Nightmares Unrelated to Our Trauma

  • 4 Replies
  • 158 Views
*

Just Hatched

  • Member
  • 24
    • View Profile
Nightmares Unrelated to Our Trauma
« on: August 25, 2019, 12:51:00 AM »
I've been having a lot of nightmares lately, almost every night, which is understandable, because I'm working on healing and having a lot of old memories re-surface. But something is happening which I don't understand and I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this or have any ideas about what might be going on.

I've been having nightmares about things I've never actually experienced, like natural disasters, and being in other frightening situations and environments I've never actually known. This morning I dreamed I was running from a tsunami. The thing which distinguishes these nightmares from 'normal' ones is that I often wake up in  panic, then eventually calm down, go back to sleep and go right back into the same nightmare, this is something new for me. Previously, when I would wake from nightmares I could go back to sleep and not have to re-experience them. I've had recurring dreams/nightmares through my life though, but not on the same night.

This morning I was running for my life from a tsunami over and over again, each time the outcome was a little different. The last time, I decided not to run, because I was tired, and so I woke up at the moment of getting engulfed by it.

Its almost like I'm dreaming about other peoples traumatic memories. I've never been in a natural disaster, been close to one or feel like I've been traumatized by one on TV or anything like that. These nightmares always happen during the later part of the night, like around 4 - 5am, well the ones I remember anyway.

If I believed in past lives, I might put it down to that, but I don't, well not in the typical way.

Anyone have any ideas what might be going on, or have experienced something similar?

*

Three Roses

  • Member
  • 2966
  • CPTSD is an injury, not an illness.
    • View Profile
Re: Nightmares Unrelated to Our Trauma
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2019, 04:22:33 AM »
Although there are many theories regarding dreams and nightmares, it's been my experience that nightmares reveal what's bothering my subconscious mind in my waking hours.

Dreams, or at least my dreams, are highly symbolic. For instance, I recently had a dream about an old dog that I had to release. Her body was scarred, her ears nicked with old injuries. In my dream I knew that after I released her, she would still accompany me for a while but that eventually she would go her own way. She had served me well, but it was time for her to go. This dog was one I'd never seen before in my real life, but she was very real to me in my dream, and I felt very connected to her, very loving toward her.

The dream stuck with me well after I woke up and that's always an indication for me that there's something in that dream to look at. After I thought about my dream and analyzed its components, I realized that the old dog was symbolic of my angry outbursts and distancing from people. These things had protected me in the past but I saw that it was time for me to look for healthier coping mechanisms.

You say that you've been dreaming of "natural disasters, and being in other frightening situations and environments I've never actually known...." may I suggest that you are in uncharted territory, being relatively new to cptsd if I recall correctly, and that can feel overwhelming! Kind of like a tsunami, you may feel flooded with information, or maybe memories that have are nearing the surface?

Hope this was helpful. Take care!  :wave:

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 7346
    • View Profile
Re: Nightmares Unrelated to Our Trauma
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2019, 05:26:06 PM »
Quote
may I suggest that you are in uncharted territory, being relatively new to cptsd if I recall correctly, and that can feel overwhelming! Kind of like a tsunami, you may feel flooded with information, or maybe memories that have are nearing the surface?

 :yeahthat:  There is a LOT on the news right now about natural disasters which may be something your mind is using to attach the anxiety/fear of past trauma to (i.e.,  given it is very definitive, clear cut danger/threat).  FWIW it may also be a message to yourself to run, get away b/c facing your trauma is dangerous. Survivors do have quite a range of protective strategies  :yes:

*

Jazzy

  • Member
  • 484
    • View Profile
Re: Nightmares Unrelated to Our Trauma
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2019, 10:39:03 PM »
I can relate to that. Over 10 years I had the same nightmare every night, but after I became an adult and started dealing with things, it changed. I had weird dreams that didn't seem to relate to anything, but as you said, puts you in to panic. I think it is just part of the process. Hopefully it doesn't keep going on too much longer though. Take care! :)

*

holidayay

  • Member
  • 100
    • View Profile
Re: Nightmares Unrelated to Our Trauma
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2019, 03:25:41 PM »
A bit late to this but thought I'd add my two pence worth anyway, it might help somebody. I am lucky enough to currently be able to pay for a specialised, highly-trained psychologist who specialises in trauma - I was thinking to spread information I get from her so that those who aren't in a position to pay for this can benefit, too. (Ridiculous and unethical that the system is even this way in the first place).

So this has been happening to me recently and after having a VERY vivd nightmare about a war scenario, I was so hysterical, I woke up inconsolable and spoke to both a doctor and a psychologist. I have never been in a war scenario, I cried to the psychologist and asked her why this was happening to me if I have never lived through it - and after everything else I'm going through in my healing journey? She said this is incredibly common amongst people with cptsd: when your flight or fight is ongoing, your brain tries to fill up the blanks and dreams up scenarios in your sleep to try to make sense of how our body is feeling.