Flashbacks and Nightmares

 

I keep having these flash backs. It’s strange. I’ll be going about my normal business when suddenly it will hit me. I’ll feel like I am *there* again. It’s not entirely unpleasant. But not entirely pleasant either. For the briefest moment I’m propelled back into the past. I feel it again, the blackness, in the pit of my stomach. But at the same time I know that I’m safe now. I’m OK now.

In one of the flashbacks I have just been admitted to hospital. I’m sitting on the bed, my head resting on my knees. I can’t describe how I feel. Relieved. Finally someone believes me. Finally someone is going to help me. Perhaps I have a chance. Perhaps I can keep going. But I’m so tired. I’ve held myself together for so long. Now that I’m safe, now that there are people looking after me I feel I may simply fall apart. The Hubster wants me to unpack my suitcase so I feel more at home. But I’m just so tired. I had to tell people today that I was going to hospital. I had to admit that I had a problem. I had to pack a suitcase not knowing when I would be home again. What if the people out there judge me? What if they think I’m weak.  A failure. Hospital is my last chance. My last ditch effort at saving myself. What if it doesn’t work? I’m so incredibly exhausted. I just want to sleep.

In another I am in the art room furiously painting a picture. I’m talking to my doctor who is carefully colouring in a stained glass window. I’m asking her if I am crazy. I had a dream about South Korea and the news article on TV was about South Korea. I walked in at that very moment. Surely that means something. Why would I dream about South Korea if it didn’t mean anything? I must be able to predict events. My dreams must be predictions. My dreams are important. I’m telling my doctor that I must be crazy. I must be crazy because of what I am thinking. I’m telling her how angry I am. She tells me this is the first time I have talked to her. Said something other than ‘I can’t keep going’. She says this is progress.

In another I am waking up from a vivid nightmare. I’m soaked in sweat, my hair sticking to my forehead. I’m hyperventilating. I want help but I remember I am on isolation and can’t leave my room. I can’t breathe. I pace around the room then spy the emergency call button. I’m just about to punch it with my fist when a nurse opens the door. I’m shaking and pacing as the dream haunts me. I trip over my dressing gown and the nurse steadies me. I just can’t breathe. I tell the nurse about my dream, how I need to put pictures of my loved ones on the wall. If I don’t put them on the wall they will die and I will be responsible. I could have prevented it. But I don’t have pictures, and I don’t have blue tack. The nurse doesn’t understand how important this is. She gives me some pills but I’m scared to fall asleep. She holds my hand and stays until I drift away again.

As soon as the flashbacks arrive they leave again, and I’m left with a strange sensation. No matter how I try to push the memories away they bubble up to the surface when I least expect them. Often things, moments, that I thought I had forgotten. A little reminder. A bitter aftertaste. A motivation to keep myself stable.

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