Beating Myself Up in My Dreams ~ Good Lord What's Next?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by scent of cedar, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    So, as everyone here knows, we have been walking that fine line between helping and rescuing. I knew the situation had been taking a toll, knew I was a little down, but last night? I was awakened multiple times by dreams of how worthless a person I am because:

    1) I do not help the neighbors enough. (?!?)

    2) I haven't rescued any dogs or cats lately. (This has to have come from all those "rescue this animal" things on Facebook. We already HAVE a dog and a cat ~ both rescues.

    3) I am selfish, selfish, selfish, living my life as I do, and have done nothing to make the world a better place.

    I think this has to do with daughter's situation, some jumbled feelings of somehow being responsible for it, and further jumbled feelings about what I ought to do about that. As jumbled as the dreams were, it's difficult to know what else was in there. I think there might have been something about my being short (!) and elderly, too. (I'm 61.) And I swear there must have been something about my hair too, because I am focusing on everyone's hair this morning. (Did anyone see the Inauguration? It was amazing, amazing. Brought tears to my eyes more than once. Michelle's hair didn't look so good, though. Joe Biden's wife, on the other hand, had her hair done beautifully. Beyonce', same thing. The President's hair also looked very nice ~ in fact, he looked very nice altogether, and handled himself well.)

    Just for the record? My own hair looks terrible, this morning...and husband picked today to compliment me on it. Now, what to hay?!?

    Well, anyway. This dreaming terrible things about myself stuff is a new one on me. It isn't like you can defend yourself in a dream, either. So, I am looking at it like I am fortunate to know what is going on in my subconscious.

    I imagine I have been dreaming these kinds of things every night since all this started.

    Has this happened to anyone else?

    I am very sure these feelings are there because I am not pulling out all the stops to save daughter. (We are helping financially but not fixing. And we are not, for instance, going North to stay for the rest of the Winter so she will have somewhere to stay.)

    She will be homeless as of Feb 1st. That is weighing so heavily on my mind. Maybe it will turn out that we will go back....

    What a way to wake up!

    Multiple times.


    How is everyone else sleeping?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I never sleep well but thats not because Im worried about the boys.

    I would imagine you do more for the world around you than you think. Do you give to charity? I bet you do. I bet you put a buck or two in the Salvation Army bucket when you see them ringing their bells. Im sure there are other things you do too.

    The hair, who knows. lol
  3. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Hi, Dammit! :O)

    Actually, I think this is all about those unresolved feelings we get when we know we're doing the right thing where the kids are concerned, but we don't feel comfortable sticking to it. I am going to remember to say the Serenity Prayer tonight every time I wake up, if this happens again. (Last night was just this muddle of one bad dream after another ~ none of them clear, none horrifying, all filled with self-condemnation. Yuck.)

    Janet, I was sorry to learn about the situation with Buck. I read the post, but couldn't think of anything to tell you that you don't already know. It's almost impossible to change things once they've come home ~ especially if one of the parents feels he needs to help the (adult) child.
  4. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Barbara I wonder if there is something in the air because I am dreaming too. Not about self condemnation though but about my troubled childhood and young adult years.

    I have been fighting bitterness for having my my life decided by others rather than being able to choose the life I really wanted. consequently, I'm looking back trying to figure out what to do for the next 20 or so years of my life that will be about me and make me happy and content. The bitterness comes from feelings of resentment and frustration about the way I was treated as a kid. My father was a tyrant. He was an alcholic and abusive. I was his target child and took the brunt of the abuse.

    He put so many restrictions and barriers in my way I ended up making a jailbreak marrage at 20. The first baby came two years later. Then husband decided to continue his education earned his PHd and got a job that required him to travel constantly. Kids, house, and yardwork, everything all fell on me. husband was gone 6or more days a week and on call 24/7. He often didn't even call home for days. With all the responsibility and no family close by (husband made sure of that) I never got to go to college untill I was 45.

