Narcissist Stalks Your Dreams, Nightmares

Uploaded 5/21/2024, approx. 21 minute read

A lucid dream. A lucid dream is a dream in which the sleeper is aware that they are dreaming.

The sleeper influences the progress of the dream and chooses its trajectory and its ending.

You know these books where you can choose the ending or films? In the 90s and a bit later there were kind of specialized DVDs where you could choose the ending of the movie.

That's a lucid dream.

When you're asleep and you control the dream, its content, the plot, its direction, its symbols perfectly.

The Narcissist shared fantasy is a form of lucid dreaming. It is his lucid dream and you are just a character in the dream, manipulated according to a preordained script.

The Narcissist incorporates you into the shared fantasy by entraining you. And this process triggers, interjects and repressed memories.

You can watch my videos about entraining.

In a nutshell, it's a process where the Narcissist uses verbal mantras, verbal cues, mostly verbal abuse in order to induce in your brain a state that is a clone or a replica of his own state of brain.

Narcissist synchronizes his brain with your brain literally the same waves using this form of verbal manipulation known as entraining. But entraining triggers other voices in your mind than known as interjects.

And entraining raises to the surface, resurfaces, repressed memories.

In other words, it counters dissociation.

Now these are very traumatic processes even when they are unconscious and they generate something called abreaction.

When you bring forgotten, inhibited, rejected and forbidden material, experiences, memories, voices from the unconscious into consciousness where this generates concurrent emotional release.

There's a discharge of very powerful emotions, tensions, stresses and anxiety in your mind.

This is colloquially but wrongly, erroneously called emotional flashback.

It is not a flashback.

But the emotions are strong and overpowering.

Now because the Narcissist uses entraining, most of these processes that I've just described occur, they happen in the unconscious.

So you're not aware of anything that is intrusive or problematic or discombobulating or discomforting. You're not aware of any of this. It just does a generally growing malaise. You feel more and more ill-at-ease and uncomfortable.

Even by the way, on the first meeting with the Narcissist, this is known as the uncanny valley reaction.

So the Shere fantasy is a form of lucid dream.

The Narcissist introduces you into this dream and then uses you, manipulates you as a character in the dream in order to realize the plot of the dream and to bring it to its inevitable resolution.

Separation, individuation via devaluation, discard.

Now these are very traumatic processes even when they are unconscious and they generate something called abreaction.

When you bring forgotten, inhibited, rejected and forbidden material, experiences, memories, voices from the unconscious into consciousness where this generates concurrent emotional release.

There's a discharge of very powerful emotions, tensions, stresses and anxiety in your mind.

This is colloquially but wrongly, erroneously called emotional flashback.

It is not a flashback.

But the emotions are strong and overpowering.

Now because the Narcissist uses entraining, most of these processes that I've just described occur, they happen in the unconscious.

So you're not aware of anything that is intrusive or problematic or discombobulating or discomforting. You're not aware of any of this. It just does a generally growing malaise. You feel more and more ill-at-ease and uncomfortable.

Even by the way, on the first meeting with the Narcissist, this is known as the uncanny valley reaction.

So the Shere fantasy is a form of lucid dream.

The Narcissist introduces you into this dream and then uses you, manipulates you as a charactervery dysphoric, in other words, not pleasant. And there's a kind of diffuse, ambient sense of menaciousness of threat. It's minutery. It's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's false and threatening at the same time. It's like finding yourself inside a horror movie, rather than merely watching it.

And so this is the general feeling within the dream Jung proposed that we have something called the dream ego in analytic in analytic psychology. This is the fragment of the conscious ego that is acting active during the dream state. So when you're trapped in the nightmare disorder, that is the narcissist shared fantasy, you do perceive yourself as separate, you do perceive yourself as existing apart from the narcissist and apart from the shared fantasy.

This is your dream ego, but you're still embedded in something in, as I said, in a narrative, in a plot, in a movie that is far removed from reality. I would even say divorced from reality.

