Rescuing and Being Rescued

Warning to my readers who are survivors of abuse…this post may be triggering…be safe. 

Therapy is hard work.  This post might help explain why I continue and I hope that it will help others face their inner most fears and demons….so they can rescue and be rescued.

I don’t dream; I have nightmares.  Fortunately, most of the time I don’t remember them, but when I do…

It will be easier for you to understand if I tell you about one of them.  Bare in mind that it is the emotion of the dream that is the most intense, so hopefully this won’t be nearly as intense for you as it was for me. 

I had a dream that I was in house or apartment with an open floor plan…meaning from the living room you could see into the kitchen.  The dream began with a woman (a roommate, I think) being raped in my kitchen.  I could see it happening.  Worse, she was screaming, and calling me (by name) for help.  It is an image I will never forget.  The screams were bloodcurdling…actresses screaming in movies and TV don’t even come close . 

The woman was raped twice in my kitchen. The first time, I saw and did nothing.  I was paralyzed with fear.  The second time, however, I somehow cornered the bad guy in the bathroom.  I punched him repeatedly, but he did not respond at all.  It was as if I were a fly landing on him.  I felt intense rage…I don’t remember ever feeling rage like that in my waking hours.  I was determined that he would not just stand there and ignore me.  So I hit him again.  This time in the face.  I punched him in the nose.  I hit him so hard the cartilage of his nose was forced back into his brain and it killed him.  (I don’t think that is actually physically possible….)  He fell to the floor in a huge puddle of blood.

I felt nothing.  Not happy…I vanquished the foe; I had a right to be happy.  But I was not happy.  Not relieved.  Nothing.  I felt nothing.  It was over and that was all.

This is not the only dream that I have had about a woman screaming.  Through discussing these dreams with my therapist, I realized that the woman screaming in the dream is me.

I am the one screaming for rescue.  I am the one that needs to do the rescuing.  Both positions are terrifying.

In a sense it reminds me of childbirth…labor is hard, but the most painful part is the pushing phase. It hurts, and pushing hurts even more…and yet you have to increase the pain for a moment in order to make the pain stop. 

I am so scared, but I can still hear her screaming. . .
 and I have to try to help.


  1. I am proud of you. You fought in your dream! No longer paralyzed by fear, you took action to defeat the beast. You are facing the foe. He will not have power over you any further as you begin to heal. You are becoming empowered and strong.

  2. Sorry you went through this or something similar Leslie, and nightmares are awful. It's true, we have to both feel the pain and help ourselves through it, both at once.

  3. Chrysalis Angel, thanks for reminding me. That is a victory in a sense isn't it?! Ellen, thanks. You know sometimes I get frustrated that people think I am fragile…it takes strength to face this pain. Survivors are some of the strongest people I know.

  4. ((((Leslie))))) Safe hugs to you. Dreams can be so vividly real. Glad you were able to look fear in the face and defeat it. I know all about facing our pain and fears. I hear you girl. Blessings.

  5. You help me. You rescue me almost on a daily basis. You're the bravest, most intelligent person I know. Thank you. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you. You can do this–you can save yourself.

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