Nightmares about Children Being Abused or Traumatized

August 4, 2013

While most nightmares seem to be a way that our unconscious works out feelings that aren’t easily comfortable in waking life, such as harm coming to our children, or even our own feelings of anger or aggression (which can lead to dreams of “bad guys,” etc.) sometimes dreams seem a little extra vivid when it comes to themes of abuse.

And while it would be irresponsible to conclude anything about a person or their life based on a dream, the dreams in this particular category invite a compassionate question:  could the dreamer have been abused in actuality in the past?

While such a question is delicate, the point of asking it has to do with shame, healing and the well-being of children.  Often people who have been abused carry shame:  they believe that the harm was their own fault.  In order to heal shame one has to come to a different understanding: children are innocent, adults are responsible for what happens to them.

Research shows that parents who have “unresolved trauma” tend to end up with children who have trouble with attaching, feeling secure, dealing with strong emotions, etc.  On the other hand, terrible things can have happened to a parent, but if he or she had worked it out (i.e. “resolved” it by seeking appropriate help) then the child is often just fine about trusting, dealing with others, etc.

If a reader of the dreams below finds themselves relating to these themes, particularly if they do recall being abused but have never gotten any help in healing it, they are encouraged to do the reach-out to counselors in their area and get some help.  Sometimes healing for the sake of our children (and it does help them for us to heal, to be happy and not ashamed or subjugated to victimization) becomes a way in which loving our children leads to our own growth and empowerment.

Of course a dream of abuse could just as well have been triggered by a movie, or be a way of representing how a dreamer might feel “abused” by something when no abuse has occurred.

That said, it is hoped that the dreams and responses below might help readers sort out for themselves where they stand in relationship to their past, their present and their parenting:

[Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]



nikki September 12, 2012 at 2:25 am [edit]

So i just dreamed the most horrible thing…. simply put my daughter looked at me while we were at a store somewhere, and i noticed she had a drop of blood on her forhead. I reached to see it and i sa the head of a nail under the skin….like a nail was in her face. i freaked out omg what happened baby when she looked at me and said its ok mommy. i continued looking at her i i keep finding nails in her, like in her face!!!!!!!! i sit in front of a store pulling nails out of her face frantically pulling. then i see her mouth had blood coming out of it…..i open her mounth to see 3 or more bent nails protruding from the roof of her mouth. i mean honestly, ive had some bad ones but this one simply wrecked me. i cant sleep for fear of reintering the dream, because now the site i just CANT get it outta my head. i got the feeling she was trying to die. i realized that she had done this to herself. she was really ready to die. she is 4 years old :( after this portion i was chasing after her tring to keep her alive.. she dove in front of a train inwhich i jumped after her to cover her up. we were stuck under the train and she was pushing me away trying to let the train get her i was struggling with her……please baby stop it let me help u!!!!! then my husband woke me up from a soaked pillow. He said i was frantically crying while sleeping PLEASE HELP


Bruce September 12, 2012 at 10:49 am [edit]

Hi Nikki,

When people came to Freud with suggestions that they had been hurt as children Freud believed them and suggested this to his colleagues who couldn’t face this idea. So Freud came up with complicated theories about children wishing for hurt or sex… and no one got better (although Freud got very famous).

This dream makes me wonder if you were hurt as a child. Things that don’t belong there got put in your head (bad ideas, cruelty, fear) and in your mouth (don’t speak, or tell or you’ll be punished or abandoned).

Then the train could be a symbol of man’s industrialization (which has lead to vast discrepancies in wealth, and is part and parcel of war; over-producing things leads to surplus of things and lack of money so war has historically been the answer to economic problems).

Trains are also phallic and perhaps you are trying to protect your child-self from the harm you have already suffered. Whether physical, sexual, psychological, political… you are awake and fully committed to the safety and well-being of your child.

Look to the pain of when you were four, and trust that simply being a good mom will prove healing to yourself and of the greatest value to your child.

Even if you have had not trauma, vast numbers of your brothers and sisters have been hurt, and if you are sensitive then you care and it permeates your consciousness.

Care, love, connect. This is the way forward for all of us.

^ * * * ^



Agape September 24, 2012 at 1:17 am [edit]

I have 2 female children 9&7 years old. They mean everything to me. So it really upsets my whole life when I have these reoccurring dreams of them being sexually abused. I dream about them being violently taken from me or kidnapped by strange men to be sexually abused, I even have dreams of my husband sexually abusing his own children. It’s causing me to distance myself from him & not trust him.
I don’t see any signs of abuse in our household but I’m constantly looking for It. Sneeking in on them watching tv, watching how he handles them anytime he touches them. I never see anything unappropriate but these dreams have me paranoid. I wake up crying & scared all the time & I’m overly protective of my girls. I don’t know how to handle this.


Bruce September 24, 2012 at 7:41 am [edit]

Hi Agape,

They say “name is destiny,” and so we must start with Agape, which (as I’m sure you know, means Divine Love).

As is said in the New Testament:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
—John 3:16, KJV

(and “Love” is “Agapao” in the original)

The other side of Agape is Eros, which is desire. In myth this relates to the origin of humans (while Agape has to do with human transcendence, spirituality and higher Love/Consciousness).

As you might sense from reading comments and responses above, I would encourage you to think of the children in your dreams as the child part of yourself.

In this sense we see an inner split between the Shadow (the bad men with lust and poor boundaries) and the Puella (eternal child, innocent, pure, ever reborn, eternal).

In this sense we see your dreams trying to work out a relationship between the carnal/incarnate and the sacred/spirit.

To solve this dream you must commune with the inner devil, the abusers, asking them (if you can, while you are dreaming, otherwise in waking imagination), “I know you are a part of me, why are you hurting this other part of me? What is it you want me to do? Is this about me owning my power and your anger at me running away from this power? Have I tried too hard to be an angel and so I must accept my all too human sexual, dark and not-so-angelic aspect too? Have I been projecting that onto my husband and other men these days? Or is there real danger and I must do something to protect my real children?”

Make your Shadow YOUR Shadow, a baddass who works WITH you to keep you and your kids safe, but not a frightened accuser ready for a witch trial.

ON THE OTHER HAND, you must also review your life and what was happening for you when you were seven and nine. If you WERE abused, it’s time to do some more work around that with a professional to complete your healing, and to divide the past from the present so you can live and love happily now and trust your kids are safe.

Hope this helps & All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^



Tina May 6, 2012 at 10:20 am [edit]

I had a disturbing dream about my daughter who is 8. The setting was my grandparents street, she was in our house (except it wasn’t our house), my husband, except it kinda wasn’t him, had her under the toilet somehow, the toilet was on top of her and she was trapped under it, she had on only her panties, she was completely calm as though it was a regular occurrence. I asked him what was going on and he told me he did it so he could pee on her and that he liked it. This is so messed up! I really have no idea how my brain could come up with something like this. I felt completely powerless in the dream, I wanted to get he out right away but felt that he was unstable and didn’t want to be in a situation we couldn’t escape. I was trying to plan how we could all leave him (her and my other two children) without arousing his suspicion. I felt very helpless in the dream, as my husband deals with all our finances and gets e-mails and checks bank statements. I felt like if I took the kids away I wouldn’t be able to get any money to keep us or get us a house. The image of daughter lying there so calm really upsets me, it actually makes me cry thinking about it, I am having a real hard time trying to let go of this dream and the emotions it has evoked.


