Am I?

Am I awake, or am I asleep

Lost in a dream, floating within

Whispers from all around

Telling me it’s time to wake up

Is that voice real or just an illusion

Am I really in a dream, asleep

Or am I awake where reality doesn’t exist

Am I dead, or am I alive

Am I still breathing

Seeing the body, but there’s no soul

Is this my voice, or just an echo I hear

I don’t know what’s real, what’s not

I don’t know where I am

I don’t know if I am

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Is It True?

I have been in a relatively good mood today. Nothing special happened, I was just at peace.

But right now I’m not doing so well. Right now I feel as though I was hit by a truck carrying huge stone pillars, and I’m lying in the road, unable to move.

A few hours ago, I randomly (friend of a friend of a friend, I can’t remember) came across one of the guys who had taken something very valuable away from me, and suddenly I had a way to contact him. When I saw his picture, I froze, and it felt as though all the blood had drained from my body. Then I had the sensation of things crawling all over me. But within a few seconds, I just went numb.

I’ve been wanting to write a letter to this particular guy for years now, but never had a way to get into contact. And I also wasn’t sure whether I really wanted to send him one. So tonight, I wrote that letter, while feeling unreal, as though I just didn’t exist. Someone else was writing. The world seemed to move in slow motion.

But I couldn’t send it. I was terrified. And then, suddenly nothing felt real. All my memories of everything that ever happened, not just this event, didn’t feel real. I felt, and still feel so confused. What if this never really happened? That nothing that happened in my life, happened? What if my mind had created this elaborate set of memories that I have carried with me all these years, but they weren’t true? That all the ‘memories’ that I felt, and feel, emotionally and physically aren’t really there? I don’t know what to believe anymore. I feel lost, and like I don’t even know where I am right now.

I don’t want to bring it up in therapy, because I’ve spent a few sessions already on what this guy did to me and how it’s affected, and still is, affecting me. I don’t want to rehash it all the damn time. A part of me also feels ashamed to keep bringing it up. Like I don’t have the right to.

I haven’t had any episodes of suicidal ideation for more than a month now (which was a welcome change), but right now, tonight, it’s back. I’m hoping that by writing this, I’ll get out of this mindset.

I’m doubting myself. And right now it hurts. It all hurts so damn much.

Stranger In This World

This is something I wrote on the 15th March 2016, and stumbled upon today. It applies just as much now as it did back then.

Where do I belong?

Why do I have this constant yearning to be anywhere but here?

People call places home. I haven’t yet found my own. Does that place even exist? Or is there a deep internal resistance to anywhere I find myself? A subconscious element I don’t have access to?

Staring out the window. The moonlight casts slivers of light through the dark trees beyond. It looks different today. Is home perhaps somewhere out there?

And sometimes I wonder…
Do I even exist in this world?

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The Body And Trauma

I was in my room reading, when I heard my dad’s voice coming from downstairs. He sounded angry. I froze. Fear washing over me. Heart pounding in my chest. Senses on high alert.

Waiting…

Then…

Nothing.

Still, I waited. A flashback. Then another one. Panic hitting me in full force. The worse thing about these flashbacks is being in the past all over again. Reliving it. It feels so real. And then there’s the confusion when coming out of it. It feels like I’m not sure exactly where I am sometimes. What’s the present, what’s the past? What’s real, what’s not? Sometimes that confusion lasts a few seconds, other times minutes.

I don’t know how long this all lasted. It seems like an alternative version of time exists in these moments.

But some time later, I heard them all laughing downstairs, and I realized that his ‘loud’ voice had just been part of some story or joke he had been telling.

No, he wasn’t mad.

My mind was still all over the place, but a little more rational.

However, my body was slow in getting the message that there was no threat.

Almost 2 hours later, and I was still feeling the effects on my body. I felt tense and on high alert… As if waiting for something to happen. Or like something IS happening.

“Why did I have such an intense reaction to something so silly?” I asked myself.

I could never admit to myself that some things I had experienced were traumatic. I hated the word ‘trauma’. Which, as my therapist commented one day… There are a lot of words I don’t like or don’t want to say out loud. I have no idea why that is. But now I say, screw it. By continuing to run from it and avoid accepting that I have indeed experienced trauma in my life, I’ll continue to deny myself proper healing.

I have felt the effects of it my entire life. So giving it a name isn’t going to make it any more real. It’s already real.

I tried to do a body awareness mindfulness meditation a little while after this, thinking it will help me relax both my mind and my body. But that backfired. It brought flashbacks of a different kind. So I won’t be doing that one again. I don’t want to ‘experience’ my body.

