Other people‚Äôs dreams are never interesting‚Ä¶except when they‚Äôre about sex. Each week, our dream analyst¬†Lauri Loewenberg¬†tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze?¬†Click here to submit it.¬†This week, a reader asks Lauri:
I had a dream that my current boyfriend tried to attack me last night. I was involved in a previous relationship that was abusive and still have fears about it. I woke up crying and I scared my boyfriend to the point where he doesn’t wanna be bothered with me. I try to remember the dream, but something won’t really allow me to. Please help.
Lauri:¬†Unfortunately I hear about this sort of thing all too often, a woman who was in an abusive relationship continuing to have nightmares about it long after she got out. Sigh. Breaks my heart. It’s a traumatic thing to live in constant fear of being pummeled at a moment’s notice. It really wrecks your sense of self worth and your sense of security, and obliterates your peace of mind!
Even though you are out of the relationship, your psyche hasn’t calmed down and you still hold onto the fear and it is expressed through your dreams. Your dreams can’t move forward until you move forward, and that is going to take a little bit of work, mostly on your part — but it sure would be helpful if your current boyfriend gave you some support too. He doesn’t want to be bothered with you? What kind of bullshit is that? The biggest predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If this is how he reacts to your very understandable issue, I wouldn’t expect him to be terribly helpful to you in the future. Sheesh already!
Luckily, this is something you can make great strides in with or without Mr. Can’t-Be-Bothered. First of all, realize that you are giving yourself these dreams; they are a creation of your own subconscious, therefore you can change and even put a stop to them! Typically, writing down the dream and then re-writing the ending the way you would like it to play out can work wonders.
But since you aren’t able to remember the details of the dream, journaling at bedtime will work just as well. It is crucial you journal right before you turn out the light to go to sleep, because what is on your mind as you drift off will affect your dreams.
I would start by writing a letter to yourself, and in that letter you need to do a couple things. First, forgive yourself for being in the relationship as long as you were. A lot of women who have been in abusive relationships continue to figuratively beat themselves up for staying in the relationship way longer than they should have. That does not help. So write yourself a forgiveness letter.
Then, write yourself a love letter. Yes, a love letter. If that seems crazy and you can’t imagine doing it, just pick three things you like about yourself: one thing you like about your physical appearance, one thing you like about your personality, and one thing you’ve done that you’re kinda proud of. Then expand a little bit on these three things. This will help you to build yourself back up after your ex has torn you down. This will also help you let go of unnecessary emotional baggage such as contempt for yourself. Do this every night for a while. When you make it a habit of going to bed feeling good about yourself, your dreams can’t help but follow the pattern!
In addition, it wouldn’t hurt to take some martial arts or a self-defense class. May as well build up your physical strength while you are building back up your inner strength. Be consistent with the journaling, make yourself physically stronger, and you’ll be surprised what a powerful force you’ll become in your own life… and your dreams will become pretty freaking cool as well! Keep us posted, will you?
Want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning? Lauri’s latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, will give you the tools you need to become a Dream Expert too! Check out all of Lauri’s books here.
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