    So anyway I have been thinking about my future by examining my past. I remember feeling so unloved, unappreciated and stiffeled. I was also physically abused by my father. I never really knew why I was so disliked by him and why they so obviously played favorites. I'm reading alot now and understanding more about why parents might target one child out of many. It doesn't make it right or make the hurt go away but it does tell me that it wasn't me it was them. They are both dead now so it is something I have to work through on my own. My mother did admit that my father was hard on me. She said if I would have cried when he beat me it would have stopped. That doesn't sit well with me because I distinctly remember him slapping me hard across the face and then telling me to stop my sniviling. But maybe because I remember that my youngest sister would scream and run to her room before he even touched her and she wouldn't get hit. But I am off on a tangent and that isn't what I wanted to do so back to topic...

    As a kid and an young teen I had lots of dreams of flying. I learned in Psyc 101 that they are usually casued by really poor self esteem. I havent had one in eons but I do remember them and that I loved those dreams. I felt so special and strong and free in them. I would always push off while running and I would soar up over the neighborhood looking down on everyone, and the tree tops, and roofs of the houses. Or I would float up to the ceilingin the house and look down on my siblings. Some times I would teach them how to do it too.

    Well last night I had one of those flying dreams. It was a little different than the ones from when I was a kid. In those I always tried to hide my flying powers from my parents In the one last night, the first thing I did was go and get my parents to show them (I was about 8-9 in the dream). Of course they tried to tell me to go away and not bother them but I just pushed myself up off the floor and flew all around my father's head while gloating at him. When I woke up I said: "Well sure Dad, that would have been the only way I could have earned your approval back then". LOL So yes my thoughts have manifested in my dreams lately but just not in a very negative way. Hoping your dreams tonight are happier ones. -RM
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Barbara I think you were working through your emotions in your sleep. The hair though?? No clue. LOL

    During high stress it's not uncommon to work through the emotions while dreaming, especially if you're trying hard to detach from them during the waking hours.

    For future reference though, you can control (and defend yourself) your dreams with some practice. It's your dream, after all. So if you go to sleep knowing that you can object to or decide to do what you want, then it will be easier in the dream to change the course of events. It does take practice though.

    I had a reoccurring dream several years ago about some darn house built in a circle room wise and I just kept going from room to room around and around night after night. I finally got to the point of stopping myself in the dream and saying "wake up!" so I'd wake up out of it. ugh I coached Nichole so she could do it with her tornado dreams that cause so much anxiety for her.

    Is there the option of a homeless shelter for difficult child? That might make you feel somewhat better.

  6. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

  7. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Hi, Hound Dog :O)

    I left the hug part in the quote because I liked to feel that, this morning. Very nice! Thank you.

    I have heard of people who can enter and change their dreams, Lisa. I have never had a series of dreams which all dealt with the same subject before, let alone a recurring dream, so I never really thought about trying to do that. My dreams just burst on the scene and take me totally by surprise, every time! Some are meaningful and very helpful. Others seem to be my brain processing info from the day.

    While I am not sleeping well even now, I did start saying the Serenity Prayer before going to sleep and again if I was awakened by a dream. (They continue to be the same kind of persistent, self-condemning dreams, never very clear, just that feeling of inadequacy, magnified a thousand times.)

    Well, inadequacy and bad, bad hair. :O) Strange too that the feelings of ultimate inadequacy seem to be spreading. I am grateful to be aware of this.

    Daughter is stabilizing, now. We talk to her more often, which is a comfort. Grandchildren have been taken to safety and security by their father. This is such a good thing. Husband and I have been fighting about what he is going to do if / when I take the grandchildren. One less thing to fight about, though some very negative feelings have been swirling around. I'd forgotten how something like this changes the dynamic of the marriage. I think we are both bored and billious ~ which is just what happens to us when these kinds of things come up.

    I imagine this will resolve once 1) daughter has found somewhere to stay or 2) we go home early to get her.

    Which I know we shouldn't do.

