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Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

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Nightmare - October 29th 2010, 02:47 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

So, I know no one is going to be able to give me a definitive answer to this question or issue or whatever but I figured I would attempt to get some type of response. Bear with me it might be confusing and long-ish.

Okay, is it possible to dream a flashback and to actually feel like your rape/abuse is happening again? I couldn't sleep last night and didn't fall asleep till 4am. I slept for a bit but I had a dream that felt really real. I dreamt that someone was on top of me, raping me, and well, it felt really real. I felt trapped and suffocated and like I couldn't move. It really felt like I was being raped all over again. I also felt like a little kid again. This isn't the first time it has happened; actually it is the second time where it has felt so real other times it was just a dream. But is that possible or was it just a really realistic dream. It felt like a memory/dream but I don't know if I am over reacting. It just felt way too real to be less then an intense memory. (I might add that earlier in the night around 1am I had a little bit of a flashback but squelched it because I wasn't in the mood to deal with it all).

I realize it could have just been a really realistic dream but I don't feel as if that is the case and wanted to see if anyone else has had this happen. And, what are some ways you coped? I was super scared and called my mom but it was awkward cause I told her I had a nightmare she asked what it was about and when I told her I didn't want to talk about she was silent for a while. Talking to my mom helped but if I can't get a hold of people what are some other things to try? I felt paralyzed with fear so my other source of comfort (teenhelp) was off limits (computer is in dad's room as of now). So when you have really intense flashback like thingies what has helped you? I know everyone is different but it might help to hear what works for others.

Thanks for the help and sorry if this is a really confusing post. I didn't want to get exceptionally graphic or anything because I didn't see the point but it might not be as clear as possible. If you need clarification let me know and I can try to do that as well.

Edit: Sorry for all the grammatical errors but it is kind of hard to post about this subject so my grammer went out the window.


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Re: Nightmare - October 29th 2010, 03:06 PM

Hey that's normal. I know it seems very scary. I had that issue last night where I felt my abuser in side me again. When that happens I have to ground myself the sourndinggs call someone you tryst. I know it can be very scary I am always here for you writing holding touching textues hope that's help fullmsg me if you need to talk


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Re: Nightmare - October 29th 2010, 06:55 PM

It's definitely possible.. when our minds can't process huge or traumatic events (like rape and abuse), our thoughts and feelings show up in our dreams.. it's just a way for our minds to process it. It's scary and it can certainly feel real, but the most important thing to remember is that you're safe, and you're in the present - not the past. Nightmares happen, flashbacks happen, it's part of the healing process.

When I'm having nightmares or flashbacks caused by nightmares I try to talk to someone as soon as I can.. preferably close friends who know about the abuse from my past, but if no one's around I'll talk to anyone about random stuff. Or, sometimes I'll go downstairs and get on the lifecycle for a while, because exercise helps to clear my head and ground me. It really depends on what grounding and coping methods work best for you. Sometimes it takes experimentation to figure out what helps best when you don't have access to your usual coping methods, but try to be patient and give it time.

It's definitely good you were able to talk to your mom, even if you weren't comfortable discussing the dream. You don't always have to talk about what triggered you in order to ground yourself - sometimes talking about random things can help too, to reinforce the fact that you're in the present and not the past. Try the SH Alternatives thread for other ideas.. I know they're geared towards SH, but distraction methods are distraction methods, you know? Some of the things on that list are really helpful no matter what you're trying to distract yourself from. But again, ultimately, it's going to take a bit of time and practice to figure out what helps best when you can't talk to people or come on TH.

I'm around if you ever need to talk, take care of yourself dear.



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Re: Nightmare - November 7th 2010, 01:45 AM

It's happening to me all the time. I know, it's horrible. I hate it so much.
   
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Re: Nightmare - November 7th 2010, 06:38 PM

I think you've already gotten great answers, and I can only offer a little bit of insight, if any. But I've had those dreams. They are miserable, scary, and possibly the worst part of recovery ever. I wish you the best. I have found that, in those moments, it is most helpful to talk it all out. I've called my best friend at 2am because I need that.

I don't know if that is helpful at all, but you're not alone. Take care of yourself and remember that the fact that you are able to move forward is good. Talking about it is so important. You are taking steps forward. Be proud.
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Re: Nightmare - November 7th 2010, 10:07 PM

Hi Jenna. Yes, unfortunately it is very possible and can seem very real. And the feeling trapped and suffocation are very normal. I am sorry. I have a therapist and a really, really good friend for support. And I write. Writing really helps me the most I think. Sometimes I can say things in my writing that I wouldn't tell anyone else. That may not make any sense.
   
