The world was darkening and we were ready to sleep. We had slept in the car the night before in a street lamp lit parking lot. Sensitive to every sight and sound, moments of actual sleep were rare and I found the boundary between dreamworld and “reality” to be indiscernible. I imagine this extreme paranoia has some adaptive advantage for our species, but it often leaves me feeling frazzled and delirious.
So we decided to avoid recreating that scenario by finding a place to camp. The best thing we could find was a mostly dark beach tightly nestled against a busy main road.
There were no signs explicitly stating not to camp, so we settled.
The sounds of rushing waves nearly drowned out everything else, but my body was left cold without a sleeping bag or a mat. I’m not sure why I neglected to bring those things..perhaps it was my assumption was that I was in Hawaii world where things seem to manifest as you need them, which is valid, but it’s also a place that lets you feel the rawness of existence–of being uncertain, cold, and exhausted against a rough patch of Earth.
There were moments of a flickering sleep, until around 4am. I heard someone and could see their headlamp wandering through the beach. I got out of the tent, leaving behind my sleeping friend and got inside the car to warm up. Through the rear-view mirrors, I could see this person digging through trash-bags, walking to their car, and back again. Part of my mind tried to find consoling thoughts, but yet again my animal senses heightened and I felt extreme anxiety.
I watched closer as they communicated with someone in another vehicle. I tried to sink down and not be seen. The vehicle then pulled up next to my car, paused parallel, then drove away-honking its horn repetitively.
Every cell in my body said to abandon the situation. I drove away as quickly as I could, semi-guilty that my friend was still asleep in the tent.
Immediately, I felt safe—and delusional. The world was still dark and nothing was open, except for a gas station. I rested there for nearly an hour, sipping on some coffee until I felt ready to confront the situation..and to hopefully find my friend still peacefully sleeping.
Yep-there he was.
It was 6am and the sky was dappled with serene hues of pinks and blues. Somehow everything softened into innocence.
Everything from the previous few hours seemed like a comedy and though in the moment felt entirely vivid and authentic, I’m not positive that it was.
This is part of sharing genes with a “paranoid schizophrenic” mother. That term is extremely vague and subjective, but I think at the root it is mere sensitivity. All experiences are valid, but when the typically unseen & unfelt of one world merge with this “reality,” it can be sensory overload.
Do you struggle with moments of felt insanity or paranoia? I encouraged shared stories~~~