crying wake ups – what does it mean?

Those who do not weep, do not see.”  – Victor Hugo

I’m sleeping soundly, and then I find myself crying in my sleep, and when I realize this, I am wrestling and struggling to wake up out of the dream – and when I wake, I have tears rolling down my face and the emotions build even bigger as I continue to cry.

I then realize, WAIT I just woke up out of a dream, why am I crying and why am I so sad?

Sometimes I will stop crying right away, sit and think about it, feel puzzled on what just happened! Then other times I will continue to cry out of my sleep, even sob and feel completely sad about whatever it is that I may have seen in my dream that made me have tears.

Sometimes the crying wake up is so bad that it leaves me feeling out-of-place all day, and it sits within me wondering “what is going on, and why does this keep happening to me”?

As some of you may know, I have written about this a few times on my blog, but for a few years now I have gone through bouts of crying as I wake up out of my sleep. It’s the worst feeling in the world because as our bodies sleep, our body is paralized, but the mind and emotions are not, therefore you truly feel what it is your feeling.

This has been a huge topic in therapy, and when I tell my therapist “I had a bad crying wake-up” he knows what that means. He understands the depth of how that makes me feel, and the struggle I have had with this for quite some time now. He will ask “did you continue to cry when you woke up, or did you stop it right away?” because there are times I will keep crying because I feel so incredibly sad, or I will stop it out of anger that it hapened again and why??!!

SO what does it mean and why does it happen? There are many theory’s written online like, “repressed emotions having a space to open up when you are at your most vulnerable (sleeping)”. But for me, I believe it has to do with the young inner child within – – showing her emotions when I am least likely to stop them.

Its no surprise that I fear having emotions. I have struggled with this my whole life, and this fear showed up most in therapy when I began expressing my emotions! I have a fear of showing emotions, therefor maybe that is why they show up in my sleep.

I’m not sure the reason, but I hate it and it feels horrible when it happens. When it happens it takes me out of my sense of self that whole day – even DAYS will go by that I struggle with the dream / crying wake up, even to the point of projecting.

Just this past week I had such a hard week in therapy since the crying wake up – I was projecting my feelings onto my therapist and in the room, but I can’t help it, this is what happens to me and it sucks.

SO for now, all I can do is pay attention to these cruyingwake up’s and work with them the best I can until I really get an understanding around them, but for now, its something I struggle with and I have no understanding around it and that is OK because it means something.

Does anyone else struggle with crying wake ups or crying out of your sleep

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31 Days of Finding My Voice {Day 1} – The Challenge

It’s another year of the October “31 Days Writing Challenge” and I have decided to take the plunge! I have to admit. I was really hesitant

I have to admit, I was really hesitant over whether I was going to do it again this year, its not easy writing every day for 31 days. Heck I have a hard enough time writing once a month! but I am up to the challenge, because this journey I am on, has always been about taking chances, pushing through, and mostly finding my voice.

This 31 days challenge of “Finding my Voice” is about letting whatever is here in my mind speak to the space of this challenge, this blog. My writing has always been about that – but this is on a deeper level. Most of the time I write when I feel up to it, or find the words to the blog – but this challenge is about pushing through to use my voice even on the days its hardest to write.

I can’t promise I will make it through the whole 31 days, but I am going to try my hardest, I am going to make it my own personal challenge, and maybe that will help me grow this blog to where it used to be years ago when I wrote daily.

Maybe this challenge is not just about finding my voice, but finding the courage to be even when the moment doesn’t feel right, and pushing myself to connect even on days I dont want to connect.

One of the things I love most about this challenge is the connection is creates with others. You connect with so many different people on this challenge who are all out to do the same thing – connect, and write and push themself to the limits of putting your thoughts out there – even on days you wouldn’t normally write. We are all in the same boat and that is an awesome connection.

So come back every day and see what words and thoughts find this space! I look forward to connecting with others on this 31 day challenge.

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awaken memories

The past couple of weeks I have been experiencing very strong, vivid dreams and memories of my past when I was a little child, and it’s been incredibly hard to sit with these memories that have come to me in my sleep.

