Sean,

It’s amazing how odd writing you an email feels, this would have been so much easier in person. But you’re off somewhere, doing something and you’re not here to talk to. Next best thing, I guess, is an email, though I’m not sure I you’ll ever get around to reading it. Maybe that makes it easier, knowing you may never read it. You’ll a least understand there’s things I can’t divulge as to the what and where of my doings.

I’ve not been sleeping well lately. For a while really. Not since I started this mission, however long ago that was now. I’m losing track of days.

It’s combinations of the same nightmares over and over again. Some new and one I’ve had ever since I was a small child. 

There’s a tiger, it’s always been a tiger, never anything else. I’m a child, at home, although it’s not a home I ever remember living in, and I’m up on the back verandah, locked in behind the fence and gate leading down the stairs into the yard. I desperately want to get downstairs, but I know if I set even one foot on the staircase the tiger that lives in the yard will kill me. I’m safe up here for now, but I’m terrified, what if the tiger makes it up the stairs and past the gate? What if I’m trapped here forever? 

I can’t even remember the first time I had that dream, but it’s always the same. Of course it sounds completely ridiculous in the light of day, but even as an adult it still scares the shit out of me.

The rest are less well defined, but at least one of them will occur each night now, there’s little rest in closing my eyes anymore.

There my are friends, the people I’m relying on for this mission, fighting… things, each other. Me. I can hardly breathe anymore. I’m dizzy, spinning, there’s no balance, no sense. My brain is on fire and it feels like I’m being attacked, taken over, washed away.  I push back, I must, I need to fight, to survive, but they’re too much, they overwhelm me, subdue me, until there’s nothing left but colour and sound. I am gone, they are victorious.

I’m in blackness, floating. At first it seems relaxing, peaceful, a bit like that isolation tank therapy they made us do, do you remember? But then the blackness takes over, prying, suffocating, whispering. Dredging up every secret, every deed, every fear. Taking everything good and burning it. Whispering over and over, just on the edge of hearing, alone, forgotten, alone, forgotten, unloved, alone. Unnecessary. Mistake.

There’s other fragments, glowing, shifting forms, blood, screams, death. A lot of the standard fare for PTSD I suppose.

I can hear you now, even over all this distance. No, I’ve not been to medical. Yes, I know I should, but I’m not really in a position to get there at the moment, something you well understand.

There’s no one here to talk to. Hilariously it brings to mind a Pushkin poem my mother loved, “I can’t sleep, and there’s no light. Mirk all round and restless slumber.

Sleep hath become mine enemy.

L.

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