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Stress Dreams
#11
Lucid dreaming may help to resolve some of the issues. Mind it doesn't always work and getting to the point where you can dream lucidly (with some minor control) is usually a long difficult trip where having 'bad dreams' isn't going to make it easier.

Some of the things I have done in the past to make sleeping a bit more acceptable has been to focus on positive thoughts prior to falling asleep. I run fantasy stories through my head - pure fiction. Trust me, focusing on zombies and the end of the world results in more 'nightmares' of the past. So focus on happy thoughts, your 'happy place'.

Sleeping with music or positive sounds playing (like the sound of gentle waves on a shore, or rain). While you may not be aware of the sounds while sleeping, they do tend to infect the dreams, thus you are being gently reminded you are not 'back there' thus tend to not dream as often about 'then' and are more in the now.

Undergoing meditation before going to bed where I set my mind to more positive, relaxing things. There is much that can be said about emptying your brain of thoughts...

Unresolved conflict is what you are really dealing with here. These three topics are going to be problematic until you get some resolution. College and medications will be the 'easiest' to resolve, once you get those sorted in real life then dreams about them will diminish or vanish.

Abuse is going to be the difficult one, and I fear that having been abused that most likely the stressors/anxiety you feel over other things (like medication and college) is going to be worse than for 'normal' people - people who haven't had the traumatic experience.

The thing with abuse is difficult. Been there, done that. I have had psychologists tell me I have post traumatic stress disorder due to my abusive childhood. Resolution is difficult, but has been achievable for the most part.

One thing you have going for you is that you are young (20) and are actually doing something to work on the issues. I totally ignored my issues at your age and ended up going down the road of self destructive behaviors.

I didn't really start working on my issues until I was in my early 30's. It took about ten years for me to get a real handle on my issues. Mind I still have the occasional 'night terror' where I wake up screaming... however that is about once a year, not once a week or more.

So it does get better. How fast depends on how hard you work at resolution.

I hope you find a bit in comfort in knowing that it will get better. Just that alone may actually reduce the number of nightmares you have.

Unresolved issues like the ones you describe is from a sense of loss of control. Thus I suggest you do something that puts you in control before you go to bed. Watching is not one of those things.

If you have any hobbies that are constructive - meaning you start with nothing and end up with something to show for the hard work - this may help you regain some of that sense of lost control.

Personally I have found that creating/building things worked for me. Working with my hands and taking raw materials and making something, then being able to sit back and see what my hands have done gave me a sense of power/control in this world and a sense of satisfaction over having done 'something'.

Model building may be up your ally - starting off with bits and pieces and ending up with a ship, a car or something that you can see and touch may give you back some sense of control.
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#12
LateBloomer Wrote:Just a suggestion because I don't really TRULY know your living arrangement...

But rather than spending all your free time and money "working" for your roommate and buying THEIR food, how about you quit being her "bitch" and spend your time working a "real job" then find a different roommate, one who is willing to carry their fair share of the load and move in with him/her?

Austin is a college town. There are probably hundreds of students your age looking for a roommate. And I know the economy is tough but if you were earning your money bagging groceries rather than buying groceries you would have some self respect and independence.

How does that sound?

It sounds like a reasonable plan, were I not diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder that is so severe I've been in emergency psychiatric care for various reasons three times in the past year. Wink This isn't to say I haven't tried to do it before, though. Back when I first got to Austin I searched for a job for eight months before my issues really blew up. Situations that have happened here and in my personal past life have made me realize that working a regular job would be dangerous to not only myself, but potentially others. Due to abuse, I have a severe fight/flight inclination when I'm heavily stressed. When that happens, I get violent very easily.

As to the 'real job' thing, I get that a lot, so I'm not going to fault you on that. There's a lot of people who don't understand the entirety of my situation that I believe I could function in a normal job. Reality is, though, I'm still very much broken even though I've gone through two years of therapy to deal with abuse related to not only my upbringing, but from authority figures, my peers, etc. I'm not exaggerating when I said I had a pretty hellish childhood -- not as bad as it could of been, but it still wasn't pleasant. I don't take offense to the 'real job' thing because there's a fair number of people who believe I just sit at a computer and type out a bunch of words every day, which isn't true. I sell my work and make money off it. It's not a lot so far, but I'm basically selling just two books at this point, so... considering the income I bring in from just those two, I say I'm doing fairly well.

Bowyn Aerrow Wrote:If you have any hobbies that are constructive - meaning you start with nothing and end up with something to show for the hard work - this may help you regain some of that sense of lost control.

I make my living off my writing. Though my income arrangement is only around $500 a month, that's helping me pay my bills and keeping me fed/happy/entertained, so that's something. Smile
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#13
Writing is your job now, its not a hobby. Wink So it doesn't really count.

Now if you only wrote for the hell of it and not in search of the Almighty Dollah, it may be stress reducing. I suspect that now its more of a chore (a job) where you are constantly worried about it selling instead of just writing because it feels good to put down words.

The whole idea here is to be in full control over something. If you are doing something to make an Almighty Dollah, then you are going to not being in full control, you are going to be constantly thinking about what your editor or the reader is going to want, thus you are going to relinquish control to them. Sure it may not be a huge thing, but you are still giving up your power.

You had your power taken from you by some very bad people. Jobs, careers, making an almighty dollah or appeasing other people, government, religion, whatever are not going to give you back the power you need. Doing something utterly selfish and totally for yourself to where you get to decide if you paint it blue or purple or some solid color like plaid not because you are attempting to please someone else (submit to their will) because you will it to be whatever you want it to be.

Sure, having a satisfying job and making ends meet can satisfy many other aspects, right now your issue is control/power not these other things. Thus you need to do something that puts you in total command of something.
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#14
I don't see writing as a chore at all. I still enjoy doing it, and unlike a lot of writers I don't strive to write for the Almighty Dollah, as you said. I write stuff that doesn't sell sometimes, and if it doesn't, I give it out for free. There's still stuff I do write that does sell, so it's no big deal to me. I also don't fear what readers and/or editors want. I write what I want to write, not what I think will appease other people.

I do get your control aspect, though, and that's something I need to figure out how to work on.

Bowyn Aerrow Wrote:Writing is your job now, its not a hobby. Wink So it doesn't really count.

Now if you only wrote for the hell of it and not in search of the Almighty Dollah, it may be stress reducing. I suspect that now its more of a chore (a job) where you are constantly worried about it selling instead of just writing because it feels good to put down words.

The whole idea here is to be in full control over something. If you are doing something to make an Almighty Dollah, then you are going to not being in full control, you are going to be constantly thinking about what your editor or the reader is going to want, thus you are going to relinquish control to them. Sure it may not be a huge thing, but you are still giving up your power.

You had your power taken from you by some very bad people. Jobs, careers, making an almighty dollah or appeasing other people, government, religion, whatever are not going to give you back the power you need. Doing something utterly selfish and totally for yourself to where you get to decide if you paint it blue or purple or some solid color like plaid not because you are attempting to please someone else (submit to their will) because you will it to be whatever you want it to be.

Sure, having a satisfying job and making ends meet can satisfy many other aspects, right now your issue is control/power not these other things. Thus you need to do something that puts you in total command of something.
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#15
BB it's sounds to me like in real life that you are trying to take control of your life but aren't having much success right now and your biggest fear is people not letting you take control of your life. Your fear is your friends taking over the 'parenting' role.

Dreams are our subconscious trying to tell us something about what we are not dealing with in our everyday lives Wink
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