• No one's going to read this: PTSD.

    I used to write a section in my blog called 'No one's going to read this, so let me tell you:” this is probably one of those.

    I woke up this morning after a really bad nights sleep. I rarely dream about the military, but I think that's what they call PTSD, when you do. Especially if it's not the good kind of dream that you normally have. I have few nightmares, but this was something like that, but perhaps worse.

    Every night, regardless of how long my day is, I always love to slip into bed at the end of it, because I know what I'm going to dream about. I can usually control it and shape it and direct it. I usually dream of women. Smiling faced females, frolicking around in their underwear, laughing, talking, cavorting with me, all of that. I can't tell my wife about this reality because she's insanely jealous, which is something I just don't understand at all. This truth would go over like a lead balloon with her. There would be tears, or if not tears, anger and lots of it.

    I always wake up happy and I always smile when I slip into bed because every night I know what's coming. It may sound perverted but that's part of my reality. It keeps me smiling throughout the day. I usually laugh in my sleep, and on those nights, I always wake up feeling rested.

    The other night, I asked myself before falling asleep why I always dream about the same thing. Why do I always dream about half-naked girls smiling and carousing around with their bare legs like warm hands reaching for me? It just didn't seem normal and I've often wondered what everyone else dreams about. I always ask my son what he dreamt of the night before and most of the time he doesn't have an answer. Sometimes he'll say “Oh, I can't tell you, papa.” When I ask my wife, she never has an answer either, thus I really feel left out in terms of wondering why I have 'nothing' to share.

    Last night, I dreamt about Saudi Arabia and the days that followed when I came back in late 1991 - 1992. I remembered how full of sand everything was and how it was in everything I owned and how, after I had gotten back my uniforms that I didn't take overseas, how the sand had gotten into that stuff too. That sand was like a kind of lime, it had this white green tint to it, caked up around everything and seemed to have a smell that when transferred to ever other object that it connected with. Pretty soon, everything I owned after I came back had that smell and had sand around it, caked on it and in pockets and seams, books. My dress blues, my sneakers, my civilian clothes, paperwork. The shit wouldn't go away. Everything. My hands stunk for a long time as did my skin. I could just smell that place for far too long. The sand was the culprit.

    The problem was that as that shitty, lime colored sand started taking over my uniform, and I remembered how other Marines who didn't go to Saudi would look at me. There was something wrong with me. Why was all my gear and clothing all fucked up? Why were my boots caked in this shit no matter how hard I cleaned them? 

    In the Marine Corps, it's the 'Esprit de Corps' which makes you a Marine and having your gear and uniform 'squared away' is a huge part of it, especially around other Marines. They now looked at me like a shitbird (the worst kind of anything), like I was unsat (unsatisfactory), like I was deserving of a Big Chicken Dinner, a bad conduct discharge. All because of this fucking sand and these feelings I couldn't shake that I no longer belonged. No one helped, no one said 'what's wrong, why is your shit so fucked up?” No one saw the problem that was so clear in my dream last night.

    In retrospect, I probably should've burned all that stuff I brought back, but nobody really had a clue. Nobody was taking preventative measures. The day I discharged, I took every piece of military gear I had, and I made the point of putting them into black trash bags and throwing everything into the dumpster outside, in plain view of everyone. They were mortified at the sight of it. There was value associated with a military uniform, both monetarily and prestige.

    In my dream last night, someone did ask my those questions though and I had a response. Perhaps it was my way of finding something all these years later. After -- I had already written 'Fugue State'.

    Another Marine asked me “Why is your shit so fucked up? How come you only have one seabag of stuff?”

    “When I came in here,” I responded, “I watched you carry in three seabags. One had your uniforms, one had your civilian clothes and the other had your problems.”

    “And you?”

    “I have more problems than gear. The gear I have is all fucked up and my problems are everywhere.”

    In my dream, that was the best I had as a comeback, however lame, but now I understand.

    In psychiatry, they would call all my dreams of the naked girls, 'masking'. I'm not stupid, but most people don't like lifting up rocks inside their head to see what's under them. Why do I mask the way I feel about my pain and my failures, especially those concerning being in the military, with panty wearing girls? Every night? I'm a shallow jackass? Doubt it. Some people might say that.

    Maybe I have to. I dream every night. Many days, lucidly.

    Do you dream lucidly? Do you know what that is? Lucid dreaming is where you're in the dream and it's like your awake. The night before I had a dream where I 'woke up' in my sleeping bag, in a shelter, on the Appalachian Trail, from one specific night back in 2006. Yes, my dream started with me waking up. Lucid dreaming is part of the Universe's way of fucking with you when you least expect it. It wasn't a dream that was made up, or not real, it was me reliving a moment where I had woken up, around 5:30 in the morning, to discover that I was covered in snow in the hiking shelter. That's what I dreamt of. That moment where I woke up. I relived it. Lucid dreaming. Sometimes it sucks, most times it's awesome. Naked girls, good. Hiking, good. Military breakdowns, bad.

    Last night's was the worst. Feeling like I didn't belong, like I wasn't a part of everyone else and I was worthless, along with being back in the barracks (which is what I dreamt of) was something I wouldn't want repeating on a regular basis. I guess I have my answer as to why I dream of girls.

    I don't think that's perversion. I think it's self-preservation. It's a little before five am and I'm going to go back to bed.


    1. My dreams are vivid, but I know they're a dream and I can control my own actions. I can't actually create the scene like you can. That's impressive!