Friday, March 17, 2006
Dreams and Nightmares
Last night I had intended on going to bed at midnight, but Eric was on edge. I could see that even if I went to sleep, He would remain awake worrying. His jaw was clenched, his eyes narrowed and his body was tense. He was leaning over some documents and lost in thought. This move is really stressing us out and there are so many uncertainties. Will the Green Card come in by April 3rd? Where will we live if it doesn't? Will we be separated? For how long? Will we find an affordable place to store our belongings or will we have to sell everything we own? There is an invisible clock residing over us ticking loudly and reminding us constantly of how little time we have left....

"lets take a walk", I suggested "We could use some fresh air and we'll just talk"

One of the things I'm going to miss most about Germany is how safe it is. At night it's quiet, the streets are empty and you don't have to fear anything. There are certain days that aren't safe to walk alone. (New Years Eve for example) But there is nothing to worry about on a lonely thursday night .

We put on our jackets and stepped outside. It was so silent. Just the occasional owl crying out and some laughter coming out of an open bedroom window. At night the town looks like an abandoned movie set. Old architecture and Gothic Churches. Our footsteps echoed over the stone cobblestone pathways.

Everything was closed and dark. Except for one little hole in the wall pub called "Aldstadt Treffen" (Old town hang-out). There was a wooden sign hanging over the establishment advertising 1 Euro tap beers after midnight. Warm candle light flooded out of the tiny windows. From the outside it looked like something out of Lord of the Rings. You could see that this pub had been around for centuries.

We hesitated and peered in the windows. "We should go inside..", I said and pulled out a 2 Euro coin. "It looks warm, the seats are comfortable and we can afford a round of beers."

The inside wasn't quite as beautiful as the outside appearance, but it was nice.

So we did, the place cleared out after 30 minutes and it was just the two of us. We talked for 2 hours and sipped our one Euro Konig Pilsners. I could see Eric visibly relax...

We discussed our dreams for the future and our fears. We needed to get out. I know in the end, It's all going to be okay.

I'm going to miss this little town.


This morning during our walk to work, I snapped some pictures of Eric. I love the distortion of the human figure through different panes of glass..

I have 2 new portrait assignments that need to be completed before I leave, I spent the day painting.


Lately I've been having terrible nightmares. I think all of my repressed fears and worries concerning my mother's health, my father's safety and my brother's situation have been emerging in the form of horrible dreams. The kind of dreams that cause me to wake up in sweat at 5 A.M.

It's been going on like this for weeks. Has anyone else suffered through repeated nightmares? Any advice on how to curb it? Not eating before I go to sleep or something I could do to prevent them? It's taking a toll on me and leaving me feeling drained.

Tonight we're meeting our friend, Peter and his new girlfriend. I have to log off and get ready. Even though our friends know that we're leaving soon, we've all been avoiding the inevitable goodbye. I guess it's less painful that way.

But when the time comes, there are going to be a lot of tears and it's going to be so hard for Eric. I'm going home, but he's leaving his home.

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..."
posted by Clarity25 at 1:14 PM |


At March 17, 2006, Blogger madretz 

I enjoyed reading your post. Your emotion came though in your writing and I can feel how anxious you both must be. Change is frightening but inevitable. And one of the top 3 most stressing things along with death and marriage. You have a lot going on right now, which probably explains the nightmares.
Great quote to end the post. It's a song, right? It's on the tip of my tongue, but can't quite remember the artist.

At March 17, 2006, Anonymous Leslie 

With everything you're going through it's natural that you are having nightmares.

I would be having a mental breakdown! What I mean to say is that you are handling everything really well.

Keep your chin up, sweetie. It will get better and easier soon.

At March 17, 2006, Blogger Tara 

Thanks for "fixing" my site

At March 17, 2006, Anonymous alice 

As someone with a sleep disorder(night terrors are like the worst nightmares ever AND you think you are awake. fun!) the only things that have worked for me have been sleeping pills which is more for actually just getting some sleep rather than getting rid of the terrors, BUT what has really helped is exercise. Try going for a short fast walk or run in the evening. It will release stress which obviously is the cause for the nightmares.
The herbs I use for pain also help.

At March 17, 2006, Blogger MJW 

Clarity: "Has anyone else suffered through repeated nightmares? Any advice on how to curb it?"

Welfl: I was going to say exactly what Alice said. A fair amount of exercise will help with the nightmares and will also improve your sleep in general. It really works for me. You will also feel better when you wake up in the morning. Specifically, do some sit ups every night just before you go to bed. You can gradually increase the number of sit ups every few days. Pretty soon, they become automatic.

There are other ways to improve your health too. I'll leave it up to you to determine what ways those might be.

