So I’m currently suffering worse than I have in a long time with my PTSD. I’m working nights and mornings so I think I’m hiding it well but everyone expects someone with PTSD to be a quivering mess, I function, sometimes better than others but it’s still hard.
When I’m finally free to sleep, after all my work is done I check the doors and windows twice before going back to my room. I’m currently sleeping with a knife near my bed, I know that this is more dangerous should something happen but it makes me feel more in control. I leave the light on or one of the hall lights, something so I’m not in complete darkness, I need to know my surroundings. My heart will be racing and I try to calm myself for sleep. I lie there for a long time before I can sleep, i listen to the noises around me, trying to notice anything out of the ordinary. My whole body is on alert, half from fear of something happening while I’m asleep and half from fear of the nightmares that are due to come. When I finally do fall asleep, I usually wake sweating or screaming, heart racing. I can feel him on me still, his body weight holding me down or I can feel the bruises that have long since healed. I struggle to breath, it takes me a while to get up and walk around, I need to constantly tell myself that I am safe. I’m exhausted all the time.
Other nights my flatmate will get up for a smoke or to use the toilet and my body will freeze from fear. I eventually gear myself up to go and check out the noise. It terrifying. I get irrationally angry at him for making any noise, forcing myself to walk away and not fight with him over this. This is not his fault.
Once I’m up, that is usually it, I get up and I go off to work. I fake smiles and try not to flinch at loud noises. I scan the streets around me searching for faces of people I know, sometimes I have to double look thinking I’ve seen him in a crowd, forcing myself to breath through.
I busy myself in work, fighting panic attacks and sometimes struggling to fight the feeling of his touch on my skin. Conversations with friends become forced and difficult, I struggle to keep eye contact, sure they’ll be able to tell everything that’s going on just by looking at me.
I finally get home and I repeat the process. I don’t know when I last got a full nights sleep, my body is drained and I’m still fighting. But I know this won’t defeat me, I will not let him win, not this time.