Are dreams of repeating abuse that happend as a child normal?

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  1. peeples profile image95
    peeplesposted 6 years ago

    Are dreams of repeating abuse that happend as a child normal?

    I have always had nightmares but this week I dreamed I was the abuser. I am very freaked out. I would never think of hurting one of my children but I am seriously freaked out.  I see where others dream of the abuse that DID happen but I find nothing online about dreaming you became the abuser. Is this a normal thing for survivors to go through?

  2. Just Ask Susan profile image92
    Just Ask Susanposted 6 years ago

    I did a search and this is what I found...If you dream of being the abuser, then you are venting your frustration and rage at feeling out of control. Your subconscious mind may be cautioning you to take responsibility for your feelings and actions and treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Dreams of abuse also reflect the way you treat yourself. Found it here:
    Hope this helps.

  3. krillco profile image94
    krillcoposted 6 years ago

    Yes, it's normal; it's your brain's way of processing and understanding the abuse. It does not mean that you will be an abuser or actually do those things in your dreams. You may benefit from treatment, or if you cannot find adequate treatment, you might look up a workbook I wrote some time ago, and you can find at

  4. Brandon E Newman profile image69
    Brandon E Newmanposted 6 years ago

    In my opinion, nightmares are the most the most wonderful type of dreams. Happy idyllic fantasy type dreams leave me sad and depressed when I awaken and realize that the feeling of true happiness was only a dream and something that I can not ever truly have. When nightmares occur, and I am awakened by unimaginable horror- I wake into a world of beauty, and thankfulness. Not a thing I can imagine can elate me as a nightmare.

    Look at it like this- Dreams are occurrences that are as enigmatic as the meaning of life itself. They are usually unremembered, as the brain somehow runs them in a volatile memory mode, or perhaps when dreaming, we are actually online with another person's memory, and that's why they disappear from our own.

    Science says that dreams are only recalled if the dreamer is aroused from sleep during the experience. REM sleep happens early in the cycle of sleep, then the brain goes inactive for hours, and dreams that occurred during REM, have been forgotten by then.

    You must have been horrified to wake during a dream, or you were using the snooze button.

    1. Brandon E Newman profile image69
      Brandon E Newmanposted 6 years agoin reply to this
    2. peeples profile image95
      peeplesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Good site, thanks!

  5. nightwork4 profile image59
    nightwork4posted 6 years ago

    i think what is happening is that you are at a new stage in your recovery. your mind is now fighting back against what you went through when you were young and it is being forceful instead of being dominated. i'm betting that the next step will be the end of all the nightmares.

  6. Jewels profile image85
    Jewelsposted 6 years ago

    The interpretation of your experience is personal to you and there are several angles you could take on what is happening.  Being the abuser could be a way of showing you that you can be more empowered, the predator instead of the victim. Your strength for overcoming your very difficult abusive experiences says to me that you are quite strong.  It takes a strong person to not be a victim.

    If you were to take the line of reincarnation - there is the saying that we are the abused and abuser, the murderer and murdered, the rich man and the pauper - etc.

    Because of your childhood traumas it is likely there are memories and experiences that are not resolved and where there is a charge or reaction to those memories, they can come up in dreams.  Not all dreams are to do with emotional issues, but some are.  It is normal that the unresolved traumas is what dictates our responses and reactions in daily life.  Most are not conscious of having masked the trauma with coping traits.  I'm sure you know this.

    I read your profile and it feels you have overcome a lot.  I'd look at the sense of feeling empowered and see where that takes you.  Rule of thumb with dreams - What is it trying to tell you?  and How does it make you feel?  The experience is fine, certainly not abnormal

  7. kcsummers profile image65
    kcsummersposted 6 years ago

    This is a very complicated issue. By definition, reliving a past traumatic event, in any form (as the victim or abuser) is a symptom of post traumatic stress syndrome. Of course, if you were abused as a child, you certainly don't need me to tell you that.

    On the other hand, with nightmares, I am a fan of the Freudian definition - that nightmares are the unconscious want for self-punishment. (Remember, you know your greatest fears, and only you can bring them into your dreams.) Or, simply put, something is weighing on your conscious right now: guilt, regret, a big decision you're wresting with. Try to figure out what your wrestling with and the dreams will stop.

    (Of course, I am by no means a trained therapist, just a nurse and an adult child of abuse and an alcoholic.)

  8. Lisa HW profile image65
    Lisa HWposted 6 years ago

    I'm not an expert on dreams at all, but I'm very familiar with how my own dreams work.  I can see how they work, and it's easy enough for me to figure out where any of them come from.  I don't know if that's because I'm relatively free of "underlying issues" because I just kind of deal with things head on.  (My dreams were a little more complicated when I did have "issues" associated with a messy situation surrounded my mother's death).  Anyway...

    A whole lot of my own dreams come from nothing more "deep and meaningful" than my having had some thought or heard or seen something within recent days that had a momentary impact on me.  The impact may have been something I barely noticed, but once I have the dream I recall having had at least some fleeting impact with regard to whatever the minor incident/thought was.  I could hear something on the news, see something/someone in a store, make a remark to someone in conversation, whatever...    For that fleeting moment I might have some quick thought.  I've never dreamed what you did, but if I did it would probably come from something like this:  Say, I heard something on the news about a mother who abused her child.  For a quick moment I might think/say, "If I ever had the urge to hurt my child I'd leave."  Maybe in the same week I'd have a conversation with someone about worrying that my divorce hurt my children   Then maybe in that same few days I might see someone doing something on TV. 

    What happens with me is that my dreams will take all those fleeting moments of "noticing" (impact) and maybe having a quick thought/response that was equally fleeting; mix them up, and come out in the form of a "story" (or scenario). 

    I can see how if you have abuse in your background it might be lurking in your subconscious, waiting to show up in some way in a dream; but I'd think there's also the chance your dreams could either have come from something like I've described and/or something like I've described combined with your background.

    An example that I can see being a possibility might be that you heard, or talked about, the idea that formerly abused kids sometimes grow up to be abusers.  A buried (or open) concern about that, and maybe that mixed in with other things that have gone on in your recent day-to-day life, could (I'd think) contribute to that kind of dream.

    Basically, what I've seen happen pretty much all the time, is that those quickie, fleeting, images/thoughts of recent days seem to be "put in one container, shaken up, sometimes attached to a concern I have, and then dumped out in the form of a story/scenario.


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