Bruce May 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm [edit]

Hi Tina,

This does sound disturbing, and of course raises the obvious question about if your child is safe in waking life. If you have doubts in that area, the dream would be prompting you to confront reality.

Hopefully, your kids are safe and this dream is about your inner world, not your children’s outer world. In this case the dream could be interpreted along the lines of “your grandparents’ street” being the place of your higher consciousness as a parent. In this realm of inner consciousness your inner child is being suppressed by your inner Shadow Animus (your own male aspect). Thus your child is calmly under a toilet, suggesting that you have yourself felt passive, disempowered and devalued (i.e. a receptacle for what others don’t want, particularly crappy and angry feelings). In this sense the dream represents an inner situation, where your angry male self is both “pissed” but also yearning to more fully express itself; meanwhile the “calm” child in just panties is both sexualized, devalued and also perversely powerful (the crappy power around which the low-self-esteem person’s world circles). This set-up begs the question about “passive-aggressive” dynamics (see

The fact that you reference money, in connection with power and subjugation is also consistent with the notion of the gold being in the poop (see:

Of course dreams have so many potential meanings that my suggestions may be all wrong for you and your current situation. What makes good sense is to think about the different symbols (grandparents, toilet, child, etc.) and see what your mind offers up. Perhaps some journal writing, asking for another dream to help clarify, drawing, etc. might open some inner doors for you.

If there is trauma in your past, it wold be lovely for your children if you were to heal. If it is more purely symbolic, it would be good for you to be able to express what you truly feel. Generally speaking, as we embark upon the journey of individuation (i.e. becoming our true Selves), we typically meet the Shadow. If your real man is decent, and your real parents and grandparents, then the Shadow tends to bring a woman her power. Imagine if you could be lucid in this dream and say to your inner not-quite-really-your-husband: “I know you are the inner part of me who would put the little girl part of me under a toilet and pee on her, but why? What is it you need me to realize and recognize so that we can be on the same team and not hurt anyone, not inside me or outside of me, but not be hurt by anyone either?”

Finally, Tina, we all need to feel safe, loved and empowered. As do our kids. My wish for you is that you not take any of my suggestions as possibly knowing more about your life, your psyche and your family than you know—merely the wish that everyone feel respected, safe and loved (i.e. less blame, more compassion, inner and outer; but always with kids kept safe in real life as our first priority).

All Good Wishes

^ * * * ^


Nicole January 8, 2013 at 11:45 am [edit]

I have had two very disturbing dreams related to my children. The first is that I am having a get together at my house in a home I don’t recognize at all. I am very stressed and looking for something so I rush around looking from room to room. I walk in one room to find my oldest son 15 and youngest son 8 under the blankets naked and it appears my oldest is abusing my son. I can’t see them naked in my dream nor any act just the idea I charge in and attempt to hurt my oldest son with all my might. I immediately wake myself from this dream as it has me nervous.

My second dream is I am away working and I come home unexpectedly and my mother is watching the kids. I walk in and the older ones say nana is in your room taking a nap with the baby. ( I don’t have any kids that are babies anymore my youngest is 4 ). I walk in and I find my mother naked and she is abusing my baby. I again can not see any of her body like breast or anything just it’s the idea she is not clothed. I could not see the babies face to see which of my kids it was. I just run towards my mother and try to kill her and take my baby away. She is fighting me trying to kill the baby. I awake very upset. This has me very worried I am very protective of my children so it makes me anxious is my dream telling me someone is harming them. Please any thoughts. One note my kids are very happy and so well taken care of I think it might have more meaning about me.


Bruce January 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm [edit]

Hi Nicole,

These dreams do sound very disturbing, and of course we have to protect our children in waking life from any sort of harm, but it sounds like that is not your primary concern here.

Perhaps you yourself experienced abuse or trauma as a child, for if you did, and did not feel protected or validated by your mother, that would be a fairly clear explanation of the dream. If that were true then the dream would be telling you that you have a lot of unresolved anger toward your mother, and still carry wounds in your self, symbolically in your child self.

Of course your childhood may have been free of abuse and trauma, in which case the feelings of fear and dread summoned by this dream may point to the way your own brain has attempted to make sense of some unspeakable feelings of danger that, in order to be understood, get depicted as this worst sort of nightmare.

Turning to possibly interpretations of the symbols, and from here taking all the contents of the dream as aspect of your own psyche, we start with the “get together” which suggests you are trying to get the disparate parts of your own psychological self “together.” When we are young, or hurt, the parts of our selves (i.e. good and bad, brave and scared, etc.) get “split” and do not easily re-integrate.

The house can be a symbol of the total Self, the structure that contains all the rooms, people and situations that get split into parts. This house you do not recognize; this could mean that the unconscious is telling you that you do not know your whole self.

A blanket is a symbol of comfort (i.e. warmth, a security blanket), but can also be a symbol of denial (hiding things under a blanket is like sweeping them under a rug). Your unconscious has you witness the older child abusing the younger. Maybe this symbolizes how the grown-up you is hurting the child you by keeping it out of sight and out of mind. This would support the idea that whatever has hurt or scared you in the past (and it might not be abuse, but it could be) needs to be seen by the mom you have become and the child aspect needs to be protected by the mom you have become.

Give some thought to life when you were fifteen (perhaps becoming sexual in some way that didn’t feel right, perhaps with someone older than you?) and consider where you were at when you were 8. Were you hurt in some way at that time that was not validated or taken seriously? It could be something like parents splitting up and not realizing the impact on you, etc.

The second dream amplifies the first, and here we have a symbolic Great Mother in her negative aspect (a bit like the witch in “Hansel and Gretel” who wants to abuse the baby). Sometimes dreams of persecution can actually relate to some underlying feeling of neglect (not being seen, creating a wish to be seen, but feeling unworthy of being seen one is only “seen” or paid attention to as an object of abuse or gratification).

If we take these aspects as part of yourself, you would have an inner grandmother trying to kill an inner baby as you get cast as the hero who might kill the bad mother and save the good baby.

If you have suffered trauma, then the instinct in the dream to kill is a survival response, and perhaps a window into how you might have felt as a child, as many kids feel like they might be killed by abusive grown-ups when they are being hurt.

In waking life it is probably more important to stop any cycles of hurt, be it abuse or untreated anxiety, in the family. In this regard you probably want to work to forgive (but not excuse or deny) any bad behavior in the past while being sure your own kids are safe. At the inner psychological level, if you do suffer from wounds of the past you might like to address this (i.e. check out Peter Levine’s work on trauma such as:

Whatever this dream is bringing into your consciousness, it seems that you yourself feeling safe and happy will only further enhance your children’s prospects to live happy, loving and productive lives as all our families strive to heal over the course of generations.

All Best Wishes


^ * * * ^


Christy April 20, 2013 at 10:43 pm [edit]

I just had a dream about my children 13 & 15 the other night that scared the living daylight out of me.

I got a call from my older daughter, the line was staticy and she was very quiet and scared. The only part of the conversation I heard was “he nailed her to a tree and said I’m next”. Then the line went dead. I tried to call 911 on 3 different phones but I couldn’t get the phones to work.

I never remember my dreams, but I will never forget this one.


