Thursday, April 28, 2011

Inside a Nightmare, Crying to get out

I've never been one to have nightmares. When I have dreams, they're wonderful and I wake up smiling, or they make no sense and I wake up laughing. I'll take it either way. Lately, I've lived in nightmares. Had experiences where I scream to wake up, for God to help me, but nothing can save me.

I've had seizures for several months. I can deal with that, no problem. I've passed out almost daily for months now, it's whatever. But the amnesia that occasionally comes from the two, that is a big problem, and what I've been most scared of with my Lyme Disease. That amnesia and short term memory loss have been more painful than anything physical thing I've been through. Spinal taps and central lines are NADA in comparrison.

Let me tell you a of my horror stories.

I was at my church a few days before Easter, helping our youth group put on the Passion Play and trying to help with the dinner afterwards since my mom was catering. Everything was mostly cleaned up. I just needed to head out to the car and head home! My eyes flickered for a few seconds. Dang, one of those annoying seizures, but that wasn't all. Those few seconds erased my memory and took away all forms of communication. The best way to explain it, I guess, is having late-stage Alzheimers while being deaf. Being kidnapped, having a head injury and confused beyond belief. The ones I love and depend on, I was terrified of, and fought them as they tried to walk me to the car. Had they let go, I would have run away. That's what confused people do when they're scared! They took me to our car, put me in the front seat and buckled me in, with my hands under the seatbelt (so I wouldn't open the door while the car was moving if I got scared...I'd done that plenty.) I sobbed, I shook, I couldn't breathe. I wanted to be anywhere but there. My family thought that maybe if they took me into the church that I'd be comforted, the place where I always find comfort. Where I find peace anytime and everytime. Walking towards the old brick church scared me more. I couldn't explain that, so we kept walking closer. Dimmed street lights, an old huge building, no one around. In the church, I looked up at the cathedral ceilings. Lost in such a huge place. A scared child. My priest was in there, we found once we had entered. He always helps me, but not that night. A man wearing all black, giving me a rosary (I had no clue what it was at the time), walking me out and giving me a glass of water (I didn't know what that was either!) All the while, everyone trying to communicate with me, trying to pull Jenna out of this strange body, bring her back with them, smiling and laughing. Their voices sounded blurred, blah, blahs. All of them coming at me! I thought I would pass out...hoped that I would pass out and get away from this misery. It took hours for my memory to come back. At first, I couldn't remember that night. Unfortunately it came back to me. Came back with the same terror I felt that night. Traumatized to put it lightly.

I hate to hurt people's feelings or hurt them physically. It makes my whole body ache to know that I did someone wrong. From these episodes, there is a lot more hurt and terror involved than just mine. Imagine being my priest...the always bubbly, happy teen he knows bawling and trying to run away. Screaming and he can't comfort me like usual. Imagine being my aunt...she's always been one of my best friends (she's not too much older than me). I share everything, we have the same sense of humor. We giggle at dumb things and try to look at the big picture. I look at her with confused, scared eyes. Eyes that she no longer knows. Eyes of a person trying to escape from her. Worst? Imagine being my mom. She sees her child more scared than ever before. Her baby screaming, scared of her own mommy. Trying to run away. No matter what she does, she can't calm me. I can't remember my own mother, and as much as she says it doesn't, it hurts. It shakes you until you're numb. It's a nightmare.

Thank the Lord, those three very understanding people weren't hurt (or said they weren't). They let me cry as I reminisced about the night. They knew I had never been so traumatized in my life, and they did everything they could to comfort me.

Another scare. Maybe a worse scare? As my mom and I sat at our kitchen table, conversing casually, she runs to her bedroom to get me something. There goes the eye twitch. Those few seconds that change me. I looked around my own home, unfamiliar to all of it. I feel kidnapped. I bolt out the front door as any smart person would do when being held captive. Only in socks and my pajamas, I run down our gravel driveway, barely able to see in the dark. Mom yells out to me. I can hear and understand what she is saying, but it doesn't matter. I don't recognize her. She is a stranger, and we all know about stranger danger. I have a big lead on her since she had to get her shoes on and needed to grab her car keys. I run down our road. I don't know where I live, but I somehow have faith that someone will find me or that I'll find my way home. She drives up behind me. Calling out, trying to help me. I panic. My kidnapper is going to hit me with her car (though she was yards and yards away.) My "attacker" parks the car and runs towards me. She now has the advantage since she has shoes and has better balance and stamina. I only have socks. Ever had one of those dreams where someone is chasing you and you're so terrified and out of breath that you can't get away? Welcome to my nightmare. She catches me, and tries to hug me, tries to keep me from running farther, tries to keep me from getting hurt...all while I hurt her. I punch, kick, scream, pull away, bring her down to the ground as I try to scoot away (road rash on your butt hurts, man). She's trying her best, but can't get through to me. I fight and fight and fight. It's not helping. Let's face it...I have the strength of an 8 year-old. I see car lights coming down the road! Maybe it's help! Maybe it's another person trying to hurt me. It's my daddy coming home from my grandparents' house. Briefly my eyes flicker as he runs down to help Momma. They speak calmly to me. My eyes are filled with so many tears that I can't see them, but am starting to understand what they're saying. They found me! They saved me from that "bad woman" (my poor mother). Out of exhaustion, relief or maybe just shock, I pass out. They carry me home. The rest of the night I tell them about the "mean lady that took me". I tell them how much I love them and that I've never been so scared. I tell them to hug me and not let go. I tell them that I couldn't live without them. I spoke everything I could think of, like it was my last chance to tell them.

This was last night. I hurt my mom emotionally. I hurt her physically. I punched at her, kicked at her, did everything I could when I saw her as the "awful lady that took me".

I wish I could say that my short-term memory would remove all of this from my mind, from those around me's minds. But we don't always get what we wish for. Parts of the terror I experience come back to haunt me. I feel the same emotions as those nights. Cry, scream, want to run away, but I can't run from a memory.

I try to smile and not show my fear. I don't share these stories because I don't want to scare anyone away. I don't share these stories because once again, someone will say that I'm doing it to get attention. Believe me, I couldn't make up anything this crazy, nothing that would stab my soul the way these do. I'm not trying to complain in this post. I'm hoping it'll scare you a little (sorry). Scare you enough to check for ticks. And maybe educate you. Educate you on the suffering those around me go through, and not just me. They are the Lyme Warriors. They are my rocks. They get me through everything.

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