Dreams

I had one of my dreams last night. I haven’t had one of these in a long time, maybe six months or more. I had almost forgotten about them.

For years I’ve been plagued with these awful dreams. What makes them truly awful is that, most of the time, in my dream it’s not awful. In my dream I am enjoying what I am doing even though in real life I would never do such things. I would never have those feelings. I would never act in that way. When I wake, one of two things happens.

1. I wake up feeling absolutely disgusted at what I just did. Even though it was “just a dream” I still feel dirty, like it was still something that I chose to do. I have feelings of guilt and shame and I dwell on them. Constantly repenting.

or

2. I wake up as if nothing bad had happened. As if the dream was real and ok. I still have lingering “good” feelings. Then, after a few minutes in reality, I realize what I’m thinking and feeling and remember my dream in vivid color and am sick to my stomach. Then, I not only feel dirty for having the dream, I feel shame for still feeling “good” after waking. Even though those are still not my real feelings. Again, the guilt and shame consume me and I repent over and over.

Today I woke up disgusted. This time, in my dream, I knew what I was doing was wrong but I was enticed…and I wanted to continue.

I hate these dreams. I hate having to focus so hard on forgetting them. I hate that they keep coming. They may not be frequent, but they don’t have to be. They continue to haunt me. They make me wonder why I dream these things. I know why, deep down. It is evil. The devil uses my slumber as a doorway in. I am constantly pushing him out during the day. Constantly fighting the things he tries to fill me head with…all lies. But when I’m sleeping, my defenses are down. I forget to pray over my sleep sometimes and when I do, he attacks.

I feel defeated.

But I am not. I know God is there.

I know the truth.

I cling to His truth for dear life.

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4 Secrets

One of the bloggers I follow, Jackie Lea Sommers, shared some secrets with her readers yesterday in her post 5 Secrets. At the end, she asked her readers to share their secrets. I decided to write a response post.

4 Secrets

1. I write this blog anonymously because I fear rejection. I feel like if everyone around me knew the things about me that I post on here they will treat me differently. I have only shared this blog openly with maybe less than 10 people. Even the knowledge that these people may read it sends me into little panic episodes.

2. I can not accept a compliment. This is not a secret to those who know me well, but my readers don’t know that…now you do. I think this started around the time my OCD started showing itself…when I was 13 or so. (Although I didn’t know, at the time, that the things I thought and felt were due to a mental illness. I discovered that only a year ago.)

3. I apologize for everything. I just learned, recently, that  constantly apologizing can be a symptom of OCD. Very interesting. I used to get yelled at all the time for apologizing for things that weren’t my fault or beyond my control when I was a teenager.

4. I think I may want another baby. This secret is something I am just coming to admit to myself. I was sure I was done. Having my own babies anyway. I still long to adopt one day but I know that process will take so long and it could be years before I would get to welcome a child into our home.  So a big part of me would be ok, I think, if I got pregnant. But I’m still not at that point where I am ready to say to my husband, “ok. Let’s try!” But the desire to have a little girl is growing every day.

Now it’s your turn.

I’ll Swim For You

These past few weeks have been hard for me. MY OCD and depression have flared up again after having gone on a short hiatus. I had been doing really well for about two months. I had very few obsessive thoughts and the ones I did have I was able to push through with out compulsions. But a few weeks ago, maybe a month, I started to get depressed again and the thoughts were plaguing my mind. I had all kinds of doubts about a lot of things.

Two Sundays ago I got so tired that I just couldn’t move forward. I had obligations to the praise band but I just didn’t want to go. So I went upstairs and fell asleep. Running Man sort of knew what was going on so he just got the kids ready and took them to church. He told people I wasn’t feeling well…which was true. I was feeling awful. But being home alone allowed more intrusive thoughts to ensue. When he got home I was a mess.

That night, Spunky Boy got sick so we were stuck inside the next day. It didn’t take long for Monkey Boy to catch it. We ended up stuck in the house for a whole week. Several days with no outside contact was not good for me. My thoughts and doubts continued. The boys were still not well enough to go to church the following Sunday. To be honest, I was ok with that. I didn’t want to go so I stayed home with the boys and continued to sink deeper. Another week passed. We had also missed bible study that Wednesday due to weather. (We had desperately needed to go to the study because Running Man had his own struggles which I had not known about until recently.)

This Sunday (yesterday) arrived. I was doing better but I still didn’t want to go. I definitely didn’t want to go to praise band practice because I had not even picked up my guitar in almost three weeks. But I wanted to want to go to church. So I made the decision to go. That whole morning I was moving in slow motion. I couldn’t get myself going. My husband helped get the kids ready so I could focus on me. I made my way upstairs and said to him,

“I feel like I’m walking through water.”

He looked at me, turned around so that his back was towards me, took my arms and put them around his waist, and said,

“Then hold on to me and I’ll swim for you.”

Wow!

Now he kinda said it in jest but it meant so much to me. Because, in truth, he does just that. He has “carried” me through many depressive states, held me during panic attacks, and stuck with me during my out bursts. I just have to say that God made a truly perfect match for me. Because He made me, He knew who I would become.  So He knew that Running Man would be the man to stick by me through all my crazy.

My husband is a true blessing.

A Glimpse (PURE-O, OCD)

The thing about OCD is that , for the most part, it is invisible.

Someone may see results of OCD. For instance, you might see someone washing their hands more than once. You may see someone straiten something over and over again or touch things as they go by them. You may think to yourself, “huh. That’s odd”. But the worst part of OCD is what is going on in that person’s head while they are doing these things.

What people also don’t realize is that there are many facets of OCD. When you hear the term OCD you probably think of the stereotypical symptoms or the most common. Germ conscious, constant washing of hands, counting, straightening things, or constantly checking things to see if they are locked/turned off. But there is another form of OCD called pure obsessional OCD or PURE-O.

Someone who has Pure-O may not even know they have it because it is mostly in their mind. The person may have unwanted or inappropriate thoughts or questions pop into their head at any time. Subsequently they might come to the conclusion that they are sick or dirty or crazy or even evil.

Some common obsessions in PURE-O

• thoughts about harming oneself or others;

• thoughts about abhorrent sexual activity, such as pedophilia or incest;

• persistent doubt about one’s sexual orientation;

• anti-religious thoughts

• persistent doubt about one’s romantic partner;

• thoughts about normally unnoticed somatic functions, such as blinking, swallowing, or breathing.

Now with these thoughts, the constant fear of the negative consequences of these thoughts one might form compulsions as a way to neutralize them. The compulsions might be purely mental, so again they are invisible to someone near by. They might take the form of repeating a prayer or a phrase until they felt safe or the thought went away. Or it could be a physical compulsion like turning the light off 10 times so that the “bad” thing doesn’t happen.

The person knows that these things don’t make sense. They know it is not logical but they can not stop themselves out of fear. This condition causes tons of anxiety, stress, and often confusion. They might often wonder about their sanity or think that it may be safer to stay away from people. Most Pure-O sufferers suffer in silence because sharing is too hard.

OCD and Pure-O are serious and very real conditions that are so miss-understood by society. The term OCD is often flippantly used to describe someone who has some “tendencies” but not the actual condition. Everyone has little things they have to do to feel comfortable, but that does not mean they have OCD.

To further understand Pure-O, please check out these articles that go into a little more detail of how it works.

Thinking the Unthinkable

Pure Obsessional OCD — Symptoms and Treatment