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How do I retrain my brain?

ashesofkali posted 5/16/2020 09:23 AM

In the past week, I've had 3 dreams about reconciling with xWH. To be clear, these are not the kind of conscious/waking daydreams I can control. These are dreams that occur at night, while I'm sleeping; I can't seem to control them. I wake up thinking "Why in the fuck did I just dream THAT?!"

I don't want to get back together with xWH. I don't miss him. His betrayal left scars on me that will never go away. I've read enough on SI and Quora to know that narcissistic wayward exes like mine will often come back and can do a great job of pretending to be sorry when they're not. I have good reason to think that if he tries to come back, it'll be because he wants something from me, not because he misses me.

What I'm trying to say is: I know I don't want to get back together with him, so I want to figure out how to tell my sub-conscious brain to stop dreaming about that. Of course, the question comes up of WHY am I dreaming of reconciliation when I already know I don't want that? Well, I think on some level, I'm just lonely. I slept next to him for 15 years. Now I sleep alone. I kissed and hugged him hundreds of times a day for 15 years. Now I don't kiss or hug anybody (except for my cats, and they hate it). I crave companionship, but there's no one around, so my brain dreams about what's familiar in that area. And familiar = xWH.

I've been talking to myself about this. As I'm drifting off to sleep at night, I say: "Hey Self, you know xWH's a nightmare. Don't dream about him. Find something else to dream about." It works to some degree, but obviously not enough.

Anybody else ever have a problem like this? What did you do about it? How did you retrain your own brain? I'd love to hear suggestions. Thanks for reading & responding. :)

Chrysalis123 posted 5/16/2020 14:44 PM

Maybe this is your mind's way of grieving and separating?

I know it must be unsettling to dream about him.

Hedwig posted 5/17/2020 15:36 PM

I think it's a normal part of the grieving/healing process and it's better to accept the dreams than to try and push them away. I have had some vivid dreams too and covid plays a part in that too. Did you notice an increase in the frequency since the lockdown happened?

If you want to try and get rid of them, maybe try to tell yourself what to dream of instead of what not to dream of, right before you drift of to sleep. The whole "dont think of a pink elephant" thing and all. So instead maybe have a little daydream of yourself on a beach with a margerita or some fantasy with a hot actor or musician, whatever floats your boat.

ashesofkali posted 5/17/2020 15:51 PM

Hedwig

tell yourself what to dream of instead of what not to dream of

That's great advice. Thank you. I've applied the "replace a DON'T with a DO" strategy in other areas of my life and seen it work great. I'll give that a try, starting tonight, and will report back with results.

Did you notice an increase in the frequency since the lockdown happened?

Yes, I have noticed an increase since the lockdown began. It's good to be able to put a finger on that. I appreciate the reminder.

Hope you're well.

DevastatedDee posted 5/18/2020 11:37 AM

I think the brain is just obnoxious sometimes when we're sleeping. There is not one particle of my being whatsoever that wants my XWH back remotely whatsoever AT ALL. However, my brain has been cute a few times with dreaming we were back together. I'd wake up sick with stress no matter how banal the dream was. I've tried to figure out why my brain would be so rude, but I guess it's like asking why I'd have any other kind of disturbing dream. Maybe the subconscious is just being a troll some nights. "Hey, this is scary! Let's bring this one out for an episode". Maybe it's a giant spider in the yard one night and an ex the other. Who knows?

LadyG posted 5/19/2020 15:46 PM

Dreaming of reconciliation with my Narcissistic STBX WH turns into a nightmare all the time.

I will be honest. I was on Prozac when I moved out last July and he attempted to get me back. I was on the brink of returning to him. I had to understand if it was the meds leading me back or the real Co-Dependent me.

I weaned off meds in December and I was again able to see the Evil behind the mask.

I have been back and forth with meds this year but I now know the difference between the real me, who is determined to get out and the medicated me, who sees him as a fixable damaged soul.

Yes, my mind plays tricks on me but the meds completely blind me. Awful but true in my case. The dreams stop completely, with a little help from Xanax before bed.

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