my house, are myself, my husband and my two kids. Every other weekend, it’s the four of us and his daughter. Some nights it’s just me and him. Occasionally, it’s just us and his daughter.
That night, it was just the two of us. And a few hours, and many thoughts later, I had calmed down enough to fall back asleep.
The second night, I dreamt that someone was trying to break in to my house. And in the nonsensical way that dreams go, they had passed me a Post-it note through the back door saying that they had my daughter. And would give her back if I only would…
I don’t know what I was supposed to do because I woke up. Again with my heart pounding. This nightmare was much worse than the one the night before. Sure, I’d be upset if my ex died. But if anything happened to one of my kids? Forget it.
After I was jolted awake, I lay in bed, trying to get my bearings straight. To make matters worse, last weekend we moved our bedroom furniture around so I’m still slightly discombobulated. Even when I wake up in the middle of the night to pee. The bed is in the little alcove and there’s now a chair where my side of the bed used to be. I like the change. It feels like we’re in a hotel room. And I love hotel sex. But still.
And since my mind never stops, once I’m awake, it’s almost impossible for me to go back to sleep. Like a hamster on a wheel.
So much for that feng shui working.
That second night, once I woke up, these were some of the thoughts that were going through my head:
- My pre-teen daughter has been listening to explicit rap music. Is that why she’s been so moody?
- My son’s getting his driver’s permit soon. Do I need an appointment for him to take the test? Is my insurance going to go through the roof?
- My ex-husband is questioning me about pre-teen daughter’s Health class project on mushrooms. Thinks she’s glorifying their use. I never told her how much fun I had when I did them.
- How can I get more blog traffic? Maybe write more about anal sex?
- Is my husband’s neck injury ever going to get better? Because if he has to live with the pain much longer, I might kill him.
- And finally, did I turn off the space heater downstairs?
Seriously. One thought leads to another and then to another. Like a series of doors opening on a never ending hallway. And none of the doors ever closes.
On nights like these, I usually do one of the following: Give up, get up and go downstairs to fold laundry, pay bills or watch TV. Lie there and think about what I would do if I won the lottery. Try to make my mind blank by focusing on my happy place which I can’t go to because I have too many other responsibilities.
You see what I’m getting at.
But on this night, I tried something different. I moved all the way over to my husband’s side of the bed. So close that I could feel the warmth of his naked body. And I let myself kind of settle in to his rhythmic snoring breathing. And started matching mine to his. The next thing I knew, it was 8:00 in the morning. I never sleep that late. Even when I can. But I did.
And I smiled. Not just because it was Sunday morning and we were alone and I knew I was going to get laid. But also because I was feeling lucky that I get to sleep next to him for the rest of my life.
So on this day before Valentine’s Day, here’s my card to him:
Thanks for letting me push up against you, with my cold Raynaud’s feet, in the middle of the night.
Thanks for being big, warm and snuggly.
Thanks for making me feel safe.
Thanks for taking my (sometimes) neurotic worries seriously.
And being understanding when my orgasms take a long time.
That’s true love.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Heart image via skyler817