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#5634 - 03/30/06 01:37 PM Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I think one of the most terrifying and traumatic experiences for an abused boy, as well as for the survivor he becomes in adulthood, comes when he has nightmares. If his bed felt safe in the past it no longer feels safe now. Night and darkness are the source of new fears and sleep brings new terrors instead of a respite of rest and safety. Even if the survivor is in bed in the arms of someone he loves, the safest person for him in all the world, he can still awake screaming, shaking and drenched in sweat.

I think this is an area where "creating safety" becomes absolutely urgent. We can talk to our T about this, and of course we really HAVE to do that. But at night there we are again: it's dark, there's our bed, and we are tired. What's going to happen? We desperately need our rest, but are we going to get any? How can we sleep and actually rest when in reality we feel that rest is just letting our defenses down for yet another nocturnal ambush.

As with so much of what I have to say here, I will be looking back to where the whole mess started, in our childhood when we were being abused.

Even in family environments that are less than ideal (except in really horrific cases), I think a young boy looks at the world around him and feels safe in it. He doesn't think that catastrophe awaits him, simply because the world has never held real danger for him in the past. But then when the abuse starts all that feeling of security disappears.

I remember that in my case, and even though I was raised in a loving caring family, I did not feel safe even in my own house. I was afraid something I would say or do would give away what was happening to me, and the only place I felt safe was in my room.

Even there, however, there was the danger of night. I had horrific dreams of faceless boys in an underground chamber being maimed and killed somehow by growling machines, and as I lay in my bed I feared that disembodied hands and tongues would come up from underneath the bed and touch me and do things to me.

Looking back now I can understand all that better. The dream about the chamber and the machines was the work of the imagination of a boy who had discovered that the peril of the world is boundless; nothing was so cruel or terrifying that it could not happen to him. My dream about the machines was just a night-time version of my general feeling of fear and doom. During the day I wondered what was behind a bush or what might be in the trunk of the car.

The dream about the hands was due to the fact that the abuser would sometimes strip me naked in the middle of the room and make me shut my eyes while he "explored" me. I had to stand there with my arms at my side, trembling and not knowing what would happen to me next.

Coping with nightmares and feelings like this has not been easy, but I do think I have had some success. For one thing, I stress to myself that the source for all this lies in my childhood. That's obvious enough, but what can I do with that information? I can tell myself that this was all in the past and that now, as an adult, I am not in danger like I was years ago. I can see that my task is to convince Little Larry that he too is safe and that he has nothing to fear now. I will not allow him to be hurt again; he is not alone like he was four decades ago. By viewing my task as a job for Big Larry to reassure Little Larry, I "create safety". Big Larry approaches the task from a foothold of security. He is not at risk, there are no machines and no hands. The problem lies with Little Larry, a hurting boy he so desperately wants to protect anyway.

Another thing I do is forget about the idea of trying to force myself not to think about what might happen at night. As a boy I would lay in bed with the covers pulled up over my head thinking, Please no machines, I don't want the hands again, etc. But of course by doing that I was just branding the images further into my mind. As I have said elsewhere today, imagine someone telling you, "You are absolutely forbidden to think of a purple giraffe for five minutes!!!" Could you do that? Of course not. You may never have thought of such a thing in all your life, but for the next five minutes at least, your head will be full of wonderful purple giraffes galloping and grazing over vast African vistas! \:\)

What I found I had to do was, bluntly put, just say "fuck it". If it comes it comes, and if it does I will deal with it. For reasons I don't yet understand, that already robs the possibility of a nightmare of a lot of its terror, perhaps because I am not going to bed with the attitude that I am a defenseless target.

I also think in advance of what I can do to "create safety" for myself if a nightmare comes. I have told my wife about all my nightmares, and that already gives me an ally. I have a dim night light that I can use if I need it. I keep a book of poetry that relaxes me on my bedside table, and in the past I have also kept a packet or album of cool photographs handy. So again, I go to bed not entirely defenseless.

If I DO have a nightmare and wake up gasping and sweating and knowing I won't be able to get back to sleep right away, I don't lay there in the dark brooding. I snap on my night light and read a bit, and if I see that's not going to calm me down I just call in the artillery - I wake up my wife and we go downstairs for a cup of herb tea and talk about what happened for a few minutes. That's one of the hardest things for a survivor to do, by the way - asking for the help he needs. But I think this is a good case of a time when we just need to reach out to those around us who love us and want the best for us.

