My nights have not been so pleasant lately. I've been having vivid nightmares -- so bad that I sometimes wake up gasping for air, clutching for Sprinkles, and at their worst, with my face wet with tears. When I was on antidepressants I would have vivid dreams, and while some were nightmares, others were just weird and not altogether disturbing. This is different; I'm not on meds. I'm just apparently going insane.
A week or two ago it started with a bizarre dream: LaRae, Randy, the kids, and I went back to Disney World. We decided to go deluxe and stay at Caribbean Beach (which is moderate, not deluxe), and somehow in an attempt to save money, we ended up in this group room where we had dorm-like bathrooms (with rows of showers with glass walls) and pool lounge chairs for beds. It was a nightmare in the sense that no one else seemed to be concerned at all about how not ok it was for us to pay so much money to stay in a room with strangers, glass-walled showers, and no real beds!
Last week though, it got bad. It started with me dreaming that I lost Sprinkles on an airport train (through a series of strange flashes of events), and no one was concerned. I was sure he was gone, and I woke up shaking and searching for him. I finally fell back to sleep to have the nightmare end with me finding him finally. Then the nightmare decided I couldn't have happy ending, and I dreamt that Mom and Dad had died, and when we went back for the funeral - LaRae, Sprinkles, and I - we stopped over in Woodstock and then went on to Lake Butler to bury them. Since the house is paid off, our aunt and uncle (I'm not even bothering to say which set since it was a nightmare, and I think it says something about them if I name them) asked to start living in the house. When we came back from the funeral, we needed to stay in Woodstock for a bit, but they'd already moved in. They told me I could sleep outside or on the couch as my old room had already been converted into a study! In the end, my sister was arguing with them that I had to have a place to sleep because even though we said they could use the house, it was still technically ours. I sat in the corner numb and unable to speak. I woke up feeling abandoned, panicked that I had lost those that I love the most, and scared.
Back in the real world -- Friday my aunt's house in Georgia was broken into. They only got away with about $14 in quarters partly because she was smart to keep her real jewelry hidden in separate places and partly, I think, because she interrupted them while they were robbing her house. That's right -- you read it right -- she INTERRUPTED them! From what my dad tells me, she pulled into the garage (midday mind you) and noticed that the door into the house from the garage was open. She thought it was strange but quietly went in the house. From just inside, she thought she could see that the door to the back porch was open, and then the noticed the guest room just inside the garage door had the light on and the door open (which she knew she kept closed since she wasn't using that room lately). She turned around, went outside, and around the house. The door to the basement was closed and locked, but the door on the porch was open, so she went to the neighbor's house. The wife was home and called the police. When the husband came home, he went over (before the police) with a bat or something. The door to the porch was now closed, so he went in. The robbers were gone, but they found a large knife from the kitchen in the guest room (that she had been standing maybe 10 feet from the door!) and one on the floor of the kitchen. When she got home, she apparently hemmed them in. The prospect of them hurting her is terrifying and I am so grateful that she is physically safe. The police refused to even take fingerprints. Jerks. Dad was over there last night putting in some more deadbolts, but Mom said she's not sure when my aunt will ever feel safe going back and staying the night there.
The fear from LaRae's house being broken in to last summer was so strong. We were so lucky that they were out of the house by the time we came home. I can't imagine what would have happened if they had still been there. This break in at my aunt's terrifies me even more. Last night I thought of it just after the lights were out, and I was scared to go to sleep. How does anyone feel safe when jerks like this exist?!
So last night I tossed and turned, so this afternoon I took a nap instead of going to Small Groups (with church). Again, a nightmare ruined my peaceful sleep. This post is long enough, so I'm not going into what the nightmare was... I just don't get why I'm having nightmares. At work, there's stress like every Spring (state testing season and all), but I'm not letting it get to me like usual. I'm more calm, more zen, and more happy than I have been any other Spring so far. After 4 years I finally feel like I have it figured out enough to stay calm. I'm handling everything better.
Maybe I'm not handling it. Maybe I'm just holding it all in, and I'm shoving it so deep down that it's all coming out as nightmares? I don't know the reason for the nightmares or if something deeper is going on in my mind that I'm not fully aware of. I just know that I need to have restful sleep to stay healthy and doing my best in all aspects of my life. Do you believe nightmares have hidden meanings? The theme seems to be loss (even in the one I didn't tell you about). Now on top of stress and long hours at work, I've added fear to the mix, which I'm fighting, but when the lights go off, the mind will wander. It's just weird is all.
On a happy note, I had an awesome Valentine's Day with Katelyn and Joshua that if I have time, I'll write about in a happier post. :) Thank God for great, precious neices and nephews!