Bruce April 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm [edit]

Hi Christy,

As I read more and more of these nightmares I am humbled to ever more deeply realize that I do not “know” what they mean. Yet I have a human heart with which I can imagine the terror when the mind makes it seem as if our very worst living nightmare—harm or death to our children—is actually happening.

Thank goodness for waking up and realizing it is not so. Perhaps there is something about our fears that actually bonds and binds humans together, offering the possibility of love and peace in awakened reality? For this we could only do our individual best and hope the aggregate effect adds up.

Turning specifically to your dream, one way to interpret would be that the 13 and 15 year old parts of you are calling out for help, offering forceful “encouragement” to think compassionately about them. Where you hurt in some dramatic way when you were a young teen? Did something make you feel “crucified” (i.e. caught in the middle of parent’s divorce, or betrayed by friends or a boyfriend, or worse yet hurt physically or otherwise)?

In this perspective the “he” who nails to a tree would be the Shadow or aggressive, destructive powerful part of yourself—placing you in helpless relationship to both the girl you were unable to protect (because you were her) and the “bad guy” who is gone in reality but living in your unconscious.

So often women pay a price for their past subjugation by ending up in passive situations (i.e. the helplessness we see in the dream), and perhaps whatever has hurt you in the past left you quiet and passive, but very hurt and scared inside?

A tree itself is a potential symbol of life or soul and thus girls nailed to a tree could on the one hand suggest torture, but on the other hand suggest a return of soul and life spirit to the girl you once were, tumbling you out into the present time as a fully spiritual, strong, loving and grown-up woman.

Not being able to get any of three phones to work in you attempt to ask for help, might suggest three people in the past who did not help when you needed it (i.e. mother, grandmother, older siblings or currently the father of the girls, etc.).

On a mundane note, parenting teens can be rather vexing, and one interpretation of such a dream could be unconscious anger… when we feel like crucifying our kids for scaring us with their limit-testing and disrespect and the like in our more bleak parenting moments.

On the sacred side, crucifixion obviously brings to mind Christ and with a name like Christy you could unconsciously feel like you are the mother God being asked to sacrifice your own girls for some inexplicable reason. If that is resonant, than perhaps some epiphany of psychological resurrection can follow on the heels of this nightmare, one in which you realize that your love for you girls is so deep and potentially self-sacrificing that you actually participate in the divine mystery and are not just praying to some dusty patriarchal idea that no longer feels alive for you.

Remember, our deep dread of loss and separation from our children allows for our deep attachment and love. Perhaps it’s time to think about loving the teen you once were as deeply as you love your girls now?

At the very least I hope these ideas, and your conscious contemplation of this dream, will allow you to have safe and healing dreams ahead.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^


Virginia March 4, 2013 at 8:34 pm [edit]

Hi Bruce,
I woke up scared to death this morning. This dream was so vivid I am afraid to go to sleep. This a little similar to yours. At a summer house the house is white from when I was a kid. In the grassy wheel driveways that are close together. My husband fighting with me. Got in his truck to leave. I thought he was getting in the truck with himself his uncle and his brother and that’s it. Somehow my kids ended up in the truck with him. Mad at me speeding backing out of the driveway (I was walking up stairs on the outside of the house but had a roof and wall all around it completely covered so you cant see outside.) He was backing out of the driveway somehow steered of the driveway. Flipped the truck over a white parked car in the next driveway. All of my children were in his truck laying on the grass with their heads smashed together screaming help. I was so afraid to go out there to see what I would find. I continued up the stairs and called 911. Come to find out there was a kid on a bicycle right behind him and that’s why he went off the driveway to miss the kid. I then had two versions of the dream here one it was my son but he was fine and the other it was a kid I did not know. Also after calling 911 I have two versions to one me going outside and holding my children crying not knowing what to do waiting for help and the other me not being able to go outside to see how bad the kids were. I just can’t stop thinking about this dream and at the time it was so real. I know there is a hidden message but I don’t know what it is. Can you help me put the pieces together.


Bruce March 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm [edit]

Hi Virginia,

I can lend some ideas but you will have to continue with the creative work of contemplating whatever meaning ends up most resonant for you.

The house might be s symbol of self, and the “wheel” driveway implies the circle of life in which you re-visit feelings of the past but from the perpective of a parent.

My suspicion is pain unresolved from your own childhood, perhaps a time you felt hurt by male insensitivity (father, uncle, brother?) and were not protected by mother.

Now you are the mother and you experience the emotional scene not from the kid hurt by the male authority figures, but from the perspective of helpless mother (perhaps the way you saw your own mother?).

You are “going upstairs” which could symbolize moving to higher consciousness, maturity or perspective, yet you are inside, “blocked” by “walls” (symbol of denial, or inhibition from your own true feelings such as anger or aggression) and by “roof” the current upper limit on your consciousness, what separates your mother level from some even higher, Great Mother or grandmother/ancestor wisdom?

The various versions might echo the way so-called “memory” works; in other words we do not actually record events in our brains, and what we think of as memory is actually a reconstruction of images and sensations, an attempt to make a story that holds together. Vivid as things may seem, we are notoriously unreliable in matching memory to so-called “fact.”

That said, emotional reality certainly shows that your dream scared you terribly and connects to the general feeling of terror, loss, helplessness and overwhelm in the face of trauma.

Did you suffer losses in the past? Was there a car accident? Or a bike accident?

Let your associations flow, looking not for facts but for feelings and your need to heal whatever haunts you in the past (or perhaps nothing does). On the other hand there may be tension in your marriage and the unconscious feeling of rage and your inhibition from knowing your rage.

Then you may cast your rage as the insensitive husband, who is prevented from breaking up the family through the tragedy of destroying the family.

Keep in mind that your husband didn’t “do this,” rather your unconscious blames him for the mayhem and you are scared because it becomes unclear if your terrible dream might create some terrible outcome. We are not so powerful, and our deep fears about it drive our anxiety.

Better to realize you feel angry, hurt, abandoned, whatever and then talk it through. If you are having conflicts in your family it would be best to talk those through, without blame, as so often people soften when they feel understood (i.e. you as well as your husband).

If you are not in an outer conflict with husband, perhaps you need to realize the husband within who abandons is the hurt and angry part of you, the part that causes the inner children within you to be smashed in the head (i.e. rendered unable to think, crying out for help).

I hope these ideas help you feel less anxious and confused. If you spend some time dialoguing with the parts of yourself, as found in the dream, perhaps you will get a new, less terrible dream, to guide you beyond the false split of power that hurts others or weak kindness that cannot protect self or others.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^



Monique June 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm [edit]

I have three boys. I kept having nightmares of my oldest boy being violated by a man unknown. In every dream he’s a kid and his surroundings he’s always screaming out for help. The last setting was a train station set up like penn station in manhattan. The location was in unknown room as he kept screaming police officers n myself was able to hear his cries. I always wake up before knowing the outcome. I wake up always with a migraine headache, heart pounding and scared. My son is always safe sound asleep in the next room. Please tell me what these dreams mean and how do I stop them.


Bruce June 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm [edit]

Hi Monique,

Firstly, let me say how sorry I am to hear about these terrible nightmares—whether awake or asleep, bad things happening to our kids is just about the worst feeling imaginable.

As to what these dreams could mean, I can only offer some ideas to consider while you’re heart and your own instincts must guide you from there.

