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-   -   I think I am broken. (http://www.wowwomen.com/boards/showthread.php?t=4360)

WDianneS November 19th, 2013 07:54 AM

I think I am broken.
I am 64 and retired a year and a half ago.

I grew up in a terribly abusive and unsupportive home, an environment that almost killed me many times before I finally escaped in my early 20s. Things seemed fine for many years but I didn't know I was suffering from PTSD until about 5 years ago and sought professional help in dealing with it.

Through my life I haven't had much luck with relationships. My first marriage was short and disastrous, my second was 13 years and seemed much better until I realized I had manipulated for YEARS - that was the end of that. I did find love briefly but my love died of a brain tumour after only a couple of years and before we figured out how our relationship was to fit together. Everybody I ever cared about used me and manipulated me (except for the one who died) and eventually betrayed me.

Ever since childhood I have had bad dreams, dreams full of conflict, pain, and troubles, and have never had good dreams, pleasant dreams. In the past year, the bad dreams have become worse. It is a "good" morning when I wake up with no memory of bad dreams.

I don't know if it is of any use to go to a therapist or if it is a waste of money. I don't know if I can be "fixed" or if it is just the result of a rotten life. It would be nice to have peace in my senior years but .......

Has anyone else had bad dreams in the long-term? If you did and you don't have them any more, what made the difference?

Thanks girls!

Jennifer23 November 19th, 2013 04:26 PM

I have bad dreams too. Often I dream about choking and wake up coughing and it takes me a couple moments before I realize that it was a dream. Try to connect with some friends, Dianne. That could help. And good luck!

crazymomma November 19th, 2013 09:00 PM

((((((Dianne)))))))) Sorry about the dreams. I never knew how much couseling helped until I went into see someone. If you can find the right person to listen to you it will help.
Welcome back to WOW

rjsfeminist November 28th, 2013 10:26 AM

(((Dianne))) Having survived an abusive first marriage that lasted way too long (20 years), I can relate to what you're saying, including the dreams. There were times I'd wake up crying and close to screaming, shaking all over; sleep would be pretty much finished for the night.

While I never went to a therapist (officially), I'm sure that that would help. But here's something that might help: I hung out with a Vietnam vet for maybe a month. Biker-type. BIG tough guy. Turns out, he counseled vets at the local VA, especially those with PTSD. While he admitted that he wasn't officially "qualified" to diagnose, he was sure I was suffering from PTSD. (Yup.) He then told me that he was going to give me the same advice that he gave the vets: What happened to you stunk, was the pits, was the absolute worst thing that could possibly happen to a person, and that no one should have to go through or feel what you're going through. That said, can you change 5 seconds ago? Can you change 5 minutes ago? 5 hours? 5 days? 5 years ago?

Of course, the answer was "no." He then told me that the best way to start to recover was to look at the shit that happened, admit that it was absolutely a horrible thing, and if needed, I could cry over it, scream over it, etc. But that I was to give myself a time-limit, say, maybe a couple of hours. Then, I was to say out loud, "I'm over you (the past) and you (the person who did this to me). You're gone, and I REFUSE to let you control my life any more." Then, go to bed (exhausted, of course) and then let tomorrow be a new day.

Simplistic? Yes, very much so. But did it help? I was skeptical at first, but I did this 2 or 3 times over a period of a week or so. By the middle of the next week, I told the biker/vet that I thought it was time we went our separate ways. He had done nothing wrong, we were just so different, but that piece of advice he gave me during the few weeks we hung out helped me start getting my life together, and that's something I can never repay.

The other thing that helped was reading Gloria Steinem's "Revolution from Within." In one place, she mentioned a woman she knew who divorced an abusive man, but kept being attracted to the say type of man. She finally decided not to date for 5 years and to learn to love herself. When she finally started dating, she met her second husband, a man she never would have been attracted to years earlier. So...since I could relate (some of the guys I dated...UGH!), I decided to try for 3 years. As it turned out, I met the man destined to be my second husband 5-6 months into that 3 years. We didn't date for almost a year, but then within the next year, he'd moved in and we were married. He was someone I never would've given a second glance to when I was dating the wrong men.

Between those 2 bits of advice (letting go of the past; not dating for a while), I was able to get my life back on track. While I was able to do that in my 40s, I'm only a few years younger than you are, so I can say with authority you're not too "old" for another chance. And yes, a therapist couldn't hurt.

Jennifer23 November 30th, 2013 02:25 PM

Good post, rjs.

crazymomma November 30th, 2013 08:27 PM

She done good

Jennifer23 June 6th, 2014 10:37 PM


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