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#70688 - 09/26/06 01:04 PM NIGHTMARES
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
I am curious to learn if anyone suffers from nightmares. The nightmares I endure stimulate memories of the years I was molested. I find the dreams extremely disturbing. Additionally I wonder why I am encountering them at this time in my life. Now at the age of 43 I find these dreams to be increasing and I don’t understand why. In my late 20's I went through therapy and assumed I worked out all the demons associated with the years of molestation I encountered. Nevertheless, does anyone else experience the same. If so, do you wake with your heart beating so hard if feels like it will burst out of your chest. I find it hard to shake off, and it takes a while before I can return back to a semi state of sleep. I would appreciate hearing from anyone else who has a familiar experience. Thanks

_________________________
Eddie

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#70689 - 09/26/06 02:08 PM Re: NIGHTMARES
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
I don't undesrtand this either

i seem to have body memory too

where it feels like something is happening

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#70690 - 09/26/06 02:39 PM Re: NIGHTMARES
soapy bubbles Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 332
Loc: london


_________________________
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.” --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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#70691 - 09/26/06 03:47 PM Re: NIGHTMARES
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
nightmares,yes,they are a huge problem for me,i turned to meth because i'm afraid to sleep.i think we feel so bad after cause while i am dreaming its as real as when i'm awake ,its like being hurt all over again ,everynight. my dreams are dangerous ,i have woke up miles from home no clue how i got there. for me my dreams are about guilt ,in them it is my fault and ewveryone who was connected to my childhood are in them ,standing watching him abuse me ,pointing and telling me i deserve it. a person can only go so long without sleeping ,but sleeping is worse than staying awake. there are meds that can help ,but for me i think its gonna take dealing with my guilt to stop them. physicaly they are wearing me down even when i do sleep its like i been running a marathon all night. in my dreams i am being offered a chance to make it all right ,but i got to die to do it. they become dangerous when i start to believe what they tell me. they are very violent, yes, . its real hard going through it over and over everynight

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#70692 - 09/27/06 04:53 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
I now realize I am not alone in this situation. I have attempted to resolve the issue by discussing the matter with a therapist, but he doesn't get it. In the past I had an excellent therapist who actually endured molestation himself. He was compassionate, caring and comprehended my feelings. The therapist of lately does not address this problem, except to advise me to go to sleep at the same time each night and before going to bed reassure myself that I will not have any horrific dream. I desperately want these nightmares to stop...it is like reliving the abuse day after day! I wonder why the dreams returned. I was free of them for years! Thanks everyone for your responses, it was greatly appreciated.

_________________________
Eddie

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#70693 - 09/28/06 01:54 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Eddie,

A survivor's nightmares arise from some unresolved issue or problem, and I'm surprised your T can't be more helpful. Has he not recommended anything other than reassuring yourself before you go to bed?

There are lots of things you can do. Many guys here will tell you about their stuffed animals, for example. Some sleep with a small light on in the bedroom. Another strategy, if you wake up, is to fix a cup of herb tea and read something for a few minutes, perhaps with some relaxing music on. If it's the same dream over and over, but the dream doesn't seem to finish before you awake, then when you do awake, invent a positive ending to the dream and think of it every time you have the dream in the future.

That said, I really do think that something has come up to bother you and THAT is causing these dreams. Perhaps you have recently seen or read something that has triggered you, or something may have happened in your presence to remind you of events from the past.

If that's the case, then discovering and dealing with this cause would be the best solution.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#70694 - 09/28/06 03:35 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
cat lover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
I think nightmares are normal. I didn't have nightmares, per se, of my ex's rape of me, but there certainly were lots of issues at play which prevented me from sleeping (and sometimes still do, 3 1/2 years later). The betrayal and broken heart were on par with the physical for me. The emotional recovery took a lot longer. It may still be in progress. In my case, I think it's normal that some guys have nightmares.


