Sleepwalking Through Life
eBook - ePub

Sleepwalking Through Life

Environmental Hypnosis and the Devastating Effects of Clinical Somnambulism

CHt CAHA Hill

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eBook - ePub

Sleepwalking Through Life

Environmental Hypnosis and the Devastating Effects of Clinical Somnambulism

CHt CAHA Hill

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À propos de ce livre

A TRUE STORY OF HOW ENVIRONMENTAL HYPNOSIS TRAPPED A WOMAN, MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY, FOR FIFTY YEARS!

"For Fifty Years, I Just Thought I Was Just Forgetful, Addicted and Phobic. Turns Out, I Was In a State of Hypnosis!"

I spent my entire life feeling less than adequate. As a young black girl growing up in Seattle in the 1960's, my self esteem and self image was conceived during a trauma of racism and abuse. As I grew from a terrified child, to a rebellious teenager into an overwhelmed adult, I noticed I would often drift off into my own dreamworld, not remembering what I had been doing for hours at a time. I either became hyper focused on a single task, or wandering from room to room accomplishing nothing. I would lose important documents, tickets and jewelry and have no earthly idea where I left them. I was not able to stay awake in movies, at concerts, or while riding in a car. I began to feel overwhelmed and over burdened by my own life, which led to excessive drinking and overeating, evolving into unusual fears and phobias. Antidepressants and antianxiety medications did not work on me. Nothing worked. Until I discovered hypnotherapy.