Some guys might see ways of adapting these ideas. For example, if you have a dog, there's a fantastic ally!! \:\) Or a stuffed animal? Use it. If you live alone but have a really close safe friend across the hall, ask for his/her help.

I want to end with a word to teens on the site. You all know what I am talking about when I say how terrible nightmares can be. All of us have gone through that stage when we think we have to act tough like all our friends; all of us have been afraid to do things that might get us called names like "girly", "sissy", "pussy", and so on. But it's all bullshit. All of your friends freak out over nightmares the same as you do, and there is nothing stupid about "creating safety" for yourself or asking for help. Have you disclosed to your parents yet? If you have, let them help you. Tell them you get bad dreams and ask if you can come talk if you wake up really scared. Are you going to a cool sleepover and you're embarrassed to take a stuffed animal along? Stick him in the bottom of your backpack - YOU will know he's there! ;\) Anyway, you would be amazed how many of your "tough" friends have their own furry pals stashed in their room somewhere, same as you do.

But at the same time, consider your options. Suppose the sleepover is going to mean getting stoned and watching slasher flicks until the middle of the night. Does it make sense for you to go to that one if you are having trouble with nightmares? Will it be fun anymore if you wake up at 4 am trembling, scared in the dark, and soaked in sweat while everyone else is crashed all around you? Part of recovery, and "creating safety", is making realistic decisions that are good for YOU.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#5635 - 03/30/06 02:48 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
can i really talk about my nightmares here with out causing worry for those here ,what if the dreams are dangerous,what if they cause undue worry for who ever i talk to about them ?what if people think i should be under some kind of care or at least watched over ?my dreams are dangerous to me and to those who know about them .not only do they cause problems for me ,talking about them is not possible even here i think . adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#5636 - 03/30/06 03:23 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Adam,

Dreams are our fantasy world, though of course they are related to what we think and fear in the real world. EVERYONE dreams, and we all dream about the strangest things. That is not under our control.

It's the most normal thing in the world to fear for what your nightmares mean; that's part of why they are nightmares for you. But even the most "normal" person will dream about terrible things. When we are sleeping the brain has a lot of idle time on its hands....hmmmm, nothing to do....let me make up something about THIS!

If people could/should be locked up for what they dream, 95% of us would be in asylums, my friend!

If you fear other guys here could be triggered by what you have to say about your nightmares, just put a trigger warning on your post (as I did). But do talk about what's bothering you. Talking about it is a great way to rob these things of their power to trouble you, and THAT is what recovery is all about.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#5637 - 03/30/06 09:27 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
Malidin41 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 140
Loc: Utah
Hello my friend,

I really liked what you stated above about nightmares. Most of the time when I get off work and climb the stairs to my bedroom I dread every step that takes me closer to that bed of doom and fear. I can honestly say that I hate sleep and wish with my whole being that I didn't have to face the long nights or in my case days of that torterous dark. I will have to try some of what you have suggested. Thank you for your insight.

Also I would like to add to what you have listed if that is ok. My T once told me that I should try and create an ending to my dreams. You see all of my dreams would end with someone chasing me and me waking in fear or someone trying to kill me and me waking right before they did. Or just lying peralized while people that I didn't know or recognize took advantage of me and when it became to much for me to take I would wake up screaming not knowing where I was.

So my T told me to write out the dreams and create any ending that I wanted. By doing this it gave me the control and the power to change the out come and more than that it gave a sense of closure and has really helped me and continues to do so. Thank you again my friend...

Shadowkid (Adam), It is my opinion that you should be able to discuss anything and everything that you need to in order for you to become better. This board is supposed to be hear to give you support and understanding surrounding all things that you are going through. I hope you will write about your dreams and anything else that is hurting for you.

I know that some people on this board can be lets just say less than understanding but you are not hear for them. You are hear just like the rest of us to become better in everyway possible. Please don't let the few that are ignorent push you away from your goals of progressing for a better tomorrow.

