I had a dream

22 Jun 2018
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One night, a few years ago, I had what felt like a significant dream. It's come back to me several times in my thoughts, as it's resonated with me for so much of my life. In the dream, I was reading a newspaper article about a little girl who was missing, and then found by a group of people who were searching for her. She was found in a shallow grave in the woods, covered over by dried leaves. When the leaves were moved away, the little girl was naked, and looked deformed in some way – her face had no mouth, but the mouth was in her stomach. As I read the article, in my dream, I sensed it related to me and I was reading about myself.

For a long time, I've had no voice. Not literally. But it's been hard to speak up, to speak out, and on the rare times I have, I've often felt misunderstood, judged, or misheard. Easier then to shut down and be quiet again. A 'safer' way of living, but it actually keeps me feeling disconnected from others which isn't great and contributes again to the inner loneliness.

I wrote my first Moodscope blog some months ago ('Never alone' July 2017), and mentioned then about not being heard. I guess this relates to some of that too.

As I reflect on my 48 years, I notice certain patterns and aspects of life where I shut down, I don't speak, I feel I have no voice, no words. I am slowly coming to understand that place and as I give it time, love and attention, it allows me to heal and be heard within, enables me to speak up for myself, and then I feel more 'adult' with the ability to talk more freely and spontaneously.

I've noticed recently how hypersensitive I really am, (and though I now view this partly as a gift), the hypervigilance within can put me back into a silent place – no voice, no words – usually triggered by feeling unsafe in some way, or by a response or lack of response from others to something I said or did.

I'm slowly breaking out of this, and as I learned from my tutor in my counselling course – 'awareness = choice = change.' As I become more aware of my 'stuff' and listen to me, then I can begin to make choices and changes in my life. I can begin to feel safe, make healthy choices, build healthier relationships, and to speak up for myself when I need to. It's been a place of devastation and disablement within my inner being; however it's slowly healing and becoming empowered.

Thank you to all who responded to my last blog – there were so many lovely and encouraging responses, I was deeply moved – I'm sorry I couldn't comment on them all – but thank you so much – for 'listening', for reading, for being there, and for helping me heal as I am heard.

Maggie Jane

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Comments

Bearofliddlebrain

June 23, 2018, 5:25 a.m.

Hello Maggie Jane, What a scary dream - I often think the dreams I have are my brain's way of sorting what is going on in my life. My reoccurring dream, always slightly different, involves my daughter turning against me and then no one believing me when I say she is manipulating them against me too. It’s awful because I can’t get anyone to see what she is up to. I wake up so upset. I have noticed that I usually have this dream when my daughter is just being a bit unkind and thoughtless - occurring when I have done a great deal to help her and I just feel like everything I have done gets thrown back in my face and I am being taken for granted. As for the 'no one listens to my voice' that happens frequently! It appears to be because people aren’t really listening these days and they want to talk over me and have their own agenda. They just want to get their own point of view across. They are quite rude cutting into what I am saying before I have managed to get half a sentence out. This makes me rush as I get flustered and then I feel stupid because I can’t think straight, to say what I wanted to finish saying, or I just forget what I was going to say! If it’s Mr. Bear who is doing it, I say 'That’s ok...you tell the story, you obviously know it better than me!' Then I shut up and just fell tiny small. I pull back from the conversations. He is then embarrassed but can quickly quip that it’s my own faults for taking too long!!! I’m pleased you are becoming empowered through your tutor on your counselling course - brilliant :) and remember, you have a voice here - we all do! And now because I can, I will shush, but my choice to do so!! Great blog MJ. Bear hugs xx

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LP

June 23, 2018, 6:03 a.m.

Morning Bearhugs, Right, it’s time to make change happen. Maybe put positively it could make everyone happier. Maybe not when there’s an “issue”. You expressed it very well here, you have the awareness, now you have a choice... Maybe rewrite it in a loving letter without blame about needing time to say what you mean. If everyone could try to listen to each other, speak without blame and accept what each other needs to express, it might make for a happier household. Or maybe everyone could write down 3 positive things that they would like eg time to express themselves ;) Maybe agree to have a monthly dinner or something to revisit what has gone well. I always feel for you with how things have been Hunny Bear, maybe in some small way today’s gift from Moodscope and Maggie Jane could be a seed of change... Huge hugs from me to you lovely, hope your little doggit is enjoying the summer! Love LP:)

Ach UK

June 23, 2018, 11:32 a.m.

