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Question about nightmares and symptoms flare during the night

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by miffybunny, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was wondering how to explain this phenomena and if anyone has experienced similar? I've been doing well with the symptoms of RSD in my feet (stabbing, burning frostbite, color changes, swelling etc..) but last night I was awoken at 4 am by my son who has autism. This is a common occurrence and I'm bombarded with stress daily since my younger son is quite severe. In any case, I accept my situation but a weird thing happened last night. After I fell back asleep around 4:30 am, I had terrible nightmares and woke up again with my feet throbbing. I fell back asleep again and as I got out of bed it felt as though I was walking on rocks and my feet were purple! Ugh my old symptoms were back. I told myself I was ok and reflected on my feelings about my son and past events when I was awoken or dealing with messes etc. I realize I have PTSD because he almost died in 2012. I tried to acknowledge my true feelings and went about my day. Is this common? I must admit it was unsettling....I appreciate everyone's insights!
  2. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    WOW! You must be going through so much with your son. I know that when I am really stress or worried about something bad happening, I tend to get nightmares too. I have also awakened with TMS symptoms during the night, like my buttock and leg pain, that I did not have when I went to bed. I am not sure what is really going on here, but I do know that stress and worry can really effect our sleep. I guess that when this happens to me, I just consider it part of the TMS symptoms that come and go.

    Maybe you could make a special effort to try to relax before you go to bed, say with a meditation session or using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), soft music, hot bath. Another thing to try is journaling, writing about your fears before you go to bed and then tearing up the paper and throwing it away, symbolic of saying that these things will not happen while you are asleep.
  3. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Those are good signs. First, insane people don't dream, so you're covered there. Plus, you got it to shift and shimmie, which helps you to bridge the nexus of, your pain, and, unconscious activity within your psyche. I.e, you need to connect your symptoms to your anger and fear, and frustration. Acknowledge that these emotions exist, and that they are the true cause of your current state of health.

    Your conscious mind wants you to not be aware of something in your unconscious. So, if you begin to shift your conscious eye toward the correlation of your hidden emotions and your mental activity, your unconscious simply shifts the focus (your symptom). It's all done to prevent you from "feeling" something too painful. It also almost always returns to the original symptoms, that's the brains good ole standby, its comfort zone.

    I think your unconscious becomes more active when you're diving into it, like ripples in a pond. As you get nearer to the truth within you, your mind's eye will begin scrambling to hide the treasure from you.

    A son with severe autism would bring anyone TMS. Who could express all of that away? Then, if you throw in the Type T personality, with the familiar childhood markers, you have a TMS storm.

    You have some digging to do for your treasure, and it all resides within your shadow. You'll find your pick and shovel right here at the Wiki. Keep asking questions, and opening your mind, and pulling back to see the bigger picture. Walk backwards before you begin walking forward again. That way you can see where your emotional footprints came from.

    I was surprised and sad to see Debbie Ford died this year. Her courage in shadow-work helped heal me. She was young. God bless her.

    Ellen and North Star like this.
  4. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you so much again for the replies! I think my shadow is screaming for attention lol. I had more nightmares last night! This time in my dream I had severe osteoporosis and my legs were crumbling (shudder). It's so interesting how my unconscious becomes activated while I sleep. Fear seems to be a huge emotion my conscious mind wants to avoid. I will jot things down before bed (I had a fight with my husband last night as well...anger/resentment?). Steve, I know I mentioned this in a prior post but your book has been instrumental to me! I read yours right after Dr. Sarno's. Thanks so much again.
  5. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Miffybunny - I hope I can encourage you with a few of my recent experiences. Over the past MANY years, I've had a recurring nightmare. It's always the same ole sh*t…I'm in a familiar place but intruders are breaking into the house and I must hide. The dream is terrifying. I then wake up in the midst of a panic attack.

    These past few weeks, I've had some pretty miserable flares. Even a few brand new symptoms. THAT really made me realize I was honing in on something. I began journalling with the technique chickenbone mentioned. I aired all the dirt…those dark and horrible thoughts and anger with freedom knowing they would end up in the woodstove. (I have been censoring my regular journal out of concern for my kids or husband finding it.)

    Just last week I had that recurring nightmare. But this time the ending was dramatically different. I realized the intruders were completely harmless and instead of hiding, I got up to greet them. I woke up in peace…MARVELING that the ending was so different.

    Yeah, my symptoms are still smoldering but I really believe they are one the run and more importantly, my perspective is changing in significant ways.