Always remember that you are not alone and that what happened to you is not your fault and that you just like everyone hear deserves so much more than they have recieved. I look forward to more of your posts and to getting to know you better. Bye for now...

malidin41

_________________________
Mother of the kingdom of silence I have obeyed you long enough!!!

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#5638 - 03/30/06 09:35 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Malidin41,

The idea of creating our own endings for our nightmares sounds really good. I'm glad you added that. If others have ideas for things that have worked for them, please, just add them here as well.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#5639 - 03/31/06 01:32 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
nymij Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Dallas Metroplex
Larry

Thank you for reccomending this thread. Wow! It hits home. Like I've experienced in my short time reading on MS.org, there is something someone says that helps me to further define or validate my own thoughts and/or experiences...

You said in your post: "That's one of the hardest things for a survivor to do, by the way - asking for the help he needs." I never thought others had trouble asking for help, like I do... WOW! I don't want to ask for help. I tell myself, I don't want to bother someone else with my own trouble and be a "whiner." In reality, I think I am totally avoiding allowing someone into my insane world, and risk further rejection and abandonment... I know it's somewhat off topic, but thought I'd share.

The topic of night terros are near and dear to my heart. As mentioned in a thread last night, I have experienced such terror during sleep, and it sucked!

_________________________
Phil 3:13

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#5640 - 03/31/06 04:51 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
TJ jeff Offline

Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3390
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
Larry,

Thank You for your insight...

Nightmares were a very big problem to me as a child and even into early adulthood

Nothing bad of my past ever happened to me in my bed at night (except for the shouting of my parents at each other in their bedroom through the paper-thin wall) - but I can clearly remember how frightnening the dark silence of the unknown was to me as a child - I had no plan of what to do if a nightmare did come - and by worrying about them - I was just giving them an open invitation to come...

I think haveing a plan of what to do when you have a nightmare is a very important thing - and I think you gave some very good examples of what to do afer a nightmare... - I myself keep a nightmare journal next to my bed (a place for me to 'write the nightmare out of my head') - I do not sleep in a very dark room - and I have a stuffed animal to sleep with if I am scared by a dream

it is very important that we creat a 'safe zone' for ourselves to go to after a nightmare or being triggered...

TJ jeff

Adam - I myself am part of Larry's 95% in that my own dreams would get me put into an asylum... (yes - they are grousome, demented, horrifying dreams sometimes) - but - they are only dreams - not reality - and no one can lock you up for anything that happens in a dream...

Malidin - I too write out my nightmares and then go back and make changes to them in my mind so as that I come out the victor - I have found that it really takes a lot of power away from the nightmare if I come out the victor in the end - thanks for shareing that...

_________________________
Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

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#5641 - 03/31/06 05:43 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
Bill_h_pike Offline
Member

Registered: 05/26/05
Posts: 67
Loc: USA
Quote:
I want to end with a word to teens on the site. You all know what I am talking about when I say how terrible nightmares can be. All of us have gone through that stage when we think we have to act tough like all our friends; all of us have been afraid to do things that might get us called names like "girly", "sissy", "pussy", and so on. But it's all bullshit. All of your friends freak out over nightmares the same as you do, and there is nothing stupid about "creating safety" for yourself or asking for help. Have you disclosed to your parents yet? If you have, let them help you. Tell them you get bad dreams and ask if you can come talk if you wake up really scared. Are you going to a cool sleepover and you're embarrassed to take a stuffed animal along? Stick him in the bottom of your backpack - YOU will know he's there! Anyway, you would be amazed how many of your "tough" friends have their own furry pals stashed in their room somewhere, same as you do.
You phrased that perfectly,
That's exactly how I feel/felt.
Thanks for helping me through one of the most difficult times of my life.


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#5642 - 03/31/06 05:54 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Bill,

You are most welcome. Remember that all the grown-ups here have been through the same terrible times; we are all with you!

