Sometimes, very often at night, I experience waves of what I can only describe as paranoia. It might not be the best way to describe it but I often have a hard time describing feelings and sensations. It starts like when you get a bad feeling about something and your whole mood becomes very dark. It’s a kind of sick feeling like when you were a kid and you did a bad thing and you know you got caught and are waiting for The Talk. Maybe it’s because of the abuse I experienced for so long, but feeling like something bad is going to happen or that I did a bad thing sends me into a whole spiral of self hate and doubt and terror.

It might start with something like “it’s too cold outside and the house won’t make it through another winter and something bad is going to happen that I can’t manage on my own” and before you know it, it escalates into making a running list of everyone who might not like me anymore or who betrayed me or who believes something I’m not or that I’m going to check my messages and someone will have sent me a nasty comment or message and then I’m just laying in bed at 2 am feeling like I’m going to throw up because I’ve fucked everything up and what’s the point of me anyway. Maybe I’m just a bad smell that some people tolerate out of pity. That kind of thing.

But lately, I recognize things. And in those moments when my brain is doing a trauma pattern (because that’s what it is), there’s a voice that’s getting louder and I make a choice to believe I am doing my best, that I’m not alone and that what feels bad In the middle of the night is hardly ever the truth. I tell myself what a good friend would say if I had one in those dark moments in real time.

You’re doing great. Look at what you’ve been through. You fight every day to just exist. And you still love. You didn’t turn bitter. Your brain is amazing, just different. Everything you do is just different, not wrong.

And Myrtle reminds me too. That there are a lot of bastards out there. And when you are Real, you make enemies. But I can’t be my own god damn enemy. No matter what anyone else thinks. I believe in myself.

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