waking up in terror....

I recently had a horrible dream that involved SA with my homphobic stepfather....I woke up and was immediately thrown into a state of panic and terror, my breathing became aggreseive and shallow, my body got hot and I began to tremble....I have no way of "calming" myself down in moments like this....

back story: I did EMDR therapy for about 6 months a few years back, and I had visions/memories resurface of my stepfather possibly SA-ing me, I keep seeing this image in my mind of him coming into my room and closing the door, my body then shuts off and I get thrown into a panic attack....

my stepfather was abusive and extremely homophobic....in a way, it's not surprsing that he comitted some kind of homosexual/pedophilic activity on me because those seem to be common occurances with men/father-figures who have homophobic tendencies....

I use sleep as a coping mechanism...sometimes sleeping for 12 to 15 hours or more...but sleep has become a scary experience because I keep having nightmares....


Waking up in a panic attack is one of those super shitty things… because I don’t even have the possibility of snatching it back down to earth before it can really get going.

And, unlike a normal nightmare, where the worst is over as I bolt awake and now it’s dealing with coming back down?


It’s about to get a whole lot worse.

Well, f*ck me. Thanks for keeping life interesting, Brain. >.<

The most effective thing I’ve found is to combo my nightmare-protocols with my panic attack management skills. It usually means a few hours of showers/grounding/pulling myself together… but that’s better than a few days of aftershocks and hangovers.


I use sleep as a coping mechanism...sometimes sleeping for 12 to 15 hours or more...

in my own herstory, using sleep as a coping mechanism sets me up for a double whammy. 1) as a coping mechanism, sleep becomes a form of repression and denial. psychotic whiplash to be expected. and 2) oversleeping reduces sleep quality in the long run, as does the isolation and lack of exercise.

but that is me and every case is unique.

steadying support while you sort your own case.


I suffer from waking up in fright. I feel so alone. My breathing is very rapid.
I know this is difficult - many of us go through this and I can connect. There is nothing worse than waking up and your breathing has gone shallow and rapid. There are things you can do to help yourself. For me it's key to find my feet. Like literally find them under the covers, slowly move them and when I can feel them again, I put them on the floor. This can take some time to do but I know it's the first step to breaking the dream state and coming back into my body. I share this not to tell you what to do - I am no expert, but to illustrate that it is the tiniest of things that can help ground you. Someone mentioned showers - that works for me too, as does moving to a different space, turning on the light and reading. I hope that you can find the things that might help you.