I spent most of last week crying, and this week I had no tears left. But after this little ‘incident’ tonight, it came back. Along with physical pain (which I think is just a stress response). I felt anxious, depressed, terrified and like I just wanted to hide in my closet.

I used to do that a lot. Hide away. When I was a child, I would curl up under my bed. Under tables. Anywhere. When I couldn’t use my spaces, I resorted to wrapping my blanket or duvet tightly around my body and cover my head as well. Most nights I slept like that. My favourite place though was in a closet. I felt the safest there. It was a dark and small space, which seemed comforting. Which is strange, considering I’ve always been afraid of the dark. But the confined space made the darkness feel like a friend.

I even used to look for ‘safe spaces’ when I was in high school. I would lie under my bed, either reading with a flashlight, or daydreaming. I would do that for hours at a time. Once I had finished school, there were moments where I still wanted those spaces, but being an adult, I felt stupid about that desire. For the past 2 months now, I’ve had this same desire to just empty out my closet and sit there in the dark when I’m feeling anxious, fearful or overwhelmed. But there’s no space for that. And it’s just not appropriate anymore, I guess. Hell, it’s embarrassing admitting this here. But it is what it is.

I constantly feel trapped. Caged in. A lot of times I feel like I’m being cornered. That as long as I’m alive, I’m not safe. So I guess this desire to hide away is my way of trying to cope with these feelings.

The mind is powerful. It tries to protect us, even though it’s not always very good at it. Writing this post, I don’t feel real. The world around me doesn’t feel real. I’m floating somewhere between this world and a vast ‘nothingness’. I’m aware that it’s a defense mechanism.

Maybe tomorrow everything will feel real again. But I don’t know if I want it to feel real.

Feeling The Grief

I’ve never liked that word. Grief. Even as I’m typing it out, I’m cringing inside.

But as a friend recently told me, words are just that. Words.

The morning after having written my post ‘Basking in the Sun‘, I woke up with this feeling of intense sadness. It’s followed me through the entire week, and I’m still feeling it.

Random spurts of crying accompanied it. Even at work, while focused on what I was doing, I was acutely aware of the aching inside me. And sometimes I couldn’t contain it any longer and the tears would just spill out. Obviously not wanting anyone else to see, I would go the bathroom, and let it just come. But only for a minute or two, and then I’d compose myself and walk out smiling, as though nothing had happened. I’m grateful that it’s not easy for people to tell that I’d been crying. It only becomes noticeable if I’d been crying for a long time.

Even while out with a good friend yesterday, I couldn’t get rid of this sadness. I was spending the day with her, her new boyfriend and his family. At one point I pulled her aside and told her that I was struggling emotionally. She gave me a big hug and told me that it’s okay to feel the way I am. That it’s normal. She was so caring and and supportive. I felt safe. I don’t usually tell friends or family that I’m struggling with something, but I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to be vulnerable with people closest to me. I’m glad I told her, because she helped me realize that it’s okay to feel these emotions and to deal with them.

The reason for my sadness is I’m missing someone that was a constant part of my life for years. I’m grieving for the life I had. It wasn’t the good life, but it’s familiar. I miss the place, the people, the person… Just everything. Now I’m in a new place, new environment, and nothing is familiar. I know I’m starting to build the life I want, that I’m slowly starting to find my feet, but I’m overwhelmed. I feel as though I shouldn’t hope too much, or allow myself to feel happy, because it will just come crashing down around me anyway. I feel like I don’t deserve to be happy and to have a happy life. That it’s just not meant for me. The day after having written the above mentioned post, I felt guilty. What right did I have to feel that good? What right do I have to feel good, when so many other people are suffering and in pain?

I haven’t really allowed myself to fully experience the loss of all I left behind. I thought I had. I thought I had let it go. But I haven’t really. Because most of the time I would just push it away or play it down when the thoughts and feelings would surface. I would tell myself that I’m fine. But I’m not fine.

I’m allowing myself to really sit with, and experience these emotions today. To sit with the sadness and grief. With the unbearable pain. With the thought that I made the biggest mistake of my life. That what if all we needed was this break? I’m sitting with the longing to go back to my old life. To the person who’s love was conditional, admitting that she took it away sometimes in order to punish me, but at least I had that love sometimes. I never felt safe when I was living that life. But that life feels safe now. Safer than where I am at this moment. But I know it’s just the grief talking. That if I go back, nothing would have changed. Maybe it would be different for a little while, better, but then what? So many ‘what if’s’ consume my mind, and I’m allowing myself to ask and answer those difficult questions.

