For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a little c-r-a-z-y in my sleep. When I was small, I would have night terrors. I would sit bolt upright in my bed and scream at the top of my lungs, but when my mom came in to check on me, I was totally asleep. My little sister and I shared a room for several years and she would often regale me with stories about what crazy thing I had said the night before. I can have entire conversations entirely in my sleep. And sleep walked. I’ve woken up crying my eyes out for no apparent reason. I’ve even been known to sing.
You might think, then, that I could sleep through anything. Really, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I wake up at every creak of the floorboard or raggedy breath Owen takes or when the dog changes position. So I think this sleep craziness only happens at certain points in my sleep cycle, and as soon as I wake up during a crazy episode, I know exactly what happened and feel like a total weirdo.
These things don’t happen often, but often enough for me to know that they are a pattern for me… and something I hope my children don’t inherit!
One of the stories my family loves to tell about me involves my crazy sleep conversations. We were on a long road trip and made a late night stop for food. I was dead asleep when we stopped, so my mom asked me what I wanted to eat. “A ham sandwich”, I said. This may not seem weird at all, until you know that I was obsessed with pigs growing up and determined never to eat them because I loved them so much. Awake, I never would have allowed ham to touch my lips. My mom asked me several times, in an effort to make sure I was really telling the truth. Finally, she brought me the sandwich. I gobbled it and went right back to sleep. In the morning I was horrified to find out what I had eaten and swore up and down that I had NEVER asked for ham.
As an adult, the night terrors materialize in a different way. They are extreme nightmares that seem so realistic that they cause me to scream at the top of my lungs. Usually I wake up in the middle of a screamfest (literally in the middle of it, like, still screaming) and can remember what I was screaming at. Actually, one of the very first nights that Benjamin and I spent together, I woke up screaming bloody murder because I was convinced there was a snake in our bed.
(P.S. I’d rather not try to analyze what that dream meant.)
(P.P.S. He still married me.)
So last night, I snuggled down into my fluffy hotel bed and prepared for a long, uninterrupted sleep with no baby crying to wake me up. At some point in the night, though, I woke up standing in the middle of the room, pointing my finger at the bed and frantically throwing the covers around the room.
Yes. I was somehow convinced that Owen was trapped in the covers, or had fallen off the bed, or was lost or something. This was illogical for many reasons (mainly since I am in Chicago and he is in Boston!), but reminiscent of the panic feeling I used to have at night when we were nursing and I would wake up CONVINCED that I had fallen asleep nursing him and he was being smothered in my bed. Which was also illogical since I never once nursed him in bed (always in the rocker in his nursery).
See? Told you. I’m cray-cray in my sleep.