Hi Jay,

Lee hit on an important part. The altered / reversed roles in your dream are an attempt to undo the past.

Instead of being the victim, in your dreams you are the one in control. And if one is in control, one cannot be a "victim."

It is the mind's way of trying to deal with what happened, by "rewriting" the abuse experience(s).

Turning to your wife to be sexual isn't so much that you want to prove that you aren't "getting off" on what is happening in the dream as much as it is to "prove" to yourself that you are still in control. That what happened in the dream - you were the initiator and the one in control, is somehow still "real" in the world outside of dreams.

The fact that you, or anyone else, may have responded during the abuse does not mean that you "wanted it" or that you "enjoyed it." It means that your body works as it was designed. The body is designed to respond to stimulation. It does not make a judgement about whether the stimulation is wanted.

The confusion comes from the fact that the body works as it was designed (ie. arousal) when our minds are screaming STOP!! I DON'T WANT THIS!!!! It is the mind that determines whether an action is wanted, not the body.

Many use the phrase "I was betrayed by my body" or some variation of that sentiment. Though one may have desperately wanted to not respond to the unwanted stimulation, the body was not the betrayer.

The betrayer was the person / people who were touching you without your consent.

The frequency with which you are thinking about this issue may be your mind's way of telling you that you need to deal with it. Something is trying to come forward, and it wants your attention in a big way.

I find it interesting that you consider dealing with the abuse as "keeping the emotions under control." I used to think that if I could keep my emotions under control, not only was I dealing with the issues, but I had in fact "conquered" them. Perhaps your mind is telling you that you can handle the emotions that you have been working so hard to keep controlled. That it is time to really deal with trauma and the pain in a way in which you have not done before.

I know you said you had a bad therapy experience. As Lee suggested, perhaps you would be more comfortable with a female therapist. Whether you have a male or female therapist there are just some topics that are difficult to discuss. A good therapist will listen without making you feel judged, embarrassed or humiliated. They will listen objectively and treat you with dignity and respect.

If you decide that therapy may be something you will try again, you may find the Consumers Guide to Therapist Shopping helpful. It gives a list of questions to ask a potential therapist.

Psychology Today has listings of therapists for all states and counties. You can choose the type of therapist you are seeking as well as the area(s) to which you are willng to travel. Your county rape crisis center is another therapeutic option. Services are free to county residents and some also offer groups in addition to individual sessions.

Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.