One possibility is that your son in your dream symbolizes the child part of yourself (think about your life when you were your oldest son’s age for clues about how or why you might have felt like you were trapped or being hurt, perhaps emotionally, perhaps actually in some physical or sexual way).

Even if there is no trauma in your past, your unconscious is trying to make you consciously aware of some sort of pain and need for liberation and protection, perhaps even some sort of new inner adventure (suggested by train station and travel to other places, or perhaps other thoughts and feelings).

You wake with migraine, suggesting just how painful it is to think about, or be aware of, the pain of our children, inner or real.

While I would not assert, based on a dream, that you in the past, or your children are in any danger from strangers, the symbolism of the dream does point to the possibility of being hurt by sexuality. “Penn” station has the root of (penis), and trains can be classically phallic symbols (but, of course, not only that).

In this context it would be important, if you had suffered abuse in the past, to be aware of it and seek help to talk about it and heal it.

Protecting our kids from abuse is part of our job as parents, and one resource in this regard is a book by a colleague of mine meant to teach kids about what is appropriate and what is not regarding their bodies, boundaries and privacy.

For more on that see the book at Amazon:

As to how to stop the dreams, my hope is that by thinking deeply about it you may become conscious of whatever message of healing, protection or transformation is arising in your own psyche, which then makes the dream no longer necessary.

Wishing you safety, peace and pleasant dreams :)

^ * * * ^



amanda September 21, 2012 at 8:41 am [edit]

I hav some horrifying and extremely haunting disturbing dreams and i really need to kno wut they mean. I hav a lil girl (she’ll be two november), she is my life, my world, i love her a gazillion times more than i hav ever loved n e one or n e thing, she is my mirracle child because they told me i had one in a million chances to conceive.

My dreams get worse and wosre evry time and they wake me up in tears and im shakin from head to toe with the sweats and nausea.

This is one of my dreams:
My family and i ari playing it the woods with a little push bike thingie for my lil gurl then it switches to another seen i couldnt quite make out but my husband was gone and it was jus me and my lil gurl then sum guys pull up and ask for directions but wer also being vulgar with me and my lil gurlthen agian it switches and im waking up. In a lockd room with my lil gurl so i try to find a way out and i do thru this littl vent i grab my lil gurl (who was wrapd in blankets and run, i get to a bus stop, get on the bus and realize my lil girl is a doll literally so i run bask as fast as i can, i dart back thru the vent of the place but by the time i got back they had my lil girl sawd in half and she was hangin up on an intertainment stand, im screaming aand crying and run to her, try to put her back together and as i do she looks at me (dieing) and say with her last crying breath mama, so i hold her tight and say i love u then i wake up.

That dream had me awake for three days straight, terrified. I would see that immage evry time i would look at my lil girl then i would jus hold her and cry.

I also hav dreams about her getting shot in the head whild im being sexually tortured, and also hav extreemly detailed dreams about other babies getting sexually abused very brutally while im holding my lil gurl running but im going no where and the people will jus laugh and laugh at me.

Can u tell me wut these dreams mean??? :'(


amanda September 21, 2012 at 8:49 am [edit]

Please help me understand!!!


amanda September 21, 2012 at 8:59 am [edit]

Oh and another thing thes dreams r very detailed i can feel, smell, hear, taste… and wen i wake up its still all there fresh on my finger tips, in my nose, i can hear thing over and over, and hav the tast in my mouth.


Bruce September 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm [edit]

Hi Amanda,

i am very sorry that you are having such terrible dreams. But please know that by becoming conscious and aware of your fears, and even of your own past hurts, your baby will be safe from harm (both physical and psychological).

Your deep self is bringing traumatic images up into your mind, but your unconscious knows what it is doing in forcing you to face these images. My suspicion is that you were very severely hurt as a child.

But even if you were not overtly abused, it seems as if being a mom and seeing how tender and beautiful and innocent a child is you are completely horrified about how anyone could hurt a child. The answer may often be that people have been hurt and if they can’t heal from the past they recreate that pain in the next generation of kids.

The way we stop this is to be aware of our own hurts and stop the cycle through community, honesty, compassion and awareness of abuse and trauma.

Even if you were not hurt, so very many children are hurt that we could all stand to be horrified about that.

From a symbolic standpoint, in one dream your girl (who might symbolize your own child-self) is sawed in half. This is a crude way of separating her sexual parts from the rest of her. When kids are abused they often feel like they are being sawed in half, and they also sometimes experience floating out of their body, as if the hurt is happening to someone they are just watching (hence the “entertainment center”).

Being shot in the head may also be a symbol of putting an end to thinking, particularly to “bad” or painful thoughts and memories. We try to block out the horror, but actually we need to talk it through with someone who understands trauma, abuse and healing.

The intense realness of these dreams, the details and sensory memories also cause me to worry if you really were hurt when you were little. Of course it’s possible that you were emotionally hurt as a child and the intensity of that pain FELT like being abused.

Either way, if we can deal with the facts of our past hurts we do not scare our own babies. You are having bad dreams, but you wake up to find your baby safe and sound. Thank goodness for that.

I very much wish you safe days ahead, both in sleep and in being awake.


amanda September 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm [edit]

I appreciate u taking the time to talk to me, u hav no idea how much it means.
when i try to talk to people they tell me im crazy or i need help or even worse they think im not safe to be around. I am a great person, very loving and carring and im now emotional as well. U r ryt i hav had a horrible past life but i thot i had put all that behind me, i moved on got married and had a beautiful and wonderful lil girl whom i love dearly.
All this is making me feel like i AM going crazy, they just wont stop no matter wut i do. She’ll be two november and iv been having them since she was born.

Not only hav i had a pretty rough past life but my husbansd family has also put me thru a tremendous amount of stress, hurt, and bad problems; so i hav one more question for u…
And the question is: “do i need professional help and will these dreams ever EVER go away???


Bruce September 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm [edit]

Hi Amanda,

Although I suspected that you had been badly hurt, I’m very sorry to hear that this is the case.

As for your question, I do believe that these dreams will go away, but that talking them through and the abuse that has been re-triggered by having a child will free you of the bad dreams.

As for “needing” professional help, I would urge you not to think about it as a mark of being “crazy” or “wrong,” but instead frame it like this: you have been hurt as a child and you DESERVE compassion, understanding, healing and support from caring and competent humans who understand how to help people who have been mistreated.

If you can find someone who is a competent professional I would by all means speak with them as an act of love for your little girl. A healthy happy mom is a gift to any kids.

In addition to this I would encourage yoga or other Zen sorts of things as they can really help calm and quiet the mind. Read things by Thich Nhat Hahn for starters.

Finally, my own book “Privilege of Parenting” is not just a collection of blog posts, it is a separate work meant to help parents better understand themselves and their children no matter what the struggles may be, including the sort you have been through.

Trust that the spirit of others who have survived and healed from what you’ve been through will help you through, and then one day you’ll be helping those who must also make the hard journey into healing through these dark nights of the soul.

All Best Wishes


amanda September 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm [edit]

thank u very much for listening and helping me understand u hav no idea how much i appreciate this and i jus want to say to evryone out ther that has these insanly horrifying night terrors and i dont kno y our brains let us see these horrible immages but jus remember they r not real and dont let them scare u. love your children and family as much as u can each day and let them kno evry single day just how much they mean to u necause wev all seen first hand jus how bad and scary thing can be and how fast it could be to loose sumone close to u. we all need to use this as a tool for our evry day life. these dreams SUCK royally but no mattr wut we are always gonna be stronger than sum crazy dream…

May there be peace to evryone out there and and may god please watch over our dearly loved ones!!!


