Ending a nightmare without therapy?

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
So, there were two nightmares after all. The one where people I knew and loved lost eyes in the most twisted disgusting ways my brain could think up, while I couldn't warn them. And after todays session the "monster/chasing" nightmare. The monster was a nurse but not totaly human. It is very hard to describe in a way. I had no visual input during the first trauma, no faces, nothing so the monster was etherial, ghost like, changing always changing. That's where it was scary. Nice little happy dream turns nightmare while you watch, frozen.
Somewhere somehow I ended it. I remember waking several times for nightmares for the upteenth night in a row and basically loosing my mind for a bit. I would be pretty certain I wasn't rational for a short time. Screaming and crying it wasn't real and to stop, just please stop.

Could you do that? Expose yourself to that nightmare enough to end it? Could you convince yourself that deeply about them not being real you could repress it?

And why would it come out now? We have done both traumas that I know of, this is attached to the first and despite all the stuff that excites my T (definitely engaged today) I'm trying to figure out why it took this long to pop into conscious memory?
 

Sideways

Moderator
There's 2 ways I'd tackle this. Neither of them are a quick fix.

The first is I'd keep going with therapy. Whatever you're doing? It's bringing out emotions attached to your trauma. "Being chased" is a common nightmare, often it crops up when anxiety levels are high. You're afraid of the nurse, the trauma, and your brain is doing a lot of things to deal with that - including processing some of those emotions while you're sleeping.

Irrespective of how you feel about analysing dreams, it makes sense that poking at this stuff, and all those hidden emotions, is causing distressing dreams, right? So there's 2 options there: quit, or keep going. So keep going, because you will come out the other side.

The second, slightly less guaranteed. Learn some lucid dreaming techniques. That'll take practice, but if you can nail it, it becomes a lifelong skill that totally rocks when it comes to nightmare management.

Lucid dreaming is either BS or magic, depending on what you read. For me, it's somewhere in the middle - being able to identify that you're having a nightmare while it's in progress, and either nudge the the narrative in a particular direction, or wake yourself up.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
I should have been clearer, I have no active nightmares. I did at the start of therapy have an active nightmare but when we got to the first trauma it ended.

This was a second nightmare. One night in my teens I did something. Gone, no more. 42 years later I suddenly remember having the second nightmare. 15 months after we did therapy for the trauma.

Somewhere one night I stopped it happening again. Then reading a post here and boom...there was a second nightmare memory. Out of nowhere.

The memory still feels...dark and I was shaking telling my T about it today. That was a first I think. But if it still has that much power how did I suppress the nightmare and the memory 42 years? With no memory of it?
 
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