How to deal w being around people/things that remind you of nightmares?
October 8, 2013 5:31 PM   Subscribe

I feel ashamed and uneasy about being around people that remind me of my nightmares. How do I cope with it?

When I was young, I had a specific recurring nightmare. In my adult life, I encounter people or situations that remind me of that. For example, at work or at school. It makes me feel very uneasy. I also feel like a part of myself is telling me to get close to these people, or that they are trying to get close to me in an inappropriate way.

It makes me feel ashamed, or as if my mind is betraying me. It makes an otherwise good experience or place something I dread. I know there will always be more people who remind me of nightmares. How do I become mentally stronger? When I am around those people, i often feel like I'm being invaded, or worse, that I am trying to get close to THEM. the best way to describe it is that my mind and body are betraying me.

If I can't avoid encountering people who remind me of nightmares, how do I deal with it?
posted by ichomp to Health & Fitness (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You absolutely are capable of learning how to recognize this thing that happens and deal with it in a way that doesn't leave you scared or ashamed or uneasy. How do you do that? You talk to someone about it, specifically someone who knows how to help you to be able to cope.

In other words, therapy.
posted by carsonb at 5:55 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I had recurring nightmares as a child that involved inanimate objects that I was exposed to in real life, but could relatively easily avoid, for many years.

It finally turned out that the only way I could overcome the association between these specific objects and my nightmares was to stop avoiding them. The more often I exposed myself to them, the less powerful the association became.

Now. This is obviously a different situation. I could (and did) avoid the objects for a very long time. You have no choice in the matter. My nightmares had to do with inanimate objects, and yours have to do with people.

However, I think and hope that if you combine the therapy that carsonb suggests with some controlled exposure to things that scare you, you'll move through it as I did.
posted by janey47 at 6:18 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older Why don't laundry detergents rinse clean?   |   Questions regarding PMI... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.