She had gotten very clever at finding ways to anchor herself. A foot wrapped around a chair or table leg. A backpack with a few heavy books in it. Boots with heavy soles. She had a whole host of tricks at her disposal. She had learned quickly what worked and what didn't.
She remembered the first time it had happened. She woke up from a dream where she was in the Macy's Christmas Parade, not in a band or on a float but as one of the giant balloons. The people holding the ropes that kept her from flying away were tugging them unevenly so she would flip to the side then POP! back up as they realized they were pulling too hard. Weird dream. Then her husband rolled over in his sleep tugging the sheet covering both of them with him. And she tilted. It was right then that she realized she wasn't actually lying on the bed but about three inches above it. As she became aware of the floating she drifted slowly back down. She sat straight up in the bed, her heart racing. What the hell was that? Then she started to calm down and realized that it was just part of the dream. She had done that weird thing where you think you wake up but you don't and are still just dreaming. She laughed at her foolishness and went back to sleep.
Then it happened again.
She was brushing her teeth thinking about what she needed to get done at work that day. Her husband looked at her and asked why she was standing on her tip toes. She looked down and realized that she wasn't really standing on them so much as they were dangling free just above the ground. She drifted back down and stood flat footed again. "Just stretching."
She wasn't sure why she didn't tell him the truth right then and there. Probably because she still hadn't accepted it. How do you tell someone that you've started to float? And besides, she probably had just been standing on her tiptoes. Really that had to be the truth right? She just was tired that morning and her eyes (and toes) had played a trick on her. It was nothing to be worried about.
Until the day it happened in the car. She had been stopped in traffic listening to the radio and letting her mind wander while she waited for traffic to clear. Then her car started to roll forward. She had let up on the brake. Her foot had just drifted off of the pedal. She got it stopped before she hit the car in front of her but that was enough to convinced herself it was time to call a doctor. Luckily there was an opening that afternoon and she hadn't had to say anything other than, "I'm feeling just a bit off lately" to the receptionist to get booked.
The first news was her weight was lower. Much lower. She didn't have the heart to tell the nurse that it wasn't that she had lost weight but that she wasn't putting all of it on the scale. She was doing all she could to keep most of her foot on the ground, but her heels were already floating again. The next bit of news was that her doctor was pretty sure she was crazy. It didn't start out that way. But she knew the more she tried to explain what was going on the less her doctor was able to understand. And the worst part was she was fully grounded at that point. She tried to show her what was happening, but nothing. She tried to explain the floating and got, "So you have been feeling light headed?" no, not light headed, light bodied. She told her about the car incident and finally a light went on, "Muscle weakness? Feelings of light headedness? Hmmm..." Sure, close enough...
An MRI was scheduled.
"Please stay still and relaxed."
But as soon as she would relax she would begin to float.
"Please try to remain still."
Finally she suggested they strap her down for the tests.
The scans came back normal. Her doctor recommended a great psychiatrist that she knew.
The floating got worse.
That's when she started using tricks to anchor herself down. The books. The table legs. Not going outside on a really windy day. She never slept without a heavy blanket on her now. Which was going to work this winter but what would happen when summer came? She researched bed ties on the internet. Which led to an awkward conversation with her husband.
"Did you want to try something...umm...different in bed?"
"Well I saw that you had been searching for, you know, restraints, and things, so I was wondering why. I know that everyone was talking about that 50 Shades book thing awhile ago. I just didn't think you were in to that?"
"No! Oh god no!"
She changed the subject.
She still couldn't figure out how to tell him what was happening. How do you even start that conversation? What if he thought she was crazy as well? What if she was crazy?
Finally one evening at dinner he said, "Something's wrong. I can't put my finger on it, but I feel like you are drifting away from me."