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#70695 - 09/28/06 11:16 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
soapy bubbles Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 332
Loc: london


_________________________
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.” --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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#70696 - 09/28/06 11:41 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
SB,

One of the worst emotions an abused boy feels is fear. There are so many mixed-up emotions that he will feel all at once, but he will always be able to pick out this one. It's difficult to describe. His ability to trust is collapsing, he sees the world as entirely unsafe, terrible danger seems possible anywhere and any time, and what makes it all even worse is that he has come to think that he deserves what's happening to him. He's so so afraid.

Unless resolved in therapy that feeling will linger in various ways and affect him in adulthood. Since this is an unresolved issue from childhood, a child's remedy is often very helpful. A stuffed animal assures him that he is safe after all, and in a way I think it's also a way of claiming our innocence back.

So yes, very much a comforter, and your bf's pillow may be serving the same purpose.

Why not get him a cuddly stuffed animal? ;\) He may be embarrassed and think it's silly at first, but it isn't. If it works, hey, go for it.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#70697 - 09/29/06 02:24 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
i relive my incest in my dreames..they come and go..also a lot of running away..then some violent dreames..then some like i am riding a bike fast all of a sudden there is no more ground and i am falling and falling..forever until i get startled and wake up..just a few of mine....steve


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#70698 - 09/29/06 03:25 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Steve,

Aha. It sounds like your dreams are repeating ones with no real endings. Have you tried the trick of inventing good endings for them?

The falling bike dream, for example, sounds like a recollection of a feeling that trying to escape will just bring you into greater peril - i.e. that feeling of danger everywhere that abused boys feel. So when you awake from that one, add the ending of, say, a safe pleasant landing a moment later in a warm sunny field of ripe strawberries with no owner in sight \:D - you get off your bike and begin to feast. Keep doing that every time you have the dream - same ending. Resolving the dream may cause it to stop after a few times.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#70699 - 09/30/06 01:04 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
I appreciate all of the responses. Larry, you did "hit the nail on the head" when you mentioned fear as the crippling problem for all those molested. Fear began with my molestation, and consequently followed me throughout my life. I never felt safe. I trembled at the most minor things. I recall fighting within myself, I wanted to be strong, and yet failed at every attempt. This left me very vulnerable. It allowed for further abuse to carry on, only I was no longer a child, I was a willing participant. Those years are for the most part behind me. Where fear still remains an issue is when I contemplate trying to learn just who I really am. I feel if I let my guard down and find out I'm gay my whole life will unravel and I will be left in a very horrible situation. I hope I over come this and one day find true happiness. Honestly speaking I feel as though I will never conquer this battle and will live a life by myself, which is truly a shame. I am a very loving person who has more than enough to share with a "soul mate." If only I could get past this stage in my life!

Nevertheless, I really find solace reading each message; it is so very therapeutic to know there is someone else who understands completely! I sincerely appreciate and value reading all the posts.

_________________________
Eddie

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#70700 - 09/30/06 01:23 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
thanks larry i will try that on my dreams


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#70701 - 09/30/06 01:38 PM Re: NIGHTMARES
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
In reading my last response I want to make one thing clear, when I said I was a willing participant I was referring to the fact I could no longer say it was molestation when I allowed the next individual to abuse me. I just wanted to make that point clear.

_________________________
Eddie

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#70702 - 09/30/06 04:59 PM Re: NIGHTMARES
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Eddie,

I understood what you meant in your post, but can I suggest that you not be too hasty to describe yourself as "willing"?

A shattered abused kid doesn't become a secure fortress just because he hits 18; he's a shattered adult. If he feels lost, worthless and doomed, he will see no reason why he should resist further predatory advances. In fact, it may not be possible for him to resist. That's not his fault, just as the abuse when he was a kid wasn't his fault.

I can tell you for certain that had any predator come along after my abuse ended, I would have done anything he wanted. I didn't think I was worth any better treatment. I remember going off to meet some guy about a job fully expecting that there was no job at all and he just wanted sex from me. I figured, So what - it's not like I don't know how to do this.

We do have to take responsibility for what we do as adults; that's just the way life has to be, regardless of our background of troubles. But taking responsibility and acting positively to resolve the problem is one thing - we should do that. Tearing ourselves up for things that happened to us and many other survivors for exactly the same reasons, however, is a road full of new trouble and I think we have to avoid that as much as possible.

