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Thread: Nightmares about personal defense.

  1. #1
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    Okay, maybe it's the fact that I've been beating myself up about not making time to practice, but in the last few weeks, I have been really self conscious about my ability to use my firearm effectively. I run through scenarios in my head, and I seem to produce nothing but failing outcomes, rather than successful tactics.

    This has actually gotten so bad that I have had a few nightmares about it. The main one has been a recurring account of firing at and hitting an individual, but with little effect. It is usually a very short dream that normally startles me awake as the crook normally gets right on me after I have emptied my gun into him to no avail. I had another last night/this morning about not being able to grip the weapon firmly enough to hold it in my hand.

    I am not necessarily looking for dream analysis here, I just wanted to share these thoughts, and inquire as to whether or not I am alone in this kind of thinking, if of course you are comfortable sharing.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    You DO need to get out and practice more. Make time ASAP to get to the range. Show yourself you have the skills and ability to defend yourself in a lethal force situation. Use reactive targets if possible, something to show not only that you have the ability to accurately use your weapon, but that it definitely will stop the threat against you. If after that range session you don't feel your weapon is up to the task of self defense, maybe it's time to look for something better. If YOU don't feel like you are up to the task, then you will at least know what goal you need to set to feel comfortable. Read.......study.......practice. Pick up some Massad Ayoob, other literature on self defense from the experts that excel in teaching you how to better your SD tactics and how to think in a way that will help you survive in that kind of situation.

    I frankly get that way sometimes, usually if I am lax in practicing at the range or if I realize I've become complacent in terms of my routine and how it makes me a vulnerable target, it makes me realize that I am not up to the task of recognizing a threat to me, much less eliminating that threat. I make it a point to correct that mistake through study and practice.

    And I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but when I'm having a bout of depression (I am manic depressive), I feel less confident in my ability to do much of anything that takes effort or willpower; defending ones self when you really don't care about yourself is pretty hard. If after upping your practice and study routine, and if you have other signs that you have depression, it might be time to talk to someone about your state of mind. Again, I don't want to give the wrong impression or assume anything, but it seems like your issues stem from a lack of self confidence; either through realization of ineptitude through complacency, or something larger.........if removing the complacency doesn't take care of your doubts, there has to be a deeper reason for your lack of self confidence in your own abilities.

    Your abilities didn't just diminish overnight, barring any serious injury......go out and shoot stuff and realize you can do the job when the time comes.

  3. #3
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    There is no offense taken to your comments compmanio. I do recognize the need to practice more and am making time to do so this weekend. With the holidays and all, I have been working 12 hour shifts 5 days out of the week for the last 3 weeks, so it's been tough getting motivated to do anything other than pass out when I get home from work. I got the "gravest extreme" book by Ayoob for xmas, so I'm gonna try to read that and get back into my routine.

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    I had a dream the other night that I accidently OC'd into a bar and was arrested. I remember thinking in the dream, 'How did I forget I was carrying a firearm??' Waking up was a relief..


  5. #5
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    I never had dreams but about 25 years ago I had serious questions about my abilities as well. I think the one thing that solved my issues was something that I still practice to this day......point shooting.
    Here's a few sites that can explain the concept if you aren't familiar........

    http://www.bobtuley.com/pointshooting.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_shooting
    http://www.threatfocused.com/forums/...read.php?t=112

    Here http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...25/ai_67886010 is an interesting article on the subject if you think that sights are actually needed at close range

    One other thing that may help is to practice with your "off hand" some too....knowing that you can hit something with your off hand is a real confidence builder too.

    It won't take long to put a smile on your face when you realize that you CAN make torso hits at 50+ feet without using the sights.......great fun and good practice!


    ....In real shoot-outs, people automatically assume fighting stances that are contrary to formal target shooting. Point Shooting instead takes advantage of these natural physiological reactions of the human body, and is thus based on fighting stances that the human animal will automatically assume when challenged and threatened....




  6. #6
    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    vmathis12019 wrote:
    Okay, maybe it's the fact that I've been beating myself up about not making time to practice, but in the last few weeks, I have been really self conscious about my ability to use my firearm effectively.* I run through scenarios in my head, and I seem to produce nothing but failing outcomes, rather than successful tactics.

    This has actually gotten so bad that I have had a few nightmares about it.* The main one has been a recurring account of firing at and hitting an individual, but with little effect.* It is usually a very short dream that normally startles me awake as the crook normally gets right on me after I have emptied my gun into him to no avail.* I had another last night/this morning about not being able to grip the weapon firmly enough to hold it in my hand.*

    I am not necessarily looking for dream analysis here, I just wanted to share these thoughts, and inquire as to whether or not I am alone in this kind of thinking, if of course you are comfortable sharing.