Thanks also for replying here as well as in your PM. I do think you younger guys on the site need to see how each other feels, what your fears and problems are, and so forth.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#5643 - 03/31/06 06:54 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
Kid A Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/05
Posts: 85
Lucid Dreaming is a technique used to become aware while you are dreaming. Some people dream like this naturally, I'm not one of them, however; I do try to really feel that fear that is in nightmares. In Lucid Dreaming, it is believed that if you can become aware within the dream, then you can change the course of the dream. If you see a dog that's been chasing you since you were a child, with awareness, you can reason with or step on the dog's foot instead of eternally running. The thought is that you are actually directly confronting this unconcious belief/thought pattern that controls you in your nightmares. Anyway, like I said I've only had a few lucid dreams. It takes a lot of work, but there's a book called Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge. While I don't have the patience for learning how to dream like this, I do often wake up from a nightmare still feeling like my heart's about to pop from fear, and I try to embrace the fear rather than run away from it. I want to learn a way to do more than just embrace the fear, I want to fight, not freeze or flight in these nightmares. I like the idea of rewriting the dream in your mind and will try that.


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#5644 - 04/01/06 08:21 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Kid A,

Lucid dreaming sounds like an interesting and valuable technique as well.

I think the thread that runs through all this is that, as I was suggesting in general, we CAN create safety for ourselves in this area. However we choose to face the dreams, we do need to face them. If we just fall apart and fear then, then they will continue to terrorize us.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#5645 - 04/01/06 09:03 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
kuurt Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 168
Loc: louisiana
you know what is so wierd? the dream about the hands not attached to a body is almost EXACTLY the same as a reoccuring dream i used to have when i was litte. i used to always dream that my parents and i were driving over this huge bridge to get to this really tall building. when we get inside the building my mom disapears and i am walking around the building trying to find her. then i walk into this one room that has a wall that is completely glass. i look out the glass wall and there are these huge hands out there. they come into the room and start...doing stuff or whatever you wanna say. they are much bigger than i am (like twice the size of my body). then my mom comes into the room and has no head, so she can't help me. then i wake up scared shitless. wierd, huh? i used to always have that dream when i was little. now i have lots of dreams but they are much scarier than that.

_________________________
"if it keeps on rainin' the levee's gonna break.
and if the levee breaks, i'll have no place to stay"
-led zeppelin

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#5646 - 04/01/06 09:13 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Kurt,

Thanks for contributing that example; the similarity between our dreams is striking, as you say.

The message behind yours seems to be this: I'm in a situation I don't understand and it's way beyond my control. My Mom isn't "there" to help me, and even when I'm around her she doesn't see that something bad is happening to me. I feel really exposed and powerless; I can't stop his hands from touching me and doing things to me that I don't want.

The disembodied hands show how much we focused on the hands of the abuser approaching us, and in your case the size of the hands suggests how afraid you were.

I can really understand how terrible this one must have been for you, not to mention the others that you don't talk about. Part of the terror when you are a teenager is that it seems like you're all alone and this terrible stuff is only happening to you. When you talk about it here, you not only help yourself but also reach out to other teenagers in a similar situation.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#5647 - 04/01/06 10:13 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
its 4 am more fever dreams want to talk know i shouldnt

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#5648 - 04/01/06 10:14 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
its 4 am more fever dreams want to talk know i shouldnt

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

Top
#5649 - 04/01/06 10:15 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
its 4 am more fever dreams want to talk know i shouldnt

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

Top
#5650 - 04/01/06 11:24 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
kuurt Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 168
Loc: louisiana
dude, shadow, talk about it.

_________________________
"if it keeps on rainin' the levee's gonna break.
and if the levee breaks, i'll have no place to stay"
-led zeppelin

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#5651 - 04/01/06 05:03 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
shadow,

I agree with Kuurt. You might feel safer at first talking to someone you trust about it in a PM. Just a thought.

(((((shadow)))))

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#5652 - 04/02/06 05:05 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
nymij Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Dallas Metroplex
Below is a resource on lucid dreaming.

I do re-read these posts and pick up things on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th... read. This time around I picked up the discussion on lucid dreaming.

A while back (10yrs or so) before I started to adress my abuse and subsequent ramifications, I came accross a book that to my surprise introduced me to a new subject for me, lucid dreaming. I was searching for information related to my nightmares (night terrors, as I call them).

