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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letting {fear} write the script – no more

d46dadfa4eb678318ca9db801a7ae7b1I saw this quote last weekend and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since!

This quote really opened my heart and my mind to so many things around me; especially looking back on this hard year I have had.

The quote was this:

“Our eyes are not just viewers they are also projectors that are running a 2nd story over the picture that we see in front of us all the time! Fear is writing that script, and the working title is “I will never be enough”.

When I read that quote it was like something huge shifted inside of me; something that I have never felt before. Something changed, I changed, my feelings changed, my outlook changed!

If you really read the quote, it tells us that no matter what we have going on in front of us, there is always a 2nd story being written over what is really here! FEAR writes the script of what it is that is really here and that fear gets in the way at times, and most of the time that script is telling us “I am not enough”.

This quote has defined exactly what the past couple of years has been for me.

As readers of my blog, I know you have read many different versions of what I am going through. Sometimes I feel on top of hope, and other times I am not so sure. I have written about the REALLY hard, and the REALLY good. I have had moments where I thought I was going through a really good shift, but then realized later it was false hope.

This time, it feels SO different! I feel SO different!

Something shifted over thanksgiving break and I have never felt a sense of movement like I do now. I have never felt so connected as I do now.

Over thanksgiving break I took a step out of my head and really got clear about what was going on around me. I told my therapist that I wanted the week of Thanksgiving break to be time for me to get out of my head and time for me. I didn’t want to connect over break; that I trusted the really good connection we have.

It was a great break for me to get out of my head, away from the healing, and really get curious and clear about where I am! it was amazing!

This past year has been about not feeling good enough, not feeling worthy enough, not feeling good about myself causing me to be in this place of isolation… but what was really going on inside of me? What was causing this isolation?

What 2nd story was being played out in front of what was real? I realized, it was FEAR .. and knowing that now gives me hope of what I need to do next! In fact, I am changing hope to faith – because faith holds more promise than hope.

Coming back into my healing after the Thanksgiving break was nothing short of amazing connection! This past week was the best week I have ever had in therapy! I am more connected now than I have ever been – ever!

My therapist and I are both so excited about the path going forward! So many thoughts and ideas I have about what caused this isolation and what is really here in front of me that needs a place to be placed.

Today my therapist and I were talking about this big shift and he was glowing with excitement! He slid over to me and gave me the biggest hug of connection telling me how proud he was of me and just how DIFFERENT he see’s this shift to be and how there is big opportunity here in this big shift! It’s EXCITING!

I plan to share some of these steps with you all. I know I haven’t written much in the past week and a half, but I took a small week or so break from writing so I could really get clear about this new shift and path I am on. I didn’t want to jump ahead too quickly before I really knew what God was showing me.

I have come to realize that FEAR is the script that got in the way of where I was going this past year, and more so the past COUPLE of years. I let outside circumstances really steer the course of my healing path and it got the best of me, and now I am here writing my OWN script to my healing … no longer letting fear take control over what I want, and what I need going forward!

Fear is a huge obstacle that can get in the way of many things! That quote was right on .. there will always be a 2nd story over the truth of what is really in front of us if we let Fear control the story. WE HAVE a choice! I HAVE A CHOICE, an I know that now.

A part of the healing is realizing what that 2nd story is telling us, and how to focus on the truth of what is real vs what is not.

I hear and know that loud and clearly!

I am excited! It will be some work moving through some of the things I need to move through, but I am ready to face whatever it is I need to do to re-write the script fear has forced upon me the past couple of years!

This place I have been in is no place for me … isolation and feelings of unworthiness is not the place God would want me to be, thats not the story God has written for me or my path.

One step at a time is what is needed … however big or small – at least it’s a step “out” and not a step “in”.

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a new kind of hope

hope in handsIn all the years I have been writing in this blog, never have I named the subject of the post the same as the name of the blog – but today it fits! I found a new kind of hope today.

Today in session my therapist said something that latched onto something deep and it gave me tears so fast that we both wondered “where did the tears come from, and what do they mean?”.

and I opened up….

