So, some of my earliest memories are of nightmares I had as a child.
We all have nightmares from time to time, but during my childhood and my twenties, my nightmares were worse than most movies I've seen. When I was very young, the nightmares were innocent, more about monsters kidnapping my sister and I or a shark biting off my leg in a swimming pool than about pure evil. But as I grew older and learned more about sinister people and horrific circumstances, they became extremely violent, bloody and detailed. And they seemed to last all night long. Sometimes it could take me 30 minutes just to explain the whole dream to someone.
I can always remember my dreams and they are always in color, which made them all the more disturbing when I woke up.
When I turned 30, I began seeing a therapist (which everyone should do, in my opinion) - not about my nightmares, but just about living a better life in general. After seeing my therapist for a year and getting out everything I had wanted to say in my life but was too afraid to say, and discovering where my feelings of shame were coming from in the first place, the nightmares stopped. Immediately.
And I realized that I had all these horrid dreams my whole life because I never said what I really wanted to say. I never let myself believe that who I am is good enough. I wasn't living my truth. I was trying to be someone that I was never going to be, whether that person was a Metallica-loving goth girl or an aloof poet or a rebellious Indy rocker. I needed to just be me. And that is something I still struggle with everyday - being okay with me.
I completely stopped having nightmares for four years. Until I had kids.
As I have said before, being a parent of two little boys, one with sensory and hyperactivity issues, is sometimes quite overwhelming for me and quite exhausting. On top of that, my husband and I have had a rough few years financially, with other bumps along the way. I started having nightmares again when my first son was about 10 or 11 months old. My husband had just lost his job, I had a miscarriage, my husband lost 2 family members, and a few other things happened.
Now, my nightmares were back, but in a different way. No longer were they bloody and gory like a Clive Barker book, they were just sad or intense or frantic. I was always stressed out because of worrying about money, or Max's behavior, or his many therapy appointments, or Harry's seemingly constant illnesses. And I still have nightmares to this day.
I feel as if my husband and I have been running from one almost-tragedy to the next, barely escaping in tact, but always escaping at the last second, and trying to protect our sons at the same time. We haven't had a break to breathe in a long time. And that is where my nightmares come in.
I don't have them as often anymore because I have learned that life throws hard times at you and as long as I find a way to see it as a blessing in some way, then I can move on, almost unscathed, but stronger. I still panic, but my times of sheer panic are shorter and far between. I have learned that as long as we are still a family and my boys and husband are with me and we are all still laughing and unhurt, then what does the rest matter anyway?
But, I can't escape my dreams. And they always show me what I am truly feeling when consciously, I apparently have no idea.
This post is kinda long, so I will write about two of the dreams I've had lately tomorrow. I could write about this all day, but somebody has got to do my laundry. Unless someone else wants to volunteer. No? Okay, then I'd better go. I'm potty training and Max needs his Star Wars underwear.