Even though you may have left an abusive relationship decades ago, your former abuser may still rare it’s ugly head at night in your dreams making you relive the horrific traumatic experience all over again.
Are you dreaming of your abuser?
Abuse tend to come in all different shapes and forms and doesn’t necessarily imply physical abuse but rather in other various forms such as gas lighting, financial dependency, sexual, and even discriminatory abuse. Regardless of the type of abuse the trail of destruction these people leave behind still causes deep psychological trauma today, often disrupting our sleep patterns or causing us to experience vivid nightmares.
Unfortunately people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) replay these past events at night like a broke record replaying the same song over and over again. Recent studies have shown that these sorts of disturbing themes happen during the early stages of your REM sleep cycle – REM sleep arrives about an hour and a half after you go to sleep.
Regardless, the last thing this insecure narcissistic weasel should do is disrupt your peace at night, so we have come up with some techniques to help squash this clown out of your psyche forever.
Abuser Dreams: Identifying The Shapeshifter
Don’t be fooled that your abuser in your dreams is unable to morph into other random images or symbols, in fact they might even appear disguised as a rattlesnake, vicious dog, masked men, tornado, and tsunami just to name a few. The theme of your dream will always paint a metaphoric picture of around the emotions and feelings that were once felt in the past as you might still be reliving these feelings in the present moment.
If analytical Swiss psychologist Carl Jung was right about our dreams as the psyche’s attempt to communicate important things to the individual, we might be receiving a helpful tips from your unconscious mind camouflaged as your former abuser. Even though no cure exists for PTSD or on why we really dream, though the symptoms can be effectively managed to restore the affected individual to normal functioning – dreams analysis being one of the tools to help combat PTSD.
Why Your Abuser Might Show Up In Your Dreams?
- Still experiencing depression and anxiety
- Low self-esteem, and a lot of painful or unpleasant emotions
- To restore peace of mind and live the rest of your life in peace
- Still attracting yourself to the same type of person
- A desire to heal your past psychological wounds.
- Connection with your father, inner masculine (see animus).
Abuser Dreams: Lucid Dreaming Therapy
A lucid dream is a type of dream where the dreamer becomes fully conscious that they are dreaming and is able to manipulate the settings. By practicing lucid dreaming techniques, the dreamer may gain some amount of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment. This approach delivers a new access on how to cope and alter your nightmares.
Imagine you are able to turn the tables on your abuser in your dream by throwing him out of this solar system with super woman strength, or maybe you can give him a well deserved black eye. This might not be as far out of your reach as you think, in fact new studies on lucid dreaming and PTSD concluded this is very possible – a technique used on military veterans, led to a reduction in nightmare distress and consequently seemed to contribute to the therapeutic change with IRT.
How To Practice Lucid Dreaming
- Make your bedroom hospitable to dreaming.
- Positive affirmations. Tell yourself overnight before you go to sleep you are in charge, I will heal, and they have no more power over me.
- Record your dreams in a dream journal.
- Recognize your dream signs.
- Perform reality checks.
- Use the MILD technique. Rehearsing a dream and visualize becoming lucid while repeating a mantra expressing the same intention
- Try going back to sleep.
- Induce sleep paralysis.
- Use the Wake Back to Bed technique
Abuser Dreams: Nightmares & CBT
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been demonstrated to be effective for treating nightmares, anxiety disorders, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. By recording and analyzing your dreams is one technique used to help individuals to identify and change underlying repressed emotions and unconsous blocked memories by decoding the symbols that emerge.
Neuroscientists have also conducted studies from the University of Geneva suggesting that nightmares actually prepare us for experiencing real life events and can help treat anxiety disorders. See the benefits of nightmares
Decoding Your Abuse Dream
According to analytical psychologist Carl Jung felt that dreams are doing the work of integrating our conscious and unconscious lives. This was a the process called individuation – the ability to transform one’s psyche by bringing the personal and collective unconscious into conscious through dream analysis.
Jung’s felt that the dream world is a realm of the archetypes, essentially comprised of universal energies that belong to every human who is not only in conflict with society; but with their own internal struggle. Bad dreams where often considered symbols of something repressed with the dreamer.
If your nightmares are causing distress in your walking life we suggest you to seek a medical professional. Though, like many of us go through their day repressing these past experiences that evidently keep raring its ugly head in other ways – feelings of denial, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and sadness just to name a few.
How to understand abuse dreams
Decoding your dreams might not be such an easy task, and at times it might seem pointless. However inside the dream you might be able to pull out particular symbols that mirror what might be repressed within. By recording your dreams in a dream journal or using a dream dictionary to find answers are great tools to use. Not all dictionary will provide you with an answer but they sure bring you closer to the meaning.
In essence the messages that are provided in your dream via unconscious helps you identity were the problems might be stemming from, thus encouraging you to attack these problems head on. The dream theme and the symbols within can be decoded metaphorically. For instance, running away might suggest you are not facing or avoiding your feelings.