And this gradually impairs your reality testing. Your ability to perceive reality, to judge it appropriately, to evaluate it, to gauge it is severely damaged. The longer you're exposed to the narcissist and to his shared fantasy.

Now, it doesn't mean necessarily that you begin to hallucinate that is rare, or that you become delusional, or that is much more common. It simply means that the narcissist becomes your conduit, your channel to reality. You judge reality, you evaluate it, engage it through the narcissist. You externalize the ego function of reality testing. You make the narcissist your litmus test when it comes to reality.

And you therefore abrogate and surrender your personal autonomy, your agency, your self-efficacy, because in the absence of reality testing, we are unable to operate in any meaningful way. We become dysfunctional.

The narcissist is there to pick up the slack and become your external regulator.

And so while you do perceive yourself as separate from the narcissist, as external to the narcissist, that is largely self-deception.

Because having been embedded in the lucid dream that is a shared fantasy, you are being constantly gaslit. You self-gaslight, actually.

Narcissists don't gaslight. They don't have a premeditated plan to make you doubt your sanity, to undermine your capacity to judge reality.

That is what psychopaths do.

But the impact, the effect of the shared fantasy, because it's a dreamlike state, the effect or the impact are tantamount. They're the same as gaslighting. They're in a permanent state. You're in a permanent state of gaslighting.

And then you begin to gaslight yourself because this creates a lot of what is known as ego destiny. You feel uncomfortable with the situation, so you'd rather lie to yourself than confront reality and lose the narcissist in the process.

Now, more generally, pieces of daily experiences show up in dreams. This is known as dream incorporation. Memories from throughout the day reappear in the dream, although usually these memories from daily life show up immediately the same night. And they're disguised usually in symbolic ways.

There's a lot of work done starting with Freud about dream censorship, dream symbolism, and so on and so forth. It's a magnanimous, magnificent masterpiece about dreams. I think it was published in 1900 or

2001. Okay. Day residue is the transfer of daily memories into dreams. And memories from waking experience are subjected to what is known as dream lag. A dream lag is a delay, typically about five to seven days. The memory is being created in the waking day, and then it shows up in the dream.

So our dreams are comprised of immediate memories that are created in the day preceding the sleep. And dream lag memories, memories that were created five to seven days prior to the dream.

And there is no great consensus, no big, no meaningful, broad consensus as to how trauma is processed through dreams, although we know for sure that traumas affect our dreams.

Still, this is an emerging field of study. Sigmund Freud, the founder and father of psychoanalysis, offered an early perspective. He suggested the dreams allow us access to the unconscious. He said that the unconscious manifests in dreams, talks to us in dreams, although the sleep, our sleep state is protected by containing the anxiety associated with repressed memories, experiences, desires and drives.

So our sleep is protected because the content from the unconscious makes it into our dreams disguised, disguised in a variety of ways, disguised as narratives, as fables, as legends, as symbols, and so on and so forth. This was Freud.

Freud lived and worked more than a century ago.

In the meantime, we've learned a thing or two about dreams, although we are still very far from understanding the utility of dreams. We do know already that animals dream and even very low level animals like spiders.

So dreams, dreams seem to be something of biological function. Researchers thought the dreams allowed people to revisit and work through old trauma. Nightmares were seen as a failure to work through automaster traumatic experiences.

Other scholars believed that nightmares were a way in which the mind transforms shame and other negative effects associated with the traumatic event.

And then they convert all these negative effects into fear and a sense of doom and looming threat.

And again, we are not quite sure of the answer. We are not quite sure of the answer except that we know that content related to traumatic experiences and events does make it its way into dreams.

Dreams help us to integrate our experiences into long term memory. The hippocampus is involved in this, a process called memory consolidation.

When we are exposed to a traumatic experience, especially a prolonged traumatic experience such as the narcissist shared fantasy, we develop complex trauma. The complex trauma is clinically significantly distinguished from acute trauma like PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. So dreams in this case would be recurrent. There would be an attempt to process the complex long term repeated trauma via dreams in this way to somehow enhance our ability to cope and to learn from traumatic situations.

