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The Sleeping Issue

Posted by Mand , 03 March 2014 · 130 views

It seems incredible to me that so many of us have sleeping issues. Is this because of the bed? But most of my abuse did not happen in a bed. Is this because of the nightmares? Why does subconscious processing come with such intense emotion? The heart races, I am covered in sweat. There is a sour taste in my mouth. I awake with a jump. Adrenaline is coursing through my body, yet often I am totally frozen in place.

I used to live the nightmares, they were real and vivid. Now I just awake with a feeling of dread. My mind is bubbling over, but there is no coherency to my thought. I remember no detail of my dreamscape. I just am awake and ready to run. Instantly. Yet often I cannot move. This is processing of deeply suppressed things. I do not want to remember. My T says I am protecting myself. This trauma is hidden and hidden deep. Given what I can remember, I am happy for this status quo to be maintained. If I have hidden it from me, there is a darn good reason. I just wish that it didn't happen any more. But it does not appear to be in my control.

Mar 03 2014 09:29 PM



I think it's all of the above. Some people were abused in a bed. Some of us in our own beds or in the beds of our abusers.


Yes, for sure, on the nightmares.


Many of us have hypervigilance, which means we can't relax.


We have PTSD, so we're jumpy and have all sorts of physical symptoms consequent to the PTSD.


And, then there's the healing process itself, surfacing new memories, experiencing emotional pain and loss, etc.


But, it can improve. You can have better sleep. Maybe it will take a while, maybe it will be sporadic for a while.

Hi, Mand, Sorry you're having a bad time. If I were having nightmares like that, I think I'd struggle with sleep, too. For me, I've never been a good sleeper so accessing all this vile mess has nixed being able to stay asleep for a different reason - I've always woken after 2-3 hours, but now, with no distractions, lying in the dark pretending I'll go back to sleep... Well, it's really tough to lead my mind away from all the yuk. And so I have to be really exhausted before I can manage four or five hours. I'm working on the assumption that since the worse the emotion, the worse the sleep (annoyingly that then becomes a feedback loop, sigh), then when I feel better, sleep will go back to being a pleasure. Hopefully, we'll all get there soon enough! Q
Mar 04 2014 11:59 AM



I hear you.  Sleep is a huge issue for me.  Part of it is the bed (some of my abuse was in a bed).  Part of it is hypervigilance.  Part of it is nightmares (formless dread counts according to my T).  Part of it is the fact that we're vulnerable when we sleep and our survival brain (where the trauma triggers live) knows it.


I've done all sorts of crazy things to get enough sleep.  For years, I caught sleep during daylight hours, because sleep was impossible during the dark night hours.  It was brutal to get through the work-week that way (especially in Winter with it's short days).   I would sleep in a chair or on the couch.  I still do these things, but it no longer represents 100% of my experience with sleep.  Sometimes nowadays I actually sleep at night in a bed.


I'm sorry you're dealing with this.  We all know how hard it is.

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