A psyche sucker punch: I prefer the nightmare

I’m digging out of the avalanche of emotions that buried me when I escaped my abuser. Daily, I work hard  to marshal and make sense of my feelings and fears. But then, BAM! My dreamscape sucker-punches me in the gut.

I have swallowed my fear of his stalking in favour of getting on with  life. I’ve dealt with the emotional fallout of a trial which he didn’t even bother to attend. I coach myself out of the rut of negative thinking, and stick with my domestic violence programme. I feel I’m making progress in the journey back to me.

The boogeyman under my bed was the man of my dreams

Photo by Darwin Bell

Photo by Darwin Bell

But I’ve no control over my dreams. And last night, I dreamed of him. Not as the dark monster hovering outside my bedroom window, or even the 12 foot man who chased me into the bathroom and, weeping, ripped out my heart. He came to me last night as the kind, gentle soul I once believed him to be. He was the father that he promised he’d be, a protective arm around my waist as he held tightly to the little fingers of our toddling child.

As I woke in the dreamy-haze, for those few moments – it was real. It was a wormhole into that alternate universe where life turned out exactly as I had once believed it would. I was Dorothy, waking up to real life, far away from the distorted, crazy land of Oz. Then my reality dawned, as I heard my little one stirring close by. It shattered me, briefly.

Sweet dreams aren’t made of this. I’d rather have the nightmares.

Recovering from domestic abuse is a process that we have to work at every day. With all that conscious thought swirling around, I know the dream was just my psyche finding an ‘in’ to point out my weakest spots. I don’t need a dream therapist to tell me that it is just trauma-fuelled wish fulfillment wrapped in a pretty scene.

The thing is, painful as the tough reality is – I prefer it to rose-tinted dreams. I can’t afford to buy-in – however fleetingly – to the lemon that somehow, the abuse was just an unpleasant blip in an otherwise perfect relationship.

“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.” ― Michelle Hodkin

Photo by kitty27

Photo by kitty27

Have you been sucker-punched by your own psyche? Have you learned something from your dreams?

ALSO SEE: Missing the illusion, not the man in Dear Diary: I miss my abusive Prince Charming.

© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013-14

11 responses to “A psyche sucker punch: I prefer the nightmare

  1. Oh, what torture. I’m so sorry for what you’ve experienced, and for the dreams, bad or good (deceiving) that you must endure. You’re strength is pretty remarkable . . .


    • Thank you for your encouraging words Mandy. I think all of us are pretty strong, though perhaps we don’t always feel it.

      Dreams like this frighten me because while I lived with my abuser I got pretty good at buying in to the fantasy that everything would somehow turn out okay. Now I’m out, I’ve got to de-programme myself out of that protective mechanism.


      • Yes, the power of positive thinking is a crazy thing when it comes to wanting some(thing)one to change. So glad you found a way out. The de-programming will take time–but trust that it will happen 🙂


  2. I had this exact thing happen to me yesterday. So far, I’ve been having horrible dreams. And then, I had a dream where everything was good and sweet. It was what I had hoped for things to be.

    I broke down that evening. And told my mother about it. I even said, I’d rather have the bad dreams than the good ones. They are so much worse.


Have your voice heard, here! (Anonymous comments accepted)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s