This is intimately connected of course with bodily functions. Dreams can simulate threatening events and allow us to experience and to try out different responses. You could therefore regard dreams as threat simulations being exposed to threats while you are safely asleep in your bed.

Naturally reduces fears and anxieties and allows you to securely access other areas of the brain which are very important. For example, the creative parts, the decision making parts, the executive parts.

And so there's a lot of research that demonstrates that we are far more likely to approach threatening situations in dreams than to avoid them while in real life we try to avoid threats and risks than dangers and we try to not act recklessly.

In dreams we allow ourselves to do so. And so in a dream state we actually become borderlines and psychopaths for a few hours or a few minutes. We've all heard of sleep that is restful. You wake up, you're animated, you're vigorous or reinvigorated and so on and so forth.

But it seems that a lot of healing takes place while you sleep. There's a reduction in the pain of traumatic memories. There's a reframing of trauma, recasting it in ways which are more acceptable to the psyche. There's a processing of content in the unconscious so that it can become conscious without adverse consequences.

Researchers in the University of California Berkeley found that dreams occur during rapid eye movements, REM stage of sleep. And at the same time our stress responses shut down their neurochemicals that are responsible for anxiety, for tension, for stress and they are no longer released during the REM sleep which is the dream state.

So when we dream the brain shuts off all stress, anxiety and tension related mechanisms, neurochemicals, pathways and so on and so forth.

REM helps reduce the negative effects of difficult memories.

There's a study published, authored by Paul Walker and others. It was published in Current Biology and Walker says the dream stage of sleep based on its unique neurochemical composition provides us with a form of overnight therapy, a soothing bone that removes the sharp edges from the prior day's emotional experiences.

Now in PTSD and let it be clear, when you're exposed to the narcissist you do not experience PTSD. You experience CPTSD, complex trauma. People with PTSD which is usually exposure to a single heavily severely traumatizing event like an accident, natural disaster and so on. Rape.

So people with PTSD they distress during the night. So there's a distress function but it's not working well. So PTSD while it is processed through dreams is not processed effectively. Emotional experience to the trauma is never successfully separated from memory during the sleep of people with PTSD.

And so these people have very strong visceral reactions to flashbacks. Dreams normally provide perspective, understanding of daily experiences, a reprocessing of what has happened while in a low stress state.

Stress, anxiety, tension, they cloud our thinking, they create what is known as cognitive distortions. Grandiosity actually is a stress reaction. The narcissist is very stressed about many, many elements of his personality and so on and so forth. So he elicits narcissistic supply in order to buttress at misperception of reality, cognitive distortion, grandiosity.

And this happens a lot in dreams. Dreams undo, they confront cognitive distortions and they undo them by reducing the stress reaction.

When you're not anxious, when you're not stressed, your perception of reality is much better. It's much less distorted. The dream gives you this opportunity.

Now, neuropinephrine, a kind of adrenaline is significantly decreased in the brain during REM sleep. So this is very crucial.

There's no epinephrine, adrenaline to others, is heavily implicated in cognitive distortions, inability to perceive reality appropriately, misjudging what's happening, including environmental cues and social cues, sexual cues and so on and so forth.

When adrenaline is reduced, it gives dreams a low stress atmosphere. It imbues the dream with a low stress atmosphere, which allows the dreamer to process emotional experiences.

The aforementioned Dr. Walker made the connection between REM sleep and PTSD when he found that generic blood pressure medication was helping people with PTSD get better sleep with less reoccurring nightmares.

One side effect of the drug, the hypertension drug, was a decrease in neuropinephrine.

So when Dr. Walker put this together, he realized the potential for REM sleep.

REM sleep is a kind of anxiolytic, anti-anxiety medication.

So what do dreams do?

Remember that the narcissist shared fantasy is his dream, his lucid dream. And within the shared fantasy, the narcissist feels safe. It's a secure base. It's a divorce from reality. It's a bubble that allows the narcissist to engage in cognitive distortions that reduce egosyntony and dissonance.

