Once again, I’m working mornings all week. Once again, I CAN’T FUCKING SLEEP. Not sure if correlation or causation but it’s driving me mad.
Last night I was really at a breaking point. It was time for me to go to bed (past time, actually; I had to wake up in seven hours and ideally I need to sleep for eight to feel rested). And I wanted, obviously, to ensure that I got some decent sleep so I’d be functional in the morning. But I didn’t know how. I said out loud to The Dandy (who was at his computer noodling around while I lay nearby on our bed) that I was at a sort of impasse in my head: it was clear to me that I needed to cut down on extraneous noise/disruption factors as much as possible in order to sleep, but if I slept in the living room Dandette (who is on a wonky half-nocturnal sleep schedule these days) would almost certainly wander out in the middle of the night and it would wake me up/make me feel that I should relocate back to bed so she could watch tv or whatever. Or I could sleep in bed with The Dandy and lock Dickface the Kitten in the kitchen* but the way things have been going for me lately, every single time The Dandy shifted or snored or breathed it would disrupt my sleep. The only thing I thought might work is if The Dandy slept elsewhere and let me have the bedroom to myself.
Now, granted, I didn’t actually say the words “would you sleep in Dandette’s room with her tonight?” Not literally, not in so many words. But it’s kind of obvious that I wanted him to, isn’t it? What with me saying that having the bed to myself is the only way I saw myself getting enough sleep that night to stay sane? But when I said this, The Dandy did that thing of just sitting there awkwardly not saying anything, and that’s what he usually does when I ask him for something he doesn’t want to give and he’s too chickenshit to say so. So I assumed that he was tacitly rejecting this idea, and it’s his bedroom too (feels more like his bedroom than mine, really, given that he’d already been in it for five years before I moved in) so I didn’t feel I could push the issue.
Which left me with the other two options: sleep on the couch and inevitably get woken up by Dandette, or sleep in the bedroom and inevitably get…maybe not woken, but frequently disrupted in minor fashion – by The Dandy. I couldn’t decide. The clock was ticking. Finally I said out loud to The Dandy that I felt paralyzed and couldn’t choose between the couch or bed, and it was already too late at night and getting later, and the stress was killing me. I started to cry. I said I just needed to be told what to do, which option to take, because I was too wrecked to choose.
The Dandy shut down his computer, came over, lay down next to me, and put his arms around me. I assumed that was his way of saying I ought to sleep next to him. I let myself sob for a while, hoping it would exhaust me, as it sometimes does. I took a chance on not locking Dickface in the kitchen.** But even all the crying and The Dandy snuggling me and petting my head (and the cup of Sleepytime tea I’d made earlier with three teabags in it) didn’t make me feel tired. I asked The Dandy if he’d mind much if I listened to stand-up comedy very quietly on my cell phone; I’ve been using stand-up comedy to put me to sleep for over a decade now, so it’s almost a Pavlovian thing at this point. The Dandy said no, he thought the applause would disturb him. “You don’t even usually go to bed until an hour later than this,” I said. He remained silent. Maybe he didn’t understand what I meant, which was: “It’s 1am. I want to listen to an hour-long comedy special. Yes, it might not be something you can fall asleep to, but you rarely go to bed until 2am anyway so can’t you for fuck’s sake just suck it up because I AM SO UNDERSLEPT THAT I AM FANTASIZING ABOUT KILLING MYSELF AND OTHER PEOPLE.”
But I didn’t pursue the issue; I didn’t trust myself to be able to negotiate in a fair and reasonable way, for obvious reasons. I simply lay next to him awake for an hour or more, getting up to piss every 20 minutes because I felt like I kinda had to go and was afraid if I ignored that very vague impending urge, my bursting bladder would wake me up after I’d finally gone to sleep. So, a pre-emptive pee. And then another and another and another. Every single tiny change in The Dandy’s breathing was noticeable. At one point he shifted position and accidentally hit my face with his shoulder.