Although the author is a "religious," I was more interested in the content, and had never paid attention to him and his writing has not converted me. However, he discussed the concept of lucid dreaming and states of consiousness from being awake (not awakened), to asleep, different stages of dreaming, and finaly death. I did not read into the death stage (in retrospect, that is telling), but read through to the last 1/3 of the book that deals with death. Personally, I do not know anyone alive, that I would completely trust to talk about your state of consiousness when you die...

Specifically, I was impressed with the thought of recognizing that you are in a dream, and attempting to manipulate the dream for a different outcome. In my case, less of a terrified outcome of a nightmare.

What I found was that by virtue of reading this book, I started to recognize when I was at a certain point of dreaming and eventually began to work the dream. It was working. Unfortunately, it was not helpful with my nightmares, I think due the emotional level of them. If the people that know me heard me talking about understanding levels of consiousness and eastern thought, they would laugh, but I got a lot out of he book and when one is desperate for answers, I would read anything that made relative sense.

The book is called: Sleeping, Dreaming & Dying, Exploring the Consiousness, by The Dalai Lama. It's on Amazon.

I hope this helps.

_________________________
Phil 3:13

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#5653 - 04/02/06 09:54 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
guys i do intend to explain ,but my question is what do i expect to get from explaining ,i know there is nothing you guys can do to stop my nightmares ,all it can do is make someone else worry or feel bad ,not what i want at all .you know if i describe my dreams,and somebody gets triggered its not good ,why the hell do i have this need to talk about things that in the end i have to figure out for myself .no sleep makes it hard to think to even post. all the ideas given seem to be good ones but you know there are bad dreams and then there are nightmares ,bad dreams i think do respond to the things mentioned here ,even dreams about abuse cause you can change the outcome ,but nightmares are so out of control that even though i am aware i'm dreamming ,all i can do is listen to what the dreams are telling me ,the meaning of my dreams is not hidden ,its clear to see.and i think i understand why i have them ,but i cant stop them ,sorry this is wasting valuable space here .i'm just so tired . adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

Top
#5654 - 04/02/06 10:01 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
guys i do intend to explain ,but my question is what do i expect to get from explaining ,i know there is nothing you guys can do to stop my nightmares ,all it can do is make someone else worry or feel bad ,not what i want at all .you know if i describe my dreams,and somebody gets triggered its not good ,why the hell do i have this need to talk about things that in the end i have to figure out for myself .no sleep makes it hard to think to even post. all the ideas given seem to be good ones but you know there are bad dreams and then there are nightmares ,bad dreams i think do respond to the things mentioned here ,even dreams about abuse cause you can change the outcome ,but nightmares are so out of control that even though i am aware i'm dreamming ,all i can do is listen to what the dreams are telling me ,the meaning of my dreams is not hidden ,its clear to see.and i think i understand why i have them ,but i cant stop them ,sorry this is wasting valuable space here .i'm just so tired . adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

Top
#5655 - 04/02/06 10:03 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
ahhhhhh!sorry posted twice oh well

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#5656 - 04/02/06 11:09 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
nymij Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Dallas Metroplex
Shadow
I call mine "night terrors" because the words bad dreams and nightmares just don't seem to explain the pure terror that happens during one of my dreams.

I don't have any replay of abuse, or abstract message with dis-embodies hands, faces, etc. My dreams were pure unadulterated terror, and nothing more!

Keep talking about the dreams. Walk it off when you wake up drenched in sweat, terrified, and not wanting to close your eyes ever again. I don't know your history. Have you talked about your abuse with someone close to you? Have you disclosed? Are you still keeping the secrets? If so, you may want to look at that, and find someone safe you can disclose EVERYTHING with. I mean everything, no matter how sick you think it is, get it out, all out to one strong person who loves you and wants you healthy.

As I've said on other posts, since I disclosed my secret(s), and acting out, I have not had one nightmare. That was what was creating those nightmares for me. It maybe different for you or others, but just sharing what did it for me...

I hope this helps.

Jim

PS - You are hardly wasting space here. THIS is the place to share like that. Get it out!

_________________________
Phil 3:13

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#5657 - 04/02/06 11:54 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Adam,

It's a good idea to talk about these nightmares bro, as Kurt says. I know you will have to decide when and if you can do this, but I want to give you some idea of why I say this. It isn't just a matter of some hippy "talk is good" blah blah blah.

