Je ne regrette rien

Stealing Sleep

Posted in 100 Things, Alcoholism, Crime, life, new orleans by Amy on January 24, 2009

sleep3For a very long time, months after I left my ex-husband, I could not sleep. I would nap for an hour or two, wake up, put effort into getting tired once more, then sleep for another few hours. The first good night of sleep that I had in probably a year was the first time my current husband spent the night at my house, me camped out on the floor, falling asleep during a movie, him on the couch, hanging around to make sure I was ok until he fell asleep himself.  That night of sleep felt so good. I remember waking up the next day, actually feeling rested. I felt safe with him there, secure, and I knew that thoughts that chased sleep away for me were now being chased away by him, whether he knew it or not.

We had this silly routine at first – stuck in that weird little stage at the beginning of every relationship that spawns from friendship, when we were dating, kind of, maybe, not for sure, but I think so – where he would come over to my house to have supper and watch a movie or a television show that we both liked.

“You don’t mind if I lay down while we watch this do you?”

“No,” he would say, “That’s fine.”

“Just to warn you, I might fall asleep.”

“You don’t mind if I hang out here a while, do you?”

“No! That’s fine.”

And eventually I would fall asleep and he would fall asleep. Gradually we made it to sleeping next to one another, cuddling.

Then things took a turn. He began self-medicating with alcohol and we didn’t sleep anymore. He passed out, I would dance a line between sleep and consciousness, worried about him, and what would happen or what he would do while I allowed myself the freedom to rest.  This went on much longer than I would have liked, too long, but eventually the self-medication faded away and sleep found me again.

Except for times like tonight.

My mind is awake, thinking about this city, wondering about what is happening out there when the lights are down and the world has gone quiet, except Bourbon St. Lately there has been a lot of senseless acts of violence, and it frightens me. Being from a small town, I’m not used to this, not that I think I would ever want to get used to it. So sleep escapes tonight, and my mind thinks of the lives that have been lost that didn’t need to be.  I wonder what I can do to help foster change? What can I do to make this city that I do love genuinely safer for my daughter and myself. Is there anything that I can really do, aside let my voice be heard?

The net of my husband’s arms around me cannot capture sleep on a night like tonight. A night when I probably need sleep the most.

7 Responses

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  1. wreathconnection said, on January 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    I Love your blog!!! I am writing this comment to let you know that in going through the blogs tonight, that yours was amazing and caught my eye!! I am new to wordpress and am trying to show everyone my website and of course to make new friends. Please check out my blog as well at and let me know what you think!! I Hope to see you there!!

  2. Cynthia said, on January 24, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Here I am. I came on over, just like I said I would.
    I enjoy reading about what you are writing. Good luck on that story you are doing. Will it be fictionalized or nonfiction

    • Amy said, on January 25, 2009 at 1:23 am

      Hey you! It is fictionalized. It is going to be apart of a bigger story collection. Am loving writing and researching it now!

  3. Charlotte said, on January 25, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Dear girl,
    Welcome to New Orleans. It’s a mixed-up, crazy, wonderful city where you will def not be bored. I’ve lived here 30 years & can’t imagine living anywhere else. Since Katrina, people are getting more involved in community and really trying to affect change in our ineffectual city gov’mnt as well as the scourge of crime we suffer on a daily basis. I can understand why you’re afraid. All I can say is, be aware of your surroundings and don’t venture in areas you aren’t familiar with unless you have someone with you who knows the area. In all the time I’ve lived here, I’ve never been a victim of crime.
    May I suggest some Nola blogs that area great resources for what’s happening in the city?

    I ran across your blog on WordPress tag “new-orleans” and I’m glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every entry you’ve made & I’m bookmarking you.
    Take care…..

    • Amy said, on January 25, 2009 at 1:31 am

      Thank you for the comment and the links! I think part of it is taht I haven’t really gotten out in the city yet to firmly plant my roots! I appreciate knowing, though, your experiences! Am going to blog roll you!

  4. Charlotte said, on January 25, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Thanks, hon! I’ll blogroll you as well. We have a list of Nola bloggers here:

    If you’d like to be on the list, let me know and I’ll post your url to the nola google group.

    • Amy said, on January 25, 2009 at 9:26 am

      That would be wonderful. I am going to go read some of the blogs tonight! Thank you!

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