I opened up about something today that gave both my therapist and I “a new kind of hope” going forward on this path. Something that gave more understanding to why I am struggling to find the path I was on before the past “hard” year happened.

I was the adult before I was the child, and well to be honest, I dont think I have ever been the child, but lately I feel the emotions of the 9 year old child that I put away to live forward.

Being a victim of child sexual abuse I had to grow up quick, and whatever emotions I had, I had to put them away. Every tear, every bit of fear, every bit of anger, or sadness, confusion – I put deep inside of me, and I became the adult at the age of 9 – hell I became the adult when I was 5-6-7-8-9 when my choices of being a child were taken from me.

Something about this past year when things got really hard and I got re-triggered by many many things – brought big big feelings right to the surface and I feel as if the emotions and the feelings and the anger of the 9 year old child are finally coming out.

Today as the 40+ year old adult, I am confused as to why I am feeling all these confusing feelings that are painful, sad, and anger filled.

I want more than anything to stuff them back away and continue being the strong adult woman, mom, wife and friend I created myself to be since I was little, but for some reason, those tools of stuffing don’t quite work the way they used to work. I dont have the ability to build walls like I did as a child.

I took a hammer to those walls 6 years ago when I first walked into therapy and continue hammering away at those walls even to now. Those walls are pieces all over the floor, and simply they cannot be re-built.

Rebuilding those walls are no longer an option to cover the pain, and today for the first time in years of working on this in therapy, I realized I can’t build walls anymore, I don’t have the tools, and therefor I need to honor all the emotions that surfaced in order to heal.

Today there was hope that there is no fear in feeling what I should have felt as a child – just like the anger I had Tuesday.

These emotions that are here are telling me something – maybe God is trying to tell me something through these feelings.

My therapist while sitting next to me this morning took my hand, held it, and said to me “I now know whats going on inside of you, and I can help you“.

A NEW KIND OF HOPE!

that is the first thing I thought of when he said those words to me today. It’s what my blog and my writing represents. HOPE to move forward in the knowing and not the unknown.

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As I was driving home from session I felt this opening inside of me happening! I opened up to my therapist in a big way today and told him exactly how I felt inside, and he understood, heard me, and he really got it!

This wise woman name “Mary Armstong” once said to me “You have to love the child inside and honor the child inside of you in order to fully heal her pain

Today I think I finally understand what that means. I always had this feeling of shame or guilt that I would ever allow myself to honor something I stuffed away at 9 years old – because my thought was “if I feel those feelings when I was child, it means I am not healing, I am sick, and I will never move out of this“. I can only imagine where I got that impression from, could have been the millions of times my abusers said “it’s your fault, your bad“.

Deep inside of me the 9 year old emotions want out, and, in a scary fearful way, I need to honor that, because if I dont, I will always carry around with me those emotions and feelings that never had a reason to be, and I will never let go to heal for me.

I dont think I like the idea of feeling emotions that I stuffed away at 9 years old, but I also don’t like the feelings I have right now in feeling trapped. I guess Mary Armstrong was right, I need to love the child inside of me that I was, before I can love the adult I am today.

I remember this quote I read once from a philosopher

we all have the child inside of us, each and every one of us –  it’s up to us how we let that child go. Some of us already have, and some of us are stuck from painful memories and abuse

– I am stuck.. and I need to find a way to let her go.

I do walk towards this in fear, but I also walk in confidence that the support that surrounds me; will see me to the end of my new beginning no matter how hard the road is.

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feelings of anger

love-quotes-026I had big anger in session yesterday!

I didn’t plan it, I didn’t really see it coming, but then again anger has been at the surface for a while now; it was just a matter of time before it found it’s way out to be heard, seen and felt.

When I think of anger I think about holding onto a rope with a beast of some kind at the other end pulling and dragging me and not being able to get control of the rope.

Anger is something I struggle with. I avoid it, swallow it, and find every way possible to move away from it. Anger is a hard emotion for me to feel, accept or even talk about.

I am angry, and I have a right to be.

I woke up yesterday morning and thought about this past year and how hard it was for me, and the moment I allowed myself to go to that place of anger thinking about the past year, my ears got hot, my insides were flushed, and I began to talk words inside my head – and well, lets just say it wasn’t very nice or christian like.

