Nightmares play out in my body and my mind during both waking and sleeping hours.
I was injured in the workplace in 2006 while working as a Director of Finance in a corporate environment. It was a high stress job. Doctors and therapists have identified the behavior of a “malignant narcissist” personality type. My boss, the CEO, was insecure and abusive. Combine this behavior with sexual harassment from another manager and I became permanently disabled with post traumatic stress. I lost my ability to read and comprehend numbers for several months. Panic attacks disabled me from leaving the house or driving in cars, even as a passenger. Muscle tension led to neurological problems, fibromyalgia, degenerative spine, asthma and respiratory distress.
My first warning sign of Post Traumatic Stress occurred a few days after the sexual harassment incident. One of the staff members came to me with a simple accounting question. I looked at the computer screen, recognized the symbols and numbers but could not solve a very simple problem. I later learned that my brain had been flooded by the stress hormone cortisol, which is released any time our “fight or flight” signals are triggered. If we can’t fight or run away our brains sometimes just break. This used to be called a nervous breakdown.
Soon after this panic attacks would occur at work, at home or even on a hiking trail where I felt relaxed and at peace. I thought I would be fine once I was away from the toxic workplace. However it was too late. When the symptoms lasted for more than 3 months I was diagnosed with PTSD. Brain testing led the doctors to conclude that it would take at least 5 years before I would recover, assuming no other incidents of high stress would occur. I eventually settled a worker’s compensation lawsuit after 2 ½ years but this only covered the medical bills. I also became eligible for disability benefits. I was lucky. Many disabled people fight for years in the US and don’t get the benefits they have paid into all their working lives.
For the first few years the most common nightmare was being at work in my old job where I was injured. I was either given too much work to be done and/or I was completely ignored. Either way I felt trapped and alone, with no emotional support or connection to the environment I was in. I was always full of anxiety and felt there was no escape, just a sense of being trapped. Later the environments changed but I was unable to find my way home, always some obstacle prevented me from getting home. I still have these nightmares today and they are unpredictable, seemingly having no relationship to my ordinary day. In dreamland I feel like a ghost, wandering and unable to find my way home.
The following dream/visions brought me a stable peace deep inside while my mind and body were disabled — I am so thankful for them. They revealed places I had perhaps never been before. I am not a churchgoer or even a reader of the Bible. But I was raised in the Lutheran Church. Perhaps that is why the imagery is full of Biblical characters, I don’t know since I don’t think of Jesus or Mary during waking hours very much. However an acquaintance who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress told me that she also went through a period of intense mystical experiences as part of her healing process.
In August of 2006 while at Lake Tahoe, staying a few nights with a friend, I had what I call a “Dream before Sleeping”. I flew up above the clouds and beyond the earth so that I could look down upon the sphere of clouds and land and ocean. I kept going past the quarter moon until I was deep in space among the stars, space and stars whooshing past until I just stopped in space among the stars. It was quiet — I wondered why I stopped here but accepted that this was where I supposed to be. The dream/vision ended and I become aware of my bed and ambient noise in the house.
A few minutes later the dream/vision continued and I was whooshing through space again with stars flying past. I descended quickly and saw a large, stone like pyramid structure that had right angles of varying sizes at many sides of the pyramid. It was more like a Mayan pyramid than an Egyptian one. It was much taller than a classic earth pyramid and I could not see the bottom of the structure. As I neared the top it opened and I flew deep down a dark hole that emerged. I wasn’t scared and simply accepted the journey. Deep inside the hole opened into a massive cavern with mysterious walls. I slowed and stopped at what appeared to be a small part of the wall with library like shelves with books or something like books on them. One of the books came out slowly and I knew this book contained a soul. Each book was a soul of some living being. Some had lived before and some were yet to live.