This last suggestion may sound very strange and "new age-ish" (or dull and unrealistic), but it really works, depending on ones willingness to try. For instance, I mentioned it to Kathleen, and she just made fun of me in her own special way :-). Nonetheless, it worked wonders for me in college, when my mind was racing uncontrollably every night due to an extremely heavy class load and study schedule. It worked so well that I have been able to fall asleep with ease on my own (in other words, without using the technique) ever since college, and I sleep extremely well all night long. I had never had an easy time falling asleep before I tried this technique, which I adopted from a hypnosis technique (note: as far as hypnosis goes, it never worked, but as far as sleeping goes, it's perfect).

What You Need: 1.) An open mind/willingness to try. 2.) A very non-fidgety husband ;-). 3.) Even better, a husband who is willing to try it with you. 4.) A long, soothing, soft instrumental song (25 or 30 minutes). The more instruments played in the song, the better. I don't recommend actual, mainstream "New Age" music, most of which is pure crap (although Deuter, a German musician, is often excellent). Of course, the music you choose must be something you really like and which has little or no negative or dissonant sections in it.

The Rules: Actively (note the emphasis on "actively") listen to the music when you go to bed. By "active," I mean you must concentrate on the "details" of the music, the way you concentrate on the details in your work when you are painting or drawing.

The Specifics: Lie on your back in bed with your eyes closed, arms at sides, legs straight, and imagine the music slowly entwining itself around you. It starts at your toes and moves very slowly to the top of your head (visualize the music as a cross between a gentle mist and a white light, with each instrument being a different "strand" of that mist/light). As the music touches each part of your body, that part of your body relaxes. You must consciously make that part of your body relax as you imagine the music touching it.

That's it. Once you get used to it, you should start to fall asleep before the music is even half way up your body, as I did; and your sleep should be quite peaceful all night, as mine was. If you have a skeptical attitude, it may require some practice before it starts to work. If you have an open mind, it may start working immediately.

At March 17, 2006, Blogger MJW 

That was another long one, wasn't it? If that's how I am when I write, just imagine how I am when I talk. ;-)

At March 17, 2006, Blogger Crystal 

When I was going through my divorce I had terrifying nightmares. Mostly it'd be something like I was being kidnapped by a man dressed in black or it was something like I was being kidnapped and then taken to a run down amusement park and put on a roller coaster that was broken. These dreams repeated every night and I'd always wake up scared to death and shivering. Sometimes I'd wake myself up screaming.

I had to put myself in therapy when I was going through my divorce. It was very hard for me and I was so stressed out and just weak from everything. I told her about the nightmares I was having. She listed to them for 2 weeks (I was seeing her 3 times a week) then finally she asked me to tell her what I thought they meant. We spent 2 hours analyzing my dreams.

Once I worked out what I thought all of the symbols in my dreams meant, they stopped. Just like that. She taught me that my dreams tell me something. In my case, the man dressed in black was Ronnie. I kept trying to make him out to be the good guy to all of my friends and I didn't want them to know that he was the actual cause of my divorce. But my mind wanted me to remember that he really was the bad guy and the reason we were in that situation. The roller coaster was the ride that my mind was trying to prepare myself for.

And man has it been a ride!!!

Anyways, my suggestion is to try and analyze your dreams. If you want help, I'll be happy to help you as best as I can, just email me. You'll be surprised what your dreams tell you... They even help you solve some of your problems sometimes.

At March 17, 2006, Anonymous Anne 

Try to think about positive things before going to bed. I find that if I think about stressful problems before drifting off to sleep I ALWAYS have nightmares.

Meditation helps. I don't know if you're into New Age things but it's something to consider.

At March 17, 2006, Anonymous Jenn 

I have had horrible nightmares ever since I was a little girl. My mother used to worry so much because I'd be screaming and crying all curled up in the corner of my bedroom and when she would come to check on me, I would still be asleep. They aren't quite that bad anymore but I still have them on a regular basis. If you come up with a cure that works, let me know! There have been nights where I stayed awake all night long just to avoid dreaming. ♥

At March 18, 2006, Blogger Stacia 

I used to have nightmares all the time. And they were stress related. Once I learned how to handle my stress, they went away (well, not entirely, but better). But, my sister used to have really bad nightmares and they discovered she was eating ice-cream right before bed, and there's something in ice-cream that causes them (although that's american ice-cream, I know German ice-cream is made differently: it actually tastes good).

At March 20, 2006, Anonymous Janet 

You can tell I'm just getting caught up here... I've had several occasions in my life where I've had nightmares every night. On the surface, they seemed to be about different things but when I looked at them more closely, they were related (at one time it was all about feeling unsafe and violated following a date-rape). The thing that helped me the most was talking about what the underlying worries were and also writing down my dreams as best as I could remember them. Expressing my emotions in real life made it so I didn't need to express them as much in my sub-concious life.

At March 20, 2006, Anonymous dom 

although all these may be true, i know that it is also true that being too warm at night can cause nightmares. simple solution, if you were looking for one.

At March 25, 2006, Anonymous jane 

as a woman with PTSD, i suffer from very frequent nightmares. try relaxing before bed. creating a routine and sticking to it is crucial for lessening them. As well as relaxing with a spot of herbal tea, a warm bath and/or some yoga. I really recommend the yoga:)