I don't sleep much these days. Did I mention that?
I had finally fallen into a fitful sleep close to dawn when my body felt a noise, a slight vibration in the house like when our front door slams. A jolt of adrenaline and I'm awake in the dark, heart knocking in my chest and that familiar vice-grip clamped all the way down on my stomach.
I lay there, every cell awake and rigid and waiting for another clue. Had I dreamed it? Were there footsteps? Is it Kyd come home to throw a drunken temper tantrum because his life isn't what he planned and it must somehow be my fault? Or some new threat? A stranger?
It was Lexi getting up to use the bathroom.
She went back to her room, but I still needed to check.
Turn the lights on one by one, check each room, check the lock, peek out into the driveway, the front yard, and listen.
Finally I was satisfied enough that my rational mind could get in a word edgewise and tell me to go back to bed. It was nothing. It was Lexi. Even though it felt like the front door, it couldn't have been.
Then it dawned on me. THIS is why when my anxiety or depression is peaking I sleep on the couch. I had been beating myself over the head for this while simultaneously coming up with good reason to do so -- I fell asleep while reading or it was too hot in my room. Secretly I thought I was just being a bit of a depressed bum who couldn't get up off the couch and sleep in her bed like a normal person.
But as I stood there in the living room listening I realized that this room was the best vantage point for maximum awareness of what was going on in my house. From the living room I can hear the front door and the side door, I can hear what's going on downstairs, and down the hall. I can see the road, the side drive, and the back driveway and yard. And suddenly I was outside myself, seeing myself standing there in the dark and how I resembled an animal who's just heard a twig snap, or caught the slightest hint of scent and freezes -- listening, watching, sniffing the air.
Night is when the trauma had always come to my house.