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Stargazed. Offline
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Nightmares. - August 17th 2011, 03:13 AM

Hey guys, I was just wondering if anyone else has nightmares/flashbacks about being raped, molested, physically abused, etc.

Besides nightmares/flashbacks- Does anyone else feel anxious about your past repeating itself? Do you feel like you'll be abused again? Do you feel like someone off the street will hurt you while you're walking alone? How do you deal with these thoughts and nightmares?

I'm sorry about having so many questions. I'm just having a really difficult time dealing with my nightmares and anxiety about being raped and I'm not quite sure of how to deal with them.. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
   
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Re: Nightmares. - August 18th 2011, 11:28 AM

Hey Brittany,

I still sometimes have nightmares and when I do I wake up feeling unsafe so I've made myself a routine to follow if I wake up scared or anxious. Nothing major, but things I do each time so they're familiar and safe. I'll wash my face, make myself a drink and get back into bed with either my duvet or dressing gown wrapped tightly round me to make me feel secure.

A flashback is caused by a trigger which can be anything from a sound, a smell, a colour etc., that is in some way linked to what you have experienced. The important thing that I'm trying to raise is that it's linked, they are not the same. What you experience now is in some way different to what happened before. One way of dealing with a flashback is to take the trigger and describe it to yourself, then describe where you are now, take note of and explain what is different now. You are safe now and can take steps to protect yourself or remove yourself from the situation you're in.

It's also important to look after yourself after the flashback. It can be a draining experience and recognise this. Give yourself time before you start back doing what you were before. Take a relaxing bath if you can, have a drink. Listen to what your body needs. But remember to take care of yourself and remind yourself that you deserve that care.

I just want to say, you don't have to apologise for asking questions. Anything you want or feel you need to know it's so important to ask or find out what you need. It's not something to be sorry for
   
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Re: Nightmares. - August 18th 2011, 01:02 PM

Hey, thanks for your reply and your suggestions.

I'll be sure to figure out a routine where I myself can feel safe after having a nightmare.

When having a flashback, I try to pinpoint the trigger, but I always find myself dwelling on the flashback, and can't quite figure out what caused it...

Again, thanks for replying
   
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Re: Nightmares. - August 21st 2011, 01:05 AM

haha i get the same things you do hun and it may help to when you realize you had a flash back think about the last thing that happened before you went into the flashback what did you see hear smell touch taste etc.
   
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Re: Nightmares. - August 23rd 2011, 11:18 PM

Hey,

I get both nightmares and flashbacks, very frequent and each one terrifying.
I constantly worry that things will happen again, seeing as other horrible things have also happened, it feels like i'm destined to be hurt. I'm constantly on edge, making sure no one's following me, or not going within a certain distance of males. Plus to never let myself drink in front of guys, its hard when it was a friend, my trust has basically vanished.

How do I deal with them? Well firstly I make sure that I have a safe place in my head that I can go to when I feel unsafe. It can be anything you'd like. Mine, for example, is the antarctic, surrounded by dancing penguins, with me relaxing on a big bean bag with a warm cup of tea. Try to get all of the senses in, as that will help you to keep grounded.
When I feel myself 'sliding' into a flashback, I try to grip onto any reality. Whether its holding on to a chair, feeling the ground with your feet, reaching out to feel something. Keep doing this, it may help to prevent flashbacks.

Nightmares are horrible, and I often find myself waking up screaming. I used to have a bit of paper beside my bed so that when I woke up, I could read something like "i am safe, it was just a nightmare" to try not to get upset over it. Treat yourself. You need to after all of the emotion you've gone through. Have a bath, make yourself a nice drink, listen to music, draw, anything. Going to sleep again is hard, just keep breathing in deeply, and protect yourself in your own little bubble.

Here if you ever need a chat x
   
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