I’m currently being faced with a psychological dilemma that I have never dealt with before. Up until now, the side effects of my relationship with P have been pretty straight forward. They follow the exact pattern of what is expected from someone who was raped/in an abusive partnership. To be honest, it has been comforting to read about all of my eccentricities and find out that they are normal. The truth is there are hundreds of people out there experiencing what I am. Granted, my emotions still feel insane and they rage like a hurricane. But apparently I’m not alone and that is nice to know. Flashbacks and paranoia are common, expected even, from someone like me. These side effects have been overwhelming at times, but I have gotten to a point where I feel like I can manage them. Or at least I thought I could. This new manifestation has been troubling.
I didn’t really connect a pattern until today. On Sunday, I woke up and took a shower. In the shower I noticed two deep scratches about a foot long on my outer thigh. I wrote them off as nothing. I figured I scraped my leg along something. I’m pretty reckless. I’m used to finding bruises and having no idea how I got them. However, these scratches hurt. They sting and they tear open in the shower and bleed a little bit. I wasn’t really sure how that happened without me noticing. Then this morning I woke up, with three more. One was six inches and along my inner thigh and the other two were across my chest. These were less deep, but I think that’s because I cut my nails yesterday. I’m starting to believe I’m scratching myself at night. I’m prone to really bad dreams and lately I’ve been stressed. It’s really the only way to explain all these marks.
Of course I googled this. Apparently, it’s seen in PTSD patients. Although, it’s mostly common in people with dry skin who do it because they are itchy. I know that’s not it. It just doesn’t make sense to me because I have never been a self mutilater. I’ve never even thought about doing something like that to myself. I have plenty of issues, but that is just not one of them. The other reason this is a problem is because it’s happening in my sleep. There’s not really much I can do to stop it or control it. Honestly, I’m still having a hard time believing I would do that to myself but it’s the only logical explanation. I actually checked my bed for sharp objects expecting to find something. Of course there was nothing. I don’t really know what to do now. I’ll probably wear gloves to bed if it continues. I can’t cut my nails so short they can’t scratch me. That’s basically impossible. I have cut them down to the nail bed though so hopefully that will help.
Every time a new problem presents itself I get really frustrated. It feels like P is winning. Even though he’s been out of my life for six months he is still finding ways to negatively effect it. It’s really not fair. I’ve been trying really hard and I know I’ve come a long way. However, this just proves to me that I have an even longer way to go.