One of the consequences of being with a narcissist is having nightmares. As a matter of fact, that’s part of having PTSD in many cases. One way or another, if you ask someone who has been abused by his or her partner, they may tell you that they had nightmares and very bad dreams frequently.
Speaking for myself, I stopped having bad dreams and nightmares around the time when I realized that it wasn’t me and that my husband was a narcissist. Unfortunately, I had a bad dream the other night after a very long time of not having one, at least not related to what he has put me through. The bad dreams I may have now are related to our 2-year old daughter since we’re going through the divorce, he wants sole custody, and he’s been doing everything in his power to prove me an unfit mother and take her away from me.
But not the one dream from the other night. That one was clearly about narcissism. I was dreaming that I was being accosted by a man and that I couldn’t get away. He would follow me everywhere and not let go of my hand. I kept on saying that I needed to go in the other direction he was taking me because my daughter was there and I wanted to go back to her. But he kept dragging me in opposite direction and, in my dream, I eventually started to try to please him and do what he wanted, even when I wanted to go to my daughter, in an effort that he might get distracted and I could eventually get away and back to my daughter. And that’s when I woke up with a very uneasy feeling.
Sounds familiar? I guess I’m either still under my husband’s influence on me, or I have a strong desire of never, ever going back to such type of relationship that feels that I’m drowning and can’t do what I want or need to do for myself and those I love and hold dear.
One recurrent dream that I used to have was me being lost and despaired at some unknown town. All of a sudden, I would see a crowd of runners coming. My husband would be amongst them. I would call out his name, but he would keep running. I would try to run after him, but I would lose sight of the group. (In case you were wondering, he used to be a distance runner.)
Another dream I used to have was of us going backpacking and ending up in a big city. He would start walking faster and faster and I would then lose him in a crowd of people coming out of the underground. I would then try to find my cell phone, but it would not work in that country. I would then remember that his cell phone did work over there. I would then set off to find a payphone. I would frantically look for one and, once I would succeed, I would realize I had no local money or tokens. Somehow I would manage to place the call, usually because a good Samaritan would help me. And, like it always happened in real life, my husband would not pick up the call and let it go to voice-mail.
When we sleep, our consciousness is not there to keep in check feelings and the subconscious. Therefore, all those feelings we’ve been repressing during our wake hours are released. And for me, it was always the feeling that he wasn’t listening to me, my needs, my dreams, my goals, my expectations, nothing. It was always him first. He would only pay attention to me if there was something in it for him.
The worst nightmare that I would have several nights a week was that of having a horrible feeling that someone was standing next to me while sleeping, watching me, observing me. This presence was so strong that I would wake up in panic, sometimes even screaming. I would be so sure that someone was standing there. It was a horrible feeling that even to this day makes the hair in the back of my neck stand up.
I stopped having the “man standing by my side while sleeping” dream when I moved out of the master bedroom and into our daughter’s room. I feel at peace in there. I somehow feel that I’m protected there by both our Guardian Angels. That thought comforts me in a way that I have not felt comforted in a very long time.
It’s been almost 6 months since I put an inflatable mattress in her bedroom and started sharing the night with her. The day I changed bedrooms it felt like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
When I was emptying one of the two closets in my daughter’s bedroom in order to move my clothes and things in there, I felt that I was regaining some control and independence. My husband was looking at me with this strange look in his face, as if not wanting to believe that I was moving out of the master bedroom; like how I dared challenge him and do something without his permission. I was kind of laughing to myself, thinking that even when he was not giving a single indication that I could stay in the master bedroom, I was not going to let him decide not even that for me. Since he was forcing me to stay under the same roof until the divorce is finalized, I was going to do it under my own terms. And to be honest, I have no idea what he was expecting: That I would continue to share the bed with him after he had lied to me and I had been served divorce papers and him not even mentioning a word to those effects, not before or after? Then he was delusional. And I was going to go on regaining control of my life and away from him, like it or not.
You see, narcissists don’t see other people as individuals. They see them as a possession, as an extension of themselves, as something or someone to control. Well, good luck with that, my narc
hole husband. I am done with you. And I promise you that I will do everything in my power to raise our daughter right so she can also stand up to your schemes and controlling efforts when the time comes. Because I’m sure you’re not going to spare her from narc treatment. How could you? You’re incapable of love, not even for yourself. You’ll never find happiness. You’ll never achieve anything. Most importantly, the time will come when you will reap what you sow and I’ll be out in the world pursuing dreams and not living a nightmare anymore.