Posted in Blog

I am No Longer Afraid… So Much

I first started writing this in January 2013.

Unfortunately it’s unfinished, however it was written a year before I was diagnosed with Epilepsy and reading it 3 years later, knowing what I know now is incredible and I just had to share.

I originally titled it “I Shall Not Be Afraid of The Terror By Night”

I started suffering night terrors when I was 24, a couple of months before I went travelling. A lot of people who know, ask me what they’re like. It’s hard to explain. Sometimes it feels like I’m being crushed by an invisible force and when I wake up I can still feel that force crushing me into the bed and no matter how much I thrash and scream, it continues to crush literally until I cry out to God to save me. 

Other times the force has a shadow, so I can see the figure or outline of a face of my punisher. After the first few attacks, I went to Google for an answer and one known cause is stress, which is understandable as at the time I was about to embark on a 3 month trip across South East Asia and Australia. 

There was one attack while I was away. We were in a hostel in Kings Cross, Sydney, sharing with a bunch of other people so you can imagine how awfully embarrassing it was to wake up a room full of strangers with my screaming at an attacker only I could see. 

They soon stopped when I returned, but I was left with the crippling fear that I was still unsafe so had to sleep with the light on before downgrading my security to a silent television. If I wasn’t in the dark then I was safe from the darkness.

Now the fear is all of the time I guess. The unexpected comes regardless of night and day.

Author:

I’m Cece Alexandra and I have Epilepsy. Since being diagnosed, my life has changed significantly. After studying and teaching Humanities and Literature for all of my adult life, I was bullied and lost my job a month before qualifying to become an English Teacher. Once you fail the Teacher Training course in England, you cannot ever retrain; I then became too sick to work because of my Epilepsy. I am now currently studying an MSc in Mental Health Psychology with the University of Liverpool. My disability provokes me into raising awareness for invisible disabilities, which I also actively partake in with Epilepsy Action. Part of that awareness is to help fight against invisible disability discrimination - I believe that this behaviour is not cognitively unconscious; modern society is actively partaking in a hierarchy of disabilities and I believe that there is not enough psychological research to prove this. I am also clinically interested in Cultural Psychology - particularly Collectivist Culture, and wish to pursue this further in my academic career.

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