I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. For nine years, I stayed up as late as I could for fear of waking from vivid nightmares throughout the night. I worked, attended college, ran a household, and raised a child. I was always exhausted and grateful for the two or three hours I was able to steal each night.
During this time, I met and began dating a man who would frequently spend the night. He learned when and how he could touch me during my dreams without making me more fearful. His sleep suffered and once even I hit him in the face because he’d woken me too quickly and I didn’t recognize him yet. He taught me that not all men are out to harm me and in becoming a source of comfort, his very presence helped me sleep without waking as often.
Several years ago, I saw a psychologist and received a kind of treatment called EMDR that changed my life. I sleep through the night. I rarely have nightmares, and even the ones I do are less vivid and not reliving my past experiences. And best of all, the man I love is able to finally get a good night’s sleep.