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Posts Tagged ‘nightmares after child abuse’

Food chain (c) Lynda BernhardtI was plagued with weird dreams last night. I was visiting with friends at a mall in my hometown. I can only remember one friend (P – used to be my best friend in my 20’s, but I haven’t heard from her in years), but I think there was a second one there, possibly my sister. Anyhow, we were having a good time until they told me that two people were coming. The first was C, a high school friend who I would love to see, and the second was momster. I said I was sorry to have to miss out on seeing C, but there was no way in h@#$ I was sticking around for momster and fled.

I tried to blend into the crowd in a different store, but momster and the others found me there. Momster came up to me and wanted hug (like she did when I saw her last at my sister’s graduation). I gave her the weakest hug ever, and her end was just as weak. P and the others were saying, “See. I knew you would be OK seeing her.”

I ran out of the store and ran as fast as I could through the mall with P and the others trying to catch me. I leaned over and vomited. P and the others were still saying that I was OK and this was good for me, but I had to stop and vomit again even harder.

Then, it was Halloween (my ex-friend and I took our children trick-or-treating together on Halloween for eight years – this was our first Halloween not doing so), but I had to attend a make-up class that was being held in ex-friend’s classroom. (Ex-friend is a teacher.) I didn’t want to see her but knew there wouldn’t be a choice. She was polite to me (in real life, she pretends I don’t exist), but it was awkward. I borrowed a textbook from the speaker, but ex-friend took it from me.

Then, my son said he was hungry, and we went looking for food. He had bought himself a mansion filled with ponies, and I kept commenting how keeping ponies on carpet isn’t really the best idea.

Strange, strange dream. I had trouble falling back to sleep and am now pretty tired from being so restless all night.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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Bush and houses (c) Lynda BernhardtEven after doing all of the hard work of healing from child abuse and being in a place where I consider myself “healed,” I still sometimes have dreams about issues that arose from the child abuse. They are always intense, and I wake up feeling “off” in the morning.

Once upon a time, those kinds of dreams were my norm, so I feel grateful that they only happen every once in a while now. Also, it helps that I can analyze the dreams after I wake up and observe my progress.

When I used to have dreams about the abuse (which was pretty much every night), I was a victim and passive. Now, I fight back and feel much more in control.

Last night, I dreamt that I was in the house of my most sadistic abusers, S & L. I was using their bathroom. (Bathrooms are always a symbol that I am dealing with my most private thoughts and emotions.) I had trouble washing my hands in their sink because the faucet was this bizarre doll, and it was hard to turn the tiny handles on the doll’s body. I feared that I broke it but didn’t.

L (the husband) walked in. I apologized for the trouble with the doll faucet. He asked why I was using his bathroom. I told him it was the only one I could find in the house. I concentrated very hard on not blacking out. I did not want him to abuse me again.

Then, I was making love with hub. We stopped and decided to walk to a shopping center. He was fully dressed, and I was wearing nothing but a cheap white towel like the ones you get in hotel rooms. A group of men passed us walking the other way. One of them grabbed me and kept walking like it was no big deal. I tried to scream to hub, but as often happens in my dreams, I had no voice.

This kind of scenario played out a lot in my dreams in the past. Somebody would just “help himself” to my body. I would scream, but nobody would hear me. Sometimes my body would be immobilized so I would just lie their while another person – often a complete stranger – harmed me.

In this dream, I fought back. I could only move my head, so I bit the man as hard as I could in multiple places until he dropped me. That made my sister, who was suddenly in the dream next to hub, notice and come help me.

I felt shaky when I awoke, but I am pleased with the power that I am taking back in these kinds of dreams. I am a victim no longer. Nobody is going to take me without a fight.

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Microscopic view (c) Lynda BernhardtOkay, this is really getting old. Every night, I keep having nightmares. Fortunately, most are not as graphic as the one I posted about recently, but they are disturbing nonetheless.

These dreams are keeping me from feeling rested. I wake up with all of my muscles feeling tense. I can tell that I have been grinding my teeth during the night. (I wear a mouthpiece at night to minimize the damage.) My heart is racing, and I feel really lousy.

Once this happens several nights in a row, I find myself stalling going to bed at night. I check my email one last time and find other ways to dawdle on the computer until another 30 minutes or an hour go by. I am one of those people who needs 8+ hours of sleep a night, so this is not good for me. But I simply dread going back into that dream world again.

The dreams are still related to stuff with my mother. In the dream, I was in a bus being driven by a woman who often appears in my mother-related dreams. She accidentally bumped the bus into one in front of us. She got upset because her mother was on that bus. There was much more to the dream, but those were my symbols narrowing down which aspect of healing upon which my subconscious is focusing.

I wish I could take something to make me stop dreaming, at least for a night or two. I really need some rest.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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Spider webI really do want to move on to other topics on my blog, but apparently I am still working through issues related to the mother-daughter sexual abuse. Oh, joy.

I had a disturbing dream about the mother-daughter sexual abuse that really shook me up. What is most annoying is that I cannot rest when I am having such disturbing dreams. Even though I am getting 8+ hours of sleep each night, I am feeling tired the next day because I awaken feeling so tense after the dreams.

This dream was particularly disturbing. I was an adult, and I was standing in front of my mother nude, and she was also nude. That’s never a good sign. She did things to me, and I tried to like it, but I just couldn’t. Then, I got up and turned my back to her, knowing that she expected me to do things to her, and I really didn’t want to.

She told me to come back to her. Immediately, I got that lightheaded, “floaty” feeling in my head that I used to get all the time when I had contact with her. Then, I was still standing where I was, and she was walking by me (still nude) with a smile on her face. I knew that I had lost time and that my body had done things that I did not want it to do. I felt really repulsed by the whole thing.

I then went immediately into another dream that was too long and involved to get into here, but it involved inner children, their choices, and not being in control of what they do.

I woke up feeling very tense. My muscles were all aching from the tension of my reaction to the dream.

I hate having dreams like that. I know this is just my subconscious’ way of working through the trauma, but it is really frustrating. I already lived this as a child. I lived it again through therapy. At what point do I stop living this trauma?

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Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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