“Welcome to the land of nightmares, where terror reigns and the only escape is in your wildest dreams.”
When I was 3 years old, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I’m not comfortable getting into the why aspect yet publicly, but I would like to talk about how powerful our dreams can truly be, and how deeply they can impact our lives. Until I was a teenager, I would often sleep with my eyes open, too afraid to actually let myself get a restful night’s sleep. As a coping mechanism to help myself sleep better, I compulsively sucked my thumb for over a decade of my childhood, taking it with me well into my later teenage years. I couldn’t overcome it until I was 16 years old, although I started fully closing my eyes while sleeping when I was around 11. What people don’t tell you is that there are monsters in our minds as well, that our dreams can actually be quite haunting. I dreamt of things far worse than most of my childhood memories, and I seriously struggled to tell the difference between the two, becoming afraid that my dreams were actually reality. When you don’t feel safe at home and even your sleep becomes compromised, it’s incredibly and increasingly difficult to trust people, to allow yourself to enjoy and truly experience your life. Living in fear can really be the most crippling feeling, it can leave you feeling helpless and restless, and I wouldn’t wish it on even my worst enemies.