It’s so hard and painful. And I’m so unsure about my future.

Can I Sleep Now?

I’m beyond tired.

Exhausted, is a better word.

I’ve struggled with insomnia for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I’d struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep. When I would finally fall into a deep sleep, I’d have nightmares most nights. A lot of them were recurrent, with a few new ones thrown in now and then just to shake things up.

For almost two months now, I’ve been having nightmares almost every night. At first I remembered them all. But then it became a case of waking up with a racing heart, drenched, and in a panic or fearful state, but unable to remember the dream. Sometimes I’m completely disoriented and not even sure where I am. One morning I woke up with my hand clenched into a fist, my nails digging into my skin. It was painful trying to open my hand, and the marks it left reminded me to cut my nails before going to sleep that night. This has happened before. But I didn’t learn my lesson. Long(ish) nails don’t work for me.

It’s been 3 nights of having had hardly any sleep, even though I’ve not had much these past two months, it was at least a little better than these past few days. And boy am I feeling it now. Yesterday I was still perfectly fine. I was even in a hyperactive state. Having had insomnia as a regular companion throughout my life, I like to think that I deal with it pretty well and can cope with less sleep than a lot of other people. But right now I’m not handling this lack of sleep very well.

I went through the day feeling completely ‘out of it’. Nothing or no one feeling real. I’m not depressed. I’m just exhausted. Work was so excruciatingly stressful and hard today. All I wanted to do was come home, put the covers over my head and sleep until tomorrow morning.

I didn’t even know how to respond to an email my therapist had sent me today. And right now, I can’t even remember what I wrote back. I’ll check it tomorrow when I can actually make sense of things.

On the note of my therapist, I was planning on writing a little bit about our session from Monday, but my brain just can’t work that hard right now at remembering things. And it feels like a lifetime ago. I’ll write about it tomorrow or Friday.

My mind is so fuzzy, I’m surprised I’m able to write this post. Honestly, I’m not even sure why I’m writing it. It doesn’t even feel real. Maybe I’m dreaming that I’m writing this?

If it wasn’t for the fact that I just started my job at the beginning of this month, and am still in the probation period, I would skip the alarm clock tomorrow morning.

I want nothing more than to sleep. With no nightmares. No struggling for hours to fall asleep. No waking up 20 times. Just pure, glorious sleep.

Is this too much to ask?

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I Tried. I’m Trying.

Where did I go?
I’m a stranger.

Waking up in the morning. Sitting outside with my coffee. Trying to be mindful and focus on the quiet and the cold air on my skin. Telling myself over and over again. “Today is going to be a good day”.
I’m trying.

The positive voice having been drowned out hour by hour. Exhausted with the effort of trying to keep it alive throughout the day. Going to sleep at night. Wishing not to wake up. I tried.

Wanting to join in the conversation. Can’t make sense of what they’re saying. Sounding so far away. Wanting to connect. Afraid to connect. I smile anyway, not hearing a word.
But I’m trying.

A touch on my back by someone non threatening. My blood running cold. Fear taking over. Backing away. The shock on his face. Wanting to apologize. The words wouldn’t come.
I tried.

I did all my work today. How? I have no memory of having done any of it. But I did it.
I’m still trying.

Emotionally empty. A thick fog surrounding me. Yet acutely aware of the physical. Feeling sick. Have to get up and move. Body aching.
I tried.

Cold inside. Frozen. Sitting in the sun. But the rays can’t penetrate.
I’m trying.

Getting confused about everything. Struggling to remember even why I’m doing what I’m doing in a given moment. Everything a blur. Doing grounding work. But I can’t focus.
I tried.

This heart, once so full of love and care. Now feels like a shadow. Maybe it’s been ripped out. Needing to find the light again. But it’s gone.
I’m trying.

I wanted to make her proud of me. Believe in me. Doing all the things we spoke about. I failed at it all.
At least I tried.

“Just keep breathing.” Breathing hurts.
But I’m trying.

I don’t want to be touched. I don’t want to be loved. I don’t want anything from anyone. I don’t want me.

Trying to be inspiring. Positive. Full of light. Love. But I can’t. Not today. I just don’t care.

Wanting to curl up on the cold floor. Just lay there for an eternity.

I don’t have the energy to think of suicide.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to die.

My ‘Dear Death‘ post now feels like a distant memory. I’m writing a new letter. A simple one.

Dear Life
Let me go.