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Day 5 A smidge of PTSD, perhaps?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Rosebud, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Rosebud

    Rosebud Peer Supporter

    As I worked through the TMS Recovery activities of today, I saw there was an item on PTSD. Well, at least I don't have that one. Or do I?
    I certainly don't have flashbacks or recurrent nightmares of traumatic events. In fact, I have quite different dreams.
    Just like for many of us, my childhood wasn't always easy. My father was a deeply angry man. He was either angry, or he had just been angry, and we were suffering through stony cold silence, or we were walking on eggshells, because he could explode anytime. And I have to admit, as an adult I wonder: why did we put up with that nonsense? We were kids, of course, but why did my mother allow this to happen? Anyway, I can still feel the fear. Sometimes I wondered if he would kill us all, but I can't actually remember him physically hurting us, not even once. It was more like a threat really, of what he could possibly do. And then he died, and the threat went away. I'm not going to lie about it, my first emotion was relief. That was 29 years ago.

    So, it wouldn't be weird if I had nightmares about this, right? But I don't. I sometimes dream about him, and it's never scary. There's the dream where I'm driving my van, and he's sitting with my kids and my husband, and just behaving well, really. He doesn't say anything, he's just there, and there's no threat at all. In another dream, everybody's seated at the table, again, husband, kids and father. My father is just an innocent old man, not threatening at all, sweet as can be, but silent. In this dream, I'm filling everybody's plate, including his. And I find myself thinking, why do you dislike him so much?! He's perfectly nice! Look at that sweet old man! Wait, what is he doing there? Didn't he die? But no, he's sitting there! He's harmless.
    As I write this, I realise my mother isn't in these dreams. Huh. Another weird thing. But I am. And I'm in control. I drive the van, I'm at the wheel. How's that for subtle (not)? I dish out the food. I'm the boss, I'm in charge.

    And yet, I can still feel the fear. If I allow it. I try not to, it makes me deeply uncomfortable, but I have to, or I will never get rid of it. I'm working on it. How utterly strange that in my dreams I'm fearless, and during the day, I'm not.
    zclesa likes this.
  2. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    This is fascinating to me. My dad was angry and scary. My first memories of him are of being afraid. I was diagnosed with PTSD 20 years ago. Not because of dreams or flashbacks, but because the fear was still controlling my life 10 years after I moved out.

    So I'm wondering, do you think the dreams are a proof of the psychology of TMS burying your emotions? Is your brain saying, "there are no negative emotions here, this is a nice guy, please keep the rose colored glasses on?"

  3. Rosebud

    Rosebud Peer Supporter

    I believe that part of me really, truly knows he can't hurt me anymore. Those dreams started long after he died. Part of me can't feel 100% safe yet, but I do feel the fear, so that's not repressed, is it? Or I may connect the fear with my father, when really it's something that is indeed repressed and that I can't access. That would make sense, actually. My dreams are telling me that it's not my father that I fear. The feelings of fear are real, though. Still can't stand fights or loud noises, either. That was a very helpful question, I hadn't even considered that possibility!

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