Just a dream: the subconscious doesn’t forget

One night last week, I awoke from a very real dream.  It was not horrible or frightening.  In fact, it was quite ordinary.  It was a very accurate depiction of the everyday exchanges that commonly occurred in what was once my life.  As dreams go, things were slightly out of place and somewhat strange, but I understood.

In the dream, it was a crisp October evening.  I was dressed in jeans and a sweater.  He was dressed in navy blue dress pants and a white shirt.  The accoutrements were missing from the shirt, as they often were in reality.  Why we were together, as he came from work, I have no idea.

I was younger in the dream, the age I was the day we met, but he was his current age.  We were at the library in the town where I grew up.  It was the library from my Story Time days and evening high school study groups, but it looked as it did then, not now .  I went upstairs to gather a few books.  He went downstairs to read magazines.  We agreed to meet at the front doors at 7:00pm, allowing an hour of free time.  At about seven o’clock, I approached the large stained glass doors.  I waited….and waited.

Familiar territory:  the land of insignificance and blame 

Just before 7:30, I began my descent down the wide stone staircase in pursuit of a reason for the delay.  I passed the children’s section, and headed to the room that housed the magazines.  I was irritated that I had been kept waiting, but was willing to hear his explanation.  Maybe he lost track of time.  I tried to remain calm, but my insides were churning, knowing that blatant disregard was responsible for my wait and that my experience would remain void of explanation, apology, or any decent form of  acknowledgement.

There he was.  Sitting as if he had all the time in the world and was the only one who mattered, he casually thumbed through one of many magazines he had selected.  I asked if he knew what time it was.  He nodded in the affirmative, with his eyes glued to the periodical.  No eye contact.  I asked if he remembered that we were to re-connect at 7:00.  Again, an almost undetectable shrug in the affirmative.

When I realized that he knew of the plan and had knowingly disregarded all that was supposed to be, I felt my breathing quicken.  Sensing my upset, he slammed the magazine down, glared into my eyes, and blamed me for not coming to him sooner.  The fact that he did not follow through with the plan he initiated, under the terms he agreed to, now became “my fault.”

Glimpses of the slipping mask 

Angrily, he stood up.  Glancing about, checking to insure that no one was nearby to witness his rage, he quietly, but forcefully pushed the chair in under the table.  He directed me to move out, and through gritting teeth snarled, “Another night, ruined by Linda.  Are you happy now, huh, huh?”  I remained silent while in the library, but tears welled in my eyes.  I felt alone.  As I passed the fireplace, its warmth, coupled with the emotional storm brewing within, left me feeling scorched.

I felt as though I were walking through a spinning tunnel where only I existed.  Everything was surreal.  The sounds were muffled as I made my way to the doors, with the exception of the loud thumping sound of the date stamp machine (the library was not yet electronic.)  Once outside, the rushing river and crisp fall scent brought me back.  The fallen leaves crunched beneath my feet, as I made my way to the car.  I blocked everything and everyone from my existence, until I slid into the cold, gray leather seats of the “work car,” the one that was ok to leave out in the elements for several days.

The quest for understanding and justice 

Then, it began.  My search for sense amongst madness began.  “Why did you blame me for that?  I was waiting for you.  How did I ruin the night?  I didn’t want to ruin the night.  It was time to go.  What did I do?  What should I have done?”   The insane “hamster on the wheel” feeling reigned supreme.  I was surfing on a rotating sit and spin.  This was the “push-pull” of what used to be.

I kept talking and asking.  I, so badly, wanted an explanation and understanding.  I also wanted things to be ok.  My questions met with silence followed by rage at “my behavior.”  I think by now I was crying, confused by the state of the goings on, while he had nothing to offer but misdirected anger.  I was sitting next to complete emptiness, caught in a spinning vortex of rage.

Although younger in the dream than in reality, my soul felt experienced.  I felt abused and beaten from years of things starting out normal and morphing into disasters.  I was exhausted from replaying seemingly benign occurrences repeatedly in my mind, trying to figure out where I went wrong.

We rounded the corner from the library.  As we crossed the train tracks and headed for the village’s downtown, he exploded.  “You are such a…(insert mean, vulgar, and insulting expletive.”)  He raised his hand to me, with his accusing index finger in my face, a breath shy of grazing my eyes.

