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Monday, February 01, 2010 nowheretorun, Community Member, asks

Q: How do I deal with recurring dreams, nightmares of restraint and abuse.

I have been having these dreams for about 2 years now.  I saw a therapist while in my late 30s, early 40s, about drinking, self esteem issues.  While in therapy, the childhood abuse surfaced big time. I couldn't handle it and withdrew for quite a time. Didn't drink or drug for 26 years.  Pushed the thoughts back away and tried to go on with life.  That worked for a number of years, until 2 years ago.  One of my daughters, top of her HS class, scholarship to college and all, decided to drop out in her first year (going for premed) marry the village idiot, turn to drugs, and become a stripper. I crashed and burned big time.  At that time I went back drinking,and the recurring abuse memories returned, along with severe depression and anxiety attacks.I've recently stopped drinking, am on antidepressants and xanax, but don't seem to be progressing to rapidly. Years ago I got into some trouble with the law, and totally lost control when handcuffed behind my back.The only things I know about the arrest are what led up to the handcuffs, after that I seemed to blackout ( for lack of a better descriptive word) The only things I know about the time after that are the things the witnesses and police told me later.  From what I'm told, I begged my mother to stop hurting me, and tried to run. I should add that my father was a cop, and my mother had access to batons, handcuffs, etc. To this day (I'm in my late 50s) I freak out when I see a cop behind me on the road.  I just would like to find some form of peace within my self before I die. Just some form of peace and tranquility.  The only time I've gotten any of that was when I self medicated with drugs ang alcohol. Bach to the beginning, how do I stop the nightmares?

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Answers (2)
Eileen Bailey, Health Guide
2/ 1/10 2:42pm

Thank you for your question and welcome to


I am not a medical professional and would not be able to give you medical advice. I would suggest, however, that you again seek out a therapist. This type of medical professional would be best able to help you cope with your past and help you move forward.



Judy, Community Member
2/ 1/10 5:28pm

Your symptoms sound like you might have PTSD and perhaps these symptoms are resurfacing because you are in a place where you could now work in therapy on the abuse issues.  I would try to find a therapist who specializes in trauma and there is a particular type of therapy, EMDR, that has been found to work very well for people with PTSD, although it's not an overnight cure, especially when the traumas you experienced were long ago.  I've done it myself and have found it very helpful.  I used to also have a lot of nightmares but they eventually went away as I worked in therapy.


I wish you all the best and please let us know if you need more information on how to find help; feel free to write again any time if you just need to "talk."

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By nowheretorun, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/13/10, First Published: 02/01/10