"Hot" emotional memories and "cool" historical memories are stored in different parts of the brain, and the hot emotional stuff, like memories of the worst aspects of abuse, cannot be remembered on command (like trying to think did I buy milk at the store this morning). The hot memories can only be "triggered", and they come tumbling out without the useful tags that historical memories have, like names, dates, places, chronological order, and so on. The hot emotional stuff comes out in the present tense, in vivid and terrifying symbols and images (in your nightmares, for example), and mixed with all sorts of scary judgments and feelings, and so on.

When we talk about bad dreams and nightmares, we are making sense of them in terms of our "cool" historical memories. We are saying this means that, this refers to that time, and so on. We talk about our terrible dreams expecting that everyone will trash us, then nobody does! In this way we "transfer" the volatile hot memories to the part of the brain where we store cool historical memories.

That's why, for example, a survivor makes progress in his recovery. By talking, thinking and working on his problems, he is gradually moving them from a part of the brain where they can come surging out and still harm him, to a part of the brain where he stores things that he has resolved, understands, and trusts the solutions.

Like I said, this is WAY oversimplified, and I shudder to imagine guys like Ken Singer seeing this post :rolleyes: . But the bottom line is this: The more we hide our fears and nightmares and keep them secret, the longer we prolong their ability to tear us up and harm us. By talking, we ROB them of this ability.

I like that idea. I was robbed so bad by abuse. It's high time I did some robbing of my own! \:\)

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#5658 - 04/03/06 12:05 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
trigger trigger trigger!!! while i have talked about my dreams in private here it doesnt seem to have helped ,jim yes i did disclose and put my abuser in jail ,but at age 11 disclosing was not a good thing for me as i was forced to do it in public in court .my dreams are a combination of everything i have ever posted here if you look closly it is all tied together by the death of my brother it all springs from that . ok ,in my dreams i am 11 years old in body but adult inside ,i am in a very dark place like a room but i cant see any walls,suddenly one end of the room becomes an open field ,in front of me my dad is sitting on the ground crying ,he is holding my brother up aginst his chest ,jimmys chest and face are coverd with blood,this scene is real it really did happen ,i try to go to them but my dad knocks me away ,also real it did happen , my dad is screamming ,look what you did!!you killed my boy!! i am crying and shaking i'm sorry .i'm so sorry ,i just want to die ,my dad is very gentle now he is saying adam you can trade places with jimmy ,crazy ,but i believe him ,he says all i have to do is ask god ,just ask god to take me ,now to my side a man is standing it is jesus,i guess or god he is in white long hair beard ,he is telling me its ok adam you can trade places ,jimmy can come back if i am strong enough to die for him. all i have to do is let go of my life ,he says i can go with him instead of jimmy,crazy but i believe him ,while god is talking my dad is whispering ,just do it adam just let go of life give it back to jimmy ,next there is someone behind me ,i realize that i am naked ,god is there ,my dad is there jimmy is there dying ,suddenly i smell him he grabs me from behind ,pulls my head around and crushes his mouth over mine ,i try to fight but he is too strong ,my abuser is holding me like a vise, he reaches around and touches me ,there, my body responds instantly ,he tells my dad ,who is watching ,look at your little faggot boy ,he loves it! but you know what he loves even more? the pain i can give him !i want to die as he pushes into my body ,oh god my dad is watching him rape me ,god is just standing there watching ,my abuser is slapping me in the back of the head saying ,do you want this every night for the rest of your life ? just let go or is the little faggot boy to weak to die for his brother? my dad is still whispering in one ear god is still whispering in the other ,just let go adam its ok you can trade places you just have to be strong ,do it for jimmy ,do it for me ,my abuser is now almost to the point of orgasm as always he is choking me ,harder and harder the more excited he gets the harder he chokes me .will he finish before i die ? as always i dont know . i want so much to do what they say ,but the little me doesnt want to give up ,god is holding his arms out to me whispering ,just let go adam its easy ,my dad is whispering your almost ready adam, ready to give you life to jimmy everything is turnning red i am not breathing ,the blood in jimmys eyes is changing to tears ,i just let go ,and that is when i wake up screamming not from the dream but because it was a lie i am still alive . for the second time since the dreams started today i woke up in my closet ,during my abuse the closet was where he kept me in between the abuse it was my safe place . it is very scary to know that i got up and moved to the closet ,but have no memory of it ,what else might i do? it would be just as easy to walk to the gun case and who knows ,not that is my intention in any way ,but it is a concern .i'm sorry that i got you guys involed in my problem if i am lucky no one will read this trash .but if you do i thank you for trying to understand my craziness. i am starting to hear the whispers even awake ,but i have no intention of doing it i just want it to stop!! and i have tried therapy ,i have tried sleep meds ,all they do is make the dreams come faster and last longer ,cause i cant wake up . do i really have to go through this forever ?also while i had a few bad dreams after my abuse this did not start till my abuser got out of jail and began harrasing me ,about the same time i made comtact with my dad again after 10 years ,who does still blame me for my brother .and is very open that he does . i am ashamed of this post but there it is adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#5659 - 04/03/06 01:09 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Adam,

