Any abuse victims have nightmares where you become the abuser?

S

Shae

I’ve never posted on here before, but I was sexually abused by my brother as a child for many years. I now have children of my own and last night I had a dream that I was abusing one of them. I woke up horrified and sick to my stomach. I know I can’t control my dreams but I still feel absolutely disgusted, especially because my biggest fear is that someone will victimize one of my children.

Has anyone else had a dream like this? How do you cope with it? I don’t even know how to go about my day now. I feel traumatized all over again.
 

PlainJane

Moderator
Has anyone else had a dream like this? How do you cope with it?

Unfortunately, I have. I don't have children, but I have custody of my sibling. I have had more than several dreams where I beat him mercilessly. One, that I recall, where I sexually abused him.

The most effective thing for me, running. Recently, I haven't been able to run. So, I am trying to use other coping skills. I suck at being still, so it usually involves action. Showers, wash away the dirt I feel, clear my head. Tinkering with anything that requires some concentration and precise hand movements (mechanics, building, repairs.) Eventually the dream dulls, I still feel it, but it doesn't have the same hold. I have to cycle through memories and prove to myself that I have faced a situation where I could have lost my temper, but I responded like a reasonable adult without having laid a hand on my kid. Others, while I could have responded better to the situation, I still came no where near abusing him. The fear has never gone away, though.

I don’t even know how to go about my day now.

Can I ask, do you have PTSD? Are you able to take advantage of therapy?
 

JGirl

Confident
I used to have horrible dreams about abusing my own kids and the kids I babysat. They are horrific. I am sorry that you are experiencing this. I agree with @PlainJane that doing something that is a distraction is helpful. I would just keep trying to do normal things and then try to push the images out of my head when they returned. Mine did fade after a while. After working through some of the issues they mostly went away. I rarely have those dreams now, if I do, I also think about evidence to reaffirm that I am not someone who hurts kids.
 
S

Shae

Unfortunately, I have. I don't have children, but I have custody of my sibling. I have had more than several dreams where I beat him mercilessly. One, that I recall, where I sexually abused him.

The most effective thing for me, running. Recently, I haven't been able to run. So, I am trying to use other coping skills. I suck at being still, so it usually involves action. Showers, wash away the dirt I feel, clear my head. Tinkering with anything that requires some concentration and precise hand movements (mechanics, building, repairs.) Eventually the dream dulls, I still feel it, but it doesn't have the same hold. I have to cycle through memories and prove to myself that I have faced a situation where I could have lost my temper, but I responded like a reasonable adult without having laid a hand on my kid. Others, while I could have responded better to the situation, I still came no where near abusing him. The fear has never gone away, though.



Can I ask, do you have PTSD? Are you able to take advantage of therapy?
Thank you for your candor. I was into running too but also have had to stop because of some hip problems. I’m pretty into CrossFit and weights, but it can be tough when I don’t want to wake my kids and I can’t leave them alone in the house (they’re 1 and 3). I have been diagnosed with PTSD and am in therapy, but I’m hoping to find someone local who does EMDR. I’m in a rural area though.
 
D

Daniel Hanrahan

I’ve never posted on here before, but I was sexually abused by my brother as a child for many years. I now have children of my own and last night I had a dream that I was abusing one of them. I woke up horrified and sick to my stomach. I know I can’t control my dreams but I still feel absolutely disgusted, especially because my biggest fear is that someone will victimize one of my children.

Has anyone else had a dream like this? How do you cope with it? I don’t even know how to go about my day now. I feel traumatized all over again.
Hi, I was sexually abused by my Mother at the age of seven and all of a sudden I became fixated on the opposite sex. I did not dream of being a predator but I worried about it constantly. I never acted out but I thought about it and I was so frightened and ashamed ( imagine being ashamed of Adult feelings and thoughts when you are only seven ? ) that I was too uncomfortable to be around children. The feelings and thoughts about acting out sexually, ( really, at that age it was just curiosity ) left when I became a sexually active teenager, but just having had those thoughts and feelings at one tome, made me, in my mind a potential kid toucher. It all became clearer when I was reading Freud and he was commenting on how his patients were reliving historical events form their past as if it they were happening in the moment rather than something that once happened to them. In other words they were having “ flashbacks “ due to their PTSD. Unfortunately for Dr Freuds patients he did not take their trauma seriously and doubted them. It has taken a Century of people like yourself who bravely build a life from the ashes of a ruined childhood and who have had the courage to talk about the struggle in order for the Scientific community to begin to understand the power a traumatic event from the past can have on an adult. The simplest definition of ‘ who you are “ is found in how are you living ? In other words, it is our actions, especially what we do when know one else is looking, is who we are. I bet you are a good Mom and please focus on that, rather than the Horrible, Horrible past you were strong and brave enough to not only survive it but surviving with the spirit of love and the desire to be a force for good. Give yourself a brake and try to understand that thoughts are thoughts and you are aware of who you are today, A Good Mom. I hope I helped a little, this is my first time discussing this topic with anyone but my wife and doctor. Good Luck and you are the kind of Mom I wished I had. My mom abandoned me when I was 12. But that is another story for another day. Take care and good luck. Yukio
 
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