Starting the 5th of December, this is how my days have run:
Wake up from dreams wherein I still live with my parents, and I never had my current life away from them. As you may imagine, these are not good dreams.
7:00am — 8:00am
Try to get another hour of sleep due to exhaustion from the night before. Fail or repeat with similar never-escaped dreams.
Feel the same dread and anxiety as I did from X years ago, like I never left my parents and their home of hilariously horrible abuse.
8:00am — 9:30am
Attempt to get ready for the day, but not even bento or shower meditation makes the constant background dread/anxiety go away.
9:30am — 9:30pm
Go through my day in much the same way. Dread never leaves but doesn’t get worse unless I run into another holiday reminder, of which for some reason there’s multiple around every corner. Dread never quite graduates to adrenaline-rush stage, just teeters me there for hours.
Dread pushes me over the adrenaline-rush stage, but I am actually too exhausted to do anything about it, and there is also nothing to act against, so what the hell? Good thing I’m at home now, where I can barricade myself in the bedroom and quietly break down.
9:30pm — 10:00pm
Try hard not to break down so that I know I am stronger than what’s trying to happen to me and/or stronger than my parents, depending on how much my subconscious is managing to stay in the present. Get ready for bed.
10:00pm — 2:30am
Either I have insomnia or nightmares from which I wake up constantly, still having never escaped my parents.
Take knockout cocktail of Ambien + Xanax, which is really not a good thing to do, but it lets me have a dreamless sleep (?) for a while.
2:30am — 3:05am
Finally fall asleep.
3:05am — 7:00am
Have dreamless sleep for probably 80% of the time, then have dreams where I never escaped my parents.
7-fucking-o’clock ay em
Repeat. Ad mid-January.
These are not fun days. These are not exciting days. These are the days when you want to take the world in your hands and do SOMETHING, but you end up so exhausted from commute, work, and most of all the PTSD-related dread symptoms, such that you can’t think far enough to, like, follow lists of steps, much less be creative.
Although occasionally, early in the cycle, I have managed to reach escape velocity from this spiral; much of the time I don’t. The weariness just builds up day to day.
And that has been years of my life. Many years with the direct threat actually present, and a few years with the threat chasing me, and a very few years with the threat mostly (but who knows) gone. The bartender pointed out in the most recent session I need to blog about that I’ve really only had a few Christmases without my parents in the background, it happening only once a year, and thank fucking glad for that. So it’s not unexpected or bad/weak/disgusting/worthless of me to still have trouble during this most wonderful time of the year.
Boring fear: it is the fucking worst kind.
6 thoughts on “The Everyday PTSD Experience: Not as Romantic or Exciting as You Might Think”
good on the not-breaking-down. the holidays are the worst time of year for me, too. keep on surviving! *hug*
I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time right now. Sometimes there’s no going around, just through. Which isn’t always a lot of fun.
Okay, so I read an article on treating PTSD with Tetris, and I have no idea if something like this would even help:
But, in case you didn’t see it, and wanted to try something different to cope. Good luck with just… everything.
Alisa, thank you. *hugs back*
Natalie L., thank you too. I’ve been through worse—the equivalent of this while my parents were a very real threat, and I was without friends on campus. I survived that (in all ways) so I’ll survive this.
Sometimes life just throws boss levels at one.
SBents, thank you. The article was an interesting read—it’s similar to the various hobbies/practices I try to absorb myself into, on perhaps similar principles. But I’ve never considered the all-consuming powers of tetris.
One should never underestimate tetris! I don’t know if it will necessarily help, but I do have both tetris and Bejeweled on my iPhone….
I won’t offer empty platitudes. You have it tough at the moment. But I admire how you’re handling it.
abi, thank you. *hugs back*
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