The Night

“Though my soul may set in darkness, It will rise in perfect light, I have loved the stars too fondly To be fearful of the night.”

— Sarah Williams

I read best in the quiet of the night. I have two book reviews and a move review due for AP World History when I return to school next week . I stayed up reading until 3 in the morning. To be honest I’ve been staying up until the wee hours of the morning since I got out of school. My insomnia always returns when I’m no longer obligated to get up at 4 in the morning and stay functional the entire day. But last night was different. Every time I tried to close my eyes I would see a shadow in my peripheral vision. It wasn’t the darkness because it was independent of the dark and it moved. It was unnerving and for a few moments I thought I was seeing death and it was coming for me. It sounds crazy but I’ve long since learned not to trust my eyes which is even more disquieting. I had a “nightmare” the night before. It wasn’t really a nightmare because I wasn’t scared, I was just creeped out. In the dream my great grandmother told me not to trust what I see or hear. An example was given when what I thought was my grandmother wasn’t really her but a demon using her voice and I didn’t discern that until I got closer. It seems I’m near sighted even in my dreams. I’ve been through this phase before and it lasted months. Months of me not sleeping until the next morning when my grandmother got off from work. I haven’t had nightmares for a while and its not a good sign that they’ve returned. My dreams aren’t frequently related to my abuse which is somewhat like me. I don’t like confrontation and prefer to skirt around the issue and so my dreams are the same. And while they’re varied, the theme is always the same. Demons and Devils threatening my safety. In my “nightmares” I’m never scared but I’m never safe either. It’s symbolic really. My grandmother is safety and I stay awake until my grandmother returns home and makes me feel safe again. But for the first time in a dream she didn’t represent safety but deceit. The Devil used her voice and my near sightedness to deceive me. Maybe my dreams are trying to tell me something. I’ve been stressing a lot about college lately and moving out of state, away from my grandmother, away from both safety and my abuser. Maybe more danger awaits me out of state than the one danger that is here, hiding like a wolf in sheep clothing among my family, as if he belongs. I don’t know. I’m not a psychic or diviner of dreams. But it doesn’t seem like I’m going to be sleeping at night for a while. The last thing I want is to become dependent on sleeping pills again. I prefer to sleep on my own and up until now I’ve been successful in forcing myself to go to bed early. I’ve become lax. Something has to change. This house and my nightmares aren’t a good combination. This house already creeps me out since my great grandfather died in it. Fortunately its not him that’s haunting me but the night. The night used to be a comfort. Now its something I dread.

Give thanks for solitude

“I think it’s good for a person to spend time alone. It gives them an opportunity to discover who they are and to figure out why they are always alone.”

―Amy Sedaris

Today is Thanksgiving Day and even though I have a lot to be thankful I just want to be left alone. I’m not feeling down or upset, I just crave solitude right now. I don’t know what it is about the holidays that make me want to crawl even further into my shell. Maybe its the people. Just a few minutes ago my grandmother tried to guilt me into going with her to one of our church member’s house. I don’t like being surrounded by people who I don’t know or whose faces are unfamiliar to me. It’s unnerving and. . . . . I don’t like to be around strangers if I can help it. Which isn’t a healthy way to be because there are at least 7 billion people in the world and I’m around strangers everyday at school. But I’m rarely forced to interact with them. I don’t even know half the students in my senior class. Unfortunately I live in a southern state. A Bible Belt state. A state that is proud of its southern hospitality. At any church function, even dinner at someone’s home, you’re expected to interact with people and praise the Lord. Everyone wants to talk to you and be your friend. I want to be alone. For this one day, for this one week I have out of school before midterms, I want to bask in solitude.

Escape

“You learned to run from what you feel, and that’s why you have nightmares. To deny is to invite madness. To accept is to control.”

