Having "good" dreams about my abuser and other potentially random nightmares? Anyone else?

Montgomery

Learning
I've had a lot of nightmares recently, most of them seemingly unrelated to the trauma or my abuser. Just like random really awful dreams. Usually involving the death of a loved one. Not sure if this is related to PTSD in any way or just stress secondary to PTSD? Idk it's confusing.

The dreams i DO have about my abuser are ?good?. Usually they involve romantic stuff like us kissing/cuddling and it feels nice. Sometimes it's sex and i enjoy those dreams too. I don't feel very good about them when im awake and remembering them. I didn't realize i had one last night until i sat down to write about this. As soon as i remembered i just started crying.
Is this normal? I don't know what to make of it.
 

Montgomery

Learning
Yes, I think it's pretty normal, especially depending on what else is going on in your life. When my wife and I aren't getting along, I have way more dreams about my abusive ex, most of which she isn't abusive in, and once in awhile a sex dream too, yuck.
My gooood. I'm so glad im not alone in this haha.
Yeah it's really horrible, it makes me question my feelings about him and drives me crazy. I wonder wth it means.
 
My opinion is that it's your brain trying to process the abuse, maybe by trying to make itself feel like it "wasn't that bad." Or it might depend on other stressors that are happening in your life. For example, the more my wife and I fight, the more that my brain doesn't seem to be able to tell a difference between her and my ex - they sometimes merge or change into each other within my dreams.
 

Montgomery

Learning
My opinion is that it's your brain trying to process the abuse, maybe by trying to make itself feel like it "wasn't that bad." Or it might depend on other stressors that are happening in your life. For example, the more my wife and I fight, the more that my brain doesn't seem to be able to tell a difference between her and my ex - they sometimes merge or change into each other within my dreams.
Yeah maybe my brain is just trying to normalize and rationalize it. It still f*cking sucks when you wake up though.
Probably very stress related like you're saying as well.
 

Innordinate

MyPTSD Pro
Just like random really awful dreams. Usually involving the death of a loved one
Sometimes it's sex and i enjoy those dreams too. I don't feel very good about them when im awake and remembering them.

i get both of these, pretty much all the time lately- they seem to go in spurts.
normal for ptsd? probably.
normal for me? yep.

and they both suck, and usually throw me off for a long time after I wake up. Sometimes i end up waking up from the latter type and go straight into a flashback. Or dissociate away the mornings.

The last couple of weeks they haven't been sticking with me or bugging me nearly as much, which I think is what 'normal' people with 'normal' nightmares feel. More just like, "wtf was that about?! moving on now."
I completely buy into the theory that our brains are rapidly sorting through, sifting, organizing and deleting short term and long term memories when we hit REM so it makes sense these disturbing things are going to become really shitty dreams.
I don't think it means anything but that, but yeah, I get the whole 'questioning' the feelings thing. I'm a guy, into women only, and the abuser that I end up having fantasy nightmares about is male and i still question my feelings.

Does suck.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
Sexual abuse is a complete mindfk for our brain. Because it’s terrifying...but it’s still sex. Our brains are hardwired to enjoy sexual stimulation. Terrifying and arousing...together...wtf??

I have “this is me getting raped again” dreams on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes they’re terrifying, sometimes I wake up feeling aroused, sometimes both of those go on in the same dream: simultaneously terrified and aroused.

In my mind? Dreams are the very best place for my brain to work through that confusing mess. If I could get my brain to do all of its trauma-processing work while I was safely tucked up in bed asleep? That would be totally awesome!
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Is this normal?

Totally. I have good, sexual, cuddly dreams of my abusers too. It's how the mind processes things. They make me feel safe. Sex is connected with love in my mind. I want to feel loved. Sex makes me feel loved. I only know my trauma thus it's normal to me thus I have sexual dreams about my abusers. Completely and totally normal for the traumatized (most especially with something like childhood sexual abuse!)


Just like random really awful dreams. Usually involving the death of a loved one.

Had those for years. My dreams are SUPER vivid and it takes me a long time after waking to realize the dream wasn't real. Like not going to work cause I had a dream I had gotten fired and thought it was real. I would wake up and call said family members in the middle of the night to make sure they were still ok. That went on for years. I don't call them anymore but did in my early 20s for years.

I personally think its connected to fear of abandonment but who knows.
 

Montgomery

Learning
Sexual abuse is a complete mindfk for our brain. Because it’s terrifying...but it’s still sex. Our brains are hardwired to enjoy sexual stimulation. Terrifying and arousing...together...wtf??

I have “this is me getting raped again” dreams on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes they’re terrifying, sometimes I wake up feeling aroused, sometimes both of those go on in the same dream: simultaneously terrified and aroused.

In my mind? Dreams are the very best place for my brain to work through that confusing mess. If I could get my brain to do all of its trauma-processing work while I was safely tucked up in bed asleep? That would be totally awesome!
Your dreams are simply echoing real life.

Good dreams, bad dreams.

Good times with ex, bad times with ex.
The thing is though, i didn't really have good times with my ex. Especially not sexually. I never enjoyed it.
I think the confusion comes from not realizing it was abuse or "assault" until months later.

For every sexual encounter i was dissociating, uncomfortable and in pain. Certain bodily functions even stopped working.
So it's really weird that when im dreaming of him im so at ease, in love, happy and safe.

The theory that my brain is trying to minimize or romanticize these events and this relationship is making a lot of sense...
 

Sideways

Sponsor
The thing is though, i didn't really have good times with my ex.
Yeah, no, me neither.

My abuse wasn’t good. In any way. My abuser wasn’t my partner. We weren’t romantically linked.

But the brain still needs to process the good sexual feelings with the emotional trauma. Dreams don’t have to “make rational sense”. My gut says what you’re experiencing is common in the circumstances:)
 
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