Dreaming about my abuse

It's quite weird honestly. I haven't got specifically a nightmare but just recurrent dreams about different situations regarding the aftermath of my abuse. It's been already a month and I lost contact with all of them almost a month ago, but since day one. When I dream it's only stuff abused related. Sometimes I get a couple of awful headaches and stomach issues (not covid, already got tested).
I assume there's no way to stop the nightmares, but how do you do to cope with all the physical pain regarding it
 
C

cottoncandy

I have nightmares too. I don't get physical pain accompanying it, but it does make me angrier throughout the day. Time helps healing, but what's helped me the most is turning to Christ. I pray every morning when I wake up and it helps tremendously.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
It does fade out over time, very dependent on chance and also if you have external stressors or things that keep triggering you (by example if your environment tends to be victim blaming it's gonna take more time than if folks around are supportive, if your abuser still lives in the same city, if the colour of your carpet makes you think of it each time you see it, any trigger big of small, avoidable of unavoidable, might set off nightmares).

So, as annoying as it is, it's normal. I hope for you it's gonna remain just acute stress and not morph into PTSD because it would mean you'll be on the long run.

Some psychiatrists think that being sedated right in the aftermath might ease long run post traumatic effects as your memory doesn't register the events very well, but it's not something everyone shares. My pdoc thinks that. "First cease the fire, then we'll see." But this works more in the cases of you being a total wreck and running in circles.

What helped me a little apart from medication was cutting tea and coffee totally, forcing me to have normal rhythms, eating at the same hours, exercising (when I was capable), practice mindfulness and breath yoga. Ideally, exercise before the yoga. Then a warm nice shower or bath and bed.

In the mornings, lukewarm to cold showers made me more attentive and energised. You don't need to throw an ice bucket on your head, just see how cold you can get without feeling uncomfortable and you go gradually. It's very soothing once you get there, in 2 or 3 showers that's what it took me and believe me I'm not an advocate of jumping in cold swimming pools.

Privilege walks and stuff that moves your body. The tension grows much stronger when you remain inert.

Drink a lot of water. When we're in alert mode we forget to drink, plus we tend to pee more often cause the body is just leaving anything unnecessary to survive. Dehydration causes a lot of the headache and the body pain and eventually nausea when your dehydration causes migraines.

Stress is an awful vixen but there are many small things we can do to manage it. It will not make it disappear but you can avoide to contribute further to it by slightly blocking the spots where it gets worse.

Avoid exposing yourself too much to triggers that are unnecessary. And it can be silly. If changing the background of your desktop works, go for it. Of course you cannot change everything but there are many small details we can contain or erase and it makes it easier.
 

Brownie3

New Here
Great post that I can relate to. Thank you @ruborcoraxxx for a thorough response. My T said if I’m getting nightmares, it’s because I’m not allowing time/space for processing during the day. I’m trying to be less distracted and less busy so I can try to process things in the day time so my mind can rest at night.
Brownie3
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
My nightmare was mono theme....maybe different people or places but always the same, people I know and love having a specific accident in the most gory horrible ways you can imagine, full 3d Technicolor - with effects. Right in front of me and I couldn't warn them, couldn't stop them. 45 years...same nightmare.

Talking with my T about it and she says she asked me a question about my nightmare. It was like a frying pan upside the head - I had never ever thought about it from that perspective. All I ever wanted was for the nightmare to go away and never come back. I remember when at probably 12 or 13 thinking if I put it far enough out of my mind and never thought of it, it wouldn't happen any more.

When I answered that question - even hypothetically answered it was the tip of the iceberg as it were for recalling my trauma event. Between answering that question and my trauma memories (of which I had NO conscious memories at that moment) were two words "good god" that we worked on at the end of a session. The trauma memory came back and I had to have an emergency session with my T within a week. One specific element of my nightmare was part of my trauma.

Don't discount those dreams, you need to be open honest and tell your T everything you can about them even when it hurts. My T has already told me she's the queen of weird on more than one occasion so everything comes out - weird, strange, crazy, all the stuff I never thought I would talk to ANYONE else about ever. The more I move on with therapy, the more I share because sometimes its just a different perspective that helps.
 
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