Posts Tagged ‘setting boundaries in bedroom’

BedroomIn my last post, Setting Boundaries in the Bedroom after Child Abuse, I shared that I chose to move into my own bedroom even though I am married. Because of being awakened multiple times to be abused as a child, I had a very hard time sleeping through the night with another person in the room. Carving out my own space where I can be alone at night did wonders toward helping me to heal.

I have found so many benefits to having my own room that I did not think about when I first made the decision to move into my own room. A big one is the ability to sleep in a clutter-free room. As I shared in my post, State of My House = State of My Mind, I feel so much better when I spend my time in a clutter-free environment. Unfortunately, this was not possible as long as I shared a room with hub.

The above picture is a photograph of hub’s room this morning. I made no changes whatsoever. He had already left for work, and this is how he left his room. Notice the huge pile of papers all over the floor beside the bed as well as the piles of stuff toppling over on the bookcase. I cannot live that way, yet he freaks out whenever I “touch” his stuff because he says he knows where everything is.

Meanwhile, take a look at the photo on this blog. That is my bedroom with no changes made. I have no clutter in my room. Everything is always in its place. I need my room to stay clutter-free so I can sleep better and so I have a place of refuge when the rest of my house spins out of control.

Also, my room smells great. I burn a vanilla-scented candle each night before bedtime while I do yoga and meditation in my room. The scent of vanilla calms the startle reflex, so having that scent in my room enables me to sleep much better. I also run either a humidifier or an air purifier at all times (that’s the cord on the right) to provide white noise that masks sounds that would otherwise cause me to jolt awake.

I love having my own room. I love feeling safe and secure in a clean room that is exactly the way I want it.

Photo credit: Faith Allen

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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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