How to Keep an Abusive Ex Boyfriend Out of Your Dreams and Nightmares

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex & relationships. If you’ve got a good one, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg just might tell you what it means! Click here to submit yours (18 and older only for dream interpretations, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

Hi, I was just wondering if you can send some strong advice my way? I have recently just been beaten by my (now ex) partner, I’m 19 and have extreme anxiety. I have noticed lately that I cannot sleep without dreaming of him hurting me, telling me how much he hates me and then having intimate contact with others. I’m waking up 5 to 6 times a night either shaking and hurting or simply in tears. I no longer love him as he has shown his true side, I no longer care for him either, but I want to understand why this has been happening for the past week. Sleep is the only non-stressful thing I can do and now I can’t even do that!

Thanking you in advance.

LauriI am very sorry to hear about your situation but relieved you got out. So many women stay or return to abusive relationships, so good for you! That’s a big deal. It shows strength.

As far as constantly dreaming of this criminal and his abuse, and waking up in a near panic… well, sounds like you may be having post-traumatic stress dreams. I would highly recommend seeing a counselor to get properly diagnosed so you can get the appropriate therapy for it.

In the meantime, here is what you can do:

1. Continue to acknowledge you did the right thing by leaving and be very proud of yourself for it!

2. Before you go to sleep tonight, write down your most recent dream in as much detail as you can remember, but change it up where you fight back. You can be as creative as you like here (it’s dreamland; there are no rules!). You can even pull out your magic wand and turn him into a pile of rotting garbage. It’s your dream. You have permission to do whatever you like with it. By rewriting the ending where you give yourself power and control in some form, you are reprogramming the pattern your subconscious mind is stuck in. It may take several nights of rewriting before the dreams stop, but if you are consistent, you will get results! You can change it up each night as well. Have fun with it.

3. Within your rewrite, I suggest you also include a conversation with him in which you tell him everything you’d like to say as though he were actually in front of you. Tell him what you think of his abusive behavior towards you, tell him how it has affected you and tell him it has only made you stronger, etc. Get these thoughts OUT OF YOU and onto paper. This will be quite a release and will free your psyche from a good deal of the pain and resentment you are holding on to.

Your dreams will hopefully stop or at the very least change by doing this because YOU are in control. The subconscious follows the conscious. So when you are able to change your conscious thoughts in regards to your ex and his treatment, the subconscious has no choice but to follow suit. Don’t let him continue to victimize you. You got this!

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