Sleepless In CPTSD

Sleepless nights, and exhausted days. CPTSD is complex post traumatic stress disorder, it is caused by multiple traumatic events. I have been living with CPTSD, and insomnia for over a decade.

Shattered into shards, as the pain perpetuated and propelled me backwards through time and space. Back toward my vulnerable younger self shivering in fear of my abusers. Shivering surrounded by fragments of my hearts, chipped away from my past, I try to compose myself. Fear swelling in my gut strangling every good thought as CPTSD consumes me.

The trauma thriving in triggered words, scenario’s of the past choking out the hope for a brighter day. Trauma trickling from my trembling hands, body collapsing as I am relapsing into my CPTSD mind. The episode is all consuming, not allowing me to be, not letting me break from the confines of this abused body and mind.

Starving for connection as I isolate myself. If I isolate myself I can not have a CPTSD episode in front of anyone. My trauma can only affect me if I isolate, but I don’t want to be alone, I don’t want my CPTSD to affect others. The internal struggle, confines me in confusion. When my CPTSD affects others all I think about is how to isolate myself again. How to escape, not to talk to people, to rebuild the walls around the vulnerable me, to shield me from all harm. Not allowing anyone to see who I am inside the hole which is my existence. Feeling like an empty shell going through the motions in this hell formed from years of trauma. If I isolate no one can see the embarrassment I cause myself from my mental health. I feel there is to much stigma attached to CPTSD, and struggle to find people to relate to.

The nights spend in wonder of my own brain and its constantly searches for solutions to puzzles of the past. Drowning in thoughts of old, ones in which trap me in the dead of night. Thoughts of things I want undone, but am stuck in the webs of trauma. Rooted deep in the depths the scars break open, pouring out the life I once knew, insides laying bare, I bar up my heart in the dark to protect myself from others.

The insomnia strikes, while I lay in the dark, listening to relaxing music in the darkness of my dungeon, yet, no sleep does come. I rouse at each sound, each creak, each small click of the heater as it turns on. The night brings with it the triggers of trauma, it brings me back. I wait in my safe place, but the body has kept its score, it remembers it all evermore. No matter, I can not escape my CPTSD. I wait in the dark for sleep to find me and carry me off. When and if it finally does the nightmares ensue. Nightmares in which I wake with pounding heart, sweats and overwhelming terror. Life lived, not forgotten, it wakes me from slumber. Scared to sleep, to tired to be awake, I am stuck in the in-between, never fully asleep, and never fully awake.

Published by Ari Villain

Artist and writer. Living with chronic illness and writing about it. I have survived two cancers, I live with hyperadrenergic postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, ehlers-danlos syndrome, mast cell activation syndrome, jaundice, esophagus dysmotility, Chilblains, Raynaud's, migraines, asthma, and more. I have mental health problems which I am not ashamed of, I have CPTSD, anxiety, and depression. My medical history is extensive, but I will continue moving forward. I have hope to help others not feel isolated alone, and forgotten by an ableist society.

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