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Spiritual nightmares were a MAJOR part of my religious trauma symptoms. For over 15 years I suffered from nightmarish, visceral, nightly attacks ranging from demons choking me or trying to pull my ‘soul’ out of my body…to being raped and bitten. During each experience, I was unable to move my body or get away from them. They were the most frightening experiences of my life!
Of course, I blamed them on myself as any ‘good’ Christian would. I was constantly torturing myself with thoughts and feelings like;
- It’s all my fault this is happening to me because I’m a bad girl.
- Why can’t I be better?
- There’s something wrong with me, I’m cursed.
- God hates me so he’s punishing me.
- The Devil has me because I’m just born a bad person.
- I’ll never please God, I’m a piece of shit human.
All the while I was developing fears and mental disorders that would prevail in my life for years to come. Things like; fear of the dark, insomnia, anxiety, depression, ruminating thoughts, self-hate, OCD type behaviours, fear of ghosts/spiritual realm and so much more.
To add insult to injury my young, developing brain wasn’t getting any sleep so I was missing out on vital brain and health developments as well!
While many people write these dreams off as ‘just sleep paralysis or ‘no big deal.’ For the religious person haunted by them, they pose a REAL threat to their ongoing self-worth and reinforce Complex PTSD symptoms to a whole other level.
Religion is ripe with messages and neurological conditioning toward the “wrongness’ of us human beings. Religious trauma and dogma can produce deep ongoing beliefs like;
I’m not worthy of anything good.
I’m not good enough for love.
I’m insignificant, I don’t matter.
I don’t belong, nobody likes me much.
I’m not capable of being a good person.
My brain was caught up in the belief that demons were always coming to get me, trick me, and bring me to their side-the bad side. It kept trauma looping from years of horrific indoctrination ‘end-times-Hellfire-torturing’ stories.
As I drew closer to my teens and started to become aware of my sexuality the guilt and shame feelings grew ever stronger. They saturated my body with fear of ‘the change’ looming. I felt isolated and trapped in a body I hated.
I began fighting with my parents for a sense of freedom, which they quickly referred to as rebellion…my utter personality flaw of ‘lack of discipline and respect’.
All of these things and more contributed to the development of Complex PTSD.
The dreams were a symptom of 3 things…
- The brain system is trying to do what it does during REM sleep and close the trauma or hypervigilance loop to heal me.
- Lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis.
- The beliefs I was taught to believe in about demons/Devil.
For those who have NEVER experienced these spiritual & demonic nightmares, it’s hard to put into words how REAL they feel. How utterly frightening they are. How you can see, feel, hear and experience them with every sensory aspect of your body…while being fully awake…and unable to do anything about them.
Please, I urge you…If you know someone suffering from them, be kind. Don’t blow them off as ‘no big deal.’ And most certainly, don’t tell them it’s their fault for being such a bad person like my parents did.
To my parent’s credit, they never really knew how to handle anything deeply emotional, not very well anyway. They grew up with trauma too and they only ever had the church to guide them. Psychology, self-development and even asking logical questions was a sin.
What’s sad is that religious trauma is transgenerational and that’s what happened to them and me.
How does one get rid of spiritual & demonic nightmares you ask?
Well, I believe that each of us has a unique way of going about it. If you want to hear what I did, please listen to the video or audio podcast attached to this page.
In saying that, the long story short of it is this…
You’ve got to let go of the core trauma story that developed this fear and find a way to stop the depravement-thinking-feeling-loop.
Basically, you’ve got to raise your emotional level and feed your body with chemicals that create a new story to condition your nervous system into self-efficacy, confidence and happiness. If you want to learn more about this listen to this free overview of what’s happening in the thinking-feeling loop in your body HERE. https://stevienoah.com/part-4-demystifying-religious-trauma-syndrome/
You can change this pattern…because after all, that’s what it is, a pattern locked into your body-mind system. A pattern you may hate, but can get unfortunately get addicted to.
If you’d like help with that you can get my FREE course Recognise, Release, Rehearse anywhere on my website.
If you’d like to work with me one-on-one to powerfully and rapidly release behaviours, triggers or patterns related to religious trauma and move forward to create a life you LOVE, go HERE.
Please tell me about your experiences with these spiritual nightmares in the comments!
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Remember to choose a life you love!
Remember to be the predominant creator in your life!
Remember to live your true nature and purpose!
Choose to be a creator, not an obeyer!