Being a Man: Coping With It

I suppose night problems are typical for people who share my experiences. For the past few weeks I have had my fair share of them. It started with dreams about living in that house. They were not specifically about anything in particular, just living there again in that situation. While the dreams were unnerving, it got worse when the night sweats began. This happened several times. I would wake up disoriented, jittery, numb (especially in my arms and chest) and on edge. Each time I initially had no idea where I was. Twice I called out for my father. In the last week have I not slept much at all. I do not sleep much to begin with, but this is much less than usual and I think it may be affecting me now.

It is an odd thing because this feels almost like living there again. I did not sleep much back then. At night I worried about what might happen to my brothers and cousins. I also worried about waking up to it happening to me.  It is a disgusting feeling to know someone can do that and one must simply take it. I hated waking up to it so much that I would force myself to wake up every couple of hours. After a while my body adjusted and I would wake up every hour or so. Occasionally back then I would wake up in cold sweats or my father or brothers would wake me up. It annoyed my father, who is a light sleeper. My brothers and I would joke that we could not take a deep breath around him or he would wake up. My sweating and constant waking up meant he would not sleep much. Oddly enough he generally was not angry with me when that happened.

At the time, however, I quite liked sleeping. I liked letting my mind wander. I suppose the other reason is because it meant not having it done anymore. I was slightly disappointed that as I got older the bed and the couch shrunk. Perhaps my body is relapsing because it is getting old. Reoccurring thoughts about living there happen more frequently than they used to, almost as much as they did when I first got out of the situation.

All of this is a reminder to me that no matter my attempts to move past it or forget about it that those experiences will always be with me and will always effect me in some manner. While I am much better at coping with them now, they are not going to go away. There is no simply “getting over it.”

It really is odd, however, how things like this effect people. I spent most of last night watching TV with my brother. He had a nightmare about back then and could not get the image out of his mind. We watched quite few of last year’s so-so blockbusters. Some were better than I expected. Others were quite bad. We also sat through most of Moby Dick, which my brother surprisingly liked.

5 thoughts on “Being a Man: Coping With It

  1. I was going to reply that those who tell you to “get over it” should have to go through something like what you did and see how well they “get over it.” But then I realized I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  2. This post strongly resonates with me, although I only suffered physical (and mental) abuse.

    Like you, I go through “night problems” in spells, and I can honestly say that the dreams are sometimes so intense that they traumatize me nearly as much as the actual events did. Certain types of fictional (or occasionally real) characters in video games, TV shows, or movies trigger immediate memories. Just the sight, sound, or mention of a gun is enough to make my forehead throb. Worst of all, the simple act of looking in the mirror, and seeing the disgusting horns coming out of my forehead and the blackness around my eyes will forever be a reminder.

    Severe childhood abuse + being born with a mental defect + being born male in this society is a brutal, fatal combination. There is no hope and no help for us. We will eternally be fucked in life.

  3. I do not think people who lived through our experiences will be permanently troubled. There is hope and there is help. The latter is harder to find than the former, but it is there. The things we went through will always be with us, but they do not have to define us and they do not have to control us.

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