I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams

dramatic dream
dramatic dream (Photo credit: unNickrMe)

I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams.

I never thought that anyone besides me would ever get what that means, but I recently told a friend that, and she understood it completely. Now I’m wondering to other people experience the same thing?

Again, I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams.

Honestly, I love sleep. I think sleep is a great thing, one of my favorite pastimes, however I’m not really good at it. I am not a good night-time sleeper. Now you would sleep would be something that is easy to do. You don’t have to learn how to do it. Babies are born with the innate ability to sleep. It is a natural body response. Sleep. You can’t go too long without sleeping, and if you try to stay awake past a certain amount of time, your eyes get heavy, you mind gets delusional, and your body begin to take your whole self into a forced shutdown.

So why is it so hard for me to sleep?

My dreams. My dreams make it difficult for my body to rest. At night my body and mind are ready to sleep. It wants to sleep, and my mind is begging for a shut down period after running in overdrive to an over extensive amount of time. However once 11:00 pm to midnight come along, my body starts to despise sleep. It fights with sleep, goes into panic mode. Not an anxiety driven panic mode, but an avoidance  panic mode, ready to do anything else besides sleep.

My dreams are intense, they trigger intense emotion that have caused me to wake up in the heart of the middle of the night crying, anxious, worried, scared, and angry. My body responds to the dreams. My heart starts beating fast, if I am having an argument with someone I wake up angry with the biggest migraine because I am upset. Even though the emotion comes from the dream world, in the real world the effects are very much real.

I have intrusive, somewhat annoying dreams about ex-boyfriends. I am working on keeping the past in the past, but when the past pops up as a reoccurring item in my dreams it sends my mental state into a zone of chaos and confusion. This then takes a number of waking hours to recover from. I feel like I went from past to present real quick.  I wake up with the thought of wanting to make a phone call or send a text, but I often find myself fighting to stay grounded, it is not a good idea. It was just a dream.

My dreams have caused to me worry about my family. The realness of when someone dies, or when someone gets hurt in the dream world makes it hard to separate that from reality. I wake up with real tears, with real shivers, with a real feeling of emptiness. I become afraid in real life.  Once I know that everyone is ok, then and only then can I return to a state of calmness.

Am I crazy?

Probably just a little bit. Every once in a while, I have a very dark and frightening dream about being involved in a shooting massacre.  I know this is going to sound very strange. But this dream is reoccurring, and I am not sure why. I am always at a public place, the place my be different each time. It may be a school, a mall, or just outdoors. There is a mass shooting, one shooter is involved, I watch other people get shot, then the gun is pointed towards me, I am afraid, I feel the fright through the dream. I never get shot. As many times as I have had this dream, the shooter never shoots me. My life is spared. Then I wake up. I wake up in shock. It feels so real but, I have never been in an experience like the dream, but the dram is vivid.  The tears and rapid heart beat return, I can feel that intensely. That is real. I am alive. That is real. The dream was just that, a dream.

I am afraid to sleep at night because I am scared of my dreams. Does anyone else feel this way?

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Facing Fears

-“Fear is like a disease, if you don’t treat it, it will eat you up”

People always tell me that I am so brave since I just picked up and moved to Hawaii. They like to say “wow you didn’t know anyone, no friends, no family” and my response is always “nope”. I figure where there are people, someone will eventually become my friend. I may be a bit shy at times, but I am in no way anti social (sometimes I find myself running off at the mouth a bit too much!!!) So I was never worried about making friends, and eventually if your friends are close enough to you, they become like family. So I felt like if that was all I needed to live somewhere then, hey I was all set, and all my bases were covered. Moving to a new place was never a fear of mine, being bored and alone does not scare me either, I am pretty comfortable with me, and by the way, I am great company! It’s those past fears that continue to scare me, the same fears that I have had in NY, the same things that make me worry and stay up all night. Apparently for those fears there is no escaping from, and the more I try to forget that I was once afraid of theses things, the more I feel like they have followed me. And now it is time to turn around, stare them down with the black girl stank attitude, and stand up to what has scared me for most of my life. The time has come, I will yell loud to the highest point of earth and say I AM NOT AFRAID ANYMORE!!!!!

Well what is it that is scaring me so much? Let me give you some idea. To start I have always been afraid of the dark (yes I have been told by many people that there is nothing to be afraid of in the dark, and that is strange). But hey, darkness still scares me, espically when I am alone. I fear my not getting into a doctorate program ever in life, well its more like I am so afraid to ask people to write me a letter of recommendation. I wish I could just skip that part. I guess the fear is of a NO, so my fear is that I don’t like rejection! Yes I said it, rejection scares the crap out of me. I know “No’s” are a part of life, but i just like the word “Yes” so much better. So the thought of a professor telling me that NO, in their nice professor like way mind you, makes me too scared to ask, and to send a basic two line email. Yes how sad is that. I am afraid that my life won’t turn out the way I want it to, I fear not knowing next steps, not making right decisions, and not having answers to my own questions. My biggest fear since I could remember the feeling of being afraid is that my mother will end up dying. Now I know parents die, and as you get older you prepare yourself for that possibility, well not really prepare, but understand that death is a part of life. But I worry about my mother, worry that she is not taking care of herself, and that she won’t live to see me get married, or take care of my children. Yes I did say take care of my children! (well maybe on the weekends)!

