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#440209 - 07/06/13 01:18 PM Terror.
CloudyFalls Offline

Registered: 07/19/12
Posts: 173
Loc: Ohio
I've started getting night terrors again. Well, not sure what to call them, but they're terrifying. I used to have night terrors when I was 17, every night. I'd wake up paralyzed with fear, and a horrible sense of dread as if something horrible was about to happen to me. I was terrified of the night, and going to sleep, it was exhausting but, moreover unreal. I couldn't shake this feeling of fear and that my world was about to collapse, something horrible was going to happen, something terrifying. I started searching and trying to find out what was happening, and believed many things from alien abduction to sleep paralysis to night terrors or perhaps something paranormal or spiritual. But mostly I latched onto the fear that I was being abducted, and my nightmares took on that face. Well it lasted 6 months to a year, I eventually got it to stop by relieving my fear of aliens and help with therapy and I eventually started to let go of that fear by telling myself it was crazy and highly improbable. But the night terrors never really stopped. And today I realized how much it really happens still, I've written it off so many times I lost count. But after this morning I am starting to feel paranoid again.

I've been sleeping a lot this week, 16-18 hours. Lately I've been getting confused with my dreams and reality. Having a hard time waking up, sometimes waking up within a dream only to wake into another dream, but feeling my body paralyzed. I knew my body couldn't move and that I was still in my bed, but my dreams continued to try and convince me I was awake and moving. Fucking crazy, it's fucking terrifying, especially when I'm trapped in a nightmare. But this morning around 5am, was significantly terrifying. I would say it was my body's strongest reaction to my terror ever. I woke up in a panic, I was trying as hard as I could to move and wake up. I finally woke up but had trouble staying awake I was very tired. My heart was racing and I was in a cold sweat and I was breathing really fast. I had to get up and out of my room, I couldn't risk falling asleep again, but I could hardly walk, I felt like I was going to faint. I decided to get a drink of water so I did, after I finally calmed myself down (which I was really worrying because my body felt like electric and my heart was reeeally racing) I got back in bed. My mouth started to taste like really metal like, like blood. I tasted blood. Now I was worrying I had a heart attack so I got my ipod and started looking up symptoms and stuff. Well anyways I eventually got up, but even still I feel unreal. I still feel an underlying terror that I don't understand. I almost feel like I'm losing my mind...

I remember my dream, and oddly in my dream I was dreaming and it was very very lucid. I dreamt that I had gone into an alternate reality, I was talking to people to find out where I was. Strangly my dad called me and warned me to "get out of there if your heart starts racing" something about too much stress could kill me if I don't wake up before it starts. I find that really weird, was my subconscious trying to protect me? Well later on in my dream, I must've fallen asleep, within my dream, confusing right? Well I happened to wake up to see someone watching me, I tried to squint my eyes to see them but so they thought I was still asleep. I started panicking, I saw a dark figure standing staring with the background just all white, I've seen that before and it terrified me. I became paralyzed hardly able to move, but I knew I had to get back to reality, I knew it was a dream but I was convinced I was really somewhere else.

There has to be something to these dreams. What's causing them? What could cause that much fear, I don't understand. I've never felt more fear in my life than from these dreams. But I know almost everything in life I do out of fear. I wonder if these dreams are stemming from the root of that fear. I wonder what makes me so afraid... I'm convinced now that it has something to do with my CSA and my past. But what? I remember all of my abuse, I never recall being that terrified. Sometimes I don't even remember my dream and then I just wake up terrified, I've read that you can even blank out your dreams if they're too disturbing, just like memories.

One way or another, I fear something in my brain is off kilter or something, weird dreams, night terrors, confusion from reality and dream, hell I think it's gotta be a problem when my body is reacting because of the dreams, felt like a goddamn heart attack or something. Just so much fucking fear, I don't understand where it's coming from. My life is ruled by fear.

