Break on through to the other side!!!

By Leca
@lecanis (16661)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
January 7, 2008 8:41am CST
Since some of you have been reading my discussions about my post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues in my life for months now, I thought I'd post about a breakthrough I had recently. Part of this relates to my other discussion about not worrying about changing the past, in case some of you are wondering. I've learned how to deal with nightmares over the years, and my favorite way to do so is through use of a lucid dreaming technique where I insert a "warrior-self" into my dream to defeat either whomever or whatever is harming me, or the dream itself. This warrior-self started with an idea given to me by a doctor for an approach to my physical health, but was expanded upon by my meditative techniques and spiritual practice. Until recently, there was one specific point in my worst nightmare/memory beyond which I would completely lose control: that moment where I took the throwing knives I always wore up my sleeve out and set them on the table before going out to walk. What happened after that, in real life as well as in the nightmare, is that the person I was walking with brutally raped me and left me for dead, bleeding from a knife wound. I was 11 years old when this happened, and the nightmares had thus been plaguing me for about 16 years. Of course in my thought process (as the strong person I am), I always get tripped up over the fact that I left my knives, trusting someone else to protect me, when that person wound up being the one I needed to be protected from. So I would never be able to change anything past that point, because that laying aside of the knives would be where I lost my control. The two popular ways of looking at this were: 1) You couldn't have done anything with those knives anyway, and it wouldn't have made a difference, so nothing is your fault. 2) You COULD have stopped him with the knives, which is why you torment yourself, and you HAVE to take part of the blame for what happened to move past it because of your nature as a strong person. Neither of these ideas really worked for me, because I had used the knives very well to defend myself before that point, BUT I couldn't accept part of the blame because that would in my mind mean other people who had been raped were partially to blame. I couldn't get past that. My breakthrough was this: I might have been able to change that incident, and I might not have, but in the end, what does it matter? If that incident had changed, everything in my life after it would have changed. Do I want an entire different life than the one I have now? I like the person I am now, so why would I want to change that? (See now how this ties into my other discussion.) This thought came up in therapy first, and then continued to form over the next few days. So last night, I had that same dream, I laid the knives on the table, we walked out the door... and my warrior self (who is of course my current age), tore the fabric of the dream to ribbons with a spear. Ahhh. I hope someone actually reads my dismally long discussion starter here, but I figured since some of my friends had been following my issues for a while now, someone would. :P
7 people like this
14 responses
@uath13 (8204)
• United States
7 Jan 08
GREAT!... Now can I have my spear back? There's a bear that needs poking.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
10 Jan 08
*laughs* *hands over the spear* Thanks for the help you gave me a while back, by the way. You're awesome. :)
@uath13 (8204)
• United States
10 Jan 08
If I helped at all I'm glad. Now I think I spotted that bear a little ways back... ( Dons Magic Helmet )
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
10 Jan 08
You did help. :) Haha, good luck with your bear-hunting! :P
• United States
7 Jan 08
Yes, I read your dismally long discussion starter, lol..I am happy for you that you had that breakthrough. That is a good way to look at it.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Jan 08
Woohoo! Thanks for reading! :)
1 person likes this
@urbandekay (18308)
7 Jan 08
"Dismally long" LMAO all the best urban
2 people like this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Jan 08
*giggles* Yup, yup, that's me. I'm so long-winded. :P
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 08
I really enjoyed reading this lecanis. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful breakthrough! I'm sure that by sharing your dream technique with others it may even help them. I do pretty much the same thing when I am dreaming. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't but, I'm always glad when it does.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Jan 08
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed reading this. I was a little worried no one was really that interested, but then I remembered my wonderful friends here! :) It took me years to get my dream method to work as much as it does, and I'm so glad I have it!
1 person likes this
@urbandekay (18308)
7 Jan 08
Amor fati all the best urban
2 people like this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Jan 08
Amor fati, indeed. That's a good way to put it.
