Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dungeon of Dread

One of my hockey teams (the last one standing for the winter season) won their semi-final game today and we are in the final! It is a best of 3, so I'm hoping I might be able to come back for game 2 on March 27. I was told 6-8 weeks of recovery by the knee/sports doctor, and that will be exactly 9 weeks since I partially tore my MCL (medial collateral ligament) on January 23 at the Vegas women's tournament. That will be after 4 weeks of physical therapy as well. I woke the huge knee brace for a month, but got to stop wearing it a little over a week ago. I will of course go by what my physical therapist says. If she doesn't think I'm ready to play I won't.

I'm going crazy though. Hockey is my stress release, and without it I am crawling the walls. I feel anxious, crabby from the pain and soreness, and depressed. When I go to games to support my teams I feel like I'm going to cry watching them because I want to be out there so bad. Plus I just have this sense of unease that has nothing to do with hockey. Last December I suddenly seemed to be on the edge of recovering memories. I was having nightmares that I would wake up from feeling that someone was in my bedroom. These came with feelings of overwhelming terror and oppression. That seemed to be the whole nightmare, or at least all I can ever remember- the feelings and the sense that someone was coming into my room, and heaviness. Suffocating, dying slowly because I couldn't breathe. The nightmares went away, but now they are back. It is the hardest thing for me to come back to reality when I wake up this way, and more and more I feel like I have one foot in that place in my mind- a dark wordless chasm, a place I went to before I had language and a way to understand what was happening to me.

I don't know if I will actually recover memories that are more detailed or concrete than these. It could be that because I was so young I wasn't able to form what we think of as memories. The time I lost was from before I was 6 or 7 years old. I think that's how old I was when I overheard my parents having heated conversations about something my dad was doing to me that had my mom in a panic. Those memories are very clear. I also have clear memories of how fearful I was of my dad coming in my room, especially at night. Then there is the nightmares, the phobia of suffocating in my sleep, and just all those feelings of terror and dread about going to sleep. I really have no idea how much more I will remember. I just know that there are things in my subconscious that exist, and are bleeding into my conscious mind. It is in the form of questions, anxiety, and fear. They sit with me, like a pet that lies on my lap and can't tell me what it wants.

With one foot in this strange and muted world, with an animal that is always with me that no one else can see, I'm caught up in a place that makes me feel alone and misunderstood. My brother lives here. I feel like only he really understands how this feels for me, and death struck him dumb. I am struck dumb by this place. It is on the one hand much worse than I think the people around me realize, and on the other probably not as hopeless as it seems to me now. Right now it feels like I will never escape this terror and confusion, like I will be stuck in this limbo, unable to express what happened to me even to myself, let alone anyone else. I don't have words for how this feels. There just seems to be nothing to say, no way to talk about something I can barely remember. My mind hid this from me to protect me, and even now it is almost too much to bear.


Anonymous said...

you are an amazing light. always. to everyone you meet. thank you for that, and please, try to remember that at times like this. this is just a tiny little rest, then hockey and normalcy again. right around the corner, really.

Opal said...

The shadowy, vague flashbacks or memories are the absolute worst.

I always do better if I understand what it is I'm dealing with.

How does someone face and try to heal what you can't fully see?

Has your therapist talked about how best to handle this?

Unknown said...

You are pretty tiny. Did the other tem use you for a puck?

Tealrat said...

With my therapist we talk about whatever I remember. In some ways, it is enough. I may have had something over my head (like a pillow) which would explain why I don't have visual memories, and a lot of terror at things being over or even touching my face. I guess I can make my own light. :) Normalcy, around the corner. I like it.