Since I seem to be having huge issues with insomnia as of late (not too terribly surprising), I figured that I would write out things since my brain is keeping me awake (I’ve been up since 3:30). And every time I try to sleep, it feels like a have a cacophony of negative emotions going on at all times.

Now, I’m not really surprised this is happening. I knew that this would after deciding to go somewhere that’s triggering. I did it to myself as a form of therapy. A part of PTSD therapy is to do what isn’t comfortable to make things better. I’m a big fan of going outside of my comfort zone in order to become a better version of myself. If we stick with what’s comfortable, we rarely learn anything about ourselves.

So, here I am… at 5 in the morning… after being up 1.5 hours.

Yesterday was particularly emotionally rough for me. I’m not entirely sure why that is. I felt out of step with things. My brain kept telling me horrible things… things that I just ignored in the past. Apparently, just ignoring it isn’t enough. It’s as though someone gave these horrible, unhelpful feelings a megaphone and no matter how hard I try, I still have to hear it. Instead of ignoring it, I guess I’m going to face it all head first… so to speak.

So, what was I dealing with last night… and am dealing with as we speak?

Well, a big part of it is that maybe I deserved the rape. That I didn’t fight back enough. That I also deserved the abuse that I endured for decades. That I wonder why it had to happen to me. Of course, a lot of this is paired with the lingering illogical and completely unhelpful thoughts that maybe, just maybe I’m undeserving of happiness.

Now, this is something that I’ve always been kind of proud of, even if it doesn’t always help in the short run. While I know I’m having these thoughts and feelings, I also know that they’re not rational. I also understand where they are coming from. I triggered myself. I stood before the spot I was raped. I talked about the details of the place I was in when it happened. Which, in turn, brought back the memories of exactly what happened. Of how trapped I felt in that place. How small and claustrophobic it all was.

And that I’m getting nightmares I largely don’t remember because of this. Every night… sometimes multiple nightmares a night. I’m getting less sleep now. Which goes back into the spiral of negative thoughts. Maybe I’m hoping for something wonderful and positive to come from this. Maybe I’m just hoping for karma to actually start working for me and not against me.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been weary for some time. I feel like I’ve had to shoulder a lot of this burden… and that I need to continue to do so. Even though I have support and help, it’s still up to me to do the dirty work. It’s up to me to handle the feelings and thoughts. And that’s part of the reason I’m continuing to write this out. Because no one can understand what it’s like going through this… unless you’ve had to go through it. And even then, I still need to go through it myself because only I know what it feels like.

I’m also discovering how sensitive I am to things that I didn’t think I was sensitive to… especially when I recognize that I’m guilty of having done them myself. It’s not my place to not let other people make their own mistakes, but it’s my nature to not want to see people hurt… especially when it’s something as simple as not doing something. If I can impart that piece of knowledge to someone (albeit ad nauseam), then I can’t just not do it. At the same time, I know that people have to learn from their own mistakes. It’s the interesting part of me that understands that learning comes from mistakes, but the healer in me wants to make sure that no one hurts. This can be incredibly hard for me to reconcile within myself. I think that once I finally get through my shit, that then I have to repeatedly tell myself, “I have to let people make their own mistakes, even if it means that they have to suffer. No one learns unless it’s from their own mistakes”

After all, a key belief in many versions of Buddhism is that through suffering comes enlightenment.

If that’s true, then when do I get to be one incredibly enlightened being?

Maybe I’m asking too much. All I want at this point is to be a better, happier version of myself. I have amazing things to be happy for. I have some incredibly beautiful things that can make me happy… that do make me happy. I just need to not be afraid to embrace that happiness.

Really, that’s the bigger problem, isn’t it? That I always expect the other shoe to drop. I still do it in all things… even with things that are well established. Maybe that’s the fear I need to get over. It’s certainly the fear that I’ve received for years of abuse. I need to trust what is and stop fearing what might be. More importantly, I need to keep fighting these sleepless nights, these nightmares with the thought that I will be a better person once it’s done. I need to try to fight past the despair that partners this… and drops me into a world of why am I still alive.

I can do this, right?

No, scratch that.

I can do this.

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