Insomnia is an old friend that comes and goes and I've long made peace with it since I was a child. When I was very small, I used to sleepwalk and while I have no memory of it, my family remembers with equal parts of horror and nostalgia. Finding a four-year-old in a white granny nightgown standing in the middle of the street at 4AM is not on the top ten lists of any parents' ideas of fun things to do in the middle of the night, but eventually they put the locks higher up near the top of the door and I was pretty safe from my late night wanderings and they too got a lot more sleep.
Now, as an adult, I find myself in the throes of insomnia again, but this time I know it's induced by depression over a broken marriage and the belief that although I did all I could, I wasn't really worth it enough to someone to even try to fix it. So now I wander, again, only this time on I-84, back and forth, back and forth, between visits from my former beautiful village which I no longer have any love for, and my dad's house, my brother's room, where there is no room for my things, most of which I left behind anyway. So, until that gets sorted out, I play Bubble Island.
I like it because it's not really competitive, I don't need to draft friends and acquaintances to be neighbors to fertilize crops or milk any cows and I don't have to have a co-op or commercial venture to move ahead. It's just me and the bubbles to knock out of formation at my leisure, and only in competition with myself to see how far I can get before I run out of lives (hearts) or patience and I've been stuck on the same level, same stage for some time now. It requires maneuvering around clear glass balls and having to get on top of them to knock them out of the way and I can't count the times my dad, sitting in the living room watching Monday Night Football screaming the same obscenities at Michael Vick that I'm screaming at the bubbles, tells me to quiet down. When I'm not crying out of overwhelming grief over my situation, it makes me laugh.
My dad is at a loss at what to do with me. I can't and won't eat so he can't feed me and I wander, like the little sleepwalker, back and forth like a ghost, in and out of the house, asking if he needs anything from the store, maybe something from Dunkin Donuts or Burger King or if I go out with a friend, I bring him the dinner I didn't eat and he picks at it just to be nice. He asks me if I want to go for a drive, he'll drive, let's go for a drive, Elaine, but sometimes I'm crying so hard, I get sick and I can't hear him and he wrings his hands and curses my ex. He won't be going to the house with me to retrieve my things with me when I'm ready. I don't think close proximity to something he hates with a passion now will do anyone any good.
There is nothing like the love of family and friends who reach out to you when they don't know what to say but they try anyway. I'm too tired and distraught to reach out myself. I can't relate or have any tolerance for their broken nails and bad hair days (and now ruefully remember my own petty complaints) when I don't know what my future will be a month, six months, a year, two years from now will be. It all depends on......well....a lot, much of which is out of my hands, and also at $125 an hour for attorney, rather expensive, so while I refuse to become a jammie wearing couch potato as Spooky Oats fears, when overwhelmed, I do retreat to my brother's room to play my little pointless bubble game.
I wonder why I keep playing this level over and over again and remember that a few days ago, I played another level over and over again and learned a couple of new bubble game skills. I kind of toughened up for the next level and got more hearts in the process. If I run out of hearts, I can spend some of my gold coins to buy another heart, or I can start over the next time I have more hearts, but I worry that I might lose the levels I was on before a flag which signifies that I don't have to go back that way again. I ponder this while my grandmother tells me she won't go to bed until I smile and hands me a mug of cherry jello and demands I eat it and I think it's all about love.
I feel alone much of the time, although I know I'm not. My dad and gran have been hovering so much sometimes I need my bubble time more than ever, and I also have a rich online life, a household routine, some writing too, not to mention the friends who make an effort to see me. Some people from my long ago past have even offered to lend a hand and I know I can count on them but the reaching out part is tricky and ironic considering that's part of the great advice I know how to give, but never seem to gracefully take, but yes, I know I'm loved, and thoroughly.
As one friend put it, I don't think you really really realize how much you ARE loved, and that's probably true because of the blinding numbness of grief. I count on everyone to reach through the fog, as I try to myself and I got an email from a woman who I used to babysit when she was a small child. I remember the little girl when she had gangly knock-knees and she's grown in a beautiful woman and her mom, also a friend, either must have told her what was going on with me or it's just so glaringly evident on my FB wall that anyone in a similar situation would know and now in retrospect, a few friends did say they knew something was up...so...so much for discretion, never one of my strengths.
She told me her story, which was eerily parallel to mine and then she said, Elaine, I know what you're thinking but don't give up on love. I hadn't said anything to her or her mother but had been thinking it, surely. I've said here and everywhere that my heart is a wide open road but this blow has been nearly fatal and although my husband left me in spirit a long long time ago, the walking away, the finality has come down on me like a ton of bricks and I did say, Oh God...never again. And yet those stupid bubbles kept bothering me as if there was some lesson in them.
If we learn anything from our mistakes, then they aren't mistakes but learning experiences and while there's the chance I can continue over and over again-why, the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, so when I sat on the bed and logged on my computer and opened up another window for some YouTube music, I approached those bubbles in a different way and after a few tries made it to the next level.
Each new level took some time, and often a new outlook, but looking back, I realized that the things I found the hardest to do, I'd become quite adept at and was prepared to face even more challenges, much harder than the ones before and I think back to my friend's email and knew I could never give up on love. Yes, It can be very hard and sometimes seemingly impossible but right or wrong, I'm a fighter--why else would I keep at this level 40 times if I didn't have hope I could finally make it, and why did I fight so hard to repair a ten year marriage--because I'm not a quitter until there's no chance, so I won't give up on it.
Right now, I can't imagine THAT. Well, I can, but only in a 'one day YES but not now' sort or way. When my attorney told me now that I was legally separated I could date, I burst into tears. I know she meant well, but I'm going to need a lot of time with that and I don't do casual anything so there won't be any 'the best way to get over someone is to get under someone' either as two other friends have suggested.
I'm not in any shape to be anything other than me and remain true to myself, so I'm working on healing and accomplishing real life goals as well as moving up in the ranks of Bubble Island and maybe earning another heart for the next level. The best things in life are worth waiting for, fighting for and persevering and even when I've felt totally defeated, I've always known it and thanks to those who love me, are reminded of it everyday.