Insomnia Episode #748

There are some nights that I fall asleep quickly, early even. These are the nights after a night or two or three spent wide awake, tossing and turning and searching Craigslist for everything and anything in the hopes that I will become drowsy and eventually knock off to sleep. I thought tonight might be one of those nights but, here I am, wide awake again.

There are some nights, very few and far apart, where I actually sleep the entire night through without even waking at midnight for a potty run. These nights are exceptionally rare. Most often, I sleep soundly for about three or four hours, then I’m wide awake for most of the rest of the night. Tonight appears to be one of these nights.

Tonight my mind is spinning around the possibility of my 11-year-old completely rejecting me and going to live with her father. Now, I know it sounds a bit exaggerated to say that she would reject me, but that is exactly the choice she would be making, though I doubt she would understand that at first. The reality is she would be making a change for a completely different way of being. She would be choosing a life that would not allow her to tolerate me (yes, her dad is one of those ultra-religious and very judgmental and not-very-nice Christian types). She would be taught and would learn to hate me because I don’t attend church every single Sunday and because I sip a beer or two occasionally. She would, I fear, become a disrespectful, ugly, intolerant, and unloving human being if she were to live with him most of the time. I hope to avoid this by teaching her the difference between having a relationship with God, and being religious. Further, were she to live with him, she would be prevented from staying with or seeing me. I cannot worry about this. Though it would crush me and grieve me for her to make the choice to live with her dad, it is ultimately her life.

To distract myself from this, I decided to cruise Craigslist. Tonight’s category: bikes. This did nothing to help. It just made me feel badly because I have no money.

The other day a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she tried taking NyQuil just so she could sleep. A few minutes ago, I tried this. I emptied the last of the cold medicine, just enough for one dose. This might be working, so I’m signing off for another night.

Sweet dreams, or if not, then here’s wishing you a deep and restful slumber.

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Posted on April 17, 2012, in What Keeps Me Up At Night and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m a live-and-let-live kind of person…I try to be nonjudgmental about how people live their lives and how they raise their children…so I ask out of curiosity, not because I think I know the answer – is an 11 year old capable of making a choice that affects the rest of her life and understanding the consequences in the way you describe? Is there another age where that child is more capable of making the choice and living with those consequences and until then isn’t allowed to really make that decision for herself, allowing you some say-so?

    I really don’t know the answers, it’s just what came to mind when I read your post. I know there may come a day when my boys want to live with their father…and I don’t know how I’ll react if it ever happens…

    • Michaela,
      I don’t believe my 11-year-old is making this choice now, though I believe she might be having some conversations with her father along these lines thus setting in motion a series of events leading to future eventualities that I fear. I’m certainly not allowing to make these choices now. Her dad on the other hand definitely believes that children should be treated no differently than adults. This includes television viewing habits, bedtime hours, and decision-making about matters like this. That’s pretty heady and fun stuff for an 11-year-old who then has to come home to mom’s where there are boundaries, limits, and expectations for respectful interactions, bedtime, bath time, and expectations for studies and school.

      I have long thought that if the time came and he went back to court to try to get her to stay with him, I would fight it. I’m now not sure that would be the best thing to do. I don’t know.

      Though I know it is a foolish waste of life energy to worry about that which might not even transpire, I still do it.

      Thanks for your thoughtful, well-stated comment. You’ve given me more to think about than you realize or probably even intended.

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