At the end of my suffering
there was a door.
–Louise Gluck, “The Wild Iris”
There’s this overwhelming sense of dread right now, like a pile of boulders on my chest. My heart is thudding too fast and too hard, and I can’t breathe. I feel like everything is about to come crashing down around me, like I’m about to lose everything.
There’s no logical reason to feel like this. Not now. I finally found a roommate, so I don’t have to worry about becoming homeless any time in the near future. I have food. I don’t have enough money to pay my bills, but that’s nothing new. It’s not Hormonal Hell Week, so that’s not the problem. My UC isn’t flaring. I’m not experiencing any PTSD triggers. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened. Hell, I’ve even had a week off from the campaign because they’re getting the coordinated campaign together, so I’m not overworked or stressed by that.
So what the hell is wrong with me? I’m living on the edge of panic, and there’s no reason, no trigger. It feels unbearable, to the point that I keep thinking about suicide just to make it stop. The suicidality at least made sense when I was facing homelessness again. There was a reason. But this…this just makes no sense.
I don’t cope well when feelings don’t make sense to me. If I understand why I feel a certain thing, then I can cope with it. I need things to make sense or nothing feels safe. Probably that’s a PTSD thing: I couldn’t make sense of my parents’ abuse most of the time, so I never knew when to expect to be hurt. Especially with my father. With my mother, I learned to recognize the cycle: mounting tension, explosion, disappearance, apology, rinse and repeat. But with my father, I never learned to predict it. Maybe it’s because I dissociated so much of what he did that I could never connect a pattern, or maybe true psychopaths are impossible to predict because they don’t have the emotional tells that normal people have. It probably doesn’t matter why because the result is the same: when I feel something and can’t understand why, it scares the hell out of me.
So I obsess over it. I’ve spent most of the night trying to figure out why I feel such intense dread. Then my inability to understand it just makes me feel it even more intensely. It feels like there’s no relief and it will never go away. I took a bunch of Benadryl to put myself to sleep, but it’s not working. My body wants to sleep, but part of me is fighting it and winning. I don’t understand that, either, except in the general sense of not feeling safe.
I could bear it if I just understood why.