3 AM again, and the Sandman refuses to carry me back to dreamland, so, I grab my cellphone and nestle into a cozy chair. Here I begin detailing the thoughts traveling my brain and dismantling my peaceful slumber.
The times, I find it impossible to resume restorative sleep, I ask myself, what is so important that I can’t close my eyes and drift away? I understand I need the rest.
The answer finally dawned. The early morning disruptions come from the inaudible outcries of instances past. Ugly happenings of long-ago assaults plague my sub-conscious and blast me to consciousness.
The few winks I manage, usually spiral me into dreams categorized as nightmares. My head is urging me to awaken before succumbing to ghastly night visions with threatening demons.
Trained to be submissive, uncomplaining, the torments and cries that lie just below the surface, never burst forth in protest. Don’t dare upset anyone.
This mindset assisted in keeping my mouth closed as surely as a glued zipper grips the orifice shut.
Far too many years passed, and physiological treatments/therapies have been tried, and for the majority of my awake time, I live in “normalcy.” Most would not suspect the journey of my life.
Those who recently learned my story, are shocked at the inordinate amount of chaos and strife heaped upon my path, and which I laboriously trenched through and over.
Many people comment on my strength, fortitude, and courage, and at first, these responses elicited a surprised reaction from myself. Yet, tenacity, perseverance, and a hopeful spirit led me to deliverance. So, although a bit astonished to see these glorious words applied to me, I’m in agreement.
At this juncture, I found my voice and wrote a book about my trials, tribulations, and the wisdom extracted from my many woes. On paper, the truth runs free, and a partial purge results.
But, inside the subconscious yelps and yells as loud as any prey caught in a trap. Hear me, see me, help me are being bellowed into the night, and though my mouth opens, only guttural sounds are emitted.
My dear man shakes my arm, “Honey, it’s only a dream. You’re okay.” Oh, for sweet reassurance.
The everyday tasks, artful undertakings, all are navigated with ease, and I’m astounded by my ability to perform on such little rest. The importance of a decent night’s repose is touted by the medical community on a repeated basis.
The fact I’m able to function, live, love, and laugh on a few hours of shuteye is beyond me. I suppose one could compare me to a functioning alcoholic.
Though the abuses, rapes, and domestic violence were addressed in a therapeutic setting, they remain with me. These are the influences that helped shape me, kept me quiet out of shame and/or fear, and are responsible for what I view as a type of spiritual death, CPTSD (Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder).
To undergo prolonged anxiety such as that found in long-term abuse, where one is under the complete control of a perpetrator and unable to scurry away from danger, this is comparable to being mired in electrified quicksand. A struggle of one step forward, two steps backward occurs as painful shocks course from the head to the toes.
The feelings associated with trauma are often overwhelming. Those who survive may turn to various substances, drugs/alcohol, and a gamut of other injurious deeds are also common, including self-mutilation. A variety of symptoms and afflictions can present in any manner and degree.
To live with this diagnosis isn’t easy. A daily battle is fought, and in my case, though somewhat of a highly functioning zombie, I’m managing life and a real happiness does co-exist with my fractured being.
A substantial amount of credit goes to partner, my soulmate. For this man whom I’ve known since age 5, but have only been with for the past 12 years, has brought precious laughter to my life in ways I never before experienced, and laughing is such healing medicine. Also, he is my protector, confidant, and most ardent supporter. How did I get so lucky?
Yes, when I find myself rising hours before the sunrise, though no audible vibrations are sent through the air and into the good night, I am screeching with every ounce of my being, the silent screams of a survivor.
With the darkness dispelled, my body uncurls, I grab a cup of coffee, and greet the morning sun, anew. My spirit shakes off the night dredges, and I await my many blessings to welcome me once again. As day progresses, giggles and gut-busting merriment rings through the air.
Listen to me dark, ugly monsters, leave me and retreat to the dark. With the dawning of the day, I have better things to think upon.