Finally I got up and built a nest of pillows and dirty laundry in the little closet/hallway area that leads to our ensuite bathroom and curled up in it with my cell phone, aiming to listen to my comedy and sleep on the fucking floor far enough from the bed that The Dandy wouldn’t hear much. At least there was very little probability of anyone disturbing me there before morning. The Dandy isn’t a frequent pee-er and if he needed to, he could enter the bathroom via the other door. If Dandette woke in the night and decided to hang in the living room, I was in the confines of the bedroom, kind of, still, so that wouldn’t affect me.
Only when I lay on the floor of the closet alcove did The Dandy say “I can go sleep with Dandette if you want.” Well yeah, I did fucking want that, I’d told him an hour ago that I was overtired to the point of some kind of emotional breakdown and the only thing that would fix it is having the bed to myself. But he hadn’t moved then, so…
I said I’d be fine on the floor. I didn’t want to make him abandon his bed, considering he’d refused to earlier. Maybe I was being presumptuous in even asking. I didn’t know. I couldn’t think straight. Everything I’d said to him that entire night was in a quiet, spooky, flat voice because I knew that if I let any of my emotions to the forefront I would end up fucking screaming at the top of my lungs, and Dandette was already asleep and her bedroom shares a wall with ours.
Only when The Dandy offered a second time did I gauge that it was okay to accept. He finally fucking left and I got some sleep. Better than I would have if he were in the bed with me, for sure. Although at 6am Dickface made a crashing sound (right in the bedroom, and I still can’t figure out what it was – I think maybe she leaped off her scratchy-sled thing hard enough to smack it into the dresser) that startled me so badly I screamed and jacknifed into the fetal position and both The Dandy and Dandette came running to the doorway to see what was up.
I just…I don’t understand why The Dandy didn’t sleep in Dandette’s room (or on the couch, wherever) the minute I told him I needed the bed to myself. He’s a person who can function on less sleep than I, falls asleep deeply and easily to a point where even being elbowed in the chest won’t wake him, and has a desk job. I’m a person who needs eight hours of sleep to feel okay, who sleeps lightly and has a really hard time getting back to sleep if woken, and who has a physically demanding job. I think my needs should have taken precedence here.
I made it through work today on my hour or so of proper sleep (and five more hours of light dozing) but my balance was all fucked up and I was getting headrushes whenever I stood up. There were a few standing poses where I spent the first few seconds just terrified and trying my best to hold still and stay upright because my vision had gone completely black and the room was spinning.
Here’s what bugs me: just a few days ago The Dandy moved to Dandette’s bed in the middle of the night because I was hogging ours and (miraculously) I was too passed out to respond to him nudging me. He’ll go when sharing inconveniences him but not when it inconveniences me? What the fuck?
Like, seriously – seriously – was my saying “I think the only way for me to sleep okay tonight would be if I had the bed to myself and you slept with Dandette” unclear? Bearing in mind that The Dandy is neurotypical as far as I can tell, or at least he’s been able to pick up on subtleties of all sorts in the past.
This has all been so goddamned frustrating and I still don’t feel I can discuss it with The Dandy because for some stupid fucking reason I’ve been home from work for hours but still haven’t had a nap. I am not in my right mind even a tiny bit.
*Dickface has been running around, scratching stuff, rustling plastic bags, stepping on us, and generally living up to her name at night lately. But if we close her out of the bedroom she’ll scratch the door loudly to get in. Ignoring it doesn’t make her stop, or at least ignoring it for ten minutes hasn’t, and that’s as long as I can stand it. She hooks her claws under the edge of the door and it makes the most terrible grinding sound.
**The other night when we shut her in the kitchen she crawled into a gap next to the dishwasher – a gap that leads to the space under the floor of the cupboards, and it’s a miracle she didn’t get stuck there. We recovered Dickface eventually and blocked the hole but I’m still a bit iffy on shutting her in the kitchen again.