In writing my testimony (see “My story” category in side bar), I wrote in some detail about my recurring childhood dreams and nightmares. Dreams of flying. Dreams of my dad’s death by accident and/or by suicide (I am choosing to call them dreams vs nightmares because instead of terrorizing me, they brought a type of stillness and comfort to me – no doubt an internal processing of the abuse). Nightmares of the “Stick Man” who came to my bed at night and caused me such pain.
What I encountered when I “swooshed” back to that kitchen of linoleum countertops and blue cupboards was a terrified little girl who was in such utter pain of soul and spirit that it just broke me. For the few seconds that I could stand to be in that place of recessed memory, I knew instantly that this pain not from breaking a platter! This pain is from something altogether different. Something I didn’t want to know about. Something I never wanted to experience again.
I wrote how those dreams ceased dramatically around age 8-9 (?) only to be remembered decades later after my dad’s death and during a season of great emotional difficulty for which I was seeking counseling. That is when I finally acknowledged that I too (also, along with other family members) had been violated as a child by my father. And that is when the true healing began; when the Spirit of God was invited to ‘go deep’ and seek out those sacred and secret places of my spirit so that the traumatized and fragmented parts of my heart and psyche could be gathered together into His loving arms and united with the liberated and victorious woman that I was becoming.
If you haven’t read my testimony, I hope you will invest the time to do so. Not because there’s anything so special about me! Unfortunately, there are millions of men, women and children who have had or are currently walking through trials and terrors far worse than what I experienced as a child or even during my abusive marriage. But for that very reason, I think it’s worth the read – because whatever devil you are facing (and we are facing a devil of one kind or another every single day of our lives!) – I believe there are nugget of TRUTH and HOPE in my story that can be applied to your situation, today.
TRUTH and HOPE to combat
devils of financial lack
devils of fear and hopelessness
devils of violence and torment
devils of drama-drama-drama
devils of sickness or disease
devils of loneliness and abandonment
devils of PTSD / panic attacks / nightmares / sleeplessness
And it is of that last group that I’m prompted to address in the coming weeks, because while my childhood dreams and nightmares were finally acknowledged and resolved by the end of my marriage in 1991, it was well after my divorce finalized that I began having recurring nightmares … again.
This time of a different nature altogether, and much more disturbing.
So over the next few weeks, or as long as it takes, I will talk with you about my adult dreams and nightmares.
• Processing dreams
• Muffled flash backs
• Veiled remembrances
• Fear-filled dreams of what may yet be
More importantly, we will talk about what the Lord instructed me to do about them so that I’d no longer be afraid to lay my head down on the pillow at night for fear of what I might see/experience in my sleep. How He taught me to “put my night terrors to bed” once and for all. (pun intended)
Please pray with me about this next sequence of blogs (wisdom for what to include, what to omit, how to address).
It would also be most helpful to understand who I’m writing for, so if you have wrestled with devils of PTSD, panic attacks, nightmares and sleeplessness, would you please drop me a note below so that I can pray for your specific situation and respond with counsel as the Lord leads.
But for now, I’m going camping and fishing! 🙂 I look forward to reading your comments and talking with you again next week.
Until then, may the Lord keep you in perfect peace because your mind is fixed upon Him! (personalization of Isaiah 26:3)
All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.