But now that it's been brought to my attention, I think my night terrors started AFTER and only after my first confrontation with my abuser, after I was ready to commit suicide the first time. I am almost positive I've never had these night terrors or whatever before that. Only after. Which was 2010.
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein

#440217 - 07/06/13 05:12 PM Re: Terror. [Re: CloudyFalls]
toddop Offline

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 233
Loc: California
Yeah I am right there with you on the night terrors, Cloudy. I've had insomnia and sleep issues for the past 2 years now. A big part of that is having episodes just like you describe. I wake up paralyzed in fear, my heart racing, I feel both like I am floating and that there is heavy weight on my chest. I have been to the ER several times because I thought I was dying and having a heart attack, and there is nothing wrong. They say my heart is healthy and it is stress.

After talking to my T about these episodes, I have come to the conclusion that they are old body memories surfacing that have been embedded in me for a long times. While I don't remember all the details of my abuse, I think we integrate what happened to us in different levels or layers. Like, I may remember a particular scene or image from my abuse, but that scene from my memory may be devoid of any feeling. I remember it from above, like I left my body. But, even if that happens as a defense mechanism, the body is still there experiencing things. So, what happens is that the mind and the body get separated. So, when you are processing things, you may deal with what was going on with your memory of the abuse, but the body may release those "body memories" in a totally different way. That is what I see as these night terror and insomnia episodes. I think it is my body's way of releasing all the fear, dread, pain, and sheer terror at being violated that was purely the physical reaction to what happened to me.

I don't know if that makes sense in your experience. But, it may just be your body letting go of some of the accumulated stress from your abuse. It is like wanting to scream, but holding it in and forcing yourself to be quiet. That energy from the scream gets stored up in your body. And your body hast to find a way to release it, even after the conscious need to scream is gone. It could also be that there are things that happened that you don't remember, and your body is letting it out another way since you cannot release them mentally.

I really hope your sleep gets better. Mine has gone off and on over the years. I am sadly getting used to and functional around it, but I have faith my sleep will return to normal eventually.

Take care of yourself and heal well.


"Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
-Albert Einstein

#440219 - 07/06/13 05:24 PM Re: Terror. [Re: CloudyFalls]
Poorsoft Offline

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 163
I used to wake up with terrible cramp in my legs every night, tried hydrating, taking potasium tablets, still wouldn't stop. Its only now I realise what that was, physical after shocks of being held down, but it would only ever occur at night.

Have you had the chase dream? You're getting chased by someone, you feel nothing but terror and they grab you; you're heart sinks so you try fight them, I turn to punch but nothing works, there is no force in hands. My hand goes into slow motion and I find it harder to punch through the air, as It lands it simply disintergrates into ash. Then I wake up.

I've woken up plenty of a time gripping my pillow or quilt, I never ever once questioned it.

#440226 - 07/06/13 06:25 PM Re: Terror. [Re: CloudyFalls]
BraveFalcon Offline

Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 1231
Loc: The ATL

Hi CF. Sorry to hear your are going through this. As far as the night terrors and nightmares go, I'm not sure what to tell you other than bringing them up with your T. Fortunately I don't have nightmares very often but when I do have them they tend to be very elaborate and very disturbing. (Nothing involving reliving childhood trauma though.) I've even thought at times that if I had a muti-million dollar budget and the know how to make a movie, I could base horror flicks off of my nightmares that would scare the shit out of people.

I will say that some of what you are describing sounds to me like classic Sleep Paralysis. Have you looked into that? I've had a couple of episodes of that in my life and they scared the shit out of me. During sleep paralysis, you are partly awake and partly dreaming. You are also aware of your surroundings but are unable to move. It's like even your little fingers weigh 2 tons and you don't have the strength to make them budge. Also, sleep paralysis is often accompanied by hallucinations or a sense that there is a presence in the room with you, usually malevolent. In one of my episodes of sleep paralysis, I was certain there was a black demon standing next to my bed and hanging over me but I could not turn my head to face it or move at all. Just before I regained the ability to move and sit up, the demon told me that I was going to die within 24 hours. When I was able to sit up and move, nothing was there and everything was back to normal. That happened a long time ago so obviously it didn't come true.

Anyway, if you haven't looked into sleep paralysis already, maybe you should do so. It sounds like it could be part of the problem. Gook luck dealing with this. There is nothing I love more than sleep, so I don't envy you. Take care. Peace,



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