It’s late at night and I’m lying on the edge of the bed as far away from him as I can get. I am mostly numb. I want to feel something, but there are too many feelings to narrow them down. I am trapped, and I wonder if there will be an end to these nights. I want to die.
“Why don’t you go sleep downstairs?” he growls at me. I squirm a little closer to the edge of the bed. I hate sleeping downstairs; it’s cold because we turn down the heat at night and the couch is so uncomfortable. I am silent, better to not make it any worse. Maybe if I’m quiet he’ll go to sleep; it’s already 11:30pm and the kids have school in the morning. Ten minutes of silence.
“I said, ‘Go downstairs if you don’t want to be close to me.’” I try a reply this time, “I don’t want to sleep downstairs.” Silence. Then he says, “I don’t care what you want. You obviously don’t care what I want.” He takes off my covers and waits for me to leave. I wait. Stalemate. Then he’s turning on lights; he’s raging. I can’t process what he’s saying because my mind is shutting down. I think, “He’s really mad. What should I do? I have to get up early tomorrow. I hope he doesn’t wake up the kids.”
I stay turned away from him, hoping he’ll let it go. “Please, let’s just go to sleep.”
“That’s all you care about, your sleep. You don’t care about me,” he says. He feels justified now, entitled to do whatever it takes to keep me up or get me to leave. After all, I don’t care about him. I am lazy, insensitive, selfish.
I relent. I’m not going to get any sleep here. I get up and grab my blanket and pillow to go downstairs. “Ya, take your blankie,” he spews as I walk out. I trudge downstairs, make my bed on the couch at the bottom of the stairs. He turns on the stair light and leaves it. I remove a few pillows and make a bed on the couch in the bright light.
I pray. “God, I don’t understand. Where are you? Why does it have to be like this?” Silence, then peace. Nothing earth shattering, I can hear him upstairs churning, mumbling. There’s a knowing that God is here; He sees. I make myself breathe deeply, trust, try to sleep.