To sleep- perchance to – PTSD
Apart from a few days in Texas I have not slept properly since that terrible day in February 2008, when a phone call started the silent screaming.
I was told once that dreams are the way your brain tries to make sense of your day, your thoughts, life circumstances and to put them in some sort of order so they can be “filed” . There are times that upon waking you ask
Did I dream that or did that actually happen?
My poor brain is having a terrible time trying to make sense of my thoughts , flash backs, trigger memories and life happenings. I have, during my waking hours, been unable to make sense of what has happened , trying to make sense of it when sleeping is just not happening.
My brain tries nightly to file , it puts together stories only to find the body responding badly . The brain is supposed to be in control, but there is a usurper stronger than the brain – it is my grief . The body, far from resting, is pummelled hourly by a sound bites of life and experiences, thoughts and fears.
Try as it might the brain is furiously trying to sort, file and catalogue so the body can heal with sleep.
The brain tries to categorize my son and his place in this netherworld of real and what is not real. The brain once more gives him a voice I can no longer hear when awake, a form , a dimension, a story line that is supposed to make some sort of sense,to bring some order to the disorder.
Bits and pieces of the day , a boat seen on a television program, the sound of an F150 truck starting up in a parking lot , a conversation , people and events encountered or thought of , longing , triggers all go into making up the “to be filed “ but try as the brain might the stories cause the body to once more wake to save itself.
Far from relief or rest , the jumbled images of life, dying, longing and anger are too much and the body wakes from one nightmare to another.
It seems my brain has divided into two parts upon waking . I can access “files of life” before that December 3rd day, I carry them with me they are scanning , flipping sorted through like some Rolodex file on steroids, the rest of my brain seems to be on remote pause .
I now know you can be in two places at the same time. As my husband , mother watch as I walk to the refrigerator , opening the door , grabbing the bottle of cranberry juice little do they realize I am actually a couple of thousand of miles away and in 2009 not 2010 in another kitchen in Texas , opening a refrigerator door getting another bottle of juice.
Chris in that dreadful college apartment
I have discovered I can live simultaneously in the past and present . The ordinary things in everyday life can be a time machine – bagging the kitchen garbage instantly transports me back to the parking garage of last October and Chris throwing the Texas trash into the garbage chute . I watch my son as I wait by the car with the Purell . He walks once more toward me, his smile and then I am instantaneously in his dreadful college apartment – a kitchen less than desirable for a meal – so to sharing lunch in Little Italy.
These journeys take but a millisecond and to the watcher – they are unaware I have left- it is so quick, they have not missed me .
My husband opening a can of creamed corn sent me reeling back to the Bone Marrow Unit at the Cleveland Clinic as they pumped back into his body his stem cells . The preservative in the cells smelled exactly like creamed corn.
And yet to the onlooker I am in my kitchen doing mundane things being normal????????? BUT the truth be known there is only part of me , like a substantive shadow that lingers in this world, going through the motions.
The researcher that was me and why is this happening part of my brain wants the reasoning for why I am no longer me- and on this journey I find I am no longer Tourjour Moi . I have SOME ( not all) symptoms of PTSD -
” Time to get help they cry”- “Time to get on with life -“Time will heal” TIME…….
yes TIME but time is exactly what I am dealing with……… my brain on drugs just makes the travel hazy- the time travel is still there – I know the why it is happening. I know why my brain is trying so hard- I know the help and resources available – but the journeys continue as the Gorilla of Grief is my pilot and the IT is my vehicle
You never know what dreams may come………………………….