    Train- Open ranges rock, even better if you have a lot of land in the middle of nowhere... run through all the scenarios you want..


    Dreams and nightmares are your brains way of working through things in the conscious level, unconsciously.

    Running away from someone but getting nowhere, shooting them with no effect, having a 500lb pull trigger, bullets going in slow motion and not hitting the target, etc. all have to do with a feeling of helplessness and lack of self esteem. You need to realize that KNOWING your shortcomings makes you THAT MUCH STRONGER, because you can work to minimize or eliminate them. Don't take it to heart, and as mentioned, do what feels natural...

    If you can go to an open range, place 'random' targets around you (in a safe manner, duh!), holster your weapon, run around with your eyes closed (I know, sounds funny), try to disorient yourself, so you don't remember where the targets are... make up some imaginary situation in your head , for example, you have a guy to your left that is yelling at you saying he's going to kill you, and you saw a knife in his hand out of the corner of your eye, open your eyes, look to the 'target' and do whatever YOU need to do to unholster, get on target, and fire. Don't think, do.

    Doesn't matter how many 'tactics' you learn, if it's not muscle memory, then you'll go with whatever instincts you have, which may mean putting your arms up to shield from a knife blow, instead of drawing/shooting.


    <-- Has NO training experience, I just know what works for me


    Hell, have a guy walk behind you and give you instructions as you're walking with your eyes closed... let HIM surprise you and tell you 'when there's a BG attacking'...9/10 it's not gonna be something you can think about, it's gonna be a split second decision.


    IOTW, practice, practice, practice... Do what's best for you, if you don't feel like you're learning, or 'good enough' , then try a new method.

    Just remember, it's not HOW MANY rounds you get downrange, the only ones that matter, are the ones that HIT.
    Evangelical lessons are provided upon request. Anyone wishing to meet Jesus can just kick in my door.

  7. #7
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    I do have about 15 acres of land that my family owns that I try to shoot on pretty often. That may be where I go this weekend instead of to the indoor range. It's been about 5 months since I took a defensive class, and I had such a boost of confidence; maybe I've just reached a low point because of what companio said: complacency.

    I come in from work, take a shower and go straight to bed. Last night was the first night I've spent any real time on the forum in weeks, and that's ONLY because I took a nap on my lunch break and wasn't sleepy when I got home. I haven't been doing my dry fire practice (which is probably the best practice for my situation), or reading anything SD related. So when I get home from my shortened 10 hour shift today (last one this week... thank you GOD!), I am going to get comfy on the couch and read my new book. Maybe run through some drills clearing the apartment. I've got to buy a .22 and go down to where I fish and do some drilling too.

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    nathan wrote:
    I had a dream the other night that I accidently OC'd into a bar and was arrested. I remember thinking in the dream, 'How did I forget I was carrying a firearm??' Waking up was a relief..
    I don't recall having had any nightmares about self-defense situations, but I have had a few regarding getting caught illegally carrying a firearm because I forgot to leave it behind somewhere.

  9. #9
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    TechnoWeenie wrote:
    vmathis12019 wrote:
    Okay, maybe it's the fact that I've been beating myself up about not making time to practice, but in the last few weeks, I have been really self conscious about my ability to use my firearm effectively. I run through scenarios in my head, and I seem to produce nothing but failing outcomes, rather than successful tactics.

    This has actually gotten so bad that I have had a few nightmares about it. The main one has been a recurring account of firing at and hitting an individual, but with little effect. It is usually a very short dream that normally startles me awake as the crook normally gets right on me after I have emptied my gun into him to no avail. I had another last night/this morning about not being able to grip the weapon firmly enough to hold it in my hand.

    I am not necessarily looking for dream analysis here, I just wanted to share these thoughts, and inquire as to whether or not I am alone in this kind of thinking, if of course you are comfortable sharing.

    Train- Open ranges rock, even better if you have a lot of land in the middle of nowhere... run through all the scenarios you want..


    Dreams and nightmares are your brains way of working through things in the conscious level, unconsciously.

    Running away from someone but getting nowhere, shooting them with no effect, having a 500lb pull trigger, bullets going in slow motion and not hitting the target, etc. all have to do with a feeling of helplessness and lack of self esteem. You need to realize that KNOWING your shortcomings makes you THAT MUCH STRONGER, because you can work to minimize or eliminate them. Don't take it to heart, and as mentioned, do what feels natural...

    If you can go to an open range, place 'random' targets around you (in a safe manner, duh!), holster your weapon, run around with your eyes closed (I know, sounds funny), try to disorient yourself, so you don't remember where the targets are... make up some imaginary situation in your head , for example, you have a guy to your left that is yelling at you saying he's going to kill you, and you saw a knife in his hand out of the corner of your eye, open your eyes, look to the 'target' and do whatever YOU need to do to unholster, get on target, and fire. Don't think, do.

