Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Deflating Nightmares

I have nightmares.  I had them since I was small.  I complained to my parents and they told me when I grew up the nightmares would go away.....didn't happen.  I control the nightmares by lack of sleep.  If you collapse into sleep and sleep heavily, you don't remember the dream/nightmares.  I start sleeping more and the nightmares return.  I go to great lengths to avoid sleeping.  I know it is ridiculous but the nightmares are so vivid and terrifying.  My counselor suggested that my fear of the nightmares intensifies the severity.....say what?  I thought about this over and over.  I am familiar with fear intensifying as you try to fight it when I am awake.  I hadn't thought about the same thing happening at night.  She suggested that I accept the nightmares.  Like inviting a friend to sit on a couch with me.  I'm struggling with the concept...a friend wouldn't sit on the couch and throw up on me.  (Babies do I guess.)  So I am attempting to rethink my approach to dreams/nightmares.  Another approach to nightmares is what I call 'dream control.'  My DH was puzzled that I could teach the children dream control but I didn't seem to be able to do it myself.  Dream control is when you wake up from a nightmare then change it.  Give the 'bad guy' pink polka-dots.  Very similar to Harry Potters Riddikulus spell for deflating Boggarts.  http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Riddikulus
Armed with 2 possible solutions.  I am going to attempt to get more than 5 hours of sleep a night.  I've done it before.  I am hopeful about doing it again. 


mulderfan said...

My whole life, I had nightmares every night. I used to call for help so badly my cat would wake me up. Now they seldom happen.
I started forcing myself to remember every detail when I woke up, then I wrote them down as poems. One recurring theme was a white horse like the one from Picasso's Guernica.

Here's the poem:
"I dreamed of a white horse trying to reach me.
It leaped and fell, breaking its legs in the process.
My vet came to put it to sleep.
At the moment of death it rose up
And spread white wings.
Looking at me with a nod, which seemed to say, all is well,
It soared to the heavens and was gone."

Here's what I realized after I wrote it:
I am the white horse and I am free!

I believe, it's possible to turn something ugly into something beautiful.

Ruth said...

I love this mulderfan. Thank you.

Kara said...

Hi Ruth,
I watched a documentary on dreaming the other day and it explained that dreaming is connected to the amygdala. That would explain why so many of us have such vivid dreams and nightmares. I'll make some notes on the doc and will share them on the blog.

Ruth said...

Thanks Kara, I'll look for the post. It makes sense that the amygdala is involved. Pesky thing....can't live without it. It helped me survive now I need to make peace with it.