As part of my PTSD treatment my “team” (my mom, Mike, my Wraparound facilitators, W. and D. and my therapist) have encouraged me to exorcise my home of “ghosts”. That is to say, get rid of the things I owned that were anchoring me to the past and triggering bad memories. This process has been a long time coming, 5 years at least (and long overdue!), but the time has finally arrived.
The first thing to go was my dishes. They were a wedding gift (there’s tip #1 that they should have been gone already) from family members who haven’t spoken to me in 7 years. Thanks to my beautiful and generous friend, Rita, I have a brand new set of square dishes. Very avant garde, if I do say so myself.
The next item to leave was the dinette set I owned with my ex-husband. It was his choice. He liked it. I didn’t particularly care for it, but wanted to keep the peace so that’s the one we bought. I went to the the local Bibles for Missions charity shop and found a beautiful set I just love!! It was a little bit more money than I had wanted to spend, but both Mike and my mom reminded me – I shouldn’t settle. So I bought it. And I love it!!
My bedroom was in desperate need of change. I have been sleeping in the same bed since I was 12-years-old. It’s a double-sized canopy bed. When I got it, second-hand from my older cousin, it was painted white with blue and gold accents a la French Provincial style. A few years ago I stripped it down to its natural wood and it’s beautiful! I love this bed, but it’s also my marital bed and frankly, I don’t want to sleep in it anymore. Too many memories. Too many nightmares.
After much humming and hawing I went out on Friday and bought a new mattress. Queen-
sized. I feel so mature. Thanks to D. who gave me a frame and headboard (which took Mike about 2 hours to put together; I gave up after 1, but Mike prevailed because in his words “I’m and engineer and engineers don’t give up”). Rian took the old bed. It’s just too beautiful to get rid of and she’s very excited about having a big bed (not to mention the 3″ memory foam mattress topper I had on there – super comfy). The cats have starting sleeping with Rian. Apparently their loyalty was to the memory foam and not to me. Cats are so fickle.
Alexi got a different bedroom set too. Alexi now has bunk beds, the ones that used to be
downstairs. His old dresser is now in the living room and it looks good out here. Alexi has Rian’s old dresser. Rian has my old dresser that goes with the bedroom set. Rian’s twin bed was relocated downstairs and so was Alexi’s mate’s bed. The Madhouse was a bustle of activity over the last few days. All this would not have happened without Mike’s muscles and persistence.
I also chose to get rid of the oak tall clock that has stood guard in my hallway for the last 12 years. It was gift from the kids’ dad. I washed it down and had to scrub an upper corner. There was a stain that I hadn’t noticed before from one of the times he threw a plate of food at me. Yup, it’s time for those memories to go.
The US Veteran’s administration (most of the information I’m able to find about PTSD treatment is from military sources) recommends changing your environment (from Examiner.com)
Change your environment. A change of surrounding – whether you relocate, vacation, or take a short excursion to a relax, can help you to change your thinking and feel more safe.
I’m a little slow on the uptake, but now that I’ve got the ball rolling there’s no stopping me!!