My Waking Nightmare - Living With Schizophrenia

January 17, 2008

My Waking Nightmare

I think God/dess was trying to tell me something was wrong....

I remember walking along the tracks in Bellingham, Washington down by the bay in 1994 or so and feeling like something just wasn't connecting in my mind. It was a sensation like a cog slipping or a belt which should have been running smoothly was broken. I attributed the sensation to my depression at the time, which was untreated. I didn't notice anything strange about my thoughts at the time. They were the typical hopeless thoughts of a depressed person. I was wondering why I just couldn't make a success of myself, and believed that a lot of the people I worked with had hated me for some unknown reason.

It was shortly after that in the summer of 1995, I started volunteering at a coffee shop called Miracles. It was really close to the university in Bellingham. The owner was a man named Matt, who loved marijuana. The coffee shop was in the upstairs portion of a two story house. I wanted the experience of making espresso, so I didn't really mind volunteering. Matt paid people by getting them stoned, which for the first couple of months, I refused to do. I had been living in a room at the YWCA for about three years and was tired of the rumors and everything else. So I moved in with David Gallacci, aka Oak, who lived in the bedroom downstairs at the coffee shop.

David was an artist who liked tarot cards. He got the room because he painted murals on the walls of the coffee shop. It was kind of foolish for me to move in with him, because the first night we spent together, I had no intention of having sex with him. I just wanted companionship, and I thought he knew that. But when I climbed in bed with him, he kept rocking against me and shoving his penis up against my back. Eventually he turned me over and "did it" with me. I kept saying that I didn't think it was a good idea, so he knew I didn't want to, but I got tired of resisting, and gave in.

It was while I was staying in this room that I had an interesting experience. I had been into meditation and chakras and Kundalini energy for quite some time. I put crystals of coordinating colors on each of my chakra points and attempted to open my chakras with my hand. I heard musical notes with each chakra I opened. I had also been experiencing some intense visuals concerning my soul. I felt as if my soul was shaped like a blue hourglass of light and was spinning. I spent many hours with my eyes closed, allowing my soul to spin.

I also stepped into a "fairy ring" during my stay at Miracles cafe. A fairy ring is a ring of mushrooms or toadstools. I was kind of scared when I did this. I wondered if I'd be transported to the fairy realm. I used to perceive fairies with my mind's eye in the trees and forests. I used to believe I was talking to them in my thoughts.

When I started having "sexual" hallucinations, I had several explanations for this. I believed it was Pan sometimes, and a couple times, while outside, I thought I heard Pan pipes. I thought sometimes that I had opened up my Kundalini and was not able to close it. I thought sometimes it was the fairy folk. These hallucinations happened constantly. I felt that some creature had enveloped me and was feeding off of me. It was kind of an interesting experience at first, until I realized I had no control over it. That was when they became rape hallucinations. My belief changed from interacting with Pan to interacting with demons. One night, I saw lights in my mind and reached out for them. My mind told me that I was raping angels. I was horrified at myself.

This was long after I moved out of Miracles Cafe and was back at the YWCA.

I still went on with my life as if though everything was normal. I did drop out of college around that time. I had experienced a sense of horror when I recognized the portrait of a man who had raped a girl in the bathroom down by the computer lounge in the university. The man looked just like Sean Hull. A man who had initiated sex with me in Boulevard Park. It made me realize that there had probably been some hostility there. I had thought him cute, but we never discussed sex and he pulled my hair hard when we were together. The thought of "You can't rape the willing" has been in my mind for quite some time, so I often pretend I'm willing when I don't feel safe.

I continued to go to karaoke every few nights, and pretend everything was normal. It occurred to me to tell someone about the hallucinations, since it was a lot like being with my ex husband all over again, but I was too embarrassed to tell someone. I finally found some literature on PTSD and assumed they were body memories. I didn't think medication could help PTSD, so I told nobody. Most of the other symptoms of PTSD fit, too, so I knew I had that. That was when John Michael pushed sex on me in 1996.

Again, I was just looking for companionship. And he knew that because I told him no sex. I spent the night with him after karaoke one night, and he initiated sex with me anyway. I figured somehow I had invited it and commenced a relationship with him. For a couple of months, I referred to him as my boyfriend, but got really tired of the coerced sex every time we slept together. I was really tired to of the anal sex he pushed on me. I got pregnant and in October of 1997 I gave birth to Aeyre.

It was just a few days after that that the nightmare really began. I started hearing voices.

Occasionally it occurred to me that something was wrong with me, but more often I was sure that there were microphones in the house. I cried out to God, Goddess, Jesus, etc. looking for relief. I had an experience where I felt the voices I was hearing were coming out of my heart. For awhile I thought that I had a microchip in my brain, and that the microchip had a microphone and speakers in it. I was so certain my father had arranged for it to be put there. He had sent me a phone with an answering machine attached, and the code for retrieving the messages was on the back of the phone. I was certain he had sent me the phone only so he could listen to my messages. I ended up donating the phone to a second hand store.

The voices asked me questions about sexual experiences I had had, and about ex boyfriends. I thought the voice was the devil for awhile.

