A weird thing just happened (or it might be me, I really can’t tell)…
I went to bed with someone last night (not for sex, although I was fairly grope-y and stroke-y and whatnot) and me, I just couldn’t really properly sleep, and I was (in my half-asleep state) being what was probably overly cuddly and a bit too talkative.
I can see how they might not appreciate that. Makes perfect sense to me. Seems completely fair, right?
So I ask them, at several points when I think I’m disturbing them, “Do you want me to go in the other room?” and variations on, “Sorry, doing it again, should I stop?”
And they answer with several variations on, “No, it’s fine, just don’t expect me to reciprocate because I’m sleeping,” (fair, I thought) and also, “No, don’t go in the other room, stay here,” and at least 2 or 3 times, “No, it’s nice.”
So, about half an hour ago, I realize I’ve started talking again, and I ask if we can swap sides in bed (I’m now back-achey and wanting to cater to my sciatica) and they do–way too quickly, and I think, shit, for all their naysaying, they are awake, I am keeping them up, gotta be quieter/sleepier/whatever, and so I proceed to do that.
I ask them a question a few minutes later (because I’m starting to drift off, finally, and unfortunately I sometimes start to talk as I’m relaxing into sleep–so do they, come to think of it….) and they give a kind of snappy answer and I think, alright, fair, I get it, but I also make some half-jokey reference to them being like a drug (so, like, I can’t help myself, right?) and which point they really sharply go, “I don’t care,” (as if they can’t tell it’s a joke, maybe? or they’re just not in the mood, which is fair enough too) and then a few minutes later (out of nowhere–I’ve been completely silent since then, I’m again just starting to drift off) they announce, “It really HAS got to stop now, it’s time for sleep,” and I go, “….I’m not doing anything…?”
And they go, “Well I’m going in the other room now.”
“….but…. I’m not doing anything…?”
“Well, I just require coolness and space.”
Giving it’s one way to get it, I suppose.
The thing that makes it all a bit off, for me, is that literally last night–like, an hour before going to bed?–I said to them, “You have to make peace with the idea that I don’t always sleep well, I’m an insomniac, and sometimes, you’ll just have to let me go in the other room, so you can sleep,” and they were all, “No, once we’re in bed you must STAY in bed, I want the cuddling,” etc etc, and I was laughing a little, but I thought they were more or less serious (all the more so, when I kept offering to go in the other room and let them sleep, and they said no repeatedly)….
…so to me, that means they a) perceive being left in the middle of the night as some sort of rejection or slight, and b) they intentionally did that to me, rather than “let” me do that to them…
….and I dunno, I just feel that’s not on. A dozen conversations, more, we’ve had about this, over the last year or so, about it being okay to pet them and snuggle them in the middle of the night, about how they prefer that to sleeping alone, the last of which took place LAST NIGHT RIGHT BEFORE BED….
…and then they stormed out of the room after telling me I was fine, and left me wondering what I did wrong, wide awake (well you would be, wouldn’t you, if you’d finally started to get to sleep and then the person you had your arm draped over–which is often how you sleep with this person, who actually asked you if you’d mind spooning them at the start of the night, rather than the other way ’round–suddenly shot up and snapped at you and huffed out, huffed back in again to retrieve something, and then went to their room) and, let’s be completely honest, crying because I suddenly felt in the wrong… after checking all night (and many times previously) that what I was doing was okay.
What makes it worse is that this person pretty regularly does this (or something like it) when they’ve got something other than me to look forward to (dinner this evening with an old friend, and I have to leave town this afternoon) and so it begins to look like they don’t mind my (admittedly excessive) levels of attention when they’re alone and without plans, but as soon as they’ve got something on, I’m too clingy/needy/in-your-face…
…I can’t, can I? I can’t be with someone who finds me indispensable and irreplaceable and mostly charming, right up until they have something else to do. As far as self-esteem goes, I’m just asking to have mine gradually eroded.