As I write this, I am sitting in bed, watching a funny show while checking my email, text messages, and Facebook notifications. It is the middle of the night, a time of terror for me, so I need the safety of the blue electronic light of my devices. I bask in the glow, then I drown my thoughts in sitcom banter and a whirlwind of multitasking.
Burying my dark thoughts is a high stakes game; if I don’t use the right maneuvers, the shadows win. No matter how scared I am now, it is nothing compared to how I will feel if the memories creep in. The memories open the floodgates of flashbacks, which will sweep me far away and back in time to that room where I was raped and nearly murdered.
I escaped with my life, but certain parts of me died there, namely the part that believed no one would ever hurt me. Well, actually I had never really considered that I could be a story on the news as easily as any other human. I held myself apart in the way we all must to some degree if we want to function in the world. Dwelling on our abject vulnerability would reduce us to terrified shells of ourselves.
I can’t close my eyes in the dark. I can no longer write, I can’t focus on reading. All I can do is mindlessly watch TV. I am afraid to sleep because I want to remain vigilant, and I know nightmares are waiting for me. I am resuming therapy, but I am desperate for a quick fix. I know that no miracle pill exists to give me relief, but I have been living with PTSD for eleven years, never knowing when it will become active and derail my life. I’m exhausted.
Evan says to go easy on myself. Getting frustrated with myself does great harm and zero good. I can’t berate myself into ending the episode. I guess it’s time to learn to show myself the compassion I apparently think everyone but me deserves. After all, if I am not on my own team when I’m at my weakest, how will I fight my way through this? I know that logically. Now I have to figure out how to live that truth.
Wish me luck. I need it.
3 thoughts on “I Am Not OK”
Rachel, getting past a horrendous event in your life is unbelievably tough. And those events do change us. And make us terrified and hypervigilant and sometimes give us PTSD. I will join you in giving warm thoughts to you, great respect to you, and hoping your night terrors
leave soon. I hope you can look on yourself as a beloved friend and pour your empathy onto your own sweet, strong soul. And dont forget to give yourself enormous respect for living on and surviving that horriffic event. Can you meditate? I have found it to be miraculously helpful.
Glad you have a therapist to turn to cause the good ones lead us back to peace and feeling safe again. So many people have been scarred by god awful events. You are so open and honest and helping everyone you know with your candor and dignity and strength. You my dear are a force in this world and I will be sending you warm thoughts and deep respect on a daily basis. Rosie Evers
Damn. You’ve been through so much, eh. Please, do stay strong. Life is such a weird place to live. Like, if it’s not one thing then its surely another. What we go through shapes us into who we are today. Cliche, i know. But its true! You know, shaped into the person our closest people love so much (most of the time). You sharing your story and being open about it serves an important purpose to me. You would be surprised (maybe not) at how many people share a similar dark place with you. It’s comforting to know we are not alone. You can fight those demons that try to bring you down, Rachel. Doesn’t make it fair though, what happened to you. I’m sorry that you are going through all of this. I wish we could be friends. I feel like i could listen to your words as long as you were willing to use them. Sometimes it is the highlight of my day! Truly talented. Thank you for sharing your story. Love and positive energy your way girl friend. Seriously. xo
Oh yes- and GOOD LUCK!