Good mng momma Bear, It is annoying when one's offspring think they know better . . . I get that too, but it's even more annoying when they really do . . . ;)) Sometimes I retreat to my Porridge pot and add a banana and an extra spoon of honey, yum, and can be heard mumbling n grumbling . ." You'll regret it !" (and I don't mean the extra honey . .). Care for a ladle of honey fuelled porridge Bear? I know, not the pc answer, but thanks for sharGood mng momma Bear, It is annoying when one's offspring think they know better . . . I get that too, but it's even more annoying when they really do . . . ;)) Sometimes I retreat to my Porridge pot and add a banana and an extra spoon of honey, yum, and can be heard mumbling n grumbling . ." You'll regret it !" (and I don't mean the extra honey . .). Care for a ladle of honey fuelled porridge Bear? I know, not the pc answer, but thanks for sharing one of them difficult moments., - I recognise that scenario and yes it can be a very serious problem. XX Ach.

Ach UK

June 23, 2018, 11:35 a.m.

Ooh sorry for the repetitive typo in the middle . . . it's definitely my computer's error lol not mine. XX Ach.

LP

June 23, 2018, 5:42 a.m.

Hi Maggie Jane, What a fascinating blog. I really identified with it. That dream turned out to be a gift from your inner self, amazing. I am have been speaking out more and I have found myself slipping back into the temptation to let things go, be quietly submissive so as not to cause more “problems”. I like awareness=choice=change. The change that I have fought for could be lost if I let go now. Now is the time to act to continue the change I have had to fight for. If I put it positively, it will be received better. Better now to maintain it that start from scratch again in the future. If I remain calm, clear and consistent, the change will eventually become the norm. I went through too much to let it slip now. Now that the crisis is over, it would be easier not to speak up, but no this is too important. Thank you so much for sharing your gift and way forward Maggie Jane. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. I know what to do and it feels ok, calm, positive and consistent. Yay! Summer heat wave in London! Warm sunny smiles to you and all. #makethechangehappen Love LP :) xx

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Orangeblossom

June 23, 2018, 6:26 a.m.

Thanks for the great blog Maggie Jane. I enjoyed reading it very much. Please write some more. I have made a note of ‘ Awareness- Choice-Change’ and am struck by these key words.

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Marmaladegirl

June 23, 2018, 7:03 a.m.

Hello Maggie Jane - Good to see your name again. I went back to re-read your last blog and this one follows on very nicely. I know that I have a problem with voicing things, particularly emotional stuff. I was brought up not to but suppressing it all has made me ill. Interestingly my illness often focuses on my throat - can that be because I don't speak out? And since Jan 2016 itchy teeth that feel like they have sharp scales or broken glass on them but there is nothing there (psychosomatic). Been told it is Burning Mouth Syndrome. It is there ALL the time (enough to drive me crazy if I let it). Anyone else have weird sensations in their mouth? Anyway, enough about me MJ. Thanks for the blog. MG xx

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Lexi

June 23, 2018, 5:23 p.m.

Hey Marmaladegirl! have you ever read any books by Caroline Myss? She writes about chakras and corresponding illnesses. The throat/mouth is connected to speaking up for ourselves and speaking the truth/suppressing it, amongst other things. I haven't read her in awhile but I used to find h er writing fascinating. xo Lexi

Marmaladegirl

June 23, 2018, 7:13 p.m.

Hi Lexi - thank you very much for this. I will definitely look up Caroline Myss. I hope everything is going OK with you. Xxxx

Jane SG

June 23, 2018, 7:44 a.m.

Hi Maggie Jane, I could really relate to your blog, finding awareness and making changes and healthier choices. Good luck to you xx

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The Gardener

June 23, 2018, 8 a.m.

Thanks Maggie Jane - that 'awareness-choice-change' is so good. Far from not being heard, I am an 'aggressive' communicator, talking or writing - in fact, hard training in listening to other people. I have a big success, not let my problem take over my life, fizzing about in my brain, stopping sleep. My hunger strike idea has to be abandoned - I would fall over quite quickly, be removed to hospital, and effectively shut up. Planning campaign. My 'mentor' comes Monday - she won't approve - no results from e-mails, I will go into 'action'.

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The Gardener

June 23, 2018, 8:02 a.m.

Computer better, but don't risk more than a few lines. Australian friends sent greetings - their son-in-law, under 60, started early onset dementia 3/4 years ago - now totally 'gone'. They adopted two Indian boys, who have had to go through all that from their early teens. I feel 'lucky' that Mr G was not 'struck down' until his 80's.