The first thing you need to hear and know is that this was an incredibly brave post. It's not trash at all. We all know your feelings about the events you describe, which means we know how much it hurts you to say these things.

The second thing you need to hear is that there is no shame for you in what you are saying. NONE whatsoever. Shame for the father who rejected his own son? Yes. Shame for the abuser? Absolutely! Shame for Adam then or now. NO!

What this basically shows is that just as you blame yourself for Jimmy's death you also blame yourself for the abuse you suffered. You feel that as punishment for your brother's tragic death you deserved to be handed over as a sacrifice to the abuser. The two catastrophes are linked by your feelings of guilt and by the idea that having "caused" Jimmy's death you think you deserved to be abused. None of this is true.

The memories of choking are vivid for me bro, and let me tell you, the abuser who hurt me did the same thing. The terrible truth is that a grown man can easily press on a boy's throat with his thumbs and make him feel he will be choked to death any second unless he does what he is told. This leaves no marks, by the way.

It is valuable to see that these dreams did not come to you until the abuser got out of jail. Little Adam fears that he will be abused all over again. Why? Because the problem about Jimmy is unresolved and he thinks he deserves punishment.

Keep talking bro. By doing that you will come to see that all these bad feelings about yourself are entirely undeserved. There is LOTS of blame to pass around, but none of it belongs to you.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#5660 - 04/03/06 02:19 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Shadow,

Please believe me when I tell you that I have never seen you waste space here, K? What you have to say is important.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#5661 - 04/03/06 03:02 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Adam,

I posted the above before I read your last post on the thread. Now I'll try to say some more.

First, Larry is right. I have never known you to be anything but brave.

Second, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You did nothing wrong in all of what happened. Your abuser, and I include you father in that catagory have plenty of shame to go around, but it doesn not touch you. They tried to make you the one responsible for thier problems but they are wrong.

It's so easy for a grown up to put his guilt and shame off on a child because the child has no way to fight it off. When that child grows into an adult, he takes the shame and guilt with him. You have come here because you realize you need help in dealing with all that was wrongly dumped on you. You are a man of compassion and caring to others who come here. You're a good guy, Adam.

I think your dreams are resulting from that shame and guilt that others place wrongly on your shoulders. I'm no expert in the field, but that's the way I see it. Larry is probably quite right when he says that Little Adam is afraid. Little Adam needs reassurance from the grown up Adam that he'll be OK, but Big Adam is unsure of where to turn. That's where places like MS and seeing a professional Therapist can be of so much help.

We're here for you Adam, and will do whatever we can to be of help because we care about you just like you care about us.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#5662 - 04/03/06 03:04 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
nymij Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Dallas Metroplex
Shadow - That had to be a very difficult post. You are very brave! To repeat John, you have not wasted any space on here.... !

Please keep talking no matterr what you have to say!

Jim

_________________________
Phil 3:13

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#5663 - 04/03/06 12:46 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
larry you are exactly right , i did blame myself for jimmy and i do believe that everything that happened is punishment for my mistake .

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#5664 - 04/03/06 01:59 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Adam,

Again, well done. This is how you feel so this is what you have to say. It is so important to be HONEST with ourselves. Recovery can't be built on any other basis.

