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Archive for March 12th, 2008

Bedroom Before I chose to heal from my history of child abuse, I was always tired. The only time I ever got a good night’s rest was when my family went on vacation. Because my husband is so tall, sharing a full-size bed is not an option. So, when we would go on vacation, we would sleep in different rooms. Suddenly, I could sleep well, and I felt more rested than I had in years. I chalked this up to being too stressed out in my day-to-day life and unwinding while on vacation. However, I really did not think I was particularly stressed out at home, so I was perplexed by this.

As I moved toward being ready to heal from the child abuse, I become sick – a lot. Whenever I was sick, I would sleep in the guest bedroom. Once again, I slept so soundly. As soon as I returned to the master bedroom that I shared with hub, I struggled with waking multiple times throughout the night and feeling dog-tired during the day.

When the flashbacks started, I realized that the problem was having another person in the room while I was sleeping. I was awakened too many times to be abused as a child, so I had become hypervigilant during the night. Any sound or movement in my bedroom would instantly jolt me awake. Also, hubs snores, which only made the situation worse.

So, after talking with my therapist and building up the courage, I moved into my own room. That is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I sleep well every night. If I am triggered, I can lock the door and know that nobody will be entering my room. I never have sex in my bedroom, so I never confuse my past sexual trauma with my present.

Hub was bothered by this decision at first because he said a husband and wife are “supposed” to sleep together. I countered with, “The operative word is sleep, and I cannot sleep with another person in the room with me.” Also, we only have three family members and a four-bedroom house, so there was no need for us to double up in one room. Where I slept at night had no bearing on our marital relations because I was very clear from the beginning that I was never to be awakened for sex.

For me, having my own room has done wonders for enabling me to sleep at night. It also provides me with the privacy I need to deal with my child abuse issues when they arise.

Photo credit: Faith Allen

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