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#441830 - 07/23/13 03:22 AM Crazy Messed Up Dreams....
Tide Offline

Registered: 07/08/13
Posts: 4
For the last few nights 4, i have been waking up with nightmares...they have been terrifying me. abuse dreams. Has any one else dealt with that?

#441832 - 07/23/13 03:54 AM Re: Crazy Messed Up Dreams.... [Re: Tide]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4227
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
yeah, Tide - many if not most of us have or had them.

there is a thred on the Friends & Family forum about that now. here is what i posted there:

i used to have nightmares. i would stay up LATE trying to sleep as little as possible. once i revealed the CSA to my wife and i started therapy it was easier to deal with because i could talk about it without hiding the details.

the best way we found of dealing with it was she would hug me and tell me i was safe - ask if i wanted to talk about it. sometimes that would calm me enough. i would also talk about it with my T and write about it in my journal or in poems. i think the fear of being exposed was a big part of the nightmares - almost as much as the long-past events.

"new" memories came back in dreams sometimes too. now that i think all the abuse episodes have been brought to light, i rarely have nightmares any more.


it may be a temporary phase - or something longer lasting - others may be able to give more input.
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#441839 - 07/23/13 05:17 AM Re: Crazy Messed Up Dreams.... [Re: Tide]
toddop Offline

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 233
Loc: California

I have been having really horrible dreams. Sometimes about the abuse, but often times dreams with just horrible gut-wrenching things going on and lots of blood. They really left me drained and I get this crazy sense of dread and sadness. Feels like I have fallen into a very dark hole and can't get out. Once I wake up I usually lapse into flashbacks. Then, I lay, paralyzed in bed for about 15-30 minutes.

During these episodes, I really try to focus on my breathing and being really present. It is sometimes really hard. Because I am usually either breathing hard or holding my breath. When I am in this state it is really hard to think beyond the horrible imagery in my mind. It is a monumental effort sometimes to get my mind to think of something else. I will say over and over again "This Too Shall Pass." Then, I concentrate on my breathing as much as I can. It usually helps eventually, but it ALWAYS feels like it is not EVER going to work. I used to get panicked all over again at that moment. But, I have since learned that it will indeed pass. I just have to remember that it will pass. If that makes any sense.

Another thing my T told me is that seeing and naming colors can pull your mind out of an anxiety attack or panic attack from nightmares/flashbacks in the middle of the night. If you can get yourself up and turn on the light, and just look at different colors and say the name of the color either out loud or in your head, it is supposed to help. It's supposed to take you to a different part of your brain. It does help me once I move out of the paralysis. Sometimes I am able to get back to a good headspace if I just get my breathing regularly without the color thing.

My dreams and flashbacks have been inconsistent over the past few years, but in the last few months they have been raging pretty non-stop. I think it has to do with new memories that are coming up and my brain is flushing the drain of all the areas that have been stopped up or closed off.

Does this sound anything like what you are going through?

I'm sorry you are going through this. I hope your nights get better than they are now.



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

#441966 - 07/24/13 04:39 AM Re: Crazy Messed Up Dreams.... [Re: toddop]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Tide, traveler and toddop

I think my dreamlife is becoming less crazy as I reach a steadier point in my recovery. Dreamlife seems to have been a statement of my inner emotional life from memories. I think most of my dreams were not remembered.

For a long time (years) I dreamed of taking a train (or elevated tram) with tracks crisscrossing one another on different levels. I didn't know which train to get on. I had trouble getting tickets. Trains were coming and going in a terribly puzzling way. They would go at freightening speed. I would sometimes board a train and realize it was going to the wrong destination or possibly on collision course with another train. Or I would not be able to connect with another train for a different destination, etc. There were lots of trains but no people.

Another repetitious dream I used to have involved staying in lodging in a vacation spot. One of that series of dreams involved staying in some sort of a small cabin, such as the 3 little pigs or little red riding hood might stay in. I was always alone. Yet there were other cabins, some with people in them. I would awaken (in the dream) and the small cabins would shuffle as in a shell game. I was trying to go to the main cabin (perhaps for breakfast) and the people would disappear.

I talk about a more recent dream in this post:

But this one seems exceptional in my dreamlife in that it's not crazy and messed up. This dream seems to be a preview to something I'm trying to remember.


Edited by pufferfish (07/24/13 01:05 PM)

#461277 - 02/22/14 05:11 PM Re: Crazy Messed Up Dreams.... [Re: pufferfish]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
I've started awakening in the morning having terrible dreams.

Thursday morning I was all alone and wandering naked and with a towel down a gully in a rustic setting of trees and vines. I was searching for the shower. I wandered up and down looking. Then in the distance above on the hill, I saw an aristocrat prancing through the woods. He was running with a pack of dogs on leashes. Then suddenly the dogs saw me and then they ran toward me. They were huge dogs, mostly black, 4 of them. They faced me. They were panting and drooling. They were the size of ponies. I was paralyzed with terror. I awoke in the midst of fear.

The other dream I've forgotten already.


#461280 - 02/22/14 05:52 PM Re: Crazy Messed Up Dreams.... [Re: Tide]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3788
I am sorry. I remember those nights--sweats, flashbacks, nightmares. So many horrible memories flowed and I could not stop them. I basically did not sleep for a year--would get 1 or 2 hours a night. Every time I closed my eyes all I could see was the abuse. My now ex-wife said she felt sorry for me but did not know of the abuse nor did she realize or wish to accept the triggers were within the home that was robbing me of my life. I slowly began to sleep, but never for a full night but could get through 4 or so hours. This went of for 7 or 8 years. Only after therapy and medication was I able to sleep--the medications knocked me out and seemed to block many of the memories--visual and physical. But with therapy, support and surrounding myself with supportive and understanding people, my nightmares are rare. I like it this way, but know new memories will surface but I can better handle them.

After all this I learned sleep deprivation only worsens the nightmares and flashbacks. Try to see someone who can help you sleep.

I hope the dreams stop but there is a message in those dreams. Only you and a professional can unravel the meaning of the dreams.

I wish you the best.



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