— Megan Chance

There are so many things wrong with me and so many facets of myself that I’m afraid to explore. Sometimes I scare me. My thoughts scare me. For instance I was just thinking about how relieved I will be once I move into my dorm at college. I submitted my first application a few days ago and I’m already anxiously awaiting my acceptance letter. And then I thought about that day in class when we discussed teen pregnancy. To say its a touchy subject for me is an understatement. Majority of the women in my family got pregnant before the age of 18. My mom included. She gave birth to me at 14 but became pregnant at 13. I have never considered this thought that occurred to me during the discussion: did I ruin my mother’s childhood and is that why she did so little to protect mine? Unlike some survivors I don’t believe that I “asked for it” or that I “deserved it”. But did my mother find herself incapable of loving and protecting me because I forced her to “grow-up” and care for someone other than herself? I don’t believe she loved me even before the abuse. My first memories are of my grandparents. When I think of safety my grandmother’s arms come to mind. I used to cry and rage when my mother came to take me from them. I suppose my attachment to my grandparents may have also hindered us from bonding but. . . . I’m sorry but I just feel the need to know what was it or is it about me that she found so unworthy of love and protection? I’ve noticed that she always preferred my other siblings to me. I was her black sheep and yet I’m the daughter that will be graduating in 2015 without a child unlike my younger sister and yet she admitted that if it had been me that had gotten pregnant then she would have kicked me out as her mom did her when she was 17. My aunt told me to my face that my mom told her she doesn’t want me at her house. Who wants to hear that from a mother? Damn. I didn’t mean to make this about her and yet its apparent that I have mommy issues. I have trust and abandonment issues which I guess can be simplified to just trust issues. I’ve thought long and hard about going to see a psychiatrist but even though I’m an adult I feel like my mom’s words can invalidate mine. It would feel empty and hollow going to see someone without the support of my mother. But I should be used to her lack of support. I’m like a kicked dog that keeps getting up and going back for more. I don’t know how to stay down. I don’t need proof of my abuse but after having so many of my family members disbelieve me how can I expect a stranger to believe a word I say? I was molested but I wasn’t raped. It wasn’t “that bad.” Who wants to hear that? To be told that their abuse is inferior to someone else’s, even though its tearing them apart. Someone days I wonder if I’m loosing my mind. Other days I’m certain that I’ve lost it. How do you run from yourself? I just have this idea that if I get away it will get better. What’s eating me will abate and I can push this to the back of my mind. But the cynic in me is aware of the futility of it all. What’s the point of running when all you’re running from is you? As Confucius said:

“No matter where you go, there you are.”

A victim’s job

“The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, “It’s a girl.”

―Shirley Chisholm

I intend to keep this post short because I don’t really have much to say or rather I don’t want to say much on the subject but I feel the need to say SOMETHING. More than once in the past two days I’ve been confronted with tweets or articles concerning the “allegations” against Bill Cosby. I even took the time to read the comments beneath the articles and tweets, etc. And I have to ask: since when is it the victim’s job to provide evidence of her assault/abuse? I understand people’s disbelief but really? Must the first thing you have to ask is where’s her proof? I suppose I shouldn’t expect anything less in a world where women are considered inferior but those comments enraged me and I sympathize with those women. Maybe they’re looking for a handout or maybe they’re actually telling the truth and it seems that if they are telling the truth then they’re not going to get justice for what happened to them. What a cruel world we live in. I truly fear the day that I bring children into this world. I pray I never have daughters.

Restless

“Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.”