    My son is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD and I know my TMS kicked into high gear when he was little. Between the tremendous emotional output, the occupational therapy appointment, neurofeedback, dealing with ignorant and unsupportive family members….oh GAH! So I have a slight inkling of the pressures you're dealing with. (BTW, my son is adult now and is doing really, really well. We'll always have some issues to help him with but overall, he is doing great.)

    Hang in there dear Miffybunny…day by day. Or if you need to…moment by moment.

    I'm cheering for you and wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.
    Ellen and Lily Rose like this.
  6. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow ! The way your dream changed is amazing! I do believe my nightmares are caused by emotions getting stirred up and I'm sure I need to delve deeper. Having a child with autism makes it difficult to get a break. It's sort of relentless and impacts everyone. My son is 7 and nonverbal. No one ever talks about this much but poop and accidents and cleaning poop are a huge part of my life. He wears backwards clothes because he tries to take them off etc. We cant even have a Christmas tree which makes me feel guilty about my older son. Anyway, I have to let it go but sometimes it gets to me. Thank you for your support North Star! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas as well !
    nickserpa1 likes this.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Miffybunny, you get extra hugs from me and the others replying to your posts.
    You have a real lot to deal with and Christmas must make it even harder.
    Your older son is going to need love and assurance even more over the holiday.
    Be good to yourself and take everything that comes in the spirit of what we are about to celebrate.
    God bless you and your family.
  8. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh Miffybunny….I understand about the toileting issues….that was a huge frustration until he was nearly 12. The only clothing issues we had were his intolerance of anything scratchy or with seams. He never wore jeans until he was around 12 also. What a journey...

    Can you put up some Christmas lights on the wall…maybe fashion them into the shape of a tree or something like that? Or maybe give your older boy his own special little tree?

    I wish I could lighten your load a little bit. But know this - You're not alone. You are loved! :kiss: And so is your dear family.
    G.R. likes this.
  9. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you so much everyone! This message board is such a welcoming community and safe haven for me . All the feedback and suggestions are extremely helpful. In my real life I feel so isolated so I appreciate this forum even more. I hope everyone has a wonderful, healthy Christmas!
    Ellen and North Star like this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Miffybunny, I love North Star's suggestion that you give your older son something of his own for Christmas.
    A little fir tree or some ornament from the store or your collection.
    Or just talk privately with him about how he is loved.
    North Star likes this.
  11. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Miffybunny, My heart goes out to you. I wish I was there to help and give you support. I trust that
    you will be surrounded with an abundance of support and encouragement. Please, post if you
    are having a difficult day. We are all here to help you.

    I hope you can take some time for yourself. Maybe, when your children go to bed you can light
    some candles and have a lovely hot cup of tea or hot chocolate and put your feet up.

    Please, know that this season won't last forever. There is springtime coming.
    Your story has so warmed my heart.
    North Star likes this.
  12. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi G.R. ! Thank you so much for your kind reply. I can't tell you how much everyone's replies mean to me. I conquered TMS in the past (lower back and leg spasms for a year and a half). I accepted the diagnosis immediately and was able to integrate it easily. After four month I was totally pain free. The RSD symptoms have brought me to my knees. I try not to let it intimidate me and I have no fear of hurting myself. My biggest stumbling block however is the vasculapothy. The blood vessels dilate in my feet and create a burning sensation that defies description. Then it swings in the opposite direction to vessel constriction (painful frostbite). The vasospasms are the worst. Seeing the color changes and swelling in my feet (I cant wear sneakers or anything enclosed) are daunting to deal with. My biggest problem is not finding similar stories within the TMS umbrella. It's so excruciating and no matter how often I shift my thoughts to the psychological, it's always THERE (irrespective of sitting, standing walkin etc.) This plants a seed of doubt in my mind that RSD is in a grey area between TMS and some other mechanism I cant seem to control. There are very few stories that remotely resemble mine. This is not Raynauds or plantar fasciitis....it's a separate entity. I hope not rambling to much. My confusion and lack of supporting info. along with the hellacious burning brings me down despite my best efforts. I am not Buddha lol. I am also extremely aware of my reservoir of rage. I am confronted with triggers every minute and I think I'm quite honest with myself that motherhood has not panned out in the way I expected. I wonder if I should see a therapist like Dr Frances Anderson? I can't seem to break through to the next level.....Thank you again for all your support and compassion!!
  13. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Miffybunny, Maybe you can try to take your eyes and mind off the symptoms and try to keep investigating
    the emotions. Symptoms are there to cause fear and to intimidate you. I think that when we pay attention
    to the symptoms, they talk even louder and try to get us to focus on them. Once the symptoms have our
    attention then it done they have done its' job to totally distract us.

