I have nightmares pretty frequently. They still circle around my years spent with S.
For instance, a couple of weeks ago I dreamt that I was living in low-income government housing because I was still with S and he had driven us to the poor house. He was dealing drugs out of the apartment and Rivers Cuomo (that's right, the singer from Weezer) broke in and stole all of my stuff. Every last item. Including my dog. He had sold my clothes to the thrift store, but I was scrambling to raise enough money to bribe Rivers to ransom my dog back to me.
Last night I was in Valdosta's bed having another nightmare. It was the first one I've had while he's been physically present. We were in the classic spoon position: his front against my back. I was using the arm he slipped under my neck as my pillow. Our forearms were indistinguishably tangled across my heart; I couldn't tell where he stopped and I began.
The dream I was having was unclear. S was in it. So was Valdosta peripherally. The problem I was having was that I was frightened. I had woken up to some degree. I opened my eyes and saw the mess of hands in front of me. I knew it was a dream. I was aware that Valdosta was sleeping softly behind me. But every time I closed my eyes, I could feel them roll into the back of my head and feel myself being sucked back into this dream where I was so frightened.
The cycle would repeat: open my eyes and adjust them to Valdosta's dark bedroom, close them and feel scared. However, the longer time elapsed, the more terrified I became, even if I was awake. My heart pounded incessantly to the point that it ached in my chest from beating so hard. I began thrashing and kicking. I told myself that Valdosta was behind me and everything was okay, but I couldn't shake the intense fear I felt.
Being awake but reacting from my dream was such a loss of control for me that the fear began to form the beginnings of an anxiety attack. My heart pounded so hard and so fast that I was legitimately concerned that it was going to stop beating out of exhaustion.
Lying in bed, I tried to think of how to slow my heart down. Valdosta hugging me from behind obviously wasn't working. My heart needed to be compressed; it needed pressure on top of it.
I punched Valdosta in the arm. "You need to roll over," I said much more harshly than I intended. Soundlessly, he obeyed. I formed the reverse-spoon and molded myself against his back. I smooshed my face into his shoulder blade, and then because I didn't want to be a big inconvenience, I wrapped my arms around his arms instead of draping them across his stomach. I squeezed, felt relief in my chest and fell asleep.
Valdosta eventually shifted. I woke up again, my heart no longer in pain. Where I had grabbed a hold of him was a wall of sweat from such intense contact. It extended from the nape of his neck down to the backs of his knees. I was damp from it. Well, you kind of brought that upon yourself, I thought. Valdosta rolled onto his back and I took my position on his shoulder.
At 6:30 a.m., his alarm went off. I woke up feeling relieved that both the night and the dream were over.
"I did not sleep well last night," Valdosta said. "I was hot."
"That one's on me," I admitted pitifully. "I had a bad dream."
Valdosta rolled towards me and we lay face to face. Then he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me to his chest. He squeezed tightly. Any residual fear I felt evaporated. My heart was compressed.
"Huh," I said. "All I had to do was tell you."