Auntie cautions me that PTSD doesn’t completely leave us, especially in the first few years of healing. Last week was a struggle for me. It was one of those weeks when showering, getting out of bed, doing laundry, emptying the upstairs trash cans was overwhelming. On Monday, I had an EDMR session with my therapist. It opened a big can of worms that crawled and squeezed their way into my days. Sensations of childhood crept into my waking and sleeping hours. As I go through my day as a teacher, I often wonder if my co-workers or students notice a bad week. I’ve been told I hide things well. I imagine no one realizes that underneath I’m suffering. When I see my students first thing in the morning they give me hope. I hang onto that hope. Hope gets me out of bed in the morning…
December 10, 2014
PTSD is creeping back into my life. The sleepless nights. The sound. The distant, but familiar paranoia. I feel exhausted all day. I crawl into bed at night and my body vibrates with nervous energy and anxiety.
Suddenly I don’t feel safe. I can feel her pushing me down into the stiff twin bed, one muscular leg on either side of two thin child legs. I can’t breathe.
I’m in my adult bed, not a twin bed. I sit a glass down too hard on the glass nightstand. The sharp sound of glass on glass cuts through my body. Electricity travels down my spine.
I love people, yet I can’t trust they won’t hurt me. I feel the fear of blurry nights bleeding into the cold and rapid days. I don’t want to sleep. I now realize that somewhere in my mind I stay awake because the child BDL feels the unpredictability of the darkness. At night, I write some of my best work because I’m closest to my child self. I write. I think. I try to sleep, clinging to my body pillow as if it were a living being. As a child, the only way I could sleep was to hug a pillow and imagine a loving mother. A teacher. A coach. A counselor. Anyone who showed that they cared or noticed I existed.
The adult BDL hugs the pillow tighter and gives into the darkness. Soon it will be morning, and I will stand in front of three students giving them what many unknowingly gave me as a child. Love. A safe place to learn. A place to express myself.