1 person likes this
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
16 Jan 08
I am new to your long story but..I can empathize with you. I too consider myself very strong in mind and body. I am well versed in the defensive arts both oriental and military and I was still taken advantage of as an adult. I too suffered from night dreams from physical abuse as a child. I too sought ways around those dreams. However, I have conquered the childhood problems, not so the adult ones totally yet, but I am still working on them. Life is a work in progress. It isn't done until it is done. Welcome to my world friend! Shalom~Adoniah
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
16 Jan 08
*nods* It's a hard thing to face that no matter how strong you become, you can't make yourself completely safe. I spent so many years agonizing over that. I haven't quite conquered all of my childhood stuff even, let alone trying to start dealing with adult stuff. Granted, my adult life has been much better than my childhood was, but there are still a lot of things there I have to deal with eventually. I'm glad to hear that you're doing well on your healing journey as well. :)
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
16 Jan 08
I think our scars are an important part of our personality. As long as we do not let our fears rule our lives we will eventually be stronger for them and maybe able to comfort and help others with our acquired knowledge and pain. Without some pain how does one ever experience true joy?
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 08
I am new to Mylot and i saw your post and Yes I read your dismally long discussion starter. I think it is wonderful that you have come so far withyour P.T.S.D Most people think of it only having to do with those returning to war but it does not. It is good to see that you feel comfortable enough to talk about it. When I was growing up it was not something that was talked abot. You were supposed to keep your mouth shout and deal with it. It is not so anymore. Now that you have eound release from this horrid nightmare do you feel like the weight was lifted off your shoulders? I really hope you do. Good luck I hope the rest goes just a well for you.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
10 Jan 08
Thanks for reading, graedragon! I've gotten that reaction when I said I had PTSD before, the "You weren't in a war" reaction. *rolls her eyes* I just tell them I had my own personal war that lasted about 18 years, because of the abuse and violence I dealt with. It took me a long time to get so comfortable talking about things, and even now sometimes I'm not. Online is nice though, because I can take my time and say what I want to say without worrying about what people see in my expressions, or whether my hands are shaking. :P When I was growing up, I was not expected to talk about a lot of what was going on with me. When I said I was being physically and sexually abused (not the incident I wrote about here, but an ongoing abuse by family members), I was told to shut up instead of being helped. So I understand what you mean... I just kept saying it anyway expecting someone to help me, and no one was willing to do anything. For me it took getting out of the area and cutting a lot of ties to get the help I needed, and now I'm doing much better. I do feel like a weight has been removed from my shoulders! I've never beaten this particular nightmare before, and I was starting to think I never would, but now... I'm so happy! :) Thanks!
• United States
10 Jan 08
I'm glad you have found ways to deal with those that do not understand.
1 person likes this
@kamran12 (5555)
• Pakistan
16 Jan 08
Hello lecanis!:-) I am happy for you, and also for your family. I am always pleased when people are able to see positive even within negatives. I always believed that given your strength, you will eventually be able to cross it, and you did it...Bravo!:-)
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Jan 08
Thank you, kamran! Thanks for believing in me as well! :)
@anniepa (27510)
• United States
16 Jan 08
That's a fantastic breakthrough! I'm so glad you've accepted that it wouldn't have mattered had you been able to change what happened and that you realize, horrible as it had to have been, it did help shape who you are today and that you like that person! I see how this ties into your other discussion and I felt that same way when I read that post. Changing the past also would change the present and the future and as bad as something may have been, how many of us would really want to erase everything from our current lives just to get rid of a bad memory? Annie
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
16 Jan 08
Thanks, anniepa! :) I agree, there probably aren't many people who would be willing to give up everything to change one or even a few events. Even those people who have a lot of regrets usually have something they cling to or are happy about.
@mjweed21 (693)
• Philippines
14 Jan 08
Wow! That is a very serious one. There are a lot of people in this world who are experiencing such problem. They are, indeed, suffering from. Sometimes traumatic events would be the cause of that particular problem. Seldom we can find people who are open to discuss their problem. Good for you, you were open about it and in return you were able to found out the cure of it. At long last, you had defeated your worst nightmare.
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
14 Jan 08
It is true that a lot of people suffering from experiences like mine aren't open about it, because we've been taught it's something we're supposed to be ashamed of. That's part of why I am so open about it, to show others how I deal with things and help them. I can't say I'm "cured"... I still have PTSD, and there are a lot of other traumatic events in my early life that still bother me, but this nightmare was my worst one, and I'm glad to be rid of it! :)
• Italy
12 Jan 08
The more I read your discussions the more I think you are a cool person. I mean, how many 11year-old girls can throw knives? Another positive thought about it would be that no one in your position could have done something, even with knives in hands, instead you could have done it but maybe a possible murder could have scarred you the same. And a warrior self in nightmares is a cool thing, can you describe her? I'm curious. I would need something like that in nightmares but maybe it's not a warrior I need , coz the theme is different than yours. I have to think of something else. Thanks for the suggestion ;)
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
12 Jan 08
*laughs* Well, I suppose I haven't known too many 11-year-old girls that could throw knives... I actually got mine when I was really young as a present, along with training in how to use them of course. ;P You have interesting thoughts! That's a twist I hadn't quite thought of! My warrior self actually looks a lot like me at my current age, except that she is dressed in leather armor and a bronze helm, and wears a cloak made of raven feathers (which is a tribute to my primary deity of course), and carries a sword, and a shield, and sometimes spears as well. When I first came up with her (as a little kid), she looked more like other people I saw as protectors than like myself, but over time she became me.
