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I feel so unreal today

sidptitala

Confident
I feel so unreal. My housemate moved out this morning (this was planned). i will be alone for the next week.

yesterday i went to see a counsellor. we talked about stuff that i know really happened. a little over a year ago i worked in a conflict zone, with a priest- and he was doing creepy stuff like trying to sleep next to me and looking through my underwear. i told our employers and they made him leave.

a year ago today when i was at work we turned a street corner and happened upon some soldiers killing a boy. i knew he was dead already because of how gently the paramedics were lifting him away from the soldiers, who were just standing there like they didn't care. they didn't care, they didn't even notice a dead, unarmed boy. but they noticed us and ran after us, pointing their guns. i didn't feel myself running, or dragging a colleague with me. but i did run, and i dragged him with me.

about 2 weeks later we trained new people in and one of them asked about the dead boy, if we saw him. someone told her i did and her sympathy for me shocked me. i felt empty and numb, and it seemed like such a long time ago.

after that everything was crazy. working, new places, never sleeping.

when life settled down the flashbacks started. and the dreams about being raped as a child. i had one dream like that before but had it again. and then it was part of the flashbacks too, i was running, suffocating, being pierced, being squashed, trying to scream and not being able to, trying to thrash and not being able to move. those awful rape dreams came to life and fused with running from soldiers- i was the boy being killed and the adult who ran from it, and the child who was raped. all the emergency feelings all jumbled together.

there's still an unreality to all those things when i'm not actively feeling them. if it's not happening again now it's like it never happened.

but yesterday i talked about something i know happened. even if its on the border of emergency and non-emergency me- i know it happened, even if i left my body a bit. i know when the priest came in while i was sleeping he definitely ignored me when i asked if he was ok, even if his ignoring me made me feel unreal at the time. even when his later behaviour gave me the same dread and image of a scene i never want to think about from my childhood. i thought about it and decided, i don't think he's going to rape me because he knows he won't get away with it. i don't think he's like my dad, who would. i didn't and don't know that my dad did this, but my emergency thoughts think it happened.

i told the counsellor about something i know happened. when i was around teenage years my dad came into me in the shower. it was unexpected and i felt too old, he never did this. we never had any physical contact that wasn't violent. he was checking my hair for shampoo and brushing it, while i shrank from him because i didn't want him to see my body. i felt like something terrible would happen if i did, that my body would provoke him in some way, and so would covering myself, and so would asking him to leave. this scene came back to me when i had to assess whether i thought the priest would rape me. my emergency thoughts said something like, he would't unlike your dad, who would.

my non emergency thoughts still don't have evidence my dad raped me. because there is none. i said so many things during emergency mode about the priest that make me think maybe my dad did rape me, just like in the dream, and like the flashbacks it grew into as well. but yesterday i only talked about things i know happened. and today i feel so unreal. and awful.

awful and unreal about dead and undead children. the child i saw and the child i was. who is still the child i am underneath it all.
 
even if its on the border of emergency and non-emergency me- i know it happened, even if i left my body a bit.
early into my own recovery from trauma induced amnesia/child sex trafficking, my pros and i celebrated this state as a breakthrough. while my traumatic memories were still repressed to the point of amnesia, i dissociated to catatonia. knock all you want, outsider. nobody's home. **knowing** it happened and being aware i was leaving my body was, indeed, a major breakthrough.

fast forward 40 years and those memories are still highly unpleasant and i still dissociate to clinical detachment when i need to tell those tales, but. . . stepping small, praying big and letting god lead the dance. i still ask to know which tune we are dancing to, but getting more trusting in **just** following her lead.
 
I feel so unreal. My housemate moved out this morning (this was planned). i will be alone for the next week.

yesterday i went to see a counsellor. we talked about stuff that i know really happened.
Makes total sense you’re zoned out, today.

Do you feel you need the cushion of it, or would grounding & centering yourself in the here & now be a better idea?

Yep asking for your gut instinct, over thoughts, rather than the more common reverse! 😎 Sometimes? We NEED that distancing, in order to stay sane, and come back into focus. Other times? It’s like drowning, and if we down take every opportunity to get present, as quickly as possible, it’s getting sucked into a whirlpool of depression, dysregulation, dissociative hellscapes.

Kinda like the difference between jumping into a cool swimming pool on a hot day, relief! …and… being knocked into icy water, dragged down by our clothes, in the middle of winter, danger!
 
early into my own recovery from trauma induced amnesia/child sex trafficking, my pros and i celebrated this state as a breakthrough.

at the time, when this happened- it really felt like that to me. such an achievement that i believed my own experience (he can hear me and he's ignoring me) over the other part of me that said, 'this must not be really happening, or i must not be real- because he can't hear me.' it was because i knew how confusing stuff like that is for children that i was motivated to tell our employers- because the priest was so good at it i felt in my gut he has done this before. but to people who are too young to believe themselves. my emergency setting said, 'like you were, with your dad.'

Makes total sense you’re zoned out, today.
i also think talking about this with a therapist has been a real breakthrough and maybe why i feel unreal now- the borders between emergency and non-emergency me became very close to each other while talking about it. there's all sorts of overtly violent behaviour i remember well and a couple of things that made me uncomfortable but i never thought were intentional (like the shower thing i described)- all of which i know happened. and then there's nightmares and flashbacks of rape that i refuse to accept did. the border between what i know all the time and what i only know in emergencies got very thin.

Sometimes? We NEED that distancing, in order to stay sane, and come back into focus.

the day i wrote this i think i really needed it, and thankfully i wanted to eat and sleep- so i did that, and very little else. i have lost most of the week and don't know if i can salvage everything i was supposed to do. but im not really sure i had any other choice. it's a bit of a relief to tell someone the truth.

thank you both for your thoughtful replies.
 
i feel paralysed at this moment. i have been in this bed so many times, in this house so many times, with that man just downstairs. he's there now, huffing and puffing, storming around with shoes on. i don't have the life that can sustain me through my truth. no part of my life can handle the facts which are true. i don't have relationships that respect my boundaries. i feel trapped here and am supposed to stay here. i want to go back to the city i live in now so that i can feel my skin again and stop feeling like a prisoner.

there is something deeply wrong with me, and its terrifying. i think i am having a kind of breakdown and compartmentalising is my only coping strategy, but that is breaking down. it's terrifying but maybe useful, i don't know.
 
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