Bruce September 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm [edit]

Hi Amanda,

Thanks for your kind words, especially in the spirit of supporting other parents in the service of all our collective children.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^



Vanessa October 15, 2012 at 8:35 am [edit]

It’s seems that every time I have a nightmare I somehow end up at my first home, which happens to be my mother’s house. (This is not how my nightmare starts) I am at a place where I have come to all my life, in dreams, that is. I come here to “vacation” I know this place because if I want to get there I have to go through the Open Sea. I can only float there and when I do I am terrified because the water is one of my greatest fears. I HATE THE OCEAN. I don’t even swim in pools. Anyhow every time I have to float through the water, the waves are so ridiculously dangerous. There’s always a high tide and it make me feel like I could drown any second. I always notice that floating along with me are old pieces of furniture and things of that nature. When I finally make it to my destination it’s usually because I have drowned. I wake up in my dream from a dream only to realize I am living in my mother’s house. UH-oh. Nightmare begins. There is a small room which, when, I open it becomes the entrance to the ocean part of my dream. There it is. The Ocean that I just drowned in…a door away. After coming in and out of that door I find myself looking at the clock on the wall. I think it say’s 4:03 but when I look closer it’s actually 5:30…I run out the door because I am so late to pick up my eldest son. (I have 3 kids but they r not part of my dream) I’m already worried because I fear he might still be at the school or he might have been taken by child protective services. As I run down the stairs I notice lots of kids on the opposite side of the street. I even see my youngest child and completely disregard him because he was not a part of my dream. As I am walking toward the school (which happens to be my old Middle school) I realize I can’t call the school because I don’t know the number. Then …My son is right in front of me walking away from me very “zombie” like. I say his name and hug him. I ask him why he didn’t ring the bell and he say’s he did but I didn’t open the door. Then a little girl from his class say’s to me. He isn’t on drugs or anything. His eye’s are like that because he has been crying. I look at him and he looks just awful. She say’s he had to do something with a man. Then my dream turns into a panic attack that I couldn’t wake up from. He said “a man made me have sex with him. He touched me and violated me” I start crying and freak out. Hating myself for being so late and call the police. The police tell me there’s nothing they can do and give me an appointment for a week later to come and talk to me. I cry holding my son as I check him and just before he could show me his body I wake up in tears.

I hope that you can help me out with this horrible nightmare. As I said when I see myself in my mom’s place I know it’s gonna turn out bad. But this time I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing and I hate myself for having this kind of a dream.


Bruce October 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm [edit]

Hi Vanessa,

Your “first house” could be symbolic of your mother’s womb. My instinct here is that your mother carries (or carried) unresolved trauma, thus even being “in her house” was a difficult place to be.

While I’d not want to put too much into astrology, the “first house” in that way of thinking is the house of the self. Thus we all start out in the first house, it’s just a little different for each of us—and before we’re complete we all have to make our way around the wheel of experience.

You get to this first house through the ocean, which is the Great Mother and also symbolic of the unconscious. If you read the other comments and dreams above you will find a lot of water imagery; this might help you realize that you are not alone.

The ocean can also be the salty veil of tears. Think of Alice drowning in her own tears in “Alice in Wonderland” once she grows small (i.e. regresses to a baby state where her own feelings are too much for her). If your mom’s feelings were too much for her, then your feelings would be too much for her also, and they would remain too much for you. And then you become a parent and are desperate to grow solid enough to protect and contain and love your own kids… and hence these dreams, this seeking help, healing in the service of our children.

The bits of furniture might symbolize the brokenness that were your childhood feelings. A bit like Noah and the flood, all is wiped out by the great rising tide of Mother Ocean.

You “drown” to end up in mother’s house. Think T.S. Eliot in “Prufrock”:

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

lots to glean from such poetry…

But perhaps the beach is that place between unconscious and conscious. For you it might be a door in your mother’s house that leads to the ocean of our collective feelings, myths, memories, loves and pains…

You go in and out of that door, as if incarnating multiple times. But the clock is the signifier of the Father: Father Time.

4:03 and 5:30 seems to be dealing, possibly, with ages, in both cases dropping backward. Perhaps at four something happened to you, and then you felt like a “zero” obliterated by hurt. Perhaps you then regressed to three, or wishing you could be three again, before the bad thing happened. At five you might still be wishing to go back to three, or the wish for zero—for non-being when being hurts so badly.

But this prompts you to “wake up” to your kids, to think of them and their future instead of yourself and your past. This is the healing impulse. Your love for your children will indeed wake you up and it will heal and transform you.

You don’t need no parenting expert for this, you only need love and understanding. That is what we all need, and that is what our kids all need and that is exactly what we have in our tattered hearts and up our torn sleeves.

You run “down the stairs” meaning you go deliberately toward lower consciousness, but not off a cliff or into the sea, in a step by step manner that you can handle.

You see lots of kids across the street. This is because so many of our collective kids are in this situation of hurt, risk, vulnerability. This is why parents are coming together to help each other care about all the kids. The collective idea of caring is not political, or economic, or social… it is the realm of the Great Mother inside every parent, if only the veil of hurt can soften and drop away.

This is the call to the hero’s journey, but men tend to puff up and try to be the hero, women form a circle and get down to actual helping and protecting.

You go for the oldest but disregard the youngest (in a sense YOU are the oldest kid so you must be sure to not forget the actual kids you have when you are awake, they are the “youngest”– but you realize, unconsciously, that you can’t help the youngest if the oldest/yourself is not safe and okay.

“Middle school” might also mean that new learning is in order for you, and it is in the middle between parent and child, the ocean of hurt that you must deal with. Try not to “hate the ocean” respect her and love her and let her teach you how to become one with her, then you can never drown as the ocean does not drown.

The Zombie thing I have more to say about here:

“Ringing the bell” is a symbol of call to prayer, of liberty, of enlightenment… your child did ring the bell, the little Buddha, you just had not heard (for the roar of the ocean can be deafening).

You had not “opened the door” to the heart place where all healing must occur. Thus you have to let that child who is you, and who has cried a river and an ocean of tears, into your heart, the Vanessa’s Ark of your very own soul.

The child looks awful. You bear witness. This is essential, you do not turn away from witnessing the hurt.

Here we get to sexual abuse. So whether you experienced this, or your mom did and you never knew it, but somehow DID know it in your unconscious (ask her, maybe she’ll validate what you’ve always known, and suffered in secret bonded shame with your mom. If we’re right it will liberate you and heal your relationship with your mom).

If you were abused, you were also not protected and this has to be healed. I get the sense that your unconscious is ready for therapy. Thus the cop gives you an appointment to “come and talk” in a week. The cops are also you, the authority part of you who can hook you up with the part of you who needs to talk this all through as an act of love for your children.

I know this all hurts, but it is becoming conscious, which is the opposite of things having to be acted out.

I hope this helps and I send you Healing Wishes

^ * * * ^



Robyn November 11, 2012 at 6:07 am [edit]

Hi Bruce,

I dreamed that my father was coming into my bed and caressing me. I knew I was disgusted. But I didn’t stop it because it began to turn me on. I felt ashamed for feeling that was and the next day volunteered as a midwife and would make milk come in to nurse others babies. Except one breast began to make blood. The other wouldn’t make anything.
I woke up.
Strange dreams. I hope you can give me some insight.

