When Marie Poggi left home, she’d spent 15 years sharing a bed with her mother.
“I left home when I was 19, so from four to 19-years-old we slept in the same bed,” she said.
The co-sleeping started after her parents separated and “never stopped”.
“I slept in my own bed before my father kicked us out and we went to live with my grandparents because we had nowhere to go,” she said.
The French mother and daughter shared a bedroom in her grandparent’s house in Marseille.
“We didn’t have any other choice but to share the same bedroom, so we were sleeping in the same bed, and then my Pop passed away and my Grandma was on her own, so we decided to all sleep together in the same bedroom,” she said.
The 29-year-old said she didn’t want her grandmother, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, to sleep alone.
Years passed. By the time Marie was turned 16, her grandmother had also passed away.
“I had my own bedroom but I didn’t want to sleep on my own. I didn’t know what it was like to sleep alone. I don’t even remember that,” she said.
“I could have slept on my own if I wanted to. We tried, but I would always go into my Grandma’s bed.”
Marie was in the middle of her “horrible” teenage years and formed a “love, hate” relationship with her mother, Evelyne.
Marie is an only child. Image supplied.
"I don't even know why, but I was so angry at everything and I hated the world and my life, and who I was, so I feel sorry for what I did to her [my mother].
"I was a very bad teenager, I did a lot of things. I was just a rebel," said Mrs Poggi.
But every night - even in those years - Marie would sleep in the same bed as her mother - in her grandmother's room.
The co-sleeping arrangement was rarely quality sleep.
"My mum was annoyed with me because I was moving a lot and I remember her telling me to stop moving. So I'd be in the bed trying to not move, and I couldn't sleep because I was focusing on how much I was moving. It wasn't good sleep at all."
Marie moved to Sydney years ago but still worries about her mother in France.
"We talk every single day and I push her to find someone as a companion because I don't like knowing she's on her own."
Even now, the 29-year-old offers her bed to Evelyne when she visits.
"My husband sleeps on the couch and Mum sleeps with me," says Marie.
"He is really nice, I'm really lucky. He never says anything, he knows how close we are."
The Sydneysider says she was raised with healthy boundaries as a daughter - not as a friend.
"I know my mum had to struggle with her divorce, with me, and her parents being sick, so it was a lot on her plate. [Co-sleeping] wasn't a bad experience - that's just the way it was.
"Sometimes things happen and that's life. She did her best."
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