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the room above the garage

June 23, 2018, 8:17 a.m.

Hello MJ, I really connect with what you’ve written. I too have long had no voice. In all the ways. When I was training a few years back I ended up in tears when it came to something I was to use my voice for. In a 4 day workshop I couldn’t introduce myself and never returned after the first day. The tears were because of realisation. I’m changing. I found I could have a voice in written words and a little trickle started. Reading your blog was comforting and thank you for letting us in. It helped me. Love room x.

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The Gardener

June 23, 2018, 8:33 a.m.

Room - I have been so impressed that during my Grand-children's education they were encouraged (made?) to speak up in assembly - they are all articulate without being over-bearing. Most difficult thing I found was 'phone-in' radio - you prepare your response to the person facing you then it's ear-phones on to reply to a caller - rather like what Bear says about being interrupted

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Tutti Frutti

June 23, 2018, 11:07 a.m.

Hi Room I am really surprised to hear this. I always enjoy your blogs and think that you are very articulate. I can usually work out that it is your blog before I see your name at the end. I guess most of us are different in writing from the way we come across in person, if only because we have a bit more time to draft and edit what we want to say (and there's no risk that someone else will leap in first). I tend to get more flustered and long winded when speaking than in writing, especially if I feel that I have been put on the spot. Love TF x

the room above the garage

June 23, 2018, 2:39 p.m.

Hello TG and TF :-) my children too have been encouraged from the start of school to stand up and give talks to the class, it’s helped hugely. Two of them are still not that comfortable (but can do it) and one loves it! I can’t even give more than my name in a group setting. Horrified. Sick. Shaky. Sweats. And I’m my head I have it all just ready to flow. TF it’s such a compliment to say you know it’s me, I love that! X

Frauke

June 23, 2018, 10:40 a.m.

I"m struck by how many of us relate to this dream. It reminded me that I used to want to write a book called "Losing my Voice" because I feel that, despite being articulate and ready for any discussion in my teens and early twenties, I've gradually been made to feel by a variety of people in a variety of situations that my opinion is not needed, the things I want to talk about are of no great importance. But I think of the many many women silenced throughout the world and throughout history. And, although not particularly religious anymore, I hear the quote from the Bible: But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. Unspoken words in our innermost being are as relevant and significant as those that are shouted from the rooftops. Or at least I'd like to believe so!

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Oli

June 23, 2018, 11:31 a.m.

Interesting blog MJ. I like those links your tutor drew between awareness, choice, and the possibility of change. Whatever the experience is, as soon as we put our mind on it then we are evaluating it, noticing it, becoming aware of it in language. I know it sounds like a philosophical point: how do we know when we understand something? But when we gain understanding that's like getting a new awareness -- at that point we "see" it. And significantly, at that point we can "speak" about it. If I can't speak about something then, I feel at any rate, I haven't got sufficient understanding. That's where talking can be so useful to move understanding and awareness forward, iteration by iteration. (I don't of course mean being "unable" to talk about something because doing so re-creates pain. That's the same as avoiding pain.) Rather, not being able to talk about something because you can only sense it, can't put your finger on it -- that's what I mean. It's literally a sensation of something being beyond your awareness -- which is *exactly* what it is.

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Oli

June 23, 2018, 11:42 a.m.

PS @Marmaladegirl -- I'm a somatiser too! Not the mouth but the chest. And even though I see a lot of somatisation in my work, (a lot of chronic pain has central drivers to a greater or lesser extent), and even though I have a pretty good grasp of the organic mechanisms which drive it -- I *still* get the very real symptoms. It does however respond well (eventually) to, in Plain English, mindfulness. In fact to the point that when I become aware of symptoms I know up my mindfulness game -- and keep it at that level for at least a fortnight after symptoms have diminished or gone.

Marmaladegirl

June 23, 2018, 7:23 p.m.

Thanks for your reply Oli. Didn't realise I was a 'somatiser'! I used to meditate religiously - when my ME was really bad, for most of the day (I could do little else and having thoughts in my mind made me iller, so I had to empty my mind). Then I got a lot better and only meditated twice a day, then once a day, then... erratically. Interestingly my lack of meditating coincided with the arrival of this crazy mouth/teeth thing I have. I bet if I start to meditate regularly again then it will help. I do notice that if I am stressed it gets worse, so hopefully if I am calm it will get better! Great suggestion thank you. Just the motivation I need. Xx

Oli

June 23, 2018, 11:28 p.m.

