Are my rape nightmares connected to a flashback

Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
I don't have a diagnosis of ptsd but I was abused and it's possible I have it. I don't remember being raped but I've had 3 rape nightmares which have started since I spoke about my abuse. The most recent one was the worst I spent the whole next day feeling like I was a child and feeling really upset. It's always random men in these dreams. I also had a nightmare of my grandad who abused me fingering me but I don't remember this happening. I had a flashback a while ago where grandad was holding my arms down on a bed and the duvet disappeared and I didn't see anything else and I wonder if it's connected with the rape nightmares.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
It's hard for anyone to say whether it's a flashback or a dream or a memory or what. Sorry. Do you have a therapist to unpick it with?

My memories came back via dreams. Was a very confusing time, trying to work out if I was making these things up in my dreams, or if they happened or what on earth was going on. Really unsettling.

So it could be flashbacks/memories resurfacing.
But it could also be nightmares.

Underneath your question, and deep inside, what do you think they are?
 

Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
It's hard for anyone to say whether it's a flashback or a dream or a memory or what. Sorry. Do you have a therapist to unpick it with?

My memories came back via dreams. Was a very confusing time, trying to work out if I was making these things up in my dreams, or if they happened or what on earth was going on. Really unsettling.

So it could be flashbacks/memories resurfacing.
But it could also be nightmares.

Underneath your question, and deep inside, what do you think they are?
I've had nightmares before and then later remembered real incidents. I don't have a therapist I did speak to my autism worker and she thinks my nightmares are real incidents. We've agreed that in the flashback I had when I was awake of grandad pinning me to the bed likely happened and I was either sexually assaulted or raped. I never used to get rape nightmares.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i've had repressed trauma memories begin their emergence as nightmares, but even in those cases, the memories carried nightmare distortions. i've had rape dreams over places i have felt violated. early into ending the denial of my trauma and its related psycho ticks. i often felt hugely violated with each secret i let out of the proverbial bag and each related psycho tick i grew aware of.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I've had nightmares before and then later remembered real incidents. I don't have a therapist I did speak to my autism worker and she thinks my nightmares are real incidents. We've agreed that in the flashback I had when I was awake of grandad pinning me to the bed likely happened and I was either sexually assaulted or raped. I never used to get rape nightmares.
Then sounds like that is your answer.
I'm sorry the memories are coming out like this as I know how confusing and unsettling that process is.
Do you want a therapist to help you make sense of it?
There are also some good books about traumatic memory and how we store them. A book that really helped me was "healing the fragmented parts of trauma survivors" by Janine fisher. It talks about memory splitting off and how we do that to protect ourselves from the trauma.

Sounds like your autism worker is a good person for support. It's good to have that and talk about these things with someone trustworthy.

I also hope the nightmares/flashbacks settle down for you.
 

Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
Is it normal to have a trigger cause of a sexual assault nightmare??? Anyone had this happen to them before?? Care to share?? In two recent sexual assault nightmares, I was sitting on the floor and a man got down on the floor behind me and raped me. Then on Thursday my autism worker got down on the floor near me and was being aggressive pointing and shouting at me. She was more next to me me than behind me but I was turned more away from her drawing in the sand to block her out so it was kind of like she was behind me. I felt uncomfortable at the time and then later felt really unsafe and kept wanting to self harm. I couldn't sleep and then cried loads. I think she triggered me but the actual incident was a nightmare. I've felt really icky this evening and I wasn't even thinking about it in that moment I was watching a program about the nuclear power plant disaster and my down there just felt really icky and I know this will probably sound really weird and not make sense to anyone but it was like my down there felt anxious like how your stomach might feel when your really nervous but it was my down there not my stomach.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
When we sleep, our minds sort and sift through things that we may have been thinking about, even things we aren't necessarily aware we're thinking about. The imagery is sometimes identical to real life situations, but sometimes it's a kind of mixed-together version of reality, allegory, and our OWN interpretations of what we think and feel about people and places and events in our lives.

You've been having a very hard time with your case-worker. It's entirely possible that your dream wasn't about any kind of sexual assault - it was about how you feel about your case-worker, combined with how much you've been thinking about sexual assault lately.

I'm not saying that's what it is - I'm saying that it could well be. As well as any number of things. It's generally important to understand that dreams are rarely connected to suppressed memory. It's more likely that wondering about suppressed memories during your waking hours can lead to dreaming about these 'maybe' kinds of events.
 

Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
When we sleep, our minds sort and sift through things that we may have been thinking about, even things we aren't necessarily aware we're thinking about. The imagery is sometimes identical to real life situations, but sometimes it's a kind of mixed-together version of reality, allegory, and our OWN interpretations of what we think and feel about people and places and events in our lives.

You've been having a very hard time with your case-worker. It's entirely possible that your dream wasn't about any kind of sexual assault - it was about how you feel about your case-worker, combined with how much you've been thinking about sexual assault lately.

I'm not saying that's what it is - I'm saying that it could well be. As well as any number of things. It's generally important to understand that dreams are rarely connected to suppressed memory. It's more likely that wondering about suppressed memories during your waking hours can lead to dreaming about these 'maybe' kinds of events.
I've had dreams before and then remembered real events connected to the dreams and the rape dreams were two weeks ago and more my support worker triggered me was Thursday. I had the first rape nightmare a week before having a flashback of being pinned to a bed so I'm more thinking they're to do with something real
 

Roland

Confident
but I was abused
What do you actually remember?

Not to invalidate flashbacks, or nightmares, it's just to say, there's "reliable memory" and not so reliable memory. Imo flashbacks and nightmares are both fairly unreliable, they can be pointers sometimes, but they aren't the same as actual memory.

Also, if you don't remember, it doesn't change anything about your current struggles. Many people never fully recover memories, and it's considered impossible to recover memories especially childhood trauma memories.
 

anthony

Founder
Memory is a cluster f*ck. The longer between a memory and attempted recollection, the more likely the memory is skewed. Not to say an event did not happen, but your recollection may now contain many inaccuracies compared to the actual event. This is the very problem with trauma. What is real and what is not?

I remember doing prolonged exposure, writing our an event over and over, as each time something would trigger something else. Some of the end result was real and factual, some was BS my mind had added as I could ask people who were there, beside me, their recollection. Mine and theirs (plural) was different in some aspects. Even some of those very people all had different recollections from each other.

Memory is very subjective and problematic. Witnesses help piece some things together, but again, their memory will be subjective too.
 

Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
What do you actually remember?

Not to invalidate flashbacks, or nightmares, it's just to say, there's "reliable memory" and not so reliable memory. Imo flashbacks and nightmares are both fairly unreliable, they can be pointers sometimes, but they aren't the same as actual memory.

Also, if you don't remember, it doesn't change anything about your current struggles. Many people never fully recover memories, and it's considered impossible to recover memories especially childhood trauma memories.
I remember two incidents after he came out of prison and I had nightmares about those incidents a while before actually remembering them. Which I originally ignored and thought were just weird nightmares
 
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Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
@Roland one minute mum was annoyed I didn't tell anyone about the restaurant incident at the time cause he would have been sent back to prison for reofending and then she says she doesn't think it happened cause she or someone else would have seen. I don't like people doubting me.
 
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