I HAVE KEYS. I also can't sleep. But I have keys to my new apartment. In eight hours or so, I'm going to stuff the first load of boxes into my car, and start carrying stuff to the new place. I'm excited, because it's the first time I've ever moved when it wasn't a result of running from somewhere else. This move is something I've been working towards for a long time.
It's a big, big change. I've said that before, but today I got to stand in my new place and look around, and start deciding where furniture will go. I had a chance to look out the windows; one faces (and is actually above) a busy street with a bar on the corner. The other faces the front porch of a house that's also rented to students. There are people walking by, constantly. The street I'm on is a connector to several main streets. There's also people in my building, people going in and out of the laundry room (which is right outside my door).
My new place is, as you'd expect being fifty feet from a university campus, in a typical college apartment building. There's a spot on the stairs where, at some point in history, someone yakked. The elevator is the slowest in the world. There are more bikes in the underground parking garage than there are cars. The rent is a little high, but the location is what's so nice-- a couple of blocks from literally everything that's important. (Except REI, but that's not too far away and I have a car.)
I'm asked, fairly often by people in my age group, if I know what I'm getting myself into, living amongst students. My answer is always yes. I've been in college a long time. [smile].
PTSD always fits in here somewhere.
I've been through a semester here, now know what to expect, and have spent a lot of time and effort this summer on learning to be a better student. I actually feel good about being close to campus now, since getting home won't take nearly as long (i.e., if I'm having a bad day and to head home, I can, rather than waiting an hour for the next bus and then sitting through a terrorizing 45 minute bus ride). Right now I'm dealing with the anxiety that comes from wanting to hit the ground running and do well, more than from fear.
I have a lot yet to do; I still need to get renters insurance switched over, still need to get internet hooked up, will need to get unpacked and stuff set up, and my old apartment cleaned. I have some time to do all these things, but it's a small and very finite amount of time. I will need to get my body back on normal people time, as opposed to night shifter time.
Here, at the old apartment, I oscillate between feeling all right/getting a lot done, and walking in circles around the boxes muttering "I feel like crap I feel like crap I feel like crap." When the muttering starts, there's only so much I can do with it; if I can get myself started working on something, however boring, that helps a little. Lately I've been working some additional hours, which has the effect of more money, and me being on campus where I want to be anyway. Doesn't get much packing done, but it makes things better short term.
I remember, and flash back, to things that make no sense and catch myself wondering why my brain decided that image was necessary to bring back. I have to tell myself that me moving and continuing on in school is proof that I've overcome that image from the past.
I dream. I hate sleeping because I dream, crazy disjointed disturbing nightmares where I wake up and look around and have no idea where I am for a few seconds. Then I feel disturbed for a couple of hours about the dreams, even though I can't really remember them. They're not the kind of dreams you see in the movie, where someone wakes up gasping for breath and sweating. I just find myself awake and really, really confused.
Yeah, you can cue up Still in Saigon now. Thank you, Charlie Daniels, for putting it all into words. I mean that with all sincerity-- it's a great song, and it describes the random disjointedness that flashbacks and dreams cause.
I want to write something here that ties things together, makes this a complete post, but it's not working for me right now. Maintaining sanity through the whole process of packing, moving, and unpacking is taking a lot of energy and brain cells to deal with. I hear myself saying "Ya know, self, you're having trouble right now." I am hoping the change of scenery will help remove me from those parts of the past that seem to be following me around lately.