    Doesn't matter how many 'tactics' you learn, if it's not muscle memory, then you'll go with whatever instincts you have, which may mean putting your arms up to shield from a knife blow, instead of drawing/shooting.


    <-- Has NO training experience, I just know what works for me


    Hell, have a guy walk behind you and give you instructions as you're walking with your eyes closed... let HIM surprise you and tell you 'when there's a BG attacking'...9/10 it's not gonna be something you can think about, it's gonna be a split second decision.


    IOTW, practice, practice, practice... Do what's best for you, if you don't feel like you're learning, or 'good enough' , then try a new method.

    Just remember, it's not HOW MANY rounds you get downrange, the only ones that matter, are the ones that HIT.
    Try dry practice in your living room/basement/whatever. Start out slow and when your are feeling comfortable graduallybuild up speed. Set up scenarios similar to what Techno mentioned. After you've done the dry simulations for a while go out do do live fire. You'll be surprised how well you do.

    MAKE CERTAIN YOUR WEAPON IS CLEARED BEFORE DOING ANY INDOOR DRY RUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    MAKE CERTAIN YOUR WEAPON IS CLEARED BEFORE DOING ANY INDOOR DRY RUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Unless you are trying to eliminate a loved one.:shock:

  11. #11
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    color of law wrote:
    MAKE CERTAIN YOUR WEAPON IS CLEARED BEFORE DOING ANY INDOOR DRY RUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Unless you are trying to eliminate a loved one.:shock:
    Oooo burn!



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    vmathis12019 wrote:
    This has actually gotten so bad that I have had a few nightmares about it.
    Great. After reading your post I had a confrontation scenario nightmare. Scared me so bad it woke me up. (I wonder if the stain will come out of the mattress?)

  13. #13
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    Here ya go. A whole family got busted for resisting arrest.

    http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=59455

  14. #14
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    They deserved what they got and lots more.

    What low-life POS all of them...true eyesores they were, like looking at dog crap on your lawn, ruining the mall experience for others.

    We all represent our race whether we want to or not...they represented their race poorly...and then whine about the "race card" being played on top of it. What crap, but typical of their ilk.

    -- John D.

    P.S. To the guy with the nightmares (vmathis12019):

    Don't intellectualize/ruminate over the issue like most people do...to hell with this "scenario" or that "scenario," which is wasted time/effort anyway.

    Take a page from martial arts: Think "nothing" at all, keep the mind clear (emptiness) of any thoughts whatsoever. Prepare for nothing in particular. You don't even have to practice that much. Just be free to ACT (because REacting is slower).

    It's that simple.

    -- JD


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

  15. #15
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    Abuot the nightmares. First stay off the Interenet gun boards for a few weeks. They are convincing you that there is a BG around every corner waiting for you and you must be able to draw shoot 2" groups at 25 yards within two seconds. Take some time off and watch Oprah, Dr. Phil or Ellen to get your mind off this stuff.:shock:

    Contrary to what you hear in the Interenet and in the news media the country isn't doomed and violence is not running rampant. In fact the murder rate is going down. Relax and quit worrying about all the scenarios. You are developing an irrational fear of BG's and need to quit worrying. Think of how you have made it this long. Going out and practicing is just going to furthur ingrain the fact that you can't shoot 2" groups at 25 yards in 2 seconds.:celebrate

  16. #16
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    PT111 wrote:
    Abuot the nightmares. First stay off the Interenet gun boards for a few weeks. They are convincing you that there is a BG around every corner waiting for you and you must be able to draw shoot 2" groups at 25 yards within two seconds. Take some time off and watch Oprah, Dr. Phil or Ellen to get your mind off this stuff.:shock:

    Contrary to what you hear in the Interenet and in the news media the country isn't doomed and violence is not running rampant. In fact the murder rate is going down. Relax and quit worrying about all the scenarios. You are developing an irrational fear of BG's and need to quit worrying. Think of how you have made it this long. Going out and practicing is just going to furthur ingrain the fact that you can't shoot 2" groups at 25 yards in 2 seconds.:celebrate
    I think this is the most applicable suggestion I've heard yet. I've been working my ass off over the last few weeks, and have been worrying about money and school. I think I am just overworked/stressed and need some time to just chill. The fact that I do sort of "immerse" myself in what has been called the "gun culture" is likely what has made it prevelant enough to worry about it like I have been doing. I did go shoot today which did make me feel better as I'm not as horrible a shot as I was thinking I was. I don't know that I am particularly paranoid, as I really don't believe there's a maniac waiting around every corner, but I think the stress is probably a big factor, and I'm looking forward to the next two days I have to sit at home and watch TV (with an interim night of debauchery on New Year's Eve).

  17. #17
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    Get a bigger gun and quit watching Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

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