^ * * * ^


Kellie March 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm [edit]

Hi. I was searching about my nightmares i keep having and i found this site. My dreams have always been about my dad.. and I didn’t start having them untill i became a mother. In my dream i am holding my youngest child putting him to sleep my daughter is 5 and in the bathtub at my dad’s house .. I hear my daughter laughing and my dad talking to her.. then all of a sudden i get a horrid feeling i put my son down and head down the hall way when i get to the hallway the bathroom is at the other end. my father is hitting my daughter over and over and over and im screaming at him to stop and i am trying to run to the bathroom and i keep falling down all the while screaming at him, when i finally get to the bathroom i am trying with all my might to get my dad away from my daughter.. then i see her in the tub.. she is badly hurt and hes laughing saying thats what she gets for laughing at me… i wake up screaming every time. this has happened at least 6 times in the last 3 weeks. my husband is horrified when i wake him up screaming and kicking. What do you think this means? I would love to know. (p.s I live 1800 miles from my father, also do not have much of a relationship with him because of how mean he was to me as a child.)


Bruce March 2, 2013 at 6:21 pm [edit]

Hi Kellie,

I’m afraid this dream is all too easy to interpret: your father was abusive and now that you have a little girl it has triggered the experience of terror, helplessness and pain that you thought growing up, moving away, finding love and having a family of your own would put behind you.

Firstly I am so sorry that you were hurt as a child. While you are probably not keen to consider this, your father too probably had a lot of pain in his childhood (and no way to resolve and heal it).

Your dream shows us how we “internalize” our parents and they live inside us like ghosts of the psyche. The trick here is to grow a bigger and kinder parent to dwarf the hurt-mean one who now hurts the child in your nightmare.

The father in the dream is your own Shadow, it holds your power, but that power is still woven together with aggression (and thus you are inhibited from owning your healthy power, unconsciously, out of fear that you will be a monster if you dare to flex a muscle). This becomes a parenting problem as your child develops, because you have to be firm and hold limits sometimes in the face of your child’s frustration; if you think being firm makes you an abusing monster, next thing you know you have a spoiled brat on your hands because you can’t say, “No.” (not to mention a husband who tells you you need to be more firm, and who then feels suddenly like an abuser, and the conflicts become marital and you get more frightened and lonely).

The tub could be a symbol of the unconscious (water, womb, container) and the dream shows the relationship in your psyche between the inner father and the inner child; you are the conscious being who could not stop the father nor protect the child, so it symbolizes your helplessness and your feeling ineffective. You want and need to be able to become tough and protective, and my vote is YES!

Your unconscious is showing you this, I would guess, because your deepest Self wants you to heal and part of this is becoming conscious about what needs to heal.

Next is HOW to heal. Therapy can be an option, if you find someone who is skilled at trauma work. This can be tricky because just telling the story repeatedly is not necessarily therapeutic—it can dredge up old pain and just bring it all back without making it better.

A skilled therapist can help see if other issues (anxiety, depression, etc. are interacting with previous trauma).

Other options include some sort of mindfulness practice, like yoga or meditation which has proven helpful, and lastingly so, for depression, anxiety, obsessive thinking, etc.

If your own well-being is not enough to motivate action, research shows that unresolved trauma in parents negatively effects kids, while resolved trauma does not.

I would recommend a couple of books to consider:

“Waking The Tiger” by Peter Levine

and my own book

“Privilege of Parenting”

I hope these suggestions help and I wish you and your family all the best

Kellie March 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm [edit]

Thank you very much! I appreciate you giving me your opinion and it makes total sense to me now thank you!


Chris March 2, 2013 at 7:14 pm [edit]

Hello Dr. Dolin,

I am Kellie’s husband. After reading what you wrote, and I do appreciate the response, I began to read some of your other responses. I see a strong Jungian theme in your messages. I wonder what your thoughts on Carl Jung’s work are? I am almost done with my Bachelors degree in Business, but I began my academic journey as a psychology major. I had an intense, almost infatuation with Dr. Jung and some of his written works. Man and His Symbols and his explainations of the unconcious, his typology, and his theory of the collective unconconseous made so much sense to me that I began to take his truths to heart. Although I switched my focus to business, I still use Dr. Jung’s philosophies in my daily life. Whether intentional or not, I really appreciate your response to my wife as it is an affirmation to my suspicions of her need to overcome the internal struggle she deals with, on her path to becoming one with her Self through individuation. Thanks!


Bruce March 3, 2013 at 9:44 am [edit]

Hi Chris,

Indeed I am much indebted to C.G. Jung whom I like to think of as a kindred spirit in our collective situation. My old therapist trained in Zurich was fortunate to have actually met with Jung and thus his ideas have permeated my path.

And yet I would not say I am a “Jungian” as even Jung joked that he would not want to be such a thing!

If you want to explore how Jung’s ideas cross with your own by way of my strings of words you might search for “Jung” at the home page of my blog. Perhaps synchronicity strikes in the confluence of our virtual meeting :)

In any event, wishing you, Kellie and your family all the best on roads individual and collective.

^ * * * ^


Mae January 15, 2013 at 2:40 am [edit]

My Mother had a rather horrible dream last night about my younger Brother. She said that the dream was filled with people being hurt and killed and that other people were trying to get her to look at the bodies etc. She refused and said she was struggling when she witnessed my brother being raped. He was alive and she saw him afterwards as well. I have also (a while ago) had a dream were he was sexually assaulted. We are very protective over him and worry about him a lot as he is autistic. He has been spending the holidays with his father and my mother has been missing him quite a bit when she had this dream. We tend to be a little overbearing in terms of him and are overly protective at times. Can you help interpret this dream please?


Bruce January 15, 2013 at 7:00 am [edit]

Hi Mae,

The very fact that you, as your mom’s daughter, are searching for help may give our first clue about this dream (and your family’s situation).

Your mom dreams she refuses to “look at” the pain, destruction, bodies, etc. That might be a way that your mom’s unconscious is forcing her to “see something.”

Obviously if there has been actual abuse your mom, and/or you, would have to “look at that” and take action to protect your brother. Given that you tend to the “overprotective,” I will assume that if there were real danger and real evidence of harm you would not allow unsupervised time with anyone who you guys considered dangerous.

More likely is that the dream depicts your mom’s PAST feelings of helplessness about some sort of time when she was not safe. This could be actual harm (if so, she would be well served to seek help to heal her trauma) or it could be more a feeling of not being safe as a kid.

If your brother is autistic it might be possible that his father has some autistic traits although more mild, what is sometimes called a “ghosting” of the disorder. Given that your mom was attracted to the man, and then it didn’t work out, it makes me wonder if she herself had a dad, uncle, step-dad or other person in her life who was a little socially cut-off who caused a sense of harm.

Sometimes with themes of persecution we find and underlying feeling of neglect and abandonment (with persecution as a defense, as oddly enough we prefer to be chased by bad guys than abandoned and forgotten; of course we prefere to be loved safely and understood if we can manage to get that, or at least provide that to our children and those we love).

Given that you too have had dreams of your brother sexually assaulted, and I am imagining you have no real evidence to support that he was, I wonder if you are somehow carrying the dream of abuse that belongs to your mom, or perhaps even your grandmother… or maybe even the father?

