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The Dreams

Night Terrors Bad Dreams Sleep Paralysis


For years I was afraid to go to sleep for fear that I would be haunted by the demons that would torment me during my night terrors. These dreams are worse than any nightmare you can think of. They are so vivid, so real – and for me, so evil.

I would self-medicate with alcohol but that would only help for so long and caused other problems for me. The doctor had prescribed so many medications for depression and that were supposed to ‘quiet’ my thoughts. Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lithium, the list goes on and on.

Often these medications had adverse effects that often led to panic attacks due to the PTSD and my feeling like I had no control over anything. I still must take medication today to shut my brain down so I can sleep but most nights sleep still evades me. Most nights I am lucky to get 3 hours sleep without waking up in a panic. It has been almost 30 years.

Last week for the first time, when I had my night terrors, these demons actually had faces. Faces so familiar….

It happened again last night. I had night terrors. As I said, my enemies are demons, not actual people, in my terrors. They chase me, close enough to catching me that I feel their fingers grasp my clothes. I usually start screaming in my sleep, crying for help. I wake myself up with the screaming, so I have no idea how long I have been doing it.

But for the first time, I did not allow them to control me. I did not allow them to keep playing in my mind on a loop so fearful of going back to sleep.

I sat with them, accepted them for what they were, and I released them. I no longer attempt to figure out what it all means. I had messaged a friend to talk about it but decided to delete the message. I had done it on my own, no point involving someone else in the middle of the night.

I had written the following poem in after having one of these night terrors:

When I was young, I had a dream of how my life would be.
Strong arms holding me tight, loving words, whispered just for me.
All would be right in my world.

But as I grew up and became an adult,
My dream became a nightmare.
The monster searched me out, chasing, leaving me in constant fear.
All would be chaos in my world.

But I found my strength, I found my courage, stared the monster in the eye.
I grabbed my sword; I slew that dragon.
And I held his head up high.
All is peaceful in my world.

Charlene Fox

It is hard working on changing how your mind functions, but it is part of the healing process. We can reprogram ourselves to react differently to what happens to us when we live with trauma. I will be working on myself for years to come. But guess what – I am worth it and so are you.

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