I know now. A person who cannot sleep due to trauma is AFRAID to sleep. Our bodies won’t let us sleep out of necessity, to protect us.
What was I doing while they were abusing me? Lying in bed. Unable to get up. Trapped. Afraid. No wonder my body puts its rabbit ears up whenever I am in bed.
No wonder so many survivors of “eating disorders care” can’t sleep. We were too weak to get up, too starved and exhausted. That’s when they harmed us. When we were that fragile and alone.
They insulted us, discredited us, told us we weren’t worth it, accused us of lying or sneaking, ignored our real physical needs, treated us with force of all kinds, violated our privacy, abused us physically, emotionally and often sexually, lectured us, told us we were sinners, morally insulted us, told us we were “mentally incompetent,” treated us like we were unintelligent, or as if we were toddlers.
And we got no visitors and no support from our loved ones. While those recovering from cancer or a heart attack got visitors, cards, and flowers, we got nothing, and told we deserved nothing. We were entirely alone in a life-or-death situation where by all means, we should have been nurtured.
If you are like me and cannot sleep after they did all that, you don’t have a “disorder.” You are reacting because your body is protecting you from further harm.
Stop the harm from happening in the first place. Validate those that have been traumatized so that they can heal. Validation will prevent a longer-term trauma reaction. Stop blaming those who were harmed. Stop calling trauma a disorder, a moral problem, spiritual problem, bad attitude, or “mental illness.” Stop using degrading language to describe us.