vulnerable in my sleep

54eb69a02583a_-_6-dream-mysteries-solved-mdnI have woken up many times in the past week crying out of my sleep; literally crying with tears and all out of my sleep.

I have written about this experience before and its something that I have gone through quite a bit in the past couple of years.

This past week I have experienced this almost every other night and it has left me feeling emotionally drained!

I have talked about it with Andy in therapy and he knows this has been something I have struggled with for years, but we never have put a secure understanding of why it happens when it does and what it truly means.

It happened again last night, only this time I cried for an additional hour after I woke – when normally I would fall asleep almost immediately after waking from the crying.

My therapist and I think it has something to do with emotions finding their way out when I am most un-able to stop them – in my sleep.

Tonight I did some research on this – even contacted someone who specializes in dreams and I found out some really interesting things about this.

These wake ups of crying is not only emotions finding their way out, but its my body’s way of letting me know that I have surpressed emotions that are trapped by fear of showing emotions in front of someone.

Emotions and showing emotions have always been something I struggle to show or be with. I have written about this a couple of years ago called “Fear of Emotions

Even after 8 1/2 years of therapy, I still struggle to show or have emotions in therapy, or even outside of therapy. I have this intense ability of keeping my emotions in check no matter how bad I feel inside.

Reading more on this “waking up crying” it says: according to mind/body medical experts, repressed feelings and emotions don’t just go away. They actually remain in the body, taking up our energy and laying the groundwork for emotional distress which can be emotionally damaging.”

Another Dr who writes about this says: “Unexpressed emotions tend to ‘stay’ in the body like small ticking time bombs,” she says. “They are illnesses in incubation. The danger, experts agree, is that when we delay acknowledging our emotions, this can lead our body to speak louder and louder to get our attention.” –

Hence me waking up crying out of my sleep is my body’s way of saying “your leaking!!!!”.. they say when you repress your emotions, the body tries to find places to express those emotions when we are vulnerably able and in the sleep is the one place the body rests the most.

It makes sense, but it doesn’t cure my fear of emotions or talking about them.

I found it interesting that in this article one DR writes: “This could also be due to repression from an external source, such as a person that will not allow you to cry or a person that you are afraid to cry in front of.”

I spent my whole childhood fearing my own emotions and spent many nights rocking back and forth in my closet trying to swallow them or talking them away! I feared crying in front of anyone because as a child, I wasn’t allowed to cry “or else!” I was SHAMED for crying.

I don’t like crying in therapy, it sends me signals that I am going to be harmed if I show emotions. I have this shame come over me like I am doing something terribly wrong.

I have had emotions in therapy, but its incredibly hard and I work my hardest to swallow them as fast as I can. It’s not something I like to talk about, and even writing about this right now is making me a little anxious and I want to stop …..

But I also don’t like the feeling of waking up and having thee heart wrenching moments that I don’t understand.

In a way, I am sad now because I realize how much I am repressing myself and the younger inner child that is healing from having emotions that I hold.

In the article and most of the Dr’s say the best way to move through this is to talk about the feelings, talk about those things that are repressed allowing myself to feel them, not just talk about them. I cringe at that thought as it’s not something I feel comfortable with, but I also don’t want to wake up feeling the way I have been the past week!

This healing journey has come with many different paths, and this is the one path I always detour around, and maybe its time to take that path and learn how to heal the very things I fear …. emotions.

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its a choice – my choice

choiceWednesday morning while driving into therapy, I was feeling a bit disconnected – I woke up not being sure I wanted to show up to session and be vulnerable to how disconnected I felt – I felt a bit quiet inside like emotions were right there at the surface . . . . .

Then… 3 words came to my mind and into my heart – ITS A CHOICE!

I have the choice to feel the way I am feeling! I have a choice to show up just as I am, and let my therapist connect with me and connect back! I have a choice to change anything that is going on inside of me!

Tears began to well up, and emotions were really present! Those 3 words just hit my heart so strongly, and I knew it was a message from God in that moment!

When I got to session, I could tell right away my therapist had this great energy about him. He was open and really gentle with his words, and his demeanor was soft.

Even though he could already tell, I told him right away “I am feeling really quiet, and emotions feel close to the surface, and you know how hard that is for me”.

Even after 8 1/2 years of therapy, emotions are still something I struggle to express!

My therapist then said something to me that was probably one of the most caring things I have ever heard him say, and he said to me “you work so hard in here, and I imagine you waking up this morning you just wanted to have a break from feeling all these feelings and working so hard in therapy like you do, it makes so much sense you would wake up feeling the way you did, and in this moment I wonder (and this may seem silly), but I wonder to myself,  what if I can have the emotions for you?” …

I smiled a little, part of me being in shock, and then said to him “although that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, no one can feel my emotions for me, and to be honest, I wouldn’t want anyone to“.

It was in that moment I really understood just how much my therapist cares about me; how much he is here to support and walk this journey with me. (not that I didn’t know this or trust this after 8 1/2 years of working together) But hearing those words, I really got just how much I am supported in this journey and how blessed I am for that.

He also knows deep inside that it’s not possible to have someone’s emotions for them, but a part of him wished he could do that work for me so I could have a break!

It didn’t sound silly to me, because I know what its like to want to take pain away from someone else, I just never imagined anyone would want to do that for me.

I get it .. I really get it now.

I shared with him the 3 words I heard on my way in “It’s a choice” and I went on to tell him what it is I have the choice to do!

I have the choice to feel better when I feel sad..