• United States
8 Jan 08
What a wounderful break through you just had. I loved reading the whole long post. Sometimes I do not read long posts but today I did. I feel you are right if you change what happened when you where 11 then your whole life would be changed and do you want that? Good job. I hope you continue to kick butt and grow like I know you will.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
10 Jan 08
Thank you teapot. It means a lot to me that you read it. :) Haha, I will be sure to continue to kick butt and grow, I promise you! :p
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
7 Jan 08
I read through your story and can see much distress that you are dealing with from the past. I have never been able to lucid dream, but it sounds like a helpful technique. It is disturbing to hear of someone so likeable being treated in the past the way you were. I can't imagine that kind of experience. I would think you to be incredibly brave to be able to get past those events. Perhaps your warrior can somehow lead you out of the past and into now. I don't think you can get caught up in whether or not you could have changed what previously happened. That is gone and even though there may have been many possible outcomes, you have what you have right now. What you choose to feel should be based on your feelings about yourself right now. And there is no reason you cannot feel very good about yourself right now. You only have this life. You are free to let the past die, and to think of yourself however you like. I hope you think good thoughts for yourself. If anyone deserves more freedom and joy and kindness, it is you. Take any small victory as good, for many of the small adds up to the larger. And those knives? Too eerie for me...lol.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
10 Jan 08
Lucid dreaming is awesome, sigma77. I've been working with it for so many years now, but I'm only finally conquering this one nightmare/memory that had been too much for me before. Even before this though, lucid dreaming has helped me a lot. *nods* I'm doing pretty good for the most part, but I haven't quite gotten there yet. Thanks for all your kind words about me. :) Haha, yeah me and my knives. I almost miss those throwing knives I had when I was a kid, but I don't think I need them as much now. ;P
• United States
7 Jan 08
It's no longer than most of mine. However I didn't read the one you reference in it, yet! Wow! I have nightmares sometimes. And from what I remember of them when I wake they are usually related to my children but I know their origin. I wonder if inserting a warrior self into these nightmares would help me get over my irrational fears. Ok enough about my issues, back to you. I'm so glad you had this breakthrough. I suffered PTSD and PPD at the same time after an incident regarding my first born son. I tried the therapy route and it just wasn't for me and I still think I am harboring a whole lot of hate and animosity towards the people involved and I know it is not good for my physical or spiritual health. So kudos to you! You are certainly a strong person both in dreams and in life.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
10 Jan 08
It might work for you too, cynicalandoutspoken. It never hurts to try. There's a lot of information on lucid dreaming techniques out there if you do a quick search even. :) *nods* Eeek, therapy can be bad sometimes! I've had some really crappy therapists that only made things worse, either by being judgemental of me for certain reasons, or (in the case of the ones I had as a kid) finding some way to pin the abuse I suffered on anyone other than the actual abusers. Bleh. But once I found the right person, it's been helping a lot. I don't think it works for everyone though, so I hope you find your own way to heal! :) Thanks!
@SpitFire179 (2536)
• Canada
7 Jan 08
hey hun, looks like you've done it. what did your therapist think about it when you brought it up at therapy before putting it together completely? that's a hard as hell thing to get by, and it looks as though you have taken the warrior rout to make that happen. no person that you have grown to trust should ever betray that trust nor harm you in any way, but unfortunately in this world it happens again and again. congrats to you hun, i'm very very proud of your accomplishments!
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
10 Jan 08
You know, I'm really not sure specifically what she said, just that my mind started thinking that way sometime during our session. She had mentioned that it was possible the outcome of the situation wouldn't have changed even if I had changed my actions, but it had been in passing as something else she was saying... so I'm not sure why my mind took hold of that thought and ran with it. I have an appointment today, so we'll have to look at it and see. *nods* The warrior route is the only one that would work for me it seems. I still have a lot of things to work on, considering my history, but this has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks for me for years, and I feel great! :)