Many people truly are abused, and perhaps our dreams, and our reach-outs for help, and our discussions can help us understand why, and when, abuse happens so that we might break the cycle of abuse in families and this can only benefit the group to become more compassionate and conscious.

The abusers and rapists in the the dreams could be understood in terms of Shadow, or the dark destructive non-conscious aspect of our own selves we cannot bear to acknowledge. We then project them onto others, often onto others who have differences (i.e. wounds of their own, autism, etc.) and this can perpetuate the cycle in waking life.

If we must be good and innocent, the Shadow, some Shadow, tends to materialize and victimize us. It can all be confusing, especially when the pain rests in childhood experiences we may have had before we even have memory.

Finally, if you or mom miss someone terribly, the unconscious can feel like that person abandoned us. In our fear and feelings of loss we might become angry and in our dreams destruction happens. It’s as if we dream of killing our parents and awaken terrified to find we are orphaned.

While these notes, I hope, might bring a better feeling of safety and a chance to explore the full range of your own and your mom’s feelings, we cannot deny that in real life there are far too many children abused, neglected, etc.

Maybe there is some collective message in the dreams of many mothers (and some fathers) that the horror of any children being hurt is actually unacceptable. If we can calm down and be conscious, perhaps we will be organically guided by common sense and compassion to realize whatever it is we can actually do to help lessen an avoidable suffering and hurt that might occur out of too much fear, denial, accusation and hostility toward others that might better be understood as a problem belonging to all of us, a situation solved through shifting our own consciousness about who we are, who are children are and who the “bad guys” actually are and what they are about/what they want?

Our own Shadow tends to want respect and recognition, it tends to want to bring us our ultimate power (which might be the power to Love). Perhaps it turns dark when all its attempts to bring the consciousness of our true dark and light nature that leaves it no other choice than dream mayhem to break through the denial?

Better dreams ahead (and waking life too) I hope


^ * * * ^


Hi Bruce!

I came upon your website while I was doing a search on the Internet. I wondered if you could offer me some insight on a nightmare I had last night. I cannot remember much of it unfortunately. The only thing I remember is hitting my 2 year old on the head with a bottle or bat or something. I hit her a few times I think. She didn’t die in the dream, but I remember panicking after the act and looking at her face. Her one eye was abnormal looking and I was so worried because she wasn’t acting normal (obviously- if I had just bet her on the head)…. Very disturbing to me:( I’ve had a lot going on recently and wonder if it is related to my dream or if I should worry that something is wrong with me for dreaming something so horrid.  I have a 4 month old that has been in the hospital 3-4 times for kidney infection, then again for drug overdose (pharmacy gave her the wrong antibiotics). Anyways, a ton of stress with the baby. I was up a lot last night and didn’t sleep much at all (baby had shots weds and was very restless all night). Yet, somehow in the few interrupted hours of sleep I dreamt  this about my 2 year old. I have felt guilt about not giving her attention lately and since the new baby she wants my husband all the time and not me (big change as she always wanted me)…. Anyways just wanted to see what your thoughts were. I feel guilt for dreaming this and feel like something must be wrong with me for dreaming about hurting my baby girl.

Thanks in advance,



Hi Jessica,

I am so sorry for what you have been going through with your baby, and I can assure you that your dreams are normal—and that you are not a bad parent for dreaming this.

Having your little one be so ill is very scary, and when we are scared badly enough we drop into the fight/flight part of our brains.  This part is a bit brutal because it is 300 million years old and pretty much the same brain a dinosaur had.  Dinosaurs laid eggs and walked away, they didn’t attach to babies or worry about them.

The mammal brain is only 60 million years old.  It attaches and worries about babies.

When we are scared enough it’s a battle between the lizard brain (Tony Soprano) and the mammal brain (Mother Theresa).

When we love the sick little baby so much and are scared and just need to focus on her, and then the older one who is thriving and fine but demands attention because she is not old enough to understand how much you love her if you’re not giving her total attention, the unconscious mind ends up feeling very angry at the older one (both for “making” us feel guilty for not giving more attention, and for distracting us from full attention to the little one without guilt; AND for hurting our feelings in gravitating to the other parent).

All at once we are threatened with the potential loss of connection with all those we love, this terrifies us to the point of rage, and our unconscious gets violent and aggressive.

Let’s turn for a moment to interpreting the dream in terms of your own psyche, not the actual family members.  In this view the baby is the most young part of you, and the older child the “needy” part of you, and you end up trying to protect the newly birthing self from the needy demanding self.

Then you come out of the lizard rage state and are horrified at what you did.  This could reflect the need for even more consciousness and compassion… for YOURSELF.

Perhaps this is the point of finding my blog and getting some encouraging words from me, for in my words you integrate an older parent (i.e. a shrink, a person with a kid in college and another in high school who can still remember the dread of medical situations with babies, etc.)

Think of the dream as major passion: you love and you love hard and when you’re loving the most vulnerable part of you you become a mother bear who needs to be extremely powerful, even brutal, in assuring the survival of the most vulnerable part of the family (in yourself, and in waking life).

Finally, if there has been violence upon you in the past, that is something to become aware of and work through, and if this is the case then your dream is also a way that the violent Shadow aspect within you may become more consciously integrated into your full personality.

Keep in mind that you were violent in your dream, not in waking life.  You must be beside yourself with the hospitalizations of your little one and the strain of trying to help the older one know how much you treasure her as well.

I hope everyone in your family gets through this difficult time well and that it makes you all more bonded and strong as a family in the long run.  One day you may be helping some new parent with the hard-won wisdom you gathered along the way.

Warmest Regards, Bruce



Thank you so very very much for the reply. It really helped ease my mind for sure. It says a lot about a person who takes the time to respond, but speaks volumes that you took extra time to explain or interpret everything in detail.

Really, thank YOU!



My Pleasure, Jessica—I’m so glad it helped ease your mind.

Warmest Regards, Bruce

^ * * * ^


Lynn May 21, 2013 at 4:04 am [edit]