Back to reality 

With that I awoke.  At first, I was shocked and a little upset.  How had I allowed this person to enter my dreams?  Then, I settled in, once again, content.  I NEVER have to live through scenarios such as these again.  Not with him or anyone else.  The understanding set me free, regardless of any residual nonsense that may continue.

Words and blame must come to mean nothing.  We must accept that their belief systems and the “codes” that they live by are not only flawed, but perverse.  We must no longer seek explanations for things we did not do – from anyone – including those they have lied to us about.  Time will tell those tales.

Although, I don’t really need to re-live a snap shots of the craziness, I ultimately saw it as a positive reminder of the journey.  Was the dream symbolic?  Perhaps.  Maybe there is reason behind my presence on the upper level, while he headed to the basement.  Maybe it’s nothing more than my preference for books over magazines.  I’m going to try not to read more into this than necessary.  The simple truth is that this experience, good or bad, is part of me.  To expect that this would never surface would be unhealthy.  Dreams help us do the work our conscious minds sometimes cannot and can help us bring us order and peace.  When an occasional dream, replaces the living nightmare, we can’t go wrong!





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75 Comments on "Just a dream: the subconscious doesn’t forget"

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Linda, thank you SO much for this article – I needed to read this at this point.

As I’m typing, I literally have tears starting in my eyes – I want desperately to begin having those types of dreams that “mean something” by way of my personal recovery. I’ve had a series of nightmares, disturbing content, and discomfort, and I can’t really say that any of them left me with any “understanding” of my recovery.

Sharing your recovery gives me hope and a true belief that a day will come when I actually “feel” as if I’m finally recovering. Thank you, thank you.

Brightest blessings

Thanks for a good article, Linda…I agree that we dont’ always know why a particular dream happens on a particular day, and I’ve had my share of dreams about my situation…some that were like yours, and others that were more “symbolic” and had a repetitious “theme” about them until I finally got what the “theme” meant.

In those dreams I always had a cart or a wagon hooked to my oxen or my horse and I would come upon something stranded or helpless and I would leave the wagon or cart to go and rescue the poor helpless thing (puppies, old ladies, baby chicks, baby pigs) and while I was rescuing the helpless things, the horse or oxen pulling my cart would wander off and the cart would wreck and over turn.

Boy! Talk about symbols that were clear and easy to read. I discussed these dreams and the “theme” that seemed to recur about my own enabling others, taking care of others while my own “wagon” (READ: Life) WRECKED! From that day forward I started changing myself and my responses to “rescuing.”

If your dream did nothing but again reassure you that YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO TOLERATE THAT KIND OF BEHAVIOR, THAT YOU **WILL NOT** TOLERATE THAT KIND OF BEHAVIOR! Then it was worth it!

Once I “got it” –the message from my subconscious–the dreams stopped.

Hi Linda,

Thank you for the article. I am in recovery from my spath. I still wavier from time to time about is he truly a spath. All I can say is thank you Donna for this website. I have found so many answers about spaths and about why I feel the way I do. So I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing their story.

Linda, may I comment on your dream? Or would you prefer to leave it in the realm of “let it go, it’s not important anyway”?

Linda, thanks so much for sharing your dream. Like you I try not to read to much into them, but believe they serve a purpose, it is the inner self trying to communicate, and they sometimes cut through resistance in our “awake” state, and inform us of deeper realities.

It so happens that I awoke this morning from a dream in full panic mode. My heart was palpitating wildly and I had serious chest pain, tightness in my throat and a full on sense of doom. So much so that I thought about going to emerge because at my age, with high BP it could be a heart attack coming on and that is what it felt like. I called work at great peril to take a few hours to recover.

The dream was random, but illuminating. He was in it. He was handsome and gorgeous like in the beginning. Without going into all the bizarre details, it centered around a young blind child, with the body of a newborn, but walking and talking coming to me for help. I took him with me and set out to find the place that would shelter him. I got instructions on where to take him.

Then I am very high up on a sailing craft, at the bow, lying motionless, with nothing to prevent me from slipping over the bow. The boat is rocking gently.( I am afraid of heights and not a swimmer) He is standing in front of me, with his back to me, between me and the safety of the cabin.

The water below me is crystal clear and turquoise, I know it is really deep, and would protect my fall, but it looks only 2 feet deep because I can see the bottom. I am looking for the place to take the child, but see only a spit of land with a big grey institution on it. Not a safe haven. To my left I see an island city. I know where I need to go.

Finally I tell him to go away and he complies.He goes away.

