Serenity is lying next to someone at night.

Feeling the heat from their body, even if we don't touch.

Hearing the small sounds that announce their presence -- breathing, a muffled cough, the creak of springs as they turn over.

Smelling their sweat, or their soap, their shampoo, or the perfume they wear.

Seeing the shape under the bedclothes that means I am not alone.

Knowing that, if I have a nightmare, they will hold me, and comfort me; and that, if I want to, I can stretch out and caress them, kiss them, make love to them.

Feeling, seeing, hearing, smelling, knowing that someone is there.

I am afraid of needing someone.
I am afraid of taking a risk and offering myself to someone.
I am afraid of falling for someone... it is like the dizzying speed and height of riding a roller coaster, and I like neither.
I am afraid of touching someone because once you start with one little touch, nothing ever seems like enough anymore.
I once dated someone who I couldn't talk to. Talking to her was like bouncing a ball against a wall... my thoughts always came back to me and they made no impression whatsoever on her. I am afraid of that too because then I'd be content but never happy with such a person.
I am afraid of knowing what people think of me.

I am afraid of lying next to someone at night, and wanting her so badly that I would want to reach over and run my hand over her face to memorize it.

I want intimacy, but I'm afraid of it. I am stuck in a ditch that I dug for myself, and every time someone offers me a hand to help me up, I can't seem to grab it. Perhaps I'm so used to being in the dark, that I have come to fear the sun.

Waking up beneath her
To feel her breath on my bare chest
She's still asleep, blissful
Beautiful in slumber
To know that she feels safe in my arms
That the world cannot hurt her here
I am alive again.
I can make it through.
An angel rests here.
I think, maybe, of all the injustices society imposes upon teenagers and young adults, depriving them of this simple, utterly important comfort is the most horrible.

Just when we most need it, when we're most in need of comfort and belonging and simple warmth, we have to sleep alone in cold, lonely beds.

For most people, the first time they make love is in a car, or on a couch, hurried, nervous, panicked. The intimacy of sleeping by one another, holding her, holding him, is so much more important and necessary and good, and is denied for so long.

Waking up next to her and finding that she's more beautiful now than ever, without makeup and primping, just lazily and peacefully glowing. She'll never believe you when you tell her, but she'll still love to hear you say so.

Waking up next to him and finding him gently drooling on your chest, and still wanting to hold him so tight that he never has to face the world again, never has to see those fools who pass him by and don't see the man you love.

Most people don't know what they're missing until they're 18 or 20. That doesn't mean damage isn't done. To be deprived of one of the most important, basic comforts for the most difficult part of your life... To not even know how good it can be...

Lying next to each other, nuzzling her neck and gently drifting off, feeling her legs and arms tangle in yours, just wishing you had known this a few years ago, when you were so confused and frightened and lonely...
and feel at peace with her, with him, with yourself.

The population that we Americans most often hear need to learn to sleep in "their own bed" is young - our most needy and vulnerable citizens, our infants and small children.

We are encouraged to train them to sleep alone while we seek the comfort of our mate's warm body. We are told by large federal agencies (erroneously and with the back up of only psuedo-science) that it is dangerous to sleep with our babies.

Well-done research showing the benefits of co-sleeping with infants goes ignored. Historically SIDS was called "cot death" for a reason, it happens more often when an infant sleeps alone, in a cot! We are sanctioned by doctors, popular press and now the Consumer Product Safety Commission to encourage our children's independence just when they need us the most.

A baby who "needs" his parents is felt to be a problem. Poor baby.... as part of the animal kingdom humans are born so immature that they can do little for themselves. We are more like Kangaros without a pouch than deer. Our large brain and upright, 2 legged posture forced an evolutionary choice so we have a foreshortened gestation. During infancy a baby should be kept close to his parents, day and night. Our infants need at least a year before they can begin to take the first steps toward independence. They can't even walk or find food but they should sleep alone? We are one screwed up society.


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