Wise Counsel From Susan Quilliam: I keep dreaming about being raped
OK, so I’m my own woman. I don’t take any rubbish from men, I like equal relationships, and my current partner – a lovely man – treats me like a princess. So why do I keep dreaming about being raped, sometimes violently, sometimes by more than one guy. It shook me when it happened once – but now the same dream keeps coming back and back. I’m sure I really don’t want to be abused. So what’s going on?
I don’t think for a moment that you want to be abused, or to have done to you in reality any of the things that you describe. And I don’t think that having these dreams – as many women do – means that you are inviting abuse, or that anyone has the right to abuse you.
But I do wonder whether your dreams are there for a reason. Perhaps – even though you are such a strong woman, or perhaps because you are such a strong woman – you are deep down terrified of the rape you dream of. Of course you are – sexual violence is a terrible thing and there is no guarantee that you might not one day find yourself in a vulnerable situation.
So perhaps your dream is there to show you that you are vulnerable, and to make you more aware of what you need to do to protect yourself. In some mysterious way it could be that dreaming about what you fear makes you safer when you’re awake.
I wish I could suggest what to do to make your dreams stop. Perhaps it’s down to realising all the ways in which you steer clear of danger – and all the ways that you need to steer clear of danger even more than you do. Or perhaps you need to talk through your anxieties with a counsellor – in which case log on to www.bacp.org.uk
and find one local to you.
Susan Quilliam also offers email, phone and face-to-face coaching on relationship and sexuality issues. Contact her here.