I have the choice to not let fear over-take me.

I have the choice to not let others and their actions keep me in a place of disconnect.

I may not have the choice to change others, but I have the choice to change me and how I perceive the actions of anything outside of my power.

I have the choice to TAKE MORE STEPS!

I have the choice to HEAL what isolation I have been in for the past 2 years.

No one can take that choice for me, because no matter what happens, it’s up to me how I react and move through this journey and choose my feet to the path I take.

When I said all this, my therapist just sat with me in awe of the 3 words I put out there. “GOD is with you, God is with us in this moment he said”.

He went on to tell me that in this choice, I have his support, his care, his wisdom and guidance and I am not alone in this journey. He even went on to tell me how sad it was that I had to fight so hard every-day through this hard isolation I have been in the past couple of years, but he sees so much hope of me moving out of this because of that CHOICE I see and hear.

And I finally get it! I finally understand that no matter how I feel, no matter how many mornings I wake up in fear, no matter what feelings hit me, I have the choice to turn that around and direct it in any direction I want.

I can take the sadness I sometimes feel and turn it where it belongs and away from me. I can take the anger I have pent-up inside of me, and turn it away from me and direct it where it belongs –

HOW?

By talking about it – by letting someone hear about my sadness and anger and finding a way to re-direct it right to where it belongs, – By writing about it – getting my feelings out to where they belong – and I have been doing those things this past year, only now, I BELIEVE in it, and I know the choice is mine now! I accept that these feelings and anger and sadness and frustration and fear are not mine to hold, I don’t deserve these feelings!

The energy in therapy room yesterday was nothing I have ever experienced! My therapist sometimes describes the energy as “sacred” … and that is what it was – SACRED!

When we come to an understanding  – especially when it’s from God, It hits you a certain way to where you have this acceptance and belief and a moment where you take a breath just knowing “its Going to be ok”

As the session began to grow close to ending, my therapist said to me “I just want you to know you are so safe, and I am going to “watch” and “guard” and make sure nothing gets in the way, and if anything even looks remotely close to getting in the way, we will talk about it, I will tell you right away!

I felt this relief come off my shoulders and chest like I have never felt before. My heart was filled with so much thankfulness in that moment.

CHOICE .. it’s all about the choices I have to make something different! I can’t change the choice of anyone else but my own, and I think I finally see that my choice is just as strong (if not stronger) than the will of others.

All this on the [temporary path] that God led me on this past week.

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my therapist; someone I admire

Andy Dishman Therapist
Andy Dishman

As a part of my Tuesday at Ten prompt “Who do you admire/who inspires you” it was so easy as to who I would write about as “this someone” has had such an impact on my life for the past 8 years.

This person who I admire and who inspires me is my therapist Andy; someone who has taught me so much, and has helped me to see the things I could never see before I took the steps to healing.

Andy is such a wonderful person who has so much to teach and give others; someone who uses that god given gift as a way to help people heal and live – just as he has done for me.

I look to his wisdom as a way to see things that are sometimes hard to see, and he inspires me to be a better person everyday because of his wisdom and the person that he is.

Andy and I have been working alongside each other on this amazing journey for a little over 8 years now. 8 years healing alongside someone who inspires me to keep my feet on the path of healing moving forward on days where the path seems impossible to conqueror.

When I was as little as 6 years old, I remember sitting and rocking alone in the closet and praying to God that I wished I had someone I could trust telling all my big secrets to; the secrets that had me living in silence for so long. The secrets that kept the pain hidden deep within.

I remember asking God in a prayer for someone who could hear and help take away the big scary feelings that I was holding alone. This was an everyday prayer in between the abuse, pain and loneliness I endured day-to-day.

I imagined having a person who would hear my story, and keep that story in a safe box so I didn’t have to hold it alone; someone who would believe when others told me “no one ever will”.

30 years later, God finally answered my prayers. I look at it as, God knew I was strong enough to heal by taking those steps that lead me to this healing path – –  and awaiting on the other side of this journey was a God chosen therapist who would have such a huge impact on my life, and my healing journey; someone who is very near and dear to my heart.

From the moment I walked into the therapy room a little over 8 years ago, Andy has truly made me feel like this space of healing is mine; a place where using my voice would never be a consequence – yet met with love, care and support.

He has taught me so much about safe connection when connection didn’t feel safe. He has helped me to find and use my voice as a way to heal, and become the person that God created me to be.

He was someone who taught me what the touch of  “his finger to my finger” meant in connection and how that was the beginning of a safe connection and a safe relationship, and the beginning of big steps towards internal healing.

Taking that step into therapy was one of the most vulnerable scariest things I have ever done in my life; but because of the therapist and person Andy is, I found a place of true healing, and I still continue to every day as I take more and more steps through and forward.

Because of him, I found what connection to life meant; no longer being a prisoner behind walls of lies from the past.

I believe God chose my therapist Andy for this role he has had in my healing, and I am so grateful that God chose him.

God has truly given him a gift … I imagine so many other people have been touched and healed by his big caring heart and wisdom filled teachings – I know I have and I truly am honored to walk this path and continue to walk this healing path with him.

Thank you so much Andy for your wisdom, insight and guidance – – for your support care and big heart. God truly had a plan for you and you are living that plan by helping others to heal.

Therapy is a hard vulnerable process, but a process that I know has taken me to many different places on this journey that I could not do alone, and I am healing every day as a result of that ..

thank you so much Andy for being who you are. You are truly one of my favorite people.

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