It’s hard to separate time in my mind’s memory these days. For example, I know that I struggle with falling asleep since D-day but I’m not sure if that’s a direct result from D-day or if that was something ongoing that was exacerbated by it.
After having children I became a night owl. I would argue that the hours between 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. are the only hours I had to myself without children interrupting me. My husband works odd hours and often those were truly the only hours awake that I had to myself to work on crafts, read a book, or just watch TV. If I rewind my life even further (give or take 30 years), I had a Teddy Ruxban doll that read me stories as I fell asleep each night. When I shared a room with my sister, I would ask her to tell me about her day and fall asleep to her daily chronicles.
So I guess when you examine my sleeping habits, or lack thereof, I’ve never really been good about going to bed. Ironically, my mom will tell you that I was always falling asleep as baby and young girl. I would fall asleep at dinner, underneath desks, and I always needed an afternoon nap until I went to first grade. I’m not sure what happened because now falling asleep is a battle for me.
I discovered my husband’s affair in the middle of the night. I remember that I couldn’t fall asleep because my mind was restless. I had been suspicious that his friendship with Bat Shit was more than just that. I had been slowly digging into his phone records until I found that email from my husband to Bat Shit that said: “I miss you………….” It was a Friday night when I found the email and I just remember trying to fall asleep and thinking that something was not right. That it makes no sense to tell a woman you miss her followed by so many periods. It was like an anchor in my stomach, a sour, heavy anchor. After trying to fall asleep for two hours I pulled out my husband’s iPad and started weeding through emails. Email after email after email. I couldn’t find much. There were work related emails and emails that sounded like work but full of sexual innuendos. I was struggling to find something damning until I found two downloaded photos in his deleted folder to an email address I had never heard of before. It was in those next two minutes that I feel like my ability to fall asleep was permanently altered.
Once I knew about my husband’s affair I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep at all for the next 36+ hours. I remember at one point driving to CVS and buying an over-the-counter sleeping aid. Prior to this, I’d never bought or taken any sleeping pills. But I was at a point where I needed sleep desperately. I was exhausted from crying and thinking. I got home, took the sleep pill and fell asleep within thirty minutes. I continued to take one sleeping bill every night for the next week. But that was it. I didn’t want to start any bad habits so I stopped.
I don’t struggle with thoughts of the affair at bedtime anymore but I feel like I’ve developed so many bad sleep habits I can’t just close my eyes and fall asleep. I don’t like my bedroom to be silent when I fall asleep so my husband bought me a sleep sounds machine for Christmas. I tried using it the other night for the first time unsuccessfully. I stayed up listening to the sound of crickets chirping in the night for an hour. Then the machine automatically turned off and I realized how long I had been lying in bed trying to fall asleep. I haven’t tried to use the machine again but I plan to.
So I’ve decided one of my new year’s resolutions is to rehabilitate my sleeping habits and finally get a good night’s sleep. It’s about time.