nightmares

I’m entering a new phase of my life. Well actually that’s not entirely accurate. It’s not new, it’s just been a while. It’s a phase where my day consists of a few really choice activities:

  • sleeping
  • laying in bed
  • crying
  • sitting in silence

During this phase, these are more-or-less the only activities I’m capable of. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate either; there’s something else outside of those four, because another activity I have apparently decided to dip my toes back into of late is self harm.

Why get out of bed when there’s nothing waiting for me outside of my room? Why shower when all I’m going to do is get back in my pyjamas? Why actually get dressed when I’m too fat and disgusting for all my clothes? Why answer my phone when it’s just work asking me to get out of bed, get dressed in restrictive, uncomfortable clothes, and be chatty and friendly with strangers while surrounded by food for at least four hours? Why do anything when everything costs money that I don’t have?

It’s called depression, kids. And one thing you can be damn sure of when you’re in a depressive phase is that your sleep goes to absolute shit. I seem to be simultaneously always sleeping and never able to sleep. Something that does remain fairly consistent though is nightmares. I have a lot of nightmares, whether it’s during deep sleep or during naps, they’re a constant companion. A real fun extension of my every day anxiety and catastrophizing.

So I have this one friend. I’m not sure why we’re still friends. She always seems to be pretty unimpressed with what I have to offer, and I have grown increasingly less able to deal with her judgement, impossible standards, jealousy, constant scrutiny, lack of compassion and understanding, and generally differing values and life experiences to me. About 12 or 18 months ago I started having a lot of nightmares. Mum and I started to notice a pattern. Any day when I had seen this friend or had considerable interaction with her (i.e. text or Facebook) would be followed by a night of terror. It wasn’t nightmares about her, it was just nightmares. A pretty troubling discovering, but not something that I felt justified me cutting ties with her because I am entirely incapable of any form of confrontation, and the idea of upsetting anyone or anyone thinking I am a bad person makes me feel physically ill. So, as per usual, I just continued on despite the horrific pain the circumstances were causing me.

Over the last year we’ve had ups and downs in terms of level of contact. Any prolonged period of radio silence on that front has meant no nightmares, and after a while I got into a pretty good mental health groove so wasn’t as vulnerable to my literal nightmare response. But things haven’t been going great of late. Not at all. And I saw her a week or so ago. Had a nightmare that night. I was discussing her on Wednesday night. Had a nightmare that night – in fact I was shaking uncontrollably in my sleep. Apparently it’s really kick-started some sort of subconscious horror show because I had a nightmare last night too, and another today when I was sleeping my afternoon away.

I can’t remember the first one. Wednesday night was about my dad yelling at my sister and I when we were young though. He was throwing things too.

Last night I actually did have a nightmare about my friend. She was at our kitchen table spouting all sorts of stuff about depression and anorexia, something that has happened in actuality and makes me extremely angry and distressed; as far as I’m concerned, anorexia is absolutely off-topic if you haven’t experienced it yourself. It makes me fucking furious. Anyway, then – in the dream – she clocked the scars and cuts on my wrist and proceeded to quote at me and the table the causes and psychology of self harm. She’d obviously memorised it from a textbook. If this happened in real life I would probably be totally silent and resign myself to the horrific situation I found myself in. In my nightmare though, I was crying and yelling hysterically and telling her to get the hell out of my house. It was liberating but also just so distressing. The confrontation, the ‘being schooled’, the uncontrollable emotional response, the fact that I was finally saying I wanted nothing more to do with her. I know it doesn’t sound that bad, it might not even sound like it qualifies as a nightmare, but it was so fucking upsetting to experience.

This afternoon’s nightmare definitely doesn’t sound like a nightmare if I explain it, but it exploited and tormented my super sad, super serious crush I have on someone I know. It was topped-off nicely by that feeling when you can never read things properly in dreams, can never focus.

So that’s where I’m at, basically. I’m mainly writing this because my afternoon nap went until 8pm. It’s now midnight and I am avoiding sleep. I don’t feel tired, and I also don’t want to go to sleep in case I have another nightmare. So I’m here, dragging up all this horribleness instead.

Urrgghhh.

Ah love.

 

*originally posted 17 February 2017

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