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#358988 - 04/08/11 09:46 AM Question to survivors on dreaming and imagination
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Hi! I am hoping that you may be able to give me some insight into why my wonderful man can't dream, can't visualize or imagine? Is it because these skills were not allowed to grow and be validated when he was a child? He has a very hard time explaining this to me, and has only just learned to express this fact through therapy... so I'm hoping that if someone can help me a little... I'm a big dreamer, and throughout our relationship I've always felt I couldn't talk about future dreams with him (that's ok I have friends I can do that with) cause he didn't get it or care... But his revelation to me that his wall will not allow him to dream made me wonder why? But I know he hasn't gotten there yet... smile love him very much and just trying to understand. As always, thank you so much and I wish everyone a peaceful day!


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#359048 - 04/08/11 09:09 PM Re: Question to survivors on dreaming and imagination [Re: sally123]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6806
Loc: USA
Question: Do you mean night time dreams while sleeping or do you mean dreams such as projecting himself into a wonderful future?


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#359056 - 04/08/11 10:20 PM Re: Question to survivors on dreaming and imagination [Re: pufferfish]
Napoleon Offline


Registered: 04/06/11
Posts: 166
Loc: Utah
I used dreaming and imagination to escape my abuse. If anything it enhanced my imagination.
Not everyone reacts to the abuse the same way.

_________________________
“Your only limit within reason, is the one that you set up in your own mind.” Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success, 1925.

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#359070 - 04/09/11 12:28 AM Re: Question to survivors on dreaming and imagination [Re: Napoleon]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Pufferfish, I mean, lack of visualizing future/ imagining what could be, future goals, jobs, life..... Guess imagination
Also, I don't think he actually has dreams when he sleeps either....
I realize may be hard question for others to answer, just thought I'd throw out there, so I appreciate responses....


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#359071 - 04/09/11 12:56 AM Re: Question to survivors on dreaming and imagination [Re: sally123]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6806
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: sally123
I mean, lack of visualizing future/ imagining what could be, future goals, jobs, life..... Guess imagination

OK sally,
Thanks for the clarification. I didn't want to answer the wrong question.

Lots of survivors of abuse don't think they have a future. They just can't "visualize" how things could go right and how things in their life could become better.

I had this for a long, long time. I think it's getting better now, with a lot of counseling and work on my issues. I'm sure other guys here at MS could also say that's true of them.


Originally Posted By: sally123

Also, I don't think he actually has dreams when he sleeps either....

I think it's supposed to be impossible for a person to not dream entirely. But I have 2 thoughts. People who have been through abuse have lots of bad dreams. I did and mine are getting better now. But I suspect that survivors of abuse may unconsciously regulate their sleep patterns to minimize the horrible dreams. The bad dreams come during REM sleep (in the middle of the night).

This is my theory: Some survivors briefly awaken themselves so that they don't drift into the bad dream REM sleep. It would come out on a sleep study to appear as "sleep apnea". But I think this may be caused by the abuse and not abstruction of the airways. It might come under the heading of a PTSD reaction.


Allen


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#359074 - 04/09/11 01:15 AM Re: Question to survivors on dreaming and imagination [Re: pufferfish]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Thank you pufferfish! Oh your answer almost makes me cry... It is so sad to think of not being able to even imagine things could ever be better...sounds so dark and lonely; another layer of your pain I was not aware of. What you describe is my bf; he can't visualize. I think he wants, but can't. So sad. Thank you again for insight!


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#359075 - 04/09/11 01:17 AM Re: Question to survivors on dreaming and imagination [Re: sally123]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6806
Loc: USA
Sally,

Maybe this is a place where you can help him.

My wife helped me because she was an encourager. She was constantly encouraging me. She helped me to see beyond my present situation and to visualize dreams and follow them up.

Allen


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#359112 - 04/09/11 10:16 AM Re: Question to survivors on dreaming and imagination [Re: pufferfish]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Pufferfish,

Yay! I can actually help?! smile I really appreciate the advice! I will definitely do that, its ironic cause I have the word DREAM in wooden letters all over my house... The greatest thing is that maybe I can help him dream a ittle and he can help me be more in the moment... Win win smile


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#359375 - 04/11/11 10:45 PM Re: Question to survivors on dreaming and imagination [Re: sally123]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
Hi sally.

during my own abuse, one of the oddest, and in some ways most frightening things was becoming completely and utterly unable to perceive any time but the present moment.

it would be nine in the morning, and I had literally no conception that a day would ever end.

I knew that there would be a point at four O.clock in the evening, but in the same way you know there will be a year 2050, it has no relevance, no baring on your experience, yes, you know there will logically be one but not much else besides.

This was very much my experience.

This is one reason why even when I see a film or tv program which i know I watched at the age wen my abuse was happening, it is not the least bit triggering sinse all i was doing at that time was! watching startrek, or Jerassic park or whatever, no other time existed.

During my recovery, while time never quite ground down to that level of presnt, I did retreat into that sort of timeless state for a while, and yes, it's extremely cold, extremely lonely and highly unpleasant.

If however this chap is starting to considder what happened to him, it might be that he's having an experience like that which is simply part of the nasty process we know as recovery.

The only good point I can make, is that for me, as i've done more work on recovery, this sensation of timelessness isone that has faded, and I now find myself far more able to look ahead just as when I started.

One thing you might considder trying is specifically booking something a few months in advance which requires some forward thinking, but at the same time is extremely nice.

In 2009, right in the middle of my recovery, I had the oppertunity to go to egypt. This was extremely sudden, and involved a late cancelation on a group holiday so was unexpected but was something I really wanted to do.

At the same time though, I needed to think ahead, simply to get my passport updated, get injections, buy a decent traveling medical kit etc.

At a time when I was having trouble looking forward, having to think ahead for something very real and practically fantastic was really helpful.

Thinking of you,

Luke.


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#359386 - 04/12/11 12:51 AM Re: Question to survivors on dreaming and imagination [Re: sally123]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I'm an ASA survivor and my wife has CSA/DID.

while I can't give you a specifically male CSA perspective, I can say that my wife had abuse at 5 and at 13... her five year old self is incredibly dreamy and imaginitive, and always wants to color, draw, and create things. After suffering rape, her personality became excessively pragmatic, to the point where she developed a hatred of play and anything childlike. She stopped engaging in any creative writing, and the creative activities she does engage in involve following an established formula or pattern, such as knitting.

I have noticed that over the years, and since becoming a mother, her capacity to imagine and create has gotten better. This is because of years of consistent support and affirmation she has received from me and other instrumental people in her life, I think. You have to believe that life is worth living in order to have hope for the future. You have to trust others enough to share your hopes and dreams with them. It is possible, even if it takes years. Ask your husband to share his thoughts for you, and give him plenty of affirmation even when he makes small steps toward trusting. A lot of times abused children are punished for anything they do that is creative, so it is hard to undo that as an adult.

_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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