Funnily enough the way this works is not via stress reduction. If meditation reduces stress then that's a nice secondary gain but it's not the primary purpose here. Mindfulness creates awareness of intention and second order thoughts, meta-cognitions, thinking about thinking. An awareness of the process of where the mind rests on an experience (private and internal or from the world of senses). It's that awareness which seems to be effective in (or at least correlated with) somatic symptom reduction. It's going right down the rabbit hole but my personal interest and research is into the role meta-cognitions play in driving syndromes such as ME, Chronic Widespread Pain, Fibromyalgia. They are not the exclusive driver but they are over-represented, so possibly significant. We'll see as the research pans out. But, basically mindfulness seems to help with somatic symptoms.

Marmaladegirl

June 24, 2018, 6:23 a.m.

This is really interesting Oli. Thanks for coming back on to tell me about it. It's the bottom line that's important: mindfulness helps with somatic symptoms. Xx

Ach UK

June 23, 2018, 12:41 p.m.

Hello MJ, Thank you for posting this blog. I think it is a measure of the regard that this site is held in that it has so many members who are mental health professionals who are prepared to "speak" here. Because I can read and reread a blog and it's replies; and come back time and again and revisit them this allows me perhaps to absorb nuances and "see" and "hear" and gain a broader understanding of what has been discussed than if I were merely to hear the conversation once. Listening carefully is indeed a difficult art. I understand therapists have some training in it. Does anyone know of a book, simple please, which would be useful. I know often I am so keen to help someone in distress I may leap in too quickly with my own ideas without taking account of whether the person themselves had other preferences. "Not listening" becomes scary though when I am contemplating my future, treatment options, lifestyle choices and even my old age. Steering one's demise the way one might like . . . We are dependent on those around us listening,acknowledging and hopefully thoughtfully engaging with our wishes even if they don't necessarily agree with them. Thank you for your blogs MJ XX Ach. Ps: How about all of us with cars make a rear windows banner that says " I'm Backing Moodscope" , with the webscope name underneath? I bet someone knows a site that might produce one, though a homemade one would do. .

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Duma

June 23, 2018, 3 p.m.

Good plan! Nice one, Ach!

Duma

June 23, 2018, 2:58 p.m.

Hey MJ. Quick question - what percentage of your Dreamland experience do you remember? Cheers, Duma.

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Maggie Jane

June 25, 2018, 7:54 p.m.

not sure Duma Sometimes lots of vivid dreams that I remember easily, others not so.

Duma

June 26, 2018, 1:52 p.m.

Do you feel that is something that you’re capable of working on? Increasing your efforts? Cheers, Duma.

Maggie Jane

June 29, 2018, 11:46 a.m.

Yes possibly thnx

David Gosling

June 23, 2018, 5:34 p.m.

I have only just started to dream again after medicated sleep. It is still difficult to remember them. Like you do. End of my contribution. Good Luck.

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Duma

June 24, 2018, 12:26 a.m.

Thanks again David. I’ll miss you. We have a saying - “...you in your corner, me in mine.” Catch you on the rebound, Duma, out.

Maggie Jane

June 25, 2018, 7:55 p.m.

Dear all Thank you for your supporting and interesting comments. Really appreciate the feedback. Here's to us all having a voice in some shape or form! :)

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Nicco

June 29, 2018, 10:16 a.m.

Hello Maggie Jane, sorry this reply is so late. What a powerful dream. I, too, feel I've not been heard for years, & not being allowed to express emotions like anger or taught healthy ways of dealing with them left me with years of depression. I've found Lisa A Romano's Healing the Inner Child online meditation, & also the book 'Highly Sensitive Person - How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You' by Elaine N Aron both very helpful. I'm glad you are making progress with the help of your therapist & hope you continue to do so - sometimes the journey seems long but will be worth it so want to encourage you to keep going - you are on the right path. x Nicco x

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Maggie Jane

June 29, 2018, 11:48 a.m.

Hi Nicco Thanks for your lovely reply - I will look out those books It is important for us all to ‘keep on keeping on’ ? Best wishes x

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Nicco

June 29, 2018, 10:46 p.m.

Hi again - the Lisa Romano one isn't a book, it's an online meditation which takes you through the horrible things you've suffered in childhood so that you can heal your inner child. It's very powerful - I did it & cried buckets!

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Michael

July 12, 2018, 6:26 a.m.

How about an updated version of Eckhart Tolle’s best seller? “The Power of No”

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Maggie Jane

July 12, 2018, 5:20 p.m.

yes will have a look thanks

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