Off Switch (Trigger Warning)

I am rolling through a house, looking up a flight of stairs when a friend of mine is shoved through the wall, I had not seen them in the hall but the wiring of the house has entered them, turning them into a macabre marionette. I feel the loss as I wake, and it takes me two hours to get back to sleep. Sprite and Sylvani shared the bed last night, something they only do when worried over me. Vani likes to sleep in the window so he can see everything, Sprite sleeps at my feet unless I need her.

I woke up ever hour with an adrenaline kick last night that cost me more energy than sleeping was worth but I was too tired to stay awake. I can barely keep my eyes open now though I will push myself today. I do not want to shut down. I spent October being quiet on my blog because I was having fun, and a part of that was the headlong rush to have as much fun as I can before I spend a month trying to function.

The pervasive sense of dread started early this year, though there was a trigger and an actual reason to be fearful I kept going and doing. This meant I had too much fun, or just enough, on Halloween and made it through the third where I can talk, I can look at people and I can go out. It’s more frightening today and yet I am fighting with the off switch in my brain. If I let it shut off from the annual PTSDathon I miss things. I miss people, I miss being able to go and enjoy the last warmth in the air while it starts to get that crispness that I associate with apples. I miss so much.

I have never made it this far into November without the off switch being flipped. It’s never with my consent now. I am not sure it ever was but I had no choice for so long. Turn off, stay off, and let the pain be over there. Be distant from it just to survive. I needed a reminder of this yesterday as I am in the mode of taking this one day at a time. There is no other way to survive November.

A catalogue of my current PTSD symptoms would be as follows: Physical sensations based on memories not reality IE I feel my father’s hands in places that no father’s hands belong, Nightmares that actually scare me, a bit of a fog in my head making it hard to follow the passage of time, a pervasive sense of dread as if the world will end, the razor’s edge of panic in my chest, the urge to run as far as I can, and something that I have more trouble with at this time of year is my temper. I am on edge, I am wanting to push everyone away and hide.

The mental image of myself when I touch on the fear isn’t me now either, it’s the small child I used to be. It’s the bed in the house where I was five hiding with my dog. It’s the past. There is not much I can do right now. I am wearing the birdskull necklace M gave me, because I have found it very comforting, I am wearing my batman shirt, and Sprite is hovering. I am going out without her today. She isn’t quite recovered and I think I can do this. This is the last day this month I am likely to be able to go out.

The off switch is something I have to hold up into the on position. It’s the weight of the world, I am a failing atlas as my grip slips. I must remind myself, I once could never lift it. I wasn’t strong enough at first. I spent a decade in the dark before I found it. Then I spent years learning how to keep the switch up. It only grows heavy for a month now. By December 9th I will be fine. Maybe sooner. Maybe I will not shut down at all.

I don’t know. I just know I made it further than last year. I also have more mental resources than last year. I am not fighting with a bad carer, I am not fresh off of abuse, I am not starved and though I am still physically weak I am not as weak as I was. I am never going to be as strong physically as I want but I am strong mentally. I know the nightmares will be robbing me of my sleep, but I also know that I can count on my caregiver, my service animal, my caseworker, and even my apartment manager. I can call on my friends if I need to, though right now I couldn’t let them in the door so we shall see if that happens.

I am fighting. Knowing I am fighting has restored a bit of my strength. Even as Sprite creeps up onto me and tells me to go rest, I know I can’t. I lay down right now and I am not getting up.

This month holds suicidal thoughts, depression, and a whole lot of pain. I will not give in. I am planning to write specific chapters of the PTSD book this month based on what I am doing in the moment. The things I cannot write without being up against the mental wall. When I can’t hold the switch up anymore or when the burden eases, I will also say so here. I am okay. It may not be the okay I want but I am safe. I am loved. I may want for things but I want for no needs. This is a first in my life. I have always needed the basic necessities and they have been just out of reach. Sometimes I could nearly grasp them but I am fantastic compared to any year before.

I will relive being raped countless times this month, I will relive the worst parenting ever, and I will know it is not my fault. There is no sense of guilt in me for the first time. I am just very sad. I mourn for the child I was and I wish I could save her. In some ways she has always been someone else to me. Perhaps the light switch will stay on once I can own the essence of her identity. Though this is a part of PTSD. I am separate from what came before the most traumatic moment in my life. It broke me and I rebuilt myself. In fact that was what my father wanted. He wanted to break his willful child. He made me more willful. He set up the biggest victories in my life by trying make me submissive.

If he had tried other ways I would not be me. Can I fathom living any other way? No. So I must work for it so that the way I live is 12 months a year not 11 or less. It’s my damned year. I am going to take it back.

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1 Comment

  1. ==I mourn for the child I was and I wish I could save her. In some ways she has always been someone else to me. Perhaps the light switch will stay on once I can own the essence of her identity. Though this is a part of PTSD. I am separate from what came before the most traumatic moment in my life. It broke me and I rebuilt myself. In fact that was what my father wanted. He wanted to break his willful child. He made me more willful. He set up the biggest victories in my life by trying make me submissive.==

    Wow, can I relate to all of this. Reclaiming that abused child has been one of the biggest triumphs of my life, and all the more so because the point of the abuse was always to destroy me. It was a long time before I realized that I am indestructible. My body may have been vulnerable, but not my soul. My soul is indestructible, and it always has been, and my healing has always been about remembering that I am not the same as what happened to me.

    I’m sending you all the love and blessings your soul needs as you go through this painful time.

    Rachel


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