I have written before about “crying wake up’s” that I experience once in a while – dreaming and then waking up crying out of my sleep. Well, its happening again only now it’s happening along with very vivid and strong memories of my past.

The moment I wake up with a dream like this, I try and grab my phone’s notepad app to write down whatever I can remember to capture as much as I can! If I fall back asleep without writing the dream down, I will forget details.

I have had crying wake up’s before! I had had bad dreams before, but this is different, this is vivid, and they are strong and painful even. These dreams have been effecting me and my personal life and connection to self.

My therapist and I have been talking about them more in session and the meaning behind them and what the dreams/memories may be trying to tell me. We have spoken about it, I have written about it, I even talked with someone who knew a lot about dreams from those abused in the past, or from abuse survivors.

The dreams and the wake up’s are the inner young child’s way of telling a story she holds! Sometimes when we work on healing for so long, the inner child begins to trust more, she begins to step away from the wall just enough to let images be visible from the young child’s perspective. My inner child is telling me a story of the past that needs my voice, needs healing, needs to be spoken for her to move on, and grow up to be the adult I am today.

I have been told many times that the inner child is stuck inside, and sometimes it takes years and years for the young inner child inside to finally be free and ready to accept the endured abuse and pain, and the story she holds to be told, to be felt, to be trusted!

I have been in therapy for ten years, and in these ten years, I have talked about my story many times in different ways. I have worked through a lot of the pain! I have worked through a lot of the images and the story behind my past. I have painfully stepped into my past.

But it’s different this time; I feel a different shift happening inside of me to where the young part of me feels present; particularly through these vivid, horrific, painful dreams.

These dreams feel so real like it’s happening all over again! It’s the closest I have been to the abuse since it has happened, and it’s scary and painful in ways I cannot describe.

So what do I do with this? At times I am afraid to shut my eyes to sleep at night. My therapist knows what “I had a crying wake up” means and just how hard that is for me – – but that doesn’t even touch just how painful these wake up’s are or have been these past couple weeks.

My husband has even experienced me struggling in my sleep many times this past month, and he has seen just how horrible it has been for me. The crying wake up’s, the wincing in my sleep, the struggle to get out of the situation I am in during these dreams.

What I have come to realize and understand is, this is not something to hurt me all over again, but more so a way for the young inner child within me to speak and show me what she holds. It’s her way of saying “this is what I hold, this is what I remember – and she looks for healing.

But what about all the years I have talked about my past? What about all the hard work I have done so far in working with the images and stories of my past? I thought I was healing? Why is this happening now? Well, This IS the healing! This is the young part of me healing!

Finally, she has trusted to come out of the dark shadows within and show me, to use my voice to talk about “her” feelings and “her” pain.

We all have an inner child! For those abused as a child, that inner child is “stuck” and “silenced” and driven to fear out of being told for many years that she is not allowed to talk about it!

Me as the adult I am today, I have told the story! I have re-lived the old images of the past- but the young inner child wasn’t ready yet, she stayed dormant to the healing until trust could build just enough to come out from behind the walls.

As the healing has happened within me over the years, the young inner child has finally become awaken to my truth, to the trust of my therapist who holds the story. I have spent ten years showing up and showing her trust, love, and connection. The young inner child has awakened to that healing I have worked so hard through – and now that young wounded child is here – listening and ready to heal.

A physical wound heals from the inside out – An emotional wound heals from the outside in! Think about it, emotional healing begins on the outside and works its way inward, and deep within is that wounded, scared little child stuck, now ready to heal and speak and talk and even feel, and that is what I have realized is happening inside of me.

I spoke with someone recently who specializes in healing the inner child, and she said to me “Karen, you are healing, the dreams and the wakeups are not there to hurt you, but to show you.”

Difficult to think about isn’t it? Doesn’t make it any easier to shut my eyes before bed knowing I could be shown yet another image of my past that is painful or hard to see – – but if I can heal another wound on the little girl inside of me, it’s worth going through the pain again.

It took me years and years to believe that I have an inner child. I didn’t want to believe it! I struggled with the thought that if I admitted to having an inner child, that something was wrong with me. I feel differently now – I welcome this journey, and I embrace whatever the inner child wants to show me, because I know, from the outside in, she is healing.

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