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#472705 - 11/20/14 09:18 AM Shaming Dream
Jed777 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 42
Loc: New York State
Last night I had a vivid dream of naked young men having sex with each other. When I awoke from the dream, my initial response was shame. The message I gave myself was that "you are never going to get beyond your nightmare of being abused. All the therapy you have done and all the therapy you will ever do is a futile attempt to cover up the truth that you are damaged goods." This negative self-talk lasted no more than a few moments before I did a reality check and put the dream into the larger context of my life. I do not indulge in exploitive fantasies. I have made and I am making progress in therapy. I have my faith to feed me. I am happily married. I am writing this post to break the hold that secrecy has on me. I did not anyone else to know I had that dream. If I lock the story of my dream up inside me, it will serve as a kind of cancer that will spread and poison the rest of my inner and eventually my outer life. Thank you for letting me write this post as a kind of self-care damage control.
_________________________
Jed777

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#472711 - 11/20/14 12:36 PM Re: Shaming Dream [Re: Jed777]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1443
Dreams - the way I see them - are anything from meaningless jumbles of disparate thought fragments being tossed about to fully reorganized perspectives of real life experiences, thoughts or feelings. I'm no expert in the way the mind works, but I find dreams fascinating - an entire complex universe of thought that we live in for a full third of our lives, a universe as real as the emotions they evoke, yet as fragile as a baby's breath. And it seems that same breath can wipe that universe from our memory within the very instant we awaken, leaving not a trace. Other dreams stay with us for the morning or the day, haunting us. And some dreams we remember forever.

Jed, dreams have often affected me in a similar way to what you have described, and of course bad dreams are not the sole province of survivors. But as a survivor, I see parallels between the sad experiences I endured and the torture of bad dreams. I had no choices - no autonomy - over my body when I was 12-13 - it all belonged to the older neighborhood boy at his beckoned whim. It was clear to me that despite myself, he even owned how my body responded to him - in a way the most disturbing and damaging aspect of my abuse. And when I would lay my head on the pillow at night, I was owned once again by the disturbing dreams that would visit me in my slumber. In both cases - the unwanted physiology of my responses and the unstoppable trains of thoughts and imagery that danced through my head at night - these were things that emanated from me, things that were OF me, and yet not in my control to thwart, to change or to stop. They together both hunted and haunted me, and they defined what little self-determinative power I possessed in my little life.

It took me a long time to find comfort in my own skin - a skin frequently inhabited by my abuser, a skin often assassinated from within by my own dreams. Our sexual identities, our dreams - those are the deepest and most immutable parts of who we are. It took my life ever since to make friends with those deepest parts of me - which was really making friends with myself - and I wish the same for you, Jed.
_________________________
Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#472718 - 11/20/14 05:12 PM Re: Shaming Dream [Re: Chase Eric]
Jed777 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 42
Loc: New York State
Chase,

You went deep in your response to my post. Thank you for hearing me and trusting me with your pain.

What particularly rang true for me was the quest to make friends with the deepest parts of yourself. I share this quest.

God bless you on your journey!
_________________________
Jed777

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#472762 - 11/21/14 11:36 PM Re: Shaming Dream [Re: Jed777]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1584
Loc: New England
Hey Jed,

I had been troubled by constant nightmares. Some sexual, some violent, some both. They kept me in a constant state of fear that I would never escape "it".

The fact is that nightmares are one of the defining symptoms of PTSD, and "it" is not easily overcome. But time, therapy, and a particular medication regime, worked together to bring the nightmares to an end, and begin to make other PTSD symptoms managemable.

Keep working on it. Try to stop focusing on the past or the future. Concentrate of today, and eventually you will string together enough todays to let you see the changes in your life.

Be well,

Jude
_________________________
Can't be bothered with sorrow
And I can't be bothered with hate, no, no
I'm using up the time but feeling fine every day
That's why I'm telling you
I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
Rare Earth

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#472768 - Yesterday at 08:33 AM Re: Shaming Dream [Re: Jed777]
finallyhere Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 08/09/14
Posts: 70
Loc: Midwest
Jed, you described the secrecy as a poison. I could not agree more. We cannot control the dreams. As we heal they lessen. I used to blame myself for them too. Only after accepting that I can only control my thoughts while awake did I stop the self shame for the dreams. J think they are gone now.... I don't know for sure but I don't fear them or blame myself. I did learn however after trying to share one particularly bad one, to be cautious of disclosure. You did the right thing sharing here. It is such a great thing when others have experienced and understand. It frees us to move on. You have so many positives in your life it is great to hear that you appreciate them and see this for what it was. The poison is gone. No fears, don't look back. Anytime you need someone we are all here, one at a time. Sometimes someone different but all together we are strong. Take care.

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#472787 - Yesterday at 11:12 PM Re: Shaming Dream [Re: finallyhere]
manipulated Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/25/14
Posts: 7
Loc: Great Lakes Wine Country
Jed,
I started dealing with the sex abuse from age 11 to 16 by my assistant scoutmaster only after a break from my usual self - literally 45 years after it started. Six months into therapy I started remembering my dreams for the first time in my life. Remembered dreams led to recalled memories and reliving the abuse. For me they continued and intensified until I forced myself to start sharing them with my wife, therapist and others with similar histories. Gradually the dreams and memories have eased and let me sleep without recall. Slowly the dead perp scoutmaster's hold on my subconscious is loosening. You are wise to share.
_________________________
Feeling, Healing, Recovering.

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