Stop for a minute and think. Imagine your life with no one. Imagine not having your spouse, your children. There are no family members living close by. No brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, or uncles anywhere close. Seriously…stop and try to imagine this for your life. Years and years and years pass by…and you’re all alone. Every day. Every night. Every weekend. Can you even imagine this for your life?
This is mine. And it’s ok except for the fact that I’ve recently lost a few friendships. But this is why those friendships are so vital to my life. IT’S ALL I HAVE. Yes, you can say I have a relationship with God. But for living, breathing human beings…friendships are all I have. And I surely don’t have that many of them. I’m super shy so making new friends is near impossible and I have such a difficult time trusting people. I was just ruminating with a friend over how every single one of my relationships (boyfriends) was someone who was very outgoing. And when I was young I realized those were the only guys bold enough to strike up a conversation with someone as shy as myself.
Anyway, the point is that I’ve been racking my brain over what I can do to salvage my friendships and not sabotage them anymore. I need them. And those people all deserve better too. It’s not just for me. I want to be a better person and a better friend. That’s what made me start researching how PTSD affects relationships. It’s something I’ll be working on and I can only pray that my friends will be gracious and patient with me as I flounder my way through this. I’ve been so distressed over this one issue lately. I’ll probably continue to write about this because I’ve been tormented over the loss of these friends and I very much fear losing any more. I’m terrified of it actually. They’re all I have in this world.
The last picture I put up on my Facebook is so disturbing to me. My sister-in-law took a picture of me holding my nephew, but it was right after I had two intense breakdowns. I’d cried for hours at this point. I was so out of it. My eyes are vacant and hollow. My nose is red from crying. My face is so downtrodden with sadness. I actually hate myself in that picture, but the baby is so precious that I decided to put it up. People commented on how that’s a moment to cherish…smh. No one knows. No one understands. I feel so disconnected.
Nightmares have increased exponentially since I got out. They’re just about every other night now. And what used to be rare (continuing a dream after waking up from it and going back to sleep) is now commonplace. Gah…why does it have to be the nightmares that continue? I’m pretty good at analyzing my dreams and figuring out what my brain was trying to process. Lately, many of the nightmares have been from being locked up against my will. I was terrified and still am terrified that it can happen again at any moment.
There have been some weird nightmares though that I can’t quite figure out what they’re from. One is of me getting shot. I can’t remember the whole dream- only a sliver of it. I’m in a crowd of people and someone open fires into the crowd. A man is shot next to me and he falls on top of me, burying my face. He’s dead and is laying face up on top of my upper chest and face. I almost feel suffocated because I can’t breathe. But then I realize the shooter is still shooting so I freeze instead of trying to free myself. The shooter goes quiet. He’s taken the entire crowd down. He decides to open fire one last time on everyone laying on the floor- just to make sure everyone’s dead. This is when I get shot in the stomach. I feel the burn and sting of the bullet and my body contracts a little as the bullet enters. I wake up a moment after that. I’d go back to sleep and dream it again. I have no idea where this particular nightmare is coming from or what my brain might be trying to process. But like all my nightmares, I wake up with my heart beating out of my chest, drenched in sweat, and I can’t catch my breath.
Then there’s the creepy cult nightmare. There’s a cult that’s taken over this little town I live in and they dictate everything…right down to the food you eat. For some reason, I was suspicious about their food and didn’t want to eat it. So I didn’t. I knew the penalty was death. They would try to coerce you into eating and if you refused, they’d chase you down and kill you. So after various groups of people tried to coerce me to eat their food, it was decided that I wasn’t compliant and I’d have to be killed. I’d run and try to hide…but literally every person in the town is after me. No one is safe. I’d spend a good part of the dream running and hiding…I’d wake up just as someone is about to tackle me. Then I’d fall asleep again and re-dream the not eating part and the getting chased down part over and over.
This dream I can link to several things though. First and most depressing…is my church. I kind of equate the cult to my church and how I don’t feel wanted there or welcome there anymore. I’m afraid that’s why in the dream I’m not wanted…instead, they want to kill me. The other part is from getting locked up. I was so physically ill from being re-traumatized in there that I couldn’t eat, I fought back puking constantly, and had diarrhea nonstop. But I knew they were watching and noting every time someone didn’t eat. I was so terrified they’d hold it against me, that I put something in my mouth whenever they looked (this is also why I tried to hold in my vomit). When they weren’t looking, I gave the rest of the food away. I wasn’t trying to break rules on purpose…I was just so damned sick to my stomach. It was unreal. Anyway, I think that’s where the food part comes from…and the rules about “you must eat our food”…this is just like in the hospital. Then there’s the “no one is safe” part. Huh. I think that’s part of my PTSD and then some. I’ve never felt that any one human being on this earth is entirely safe. Never. I remember several months back trying to get myself to trust people again and picking out the most benign, harmless, most Christ-like individuals- and then questioning myself on if I fully trusted them or not. And if not, why? Never…I was never able to convince myself that any person was safe. There’s always a danger. There’s always the potential for harm. That’s just life. And now it seems even more dangerous to me- I’ve been stung by the people closest to me. No one is safe. Not a soul.
Tonight I was driving back from somewhere. It took a few hours. I thought over and over again of different ways I could die. And then I started thinking, why is that considered bad? Why is that considered a failure? I’m not convinced that God wants me here on this earth. He surely doesn’t need me. I’m no good to anyone. But why is dying considered so bad?? Why does some person get to say that it’s not ok? Isn’t that between God and I? And like I said, I’m not so sure he wants me here. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t actually. He wouldn’t have made my life like this.
Everything has been so much worse since I got out. I can sit here and say how I want to be a better person…and I do…but things are not good. Everything is so much worse. I am doing so much worse. I feel so much more alone than I did before. I don’t see how this will get any better. But for now, I’m here. I’m open to help. I want to get better. I just don’t see it ever happening.