TRIGGER WARNING: This post may be very triggering for anyone who’s experienced sexual abuse
“When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive.” Iris, Goo Goo Dolls
Not long ago I told my psychologist that one day I will snap. I will no longer be able to hold everything in and it will be ugly. That day happened a few weeks ago, facilitated by some marijuana I took. On Wed 27th of April I had a psychotic break.
If you read my post “Not coping” you would know I have not been in a very good way. I decided to leave Melbourne and go stay on a farm. “Margaret” and her partner “John” own the farm. I stayed with them a few years ago. They feed me and let me stay in their beautiful church (which people usually pay to stay in) for free in return for a bit of help on the farm.
I was having a lot of problems sleeping so decided to try some marijuana oil. I took the wineglass containing a small amount of brown liquid down to the bottom of the property where I was staying. I was advised to take one teaspoon, but impulsively took four. I have vaped marijuana before and it didn’t seem to have much impact, so I didn’t expect this to either. But about two hours later I started to feel a bit odd. I felt removed from my life, as though it was somebody else’s life I was watching at the movies. I didn’t think much of it and went to bed. But then I shortly sat up with a very unsettling feeling. My ordinary surroundings suddenly seemed unreal, like a dream. I couldn’t feel my body or anything. Everything felt transparent. I didn’t even know if I was alive. I felt like I was a ghost. It felt just like the night I’d taken ayahuasca. There’s a girl on YouTube who has done an amazing video about this experience. It is called “An unreal world”. It is such a scary experience. I managed to call Margaret before I could no longer use/hold my phone. I was crying and told her I was freaking out, that I had wanted to die and now it was really happening. She told me I’m not dying and I said yes I am. I wouldn’t usually tell anyone all this but it was as though a lid had lifted in me and it was all coming out. Margaret had taken the marijuana oil as well and told me she was “comatosed”. The two of us were complete write offs! Thankfully John hadn’t taken any and Margaret said he would come down and get me. Seconds felt like minutes, and minutes felt like hours. I called Margaret again.
“When’s he coming?” I kept asking.
“He should be nearly there.” She told me.
Finally he arrived in his car. He found me stumbling about on the floor crying and screaming. I could barely walk. I was wearing a stupid black singlet I got from the op shop which is way too big for me and doesn’t properly cover my breasts, and my black satin shorts which were falling off too as they have stretched around the middle. I desperately need new pyjamas. John helped me put my dressing gown on and took me to the car. I sat in the passenger seat but he didn’t get in straight away. He was milling around outside the car. Then the episode took another terrifying turn. Suddenly I found myself kicking and screaming “get off me get off me”, but no body was on me. I don’t know where all this came from.
It felt like forever but finally we got up to their house. I was taken inside and up the stairs to Margaret and John’s bedroom. I was on their bed but by this point I had sunk deep into the ocean of psychosis. I didn’t even recognise Margaret and John anymore, and I thought they were raping me. They were saying all these things to me but instead of comforting me, it was all just feeding into this sadistic act I thought was happening. I “heard” them say things like “relax”, “that’a girl” and something about having water (I think they were trying to get me to drink), which I interpreted as “squirting” or the breaking of waters during pregnancy… some kind of trauma that was sitting dormant in my mind or the collective mind. I “heard” Margaret tell me that I had done a very bad thing, that I was a very naughty girl and I deserved all this. It was torture. The same scene repeated over and over, like I was stuck in some kind of time loop. Sometimes I’d speak back to them, tell them to “shut up” and I’d try to run but I couldn’t get away. Apparently I did a double flip off the bed and tried to jump down the stairs but John managed to grab me and soon enough I was back on the bed being raped again (that is what I thought was happening, at least). It felt like I was having a nightmare, except I was not actually asleep. I was screaming thinking that if I screamed loud enough I would wake up, but I couldn’t wake up. I tried self-harming in a desperate attempt to feel something real. I tried to reach for the little bit of light I saw. I shouted out the names of the people I love. There was a clock on the wall and I was watching it. It was almost 12. When the clock got to 12 I thought I’d be free. But the hand was barely moving. In the world I was in, time stood still. I heard Margaret saying how cold I was. It really felt like death. I remembered the last things I’d ever said to people, such as my case worker. I had told him I thought I was going to die soon, and I was correct. I then thought Margaret and John were strangling me. That is when I passed out.
The next morning I woke up on the couch downstairs. I had a scar on my left knee but that was all. I can’t believe how lucky I am. Psychologically, the experience haunted me for a little while afterwards. At night I would wake up shaking and struggling to feel my body again, like the aftershocks of an earthquake. But these attacks seem to have dissipated now.
I’m not sure how I want to end this post. Psychosis is a hard thing for people to understand until they experience it for themselves. After this experience I couldn’t look at John and avoided him because I was so embarrassed. It all felt like a fucked up dream; I didn’t realise John and Margaret were witnessing it all. Finally, I joined John and Margaret at the dinner table and, stuttering, thanked John for being there that night. I will never, ever touch marijuana again. My drug-induced psychosis was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever experienced. Even thought it’s not real we are traumatised by these delusions. It is very real to us. I kind of wish John had of called an ambulance, but John and Margaret do not like to accept help from the medical system. Margaret can barely walk due to a bad hip but she is reluctant to take painkillers or get treatment.