Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘abusive dreams’

Microscopic View (c) Lynda Bernhardt

On my post Abusive Dreams After Child Abuse, Rebecca posted the following comment:

I am very glad that I found your blog. I have very few memories about my childhood. I generally know that it was unbearable and I spent most of it crying and sleeping. I am dx with PTSD, depression, and anxiety and am currently in therapy. I have three children and I am now starting to have horrible dreams about them being abused. It makes me sick even thinking about it. I recently had a pregnancy scare and even dreamt of my future child being abused sexually as a newborn. I haven’t had the courage to talk to my therapist about the dreams. I just tell her I have horrible dreams. It good to know that I am not going crazy or a evil human. It even took me several dreams to get up enough courage to google to topic because I feel so ashamed about the dreams. But I am desperate to stop having them. Thanks for the info. I will try to talk about it with my therapist on Monday. – Rebecca

I had horrendous dreams for years. I dreaded going to sleep at night because it was like having to enter into a horror show. As I have healed, my dreams have gotten much better. In fact, I sometimes even have pleasant dreams.

I have been able to track my healing progress through my dreams. In my dreams, I used to be a victim. I was frightened and struggling but unable to stop the abuse. Now when I have abuse-related dreams, I fight back and have much more power.

For example, I had a dream the other night that I was sitting on my father’s lap. I was wearing a man’s shirt that buttoned up the front. I was thinking about how good it felt to sit on my father’s lap and feel his love. However, his hands kept wandering to places they did not belong. Instead of getting upset over it, I pushed them away. I knew that I had nothing to fear because I was in control and was not going to let him or anyone else touch me anywhere I did not want to be touched.

In my awakened state, the dream is horrifying because I would not want to sit on my father’s lap and have any sort of incestuous relationship going on with him. (Side note – My father never overtly sexually abused me like this.) However, while I was in the dream, this behavior seemed expected but not a big deal. I could have chosen to get all worked up over the dream, but I did not. Instead, I focused on the power that I had in the dream. I knew that I was in control and that another person did not have the power to harm me.

Our dreams are one way that our subconscious works through the trauma we faced. We have nothing to fear in our dreams. Yes, they can be disturbing, and some can even be flashbacks. However, if you view them as an insight into your subconscious, they become much less scary.

Related Topics:

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Microscopic View (c) Lynda Bernhardt

Many adult survivors of child abuse struggle with abusive dreams. They wake up appalled at having such disturbing dreams, and they feel deep shame as a result. They also fear talking about the dreams because they do not want people to think that they have the desire to harm a child.

An abusive dream might involve you abusing a child. You might even enjoy playing the role of the abuser in your dream. This type of dream does not mean that you have a desire to abuse anyone else. Instead, abusive dreams are your way of trying to understand why your abusers harmed you. They arise from your quest to understand why you suffered abuse and have nothing whatsoever to do with a desire to harm anyone else.

The first time I had this type of dream, I was mortified. I felt so filled with shame, and I could not bring myself to discuss it with anyone, not even my therapist. Fortunately, my therapist was able to figure out what was going on, and he told me that these kinds of dreams are a normal part of trying to make sense out of senseless abuse.

One of the most disturbing abusive dream that I ever had involved me, as an adult, doing things to my kid. In the dream, I really believed that what I was doing was good for him and that I was showing him how much I loved him. When I woke up, I almost vomited because I was so nauseated at the thought of ever harming a child, much less my own kid. Fortunately, my therapist had already explained what abusive dreams meant, so I was not as freaked out as I would have been otherwise.

As I analyzed the dream, I realized that I was trying to shed the best possible light on my abusers. I was trying to figure out if it was possible for them to have done the things they did with the motivation of love, even though their actions were harmful. This dream helped me work through the truth – that there was never any justification for what my abusers did to me. I have not had another abusive dream since.

Abusive dreams are not prophetic, and they are not revealing any deep-seated desires on your part. They are about understanding your past and have nothing to do with your future. While abusive dreams are very disturbing, they are a normal part of the healing process.

Related Topics:

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

Read Full Post »