Yes this will be long. No I don’t have a way of summarizing yes I know that’s gonna put a lot of people off of reading it oh well. I’m gonna write it in parts of my life because it’s too tiring to do it all at once. I like to do this to see similarities and differences in the illness between myself and others, I enjoy reading and listening to life stories genuinely and think it’s cool when people share them on here.
I guess it all started with 2 key feelings. One was this sudden, overpowering sense that I was in an extreme amount of danger, and if I didn’t do SOMETHING (what that something was depended on the situation and could be just about anything) immediately, there would be grave consequences, like death, or something else horrible. Mom would just say I was fine, I was safe, there was nothing to worry about, but that wasn’t my experience. I KNEW I was in danger. And so it made it so I didn’t trust her, because she couldn’t sense the danger, she didn’t take it seriously. I would have to protect myself and anyone else at risk. A large responsibility for a small child.
The second feeling I got often was the strong and unshakeable knowledge that I was not alone, even if I physically appeared to be. A powerful feeling that someone or even a number of someone’s were also in the room with me, I just couldn’t see them. Thus as soon as I learned what a ghost was, at age 2, I immediately assumed this must be what this feeling originated from, and informed my mom there were ghosts in my room. Once again, she said I was safe. There’s no such thing as ghosts…but that’s not what I felt. That’s not what I KNEW. I tended to get this feeling in specific places or rooms. In some houses we had I did not get it at all which lead me to believe they were not haunted.
Both of these feelings kept me in a state of perpetual fear when I was alone. I think I did the best I could to cope, given my age. At first it was urges to trap and hurt things. I drew cages around each and every one of the characters in my workbooks, built cages out of blocks around my toys, had dreams where I tormented and killed small helpless creatures that were immensely satisfying and when I held small or helpless animals such as my friend’s kittens, I wanted to kill them, and played rough. I think these things existed as a way to try to give me a feeling of power and control.
The next coping mechanism was delusion. I started believing I was a werewolf at 5. This belief wasn’t only born from fear, but also alienation. I simply didn’t feel human. I didn’t feel I connected with other people. I felt “other.” So being a werewolf conveniently answered an emotional question (why do I feel different?) and provided protection. I was terrified of monsters, as many young children are. To me a werewolf was one of the strongest monsters of them all, so if I was one, there could be nothing scarier, and nothing that could hurt me. I believed I had all sorts of powers and immunities. The belief was so ingrained and strong it continued to grow and develop, becoming vastly complexed involving an alternate world, persona, history, etc. for the next 8-9 years, only going away when I was 13 or 14 to be replaced by spiritual delusions. The delusion replaced the urges to harm and trap, as it gave me the sense of power and control I think I desperately needed at the time.
The two other things that stand out to me from my early childhood were my hallucinations, and my nightmares. Most of my hallucinations to me were magical-and I had no sense to think they were abnormal in any way. It was just something interesting to watch or listen to. But some, the pareidolias, were quite frightening. I would see the most horrible faces and creatures in perfectly harmless objects or paintings, wood panelings or reflections. These things then became dangerous and scary to me. I could not tolerate them. The nightmares were horrific and brutal. The only way I could assure myself they hadn’t truly happened was to go and check on my loved ones as soon as I woke to make sure they were still ok. I feared going to sleep because of the horrible things I would see and experience, things over which I had no control.
So yeah, a lot, a lot, a lot of fear when I was little.