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Informations

Éditeur
Vent Hypnosis
Année
2019
ISBN
9781087957241
Édition
1
Sous-sujet
Hipnotismo
FOREWORD
My Story
My name is Sheryl Hill, and I am a natural somnambulist.
Somnambulism, in clinical terms, refers to sleepwalking. And, although it is related to the condition of which I am writing, it is not the same. A somnambulist in hypnosis terms is a person who is hypersuggestible or “super-sensitive” to their environment. They may or may not have a history of sleepwalking, but, in this context, it refers to a person who accepts information into their brain unilaterally instead of bilaterally with very little filtering, which creates a feeling of being energetically overwhelmed.
Most brains have a dominant side. It's believed that, if you are right-handed, you are left-brained, and if you are left-handed, you are right-brained. Although this has recently been proven to be in dispute by researchers using stroke patients, we can still generalize this to be true for the purpose of hypnosis.
How you interpret information and how you behave is based on which hemisphere is the most dominant. According to Dr. John Kappas, the author on whose premise this is based, somnambulists do not have a dominant side of the brain in which to filter information. They take in information in both hemispheres with the same velocity at the same time. This puts them at a distinct disadvantage, as they can accept scarcely half as much data as the unilateral brain before becoming fatigued.
A “natural somnambulist” is a person who is so sensitive to their environment that they spend a great deal of their lives being in a hypnotic trance while appearing to be wide awake and fully functioning. They are prone to frequent bouts of spontaneous “walking hypnosis” and can manipulate body functions such as heart rate, bleeding and pain reduction by putting themselves into a trance-like state and concentrating. Somnambulists are highly intuitive and they are thought to be the individuals who can access higher vibrations attuned to clairvoyance and interpreting messages from the outer spectrum, and natural somnambulists are the most sensitive of the sensitive and the most vulnerable to attacks from the environment.
My Childhood
I am an African American woman, and, when I was young, I was a sleepwalker. I never knew this about myself until I became an adult, as my parents were from the south and did not have the time or patience to deal with a sleepwalking child. I guess they considered it a “white person's illness.” All I knew was that they would often comment, “You woke up again last night.” Once or twice, I do remember waking up and being fully dressed in my Girl Scouts uniform and wondering why I was in the kitchen. But, like most children, I did not give it any real thought.
All children are literal somnambulists until they reach the age of seven or eight. In children, somnambulism resembles fantasy and make-believe. Their minds are about nothing but absorbing the world around them, but when they reach seven, most children stop believing in fairy tales, and reality becomes more significant. That’s what hypnosis is, really, an ability to suspend reality and allow for the possibility of make-believe to be true.
Sleepwalkers don’t know they are sleepwalking unless they are told when they are awake. With my parents’ denial, I was unaware that “waking up” meant sleepwalking. It was not until I studied hypnosis that I began to put two and two together.
In my dreams, I would leave my body and go flying to a fantasy land. It was such a beautifully-magical place, but I could only get there at night. The background was midnight blue, and the stars were sparkling yellow. I would go from house to house having a ball. Then, and even now, I am a frequent sleep talker; both are signs of somnambulism.
My tendencies toward obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) started when I was very young. At age four, I hated disorder. It was very important to me that my shoes were lined up by color against the wall behind my bedroom door. The heels faced the wall and the toes pointed outward toward the door. It was like I had a shoe secret that no one could see except for me, and I'd become highly agitated if my shoes were dirty or out of order.
I loved looking at my shoes when the door was closed. I could see them so perfectly lined up against the wall, and they made me feel “perfect”. That is what I kept telling my parents, and, although they never understood what that meant, they chose not to fight that battle, so I got to keep my shoes the way I wanted them in order to facilitate peace and quiet. As an adult, I have come to understand that it wasn’t that the shoes made me feel perfect, but arranging the shoes out of order filled me with anxiety, making me feel out of control. Unperfect. Putting the shoes in order gave me a sense of calmness.
To this day, there is an order to my shoes and my clothes closet that makes sense to me. If my closet is out of order, I feel like I can't breathe. It is a feeling of being overwhelmed and claustrophobic, but I do not fear small spaces, I fear disorder. All of the clothes are sorted by type and color from dark to light. Slacks and skirts on the left side of the closet. Boots are located under the pants and skirts. Tops are on the right side of the closet and dresses are hung in front of me, so I can see them first when I walk in. Shoes are kept in their original shoe box with a photo of the shoes on the outer end of the box, so I can scan them without opening them. They are also arranged by type and color. At one time, I had over 150 pairs of shoes which made finding any one pair impossible if they got out of order. I am now down to a mere 50 pairs, which makes it more manageable. I can walk into my closet and scan everything in five seconds. If it takes more than ten seconds I am not feeling perfect.
I was born prematurely. My mother gave birth to me at six and a half months. I had severe allergies and asthma until I was almost sixteen, and my environmental surroundings were a cocoon of antiseptic living. I had life-threatening allergies to dust, pollen, grass, mold, cats, dogs, horses, chicken feathers, eggs, whole wheat, chocolate, nuts and cow dairy products. The curtains and linens in my room were washed and dried by my mother daily until I was old enough to do it myself. I had desensitizing shots twice a week for twelve years, ridding me of life-threatening allergic reactions, but I was always the little black girl with eczema and allergies who could not eat or drink or go where all the other kids went.
My mother compensated for my premature birth by overfeeding me. This produced an excess of fat cells which explained my obesity until my early twenties when a combination of street amphetamines called black beauties and medically-prescribed speed help me shed weight. This tendency toward being overweight is something I struggle with to this day, which further adds to my anxieties.
