Internal Turmoil

My dreams are back. They’re not particularly horrifying or terrible dreams but just the fact that I’m starting to get so many dreams again when I sleep is just bothering me lately. I know for a fact that this has something to do with the internal turmoil that only my subconscious can recognize.

This is my problem: my conscious brain has been numbed to my emotional problems–or at least I taught it to think “maturely” and to logically weigh positive and negative points without considering how anything affects my true emotions. Like for example, even as a kid, I didn’t like asking my parents to buy me toys even though I really wanted them, because logically thinking, (1) we probably don’t have enough money, (2) I can obviously live without it, (3) I still have other toys to play with, and (4) I think don’t deserve it unless there’s a special occasion for me to receive a gift. Yeah, sure, I’d like it very much if I got the toy I wanted and I do feel rather upset that I can’t have nice toys like my other friends do, but after thinking over the logical reasons why I shouldn’t ask for such toys, I began to trick myself into thinking that I don’t want what I wanted after all. And this habitual way of thinking did not stop at just asking for toys. Whenever I have problems, I do the exact same thing. Even though I am having a difficult time, even though I am upset, I tend to start weighing the reasons why I shouldn’t complain about my problems and ending up pushing back my negative thoughts and feelings–no longer entertaining them, marking them as invalid. Instead, I only invest on the positive or logical things that justify the invalidity of the negative stuff.

This affects my prayer life as well. Since I’m a nice, completely logical kid who is definitely aware of God’s innumerable provisions, I always thank Him for all the good things that He has done and always try to focus on those as is said in Philippians 4:8. I also ask God for petitions and always accept whatever answer He gives because my logical brain understands that God’s judgment is always right. But what about the times when I’m upset about something that is definitely not my fault? For example, why did I have to live a lonely life? Why did God put me on country so far away from the people I love? Why did I have to lose certain people? No, no, God knows best so I didn’t want to complain to Him when He was the one who made my life turn out this way. And although God knows how I truly feel deep inside, I just pretend like I am completely content with everything. In fact, most of the time, I don’t even know that I’m pretending. I’m just so good at repressing those negative feelings that I began to think that I am perfectly okay.

But the sadness, pressure, anger, disappointment, loneliness, hardship, stress, etc… do they really go away even though I don’t think about them anymore? Not really. Although, my conscious brain no longer wants to have anything to do with them to the point that I don’t even remember them sometimes, the negative emotions, experiences, and thoughts are shelved deep in my dark, messed-up subconscious. And since those thoughts are still there, I think they find their way into my dreams. Truth be told, they probably don’t just manifest in my dreams, they also get expressed when writing stories, and are probably the cause for my mood swings and music/movie preferences.

I naturally don’t like to express my feelings to anyone. I may feel like I’m dying but there is no way that I will show that to just anyone. I may also feel very happy to the point of tears but I will never lose my cool just to show someone how touched I am. Love and affection is even worse. I always come across as aloof and unconcerned but deep down I truly love my friends and family with my whole heart. And it’s not that I won’t show it, it’s just that I don’t know how to. I got so used to showing lesser emotion as I grew older to appears strong and composed to the point that I don’t even know how to do it anymore. Also, the more I try to stay and look strong, ironically, it seems like I feel so much weaker and more sensitive deep inside. This bad habit of holding everything in also harbors so much regret. There are so many things that I know I should have said and done, yet if I were to go back in time, would I have the courage to show people exactly how I feel? Regret doesn’t even stop at that; it leads to self-blame, and self-blame leads to feelings of insecurity that causes me retract back into my shell. Yet what do I do with those feelings? I ignore them and pretend like they don’t exist…until they are brought up by my subconscious again in ways that will definitely signal to my conscious brain that I am not okay.

When I am left all alone with nothing but my thoughts, signals from my subconscious mind is magnified. Now that I live all alone and my close friends have left me, I don’t have anyone to distract me from this inner chaos six days a week. There’s no one to talk to me about my day, no one to ask me if I’m okay, no one to share my burdens with, so I have no choice but to bottle everything up, and voila! I get so many weird dreams at night that left me feeling drained and exhausted instead of feeling energized and refreshed in the morning.

Then I heard this sermon about how people in the Bible have cried out in prayer. Long story short, after hearing that sermon, I just poured myself out to God about my true frustrations, loneliness, pain, suffering…because even though God has taken good care of me and blessed me for the past 20 years of my life, I can’t ignore the fact that throughout those 20 years I have also suffered so much suppressed pain and loneliness. I can’t keep pretending like my walk with God was nothing but rainbows and unicorns and happy endings because it was not. I can’t keep lying to myself saying that my life is nothing but awesomeness because God was the one who made it this way. No, no, no. Although I know God was with me, my life was not easy. And even though I’m not a malnourished, diseased orphan starving in the heat of Africa, that doesn’t mean that my inner turmoil is not any less important in the Lord’s eyes. I realized that it is completely okay to tell God how you truly feel and it was very liberating. We can be honest with Him when we are having a hard time, and He’s there to listen anytime. We don’t have to hide those feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, and shame. When we look to God for comfort, He will take those burdens away.

So yeah, I spent the days before my birthday crying at home. No matter how much I’d like to be happy on that day remembering all of the past awesome memories of my 20 years of living, those good memories didn’t make me happy for some odd reason. They were very bittersweet, but the bitter part is a lot more overpowering when you’re all alone in your room. I hate crying as well, but I learned that crying every once in a while is actually healthy, because if I don’t, I might go insane.


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