A shrouded being approached me to show me the book. It was kind of creepy and I didn’t know if the being was friendly or hostile or neutral. When the being opened the book it showed me my head placed on the book, indicating that I was to die like everyone else that was placed in the books of this “eternal” library. I thought well that sounds normal, we all die and I am no different than any other living being. It did give my ego pause though and made me wonder if there was something I was do with my remaining time on earth that might change this future destiny. It seemed so lifeless to be placed in this library. Another shrouded being approached me but I had some fear it was not friendly and it projected ugly “demon-like” features. It calmly left my vision and I meditated on the question of what some of my choices were to do with my remaining time on earth.
I felt a subtle force of light and energy entering into my being through my head and into my body. It was quiet and light and filled me with a gentle peace that offset some of my uncertainty and fears. It felt as though just a bit of grace had entered into my being, not filling it entirely but just enough that I could contain. Some scenarios appeared before me of what I might still do on this earth but I fell asleep and cannot recall what I was shown.
August 29, 2006 Home, Lake of the Pines, Auburn, California
I did a short meditation before bed to clear my feelings. Before sleeping I saw a vision of a yellow/orange (gold?) band of energy that surrounded the Earth, hovering and vibrating slightly above the ground. This energy band represents the goodness and love of all the people and beings on the earth, past, present and future, which have felt and expressed these feelings and actions. I could feel myself being lifted into this energy. It felt so good to be in this field, it felt like home. I felt that I would be drawn to people and places and beings that lived in this energy.
Then I saw a column of people 10–15 people thick, male and female, heads and arms stretched up. The column kept going up and up beyond the earth, beyond the point that I could see.
Then I saw fragments of writing in a language I did not recognize (looked something like Hebrew or Sanskrit lettering). I kind of freaked at this point because I thought it may be a part of a sacred message and I did not feel worthy to see such a message.
Some time in September, 2006 I received a vision of Mary who appeared in her recognized image and then began morphing into a variety of feminine forms, beautiful and ugly, loving and violent. It was a little scary and yet the feeling beneath the form was that all these images and expressions were She. Beneath the forms the basis and truth was goodness and love, despite what I might see and experience in this world.
Again just before falling asleep I received an image of a smiling old man. He exuded happiness. Without speaking I knew he was here to comfort me and be a companion guide through what I was going through and may be about to experience. Again without speaking he identified himself as Elijah. He warmed my heart, but did not express any requests or guidance, just being.
Sky opens up like a curtain and Jesus is riding a chariot pulled by galloping horses towards the Earth.
A tiny infant Jesus is in a glass cylinder, like a candle glass, outside a church sanctuary. The sanctuary is located in some desert mountains with red brown rocks and sparse pine trees.
October 11, 2006
A light appears in a dark space, generated by a being. I felt the presence but no form of Jesus.
Jesus appears with long hair and clad in armor. He is smiling and waiting, emanating a feeling of confidence and patience.
My 51st birthday
Jesus and I are walking down a rocky path. Jesus tells me that what we are both working on will take thousands and thousands of years.
Dreamt I was 10–20 years older with a full head of gray hair sitting with a group of people talking about something or other when a power overcame me. It spoke through me with great authority and force. However when I awoke I don’t know what it was that was said, but the people in the room were taken aback.
February 23, 2007
Dream/vision before falling asleep: A large truck pulled up a gravel road and unloaded more than 100 cows. The cows were black and white, Holsteins. As they left the truck ramp they knew instinctively that they were “home” and proceeded up the drive to the farmhouse and ranch. This was their sanctuary where they knew they could live their lives in peace, without threat of being eaten or killed. They communicated to me emotionally/telepathically, as animals do a tremendous sense of gratitude and “ahhh…. It is so good to be home with you”.
April 30, 2007
The first vision was Our Lady. She was alone, holding her head down, kind of slumped over, sad but not in total despair.
In a dream I was with a group of European artist/bohemian types. I felt awkward being around them until we started to do some inflatable trapeze dancing — it was really fun and graceful. Then Rachel (from my trip to Bhutan) and the group of artists started chanting Om Mani Padme Hum — the sound was so incredible in tone and pitch. An orb appeared in the room that began to move in response to the sound — it opened up an entire dimension of understanding that is not known from our earthly world.