On the possibility that you are gay you say this:

Quote:
I feel if I let my guard down and find out I'm gay my whole life will unravel and I will be left in a very horrible situation. I hope I over come this and one day find true happiness.
I hope you find true happiness as well bro, but for that to happen we have to admit who we really are and work from there. If you are gay you are gay. It's part of who you are and not just a matter of sexual preference. Trying to work against that will just lead to a life full of frustration and unhappiness. Don't let this point get clouded by the views of narrowminded bigots.

That said, if you are unsure of your sexuality, then who else could possibly know? It's pretty common for survivors new to recovery to go through doubts of this kind; it's just vital to be totally honest with yourself.

This is the sort of thing we really need a T for, in my opinion. A good T will help you get through all the minefields and scary problems with as little new pain and trauma as possible.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#70703 - 10/01/06 06:36 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
\:\)

_________________________
Eddie

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#70704 - 10/01/06 06:48 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
Wow Larry you have truly given me a lot to think about. I say this in the most positive manner. I understand to a certain extent when you wrote:

"A shattered abused kid doesn't become a secure fortress just because he hits 18; he's a shattered adult. If he feels lost, worthless and doomed, he will see no reason why he should resist further predatory advances."

However I feel that at the age of 17 and 18 I made severely bad choices. In deed the years I was molested played a vital role, and yes the person who took advantage of me somehow knew I was vulnerable and played on this, but in the end I did not resist and allowed the sexual act to happen. This was something that plagued me through my teens. My uncle was a priest and brought another seminarian to my home. My mother prepared dinner and was busy with my uncle chatting away. In the same vicinity the priest grabbed hold of me and began to hug me from behind. He advanced his hands south and began to reach my genitals. My heart was pounding a mile a minute and I didn’t know what to do. He then stopped there and tried to encourage me to take him to the seashore that was 15 minutes away. My mother insisted I go but I fought her on it. It was winter and I know he would have only taken the matter further should I have gotten in the car with him. When 17 my guidance counselor at school made sexual advances and it was ugly. Third my boss proceeded to make it abundantly clear that he knew I was gay and that I “just needed to act upon it and allow myself to be me.” Although I didn’t want to and resisted at first I did allow him (and the others) to do what he did. This is where I believe in my heart I was a “willing” participant. I didn’t stop any of these guys from invading my territory. As a matter of fact I had to have been sending some kind of signals out for all these guys to make advances. I was never known to be feminine in my actions, but my father did constantly ridicule me and called me a faggot for I was more emotional than my other brothers.

As for my sexuality; my abuser repeatedly over the course of 4 or 5 years not only physically abused me but also repeatedly and consistently drummed into my mind that I would grow up to be a gay man and nothing else. I don’t want my abuser to be right. In a sense I don’t want him to win this battle.

Thank you so very much Larry for taking the time to read my posts and respond in kind. I sincerely appreciate everyone who shares their views and opinions. It has most definitely made a major impact in my life. As I have stated previously, I sought counseling and worked out most of my demons. In the past year I began with a new T and this guy is unwilling to really approach the situation. I need to conquer the nightmares for I am reliving the abuse all over again. Whenever I bring up the subject of my abuse the T changes the subject. (I was severely injured at work and developed a severe condition that affects my nervous system. I am getting better. Thank the Lord! I began seeing him for depression regarding this matter.)

Sorry if this is way TOO long. It is 1:30AM and I am avoiding going to bed. I had a severely bad dream lst night and I just don’t want to go there again. So I ended up using this as a way to vent. Again I apologize for the length of this post, however I feel better getting all this off my chest.

_________________________
Eddie

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#70705 - 10/01/06 05:27 PM Re: NIGHTMARES
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Eddie,

It's good you are working with a T, but you need to be working with someone who will deal with your issues. If you feel you are not being listened to, you should tell the T. And if the problem continues you should just look for a new T.