I know for my fears are out of my control. So how do I face them? I don’t want them following me around anymore! I want to be done with them. I thought I would leave them in NY, but somehow they got in my suitcase, got on the plane with me and now live in Hawaii. Well I hope they have had their share of fun on this trip, because I am letting them go. Dropping them off, and kicking them into the middle of the ocean. I AM NOT AFRAID ANYMORE!!!! and  I decided a long time ago that I want to live, and now I want to live without fear. SO today is MY DAY, take back control of MY life, and just face the world as is, without being afraid. If I am really so brave as everyone says, I think its time for me to believe it. Enjoy the time that I have now with my friends, and family, and just live my life as is. Without worry about what will happen and focus on what is happening right now!

Before I came here a friend asked me what was I running from…my response to her was I am not running I am growing. I now realize I may have been running from everything that I was afraid of, hoping it would not find me ever again. But as I recognize the role the fears play in my life, and that I can be the sole person to overcome them, Yup I feel like am growing to a new level! One that cannot be matched by any fear that will try to take me down.

Sunny days are Great days!!!

Randomness 08-09 066Another day here on the island! As usual the sun is shining, and for going into the month of August the weather is not too bad. There is no overwhelming sticky humidity, like in NY, and I cannot see heat in front of me, so that is very good. Don’t get me wrong sometimes it can feel hot, but its OK because its more breezy, and I don’t feel like I am going to die from heat stroke. And the best part is that when I do get hot there is always an ocean nearby to go visit! The one thing I have learned here, is to never under estimate the power of the sun. I am realizing that sunshine in itself is like its very own anti depressant. With everyday sun, its seems like a reason to be happy, like things can be accomplished and there is no reason to sit around having a pity party. Ahhhh, those great pity parties we all know and love, I do not miss them one bit! I think I was the permanent hostess for the pity party, just sit around feeling sorry for yourself, and if your lucky you will get a couple of friends to join in so you don’t feel like a total loser. But alas, I have moved on (hopefully, still keeping my fingers crossed) and have begun traveling down a new road!

Enough of that, so I told you previously that I had a job here on this island, yes, yes, yes, I do work a normal (or somewhat normal) job. Even though I wonder, if I can just be a professional writer, hmmmm, lets put that on the list of future plans. But, for right now, in today’s depressing economy I have a job as a therapist. No not a physical therapist, or a massage therapist, a good old fashioned mental health therapist! Lovely line of work! No that was not sarcasm, its the truth it is a great line of work, that pays very crappy, but changes the lives of others!! Myself I work with families who have issues with their teens, which I find to be very funny at times. Mainly because what do I know about having teenagers, I am the single girl, who one day got tired of life and picked up and moved to someplace that would take anybody I know a whole day to actually reach! However, I have been told that I am am very good at what I do, and I really like working with my teen, now if only I could find a way to avoid their parents, hmmm, just a thought. I make home visits to my families here on the island, so I am the travelling therapist, its great, at least I know where I can find my clients (most of the time), and although with any job that I have ever had in life, I can complain about it forever, most importantly they give me a paycheck! So I will minimize my complaints (for now) and keep watching my bank account for my direct deposit! I am really grateful to my boss for allowing me to come to the island with a job, she never met me and hired me (that really does happen). So that’s mainly why I can sit here and write from the island, nice people in life can put you in a whole new place that you could never imagine.
As I work now as a family therapist, I keep feeling like there is so much more I should be doing and the biggest question that always comes to my mind is, am I reaching my highest potential? I have a feeling that there is so much more in me that is just bursting to come out. And when i say bursting, I really mean BURSTING to come out!!! I constantly have racing thoughts at night thinking about what I should be doing next, and how I can be doing more, feeling like sleep is a waste of precious time (maybe that’s a little bit too much, I do LOVE sleep). But just doing family therapy is no longer sufficient for making me who I am, the person that is forever growing. I have thoughts of being a writer, sometimes I feel like I would be a better writer than therapist, hence the blog thing, just a start. I am working on my first novel, look for it soon, hopefully in bookstores, and I would like to freelance, if only I knew how to break into that world. On the other hand, I like therapy and should be going on to get a Ph.D. so people can call me Doctor. Yes, Dr. Jennifer! Can’t wait for that day. A friend of mine nicely reminded me the other day that I can do both, I can be a Dr. and a writer, wow, that just made me tired thinking of it. But I am starting to realize that I want to do both, and maybe my deeper purpose in life is to do both. OK stay with me on that thought for today, because it may change tomorrow, when I return with a new careergoal. But for today I am Jennifer, the aspiring writer, and therapist, with dreams ofeventually being Jennifer Walton Ph.D. wow, that looks nice! As a therapist and writer I have no hopes of writing one of those boring psychology books though. My writing style is more like fiction novel, or real life based issues for magazines. I wouldn’t mind writing in Cosmo about the 10 hottest sex positions, or how to make you man get extra hot, that sounds like a fun job! Hey who wouldn’t want that job. But I promise no boring psychologybooks! Maybe a self-help book, just because it seems people actually buy those and keep stacks of them on their book shelves, I do need to make money here, remember working for non-profits the pay is crappy. So I will need people to actually buy what I write, and maybe make a few TV appearances.
So enough about me back to the island, if you are thinking about moving or visiting Hawaiilet me know! I can tell you what to do or how to make it here. I come from NY and they say if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. So moving to Hawaii wasn’t too much of a struggle, but if you come from lets say South Dakota, then maybe we need to talk about culture shock.
Today is a great day for some surfing, hiking, jet skiing, just drinking a mai tai. As is everyday which adds on to the wonderful experience. Don’t get me wrong, one day I will return to the mainland, where there are seasons, where the people work super extra hard, and stress and anger are everyday states of mind. But for today I think I will just live in the moment, and go back to discovering how to make my dreams come true!