I have spoken often about what I have been through in the past year. Yes I have found ways of letting go, I have found ways of moving away from it, and towards myself and this wonderful path I have in front of me – but I have never allowed myself to really feel and be with anger about it.

A part of me feels that if I feel or talk about the anger it means I am not letting it go; that I am allowing myself to be stuck – but somehow yesterday I felt maybe that wasn’t the case, maybe feeling the anger and talking about it gives me more movement going forward. Maybe allowing myself to write about anger in my blog helps to give an outlet to the anger. Maybe speaking about the anger gives me more empowerment and not dis-empowerment.

I am angry! I am angry because I have gone through a hard year that was totally unfair and inexplicable unnecessary.

I am angry because in this past year of hardness it caused me to go so far off my path that it was incredibly hard to find that path back.

I am angry because simply “this did not need to happen”. I was a woman going about my healing, working hard, minding my own business and someone came and ripped that from under-neath me – no reason  – not even a good excuse.

I am angry that just because I am who I am, and have what I have, I was punished by triggers and feelings of fear by someone else’s insecurities put on me – which baffles me because, I dont know who in the hell would want my life. Live a day of my life in 2 O’Clock and I guarantee you will be scratching your way out begging for yourself and your own life back.

I am angry that I am still working through the many things that this caused to surface from my past through the triggers and fears.

I am angry that a year of my healing was derailed and had to crawl, kick, cry and suffer to find my way back up.

What I have come to recently accept is  – just because the situaiton has stopped, doesn’t mean I can’t or don’t have big feelings about it.

Years ago I would have swallowed it and let it go, but today I am (very very slowly) learning, these are my feelings, and I have the right to feel them with no guilt or shame.

My support reminds me everyday “You have a right to feel the way you feel“, and somewhere inside I know that – but I struggle a little with it because I have always been the person of reason. I have always been the type of person that doesn’t allow myself to stay in that place for the sake of feeling the anger or emotions around it.

As a child, I learned whatever emotion I was feeling, “you get RID of it and get rid of it NOW!! Stand straight, sit up and suck it up! smile and move on.

Yesterday in session I showed anger, and felt anger.

My therapist wasn’t afraid of my anger, he wasn’t scared or judged me, in fact he helped me get to some of that deep anger yesterday. He walked along side of me in the anger, even held the pillow as I wrestled with the anger and allowed me to be with no judgement. He gave me safety in my anger; reminding me that what I feel is right and true.

But what I also know is this:

I know that I will never have the answers to why this past year happened or why I went through what I went through.

I dont have the meaning or reason behind the crazy making behind it. There is no making sense of something that doesn’t make sense.

What I do know is what I can do about it, and I am doing just that.

I am moving on towards me and the path my support has laid out in front of me with open arms.

I have a soft place to land that is safe and surrounded by connection and support.

What I do know is, I am on the other side of this; working towards me and only me by not trying to find answers in something that will never have a justifiable answer.

I know that somewhere God has put a message in this hard year that needs gentle attention, healing, and knowing.

I am relieved that this situation has come to an end and that I can breathe a little better knowing I can finally move forward from this.

I know there is continued work around what has been surfaced because of this, but I also know I have support in that.

A year ago at this time I was the in the middle of what was going to be a hard long year, and today I have the choice to move out of it, and I have, and I did.

The empowerment in this is – what I know is a lot more vs. what I dont know.

one of my favorite quotes is this :

“Time Heals what Reason Cannot”
– Roman Philosopher Seneca

There is so much truth in that statement, and a part of that time is allowing myself the anger and sadness that this past year brought me.

You know, maybe some people can wash their hands of it and move on for the sake of moving on – but I choose to move on and allow myself to feel as I should, because feeling is a part of that movement forward.

I spent a lifetime “moving on for the sake of moving on” not being able to own one bit of my emotions, and that led me to endless pain and suffering – and even isolation as a child .. I won’t do that to myself today.

So it doesn’t mean I haven’t moved on, it simply means I am moving forward – towards me  – something worth way more than what the year has brought onto me.