I saw several things after the birth of my daughter. I was petrified I would molest her while she was sleeping next to me during the rape hallucinations (which often happened while I was asleep). So I started putting her in her crib. John Michael came over about three weeks after she was born and tried to insist on sleeping with me. I refused and was quite adamant about it. I was still healing from the birth. I remember he kept telling me that his ex wife had been ready within a week of giving birth. It didn't help that he came over about two weeks after that, with the excuse he was too drunk to drive home. He climbed in bed with me and the baby and started kicking me. I was laying down careful not to touch him. I swear I had seen him outside, when I stepped on to the porch earlier that night, fleeing across the street. I got up and went to the couch with my daughter and tried to sleep. I had been having problems getting to sleep because every time I tried to sleep, I heard dripping noises and clicks.

Jay Perlman, a man I knew because of marijuana, showed up outside of my house one night, too. I thought I heard a noise outside and went out on the porch. He was there alongside my house. I asked him what he was doing, and he left. This freaked me out entirely because he had been accused of being a child molester.

I slipped into full fledged paranoia. I kept seeing the trees as monsters. I knew it didn't make any sense, but every time I looked at the trees or their shadows, I'd see creatures. I no longer went out at night. I saw ghostly figures in the house. Once I saw the "ghost" of Freddy Kreuger standing over by the front door. I kept seeing and hearing God, too. I was confused and I studied the bible, having given up on Wicca at the time because of the people from the evangelical church down the street, who came over and told me to get rid of all the Wiccan books and stuff I had. I hated Paul, and didn't want anything to do with Peter, whom Jesus had called Satan. (Most of the time I was convinced that the Devil had everything to do with my problems) So I tore out most of what Paul said and burned it. This scared me more... Sacrilege! Blasphemy! etc.

I kept hearing noises outside my window and was convinced that Jay was outside or John Michael. I got scared of a male acquaintance who I had been sharing pot with. That was the last straw. CPS had been investigating me for awhile, the mistook my paranoia for hostility. CPS started showing up after I discontinued services with another social work agency after the social worker kept insisting I pull up my shirt and show her Aeyre's breastfeeding skills long after Aeyre had learned how to breastfeed properly.

So, I took off with my daughter in the middle of the night. We hitchhiked and I swore I saw her doctor in McDonald's early that morning. The doctor had been something of a weirdo too. He asked me when I was in labor, if I had been molested. Then, when I took in Aeyre for her shots he'd wave his hand in the air over her private parts, all the while staring at me, after her diaper was off.

I continued on East. I thought I was being followed by Predator (from the movies) -- I could see the Predator and that we were being pursued by vampires. I thought the vampires could read my mind. I perceived this dark sticky energy coming from my daughters back and I "pulled" that out of her. I just knew it was connected to vampires. One night, we were offered a motel room. I had just started to drift off to sleep when I felt something touch my calf. I was sure it was preceding a rape hallucination, and that it was the devil. When I got up, exhausted but very frightened, I saw the walls glowing. I remember issuing a challenge to the people downstairs, because I believed it was my last night as a human, and that they were causing all of this with their vampiric powers.

I had stopped smoking pot for a couple of months, although during the hitchhiking I was offered some. I thought at times, that the nightmare I was experiencing was due to the marijuana.

Finally in Missoula, Montana I was in a truck stop. A man who looked like a typical vampire offered us a ride. I told him I didn't ride with vampires. The waitress heard me, and began interrogating me about vampires. They had found me outside after I left crying because I was just so depressed. (At times I had thought I was in Hell) They had brought me back inside and offered me a meal. A woman in the place had a scarf on and I thought she was trying to cover up bite marks. I was wary about accepting any help because I wanted my independence. Finally I got tired of dodging questions and I took my daughter and walked down the street to the convenience store not too far away. That's where the police met me. The police women had fangs, I swear they did. They took us to St. Patrick's hospital. They took my daughter into a little room and made her scream for a long time, like she was in pain. They would not let me go to her.

I was interviewed by a shrink, and he pronounced me suffering from PPD.

A social worker from CPS showed up. As soon as they gave Aeyre back to me, I handed her to the social worker and asked her if she could hold my daughter while I went out to smoke. (I had not had a cigarette the whole three hours I was at the hospital). She said okay, so I went out to smoke. When I came back in, she had given my daughter to a foster mother.

They put me in a shelter for the night. I had bought a small bottle of sleeping pills. I tried to sleep, but I saw a blackness, and heard chanting, and was certain my soul was being eaten. It didn't help that I felt that I was going to hell, because I had an abortion once. I thought one of the ladies there was committing my soul to the devil. I was determined to kill myself before I became a pawn of the devil, or a vampire, and was certain I'd never see my daughter again, so I took the pills.

About four hours later, after wandering the streets with a Blackfoot Indian man, I asked him to take me to the hospital because of the sleeping pills. They put me in a darkened room. I got up, because I was terrified to go to sleep and left the hospital. They brought me back and I left again, this time running away. They brought me back again and restrained me. By this time I was convinced that the charcoal they were going to give me was vampire blood and they were going to turn me into a vampire. I refused to take it, so they shoved tubes down my nose and forced me to take the charcoal. It really hurt. I sensed Jesus there....

They committed me after that, and eventually diagnosed me with psychosis nos. I kept denying that I had schizophrenia. Even though the symptoms fit, even down to sometimes (especially while relaxing) feeling like my skin was on fire. I did get to see my daughter while I was there. It was when I was in that hospital that I became convinced that something must be wrong with my mind. After that realization, all the subsequent hallucinations, and remissions (from meds) became much easier to deal with.

January 17, 2008

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About This Post

This page contains a single entry by Theresa posted on January 17, 2008 4:23 AM.

A confession.... That poor dog. was the previous post in this blog.

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