Later in the dream I was in a new house in some kind of desert hills. A man took me to another house built by a mysterious English/Bhutanese person. It was a large house that each time I looked at it kept expanding into many wings, and many stories. A courtyard inside had a huge statue of a golden Buddha. When I saw the Buddha I cried and felt a great feeling of something good. Later I was walking up a path in a small village (that I had been to before in dreamland), up some stairs, past a modest little shop.
In 2009 I moved to Desert Hot Springs, a town just north of Palm Springs in Southern California. The house was a newer home and the view was like that in the dream I had in 2007. In 2007 I had no plans to move and had not been to Palm Springs since I was a child.
May 8, 2007
Dream before sleeping — The face of Buddha appeared, a large gray, stone face with eyes closed and a gentle, kind smile. It lingered awhile and then the torso appeared and kept growing in length and girth. There were many details and intricacies to the body. At the lower part of the belly a door appeared. The door was closed and then opened from the bottom up. Inside a wood floor in tones of red and brown moved about gracefully, sliding in multiple directions. The feeling was calm, safe and alive.
May 21, 2007
Dream before sleeping — A blue and gold being walked slowly and deliberately, almost mechanically, towards a central area. The being was human like, with deep blue skin, and gold encrusted top layers on the head and many parts of the body. In the central area was a smallish gold being, Buddha like who was smiling and alive. The gold Buddha being sat cross-legged and at times rose off the floor a few feet. The gold Buddha then changed form into a spinning gold ribbon of energy, somewhat like a double infinity symbol, or two 8 symbols sideways and weaving amongst each other.
May 23, 2007
Dream before sleeping — A large, intricate and magnificently, highly detailed structure appeared. I viewed from above and closed in to see the detail, more complex than anything I have seen on earth — many colors, and highly evolved details, sort of a combination of Asian and Baroque styles. There were no visible beings but the place felt alive and not without life.
Complex imagery of a young baby, an old man and several stages in between that was too fast to grasp with my mind. Buddhist/Asian themes with some sort of understanding of light and a method of pure creation that has to do with being in a certain state that allows one to see and create from pure intent and emotion. Hard to describe but it is a state of perception from an inner place. Felt as though my mind and soul were being worked on, stretching and growing.
Dream in the early morning — I was gliding through the air both fast and slow, close to the ground and slightly above it. But when I was in my body I was kind of stuck in a very slow, somewhat painful mode. Later I popped into space, looked around at all the stars, then looked down and got scared because there was no ground, but I was ok and when I relaxed in space I was fine, feeling weightless and clear in my mind, free of pain.
In the summer of 2008 in Northern California, where I lived at the time, a series of wildfires made life even worse. For a month the smoke was so thick many of us could not leave our homes for other than brief periods. My body began to fail and I landed in the emergency room again and again. I have been fortunate to have good medical care but this time they were stumped. Modern science had saved my life again but I was sent home with little hope because they just could not find out the cause of my progressive collapse. My doctor thought I had ALS, the degenerative neurological disease for which there is no cure. After a few months testing showed that I did not have ALS.
At home one night, deep in pain and anguish, and on a fair amount of medication, I struggled to find the peace of sleep. Inwardly I did not think I was going to die but my body was telling me otherwise. I just accepted where I was at and surrendered. Slowly the pain decreased and I felt my spirit lifted into what I can only describe as a dazzle of kindness, reflecting images of kindness received and given, so fast that it melted my pain and anguish. Beyond this I felt a powerful, magnetic like force that was drawing me into Itself.
Then I became aware of my heartbeat, with the memory of the huge force that is our destination after leaving this world. A fragment of this place came into me and into my consciousness. I instinctively felt as though this would be enough for me to continue to live on here in this world. It was not time to die.
For a few years I did not return to the hospital. I am by no means completely healthy. I still hobble around with a lot of limitations. Yet I have been graced with just enough human companionship from a few friends and neighbors, some great healers in traditional western medicine and holistic therapies, the comfort of nature and a joyful companion dog. My mental functions are returning and as long as I listen to my body and rest frequently the physical pain is kept in check. As for what the future holds, I have no idea — I take one breath at a time, allowing life to unfold.