How to Recover From a Sexual Assault | Flight blog

The following is excerpted from Flight — my new blog about recovering from gender-related violence, wellness, and finding your way back to joyful living.

This past December, I decided to tackle my insomnia with a fresh approach.

Sleepless nights have plagued me, off and on, at least since I was pregnant with my youngest.  In the months following her birth (in 2014)—thanks in no small part to a sexual harassment situation at work that nearly shattered my mind—my battle with insomnia escalated to the point that, at its worst, led to me emerging from the bed on several mornings to meet my responsibilities (i.e.,  pumping/nursing, getting little ones ready, going to work etc.) and otherwise ‘starting’ my day after I had already been awake for 24 hours.

Mercifully, with time and changes in circumstances, my sleeplessness had waned (and waxed) since then.

But, as this most recent holiday season got underway, I found myself again unable to sleep.


Sleep Baby, Sleep

The thing about insomnia is this:

Sleep may elude you,

but still you are condemned to chase it.

Sleep is the dashing suitor that once whispered sweet nothings to you each night, making you believe he would never leave; the debonair prince that charmed you into bed night after night, filled your head with nonsense and dreams, and—the two of you intertwined—danced with you beneath the stars until dawn broke.

But now he has moved on.

And, you are lovesick. Desperate . . .  Returning each night to the scene of the crime—the bed you once shared; haunted by the memories of what you lost; surrounded in your loneliest hours by only the peaceful sounds of those whose company he still keeps.

Yes, sleep may be done with you, but you still need sleep.

So night after night, you keep your solitary vigil.  And, morning after morning, there you remain: tragically and perpetually sleepy.

This was the space in which I lived.

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