Our nights can be disorienting
Trigger Warnings: Ableist slurs, Seizures, Derealization
Our nights can be disorienting. It can be a cascade of emotion rapidly switching, rapidly flowing. Pride, joy, lust, pain, fear, absence, love. It ticks forward faster than a clock. Tick, tick, tick, tick, the hours pass faster and faster. Time is a construct that blends into always. Ebbs and flows into a confusing reality. We’re just sitting here, on this couch, witnessing the passing of time. We eat snacks and stare at a blank cursor. We worry about the void, the words that do not come. We put our head between our arms and we can cry for help but it’s absent. We spiral further and further into thoughts that shouldn’t happen. Warning boxes for our brain won’t stop popping up. Our brain feels like poison. The ringing in our ears gets stronger and stronger and the current is dragging us in. We fight and fight but it’s tiring us out. We can’t keep fighting.
We decide to swim into the current, ending up in a trance. Somewhere between realities. Where everything flows faster. Perhaps euphoria, perhaps shock. Maybe something beyond that. Ideas flow and our mind goes free. It’s rough and chaotic, the waves crashing harder. We’re immobile, all floats away. The couch is part of us. The lamps beside us are too bright, but too vibrant to have the desire to turn off. Our laptop is a vacuum, sucking up our focus beyond our surroundings. The flashing lights and sounds of the TV are pacifying, but we almost don’t want to be calm.
We only experience sensory. We cling to this idea of reality as it splays in front of us. People sometimes call it derealization. We call it immersion. Connecting beyond reality, understanding what holds us to this plane of existence. Breaking down the illusions we all hold dear. Normalcy is enforced, but you don’t have to listen in the shadows. We hide with those on the outer edges. The ‘freaks’, the ‘psychos’, the ‘retards’, the fruit called too bruised to eat. They’re the only ones who have real stories. Even if they’re hidden away. Sometimes because they were hidden away.
Our mind does nothing but flow. We’re still on the couch, silent and staring off. We forgot we’re on a call. Their words drag us back, out of our separation. We don’t remember exactly what happened. Are we supposed to? They claim so. We’re used to lost time, maybe we’re numb to it. They told us we’ve been really quiet. Almost annoyed we were spaced out. We couldn’t help it. We told ourselves over and over the annoyance was out of concern. They worry about us. They still cling to some form of normalcy. We can’t be angry at them for that. We kind of feel bad for them.
They tell us we need to stay connected. Stay under the trance we all rest under. Normalcy. They force us to take one of our meds, a central nervous system depressant. A sedative. We need to fall in line. We take the pill. We dive back to the traditional reality. It feels like a loss of connection, of sorts.
Good morning, everyone. I get up the next day. I made breakfast and walked my dog, it’s wonderful outside. Perfect weather. I then pack up my bag and I get to class. I sit through, typing notes. Lectures and presentations run alike. I started to get tired and took an energy drink. I took my meds with it. I’m on an odd mix of sedatives and stimulants that somehow balances out well. I keep walking, moving forward with my day. It’s boring, but I suppose that’s a good thing. After classes I ate lunch and walked my dog again. I spent some time cuddling with him before going to the next class. More lectures, it wasn’t a day of artistic work. Strictly normal, as our… my friend from last night wanted. As I’m supposed to want. I have to fit in. I can’t be “us.”
I was sitting through the lectures, I’m having a hard time not passing out. I’m so tired. Something suddenly pops up in the presentation. Without warning, they showed an extremely triggering photo. We can’t even recount it. Fuck, I. I I I I I. I’m normal. I am okay. Our eyes start fading and our vision blurs. Spirals and chaos. Static and violence. We are okay. I am okay. But reassurance can only go so far. We leave the classroom, stumbling in the hall. We rush to the bathroom, a room where we can be alone. No one can see me like this. I’m normal.
Our eyes blend and our reality stirs. There’s poison in our veins and hell in our head. Everything is broken. Our connection is gone. We can’t move. This separation is strong. I can’t be like this, I can’t be ourselves, I can’t let people know we’re like this. I’m normal.
Fighting makes it worse. We start feeling lightheaded. Stress can cause it. We collapse on the floor. Unable to move. Can’t even open our eyes. Seizure. I know we should call for help. People have told us over and over. But I have to be normal. I have to hide it. We lay stagnant, stuck with our surroundings. Hours pass. We’re bored as hell. Are people looking for us? Probably not. Eventually, after it passes, we can slowly, exhaustedly, get, up. We get to the door and step through. Empty. Most people have left the building. I slowly drag ourselves home. Step, step, step, step, step.
Eventually I get to the apartment and we could tell our dog was concerned. He was tackling us and wouldn’t get off of us. We call up a friend, one we haven’t talked to in a while. They share that concern when we admit what happened. They weren’t annoyed at us for having a seizure, or for having a breakdown. They were annoyed because we were hiding ourselves. Locking ourselves away and hiding we aren’t normal. We shouldn’t hide. It results in more pain and episodes at the end of the day. Accept how we are, don’t hide. Accept non-normalcy. Be ourselves. Be disabled. Don’t hide at the pleasure of others.