I awake in full blown doom and panic. But grateful that it was just a dream, grateful that my children are grown and standing tall, grateful that he is long gone. (4 years) Grateful that I am alone in my own bed, under my own roof, as tenuous at it may sometimes feel.

Truth be told, as much as he has fought to destroy me, during and after, he has done it remotely, with cunning and lawyers and malice and not a shred of caring for our shared life or children or history. Like with a remote control.

Maybe the dream was telling me that slipping off the bow into the waters would not be my worst fate, or that finding the place to shelter the child was really the most important mission.

I don’t know who the child represented. But the child was young and innocent and blind, but knew enough to find me, knew I would help.

Peace and love, A

Zachman, welcome to LF and never waiver….it really doesn’t matter if he fits 9 of 10 criteria for psychopath or only 3 of 10, or only 1 of ten if he is TOXIC, mean, nasty, dishonest…what difference does it make if he is “diagnosable” or not?

If a person is harmful to you emotionally, financially or physically, you do not need them in your life.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and will give you strengt to stop your waivering. Keep on reading and learning! It will get better and easier, I promise! again, welcome. God bless.

Okay, Linda.
You and your x visit a library together. A library is a place where you go to do research, or learn something, or maybe just to entertain yourself, but, either way, you go there together, but then, split up, and go your seperate ways, with an agreement to meet up, at an agreed upon time, later.
You went upstairs, and gathered books. This “upstairs” signifies an intellectual approach…you are in the rational world…the world of logic, and order. You are probably doing research, or garnering information.
He, on the other hand, goes under-ground. He goes to, da-base-ment…..get it? Does it resonate with you?
You were waiting for him at the agreed upon time, at the stained glass windows, ( a symbol for the spiritual, but, also, a symbol of seeing the world through rose colored glasses) He makes you wait. You finally go to da-basement to find him, and are met with the question, “why didn’t you come sooner?”
Am I making myself clear?
You were on entirely different levels in your relationship, and having any kind of a relationship with him was always a lowering of your standards, and a debasement.
De-basing yourself to be with him was a good thing, wasn’t it? What did you do wrong…wasn’t that what you were supposed to do? Get my point? I think your dream is bringing to light the very nature of our dillemna….just how much of ourselves are we willing to sacrifice?

Wow, kim!
Awesome interpretation.
Sometimes dreams have several layers of meanings. The subconscious is so powerful. It knows so much more than we know.

Kim Frederick – awesome interpretation, really.

I believe that dreams have a few purposes, and one of them is to sort out current and past issues through symbolism. Sometimes, a dream is just nonsense. But, often, it is the only medium through which our subconscious can “talk” to us.

Linda, thanks so much for posting your dream. I think that it speaks volumes on symbolism, alone.

Brightest blessings

🙂 Thanks. I love interpreting symbolism. It’s my calling.

i dream every night and they are never good dreams, does anyone ever have good dreams?

Hens, I don’t know how a dream (for me, anyway) would be described as “good.” I haven’t had “good” dreams for a long, long, long time. Well, that’s not exactly true. I’ve had dreams that “felt” good, but they’re very few and far between. Most of my dreams are unsettling, disturbing, and discomforting, and they have been for about 5 years, I guess. Odd, that. That’s approximately when my money ran out and the discard began.

Subconscious DOES work to “talk” to the cognitive Self, doesn’t it? Wow…..I just now (this very second) realized this.

Hens, why are your dreams “never good?” Not prying, just asking….

Brightest sleepy blessings

Hens, EVERYONE dreams every night unless something is very wrong with you…most people just don’t remember them.

The body sleeps in “stages” that start out “stage 1” which is that stage you are in when you are jussssst “drifting off”…..on down, and during the night you move from the lightest stage to the deepest stages and then you reverse, 1,23,3,4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, etc like that like a wave ….during the stage in which you are DREAMING the part of your brain that REMEMBERS is turned off unless you are awakened during or at the end of thhe dream.

Like for example say the alarm goes off and wakes you up while you are dreaming and you will get up and think “wow, tat was the craziest dream.” and unless you stop and think about the dream the details will evaporate like early morning fog when the sun comes up. However, if you think about the dream, you can start to remember more details.

Sometimes when we have UNPLEASANT DREAMS they disturb us enough that we wake up and therefore we remember them, so it seems like we have more “bad dreams” versus good ones, because we don’t wake up after the good ones and they are not remembered because of tat.

