Some years back, I wrote a post called "The Tyranny of the Subconscious", about the lingering effects of trauma that live buried in our minds. If you haven't read it and are interested, it's one of my better posts and an excellent, brief discussion followed.
I've done a ton of healing work around my own personal trauma, and I can say with confidence that I am healed and am whole. Almost three decades (28 years) have passed since I was raped, and entire years will go by without even a trace of post-traumatic stress. Then one night, I'll have one of those dreams...
The whole thing really pisses me off. I don't need it, I can't control it, and it just seems frigging ridiculous that something that happened to me in 1982 is still buried in my brain somewhere, and won't leave me alone. Not completely alone, anyway. Seriously. Enough already.
These days my subconscious is playing a new trick on me. Not as brutal and as extreme, but man, it is ever annoying.
Yesterday, I had two big assignments due for school, one paper and one oral presentation. I felt confident about both of them, to the point where I kept my commitment to going to the gym, and even got a bit of social life in on Friday night. The night before my deadline, I ended up working on the presentation a bit later than I wanted to, but still, I felt good and confident about the results.
I went to sleep at my usual hour. A few hours later, from a tiny noise, I woke up - wide awake, heart racing. I was up for hours, full of anxiety. Not specifically thinking about either assignment, just a mess of free-floating anxiety, pulse racing, mind bouncing around like a pinball.
After a couple of hours, I took an anti-anxiety pill - I so rarely need them that I still have the same prescription I moved to Canada with, more than four years ago - and eventually fell back to sleep, only two hours before my alarm rang.
Later that morning, as I was getting ready for school, I suddenly realized I had complained about this same thing last time I had a paper or presentation due. And the time before that. It occurred to me that this has been a consistent pattern since I started grad school.
What the hell is going on? I don't feel nervous about my school work. I'm not a nervous public speaker. My grades have been fine.
But clearly, there's anxiety in there, somewhere, and this is how it's expressing itself. And it really pisses me off.