[This entry is part of the Blog Carnival relating to mental health. The theme this month is “Night”.]

Trigger Warning: this post contains PTSD imagery, references to nightmares, physical and emotional abuse, and some mentions of rape.

Wake up gasping, clutching the chest and screaming. Screaming in the dark.

The nightmares are back. The neverending nightmares, the story of my nights.

The whirring of the space heater, the humming of the computers, and the soft whiffling snore of my boyfriend fill the silence, taking the place of the screaming in my head, pushing out the repeated, repetitive voices from the past. The nightmares come every night, now, and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to stop them.

I’ve been on medicine for them for over a year, at this point, and we’re on a very delicate balance: the current dose is not quite high enough, but the last time I went up it lowered my blood pressure far, far too much to be safe. As far as I know, there isn’t anything else that works as well as this med does.

The nights are long, and both silent and loud. Light in my head, dark in the room. The nightmares are invariably about two subjects: death and dying, or sexual and physical abuse [up to and including rape].

I spend my nights caught in a whirlwind of pain and fear. The nights I’m exhausted, I just fall into bed and pray that they aren’t too horrible. The rest of the time, I put off “bedtime” as long as I can. I know this isn’t healthy, that it’s impacting my health and my schoolwork, but there’s only so much one person can take.


I spend the nights flitting from dream to dream, horror to horror. I can’t remember the last time I had a happy, or at least neutral, dream.

People ask me why I’m always so tired, and if I’m so tired why don’t I go to bed/take a nap/wev and they’re always [always] surprised. People never seem to understand that this is more than “a nightmare,” that this is more than “bad dreams.” Those who’ve never had to deal with a PTSD meltdown generally don’t understand how it can take over your entire life.


My nights are long, and filled with silence and darkness.


1 Comment

  1. December 31, 2010 at 6:21 am

    […] Dark Evening, Kaie wrote about long nights spent flitting from dream to dream, horror to horror — Night: Wake up gasping, clutching the chest and screaming. Screaming in the […]

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