One of the things that WORKS (and I swear to you, Hens that this does work!) is before you go to sleep, you lie there with your head on your pillow and you say to yourself, “tonight I will have happy dreams” and just keep repeating that like a mantra until you drift off…

I think many of the nightmares though show us that we still have work to do, or the “symbolic” or “dreams with a theme” like I was having that were telling me I was ENABLING that I had been doing that my entire life….and my subconscious knew it and was trying to tell my conscious mind…or maybe it was my conscious mind knew and was trying to tell my subconscious mind, but the point is that it was working out a problem I had….and one night I was having (in a dream) a problem wit egg donor, this was an actual problem I had had with her back when Patrick was 15 and she had let him, come to live with her against my will when he got into problems and I said to my step dad who was in the dream “I’d sue her if I had the money but I can’t get it” and he said to me “you never asked me for the money” and I KNEW THEN AND THERE IN THAT DREAM that he had been with me on the problems with Patrick, but I NEVER ASKED HIM….OR FOR THE MONEY to sue egg donor.

So sometimes even unpleasant dreams can ANSWER important questions for us. Looking back now…I realize that daddy knew all along what patrick was, and though when egg donor and I were both trying to “save” him, he sat back because he knew we wouldn’t have listened, but right before he died…he read a letter from Patrick (that I had asked Patrick to write him) and made a SPITTING SOUND and threw the letter to the ground–HE KNEW—and if I had been smart enough to turn to him for support, he would have been there for me even back when Patrick was 15, but I didn’t go to him for that support.

The dream answered the questions though, and gave me some peace, so Hens don’t be afraid of your dreams or even dread them, but just say “they will be positive” or “they will answer my questions” or whatever you want to happen…and it will! (((hugs)))

OxD, I appreciate the “good dreams” suggestion! I’m going to give that a try, tonight!

Oddly, I used to have intense dreams when I was riding dressage. There would be some riding execution that I just “didn’t get,” and I would be frustrated. I would have dreams where my seat was working with hands and legs, and I would actually execute the command in my dream. The next day, I would go saddle up and – WHAMMO! I could perform the command as if I’d never had an issue with it!

So, this brings forth a very important thing for me to practice: I have the ability to change even the subconscious direction. Which goes on to the “law of attraction.” If I put forth positive energy to change my dreams from dark and foreboding to bright and positive, this should follow in waking life.

Wow….thanks, OxD!

Brightest blessings!

Here is a link to some medical information about DREAMS that I think is interesting it is from a medical information site I belong to, you may ave to “sign up” to open the link, but it is a safe site.


Truthspeak,, there is a lot about the “law of attraction” that is valid I think, and there are also parts of it that are DELUSIONAL I also think. (Just MHO) I do think that we must have positive thougths in order to get some positive results, but at the same time I do not think that just by WISHING we are going to accomplish some things. I know for a fact that we have some AWESOME control over our bodies and our minds….with “self hypnosis” people can have pain free labors, can raise and lower blood pressure, increase or decrease the heart rate, and with training and practice accomplish some things that seem “magical”

Influencing our bodies by stress management and relaxation exercises (bio-feed back if you will) we can do things we didn’t think we could.

In fact, right now I am undergoing some physical therapy with bio feed back where I look at a computer screen to tell if I am making certain muscle groups work or not, and am learning to identify certain muscles and contract them. Muscles that I didn’t even know I had much less that I could “pick them out” and contract them without others around them contracting and actually keeping those muscles from contracting the way they should.


The “telling yourself you will have positive dreams” works if you believe it will, but if you dont’ believe it will it won’t.

For years nurses and wholistic healers knew that you could do “magic” and make warts disappear, and it WORKED even though warts are caused by viruses. Doctors thought it was carp, but…BUT they finally did some legitimate research and WA LA! There is a psychological component to wart. For years I had gotten warts to disappear off of children (who still believed in magic) by rubbing a penny on it and telling them that they had to go home and bury the penny in some secret spot and that in a week or 10 days their wart would disappear, and it WORKED.

But they had to believe….so what I did with adult patients was tell them to put DUCT TAPE on the wart to “shut out the air” and the wart would disappear…and that worked too. Was less painful than freezing them off and left no scar. The trick again was that the patient had to BELIEVE. For those that wouldn’t believe, we froze them off. LOL

So yes, the positive thinking about the dreams does work.