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Re: Nightmare - November 8th 2010, 12:09 AM

Hey Jenna,

What might help, and always helps me, is hugging yourself. That might sound like a totally crazy thing to do but comfort goes a long way. I just sit up in bed, drink some water, and hug myself. Try it sometime, Love you!



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Re: Nightmare - November 8th 2010, 02:11 AM

I have the realistic nightmares all the time. I just wake up not being able to breathe, I tuck myself uder the blackets as if to hide, and I almost cry. Sometimes I wake up screaming or already crying. I can't really give you any advice, but I wanted to let you know that you aren't alone in this...oh, and I write about what I'm feeling...So maybe try to get thoughts down when you wake up like that? (If you even wanna move. I get to the point where I can't move anywhere.)
   
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Re: Nightmare - November 8th 2010, 02:51 PM

Hello Jenna,

Yes, I had the same ultra-realistic dream/flashback. Right down to being so paralyzed I couldn't even scream.

The previous posters have given excellant explainations and ideas for coping.

Here is mine ( hope it helps) I force myself to think/say "This is not real. I am safe" a few times then I think of somthing enjoyable ( for me its biking thru the woods on a sunny fall day) and I keep saying the words and thinking the enjoyable thought, untill the effects of the dream/flashback has diminished to the point where I can move again and concously know it was not real. I also will have either a shower or have somthing to drink after.

Please contact me anytime.




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Re: Nightmare - November 8th 2010, 03:06 PM

this has happened to me. alot actually. i have post tramatic stress disorder so these dreams happen quite often i wake up in a crazy sweat sometimes crying and/or shaking. the best thing i've found is to talk to a friend, but thats not always possible at 2 or 3 in the morning. sometimes i turn on a movie (not a scary or romantic one) and it helps me to be distracted and calm down some. sometimes hot tea or a shower helps too, just depending. pm me if you have any more questions or anything. i hope this doesnt happen 2 u again


   
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Re: Nightmare - November 8th 2010, 03:33 PM

Yes this happens to me too. I also try to talk to someone or watch a non-dramatic/horror movie. Walk around a bit, find something to drink.

Hey, PM me if you ever what to talk.
   
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Re: Nightmare - November 8th 2010, 05:19 PM

Heyyy,
So, I deal with this a lot. It has gotten a lot better than it used to be though. What I try to do is take my mind to my "safe place", which for me is the camp I worked at. Also, as others have said, reminding myself that it isn't real and that it was only a dream can help a lot.
I'd make sure you told your counselor how bad the nightmares are. She may be able to hook you up with some different ways to cope with it. I know it's hard to talk about, but it could help you, ya know?
Just remember that it isn't real, and that you are strong. I love you, you can talk to me anytime about it, even in the middle of the night. You know how to get ahold of me
Hang in there lovely.



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Re: Nightmare - November 9th 2010, 10:14 AM

well i understand how u feel i have those sometimes and what i do is either draw or write that usually clams me down and also it is normal to feel this way because you are coping and getting though what happen, i am here if you ever want to talk.

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Re: Nightmare - November 10th 2010, 12:24 AM

u should see a theripist
   
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Re: Nightmare - November 10th 2010, 12:25 AM

if not talk to an adult
   
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Re: Nightmare - November 10th 2010, 12:26 AM

sounds horrid but think in depth about it and control ur dream make u stronger and him weaker turn it into a dream of payback
   
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Re: Nightmare - November 12th 2010, 07:33 PM

recently for a while i had this happen to me everynight, it still happens but here are a few things i do to reduce it and to be able to get back to sleep.

to start with i would simply go sleep somewhere else (a couch, the floor, anywhere)
this made me feel like i had gotten away from it.if i stayed in my bed i felt like i was trapped.

i also write down what ive experienced, writing it down makes it feel like its not actually present, but past, like im reflecting on it.

its already been said but theres nothing more effective then just telling urself and reminding urself and your safe. talk to yourself (may feel a bit crazy but works)
say my name is.... i am in my bed... and i am safe
i use this for flashbacks aswell
force yourself to say what u see, hear or feel, all the while going back to saying
my name is.... and whatever helps (im meant to say the date and time but find it hard to keep track of that.

hope it helps. xxx


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