I can go for weeks, months and sometimes whole years without ever having a conscious thought about when I was raped, that doesn’t mean I have forgotten about it, but like other unpleasant things that have happened in my life, I just choose not to dwell on it.
However there are times when my brain or my subconscious or whatever it is will take the matter into its own hands and serve me up a highly unpleasant reminder that comes out of nowhere and leaves an impression that lingers, almost as if it’s saying “you may have moved on. but I NEVER FORGET”.
Last night was a case in point, I was having one of those dreams that I seem to get a lot of lately, the one where I am still in hospital and I wake up and I realise that I have been dreaming the whole time about being at home, those dreams while annoying only make me feel slightly ill at ease, and the feelings I get from those don’t linger long.
So I woke myself up, reassured myself that yes I was actually AT home, in my own bed, with the cat and that it was just a dream in a dream and drifted back off to sleep, where I slipped into a dream about my Nan’s old house, which wasn’t quite my Nan’s house but enough so that it was very familiar, I like these dreams because in them I invariably see all the people I have loved and lost, my Mum, Nan and Lesley, which while it makes me sad also makes me happy, memories of happier times.
This time it was different, the facade was my Nan’s house but once I went inside I realised to my horror that inside it was the little out of the way class room at the old Tech college, the one I used to eat my lunch in and listen to my music and read, the one I thought was safe because it was out of the way and not used anymore.
I tried to wake myself up because of all the things that I don’t wish to keep on reliving, being raped rates as number one, but all my usual tricks wouldn’t work, and thanks to my brain I got to relive it all again in full glorious colour and sound, every moment of sheer terror, pain and disgust, all over again.
Then as if my brain hadn’t had enough of torturing me with that particular bit, it took me on a whirlwind tour of every single bad decision I made following the attack, the dropping out of school, the failed suicide attempt, the arrival of panic attacks and agoraphobia, every single one in a non stop hit parade of bad decisions.
When I finally managed to wake up I was panting, crying and working my way up to a full blown panic attack the first one in months and months, I was also alone in the house, I have never felt more alone than at that moment, I grabbed my cat and held on, telling myself to breathe, I’m quite proud of that, I shut that shit down before it could take hold.
I’ve been on edge all day, and I’m not looking forward to sleeping tonight, you win brain, you’re the boss.