I’m about to finish what I think is probably the end of this whole saga. And before I do, I wanted to hit on any last questions… I think we’ve (hopefully) covered basically everything. But one of the last questions I never got around to was – how did I learn to sleep again?
[spoiler alert: *dramatically bangs head on the table, because uuuuugh gross it’s about love/intimacy/bah blah blah blah uuuugh. So, feel free to skip this one if you want.]
I hadn’t been sleeping basically at all. I was up almost every hour for a while – getting exceptionally interrupted sleep, when I ever was lucky enough to. Thank goodness for the couch in my office, because I’d always need to nap during the day. ‘Cause I was just never sleeping…
It’s weird to say, “I was so lucky” to start a sentence when it has to do with my sexual assault saga. But, the one part of it that I was so lucky about was that the man I was so so deeply in love with still existed in this place that was this whole other world… (California).
I know I have some mixed feelings on having gone back to California so much. But one thing I loved about all the trips was getting to see him. Everything seemed a little more possible with him – including sleep – a billion times more possible in his arms.
So, as we fell asleep, I traced his chest. I paid so much attention to every single millimeter of it. I’m sure I could describe it in great perfect detail to a professional sketch artist – which is more than I can say for most faces, tbh.
I put my hand on his chest as he held me to sleep. And I made sure to concentrate on that feeling so much. I wanted to take it back to New York with me. I know it was both hard to concentrate and hard to feel at that time. So I just kept focusing, kept tracing, kept looking, until I fell asleep…. Because while I couldn’t sleep anywhere else, I couldn’t not sleep when I was in his arms.
And so when I was in my bed, alone, and I couldn’t sleep, I would put my hand just in the air right next to me and pretend to trace his chest, and my shoulders would fall like 4 inches. I’d be totally unaware of how much tension I was holding in them until they’d lower so much, and it’d be like “whoa.”
And then I’d lay my hand on the bed next to me – as though I was laying it on California guy’s chest. And I’d fall asleep thinking of him holding me. (I don’t even usually like to be held! …But by him I do.)
And that’s how I slept.
Different people have different tricks. You’ve read them in 1,000 google articles. I tried a number of them. And I’m sorry that my trick is something that’s not easy to replicate. But after I was assaulted, I wanted to know how people did everything – how did they sleep, how did they have sex, how did they function? Was anything ever normal again? I had a million questions.
So, for the people asking those questions now, I thought I owed a little answer – even if (I’m sorry), it’s not an exceptionally helpful one.