Oh, and I have enough “control” that I can raise the temperature in the palm of my hand, slow my heart rate to below 40 and take my BP down to very low…with relaxation, and I can not tell you “how” I do it except by concentrating and thinking about it going down….with this muscle therapy Ii am doing it is “difficult” because I am only now after several sessions learning to “feel” those muscles…separate from other muscle groups. To become AWARE of those individual muscles.

I had been having very painful charlie-horse spasms in these muscles so now I am having to identify and learn to “work” them to strengthen them…and have not had any charlie horses since I started to “get it” about feeling them and exercising them.

It is like the EMDR therapy for PTSD…I can not tell you how it works, but it DOES work for separating the FEELINGS from the IMAGES in my mind about the air craft crash, as well as other traumatic events. So, whatever works is fine with me.

You asked ”why are your dreams never good” I can not answer that here, but I think I know why.
It was a dream that made me realize I was gay. I was about 11. One of the things I loved as a kid was roller skating at the rural skating rink. There was this guy, prolly about 16, he was always so nice to me. Well one night everybody did a line skate, where you hold hands. Well he held my hand, and when he reached for my hand I fell in love.
So that nite I had a dream where he was holding me gently in his arms, I woke up in a panic and realized I was a homo and if anyone knew they would kill me…my life has kinda been like that..not being true thyne own self..
Ox I have never been a good sleeper, when I was a kid I would fight sleep so I wouldnt dream.

there are layers to the truth.
I couldn’t sleep while I was with the spath. I could take an ambien or lunesta and chase it with wine but still stay up all night, clean the entire house and not remember having done it (it was cool, like having elves). After I left him I learned that he used date rape drugs on people. Recently I found an empty bottle. The subconscious knows when we are in danger.

Before the spath, I had jumped out of a 2 story window, just to do it. When I was with the spath, I couldn’t be 4 feet off the ground. He liked to kill people by making them fall from high places, but I didn’t know it, intellectually.

Examine all the facts and possibilities, you were in much more danger than just from being gay. You were a vulnerable child with a mother who couldn’t be trusted.

I fight sleep still. once, I went to a sleep seminar. I met a woman: skinny, stressed, weary-looking. She said, “it’s like I fight to stay awake. I don’t understand why I can’t sleep.” Now I know that she had a spath in her life.


Ya know Sky, I had a shrink that told me, ”everybody has mother issue’s”, he didn’t have a clue. nite nite

g’nite hens.


Very, very interesting. Do you know that I never slept a wink when I stayed the night with spath? It was only about six times, but I would lay there wide awake ALL night and we had to get up and go to work the next day. It was crazy. I was a zombie. Now I know why! But I am sure he was not going to kill me or anything like that so why couldn’t I sleep? What was my subconscious fearing?? I would love to figure that one out. Maybe it was the fear of him dumping me? Because I KNOW I was fearing that.

OxD, I’m so glad that your PT is going well and that you’re recovering from your surgery. And, I remember when I was riding dressage that “independent muscle movement” was so important. It’s a valuable technique that I’ve lost over the years, dammit.

I definitely believe that we don’t know everything about everything – some things occur that defy explanation. And, faith or “belief” that something will work is half the battle.

Hens, you’re about my age, I reckon, and it must have been a very, very difficult time for you to grow up knowing that you were gay. Today, sexuality isn’t any big deal (I guess), but I remember kids being SO cruel to boys and girls that they believed were “homos.” I”ve never cared about another person’s sexual orientation, at all, and I don’t understand why people are treated so badly.

Start having “good” dreams, Hens. Have positive and uplifting daydreams if your sleeping dreams aren’t. You deserve “good dreams.”

Skylar & Louise – after I discovered what the exspath was interested in, I couldn’t stand being in the same ROOM with him, much less a bed. He slept like a tired lamb, and I lay awake trying to keep my body from touching his, all night. It became so horrible that I told him that I wanted him to sleep in another room if he was going to remain in the house. He said that he would make arrangements, and never took a step. I could not sleep and I was in the middle of a horrible flare – rest was an imperative, and he just dismissed my personal discomfort (physical AND emotional).

The subconscious “knows” oh-so-much more than the waking self does. Instincts. And, I’ve taught myself to ignore my instincts throughout my lifetime. I’m just beginning to re-learn their value and their speech.