I could speak full sentences when I was one. I could read by the time I finished the first grade. I learned my multiplication tables and learned beginning Spanish in the second grade. Until the third grade, I was an advanced student. Both of my parents were advanced honor students and had the infancy of careers in medicine. My oldest brother tested in the genius range, so I knew that I came from a very smart family. But for me, at some point, everything changed.
I have almost no memory of the years between third and fifth grades. At some point, I just stopped learning (or so I thought; I am now able to recall most of that information, I just do not remember a time when I learned it). I do know that I was put in the remedial classes for slow learners. I could memorize, but I could not retain complex thought processes. Learning is based on stacking information. Since I had not comprehended the work learned the day before, I began to lose the ability to keep up with the rest of the class. I spent a lot of time daydreaming, which I now know to be the first stage of hypnosis. Days would go by, and I would not remember anything. While other members of my family were in the top 10% of their class, I was in the bottom 5%. I began to suffer from severe anxiety. Although I was always popular, my family, especially my mother, considered me emotionally and intellectually inferior to my brothers. I internalized this label and embraced its meaning like everyone else in my family.
Things were not good at home. My parents were not getting along. They struggled financially, but they were, at the same time, ambitious and wanted more than anything to keep up appearances. Having come from the segregated south where their opportunity was limited by the color of their skin, they understood success to mean integration. We always lived in white neighborhoods. There was a lot of opportunity in the 1960’s in Seattle for African American men and women. Not so much for their kids. I was called a nigger every single day of my life from the time I could remember until we moved from Seattle to the more affluent suburb of Redmond. There, I was only called a nigger once a week, as it was a more socially-enlightened community. I believed many thought the word, but it was rarely spoken out loud.
As an adult, I can look back with detachment, as my unique early experiences have certainly contributed to my idiosyncratic personality and perspective on life. Consciously, I feel no ill will or anger toward the environment which my parents chose for my upbringing. Subconsciously, my brain was working overtime to keep my feelings “perfect”.
My mother was born to a woman who made her children call her “Mother Dear.” My maternal grandmother was as mean as they come. My mother was the fourth of eleven children whom my grandmother pitted against each other. My mother and her siblings were always competing with each other. It was a way of life.
My mother was, in turn, a fierce disciplinarian handing out corporal punishment to us bordering on abuse. She was a control freak and a screamer. Coming home was always a toss-up for me. Who would my mother be today? A mini-Mother Dear or a calm, sane person? This uncertainty always left me feeling emotionally off-balance. Later, in the 1980’s, my mother was diagnosed as a paranoid narcissist, a diagnosis with which she vehemently disagreed.
I was never fond of my mother, but I always adored my father. He was kind and attentive, and he made sure that I was cultured and informed. He took time off work to excuse my brother and me from school, so we could go on what we called, “Daddy Fieldtrips.” When I was no more than seven, he took me to the opera to see Madame Butterfly and La Boheme. We were frequent visitors to the Seattle Symphony. In fact, we went so often that Milton Katims, the conductor, noticed us and asked one of the staff to offer a meet-and-greet. There were no other black people at the symphony at that time, so my father, my brother and I stood out like sore thumbs.
My father took me to science exhibitions, and, when Air Force One landed at Boeing Field, he left work early so that we could park miles away to watch it land. I got to see the Moon Rocks as they made their way across America, even though almost none of my classmates did. I got to see Grand Coulee and Hoover Dams. Wherever we went, he made sure it was not just for fun but that we learned from the experience.
I guess he tried to make up in culture and education what my mother lacked in compassion and affection. As a young woman, I was very close to my father. So much so that my mother began to see me as competition. Of course, I began to wield my young power against my mother by wrecking cars and not going to school. I wore clothes that would annoy her, and I would not come home at night. After twenty-five years of marriage, my father left my mother, moved in with a white woman three years older than I, and died three years later from leukemia. I was devastated.
After my father’s death, I spent years trying to forge a real relationship with my mother. Over the years, I have learned that the heaps of praise and presents are never enough for her, and, in her old age, she has become mean and forgetful. I am even more horrible now than I was early on in my life, as she tells it. This has caused a strain on my relationship with my family, so I have removed myself from the eternal punishment and condemnation, disrespect and abuse. I have no regrets for leaving. My younger brothers have a different relationship with my mother than I do, and I would not wish it to be any different for them. I am on a healing journey and welcome anyone who wants to join me, including my family. But I am not holding my breath.
Since I can remember, I have had falling, flying and running dreams. As a child, I remember leaving my body and astral projecting every night. For most people, sleep is a restful time. As an adult, sleep was filled with nightmares of flying out of control until I fell to the ground or running up and down stairs in a never-ending quest to obtain the unobtainable, or trying to warn oblivious victims from the impending danger of an invisible monster. For me, sleep was, and sometimes still can be, exhausting, especially if I am troubled or distressed with an issue in my awake life.
At some point, I became aware of being terrified of heights. To this day, it is difficult for me to walk up to the edge of a cliff or drive over the crest of a road if I cannot see over the other side. My primitive brain thinks the horizon is a cliff, and there is no way I’m going over it. This was my second identifiable anxiety disorder after OCD.
In college, I was a solid C student. I had no confidence, so I never bothered to apply myself. After college, I achieved a certain amount of success, despite my lack of confidence, but I never rose to the heights I could have if I'd had the belief systems that I have now. I have lived half of my life feeling less than adequate.
In my family, I was known as "the loser” because I lost things so frequently. My brother played college and professional football. If I had tickets to a big game, I would lose them. I would arrive at the airport only to discover I had left my passport, or my wallet or my plane tickets or my luggage. The more important the occasion, the more likely I was to forget. In the frenzy...

Table des matiĂšres

  1. Contents
  2. FOREWORD