Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: anxiety, depression, incest survivor, panic, panic attack, survivor of child sexual abuse, survivor sleep
Last night I was so tired. It was well past midnight and I was so tired and I really wanted to sleep. I laid down in bed and I got so scared. I was thinking “What if there is a man hiding in the closet, waiting for me to fall asleep, and then after I fall asleep he will surprise me and attack me?” My heart started beating rapidly, my eyes flew open, my breathing became irregular. I reminded myself that not only had I already checked the closets, but so did my ex. Then my thoughts went to the same surprise-attack scenario, but involving a home invasion. I looked around the room from my vantage point on the bed; no one was there. I listened carefully; I couldn’t hear anything out of the ordinary. I reminded myself that I am safe, just like my therapist and I have been working on for years. She says that you have to recognize safety in order to recognize unsafety. I reminded myself that my home has an alarm that goes straight to the cops when tripped. Plus I have a dog that sleeps next to me. I reminded myself of all this, but I was panicking anyway. The reminders of safety were helpful, and I eventually used thought-replacement exercises to get to sleep. I kept my mind busy with thoughts of a beautiful life with my next husband in a beautiful log cabin, etc.
I have really been hating the nights lately. My next contracted jobs don’t start until the fall, so until then my schedule is willy nilly. Since my work was the only thing I’d been doing in my life that gave me any sort of self-esteem (not to mention a regular schedule), I have been sad and I guess a little depressed.
Depression and suicide is all about a mostly false thought process inside a person’s head that tells them (over and over again) that the situation they are in will be the situation they are always in. That things will always be like this. That I will always feel this way. I know it is false, because life changes a lot, and sometimes it happens very quickly. Sometimes it happens slowly, but the point is, something always happens to change a person’s life.
I have been trying to think of ways to make the night easier. Maybe I should take up a hobby, like crocheting or cross-stitching during the night. The panic-sleep thing totally totally sucks. Maybe it’s time to do a meditation, or some sort of positive affirmation before bed.
Remember that time I went away to that conference with my friend, and I got scared of the imaginary man behind the curtains in our hotel room? Writing this blog post about last night, alone in my own bedroom, feels like that. But I figured I should put it in the blog today because the entire point of this blog is to keep a running tally of the many ways that surviving abuse in my childhood has fucked me up in adulthood.
This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids. We get completely afraid of being assaulted again, and we find inventive ways to be afraid, and inventive ways to manage those fears. I am 40 years old. It’s been 35 years of survivor sleep. When the fuck does this end??
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