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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the powering in just being

tumblr_mm4w2oe4vj1s8rc3io1_400I have spent a lifetime hiding behind “true emotions” and putting up walls of okay-ness.

I have spent more time in my life putting on a fake front and swallowing the true emotions of how I really feel just to protect others around me.

I ask myself – What am I protecting them from? that is a good question, I don’t know, I only know that however I am feeling needs to be put away because I need to be strong and how I really feel doesn’t matter.

or so I thought …

This past weekend I have come to accept and realize that it’s more work to hide my feelings and put up a front, than it is just to BE however I am feeling and let it be known by those around me.

I have found myself crying on a whim this weekend and I was confused as to why, but after reading a very insightful and supportive email from my therapist tonight, I know why –  I’m allowing myself to BE and that is painful, yet healing!

My therapist and I talked about something very big in session Friday and I opened up some pretty big wounds; wounds that were deep yet insightful. Wounds that were GOOD to open up, but hard to clean out and sit with.

Imagine how painful it is to sit with an open wound that is not yet healed? well that is what this weekend was for me after a big but wonderful session that we had Friday.

I went out for a car ride 9:30pm Saturday night and I was SOBBING while trying to drive, and I thought to myself “what the HELL is going on?” “WHERE IS MY WALL?” … and I realized I was crying because I needed to cry, I was feeling because I needed to FEEL and maybe that was okay.

Healing is happening this weekend even though it doesn’t feel that way.

My therapist explained to me in an email tonight that it makes his heart smile to know I am having a hard time, not because he doesn’t care, but because he knows healing is happening in what we talked about Friday. healing is happening because I am finding my self-worth enough to let those feelings be known and felt.

He always tells me “feelings and emotions are information NOT emergencies”.

I opened up to my support this weekend and I found it to be so much easier to just be open about how I feel, than to hide behind those true emotions and put up walls of okay-ness.

I felt better as soon as I talked about it. I felt better when my support came back to me with a very supportive caring email filled with hope. My feelings were known instead of it being held in. I feel better NOW vs waiting days and days until I have the courage to talk about it.

There is a lot of power in just BEING in the moment.

It’s not an easy lesson to learn when all I know is to hide behind my true emotions and put on a strong front. It’s like walking against the current.. it will take time to learn that it’s okay to be in the moment of how I feel now, let it be known, talk about it and trust I am supported in the openness no matter how hard it is.

My therapist once told me a long time ago that people are more drawn to authentic emotions and someone who is struggling rather than someone who is hiding behind emotions always feeling they have to be strong. He said “it makes me want to help you more when you lean into those true authentic feelings because I know healing is happening”.

I think this weekend has been a moment that I allowed myself to just BE how I was feeling and I reached out in that. It didn’t feel good, but in the long run it will create space for me to be how I need to be instead of hiding behind walls of okay-ness.

ON this healing path I am on I am learning so much about myself I never have known before. Everyday is a challenge both painful and joyful, and this weekend I have really learned that it’s more work to NOT BE than it is to JUST BE and that is powerful – that is healing!

I am HEALING and it’s so okay to feel the way I feel.

I have a big week ahead of me in therapy.. a lot of things I am working hard on, and I hope that I find the strength to continue to be in FRONT of the wall instead of behind it.

I feel better tonight because I decided to get out from behind the wall of “STRONG” and the wall of “OKAY-NESS” and say “Hey I feel sad, I feel tearful, I feel hurt, and I need a little support tonight” and I got it, and I was reached back out to, and I feel better. I was met with care, love and support from my therapist who made me see this is healing and I feel better knowing someone understands.

Maybe there is something to just being. Maybe there is more power in just being than I ever thought .. and MAYBE I can accept that it doesn’t mean I am dependent  it just means I NEED support sometimes and that is OKAY.

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thoughts before bed . . .

One of my favorite things to do before bed is to pick a prayer from the bible and find meaning in it that pertains to my healing, and how I can grow and move through it with more strength.

Tonight, as I snuggled up in bed under the blankets, I picked up the “gather book” that I got from the church.

I read from Psalms which has always been my favorite of all readings in the bible, and what I read tonight was:

PSALMS 16:11 – You will show me the path to life. Fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.

My therapist connected with me later this afternoon/evening and we talked about what it would look like tomorrow to tear down the walls in the very moment, connect, and talk with no reservation. What path do I want for me, and how do I go about accepting those around me to make that happen?

I smiled, and it felt like an invitation to another part of my healing. When I cried earlier this morning in session, sometimes my therapist will smile, because he knows this is a part of the growth. This is where “I emerge” out of the sorrow and pain. This is where the path is lied out to me that God is helping me to see.

When I heard my therapist suggest what I open myself up to, I was fearful at first. How do I take down every BIT of wall, and open myself up to anything I want? I may have taken down walls in my healing, but I am not naked by any means.

I have walls that are still built, but they are small and short. They are short enough to walk over, but tall enough to notice they are there. What if I took everything away and allowed myself to open up to a place I have never been; a place where I protect NO ONE?!!

This took my breath away. I thought about it all night, and when I hung up with my therapist I was blessed and joyous! I was fearful, but it was not the fearful that I usually experience, it was an exciting fearful.

I sit here tonight and I read the Psalms reading. It brings so much light to my path. I go to bed tonight with hope, and assurance, and I feel worthy that maybe just maybe I can take it all down and know I am possible for growth in openness.

Sleep finds me tonight – with the grace of God building my path as I sleep, and I am confident it will be strong enough to walk on when I wake.

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