A Night on Trauma

Let’s paint a picture.

It’s getting close to bedtime.

As you start to think about heading upstairs you begin to notice you feel vaguely agitated. There’s a very subtle feeling of anxiety.  

You try to calm your feelings by reminding yourself that life is really good, and everything’s OK today. There’s no need to worry. And there’s no cause for concern.

And you actually believe it. You almost feel secure.

You dim the bedroom lights, and you escape into your book. You soon give up on reading, and are dropping off to sleep when – all of a sudden – you jolt awake again.

You feel as if you are having a heart attack. Your heart is thudding loudly in a stark, dramatic way. Adrenalin is rushing down one side of your body.

Now you’re really hot, and you are sweating profusely. You throw off the covers, and you gasp for air.

Focus on your breathing.” You tell yourself. “Breath in slowly … and then slowly out again. Breath in slowly … and then slowly out again.”

As you begin to fall asleep again, your body jerks awake. Your heart is racing wildly, and your feet are tingling.

You try to relax. You try to focus on your breathing. But this time, it’s much harder. You’re alert; much more awake.

But eventually you manage, and you drop back off to sleep.

About twenty minutes later, you are wakened once again. Your heart is pounding loudly. The adrenalin in rushing.

You might as well get up. You’re going to be awake for hours.

This is what it’s like to live with PTSD. This is what it’s like when you’ve experienced a trauma.

Perhaps the days get better, and you’re on an even keel.

But then there are the nights – when you relive it all again.

“Real healing is hard, exhausting and draining. Let yourself go through it. Don’t try to paint it as anything other than it is. Be there for yourself – with no judgment.” – Unknown  

26 thoughts on “A Night on Trauma

  1. “Be there for yourself – with no judgment.” Yes indeed. Some things just ARE. A friend of mine who is a Vietnam vet, and suffers from PTSD, counseled me not to fight the uncomfortable images and feelings when they come. “Let them pass over you,” he said. “Like a sudden storm.”

    Liked by 7 people

  2. It is sad a trigger is going bed for you.

    Hard to avoid that trigger.

    We just find a way to knock some of the power out of it

    If you do not have PTSD you will never understand your post

    You are resisting and trying

    You are part of the 5%

    Give yourself gratitude

    We control,our effort not the results

    Liked by 5 people

  3. This was not the picture I was expecting to be painted. I am so thankful when I get comfortable in bed for the night (even though I don’t sleep well). You made me more aware of what PTSD is like for many with your painting.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you for your sensitivity, and for the kindness you show through your comment. A lot of people are haunted at night. In the day they can escape from the memories, and cope with life really well. But the nights are difficult. I’m glad you feel comfortable in your bed … You are dealing with a lot so this is one small ray of light and comfort!!!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for sharing this, CGH. I’m really glad you are finding EDMR helpful. Many specialists who work with trauma clients (like Peter Levine) have found it made a difference too …. It’s certainly worth trying.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to dread going to bed. The movie, as I called it, would start replaying over and over every time I closed my eyes. Eventually it stopped playing, but it took me a lot longer to stop expecting it to play. The anxiety of possibly having to relive that moment was almost worse than the actual moment.


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