We will all tell you, of course, that all these things were NOT your fault, and that would be true. But that would also be something else. The issue now is how you FEEL. Once that is out on the table then you can begin to look at it and ask the crucial questions about whether these feelings are accurate or not.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#5665 - 04/03/06 08:45 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
Adam, hang in there, and know that we're all here for you ok? Know that Jimmy loves you, and that he wants you to move on and live a decent life. Know that all of the horrible things that have happened were NOT your fault.

I think you made a very wise choice to talk about this, hard as it was (I can only imagine) to write it down! I think it would be a great asset for you to have a circle of friends, or just one friend at least, that you could confide in, that isn't just some text on a screen. Do you have ANY co-workers that you're tight with? I stongly suggest that you make or trust a friend that you can talk to in the same room rather than just come here, as good as all these guys are for eachother.

In looking at my past, I've come to realize that there were people that I could have confided with, and talked about issues that I was dealing with, (and still dealing with). I bet you could too!!


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#5666 - 04/03/06 11:18 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Adam,

none of this is crazy, I dont think so and it certainly is not trash.
I can relate to the room not feeling real, and the idea that god just wants to stand and watch!

I taught my mind to scream back at the nightmares, and constantly did it in my thoughts.
It worked after so long of constantly trying to dispose of the demons in my sleep.

I would like you to think back to the accident in a safe place and be grounded.
You were only a little boy then on a farm which holds great hazards for young kids.

It would be your fathers responsibility to ensure his sons' safety on the farm, not blame you for the outcome of a situation he put you both in.

Flashbacks can be difficult to control, especially as they can fragment in nightmares, and totally confuse your emotions.

I think that you may be living in a state of grief with all that happened, but it is good that you talk it out here.

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#5667 - 04/03/06 11:51 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Adam,

Can I ask you if you are still seeing that T you spoke of in the past? More than anything else, I think what you need is strong professional local support.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#5668 - 04/04/06 01:39 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Adam,

I really have to concur with Larry on the need for professional support. It's not a thing to be ashamed of, but something that takes great courage to admit that you need help. If our car is broken, we take it to a mechanic. If our computer quits we go find a "geek" to work on it. If we have a broken ankle we go to the emergency room. It stands to reason that if our thinking has gotten messed up by some as**ole who abused us for his own gratification, there is no shame in going to counseling.

Hang in there, Bro.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#5669 - 04/04/06 02:49 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Adam,

John's post makes me see that I should have been more precise. Going to see a T doesn't mean we are THAT fucked up; it means that what was done to us was THAT fucked up.

I was scared out of my wits the first time I went to a T. Now I look forward to our sessions and I can easily admit that mine is helping me SO much. It's great.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#5670 - 04/08/06 12:40 AM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
nymij Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Dallas Metroplex
Adamn and all....

I'll share something that was shared with me when I was debating to see a T or not. I didn't listen to that person until 15yrs later... But, I now like others look forward to getting things out...

The quote: "going for help is brave!" "You are brave to face your fears and want to work through issues that only you know about." You are brave to want to get better, even though you may think your insane, and NO ONE will ever understand, and others will think your sick." You are brave!" "Don't stop going for help. Don't stop being brave."

- my thought -
I didn't understand truly what she meant until recently, and certainly did NOT feel brave when I started to go to T. And, I don't think that people who are not seeking help, are not brave. I think they are scared!

Also, I personally have a tendancy of "all or nothing" and go full speed ahead (like at recovery) then my mind hits the wall and I go onto overload. Then, I shut down and wait for my entire being to catch up to the pace of reading/writing/talking I've been doing. When I'm in that "dry" period of what seems to be not working on recovery, I can't help but think how much of a coward I am to not want to work on issues. In fact, that fact that is so not true. My mind simply needs to catch up to my brain (?).... So, don't think your a slacker if your on overload because you need a break. Take the break. But, come back!

Jim

_________________________
Phil 3:13

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#5671 - 04/08/06 11:26 PM Re: Creating Safety, III: Nightmares (***** triggers in two examples*****)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jim,

This is an incredibly important post! Please, cut it out and show it to your T.

Your T can help you to limit the cycle of swerving, going full speed, and then hitting the wall. Mine has so often told me, "No, slow down, we still have more work to do here." She has ALWAYS been right!

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
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