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annabelle Offline
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Nightmares - May 11th 2009, 01:31 AM

I haven't seen this guys for almost three years in September, but I still have nightmares almost every night. He's in every one whether it's replaying what happened or a weird twisted nightmare that I've had since I was little. I don't know why I can't escape the past. I've had this wonderful boyfriend after this guy and he was the greatest thing to me, but I can't help but feel like I'm cheating him out of having a better girlfriend because he's stuck with me. The nightmares got so bad that a year ago I broke up with my boyfriend because I couldn't escape my head, and I stopped being able to trust people again. My boyfriend and I are sort of back together again (not officially and it's still a huge maybe), but the feeling's starting to come back and I'm afraid my nightmares are going to ruin my life again.
   
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Re: Nightmares - May 11th 2009, 01:54 AM

Annabelle,
I can really relate to what you wrote. The nightmares and flashbacks are the absolute worst and I definitely know what it's like when it feels like they will just consume you and be the end of you. It's awful, isn't it? Unfortunately it's not as simple as "escaping the past". When something traumatic happens, it sticks with us for a long time. That's the bad news. The good news is that it won't always be in the forefront of our minds, like it is for you now. I used to not be able to go a day without having flashbacks and nightmares; now I can go weeks or months. So it DOES get better.

Annabelle, have you ever gotten any sort of professional help for what you went through? It can be scary to think about, but therapy can do WONDERS for trauma survivors who are dealing with post-traumatic stress symptoms like the ones you are describing. Also--would you consider letting your boyfriend know what's going on? Having his support could be helpful.

In the meantime, please take good care of yourself, okay? Let me know if you want to talk about anything--I really do get it and am here to chat anytime you need.
Jen




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annabelle Offline
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Re: Nightmares - May 11th 2009, 02:15 AM

Well, my boyfriend knows that it's happened, but I don't like telling him that it gets in the way of my relationship with him. I'm scared that he'll get mad or that he'll push me away for it. I've talked to some people, but they don't really help. Usually they jut make it worse because they don't know what's going on in my head. They just say stuff like, "It's been three years, Anna. You need to be able to get over this."
   
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Re: Nightmares - May 11th 2009, 03:15 AM

Annabelle, you know what I think? I think that if your boyfriend truly loves you and cares about you, he isn't going to get mad at you for having a hard time, you know? Part of a true relationship is being there for the other person, during the good times and the hard times. If he isn't able, or isn't willing to stand by you during the hard times, he's not the right guy for you.

I'm so sorry that people have told you to just get over it. Please understand that I, and many others on this site, know that it's NOT that easy. It is a long healing process, and it involves a lot of ups and downs. Annabelle, do your parents know? Have you ever been in therapy for your trauma?

When you are having a hard time, try to ground yourself. I don't know if you know what grounding techniques are, but they are things to do that help keep you calm, focused, and in the present, instead of stuck in your memories. For me, holding ice or running my hands under cold water is really helpful. I also tend to like to be wrapped up in warm blankets to help me feel safe. It's helpful to keep your eyes OPEN if you're having a hard time--focus on your surroundings. Stay in the present. Focus on what you can see, smell, hear, and touch.

I'm happy to share more if it's helpful, okay? Take good care of you--I get it, I'm here....
Jen




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Re: Nightmares - May 11th 2009, 03:21 AM

Hey Annabelle,

First off, welcome to Teen Help. I hope you stick around and maybe you can vent here? A lot of people can understand from being where you are today. You know, it takes a lot to come onto a new site and open up about something like this. I can assure you that there are really nice people on this site who can relate to your feelings and situation. So, I hope a reply given can spark a positive outlook or conclusion to a problem for you.

I can understand where you come from regarding the relationships. Unfortunately, the past is really easily able to trigger current problems in our lives. The memory can be both good and bad. Forgetting what happened is impossible but coping and healing certainly is an option. You're not lost and your not hopeless. There is a solution out there, we just need to look hard enough. I know that what happened is horrible to remember. Especially when the current people in our lives are seen re-enacting what we never want to re-live.

I know it feels like the thoughts you have control you and I know it's a scary thing to deal with alone. Which is why I suggest seeing a professional. Handling anything that brings back something like abuse is hard to deal with when you have no professional help. A professional can teach you ways to open up and talk about the past situation and the current memories that lead to a positive outcome. Not only that, you might be able to stop the nightmares from happening again or at least lessen their affects on your day to day life. It's hard to deal with and it's hard to remember. It's not that the past can't be escaped, it's that you haven't taken the proper steps to heal. It's like leaving a wound open. If not taken care of properly, it can become worse and get infected.

On top of seeing a professional, I suggest talking to your boyfriend. If he is truly a good boyfriend and loves you, he will respect you and understand how hard it is for you. Dating and moving on is not easy, the fact that you even have a boyfriend is more than most can do. You deserve your chance to heal at your own rate. Don't let other people's opinions and time lines affect you. There is not a set time for when you need to be completely healed. You need to do this on your own terms or else nothing will ever heal right. If you need anything, let me know. I can relate to your problem. I'll be sure to try and help as much as I can. Take care.

~Stay strong and have faith.


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annabelle Offline
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Re: Nightmares - May 11th 2009, 04:48 PM

Thanks guys, your replies have really helped me
   
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