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quieting the inner child

innerchild (1)I struggle with the inner voice to my past everyday; the inner voice being the past beliefs of all that I was told, all that I believed, and all that I was abused into.

Everyone has that little voice of reason inside of them, you know, It’s that gut feeling, or voice inside that allows us to weigh out hard decisions or choices.

That inner voice that warns us that something doesn’t feel quite right, a second guess, a doubt, or a fear. Well imagine living with that every day – welcome to my life.

For me, the inner voice is my past, and it keeps me from doing anything without a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th guess – TRUST WHAT?

The inner voice is the child I was when I was abused. I was abused sexually from the age of 5 till I was 11, but the beliefs and the inner voice is the 9 year old, because that is the age I came to the understanding that what was happening was not right, and “hey, this is not right, this doesn’t feel right anymore, they are hurting me, not loving me”.

That is the age I started to fight inside and knew deep deep inside that this is not what a child should be doing or going through. This is the age I started to fight them off, and this is the age I started to plan the “how do I tell” – and I did tell at the age of 10.

The 9 year old child inside today is the past and the beliefs that no matter what anyone says, it will have it’s say before I can rationally be what what is vs what I hear.

When someone says something, I have to hear it 2 or 3 times before I even consider it to be true or right or true. There is always that voice inside of me that doubts everyone’s intentions – there HAS to be a motive, how can anyone do anything for me without there be some form of abuse attached to it.

As the adult today over 40, married, and who has 3 beautiful boys of her own, I know I am no longer in that abuse. I know I am not being hurt, but that little voice inside of me always makes me take a step back in fear – because nothing is safe.

There is a good side to that, but there is also a bad side to that; or as my therapist would describe it – “a blessing and a curse”. The blessing is, it allows me to have boundaries and walls that are needed.. the curse is it allows me boundaries and walls that are not needed.

When someone tells me “I care about you” the inner voice of the past say “at what cost?, whats in it for you?”.

When I am told I am supported, loved and cared for, that small voice inside says “yeah but, what if, are you sure?, maybe I am not good enough”.

This is a huge obstacle for me in my healing and always has been. It has been helpful at times, and other times it has gotten in my way from accepting the beautiful things that people offer me.

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the fear of emotions

Before leaving my session today, my therapist said to me, “either you are going to write the best blog you have ever written because of today, or you won’t be able to find the words”. It was that big!

He was right about both. I at first couldn’t find the words, and now, as I sit with today, it’s all coming to me in a way that I have never been more present than I am now.

Today I felt emotions so big; that eventually it slowly melted away the fear I have had towards emotions for a very long time. I didn’t just cry and have tears behind a wall or that wall of fear, I truly had emotions and felt every single drop of a tear.

It was the kind of tears that left me with splotchy cheeks, puffy eyes, a red nose, and a feeling of complete exhaustion!

Today I cried and  felt true emotions, and also came relief that I never expected.

Today was my longer session that I have on Tuesdays. On my way in, I knew right away that something was going on inside. I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and I knew something wasn’t right inside. I wasn’t my usual strong and optimistic self.

When I got there, I was trying hard to blame it on the “bad energy” in the room; when in fact it was me knowing within that I was holding a lot, but wanted to stay strong.

I have been on this constant push for 2 months now since I came home from my visit to NH. I haven’t stopped running forward since. I have been writing, connecting, being with, talking my work out, doing the timeline, and finding new ways to push through this path I have been on since coming home.

I have had this constant Adrenalin rush of finally having power over my healing and my past; that I haven’t wanted to stop. To be honest? I haven’t stopped at all since, and I found myself to be growing very tired over the past couple of days!

Today in session, my therapist said to me “it’s time to slow down and honor what’s inside. You are holding hard hard emotions from the past 2 months. It’s time to slow down, and check in with yourself to see what needs to be said”. He said “Strength can also be found in honoring the emotions of what is going on inside”.

Just hearing those words, my heart was racing and pounding. I felt like this huge wave of darkness came over me. I felt sick and ill, I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath.

