For the final four months of my seven year relationship, I slept on the couch, a papasan mattress and ultimately a Queen mattress on the floor of my home office.
My nights on the couch weren’t frequent at first, I’d sleep there if I was having cramps or unable to get a panic attack to pass. It made sense to ensure I didn’t bother his sleep and hear about it the next day.
It wasn’t until he pulled out the gun case, that I decided our bed was no longer applicable. He was drunk. I called his father at 12 a.m. on that Saturday night and told him to come get the 9mm.
When he arrived, they spoke in the garage for nearly an hour. When his dad came back in, he expressed that if we didn’t get our shit together we need to break things off.
I was sober. But ok. I wasn’t belligerent. But OK! Thanks Dad. I gave him the gun case and he left.
Within minutes my fiancé came barreling in the House. I was sitting up on the couch with tears streaking down my face.
Don’t you ever fucking call my Dad over here again.
That’s when he hacked a loogie in my face and told me I couldn’t sleep on the couch(that I’d bought), anymore.
It was distasteful for the kids to see me there in the mornings before school.
Because hacking a loogie in my face wasn’t distasteful.
So I took the round cushion from the wicker papasan chair in our bedroom and laid it on the floor of my office, just across the hall. For weeks I slept without a pillow, bunching up a few hoodies in the shape of a pillow for my head.
We would hate for the bed to look abnormal, without the necessary four pillows dressing it.
For months, my feet hung off the end of the thin round cushion and aside from going to bed fully clothed, I only had a thin quilt for warmth.
Every once in a while I’d go to the couch if the kids were at their mother’s, but most nights I opted for the floor–less chance for animosity or interaction.
Around the beginning of April, three months after the loogie incident, he brought in a new mattress for our bedroom. He’d always complained about the old mattress we’d slept on the last five years, and was elated by the hand-me-down from his parents. With this switch, the used Queen mattress found an empty spot in the hall outside the bedroom and my office.
I guess he preferred it there.
It’s not like I’d just gotten pre-cancerous cells scraped from my uterus, two months earlier.
It’s not like I had 3 herniated discs pressing on my sciatic nerve.
For the final two weeks of my residence in that house, the used mattress found its way to the floor of my office. He’d gotten caught up on the corner while stumbling drunk through the hall one night and got pissed. The door to my office was shut but he must have had trouble with the knob because he busted through the door jam, splintering the wood where it came in contact with the lock.
He threw the mattress on top of me and my makeshift sleeping pallet.
I slept on that mattress for the last time, eight months ago. I left my home without a pillow or blanket, but I was OK with that.