Sometimes when my son has a seizure-related accident or when I’m extraordinarily worried about another person, place, or thing I have to “take to the bed.” It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is. After an unfortunate event my ears start ringing and I suddenly feel exhausted or nauseated from anxiety.
Lately, I’ve been playing a trick on myself when attempting sleep. I will literally put myself in someone else’s shoes. No, not like an empath, but more like a person practicing an imagination game. Occasionally, I’ll even embody my high school self and roam the halls at school. I morph into a silly girl who hasn’t yet experienced the varied menu life offers unsuspecting adults.
The other night after my son suffered a face plant from a swinging incident at the park, I couldn’t function. I was so stressed about how he might wake up in the morning, (agitated, concussive, etc.) that I was a hyperactive, hand-wringing mess one minute, and then a defeated, absent-minded monad the next.
It would be easier if my son could talk and tell us how he was feeling, but he can’t. And when my husband came home later that evening and continued the same neurological checks on him that I’d performed, I pretended he would be okay. He was unwilling or unable to move from the couch in his therapy room, but he correctly identified how many fingers we held up to his face. He was groggy, but intact.
At an unspeakably early 9:00 pm I had to crawl in bed and try to control all the ringing and wringing. My mind was “squirming like a toad,” (The Doors) but it finally settled on someone. Meghan Markle, who had just gotten married.
It must’ve been around 2:30 am her time. She’s sleeping now, I thought–or trying to sleep, cuddled next to her new spouse. And eventually, magically, I became Princess Meghan, or Duchess Markle, or whatever. I awaken from my slumber to the faint smell of lavender, disoriented and confused. Who am I? Where am I? Look at all these fluffy pillows, and fluffy bedspreads, and fluffy everything. Oh my God—gasp–I’m a royal. What have I done? What have I sacrificed to marry this prince of a man next to me? I know I’ve already sacrificed my taste, opting for a designer wedding outfit that made me look like a cross between Queen Victoria and Mother Teresa, but what else have I sacrificed?
“I can’t write my lifestyle blog anymore! And, and I have to give up acting!” I actually laugh at that, at her– I mean, me. Girl, you’re thirty six, your acting days are numbered anyway. And besides, an actor never gives up acting. You’ll be using it now more than ever, trust me. (As a former thespian I know this.) Hmmm, what else have I cut out of my life? At this point Harry awakens and senses my discomfort and benign thrashing. He throws a big freckled arm over me and I cling to it for reassurance.
In the lavender-scented darkness I almost feel sorry for me. I mean, the Duchess. She’s embarking on an adventure that is foreign and bizarre. Intimidating and scary. Unexpected. I feel badly that she might have to give up her privacy, her individualism. Nah, she’s a princess. I finally roll over and fall asleep.