I couldn’t sleep, so I thought sharing this might help.
I sit on a couch, with some people in a room, including my partner. They’re chatting and laughing and some are looking bored actually. We’re on a party, just for 2 hours because our bodies can’t handle more, but I’m glad we could make it to this party at all. We already noticed that we hardly get any invitations at all anymore, because ‘they can never come’.
[Photo of black trees in a dark blue sky].
It’s dark outside. I’m trying to listen to the chatting, but can only hear it very vaguely. Too many people talking at the same time, my tired brain can’t process that. Then I hear a frightful scream. Immediately my adrenaline kicks in. I can’t keep myself from looking at the window, but have to keep telling myself to just keep sitting and pretend to be ‘normal’. I look around, my partner looks at me in an understanding and calming manner. The other party guests seem to haven’t heard the scream at all. I don’t understand, it was so loud and you could hear the fear in it. I hear it again, but less loud. Faintly, you can hear someone crying. I can’t hold it any longer. I ask the other party guests if they didn’t hear the scream. Don’t they think we should help? They look slightly (some not so slightly) irritated, because I disrupted their chatting (and apparently their peaceful lifes?). One girl sighs and says they’re just stupid children playing tag. ‘They shouldn’t be out so late anyway’ is her final sentence. I don’t know what to say and they continue. Some staring at me a little longer, looking as if they think ‘that’s the crazy chick again’ (I actually heard some of them talk about me like that. That’s why I have two friends left, but they don’t really seem to understand my move either).
A little later, I find a moment to excuse myself and go outside. My partner follows, of course he knows what’s going on. He calms me down. I’m confused. ‘They heard the screams and crying too, right?’ We talk about it. He tells me some people filter things like that. It’s just a little annoyance for them. They don’t think something can actually be wrong, because they think that doesn’t happen here. I can’t imagine people can think that way, but at the same time I can. I’ve met them too, they didn’t help me when I was lying down as a young child in the middle of the night, bleeding or crying. Nobody comes when you scream beforehand..
I tell him that I’m afraid something is wrong. That someone’s being attacked or something like that. ‘Shouldn’t we go out and help?’ We look around us outside, but we don’t see a thing. I suggest we walk around and maybe we’ll see or hear something again. My partner tells me that’s not a good idea. I can hardly walk today and stand on crutches. There are many buildings out here and we don’t really know where the scream came from. Nor do we know the neighbourhood, so we would probably get lost. We haven’t heard anything anymore for the past couple minutes. We can’t just walk around relentlessly..
I understand, but at the same time a part of me doesn’t. What if it was a scream for help, but everyone thinks it’s nothing? Just because it doesn’t happen so often? People often have this illusion of complete safety. I feel like it’s my fault if something did happen, but I’ll probably never find out…
I couldn’t really get it out of my mind completely. One of the reasons is that these things happen more often. Not just at a party, but also when I’m home with my partner, or alone or outside etc. I find it difficult to decide if it’s just my PTSD mind and my experiences clouding my judgement, or is the ‘normal’ judgement clouded by illusions of safety? I actually think it’s a bit of both…