please read with caution for this post as references to sexual abuse and PTSD symptoms
Sunday 2:00am I’m not sleeping yet. Why am I not asleep? I really need to sleep.
Sunday 4:00 am I wake, with a start, my heart pounding, anxiety sky rocketing, something is wrong. But, nothing is wrong. Everything is fine. And it’s only been 2 hours since the last time I checked the clock.
Sunday 5:40 am half awake, half asleep, and the flashback hits me. It’s not fully a dream, not fully a flashback because I’m still in bed, still laying in the dark. This isn’t a new memory, and yet it is. It’s new because there’s more. Gaps filled in, and sound is added– in peices. Snapshots flash by, and emotions overwhelm. Physical memories hit me, full force. Everything at once. I’m frozen there, unable to move out of it, terrified and alone. I’m small. I can’t do anything, I have no power. I’m scared. I need to do everything right. I just need to make it okay, please him, follow directions. Oh God, I’m so scared. Why can’t I just do it right? He’s so much bigger. I have to listen. He’s nice to me, he does nice things, he is not mean. He says I’m a good girl.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP
I’m jolted from the flashback as Hubby’s alarm goes off. His alarm is the loudest, most annoying alarm you ever heard.
Hubby gets up, and I resort to all my tricks for grounding. Lavender. Mints. Looking in the mirror and telling myself I’m an adult, I am 31 years old and it’s 2014 and I’m safe. Eventually I resort to hiding under the covers.
When Hubby leaves for work, I stuff my face with ice cream while I make a cup of coffee without even realizing it. Once I realize it, I eat more ice cream. And then I run for the bathroom. I’m stupid. Gross. Bad. I’ve ruined everything. I’m evil. Terrible. Corrupt. I throw up the ice cream. Again and again, until I know it’s all gone. Some of the pressure is received, it’s better. I’m better. I might be able to face the day. I’m still bad.
Then, I shower. I stay in the shower until Kat gets up. I feed her breakfast, play with her, maybe cuddle. I don’t know. I don’t remember. I was too dissociated.
When the Nanny shows up, I go back in the bath tub. I’m dirty, I’m gross, I need to bathe. I end up frozen and unable to move, and I stay in the tub almost all day. I’m crazy. Literally, crazy. Who does that? It’s not normal. People don’t spend hours in the bath because they feel dirty and then get frozen and can’t get out. It’s not normal.
Later, I write in my journal about it, including an attempt to write about the memory. I plan to give it to Bea on Momday. Except I don’t give it to her on Momday, because I can’t face the memory. And I don’t tell her I spent Sunday in the bathtub because I am afraid she will think I’m insane.