    Miffybunny, I use to try to figure the symptoms; over and over again I would go over the symptoms and
    try to reason with them. I would just get frustrated and the symptoms would increase. Then, it was like
    a light bulb turned on for me and I thought just forget about the symptoms; don't try to figure them
    out. That has really helped me and they leave a lot quicker. This is what works for me but everyone has
    to learn what will work for them.

    I do think having a therapist walk along side you to unmask the emotions is very valuable. I know there
    are many therapists that do Skype or phone sessions. Please, keep posting. You are surely on the right
    track and you will get through this season!!!
    North Star likes this.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sarno advises us not to spend a lot of time trying to deal with our pain and also not to spend
    more than a half hour on thinking about repressed emotions. The more time we spend in the basement
    of our symptoms, the more our minds remain there. We have to try to just live with the pain and
    spend more time thinking about pleasant things.

    TMS certainly is about acknowledging that our symptoms are caused by repressed emotions,
    and the healing comes through that, but we have to try to become happy and now dwell on the
    pain or worry that it won't ever stop.

    I sometimes have bad dreams but don't try to figure out their meaning. There may not be any.
    I try to spend at least an hour before bedtime on pleasant thoughts, relaxing music,
    definitely no television news. We can't do anything about any bad news, so why put it in
    our heads?

    I'm all for spending more time on discovering more relaxation techniques.

    Dr. Sarno says in Healing Back Pain that there is a lot of "fuzziness" about what we hope to accomplish
    by relaxation. He says there is no question that a calm, relaxed person will experience less pain, but we
    have to treat the basic disorder, the TMS reason for our pain.

    He advises his patients that meditation and relaxation exercises can't hurt, but we cannot depend on them for definitive relief of pain. That comes from discovering and facing the repressed emotions that cause our pain. Some people and paine experts suggest biofeedback for pain relief by relaxing muscles, but he does not prescribe biofeedback because it treating the symptom and not its cause.

    So we go back to Sarno's bottom line, believing that repressed emotions cause our pain. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga can help relieve the pain, but it is more important to find its psychological cause, not its physical.

    Meanwhile, Happy New Year in being happy. Don't forget that laughing can be a terrific technique for relaxation.
    North Star likes this.
  15. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thinking of you Miffybunny….Wish I could pack a box of strength and healing and have the FedEx man drop it off on your front porch for use anytime you need it. Hugs to you...
    G.R. likes this.
  16. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    I just want to recommend this awesome book that I have read many times and constantly refer back to.
    It is not on TMS but explains the science of belief. I am going to read it again with the new year.
    It called The Anatomy of a Miracle by Dr. James Richards. It will so encourage you.
  17. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Miffybunny, My hope for you is that this New Year will bring abundant blessings to you and your family.
    If you need to talk send me a private conversation so I can send you my phone number.
  18. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi everyone! I'm so touched and heartened by all the replies! I had such a rough day with my son (I have split bottom lip from his tantrum,(long story lol). G.R. I love the idea of not trying to figure the symptoms out! That's so freeing...and I'll definitely check out the book by Dr. Richards. Books are my greatest solace (along with TMS wiki). North star thank you so much for the well wishes and Walt thank you for reminding me not to dwell and strive in ways that are counter productive. I totally agree! Sometimes the more we do and the more activities we seek, it becomes a scenario of diminishing returns. Thanks to everyone again. It's comforting to know I have this forum in my life.
  19. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Miffybunny, It's comforting for me to read posts from you and others, too.
    Reading is a great way to relax and forget our pain.

    Your son and his tantrum means, to me anyway, that he's got anger in him,
    about something. It may not be easy to learn what's causing it, but it may help you
    to know that it may not have anything to do with you. He's just taking out his anger
    on you or anyone within reach.

    He's 7 and nonverbal, so he has a lot inside him that has no way to come out.

    Give him as much love and compassion as you can, knowing that some day he
    will return it. He's got growing up anxieties, and growing up today isn't easy even
    for kids who can talk or scream.

    GR's suggestion of reading the book by Dr. Richards sounds like it could help you.

    Have as happy a New Year's Eve and Day tomorrow as you can, and if they'll let you,
    give both your sons a big hug.
    G.R. likes this.
  20. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle


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