I had nightmares as a child. Some of them still torment me.
When I started to wake up, at around ten years old, and see the ‘skeletons in my closet’, hanging there? Or the clothes on hooks on fire? My parents called the church elders. They prayed over me and tried to exorcise my demons.
Nothing changed except me hiding my dreams and fears. I think that is sort of a breeding ground for anxiety, eh?
My closet skeletons are real. Not real ghosts, or even real issues. Just the skeletons, dreams, fears, anxieties…..
I still wake up shaking to those tormenting dreams. They range now. Sometimes it is the skeletons chasing me through a jail that is on fire. Other times (and much more often) is the flying/falling nightmare. Or being trapped in a car that is on a tight wire and I fall out. But mostly the flying/falling dream.
The flying/falling one. It’s the one that terrifies me most. If I am lucky enough to wake up during it I can’t go back to sleep. I keep myself awake purposely so I won’t slip back into the nightmare. It’s different every time but I am always somehow lifted high in the air but then I crash back to wherever. It so terrifies me that Paul has woken me up mid-dream before because he could tell I was in distress in my sleep.
The church elders? Pray and anoint me all they want? They never managed to get rid of the skeletons in my closet. I just learned to live with them.