Brightest blessings

skylar and Truthspeak:

Well, mine didn’t sleep either. Because I was awake, I could also tell that he was awake…haha. He didn’t stay awake all night…he did sleep some, but not like a lamb. I think he is tormented. Plus, he’s an alcoholic and their sleep patterns get messed up due to the alcohol. I remember trying to figure out at the time why I could NOT sleep when I was with him. Every single time I would lay there wide awake the entire night and I don’t do that normally. I remember one time when we woke up the next day he asked me if I had slept and I said no and he said, “You are going to be destroyed”…meaning of course, I was going to be a zombie all day after not sleeping all night, but I think he didn’t sleep much either and he realized that I was awake, too…I think that is why he asked me if I had slept. Maybe he was trying to see if I was going to lie? Anyway, I would love to hear skylar’s perspective on why I couldn’t sleep. Any ideas other than the fear of “something?”

Edit: At the time, I chalked up not being able to sleep to me just being so excited, so euphoric about being in this relationship. Is that a possibility?

Louise, it could have been a combination of many things, including the euphoria. I didn’t sleep much when I was first living with the exspath, but he slept like the dead.

Odd, isn’t it?

I don’t claim to be an expert on “sleep problems” by any stretch of the imagination, however I started learning more about sleep problems due to my sleep apnea…learning about sleep cycles at different ages (we sleep less and less deeply as we get older) and about the body’s need for thhe different STAGES of sleep from light sleep to REM to deep sleep.

Lack of sleep is used as TORTURE in prisoner of war camps…and, it can make you crazy as bat shiat! SLEEP is healing. PTSD can make you afraid to go to sleep because of the fear of dreaming uncontrolably.

I used to sleep on the couch instead of go to bed with my husband, he thought it was because of HIS snoring (this is before HE was diagnosed with sleep apnea and got a machine) but it was because INSTINCTIVELY I knew I was more comfortable and slept better (and didn’t smother for lack of air) because I slept on my SIDE on the couch instead of turning on my back. I have trained myself to sleep ONLY on my side even though I have a CPAP machine which I FAITHFULLY use EVERY night or even if I take a nap.

It is important that we get sleep, both for our minds and our bodies to heal. If you snore, feel tired in the daytime, drop off to sleep, if you are over weight or have a thick neck and all of the above, get yourself checked and if it turns out you have apnea (obstructive sleep apnea) use the CPAP faithfully, you WILL get used to wearing it and it feels funny to lie down and NOT put it on when you are sleepy.

There are other things that can cause sleep problems, some medications and alcohol. Some people take benadryl or alcohol thinking it helps them get to sleep but actually they put you to sleep but you don’t get the “good sleep” that you need.

So sleep is something we all need to make sure we get and if we have a problem with any of it (including nightmares or the fear of them) we need to see our doctor! Or a sleep doctor actually. They are smart guys.

OxD, until you posted it, above, I didn’t realize that I have been afraid of falling asleep because I was fearful of having nightmares. Typically, I DREAD going to bed, but I fall asleep very quickly. But, I literally dread it, and I never knew why until now.

Thank you so much for another “ah…HAH’ moment!

Brightest blessings

Truthy, there may be OTHER reasons you “dread” to go to sleep, do you snore? are you over weight? if so, you may need to have a sleep test. So don’t think it is ONLY the nightmares (though it could be) but I WOULD see a doctor about that. Also a SLEEP doctor can treat you for more than just apnea, they can give you medications that stop the nightmares. Your “family” doctor is not up on all of this most likely so I would see a specialist in this area of sleep—even if only the dreams. But positive attitudes will definitely cut down on night mares, but you also might need some professional help as well if they are severe. (((hugs))

OxD, I did a sleep study a few months back. One doctor said that I had “mild” sleep apnea. Another interpreted the results as being “severe.” My primary care physician looked at the results and said that he didn’t believe that I did not have sleep apnea, and gave me the reasons why he believed this.

I’d LOVE to get some professional help with my recovery. The nearest counselor is a 90-mile round-trip – there isn’t a single practicing counselor in the County that I live in. I had to laugh – there’s a “Victim’s Services” office in the County and they advise victims/survivors to drive to the adjoining counties (whichever one is closest) to seek safe housing, food banks, and counseling services.

Truthy you hhad a double negative in your post above

“said that he didn’t believe that I did **not** have sleep apnea,”

If your study was so inconclusive as to show severe sleep apnea and mild sleep apnea and you are dreading to go to sleep. I would have a repeat study done at another facility. No matter how far you have to drive. Sleep apnea untreated can lead to a lot of things and couple that with stress and PTSD and it literally can “kill” you. No joke.

