**trigger warning – abusive relationship and sexual stuff**

I suppose it was inevitable after the post I wrote last night that I was going to have nightmares. I was scared and on edge. I had memories haunting me.

I spoke to S on the phone before I went to sleep, and it made me feel a bit better. It made me feel safer, and after putting my phone on charge, I snuggled up in my duvet with my heffalump. (Yes I still sleep with a cuddly toy! *embarrassed face*)

For some reason a memory of things with the ex came into my mind last night. We had been arguing, I can’t remember what about. As usual I was apologising. He picked up the bread knife and started cutting his arm with it. I’m scared of blood, maybe this is why I’m even more scared of blood. He scratched him arm over and over with the knife so it was bleeding. He said that’s what I’ve done to him. I was scared.

I can feel myself dissociating as I’m typing this. Each memory seems to link to another. Him threatening to overdose on paracetamol. Me screaming and crying and begging him not to. It was all my fault he said.

I suppose this is what is going to happen. In CBT we are working through traumatic memories, and it’s bound to remind me of more. Of things that I had forgotten. This is why it’s going to get harder before it gets easier.

Last night apparently I screamed twice. About half an hour apart. I woke up scared, but couldn’t remember why, or what had caused it. I don’t remember screaming – like last time I was asleep.

Then I went back to sleep and had more nightmares. They seemed to follow me all night. I don’t feel rested. I feel exhausted and scared. It’s nearly 12pm and I’ve only just got up. I have to be somewhere at 1, I need to get ready, need to get going. I have to be ok.

I can’t remember all the details, I never do with nightmares. I can remember being with the ex. Him being with someone else and me begging him to come back to me. I told him he could do anything he wanted with me. He made me suck his penis, forcing me to go deeper so I was gagging. We had sex and as I was in pain, he carried on. I felt used, embarrassed, hurt. But I told him he could do what he wanted, and he did. So he didn’t do anything wrong, right?

And all this leads me back to my feelings of shame around sex. When I was with the ex I didn’t even seem to realise that I didn’t have to do sexual stuff whenever he wanted. It was like I thought it was his right. I used to use sex to solve arguments, anytime he was angry I’d “make it up to him”. And I didn’t know this wasn’t a normal relationship. I feel so stupid.

I just want to hide. I feel so sick, so ashamed, so scared.

I just want all of these thoughts and memories to stop.

16 thoughts on “Nightmares

  1. Bourbon says:

    I’m sorry you had such an awful night. What that man put you through is so awful. He did plenty wrong because he manipulated you so that you felt you had to let him do whatever he wanted to keep him happy so that he wouldn’t hurt himself or try to kill himself. I wish I could sit with you today and wrap a blanket around you so that you can hide, whilst gently telling you that you aren’t the one that needs to hide, or be ashamed. You haven’t done anything wrong. I hope your day goes okay xxx

  2. Juliet says:

    It wasn’t your fault. He did wrong things. You never deserved being treated like that.
    As Bourbon already says: he manipulated you.
    I’m sorry you’re having those nightmares and I’m sorry you’re hurting like that.
    Take care… thinking of you and sending you safe, warm hugs xoxo

  3. keelyellenmarie says:

    “When I was with the ex I didn’t even seem to realise that I didn’t have to do sexual stuff whenever he wanted. It was like I thought it was his right. I used to use sex to solve arguments, anytime he was angry I’d “make it up to him”. And I didn’t know this wasn’t a normal relationship. I feel so stupid.”

    Hon, you aren’t alone. I did the same thing with my awful ex. I also feel ashamed. We shouldn’t though–it was them. They were the ones in the wrong. We were only guilty of not valuing ourselves highly enough, and I’m learning to be better and I’m sure you are too. *hugs*

  4. behindthemaskofabuse says:

    Oh Ellie it wasn’t your fault. He abused you, manipulated you, raped you, and in every way tortured you, you only did what you could to survive. He is a criminal. I’m so very sorry all this happened to you and I’m sorry it’s invading your dreams.

    Therapy often does get worse before it gets better. Let your therapist know, what’s going on, so she can help you with working in small doses. Sending love your way. xo

    • anxiouselephant says:

      Thanks Zoe. I will speak to A about it on Monday. I don’t think it is rape because I didn’t say no, but he was very manipulative and even though I still blame myself I am coming to see that he did treat me badly. xxx

      • Natalya says:

        Just because you didn’t say no doesn’t mean he didn’t coerce you into the sex, thus I agree with Zoe that it was rape. But I don’t want to call it that if it upsets you unnecessarily. It absolutely wasn’t your fault though. He totally manipulated you and you merely did whatever you knew how to do to keep him from being violent. I would begin with acknowledging you are NOT to blame, did nothing wrong and were the victim in the relationship, even if he made you believe otherwise. Also, you aren’t stupid. You didn’t realize you had the RIGHT to say no to sex or manage the arguments differently. When we know better we do better, right?

      • anxiouselephant says:

        Thanks Natalya. It is hard to think about like that, but I guess in time I will hopefully be able to come to terms with it. Definitely wouldn’t allow this situation to happen again, now I know that it wasn’t ok. xx

      • Natalya says:

        That’s good. Learning we have rights can be hard in certain areas. I struggle with feeling I have the right to say or do certain things but as long as we’re aware of it, we’re getting healthier. Hope you were able to get a better sleep last night.

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