A Recent Nightmare and Why It Helped Me
Recently, I had a revelatory nightmare. One that is so horrific and terrifying that it shook me to my core.
This nightmare caused me to go back to the basics and take another look at my life, my past and who I am. I am 55, and at this point in my life, I expected to have it all worked out. I thought I had already faced all my personal demons, dealt with all the BS that life has handed me. But NO. Without giving you all the gory, horrendous details, I am going to share info about my nightmares and what I believe they mean.
(TRIGGER ALERT - If you are a trauma survivor who has experienced nightmares, then I do not want you to become anxious. If what I am talking about makes you uncomfortable, then proceed with caution.)
I am a multiple trauma survivor. I have been molested; escaped a gang rape; assaulted; my ex came to kill me with a loaded gun; I've lived in poverty as a welfare mom because I had a child on disability who was very sick; lived through 3 car wrecks - none of which were my fault; several surgeries; life-threatening illness; awakening to a dead man in my bed (my second husband); and so much more that the list could truly go on and on.
I refuse to let life keep me down!
With all the traumas that life/fate/evil forces have brought to me, I have developed some seriously wonderful skills to combat all the stress!! I am a happy, stable, productive woman who lives a good life. And yet, when you know all the hell I have lived through, you might think that I should be a depressed, sad, weeping woman. HELL NO!
I refuse to let life keep me down. You know that song from the late 90s - "Tubthumping" by the group Chumbawamba? That song IS my theme song. (Sort of. The lyrics are actually about drinking and falling down drunk, but the chorus says "I get knocked down, but I get up again, You are never gonna keep me down." THAT is the part that is my theme song, not the binge-drinking part. Just sayin.)
BTW, the song is seriously FUN and it will get lodged in your head. ENJOY - here is a link if you want to go listen to it on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H5uWRjFsGc
Nightmares are bringing you messages. Maybe you should listen!
One of the most surprising things I have discovered in my years of dealing with nightmares is this: THEY ARE BENEFICIAL FOR ME!
Today, a friend of mine who is a psychologist working on her PhD told me this: "There are no idiopathic nightmares."
Nightmares are like fevers of the brain. They are a sign. A warning. A message from the deep that you've got some issues and some things to work on. I have come to the conclusion that my nightmares have a reason and a purpose. I have come to this conclusion because of the decades of trauma I have suffered and the many, many trauma nightmares I have suffered through because of the traumas.
So what is the reason and purpose of nightmares? Nightmare are there to HELP you. (This is totally my opinion, and I am not a psychologist or therapist. I am just a survivor with serious coping skills!)
When you have a nightmare, it does NOT feel like it is there to help you. It feels like an assault on your mind, your spirit, your very being. They suck. Nightmares are awful. And yet.... they are there to show you that you have some deep issues that need to be worked on. And I believe that nightmares are a sign that your deep subconscious is trying to HELP you by "taking out the trash." Your mind has to get rid of the horrible thoughts, images and feelings in order for you to be okay. This is what nightmares ARE. Trash. Your mind is taking out the trash.
Or maybe think of nightmares like having a fever. Physicians now know that having a fever is the body's response to illness. The body warms up in the immune system's attempt to kill off the illness. Fever is the body trying to help you. Nightmares are like fever of the brain.
So, back to my recent nightmare, the one that shook me to my core...
It was so disturbing that it took nearly a week for me to fully work it out. It revealed to me some serious abuse that was hidden in my childhood. The symptoms of the abuse were there all along, but I had repressed it all down deep inside.
It was painful to see and experience. But I know that it was there to lead me back to my past and to help me uncover and heal from the pain. I am no longer afraid of my nightmares. I don't like having them, but when I DO have them, I find a bit of gratitude for the wonder of the brain and it's ability to help me heal from all the abuse. It is an amazing thing to heal!
If you are interested in learning more about how I deal with trauma and nightmares, then please go to the contact page and send me an email. My book "Easy Stress Solutions: How to Meditate Like a Master, Banish Anxiety and Kick Depression to the Curb" has more details about nightmares and sleep issues, too.
I hope you sleep well tonight. I will. Peace to you all.