OxD, I had a typing “oops!” LOL

The doctor that interpreted the results as being “severe” also told me that I did not have the auto-immune disorder that I’ve been twice diagnosed with, despite the symptoms and lab results. I had 2 episodes during 8 hours of sleep, so “mild” seems more appropriate. But, I DO know that sleep apnea can be a fatal disorder, and I’ll probably not have the opportunity to engage in another study. Once the divorce is final, I lose all health coverage and will never be able to afford it, on my own.

You’re absolutely right – it’s NO joke.

he told you that you would be destroyed? Was that a tell?

He did seek to destroy you. He drove you out of your career from the stress. IMO, your body, your subconscious knew that he wished to destroy you. That’s why you couldn’t sleep.

When a spath wants to destroy someone, the aim is total destruction through suicide. The ones who don’t shoot you in the head, only resist because they don’t want to get caught. But their wish is the same: destruction.

Our bodies know, our right brain knows. It doesn’t know the type of destruction, it only knows danger to the self.

My spath sister also went without sleep at the very beginning of her relationshit with her spath trojan horse. He would arrange all kinds of outings so that they were out all night and she had to work the next day. He probably took meth while she just went through life exhausted. I think sleep deprivation is one thing spaths use to control us.

Guys, did you know that a “night-mare” is not the same thing as a “bad-dream”? Night-mares do not occur in the same stage of sleep, as a dream does…during REM sleep. During a real night-mare, your body is in a state of paralysis. I learned that in Psych 101 about 34 years ago…I think I’ll google “Nightmares” and see what I can find.

Okay. I just googled “night-mare” and the first article I read said that night-mares do occur during REM sleep, so, I guess I was wrong about that….but, there might be more here than meets the eye.

I used to sleep like a gray rock I think.

After the longterm relationship with first spath I still slept well but after the first round with this psycho bio dad, I would startle awake every time I woke up. I had just started to relax and he did the custody thing from prison and sleep was not happening. I believe mine was sheer adrenilane from the amount of stress I experienced. I also started shouting in my sleep…UGH!

My favorite thing with my daughter has been out loud giggles and sometimes laughter in her sleep. It doesn’t happen so much now.

Psycho-bio used to scream and fight speaking clearly in his sleep and kicked me fairly badly in my sleep. I always wondered if it was intentional. I told him I thought he must be a tortured being. I said otherwise, you would have something nice happen sometime in your sleep. Creepy thing was about a week later I woke to him laughing (supposedly in his sleep) like the psycho he is and I never believed that he was asleep.

He used to yell he could call the devil right here right now. WTH??? !!! I told him to shut the hell up!


I’m sure you are right. That was a tell. And destroy me he did. And how many times have I thought of suicide…HA! If I had followed through, he probably would have just laughed on the inside. Of course, he couldn’t laugh on the outside or his mask would fall. Everyone would wonder why he was so happy I was dead? I truly think he did set out to destroy me. Sleep deprivation to control us…wow, so true. Yikes.

Louise, oh, yes they WILL laugh aloud when their targets end their own lives. When a target ends their own life, the spath experiences the most powerful rush of power, bar none – even in relation to murder, I think. When they murder, they’re doing the deed, themselves. When a target commits suicide, they’ve murdered the target without having to touch them – by proxy.

Oh, when I was experiencing insomnia (MONTHS of it), I would get about 6 hours of sleep in 2 days. The exspath would “sympathize” by saying, “Poor dear!” and, yet, take no steps or actions to help/allow me to rest during the day if there were an opporunity.

They deliberately inhibit our own physical healing. Either by actually interfering with our health, or by dismissing and minimizing our conditions. Then, we simply get sicker. UGH!


You are probably right. Who am I trying to fool? Only myself I guess. They are just mean, horrible people. There is no other way to look at it 🙁

I found Dr Gordon Turnbull’s (RAF psychiatrist) book “Trauma” to be an excellent read about PTSD. It’s not an illness, but a defence mechanism.
After the Lockerbie bombing, it became clear that the rescue operation was actually a clear up of body parts and those involved were “seeing things” (flashbacks) and developed PTSD as a result of the traumatic experience.
Trauma becomes stuck in our long term memory and we keep “playing the tape” (flashbacks) over and over.
We need to find a method of transferring trauma from LTM to STM where it can be properly processed and healed. Sudden thought. Is the aim of ECT to “jolt” the memory?
He also talks about stress and a strange thing that happens.
Short term stress = Instant recall
Long term stress = Memory loss
Couldn’t put it down

Kim, the things we “learned” in college 30 + years ago about sleep, dreaming and REM sleep have recently been proven to be false….I just read (and linked to) an article about sleep from a legitimate research done on it…things are different and REM sleep is not the only state in which we dream like was thought before. Now that there are ways to check what is going on in the brain while you sleep and dream (I just finished a sleep study, my 4th) and there are fMRIs and other ways that the brain and its activity can be SEEN when it is happening in real time.

