Monday, April 25, 2011

Negative Thoughts – Daymares

As I was laying on the couch waiting for my husband to finally get home from work, I began having negative thoughts. What I refer to as “negative thoughts” can vary a great deal, but in this instance, they took the form of what I call a depressive daydream (or if I'm feeling frivolous, a daymare). These daymares are like little plays that I see inside my head.

I started imagining things that could go wrong at the upcoming jousting tournament. I've been worrying about Foxfire getting hurt, but for some reason, this time I imagined myself getting hurt.

In this depressive daydream, I imagine that I am asked to run an errand for the event. I have to be driven in a little golf cart up the narrow, steep and winding driveway that leads to the secondary parking area by main road above the event site, because I'm not important enough to rate a parking space down at the site itself. As I am being driven uphill, some asshole comes barreling downhill in a pickup and runs the little golf cart that I am in off the road. The driver rolls down the hill with the golf cart and dies, but I am thrown out of the cart. I am pierced by branches and my body slams against the trunks of trees as I roll downhill. I am severely hurt, but still conscious. I slowly drag myself back up to the driveway and lay there on the edge of the incline, watching blood bubble out of my mouth with every breath while waiting for someone to find me.

The Asshole who drove us off the road doesn't bother telling anyone what happened, so I lay there in pain for a very long time. Finally someone driving down the road notices me and calls an ambulance and I am taken to the hospital. (I hate hospitals.) Foxfire, my husband, and DA, my closest friend, are there at the hospital with me.

The doctors come in with the x-rays, and show all the damage that was done in the crash. Broken ribs, a punctured lung, all sorts of other less life threatening injuries. Then they ask about all the previously broken bones that are apparent in the x-rays. I tell them about falling off my horse a year ago, but they say that these bones would have been broken many years ago, probably when I was a child.

I respond, not too coherently because I'm recovering from a punctured lung and am juiced up on pain killers, “Prob'ly... from one of the times my brother beat me up.... He came at me once with a baseball bat.... Got a few good licks in 'fore I managed to re-direct the force of the bat... so he hit himself in the head. ...that point he dropped the bat ... started strangling me.... Fortunately ... stopped 'fore he killed me.”

DA, appalled, asks, “Your brother used to beat you up that badly?”

I reply, “...told you he used to beat me ... up all the time. Tried to avoid him ... much as possible.”

DA,”But if you had broken ribs...”

Me,”...didn't know they were broken.”

DA, “Wouldn't your parents have noticed you were hurt?”

Me,”Mother always accused me of ... exaggerating 'bout being hurt ... to get attention. ...would punish me if I complained ... learned to hide pain.”

And so on...

These daymare scenarios will repeat over and over in my mind. Sometimes exactly the same each time, frequently with slight variations, each more disturbing than the last. It is usually very hard to make them stop.

That's part of what makes up my depression. I don't daydream about happy stuff. My imagination is filled with disturbing thoughts about what awful things might happen, occasionally, but not always, combined with disturbing things that have happened in my past. And, yes, the story about my brother beating me with a baseball bat is absolutely true. (Although I don't know if he ever actually broke any bones. He did leave several scars on my skin.) And there were many other not so pleasant things that happened to me as a child. From being emotionally terrorized by my own mother to being molested by an older cousin who lived next door.

But my childhood is over. My brother stopped beating me up by the time he finished high school. The cousin who molested me committed suicide while I was in college. And my mother finally died when I was 25. Since then, my life really hasn't been that bad. (Well, okay, I got pregnant and gave my child up for adoption and I was beaten and raped by a friend of a friend, but compared to my earlier life...) And in the past eight years my life has been even better than not bad. It's actually been pretty damn good. I met Foxfire and married him. I no longer have to suffer the humiliation of losing job after job because of my emotional disabilities since Foxfire is willing to support me financially. And I have several good friends that like me despite my problems. Actually, the most traumatic thing that has happened to me in several years is getting thrown from my horse and badly injured. (Okay, for someone who has always been very physically active, suddenly being unable to do much of anything, and becoming weak and overweight is fairly traumatic. But compared to the stuff I had to deal with as a child...) So even though my life is, for the most part, going extremely well, why is my depression/anxiety not getting any better? It actually seems like it's getting worse.

And I keep having these damned daymares.

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