Sunday, September 21, 2014
Dear Noah......you could not go back to sleep after dreaming about elevators....
I woke up this morning off and on like I always do...for some reason woke up again about the time I normally would for work...around 3:30 a.m.....and I looked across the room and saw something...looked like white glowing legs....on the bottom near the floor but dark on top. Hum....I thought, "Should I open my eyes further and look better to see what MIGHT be there?" My mind still had not totally decided that was a good idea, but my eyes did not hesitate and they looked up...up my eyes went and tried to focus...and then I realized Noah was standing there leaning against the wall. I asked him how long he had been standing there. He said, "A half hour." I said, "A half hour? WHY? Why did you not say anything to me and just stand there? Why did you not even try to wake me up?"
Noah has done this off and on since he was very little. I know it has a lot to do with his autism and just not really either knowing what to do in that situation or not knowing how to "explain" it to me.....(and now I think he is afraid he will wake me up) so he will often just come to the side of my bed or wherever I am sleeping and just "stand there." No words...just stands there. He told me he had actually been out in the kitchen before standing there in the living room beside me sleeping on the sofa.
I guess he was having a very hard time sleeping. It sounds like he had a dream where he was going up and down in elevators and checking elevators out (which he LOVES) and his arms and legs were MOVING and it woke him up. Once awake...his mind obsessed on the elevators and he could not put those thoughts away for the night so he could sleep. ALSO a very common issue for people with autism....and many other people as well. Noah used to basically not sleep much at all....could not get his mind to be "quiet" so he could "sleep." I worked with him on many methods to get around this including but not limited to (lol), telling yourself it was "okay" to put all those thoughts away for the night in an imaginary box beside your bed where the next day you could open the box and take all those same thoughts BACK OUT and begin thinking about them again, but that your "mind" needed some quiet time to sleep and rest. This actually worked for him. He said now he can usually "quiet" his mind and free it up from thoughts so he can go to sleep...but after the elevator dream he could not. I guess he did not know what to do. So he came out and "stood."
He said he calls nights like this when he cannot sleep "hotel nights" ...because when we used to go to hotels during our travels back and forth from Colorado to Ohio on vacations we would spend time in hotels (which he loves doing to this day) and he was always so excited he would usually NOT be able to sleep and would get up and look out the hotel window off and on all night...and finally, eventually be able to go back to sleep. I guess there are times now when he will wake up in his bedroom....look out the window a few times...and finally he can fall asleep on his own.
The other night he got up...and I swore he was up...I was working...I called out to him...he never responded. I finally got up (within seconds) and went to check to see if he was up. I did not see him anywhere. I opened his bedroom door and he was sound asleep. I later found out that day he HAD gotten up...but somehow had gone to the bathroom and got back into bed and back to sleep before I got out of my chair and checked on him? This was like all less than a minute and a half. HE DID hear me call out to him but he never responded.
Anyway.....last night he brought his afghan out to the love seat and folded his long legs and body into a position to try to sleep out there beside me. We talked for a bit. He finally sounded like he was getting tired...and next thing I know he was once again sound asleep.
I cherish moments like these though. Even though I was going to lose some sleep on my one morning I could sleep in.....I was soaking it all up and trying to embed it in my brain as another memory.
One day I know our roles might be reversed...and I just hope he has as much patience and love for me during any difficult times I might have....as I try to always give him..haha..not sure he will....but he would probably HIRE someone else to "tend" to me that might hee hee.
While Noah has made huge strides over his lifetime so far..I know many areas he will need to work on...and that most still revolve around expressive language and learning to use his words to express easily what he is thinking or how he is feeling or what he needs or just what is going on in certain situations. This has never come easily to him and still does not. Sometimes he just does not talk at all because he says it is too hard for him to express what he is thinking. I know it can take him a long time to get something out verbally.
Anyway.....those 2 little white glowing legs were his......and I can say I am certainly thankful they were!