Having sleep apnea I’ve kind of done some studying lately on the latest developments in the knowledge of sleep stages, dreaming etc. and the drugs and conditions that effect how we sleep and how we dream and am finding out that the stuff I THOUGHT I knew as “facts” are indeed wrong. Found out I know diddly and am going to have to get new information, but it is a very interesting subject.

I am changing medications and my sleep hygiene in order to get better sleep. I am also working on relaxation therapy prior to going to sleep and positive thinking about what kind of dreams I will have etc.

Some drugs that we used to give to patients to help them sleep, such as L-tryptophan and benadryl actually promote feeling sleepy but don’t give the person restful sleep at all. Ditto with alcohol. Caffine is also a very bad “drug” to take after noon if you go to sleep at night and even then it should be very limited. There is a lot of other stuff as well. I suggest you do some research on the legitimate medical sites about sleep studies that have been done and are being done. It is still early, and there is a lot to learn yet, but they are working on it.

I do know that sleep deprivation can lead to literally insanity…it is used in prisoner camps for torture. It is torture. PTSD and other things add to the sleep deprivation and even though we may spend X number of hours “sleeping’ if we are not getting the RIGHT kind of sleep in our sleep stages we aren’t really resting and getting what we need from the sack time.

anam cara:

Thank you so much for this book recommendation.

Wow, Louise…

I have had multiples of these mild, but pointed dreams. And I wake with the same frightened ‘start’, and then subsequent calm that sinks in, relieved and comforted that I am NO LONGER in that hell.

I have found these kind of dreams really helped me to see the near constant, if ‘benign’ appearing, day to day abuses that are the staple of the spaths arsenal.

I think many people visit here and feel like ‘their spath’ wasn’t a violent offender, or horrible stalker, and wonder whether they belong here at all. Your dream really highlights that many of these types exert their control and ultimate dismanteling of their target lives via a constant barrage of ‘small abuses’. Many won’t poison us, or scream bloody murder at us. Instead they will attempt to kill us ‘softly’, with only an occasional increase in the level of abuse.

But the goal is still to destroy our stability, and our belief in ANYTHING. To derail our pursuit of happiness.

I am so happy to hear you have found some peace…


Hi All,

As for the sleep thing….I never slept well when in the clutches of a spath. I always lost weight, had PTSD (Present Traumatic Spath Disorder!).

And none of the spaths I have known were good sleepers. They all went full tilt until they just simply fell dead asleep, for a solid 4-5 hours, then they were full tilt energizer bunnies again. Maybe not ‘productive’, but certainly on the move.

And my observation is that spaths don’t care whether anyone sleeps, eats, poops, rests, studies, YOU NAME IT, except them. They make NO room for their intimates to maintain a routine, that is self-caring. Not in my experience.


Hi Slim,
Personally I think falling asleep anywhere and anytime, is a red flag. Only babies can do that!

I sure as heck can’t.

My ex-spath didn’t seem to be “energized”, though I know spaths that do exhibit that behavior. My expspath seemed very calm and stoic.


Agreed. Each one I knew could, when the moment struck them, fall dead asleep. Babies can do it because, likely, they haven’t developed much consciousness. I think it is a red flag. Spaths don’t really have a consciousness (if that is the right descriptor) either.

Most of the spaths I was attracted to had a very high energy component to the. I found that very attractive, and I liked the initial ‘motivation’ this seemed to provide me. But I did know one spath who was calm and stoic appearing.

He was the very last one I encountered, and dated oh-so-briefly. He looked like a calm, intellectual, saintly sort. But he ended up to be the one hardest to get rid of.

skylar and slimone:

Mine was full of energy…very energetic and always on the go, but also a sense of calm if that makes any sense. He does not sleep much.


LOL!!!!! You just made my day!!!! Present Traumatic Spath Disorder! Ha Ha Ha Ha, it all makes so much more sense now. I got the same disorder!

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