If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It

I’ve been woken up by a punch to the face. When I yell, he jumps up and says, “Sorry! I was trying to throw an arrow.” He rolls over and goes back to sleep. Another time, “a roundhouse kick” has hit me in the shin. I’ve been jolted awake by yelling in Russian (he’s fluent), accompanied by all kinds of twitching and flailing. When I woke him up, he matter-of-factly explained that he was “helping some Russian spies catch Mel Gibson.” Apparently, he was in the middle of hand-to-hand combat when I interrupted. He laughs at an “inside joke.” And just this morning, while we were spooning, he bit my back. When I (very angrily) yelled at him, he sleepily said, “But you were saying bad things about your friends and my hands were otherwise occupied.”

Jesus has what’s called REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, which basically means that he acts out his dreams. Luckily, he doesn’t get up and walk around during these episodes, because that could be super dangerous for him. I was listening to an episode of This American Life where a man was talking about his experience with the disorder, and he had done things like climb on top of furniture (to get onto an awards podium) and jump out of a closed second story window (to avoid a missile attack). The biggest problem is that, while it’s treatable, the treatment for it is Klonipin. Jesus and I both know that he would not be able to take the drug as prescribed, and would most likely abuse the drug. So for now, we deal with it.

Perhaps my favorite mumbling of his was the time I heard him say something about “passing the ball” and then, in his sleep, said bluntly, “That was a basketball metaphor. I make basketball metaphors.” Except that he doesn’t. I don’t think he’s ever even watched basketball.

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  1. alanaNo Gravatar
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Holy shit, this is what I have but I never knew what it was called. Admittedly, I don’t bite people but I do get up and walk around. I tend to go outside for some reason. I just open the door and stand there looking back and forth inside and outside the house like I’m looking/waiting for something. I’ve been doing it since I was a child and it’s kind of scary cause I only know about it if someone is awake to see me do it. I also talk a lot and sit up in bed and yell. Ryan’s favorite so far is “we got to do this like we’re in jail.” lol He said it’s creepy cause I look right at him and start talking so he’s never sure if I’m awake or not. I don’t think I could handle that if it was the other way around.

    So yeah, Ryan feels your pain. And I understand how guilty Jesus probably feels knowing he’s the one disrupting your sleep but can’t stop.

  2. ParadoxNo Gravatar
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    My ex has this. It used to be hard sometimes to tell whether he was asleep or awake; we’d have whole conversations that he wouldn’t remember, or he would sometimes do strange things that were clearly part of dreams. It was a little scary sometimes if he was having a nightmare, but he was at least fairly easy to calm down.

  3. Nuclear RainbowNo Gravatar
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Do you know this site/blog: http://sleeptalkinman.blogspot.com/

    Immediate reminder :)

    • alanaNo Gravatar
      Posted May 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      This is amazing! I just spent a good part of my day laughing uncontrollably. Thank you!

  4. AprilNo Gravatar
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    My ex husband would often punch and kick me in his sleep. He’d talk A LOT more than he would do physical things. I don’t imagine he was as extreme was Jesus, though as you know, I’ve never slept in bed with Jesus, so I can’t say for sure. Like you, I would PISSED when I would get punched or kicked. Most of the times I would punch or kick him back. The funnies thing for me was when one night I tried kicking him with my amputated foot. I was half asleep and I just kept flailing my stump around trying to make contact. He had woken up and saw me. “What the fuck are you doing” he said as he was laughing. I said, “Trying to kick you back!”

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