Saturday, September 10, 2011

reflections on being a d-word: sleeping

I want to talk about divorce today. That doesn't happen every day so I figure I should take advantage of it.

I'm not sleeping well right now which means thoughts are running and spinning and echoing more than normal. Not sleeping well isn't new to my life in 2011, but it's especially annoying right now. Sleep has always been a favorite activity of mine. Growing up, I shared a room with my sister.  Now, you need to know that the only person in my family that enjoys getting up in the morning is my Mom. The rest of us have our own personal rituals for waking up, but we are all the same in that we'd prefer to not talk to anyone until we've been allowed to be awake for at least 30 minutes. (An hour preferably.) I won't speak for my siblings, but I am still very much this way. I lay in bed for about 30 minutes after my 3rd (final) alarm goes off.  I get up, get ready, drive to work, and usually don't need to talk to anyone for about the first hour or hour and a half of my work day. I was lucky that the 2 roommates I had in college also followed a similar ritual of waking up. Okay, waking up has very little to do with sleeping. Focus Cara!

One of my favorite memories about being married to my husband was our morning routine. When we first got married, I got up before he did and would get ready and leave for work (usually before he was even awake, much less up and around.) After my seizure, he was the one getting up and leaving for work while I was still in bed. Regardless, the days we would get to be at home in the mornings together, we had this silent language...this rhythm that we danced to while waking up. We would get up, he would make his coffee, I would get my juice. We'd make our respective breakfasts or I would make us pancakes or waffles. We'd usually have music playing or CNN on. We'd eat and drink. Maybe exchange tired faces and a laugh or two...but not really exchange words until we both gave the signal. I have no idea what the signal's just one of those things you figure out when you live with someone. You speak a silent language.

The first house we lived in together had one bathroom and we were up and around maybe 3 days a week at the same time which meant we had to share the bathroom. In my head, I can see us in that bathroom doing this sort of choreographed dance you have to do when sharing a bathroom. It was a pedestal sink too so there was no counter space. Lots of juggling. That silent language came in handy.

Since overcoming my fear of staying/living alone earlier this year, most nights are great. I fall asleep quickly, sleep all night, wake up contemplating calling in sick so I can continue sleeping....etc. I've noticed though that the times over the last 8 months that I've stayed with someone on a trip or someone has stayed at my house, I sleep on a completely different level. I sleep hard. I sleep deeply. I sleep soundly. I wake up feeling completely rested. I know the majority of that is because I feel safe, secure, and connected. I'm not alone. I tweeted the other day:
Immediately after tweeting it, I knew exactly why I stall going to sleep. It's because I have to face the fact, nearly every night, that he isn't there. He's not coming home. It's on me. I have to handle whatever happens in the night. If OG&E shows up with chainsaws and cuts my power and I think a horror movie is about to unfold...I'm going to have to suck it up and start slaying some dragons. Ah HAH! Here is the real issue. It's not that I don't think I can do it. I know I can do it if I have to. Key words: if I have to.

I didn't get married to avoid having to slay dragons on my own at 3am. But it's a nice bonus. Especially when you marry someone who's as tall as a dragon.

This week has been really interesting. I've been more introspective than usual and almost constantly processing. I realized my voice-mail still says my old name. I signed a credit card slip wrong. I nearly had a panic attack thinking I'd left my wedding ring somewhere. I was out running errands and thought "well I'll just ask him to do that." It was like I had temporary amnesia and my brain decided to take a week off of being divorced. "Oh, okay, well we'll just go back to being married," my brain was telling me. I had a Jim Carey moment from Liar Liar where I looked at myself in the mirror and said "PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!"

I miss that silent language. I miss the choreography of living with someone. I miss that underlying rhythm of sharing life.

The question I've had the most over the last few months has been, "If you knew then what the outcome would be, would you still have gotten married?" This question doesn't bother me and it's an easy answer.

Yes. Every day, every minute, every second. Yes.

The person who divorced me, is not the person I married.  That's what makes it so easy to answer.

I look forward to sleeping like I used to. Someday.


JJC said...

that was real. I hope you're still painting.

amanda said...

love you..... you're always welcome to sleep over here with us when you feel like you need some deep sleep!!

live compassionately said...

I love your honesty. Praying for you!

Amy Nelson said...

Every time I read one of your posts, I like you more and more.

You are a brave woman, Cara.

Anonymous said...

wow. jj is right. that was real. thinking of you tonight.

Anonymous said...

Maybe sometimes we have amnesia so that ultimately we get to remember how far we've come from our previous lives?

One of my favorite things about you is your honesty. And that you link to my blog. And your funny voices. And...well, and EVERYTHING. :)

10 days until MEMPHIS!!

PS: I like the new blog background!

Laura said...

I sure do love you friend!!
I love how real and open you are on your blog!!
Praying for you!

morgan ward said...

you write beautifully and "rawly" cara. i appreciate it and it is beautiful. i am so deeply sorry for your pain, but yet so glad that in some ways you feel like it was worth it. i know i don't know you very well at all, but i feel like i like you a lot already as a person. we should hang.