I have nightmares and flashbacks about a past relationship

I was the one who ended it, and I'm so glad I did. It was the best decision I made in my life. But how do I stop the nightmares and flashbacks? It is creating a wall in my current relationship.

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

From what you describe about yourself, I agree with you that ending your former relationship was a very wise decision.

The nightmares and flashbacks show that you were deeply affected emotionally and on the foundations of your basic nature.

The way for these to stop is by the slow process of realizing how badly injured and frightened you were of your former partner.

Once you've stabilized yourself by accepting the tremendous harshness that was part of the former relationship, then the nightmares and flashbacks will disappear gradually usually, maybe all at once.

There is a possibility too that your former relationship connected with being emotionally ignored, abandoned, treated harshly during your time of growing up years.

Since generally people choose partners who relate similarly to the ways in which they felt treated by parents, it is possible that you had been badly treated while growing up and weren't aware of this until going through this terrible relationship.

Congratulations on ending your relationship!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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