Anna in 1981, age 6, in her backyard.
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The Skeleton on the Shelf

I was only in first grade, nestled into my blankets on the loft of my bunk bed. It was late, everyone asleep, and all the lights were out. I opened my eyes from my deep sleep. Sitting across the room, on my bookshelf, sat a skeleton. Not a little one, like a toy, but a full-sized boney form, staring at me.

I screamed.

I kept screaming.

It kept staring at me.

My dad burst into the room; the skeleton sat until my dad flipped on the light. Mercifully, the light banished my visitor.

At school, I told the third-grade girls who I so delightfully looked up to about my experience.  They were convinced I had been visited by Bloody Mary and I feared they were right.

Anna holding her birthday cake in the shape of a giraffe on her 7th birthday.

This is my first memory in a long history of sleep disorders, all falling under the umbrella of Parasomnia.  Parasomnia includes common sleep disorders you’ve probably heard of like Sleepwalking, Sleep Talking, and Nightmare Disorders, but it also includes sleep disorders a little less familiar, like Hypnagogic Hallucinations (upon falling asleep), Hypnopompic Hallucinations (upon waking), and Complex Nocturnal Visual Hallucinations (middle of the night.) While  Hypnagogic and Hypnopompic Hallucinations are often connected to Narcolepsy, Sleep Paralysis, and Excessive Daytime Sleepiness, Complex Nocturnal Visual Hallucinations often disappear with increasing light and don’t cause that same exhaustion during the day.  

Through my years of sleep disorders (Sleepwalking, Sleep Talking, Nightmares, Teeth Grinding, Complex Nocturnal Visual Hallucinations) I’ve become deeply invested in the world of sleep, how our dreaming brain works, symbolism, and dream interpretation.   

This blog will be an exploration of dreams and symbolism, mandala work, art, meditation through art, and sleep. It may lead us down unforeseen paths, like the time I followed a red balloon through my parent’s room, trying to convince them it was real and them trying to convince me I was asleep and needed to go back to bed. I hope you will join me on this journey.


Complex Noctural Visual Hallucinations

My most important story

Complex nocturnal visual hallucinations

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  1. The power of dreams has always fascinated me. I’m a vivid dreamer and in times of great distress, my dreams help me to find out the core of what I need to do to get through it. I’m looking forward to reading more and learning from you!

    1. I’d love to know if you have any reoccurring symbols in your dreams? I think our dreams really give us great insight as to where our soul is leading us, using the symbols to get out attention. Maybe we can explore some of the symbols!

  2. I really wish I could remember my dreams. I have had a couple which have really stayed with me over the years and I’ve always been fascinated by what they could mean. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

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