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#469283 - 08/23/14 03:31 AM Disturbing dream, but maybe therapeutic?
randombreeze Offline

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 60
Loc: WNY
I rarely remember specifics of any dreams. Those I do remember are usually nonsensical, and are rarely related to my abuse, as far as I can tell. Last night was different, to say the least.

In this dream, I found myself incarcerated in one of our maximum security state prisons. I'd like to be clear that this was my first stretch of "time", real or imagined. I don't know what I'd been sentenced for, and that must have been irrelevant anyhow.

Back to "reality" if you will for a moment. About 3-4 years ago I'm watching the local news and one of the men that shows up in my dream last night, is in a courtroom, wearing an orange jump suit. He was being sentenced to prison for multiple counts of sexual abuse committed against boys. Turns out this was his second conviction for child molestation.

This guy, who was not my abuser, lived in the neighborhood when I was 15-17 years old, on a different street that we'd moved to about a year after my abuse. I remember him and another older guy he used to sit on the porch with, always leering at me and my friends. They'd always get quiet whenever we'd walk by, and I always felt something was not right about them. Alarm bells would go off, I felt chilled. I'd also glare right back at them, as if daring them to say or try something. I soon became aware, without much surprise, that both men were Boy Scout leaders.

Going back to last night's dream, I ran into this same predator in prison, and the confrontation went terribly wrong for him. I literally beat this man to death. Then woke up, soaked in sweat, as if I'd exerted myself physically, but without an ounce of fear or stress. In fact I'd awakened feeling much like I would if I'd as just dreamed of a relaxing day at the park, not as though I'd been in a prison where I just killed a man.

Now anyone that knows me would call me a pacifist, and I've never been a fighter, so this dream was a bit upsetting to me until I began to realize it's significance, and the symbolism in the imagery. The prison quite likely represented the personal prison of child abuse and it's aftermath. The man I'd killed, while not my perp, likely represented me trying to bury the memory of my own abuser.

I don't record nor have I ever analyzed them before, but believe this dream was just another step forward in my own recovery process.

Have any of you guys ever had any dreams that somehow seemed pertinent to your own healing process?

Peace, Paul
"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky"- Rabindranath Tagore

#469284 - 08/23/14 03:37 AM Re: Disturbing dream, but maybe therapeutic? [Re: randombreeze]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA

I had a dream several weeks ago. I described it here in MS. It was terrifying. I concluded later that it was a situation I had actually faced when I was 13. Remembering it was one of the pieces of the puzzle that I'm trying to solve presently.

Originally Posted By: pufferfish May 29 2014

I also had an exceptionally bad dream last night.

I awoke in the middle of the night. The dream was so terrible
that I never got back to sleep. Have you seen any of those Star-Wars movies in which a phenomenally huge alien space ship moves into place overhead as the people look up at it?

That is the essence of what I dreamed, except that I was alone. The huge space ship moved into place over me as I looked up. It was making a huge growling sound. It was terrifying. I was absolutely terrified. Then I

I think I know what it means. Let's see if anyone has the same hunch. Hint: What have I been dealing with lately?


Edited by pufferfish (08/23/14 03:46 AM)

#469285 - 08/23/14 03:37 AM Re: Disturbing dream, but maybe therapeutic? [Re: randombreeze]
NoSimpleMachine Offline

Registered: 06/05/14
Posts: 223
Loc: SF Bay Area
Sounds like a mental assertion of self-respect and authority. My LI therapist role-played through my abuser being arrested mid-abuse in a reenactment exercise, and even encouraged me to take a kick or get a hit in, if I wanted to. In the first few repetitions I didn't want to. But in time, I felt comfortable, even happy, mentally beating him senseless.

It's a subconscious expression of our belief in ourself: that we can self-defend and self-protect and that's OK.

