Sunday, July 19, 2020

When I was growing up still just a kid, I never thought it remarkable that my sleeping habits were marked by what I understand now was some strange experiences. I was a very sound sleeper when finally and fully asleep. That's not unusual I guess but there were times I'd wake in the morning undressed or uncovered or both. I just assumed I'd kicked off the covers, (we lived in Phoenix, AZ), and/or my sleeping attire for that night.

There were other things but those were the most remarkable as I look back now. I was used to having strange dreams and was an occasional sleepwalker. I'd often wake up in the living room or kitchen again sans clothing. The sleepwaking carried on through college which gave me a lot of ribbing from other guys in the dorm. I also talked in my sleep occasionally which for my roommate was entertaining/annoying too. I accepted this as not normal but not unusual for someone my age.

The nightmares didn't start till after I was married and in therapy. While in therapy things I'd repressed began to surface and that led I guess to the nightmares. They weren't often but me waking up screaming was upsetting my wife. Luckily those only lasted a few years and tapered off. I'll have maybe one a  year or so now. I'm not sure what it's all about and I don't usually remember what it was I dreamed so I just take it a part of the package.

Seriously, I never really accepted that I was as screwed up as the above would indicate. It was just what was for me. In reading about other's experiences I'm a little taking aback that only a small minority share many of my symptoms and those that do have gone through hell.

We each deal with our own demons but I've come a long way with mine and I never really thought I would. I attribute that to my faith in God. He's amazing.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Roger - that sounds so much like my experiences. I walked and talked in my sleep from about the age of 11 (along with the onslaughts of puberty) through my teens. The recurring nightmares and night terrors also started about the same time but continued until i had been in therapy for some time. The abuse from the step-dad had started by about 6 and that from bullies at school and scouts started about 11. One of the last repressed memories that surfaced during therapy was when i finally realized that my mom was aware of at least some of what her husband was doing to me.


I had been walking and talking during my recurring nightmare and they were trying to wake me up. I was also exposed - whether accidentally or by his action i do not know. He was manipulating me. They were discussing my precocious development and laughing. I was starting to regain consciousness and was horrified by what was happening and that my mom - who i always thought was unaware of what was being done to me - did know about it. I immediately retreated back into the nightmare - which was less horrific to me than real life. It was decades before i retrieved that part of my story. After remembering this event and working through what it meant, the nightmares became very rare and eventually stopped.

Roger Mann said...

Wow, we do share some remarkable similarities. I'm so sad that happened to you. No child deserves being toyed with that way.