    Still, it helps to post about it, and to know you are all out there, reading and wishing me well.
  8. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Barbara thank you for your kind words and the suggested reading. I could write a book on the abuse my father doled out when I was young but that wouldn't help me. I did make my peace with him before he died and he did try to make ammends. I know he loved me... allbeit imperfectly. It is just that his actions impacted my life so very much it is hard not to wonder what it would have been like if he was different.

    My life has not been horrible just not of my design. While I would have liked to pursue a career for a few years, I also would not give up the years of raising my kids for the world. I grew with them and enjoyed them so much. I loved when they were off from school in the summer and we filled our days with fun activities. But those days are in the past

    I am now an empty nester with alot of time on my hands. So, like I said I am trying to figure out what I need to do to make the next years truly mine, enjoyable,and of my own design. _RM
  9. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    I used to have dreams where I couldn't spank difficult child no matter how hard I tried. I would have my hand raised and was trying to swing, but it was like my hand was moving through jello. I used to have that dream ALL the time - I think it was a manifestation of my sheer frustration and despair of getting her to behave decently.

    I also have recurring dreams that I'm just about to graduate from college, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life. Then I wake up and have to remind myself that I'm way past college, married, and have kids!

    Another recurring dream I have is similar to the spanking one, but this time it's like I'm trying to walk or run, only my entire surroundings are like jello, to the point I can barely move.

    I also occasionally have dreams about my teeth either breaking or falling out.

    I think I need therapy...
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Barbara and RM, first off, many hugs to both of you. Sending strength your way to deal with these struggles. It's astonishing what can come forward in dreams, and how the vivid ones stay with us for so long.

    Barbara, it's interesting that you mention entering your dreams and changing the outcomes. I've always been able to do this. Until recently I thought everyone could, but realized it's not that common. I was a very anxious child, surrounded by people who didn't understand me at all. It wasn't an abusive environment, so much as a neglectful one. I was left to my own devices pretty-much to raise myself. Being an at-the-time undiagnosed aspie, life was strange and confusing, and I had recurring, vivid dreams.

    One I still remember is being at my school, lying down in the cubby where we all used to keep our lunch boxes. The cubby was quite deep, and I was tucked way in the back in shadow where no one could find me. I LOVED that dream and felt so safe. I had lots of other dreams where monsters of various sorts would chase me, and I couldn't run fast enough or fight hard enough to keep them at bay. One night, in my dream, I ran away from the monsters and hid in the lunch box cubby. I used the boxes to hit the monsters until they left me in peace. At that point I realized that I had some power over the images in my mind, or "pictures behind my eyes" as easy child used to call them when he was little.

    Ever since then, if I'm having a dream the unsettles me, I go into it and change it. Sometimes all I can accomplish is to shake the sleeping me awake so that I stop dreaming such horrible things. But other times I've been able to affect the action within the dream itself. Dream-Trinity is like a little elf, a but like Tinkerbell (but without the tarty outfit) who can flit around, whisper in ears, move things around etc. Dream-Trinity can't do much, but even that little bit of control seems to help me feel more empowered over my dreams and my life in general.

    I wonder if you meditate on it, you might be able to learn to do it? I don't know how I learned or I would explain.
  11. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Ha, Trinity!!! I laughed right out loud when I read the part about the tarty outfit. I love it!!! :O)

    You know how they say we would never change places with anyone else, if we fully realized the burdens they carry? I was not aware that so many of us had terrifying dream lives as a matter of course. I wish I knew to write something to comfort you and Greenreen. I've always looked at my dreams as purposeful vehicles for teaching me something I need to understand. Even these last dreams have taught me that I need to be aware of how these terrible things happening to our daughter have altered my perceptions of myself and my husband.

    I am happy that you found that safe place in your dreams, Trinity.

    Greenreen, I wonder what your dreams are telling you? I have dreamed of my teeth crumbling and falling out of my mouth, too. They say that is an indication that someone has, or is going to, die. I did lose an aunt after that dream ~ but I have never had another dream like that before anyone else died. Those are such spooky dreams.

    I hope we all sleep well tonight, and awaken refreshed and stronger than we were the day before.