But at the same time, as the narcissist creates a dream that is helpful to the narcissist, that reduces the narcissist's anxiety, dysphoria, depression, negative effects and so on, he kind of creates the exact opposite in you. He creates a nightmare for you. It's as if the narcissist were exporting all his negative emotions, envy, anger, hatred, fear, as if he were exporting all this to you, as if he used you as a container for all these negative emotions.

But putting both of you, himself and you, in a dreamlike state, only his dream is wonderful. Anxiety reducing, grandiose, fantasy, your dream is his nightmare.

Narcissist outsources his nightmares to you. And your role is to serve as a receptacle of these nightmares in order to allow the narcissist to process his traumas and his anxieties and so on, so forth.

And you see that this fits perfectly into the reenactment the narcissist need to reenact and replay early childhood conflicts.

The narcissist replace these conflicts in the relatively safe and secure environment of the shared fantasy.

But he needs to get rid of negative emotions, negative effects, negative memories, negative experiences, the trauma itself.

And so he ends them over to you. And you are supposed to hold them, all these things for him.

And this is very toxic. This is very poisonous. You're being slowly poisoned.

One of the most well studied, commonly held theories about dreaming is that our brains employ dreams to work through emotionally difficult and stressful experiences.

There's a kind of reduction in psychological load. And so this reduces disruption to daily functioning.

You dream when you sleep, you don't need to function. So we cope with unusual levels of anxiety, of stress, of tension, partly through dreams. We process them partly through dreams, because dreams occur in a time of day or a time of night when we don't need to do other things. So it's not a disruptive process.

Nightmares and disturbing dreams, they're signs of the brain doing some essential house chores, maintenance, an important work, and an attempt to ease the intensity and emotional charge of the heavy daily load of stresses, anxieties, worries, and negative emotions.

Nightmares also serve the purpose of alerting us, alerting us to dangers, to risks, to anxieties, and kind of bring them to consciousness.

So nightmares are very useful.

And when you start to have nightmares within the shared fantasy, and in the wake of the shared fantasy, these are messages, you'd better listen to them, trying to tell you something.

Research into trauma and the relationship to dreaming and sleep has shown that the more closely and directly people are affected by traumatic events, the more it is likely that their sleep will be disrupted, and their nightmares will be intense.

So nightmares are associated with both PTSD and CPTSD, both the acute version post-traumatic stress disorder, and the complex trauma, which is a less acute version.

And the nightmares usually directly replay the triggering event or the actual trauma.

There was a study in 2009, a group of researchers looked into the impact of an earthquake in Italy, and they found, amazingly, that the most disturbing dreams and most disrupted sleep occurred in people who were nearest to the epicenter of the quake. The further away from the quake the people were, the fewer the nightmares and the less disruption in sleep.

The Nazi shared fantasy is the mother of all earthquakes, and you're likely to respond with extreme nightmares and dream processing.

We don't know exactly how the brain processes emotions during sleep and during dreams. Not exactly. Neuroscience is a very young nascent and budding science, contrary to what neuroscientists would tell you, of course.

During the stages of sleep, we know that areas of the brain enter a state of what's known as emotional disinhibition, and this particularly occurs during rapid eye movement, REM sleep. At that time, this is when we have the most vivid, complex, emotionally laden dreaming.

By the way, if we disrupt dreaming repeatedly, we don't allow the person to dream, they're driven to psychosis. Psychosis can be perceived as a kind of wakefulness dreaming. Dreaming while you're awake.

When you cannot dream during sleep time, you compensate by dreaming while you're awake, and this is a good description of psychosis.

So to achieve emotional disinhibition, a region within the brain known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex shuts down. This is a part of the brain that performs many complex executive functions, including memory, self-awareness, attention, and inhibition and control of emotional responses, and yet it is shut down when we start to dream.

When this part shuts down, this creates an unself-conscious free flow of emotion within dream. There's no executive control, the gates are open.

