Through Dreams and Darkness - Nicki Bocker Glory
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Through Dreams and Darkness

There is something that I suffer with that I want to come clean about. I’m making it sound awfully dramatic and I don’t mean to, but it is something I have been living with since the age of 17.

I think in the last few months I have realised that I suffered PTSD back then and have done fuck all about it and it come back to bite me in my flabby ass. I’ve been to a therapist a few times and I’ve been put on anti-depressants which just make my insomnia worse, so I just try to deal with it alone, this is stupid.

I have told about 4 people about this and it may not seem a big deal to others but its traumatic for me and every time it happens it fucks me up for days.

So, I am dreaming.

I am somewhere, its different every time. It’s the only thing that is different. I sometimes think my subconscious mind likes to play tricks on me luring me in to a false sense of security that I’m about to have a nice dream somewhere cool.

It is so vivid. I can feel the weather. If its sunny I feel the heat scorch me, if it’s raining, I can feel the wetness dripping down my neck.

I feel the breeze as it churns through my hair. I can hear the birds chirping, friendly and abundant in their swarms.

I can hear the waves roll back on the pebbles and lap at rocks.

I can taste the salt in the air. I can smell the fragrant petals.

It is all so real.

I take it all in and I am so peaceful. I feel almost ethereal in the peace of it all and I’m slowly turning so I can drink in the entire landscape and then I see her. My sister.

The feeling of elation is unmeasurable. Natalie is here in my dream and she looks so beautiful. She glows and she is healthy. There is colour on her chubby cheeks unlike the death shade of the last time I saw her in the chapel of rest. She is beaming at me. Natalie has a billion-dollar smile.

I do one of those Dad runs not quite a run not quite a walk and I stretch out my hand and she steps backwards. I do it again and she takes another step backwards and we stop and stare at each other. I laugh and reach out and say give me a hug.

Natalie never speaks. She just smiles. Smiles and steps backwards. It becomes a game. She runs and I run, and I never ever get to touch her, and she never stops smiling. I start getting annoyed. I don’t understand why she won’t let me just hold her.

She turns and runs fast. We used to watch her run and hurdle down the athletic club when she was younger, and I love that she is running like that again. I chase her.

Then she isn’t there. I call for her and I’m panicking I’m screaming her name and tell her to stop fucking around but she never comes back, and I wake up in floods of tears.

Over the years whenever someone dies, they stand with her. My husband’s first death experience was a year ago with his 90-year-old Grandad and he is so lucky. Boppy was a wonderful man and a force to be reckoned with. He got told at 55 he had 6 months to live and he died in his sleep at 90, The most beautiful and well-deserved deaths. My husband has no idea how lucky he is to have had – as heart-breaking as it was – such a peaceful exit.

My first experience was I was 9 years old and my Godfather (I call him my Godfather but I’m not entirely sure this is correct) John, Killed himself. I have come to realise that pretty much every experience I have had from death has been traumatic. Even when my Grandad died,

He was young, and he died from an aneurism and because I was young when I heard the adults talking about how he collapsed and that his aneurism exploded inside him I imagined he actually exploded in the middle of the street. I have had friends die in plane crashes, suicide, choking on their own vomit, car crashes, brain tumours, cardiac arrests and they were all under 30.

I don’t know how to fix this. I feel I cannot go through the NHS as the just want to put me on medication and I don’t want to medicate the problem away. I need counselling but therapy is costly. Death is such a natural occurrence, it is the only certainty in life, yet it causes so much deep pain. I try hard to move forward and process what has happened and most days

I am fine but when this dream pops up it is all consuming.

It then sets my anxiety off and I worry about who I am going to lose next and how they are going to go. I even get to a point when I can’t check on my kids whilst they are sleeping because in my irrational thought spiral, they have died in their sleep and I don’t want to discover it.

I wanted to open up about this because – one, it’s always good to offload the things that eat you up and – Two, Mental health should be as normal as saying you have toothache. I often think I am insane but when my irrationality quietens down and my rationalisation springs back – even more so now – I can see the triggers and realise this is all stemming from certain events which have jolted a chemical imbalance and therefore has given me mental health issues.

I want to proud of the fact that I can acknowledge this and not shy away. I want to let people know my story so if they have something similar, they aren’t alone. I never want anyone to feel alone and as much as I am fully shitting myself about sharing this because it has been one of my deepest secrets if I help just one person feel better then it is worth it.

No one is ever fully alone.

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