Another nightmare and teenage neuroscience

Woke up from a nightmare last night.

I half sat up in bed, peering blearily around the room, not really sure of where I was. After a split second, though, I knew. (Much to my relief!)

C, on the computer next to the bed, noticed and asked me what was up. When I told him I'd had a nightmare, he laid down next to me, wrapped me up in his arms, and proceeded to soothe-talk me. The only thing I really remember him saying was, "You're always safe here." That, and "I love you, my sweetness." Or something like that.

As I drifted back off to sleep, I kept starting to go back there, to the scene of my nightmare, picking up where I left off. I did not want to go back there, so I tried to get my mind off onto another track by mumbling questions at C.

What's your favorite color?
You know me... anything on the dark spectrum.

Where's your favorite place to be?
Right now it's right here.
Awww, that's sweet...


I drifted off fairly quickly, woke up at the time appointed (my alarm went off), and then realized I was much too tired to function, so I went back to sleep. (I actually did go back to the nightmare scene, but I changed it. I escaped.)

I slept for twelve hours last night, and I didn't even go to bed late! I put myself to bed at a good hour, because I had noticed that when I went to bed before/around midnight, I was able to get up in the morning and feel more refreshed and energetic, without the sluggish energy crash in the late afternoon that I've become accustomed to. Also, I struggle with less negative feelings throughout the day. Well, Friday night I made the mistake of staying up until 4 a.m., and yesterday I was feeling irritable and sluggish all day.

Maybe my body just needed to catch up on what I missed Friday "night"?

Either way, I'm discovering that I like to be up at 8, 9, 10 am. Anything later than 10 I don't care for. Maybe I'm more of a morning person than I'd thought?

Today I'm still feeling "bleh", though. Nausea, mostly... a general queasiness. And very frequent loose stools, yesterday and today... the past couple of days, actually. Maybe I'm fighting something?

I still need to take a shower...

Fortunately, today is Read Books day-- I'm trying to research and prepare myself to be a better facilitator for group. Is hard. (Read the last "sentence" with an accent, if you please.)

Honestly, I feel really intimidated by the task of facilitating, now that I've realized I made a bunch of mistakes. I want to be able to help these girls... and yet I don't really know what I'm doing! #frustrated

If only I had some sort of training to fall back on... but I don't. Only my own experience and what I've read.

I've just begun a book on the neuroscience of the teenage brain (called The Primal Teen), which is fascinating! Apparently, the teenage brain is in a state of flux, where the synapses (I think?) at first grow like crazy, then diminish over the next years. This explains why teens seem to, at times, have the mature judgment capacity of an adult, and then they go do something totally bonkers and leave you scratching your head.

And this is the place my girls are at... the place where long-term consequences don't exactly mean much... because they literally can't think through them. The brain is not developed that way yet. (Think pre-frontal cortex-- doesn't fully develop until mid to late twenties.) The book has already begun discussing the prefrontal cortex, which is exciting to me, but I'm just barely in the first chapter and a half. I can't say anything for sure yet.... just that I'm very, very interested.

The implications for my group and its "success" are staggering. I've been trying to help these kids by emulating the format of the women's group, but it's obvious that it won't work. Why? Their brain processes are fundamentally different at this point. If I can figure out how to use what I learn about how the teenage brain processes and utilizes information, then I can work out a curriculum that will enable me to help them deal long-term with the issues they are facing and will face. Now, according to my calculations... (LOL! Couldn't help but toss that in...)

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