Reclaiming My Bedroom (TW)

I used to share a bedroom with my sister until freshman year of high school when I got into a relationship with a classmate and, to put it as briefly as possible, COCSA/NCCSA. Most of it was online and would go late into the night so I would go into the spare bedroom to let my sister sleep, and for my own privacy. Since a lot of traumatic things ended up happening in that spare room, it carried a certain weight. But I didn’t actually feel that for the rest of my high school career, after I decided to move into it. I actually had no problem with the room, even though it wasn’t my style at all. I never personalized it and didn’t feel the need to. I think the fact that being home was all I ever knew made it hard to realize what exactly the room meant for me.

Then I went to college. I think spending long periods of time away from home gave me the space and perspective to process my experiences and feelings about being home, and the emotional significance. When I would come home for break, it felt incredibly disconcerting, to the point that I would dissociate. Sometimes I would even feel a sense of regression, as if I had never gone to college and I was still a freshman in high school, which was emphasized by the fact that absolutely nothing about the house or the room had changed since. I explained this to the advisor of the SA support group on campus who was also a therapist, and she suggested I rearrange the furniture. I thought it was a brilliant idea.

And yet I hesitated to do so, and I wasn’t entirely sure what was stopping me, so I worked with my therapist to figure out why. As we explored it, I realized that, on some level, I felt that the room was evidence. It was a crime scene, and I felt like changing it would be like cleaning it up before the detectives could discover it. After all, I’d endured a lot of gaslighting, especially over the fact that I didn’t really have any evidence at all, and I had actually gotten rid of what little evidence I had because it just sickened me to keep (I yeeted it Marie Kondo style). So it felt like the room was the last bit of proof I had left. But my therapist helped me realize that the room isn’t evidence. The room isn’t the trauma. The room doesn’t prove anything, it’s just a room that has emotional significance to me. If I change it however I want and forget how it looked, that doesn’t make what happened untrue nor does it make me less believable.

I graduated so I’m no longer seeing that therapist anymore, but I’ve decided to start changing the room. I first thought about how to make it mine. The room is mint green with matching carpeting, and while my parents said that I could repaint the walls, the carpet would have to stay, and I couldn’t think of a color that would go well with mint that I would want for my room. I personally love the goth aesthetic, so I thought about how to bridge that with this pastel color. I used Sims 4 to recreate my room, and then duplicated it and decorated the copy. I started to realize that green + goth = witchy, so I decided to go that route.

With the help of my parents and sister, we removed the curtains, my mom’s file cabinets, the contents of the armoire, and the closet. We rotated the bed and put it in the corner. We put up tapestries, my pride flags, just today we put up some string lights with leaves. I decorated the windowsills with crystals and other trinkets, I put some memory foam on the bed, added some fresh pillows, and started using the bed sheets I was using in college. I bought a galaxy light and have been working on turning the closet into a cozy safe space. My prismatic privacy film for the windows just arrived and I have yet to put those up, and I’m also looking into getting a mushroom night light. I plan to put a leafy wreath I bought at a yard sale on the side of the armoire, and ordering more tapestries or some canopies for the ceiling.

Halfway into the process I was up late at night just listening to my Healing Era playlist and thinking about all the changes. I started crying, it was a little overwhelming how much was different, but I knew it was good. I reminded myself that there’s no rush, I can change the room as slowly as feels comfortable for me. But it also was like, “finally, I am living in the present moment, and I have come a long way.”

I am not only reclaiming my room, but I feel like I’m creating a space to heal in.

If you read all this, thank you.


It really does sound like an amazing form of healing. I suppose you could paint the walls white, then add lots of colorful decoration. Some would say that tones of purple or peach would work well. I remember painting a kitchen peach, and everyone who saw it loved it.

Another possibility would to be to get a room sized rug to put on top of the existing one. That can give you a lot more options.

I very much admire what you’re doing, transforming a negative space into a positive one. Not everyone can do that.

Have you thought about wallpaper?

I think I’ll just keep the wall color as is because i’ve already put up some wall decor, i would have to move a lot of stuff that’s up against the walls, and i like the goth aesthetic too much to paint anything in my room white lol. i do love purple though. maybe i’ll do an accent wall. a room sized rug is an interesting idea but i do have some heavy furniture in here that a rug couldn’t go under (too heavy to lift). wallpaper is a good idea and i will look into it. thank you for your input!

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