I’ve never really been kind to me

So yeah, having issues with nightmares brought on by hot days with fans, to the point where it’s affecting my ability to actually work. The basic formula is simple: my father’s rage grew with the intensity of the heat, and fans (by themselves or inside air conditioners) triggered him. I’m told that there were many bombs that fell in the jungle that sounded like whirring or buzzing right before they killed you.

Nowadays, heat plus fans trigger me. Nightmares and intense fear or dread are its manifestations.

I saw my bartender today. We talked about a number of things.

First, the fans. I need to desensitize myself to them. Unfortunately they don’t get used that often in temperate Seattle, however I do have White Noise and its “Oscillating Fan” sound terrifies me. (I have the iPhone version, which does sound mixing, so I usually have a purring cat with crackling fireplace and ticking grandfather clock.) Desensitization ahoy, once I figure out a time when I feel VERY SAFE and NOTHING BAD will happen if I end up freaking out for a couple days (I see how the pager doesn’t really play well with this sort of thing).

Second, the dreams. Oy, the dreams. My nightmares follow the same basic pattern: I have never left my parents. I’m still stuck in that horrible situation. Bad things of endless variety ensue. There’s a part of me that’s still trapped there, which is why my parents still have power over me despite everything that I’ve done since to distance myself from them. My bartender wants me to, when I wake up from these dreams, to sketch out an ending to them where I do get away. I know how hard it is… and it’s scary to contemplate going through all that again, even in mere dream-sketching.

Third, the victim-blaming I engage in—when I say, essentially, “I’m suffering and it’ll never stop because I’m so weak“—doesn’t help. Obviously. I’m essentially beating down that part of me that’s trapped in the past, telling her that she’s too weak to escape her fate, that she is everything her father said she was, stupid and fat and ugly and weak. And what happens? Dreams, that’s what. My bartender and I spent time going over my strengths (smart, compassionate—well, when the target is not me at any rate—etc). And it’s something I need to go over in my commit logs.

Which I of course didn’t get to tell him about. Dammit.

2 thoughts on “I’ve never really been kind to me

  1. A smart bartender 20 years ago proposed I consider my wounded self as a small child. “Give her the love and attention your parents didn’t give you.” This advice has proved very useful when I feel the self-harm tides rising. Because I’d never treat any other human being with the scorn I’ve lashed myself with.

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