―Abraham Lincoln

Its almost depressing that I follow people who are or were in similar situations that I’m in but… It’s inspiring too. To know that other people have been where I am, at their worst, and still persevered. It means that there is hope for me yet. But I’m rambling. This is like my third post in the past 10 minutes. My mind and body are both restless. I want to go on and on. I have this restless energy and to keep myself from. . .  I sound like I’m a dog and I’m training myself but to keep my mind from wandering to darker places I’m compensating by writing. I could be binge eating because I feel like I haven’t ate in days but I’d rather just share my jumbled thoughts with you. I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m still too creeped out by this house to fall asleep easily and nothing keeps my mind occupied better than writing. Or reading. I should be reading Grendel for AP English but I don’t feel like it. I feel pretty pathetic having my bedroom light on but I don’t trust my mind or eyes enough to turn the lights off. People don’t understand what a struggle it is to be near-sighted. When I’m not wearing my glasses, which is most of the time, I see some pretty weird shit. One time I didn’t even recognize the stray cat outside and it was sitting like 5 feet away from me. Therefore I rarely trust my eyes. I should invest in some contacts. I think I’ve rambled enough. I will leave you be. Or make another post in the next 20 minutes. Depends on when I settle down and the exhaustion sets in. The adrenaline from fear is waning and so is this restless energy which is probably adrenaline. I’m done.

Fear

“When you are mad, mad like this, you don’t know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else’s reality, it’s still reality to you.”

―Marya Hornbacher

I’m in this house alone and my mind is playing tricks on me. The only thing I can think to do is call my grandmother at work. She lays my fears to rest so easily. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her once I leave for college. She my support system. She slay the monsters in my head and manage to walk away unscathed with a smile. Her voice alone banish the ominous feeling in the house. I need to get a grip. There is no one in this house with me besides my kitten and he is in another room. There is nothing to fear. I wonder if sounds can be classified as hallucinations.

Everything

“I’m actually scared of everything. You could say I’m a profoundly scared person.”

―Ingmar Bergman, from Bergman Island (2004)

It’s late and I’m restless. I took a nap as soon as I got home yesterday so naturally I can’t sleep tonight/morning. When I can’t sleep I browse the net. I had happened to be on tumblr and was reading a post on this blog that is ran by survivors. And I usually apply everything I read to myself to see how it relates to me or if I was in that situation how would I react. I had heard of many mental illnesses but never social anxiety disorder and shockingly I display quite a few of the symptoms.

anxiety

Which is weird because I thought how I feel is normal. I think I’m shy and I know I’m self conscious and probably suffer from a low self-esteem but a social anxiety disorder? I know its irrational that I am literally terrified of shopping alone, I’m uncomfortable talking to strangers older than me, hate talking in front of an audience, and I don’t like being the center of attention. But that’s normal right? I’m a shy person. Introvert. People make me want to run and hide. I feel like everyone that looks at me can read every thought that cross my mind and so I freeze up when people I don’t know try to make conversation with me. I feel out of place at parties. I avoid them even though most of the few friends that I have are going to them. I don’t attend parties that my family throw and I’m usually at a loss of words when distant relatives come to talk to me. That’s normal. I’m shy. I was in a pageant in middle school and I wanted to throw up when I was interviewed privately by the judges. I tried to take my teacher’s advice and look them all in the eye but there were six of them and each had a different question to throw at me. I don’t think I’d be able to survive a job interview which is why I’m hesitant about applying for my first job. But that’s normal. Who wouldn’t be comfortable being interviewed by six people or nervous about a job interview? I’m a shy person. Or am I? I don’t like people. Some would classify me as “anti-social”. But I’m still a teenager and I have a low self-esteem. Naturally I would have a hard time making friends. I’m a shy person. I know I display a lot of symptoms for post traumatic stress and depression. Now I can add social anxiety to that mix. Some would ask why I don’t seek professional help. I would retort that I don’t think I could afford it and my parents wouldn’t let me. But I’m a legal adult now and there are inexpensive solutions. What’s stopping me? I know what’s wrong with me and now anyone who reads this blog knows but its not the same as being actually diagnosed. If it were…. it would be something else that he took from me. He already took my innocence and stars in my nightmares and flashbacks but I don’t want him to lay claim to my sanity too. Is anything inviolate? Is there a part of me that isn’t touched by him? Am I ever safe from his grasp? I can’t let him become omnipotent. He can’t be everywhere and my everything. Something has to be sacred. It’s irrational but its how I feel. I can’t help how my brain is hardwired. And that’s all there is to it.