You have some interesting comments about your sexuality:

Quote:
As for my sexuality; my abuser repeatedly over the course of 4 or 5 years not only physically abused me but also repeatedly and consistently drummed into my mind that I would grow up to be a gay man and nothing else. I don’t want my abuser to be right. In a sense I don’t want him to win this battle.
I would just say here that the abuser was being a cruel bastard when he told you that, probably in order to keep things going as long as possible. But the truth is that if you are gay he didn't make you that way. Homosexuality is a way of being, thinking and living; it's part of who the gay person is. Abuse, on the other hand, is a crime committed by one person against another who is less powerful. The two are not the same at all.

Finally, back to the question of you allowing abuse to happen. It isn't just a matter of what you DID at the time, Eddie, it's also about how you FELT. The choices you made were bad ones, yes, that's not in dispute. The question is whether you should feel that you are to blame for them.

At the age of 17, how did you feel about yourself? A guy that age doesn't just allow himself to be mistreated for no reason. He does it because he feels worthless, undeserving of anything better, a failure at life, guilty and worthy of punishment, doomed to mistreatment, generally lost and numb, or some combination of those factors. A guy in this dark place just will NOT see resistance as an option - it's better just to get the unevitable over with.

It's worth remembering that when we don't SEE any choices before us, in fact we don't have those choices at all.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#70706 - 10/01/06 10:30 PM Re: NIGHTMARES
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Eddie - Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) is really a lot of work. You have been investing in your recovery. A reminder, we were all pretty happy guys and moving through life as we were created to be. Our Perps interfererd with who we were intended to be. Our recovery is essentially getting ourselves back to where we were intended to be. The Perp (Your Perp) can't win if you move as close to who were intended to be. From my perspective, if you are gay or straight...whoever you were created to be...that's who you need to be. Your Perp will not ever win the battle of recovery if you succeed at being who you are created to be. I hope you can grasp what I'm trying to say. Focus on you and who you are instead of defending and manuvering against "the Perp". Find out who you are!

If your therapist is afraid of focusing on your abuse and going to other places; he/she may have a problem...personally (maybe it is in their past); OR professionally (they don't handle CSA, childhood trauma very well) therefore 'don't want to go there'. In any case, you are the consumer and dictate/talk about your needs; if the therapist isn't fixing or helping...then go elsewhere. If I take my watch to the Jeweler and he tries to get me to buy a wall clock instead... I need to find a Jeweler who will fix my watch (my problem). Hope this helps!!


Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#70707 - 10/05/06 03:32 AM Re: NIGHTMARES
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
Thanks Larry and Howard for your insight. I have read your thoughts and advice, and sincerely appreciate your compassion and understanding . The words you have spoken resonate my previous therapist’s guidance. When I stopped counseling with this therapist I assumed I had put the molestation behind me, however the nightmares and the inability to find out who I am speaks otherwise.

In reading your posts I realized the fact I am really so tired of not living life, personally. I feel as if professionally I have succeeded, but in my personal life I have failed. Failed in the sense I have hidden from determining just who I am. I don't know how to begin to just be myself ….whatever that may be. Fear and trepidation engulf my every being when it comes time to even consider letting my guard down. How do I start? Do I try a heterosexual relationship and go from there? All I want is true happiness. I consider myself a religious individual, and always fear I will be judged harshly should I find out in the end that I am gay. What could be considered ludicrous is the fact I don't see that when I see anyone else who is gay. I know God loves all his children no matter who you are, and yet I feel should I turn out to be gay God will condemn me. I realize this may not sound irrational, but that is my way of thinking. I am surrounded by individuals who denounce homosexuality. Some have went as far to say that the Aids epidemic was a sign from God to the gay community that their lifestyle is unacceptable. If I learn I am not “straight” but a gay man I don't know if I have the strength to admit to it to myself let alone the world. Just the thought is overwhelming. It is an issue I hope to overcome. Coming here and reading the various posts has been extremely helpful. I can only hope voicing my thoughts will not only help in my finding out who I truly am but touch someone else’s life who may be struggling in the same manner. Thanks again.

_________________________
Eddie

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