The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Side of the Bed Closest to the Door

I’ve moved a lot in my life. In fact, there was a time when my ex-husband’s employer moved us five times in five years.

At a certain point in my life, I noticed that with each move, I often ended up sleeping on the opposite side of the bed than before. I didn’t consistently choose the right side or the left side of the mattress. Every time I moved, I unconsciously chose the side of the bed closest to the door. I’ve instinctively positioned myself for a “quick get-away,” in the event of danger. I’m sure this is a primal survival impulse that is just a part of my “wiring.”

Many years ago, my old therapist told me that I would be “recovering” for the rest of my life. I didn’t believe him; at least I did not want to. At the time, his statement felt hopeless to me. I felt permanently broken. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t bear the thought of dealing with my anguish forever.

In the years since, I’ve spent a great deal of time learning to parent myself, to free myself of my family scapegoat mantle, and to come to terms with my anger, grief, and PTSD.

I have healed at a level that I never thought was possible. Although my abuse will always be a part of me, the majority of the time, my abuse no longer feels present, nor is it the lens through which I view my life.

Although I have greatly minimized the effects of my mistreatment, my therapist was right. I’ve reached a place that “recovering for the rest of my life” doesn’t feel “hopeless.” Instead I feel a loving acceptance towards the part of me who will probably always sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door.

4 comments:

Tamara said...

Nancy,

I had such an immediate reaction to your post and it was such a good feeling, believe it or not. It made me realize that for the last 20 years, with my husband, I have always chosen the side of the bed AWAY from the door. The best part is that I have done this because I trust him to protect me. He is the one person in my life I have most been able to be myself with. I can't imagine anyone else knowing me and accepting me the way he does. I value his opinions and support.

I am so happy for you that you are in a good place with your healing. It does seem to me that this "healing journey" will be for the rest of my life. I guess, I too, can be okay with that. But, thank you for making me realize that one of the blessings in my troubled life is that I do have someone that would protect me no matter what.

The heartbreaking question is...wasn't that our parents' job?

Tamara

healandforgive said...

Dear Tamara,

Thank you for sharing your touching experience with your husband. I'm happy you found him!

Warmly,
Nancy

Mary said...

I am still trying hard to heal inside and with the help of my therapist and the help and support of my husband, but I sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door, just in case I need to run. right now I'm trying to heal that little girl inside of me, and THAT is really hard for me....Mary

healandforgive said...

Hi Mary,

It is hard isn’t it! I’m glad your husband is supportive.

Wishing you peace,
Nancy