As for your closing question, I had a dream a few days ago wherein my family was standing on the street I grew up on, in front of my abuser's house, and my abuser and his wife were there. They looked in good health, like they'd lost weight, and were dressed well. The family was giving them all sorts of compliments for "oh you've lost weight!" and "you look great" and all that sorta stuff. Everyone in the family gave them a hug, and I was last. My abuser looked me in the eye with a smirk and open arms and wanted me to hug him. With hesitation, I begrudgingly did, realizing then and there that it was something I was not happy about that I was doing for the appearance of please my watching, expectant family. And it wasn't a particularly positive dream, but coming out of it it was a really good piece to reflect on: why is pleasing my family by making nice with my abuser more important than being self-respectful? The absurdity of it really struck me and I think I've found myself carrying myself calmer and with more respect for myself since then.
If I know only one thing it's that everything that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak
Yeah I'm tongue-tied and dizzy and I can't keep it to myself
What good is it to sing Helplessness Blues, why should I wait for anyone else?

#469293 - 08/23/14 08:38 AM Re: Disturbing dream, but maybe therapeutic? [Re: randombreeze]
Bluedogone Offline

Registered: 07/03/13
Posts: 1132
Loc: Southern US
I think dreams usually have a very profound psychological meaning. Sometimes it just means too much pepperoni pizza too close to bedtime. But most often the meaning can be significant. Off and on for the last couple of years I've had a recurring dream in which I'm walking and walking, trying to find a way to get to the road, but there's always a fence blocking any possibility of getting over to the road no matter which way I walk or how long I walk. Usually somewhere along the walk there will be one or two hideous creatures that rattle the fence and jump at me. I always wake up sweating, with a sort of uneasy feeling, but glad I'm awake.
Then, about three weeks ago the dream began the usual way with the walking, and the fence blocking any chance of getting to the road. However, this time the creature rattled the fence and broke it down. I think I was pretty scared at first, but as he came through the fence I realized I was surrounded with all sorts of people who easily grabbed the creature. I was glad when I woke up with no sweat, and a feeling I had accomplished some small victory, although I don't yet know what it is.
This may not be related at all, but one of my abusers is scheduled to be released from prison in a month or so
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” - quoted by King George VI

#469305 - 08/24/14 01:27 AM Re: Disturbing dream, but maybe therapeutic? [Re: randombreeze]
gettingstronger Offline

Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 317
Loc: Virginia

Wow! I have that one all the time! And it scares the hell out of me too! It's always a really huge, slow-moving space ship/aircraft of some sort that just floats there in the sky, making some sort of noise. The type of aircraft changes from time to time, and sometimes I watch in horror (always from the ground) as it slowly crashes into the ground and explodes. I don't know which scenario is more frightening-- the crashing one or the hovering one.

A variation on that one is that the aircraft turns upside down, flips around quickly, or otherwise acts like no normal airplane could. I don't know what makes it so scary but it's always bad. It's usually accompanied by elements of other recurring dreams-- a building I can't get out of, a long hallway that eventually opens out onto a really nasty, dangerous neighborhood, or a very tall suspension bridge that begins on the shore, climbs very steeply, then descends just as steeply to an island out in the middle of the ocean that's barely above sea level. All incredibly scary and too frequent.

I have more recurring dreams than I can shake a stick at. Judging by the posts you other guys have written, we're in the same boat. Interesting how often the images of confinement come up (fences, boxes, rooms without exits, etc.) and how incredibly powerless they can make you feel. CSA really sucks.


#469308 - 08/24/14 08:12 AM Re: Disturbing dream, but maybe therapeutic? [Re: randombreeze]
justplainme Offline

Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 472
Having dreams is key in recovery, all dreams tell us where psychic energy is or where it wants to go. Just as a surface interpretation, the prison is your life, the abuser in the orange jumpsuit is your shadow, the part of you that was affected by the abuse or represent a symbol of the abuse that has kept you captive, slaying the abuse meant that you were not going to put up with the terms this dictated on your life, if anything i can say that you are using your anger to fight of undesired aspects of the abuser that you may see in yourself, bare caution with your anger as it also may indicate that you are being to hard on yourself and need some compassion.

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

#469354 - 08/26/14 12:04 AM Re: Disturbing dream, but maybe therapeutic? [Re: randombreeze]
randombreeze Offline

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 60
Loc: WNY
Thanks for all the warm informative opinions and sharing. I've never considered analyzing my dreams before, but do understand their importance. Our unconscious dreaming mind, once freed from expectations from societal expectations, have much to teach us about ourselves. Very much like dealing with the buried childhood emotions, whether through therapy and other resources such as this website.
"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky"- Rabindranath Tagore


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