Basically, it's party time for the brain.

The brain can go outside the realm of reality. The brain can fantasize, the brain can use symbols. The brain can reenact events, counterfactually. The brain can divorce reality, the laws of physics don't imply any laws.

There is an internal logic to the narrative, but it doesn't obey any external laws.

The processing is far more efficacious, and there's a sense of absolute safety in typical dreaming.

In nightmares, the whole situation is reversed. The flow of emotions, disjointed memories, symbology used, and so on actually aggravate, aggravate anxiety and worry and fear and a sense of menace and so on and so forth.

This is the narcissist's endowment. This is his legacy. This is his gift to you. He gets rid of his own toxins, of his own poison by essentially transferring it to you via entrainment.

Dreams are where your brain processes information.

As I said, the major exception is lucid dreams. In lucid dreams, there's a part of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that actually becomes more active, not less.

And this contributes to self-awareness and the ability to control and direct activity within lucid dreams.

In other words, the narcissist's dreams while he's awake, and the activity of the narcissist's dreams is very different to the activity of the brain, what the narcissist's brain during dreams is very different to the activity of your brain during dreams.

The narcissist's entire existence is dreamlike. The shared fantasy is a dream writ large, an expanded dream, and the narcissist incorporates himself and you, embeds both of you in the dream, in this shared fantasy, in this dream state.

But his brain operates differently to yours. And when you're having nightmares and the narcissist is having the shared fantasy, your brains are out of sync.

The rest of the time, your brains are totally synchronized via entraining.

So there is this hypothesis known as threat simulation dream theory.

According to this theory, there's some scientific evidence to support it.

Dreams are a rehearsal space for the mind to kind of play out or game out gamification thing, threats and obstacles, anticipated and real obstacles and threats encountered in real life and hindrances, impediments and risks which are only anticipated.

All this plays out in dreams and the dream directs you as to the existence of these risks and dangers and threats and also guides you as to how to respond to these challenges, how to resolve the commandments that you're faced with.

So you could conceive of dreams as a kind of virtual reality or simulator, a training simulator in the brain.

There's a focus on tackling challenges, finding or roaming in on solutions and alerting you, especially alerting you to threats and dangers while you're with a narcissist in a shared fantasy.

Pay a lot of attention to your nightmares and to your dreams that trying desperately to tell you something. Use texts, use therapies, use friends, family members to suggest possible interpretations of your dreams. This may trigger in you self-awareness and bring you out of the shared fantasy by being able to observe it from the outside.

In evolutionary terms, this hypothesis of the threat simulation dream theory makes a lot of sense because ancient human ancestors lived under constant and immediate threats. I don't know, animal predators, human rivals, forces of nature, natural disasters and so on. There's always a threat somewhere and so they needed to somehow process threats without disrupting their functioning during the day because if your functioning was disrupted during the day, you were a dead ancient ancestor.

Now today we are faced with a different array of threats. We have predators, we have climate change, we have criminals, we have animals.

Of course, the modern environment is no less malicious and threatening than the ancient environment, but the capacity of the brain to run simulations when faced with threat and danger remains the same and we're making use of this capacity.

The body does not distinguish between the stress and agitation caused by thinking about something and the stress and agitation caused by actually experiencing the event.

So when you imagine or anticipate a catastrophe, when you catastrophize, the reaction within the brain, neurochemical, blood flows, activation of certain parts of the brain, is identical to the reaction when you're actually experiencing the traumatic event.

The same goes for sex by the way, especially with men. When they imagine sex, when they look at sex, or not in pornography for example, they experience it as real sex.

The brain is unable to tell the difference between imagining something and actually experiencing something.

When we are constantly anxious and worried, our bodies take up residence in a flight of fight mode and dreams help us to somehow snap out of it and make the right decisions.

Practice, train for real life situations, observe the shared fantasy via your dreams.

Perhaps you are incapable of lucid dreaming, but you're definitely capable of processing the extreme trauma, abuse and threatening environment that is the narcissist dream, is shared fantasy.

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