I’m sick of today. The weather is glorious, and generally speaking I’m feeling happy enough, but some part of my head is just not doing the whole “It’s finally actually nice in the UK, and it’s a Saturday, I know…let’s chill.”
Instead, I keep seeing one of my past abusers out of the corner of my eye. Sometimes when I look, they vanish. Other times they stare at me and grin, I yelp and blink…and then they vanish. Other times I don’t look, but can see them still. I see them creeping towards me.
For anyone who a)doesn’t hallucinate and b)isn’t so scared of somebody, it’s kinda like this:
Think of those horror movies where the bad guy is creeping up on the victim. Just walking really slowly, with a sick grin on their face, and your heart rate picks up. It’s like that. Just more terrifying, because it’s more real.
So I’ve been sitting, trying to think of something else, and watching an abuser creep up on me. I can’t think straight. I can’t rationalise. The house is locked, and anyway…how could a person just appear in my lounge? These kind of thoughts only occur to me afterwards. I just find myself feeling absolutely terrified, trying to keep my breathing calm, and wondering what hideous thing will happen to me when the abuser gets to me. Twice today the terror has got so bad that I actually stop breathing, and have tears rolling down my face, and I’m shaking like a leaf. “Please don’t hurt me too much…please *just* beat me up…or only rape me once… let me stay conscious…please…please, don’t let it last more than an hour…and please don’t take me anywhere…”
What kind of silent plea is that? Again, only afterwards I realise how crazy it is. That my biggest wish in that situation is to be raped only once, or just beaten to a pulp.
Anyway, so I’ve been sat in tears, in the worst kind of terror, waiting to see what horror awaits me. The “abuser” gets right up to me, I can feel their breath on my cheek, and then it’s all very still. Then suddenly, they grab my arm. I yell, and the hallucination vanishes. And then I sobbed with relief and carried on shaking, and took in beautiful gulpfuls of oxygen.
For the most part today hasn’t been that extreme; just two occasions where it was like that. But the hallucinations are frequent, and tiring. I had half a moment earlier of “just run” and considered briefly just running out of the house. But to go where? God knows. I decided against it.
Rough day. Each time I just remind myself it wasn’t real, and that I’m safe. That helps a bit. But even so, I wish the abusers would just get out of my life completely, for good.
I won’t let them ruin my life even after the abuse. I won’t let them laugh over their tea and summer barbeques at how messed up they made me. So I’m still carrying on as normal, refusing to crash because of a few hallucinations… just ranting about it to help get it out of my system.
Of course, if I rang the NHS they’d jump on me with the “schizophrenia” label as per usual. In some ways the hallucinations and voices are the most lonely symptoms of PTSD from abuse. Every so often I find a mental health professional who understands its not psychotic at all. But more often than not they toy with the idea I might be psychotic. So now I largely just don’t tell them; or I just briefly mention it, brush it off and move onto something else.