I can not remember a time growing up when I did not have nightmares. When I was little I saw the train on a younger siblings crib come off the crib and run over me. I used to have dreams of trying to driving my granddaddy’s 1950 Chrysler Imperial, with all my siblings in the back seat. I was trying to get away from the bad men in black suits and hats, who I could see coming in the rear view mirror. I was 11 when those dreams started.
Then I used to have the falling dreams, where I was falling out of all kinds of things and would wake up with my heart pounding and a hissing sound in my ears. It was very traumatic and I don’t remember telling my parents, but I would think I did. Probably I told them. That is what would happen normally, isn’t it?
So then the driving dreams progressed to driving the big green beast of a car, with siblings in the back across Wyoming. Wyoming where it is a straight road over hills and more hills. And the low parts had rising water in them, which would surprise the locals. I eventually stopped on the top of a hill, as I knew it was certain destruction to drive into the water, with these children, I was responsible for. I had the rising water nightmares for years and the bad men chasing me dreams, too.
And in all these dreams, I never was fending for only my own life. I always had the responsibility of protecting my sibs.
Later I had dreams of not being able to get out of a house. No matter what door I opened, I was still inside the building and it felt like I spent all night trying to get away from some unnamed horror to non avail.
And when I went 1700 miles away to college, I had dreams in the night that Jennifer, my baby sister was in danger. I would want to wake my mom up to go check on Jennifish and a few times I did wake her. Jennifish was always fine and asleep.
When I got pregnant with my first child, I had nightmares that all manner of things were wrong with him. He had Down Syndrome or other serious problems, I don’t remember now, but I would worry all day and be afraid to sleep at night. This went on until November 28th, 1976 when he was born. Fine. Healthy. No problems. No more bad dreams about that. Until I got pregnant with Trevor and then David and Stephan and Alex. And then I had other bad dreams.
I would dream I was driving somewhere with my children and the door would fall off and we didn’t use seat belts back then and the kids would tumble out and I would stop and try to find them in the underbrush while wild animals slinkered near the kids I left in the vehicle, exposed, with no doors. It was horrible.
Sometimes my bad dreams would wake me up and I would not be able to shake the fears. I would lay there in my bed afraid. Afraid in the dark, like I had been my whole life. It didn’t matter a big husband person was happily sleeping in the same bed. I was still terrified and did not want to go back to sleep.
There is a lot more to the nightmare/bad dream thing in my long life, but I realize a couple of things. One is I never slept well in my whole, very long life until I had listened to The Listening Program for 13 weeks straight. Then I started sleeping 7 hours every night for weeks. The last few have been bumpy as I’ve had a lot of stress in my life. I am sleeping better than before, regardless.
The other thing I realize is that since I started listening to TLP, I have been remembering so many things from my super long life… stories of my childhood and things that happened and tough times I’ve had as an adult. The memories have flooded in allowing me to see them from the perspective of a 55 year old grown woman and deal with them. It is a very grounding and structurally solid place to be.
I thought I would feel safe with an allegedly loving man beside me, but it took years to realize, he was another source of my fears, keeping me awake and sleepless. And I repeated that pattern in other relationships and hopefully have learned that ugly lesson!
It now feels safe to sleep at night. I don’t wake up fearful and in a panic with emotions running rampant. Even with tremendous stress, I’m waking up rested and rejuvenated. It’s a process I will continue with. TLP makes me feel good physically. It helps me get and stay balanced. It frees those things I no longer need in my life, creating space for that which is new, fresh, healing and correct for me.