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Please help. What is this!?

Thread starter #1
Thank you in advance. I appreciate any help, as I am desperate for an answer to what's been plaguing me since childhood.

To start, I know I have PTSD from childhood trauma, primarily sexual abuse and abandonment. However, what I am about to describe happened prior to the largest incidents of abuse that I believe caused my PTSD, but I lived with a sexual deviant, so I am questioning whether abuse occurred before the point I could even recognize what was happening.

I am now an adult in my 30's, but since I was a young child I would have a sleep disturbance that always came with the same feeling. Part of the issue with finding an answer as to what this is... It's so difficult to describe. I remember standing in front of the mirror with the worst fear, the worst dread imaginable. I had a certain feeling overtake me that was unique to only this. I would stand in front of the mirror crying, and all I can remember is feeling a "hard" sensation with my fingertips. I can feel it now just thinking about it. And when I would feel this hard sensation I would be overtaken with panic. This "nightmare" or whatever it is has happened many times, but now as an adult sometimes I will go to sleep and I feel the feeling... I know it's coming and I will avoid sleeping. If I concentrate and think about the hard texture touching my fingertips I feel panic set in my chest.. I can't describe anymore than this, even though it's happened so many times. It's like it's blocked. What does this sound like? I am desperate... If I can sense it coming before falling asleep, it couldn't still be a nightmare could it? Any help is appreciated.
 
#2
It could be a type of flashback - which is really common in ptsd. And ya, they suck.
Its pretty common for children of assault to not know when it started or not have memories that make sense because they don't have the vocabulary to describe what is happening. So now, as an adult, you are still remembering it with a child brain.

Are you in therapy? It would probably help tremendously to have someone to help guide you thru working out what it is and how to get it to go away.
 
#3
EMDR therapy has helped me with these types of flashbacks. The crappy part is when your brain is in Emdr and decides to fill in the blanks. That may not even be the true story of what happened, but it can give some closure and make the pressure of those intense feelings lessen.
 
#5
EMDR therapy has helped me with these types of flashbacks. The crappy part is when your brain is in Emdr and decides to fill in the blanks. That may not even be the true story of what happened, but it can give some closure and make the pressure of those intense feelings lessen.
Is this usually true? I’ve done EMDR and I would hate to that be a reason to doubt my own memories. Then again, I don’t think EMDR ever brought up anything new and all my memories were ones I had before the treatment, but I just refuse to doubt myself on this. I’m very sensitive about having an above average memory and knowing what the most reliable parts of it are.
 
#6
The crappy part is when your brain is in Emdr and decides to fill in the blanks. That may not even be the true story of what happened, but it can give some closure and make the pressure of those intense feelings lessen.
I'm not sure what other peoples' experiences of EMDR are, but I've never heard this described as a result of EMDR. In fact, EMDR in general can help people recover actual buried memories.

I've never heard of false memory creation as a result of EMDR before and I would think EMDR wouldn't be considered the gold standard of trauma therapy that it is if this was a typical result.
 
#7
@somerandomguy and @AliciaEff childhood memories or memories in general are malleable. Traumatic memories tend to have holes or body sensations without the visual. When I do emdr on a body sensation or a trauma memory, sometimes the blanks around it get filled in or the body memory is given a visual. I wouldn’t call it a false memory, but I also wouldn’t call it an absolute. My trauma memories are full of “absolutes” that never change, but they also have things that may or may not be real that my brain created to connect them. In emdr, we create things around my memories to help me handle being around them. For example, sometimes we create a team to help comfort me or get me out of the situation. I know this didn’t really happen, but it definitely helps the trauma become more tolerable while processing it. I’m not concerned about false memories, I’m just accepting that memories may not be exactly as my brain says they are.
 
#8
IDK it never became a regular enough experience but I have about 5 dreams. Depending on the severity, I wake somewhere from uncomfortable to frozen in fear, sweating and can't even get up to go to the bathroom. I haven't had one for a long while though. 2 of them were right out of my earliest memories of childhood, that house I grew up in. If that house were there to this day I know I'd still sense that feeling there, I always did, even if it was at an almost unconscious level.

I am afraid to go back to sleep sometimes and one night I recall, one of the last times, I couldn't stay awake and Everytime I dropped off it started again. I wrote that here somewhere I think.

I'm sorry it's troubling you I feel very sympathetic for sleep disturbance if I can't sleep I can't do anything the next day. : (
 
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#9
I'm experiencing this thing where I can sense it before I fall asleep and I go into these otherworldly places, I don't know if nightmare would be the word. I stayed up till 5 in the morning last night cuz it kept happening repeatedly. When i went to sleep at 5, I noticed that when I went into sleep I couldn't breathe.

Do you find that you stop breathing or you get this sinking/falling feeling or your heart skips a beat just as you drift into sleep? And are you hypervigilant watching every vision and dream phenomenon that starts to appear as your falling asleep?
 
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