Why My Husband Is Happy He Doesn't Remember His Dreams

I’m usually awoken in the middle of the night by am  toddler or a sweet kindergartener. From scary dreams to a simple cup of water, my nights are interrupted by two cute little boys.

Some nights I am woken by swift kicks and flailing arms. My husband is having another nightmare. He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his deployment to Afghanistan during his enlistment in the military. Nightmares are just one of the many symptoms associated with this disorder.

Once in the middle of the night, I woke up to the sound of crying and whimpering. I sat up expecting to see one of my boys standing over me.

It wasn’t the kids; it was my husband.

I was a little shocked to hear a man who doesn’t shed tears actually crying. I leaned over and soon realized he was still asleep. He was dreaming, and it did not sound to be a very pleasant dream. I imagine he was back in the real life nightmare of a deployment to Afghanistan. He was dreaming of that place again.

This evening I asked him if he had any dreams last night. He said he couldn’t remember, and I then told him what he had done in the middle of the night. He sat on the edge of our bed for a few minutes and seemed to really try to remember his dream. He looked up at me with a half-smile, and said he’s glad that he doesn’t actually remember any of his nightmares. PTSD has given him a horrible memory. He doesn’t have to relive all of these horrific nightmares. A simple, yet powerful reflection of his current situation. PTSD has so many negative parts. He found one of the symptoms that he can use to his advantage. That is what we must do. We must use or imperfections for our own benefit. We must learn how to use them. It gives us a way that we can have an advantage over the playing field of life.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Sad woman scared putting hands in front of face

Having a Flashback Is Not Simply Recalling a Memory

Editor’s Note: If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most often associated with those returning from war. However, for many of us with complex childhood trauma like sexual abuse, PTSD can be [...]
Photo of Lady Gaga on stage

Lady Gaga Shares Open Letter About Her Experience With Mental Illness and PTSD

On Monday, Lady Gaga handed out gifts at a homeless shelter for LGBT youths, but the singer kept on giving a few days later, this time in the form of an open letter. The note, published by her nonprofit organization Born This Way Foundation, shares Gaga’s experience living with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. “After five years [...]
young man sitting along on stairs

When I Realized 'Suck It Up' Logic Doesn't Work for Mental Illness

Learning to accept I couldn’t control my mental illness and how I reacted to it was probably the hardest part of getting better. Growing up in a family with four sons and no daughters, and most of us being wrestlers, we really had the “suck it up” idea when it came to anything that hurt. [...]
woman at the gynecologist, sitting with her doctor

A Guide to Going to the Gynecologist as a Rape Survivor

As a rape victim, a gynecologist exam was one of my biggest fears/nightmares. I’ve never been able to find enough information about how to prepare myself to make sure nothing goes wrong. Of course you can find the basic information on how it works, but that just wasn’t enough for me. I’ve written a few tips gathered [...]