I don’t like emotions. In fact I hate them! emotions scare me. I can feel emotions to a point, but then it stops at a brick wall and wont let me to go any further ahead. The emotions I do have, I have to be alone with them because I hate people seeing me have emotions! I will find myself crying sometimes and not truly allow myself to feel it or understand it; but I know it’s there and I just go through the motions.

Tears were like acid to me, I was fearful of crying my whole life. All these years of therapy and every single time I felt emotions coming on, I would stand up and pace the room back and forth, with him pacing with me until I forced them out. With that I went into this anxiety ridden circle of suffering during the emotions until they finally came out.

Old messages always showed up when emotions were at the surface. I couldn’t even hear or say the word “crying”  just a year ago – but that did not happen today – I felt, understood and honored it with no fear today.

Today while fighting it and fighting it, I was asked, “whats there? talk to me”. Something happned inside, I felt fear, I felt the need to run and leave – but I finally gave in! I crawled up into a ball, and just put my face into the back of the couch and just CRIED! I let go! Support sitting right next to me – offering a hug and a hand, but I didn’t want it at that moment. I wanted to feel and be with what was going on inside. I didn’t want comfort or words to cover what I was feeling. I felt I needed to be in that moment that held onto me for all these years – it was me letting go!

For the first time in years working with my emotions, I didn’t care that I was being seen sobbing into the couch! I cried for over an hour, and this feeling came over me that I have never felt before. The fear of emotions were leaving me, the old messages were finally packing up and leaving me since the age of 5 – I was no longer scared in the emotions that I was having. For the first time I didn’t want to get up and run for the door, or stand up and pace in circles!

I cried out my feelings with words (or trying to get words out). I was thinking about all the things that hurt inside that I was holding onto since coming home from NH. I allowed myself to be seen in my mess of soaking tears; finally allowing support to comfort me, but then going back to my face in the couch, and pillow.

I stayed with it knowing exactly what I was going through. I honored it, and for once I had no fear of the one thing that has held me back for almost 40 years – EMOTIONS!

I was finally able to look up and face the room and my therapist sitting next to me; knowing that I allowed myself to be so vulnerable! I allowed myself the comfort and support sitting there in realization. It’s almost as if all the lies and old messages up and finally left me. I not only released emotions, but I released the lies that held me captive – the fear was melting away.

I don’t know all the things I said while crying, but I knew that I felt every bit of it (all the stuff I held since facing my past up in NH 2 months ago). I think I lost 50 pounds in emotional fat today!

In the moments of emotions, I really understood the depth of what I went through, and how much it hurt inside. I felt bad for myself this time, not for them. I felt bad for myself this time, not “her” the 9 year old, or the 5 year old, or the 13 year old – I felt bad for ME and all that I went through. I kept saying over and over “I didn’t ask for this, I am a good person, this was not my fault”.

Another wound open, another wound closing to heal with truth, but this time, I felt everything!

I think I made a joke at one point in the end and said “there you go, I felt the emotions, can I go back to being strong now please?” (In my Karen sarcasm that I pull out of my pocket once in a while) which was then followed by complete laughter after a hard 2 hours.

My therapist being the goof he can be sometimes, he actually stood up and did his own little dance in celebration, because I actually came out and said “I’m not afraid of the emotions in this moment”. It only took 5 years to get to this point. I needed that laugh.

Another wound open – another wound to healed with truth.

I didn’t work on my timeline today, but then again, I Did. This moment that God gave me allowed me to gain yet another foothold going forward.

“Finding Strength in Weakness”

I am blessed by the support, and like Andy said today and always has said, “God is always here with us in these hard moments”. I believe that today more than anything.

In this moment I am experiencing an “emotional hang over”. I am relieved yet feeling how hard this truly was today. I know in time over the next couple of days, I will gain strength from this, and it will help me to open another wound, and close another wound with truth.

As I am writing this, tears are finding my eyes again, I finally let GO of the fear behind the emotions! I let go today and chose me over them!

Tomorrow is another day. I show up again, and I now come back with more strength – moving forward into another part of my healing; another part of my story.

I sit here and breathe, knowing that I am supported, loved and cared for by everyone, and that finally it’s MY TURN to heal!

I’m truly relieved in letting some go –  to make room for more goodness.

 

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