Hi Daryl,

I know what you mean about the feeling of someone being on top of you being present in a dream. You probably know more about the psychology of dreaming & of sleep from your counseling background so I won't go on and on, but there is the phenomenon of sleep paralysis that can create that feeling even in people who do not have trauma. That being said, I am sorry you experience so much pain during a time that is supposed to be restful and peaceful. You truly have suffered enough as it is, it seems very unfair that you would have to suffer in your sleep, to. frown

I think one of the things sexual assault does to us is that it is kind of like your brain is this filing cabinet, and it takes everything and dumps it on the floor, then it takes all the folder and all the files and dumps them into one big heap and you're left trying to put things back in chronological order, sifting out all the garbage that some sociopathic schmuck intermixed with all the good stuff. I am probably just saying stuff you already know but maybe your mind is just going through another category of the experience and you have the opportunity to hold onto who you truly are as a man, and cast aside all of the trash that is from the assault... and by trash I mean self-blame, guilt, shame, self-destructive behaviors, misdirected anger, etc. I can't tell you how things are for you, but when I isolate the sexual assault from the physical torture, I feel guilty because I feel like I cheated on my wife. When I see it in the context of the physical torture I see that it was something he used to break apart my sense of self and take away whatever masculine dignity I had left. Reconciling the two types of abuse helps me to understand that it wasn't sex at all, it was pure violence using sexual themes.

It is horrifying when feelings of physical pain can come back long after the pain happened to you. I feel like I am really losing my mind a lot. It is like I never passed out and my nerve endings are telling me the things I "missed."

it's hard to say anything because I feel like such a n00b at dealing with all this ASA stuff. I wish I could tell you how to get the nightmares to go away. But, all I can say is that I think you are really strong for dealing with this and I wish this didn't have to happen to such a good person.

Your dorky little brother,

Peter

_________________________
“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