breakups, dating, men, relationships, sex

on the return of insomnia

One of our last days together, he said it looked like my insomnia had been cured. (We were parallel playing with our Jawbone apps, in which we were “team members,” a status that ended about four minutes after his door closed behind me for the last time.)

It was true; it helped having a lover in bed, not only lulling me to sleep with the sounds of his own sleepiness but also the warm pull of his body as it fit so perfectly into mine, two missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that’s since been recalled due to unknown defects.

Now that I sleep alone again there are advantages (though most are unique to my twin bed, which was all but impossible to share with a grown man for nearly a month without some troubles); they are outweighed by the things I miss, and I remember all too often well how in the months and years of my voluntarily asexuality after Jack died I rarely wanted the feel of a man moving inside me, but I often missed the presence of a man next to me in bed, to spoon or to be spooned by.

One of the few distinct memories that remains after all this time since Jack has died is the precise physical feeling of spooning him: I remember everything, from where every part of our bodies were  perfectly entwined to the way I would snuggle my nose into the crook of his neck and offer a light kiss just before he’d turn out the light.

A (rather young) friend of mine tells me to enlist male friends to come cuddle with me, so I won’t feel so physically alone (because, believe me, sex is the last thing I need, and if there’s anything emotionally unhealthier than going off to have sex with someone else immediately after a breakup, I can’t think of it; I know better than to treat myself so cheaply). But I don’t want to cuddle with just anyone (not to mention that all of my male friends in NYC are also former lovers of one kind or the other, which would make things even more complicated)—I want to cuddle and fall asleep with a (the? I don’t even know anymore?) man I love. One’s dead and the other (whom I don’t even know how I feel about anymore) keeps telling me I’ve got a lot going for me, a line I half-expect to be followed up with a slap on the back and a hearty “Go Get ‘Em, Slugger!”

In any case, the insomnia is back in full force. I was up until 2am Thursday, 3:30am Friday, 4am Saturday, 5:45 am last night. (And, yes, I’m wearing my blue-light blocking glasses after 8pm when using electronics.) This is followed by sleeping until 2pm or later, meaning I’ve missed half the day before I’ve even taken out my ear plugs and removed my eye mask.

[Yes, I have a doctor. Yes, I’ve had sleep studies and EEGs and I take sleep meds that, if you were to take them, would have you out for a week. For me, they do nothing. Which makes me wonder why I take them… And am allergic to melatonin and valerian root. In other words, this isn’t a call for advice. I’m on the case.]

Sometimes I wish I were a man—a Facebook friend also going through a breakup had sex with someone else right away, tells me I should do the same, or masturbate, which is about as appealing right now as slamming my hand in a car door (though he’s offered to send visuals to help out; see how kind and generous men are?*)—and could fuck my way out of this insomnia. But then I absolutely have to stop myself cold when I think that J might be acting like my FB friend out of pure respect for my mental health, because to think he could move on so and have sex with someone else so quickly is devastating. Just devastating. So devastating I’m using the word three times. (And, yes, I know; it says more about his inability to process feelings and not wanting to learn how to be alone with himself and not knowing who he is except in contrast with or as a reflection of the people and things around him, but that doesn’t make it any easier to think about.) And besides, I don’t want to hook up with someone, even friends I’ve been down that road before with; I want back what I had, like a little girl crying while she looks at the ice cream cone—her favorite flavor!—face down on the sidewalk just moments after she spent the last of her allowance getting the damn thing.

In any case, I’m off to read in hopes that it’ll put me to sleep. I find out tomorrow about a job that’s been bouncing me around from one position tryout to another about what’s going on… and since I think I’m supposed to call them, I bet they’d appreciate a call sometime before 3pm.

*sarcasm, and: I declined, of course  


4 thoughts on “on the return of insomnia”

  1. I know this is a crudely and way to over-simplified take on the matter of being a male with those abilities, but I don’t think that males are able to move on so easily but it’s that we see the cards and front of us and at a certain point you have to play the hand you have or fold. I just recently fell for someone and was building a relationship and I opened myself to them and thought maybe they missed it. I did it once more and realized they hadn’t missed it and I was just wishing too hard for something that wasn’t there. I’ve been playing blackjack more often these past couple weeks and it’s easy to win if you go by ‘the book’. It’s not easy in all circumstances, but if you have discipline and play the same consistently – you shouldn’t have the advantage on the house, but you’ll at least have the best shot at winning you can give yourself. I don’t like taking hits on 16, but never will a 16 beat a 17. Win or lose, you have to take the hit if you are playing. Also life is like walking against a moving sidewalk because standing still means you’re falling behind. I have no idea if any of this makes any sense or helps at all but that’s my intention that you find some solstice in these words and dream sweetly again. Sending some positive vibes your way, Lovely. -Ox


    1. I guess. But the situation here is a little more complex. He’s new to the city. He has two women he hooked up with before meeting me, both of whom he cut things off with right away. So when I let my mind wander, it’s him with someone he told me couldn’t compare to me in a million years or fucking someone random he has to seek out somehow. That’s not really playing cards he has in front of him, is it? (I’d view that as me calling up a guy who lives a few blocks away who’s been a friend for years to get pizza and watch a movie and I’m sad and lonely and it happens unexpectedly because I’m needy in the moment, not because I planned it by going out on an actual date or inviting a former lover over… see the difference?)

      What it all comes down to is that he doesn’t love me anymore. And that hurts every time he says it. I waited SIX YEARS to feel this way about someone again. SIX. Every day I feel like the biggest fool for believing I actually deserved another chance, that the universe had presented me with one. So now it’s time to crawl back into hibernation—I don’t have it in me to have another heartbreak. I think I’m done this time, and that makes me even more sad because I actually believed in love again there for a minute! I truly thought I could have the things I see so many other people have, but it turned out that I’m just not meant for them.

      The really fucked-up thing is that I’d probably take him back, if therapy were involved.


      1. Yeah, I did a really shitty way of explaining what was in my head and thoughts. I’ll have to take another try at it once I let all these thoughts settle in my mind, but know this one thing: you absolutely deserve to be happy and all those things we read about in stories growing up. I’m glad it’s not with him because I don’t think he will ever be able to grasp the fact he had everything people search lifetimes for…so fuck him for that, and I’m more just angry at the universe because I know that you’re hurt and this world is a better place when you’re smiling…so to hell with the universe also. Even if I had to dress like a clown and slip on a banana peel everyday in front of you, it wouldn’t be a wasted life because everyone would get to see that life-changing smile of yours!


        1. Fair enough. I wish he could see how much willingness I have (had?) to teach him how to get through the rough patches. (I say that without condescension and knowing I had things to learn, too, as we all do in learning to live with someone who has a completely different “origin story,” as it were.)

          I’m still skeptical it’ll come my way again. I’ve had several people tell me that some folks just never do have easy lives, and I might be one of them. Plus, I’m being tested for a couple medical things that have a not-small chance of meaning my life span may be limited to the next 5-10 years (being generous) if even one of them is positive. So it may be the case that I don’t have much time. (One of them, my uncle was dead less than a year after diagnosis.) So it’s not just the loss of love that I never thought I’d find again; it’s also the fear of dying before I find it again which, in my case, would also pretty much mean dying alone, since my family has long since made clear that I’m on my own when it comes to any sort of problems that crop up.

          ETA: thank you for all the gushing and kind compliments as well as the ego boosts. 🙂


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