I just awoke from a horrifying dream. A little background first. I caught my nine yr old daughter viewing porn on the Internet and feel it is my fault for not protecting her. Some guys at work have referred to the site before, and my curiosity got the better of me. Pretty explicit stuff, and apparently your web history conveys to all kindles on the account. I forgot to put hers back in child mode when allowing my son to play a game. She found the website as it popped up in the history. I caught her looking at this site and she tried to hide it from me. I sat down with her and explained it was not her fault, and told her that it was not a site for kids and was not even a site for most adults. I told her that it was not love, and was how some people choose to behave or express themselves. This was awkward, but I tried to stay calm about it for her sake. She has a history of problems that I’m trying to get diagnosed. Possibly ADHD or even bi-polar disorder. She parallels my experience as a child educationally and emotionally. I have a family history of mental illness and sexual abuse. Segue to last night, I also have been watching the Oklahoma Tornado aftermath and am horrified so many children are dead and feel terrible for the parent and workers who have the task of recovering bodies of children, AND as if that isn’t enough ammunition for a nightmare, I have had a recurring dream about prisoners in some prison who have all become animals and have no humanity left. They live in some sort of run-down facility, sometimes this is underground, others it is above. Always with several floors, and there is no protection from guards whilst traversing them. Men are lining the corridors and stairwells like the homeless, blood, urine, and feces are everywhere. It’s very dirty and probably smelly, but in my dream I don’t smell anything. For some reason my family, mother, husband, three kids, had to go up a stairwell, and there was some sort of side stairwell that intersected the main one and led to a set of corridors, along the halls which had large metal doors that had a strange locking mechanism. Kind of like a metal flattened oval piece that when spun around it would lock from the outside. The corridor and doors were all an institutional grey paint. It was known that these “janitor’s closets” were often used by prisoners for sexual acts. I am therefore extremely concerned when my family takes the stairwell to reach another floor, and I have my children with me and am horrified at what they are seeing. I am in the middle of the train headed up the stairwell as my mother is telling the kids to stay in the chain, and at some point it seemed chaotic, and I had a glimpse of my daughter heading down the side stairwell to the grey corridors. I wasn’t sure and yelled her name, no site of her, then up to my mom and husband if she was with them. In a split second, I ran back and down the side stairs. I ran through the corridor searching and it was like a maze with so many doors. I began screaming out her name and trying to kick in the doors, but they were steel. I saw that many were locked from the outside, so I felt maybe she hadn’t come down this way, so I ran back up and no, she was not there. We all then went back down to find her, and after having someone help open the doors, we found her and a younger little boy laying unconscious. They both were dirty and covered in a dirty white-ish blanket. I pulled the blanket away to get her, and at this point her age dropped to about four. I lifted her body and I think my mother was saying, thank god they are okay. I then pulled her pants down and saw some sort of baby wipe lodged between her buttocks cheeks and her feces everywhere. She had been raped. I frantically carried her upstairs and when we entered the top room, I woke up.

So….history of sexual abuse, daughter is accidentally exposed to really raunchy porn, tornado in OK, and to top it all off, I just saw the movie “Descent”.

I think I’m very impressionable, feel great compassion for others, feel guilty about my own sexual abuse as a child, feel guilty I didn’t protect her in real life or the dream, and need to stop watching CNN and horror flicks before bed.

Any other insights are greatly appreciated.


Bruce May 21, 2013 at 7:04 am [edit]

Hi Lynn,

I am struck by how clear you really are about the cycle and pattern of abuse, about how you still carry shame and trauma, and about how much you love your child and seek help in the service of her.

The dream does not need fancy interpreting: it looks like an emotional map of your history; about how the beast within all of us, which can be loved into something higher, or hurt into something lower, continually effects our children.

You are trying to break a cycle. What needs to be done is ultimately societal, but my hope is that it is poised to transform organically when enough people are ready to give a little to get a better world—in other words when consciousness reaches a collective level where it becomes obvious that we’re all in it together—and it’s hell if we are terrified and alienated, maybe it could be a little more heavenly if it became societally “cool” to actually care (like you do).

In brief, you are still having to process and heal your trauma. Your trauma sounds like it is particular to 4 years old; it likely felt like a tornado (overwhelming); this caused you to have to “leave your body” and then your body becomes a prison rather than a blessing. In poetic terms, you must retrieve your soul, or call back the part that has ended up locked behind doors (code for denial).

Your child unwittingly got exposed to porn; this echoes your own mistaken belief that the abuse you experienced was “your fault.” Of course it is not your fault, but to face that is to face the horror of an innocent who is hurt; particularly the notion that the child develops not that they poop, but that they ARE poop—thus the feeling that they deserve to be locked away in squalid conditions fitting their perceived lack of value as human beings. So tragic. And our prisons are filled with such once-innocent children; and other literally profit from this. To point fingers does not heal; to stop the cycle and bring love does, in the longrun, make real difference.

I guess my message to you is to trust that you are not alone; many care and are just waiting for a safer time. Tornadoes come and that cannot be stopped (although climate change may increase the frequency) but humans will not hurt other humans as often if they are secure and safe; and that is a long cycle.

As for movies, watch “Shawshank Redemption” if you haven’t, that is a deep film about our human condition, and about how it’s tunneling through shit to get free.

As for your girl, check out this guy’s TED talks:

he’s a voice for effective change; your girl may seek stimulation, but perhaps she’s a perfectly wonderful child struggling to cope with a world that needs more love, limits and insights into its own nature.

As for you, take a look at the work of Peter Levine, particularly “Waking the Tiger” for another insight into how to heal your own trauma:

You can always read my book for parenting guidance set into the social context, I think you yourself might find it healing:
(that might be something for your kindle)

My hope is that if we come to understand the nightmare of waking life, we can work to transform it the way a mother would, with love and limits, but mostly love, compassion and kindness; rather than the way a hurt father (so many generations of those) would—with more rules and not enough love and insight.

Lao Tze, a great Chinese spirit said something like: When love leaves, rules come in.

Porn, greed, violence, war… these are clearly within our nature, but so is love, community and compassion.

Finally, your own unresolved trauma of the past may be a component in your daughter’s struggles. Better understood, we might have more success helping both of you live more safely, joyously and with greater sense of power and meaning as we strive to be good ancestors to those who will follow.

Let me know how it goes

All Best Wishes & Sweet Dreams Ahead (fingers crossed)


{ 180 comments… read them below or add one }

Vivian August 22, 2013 at 4:14 am

Hello, I had this disturbing nightmare today.. I am only 16. I woke up scared and disgusted. My nightmare was about finding these old men who were sexually abusing (having sex) With a kid of idk how many yrs.. then we found my grandpa abusing this toddler in a truck!! it was disgusting why did i dreamt of this nightmare!!! I can never think of old ppl the same when ill see em… even my grandpa…


Bruce August 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Hi Vivian,

This sounds very disturbing as a dream, but it does not sound like you are dreaming about abuse you have actually experienced (if you know better, if you have been abused, that is different and you would need to tell someone you trust and they would guide you to appropriate help).

More likely you are dreaming about the way your inner kid feels, for some reason you are feeling mistreated or misunderstood, maybe by your family, or maybe by the part of you who is growing up. In this perspective you are perhaps learning to drive, meeting boys who want to go out with you (but to your child self, who is much younger, still a little kid these 16, 17 and 18 year old boys might turn into creepy “old people” in your dream).

Maybe there is a boy who likes you who has a truck? Maybe this dream is saying to your own self that you are still young and not ready for sex. Maybe if you realize this to be true, if it is true, then you can be clear with yourself that you are not ready to “grow up” yet, not ready to be sexual because it would feel creepy and abusive to you. If this turns out to be useful, you will feel calmer that your body belongs to you and no one (not even the “grown up” part of you) has any right to hurt or abuse it. And if this works out right, you will have no more bad dreams like this one, and maybe even you’ll realize that you’re lucky to have a loving family that doesn’t abuse you and you can sleep well and live a happy life as a 16 year old.

All Best Wishes


Vivian August 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Thank you so much for replying!! Yeah, it is true. sometimes i feel as if im not ready to grow up. I will talk to my mom about my younger experiences. Once again thank you


Vivian August 22, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Thank you so much for the reply! Yes, I sometimes do feel as im not ready to grow up. I will talk to my mom about my younger experiences. Once again thank you!


Lindsey September 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I had a very vivid dream of my 3 year old daughter being kidnapped and abused sexually. We were going camping like we do a few times a year but not with our family like we usually do, but meeting friends. Its strange how she got taken, one minute we were riding in our car then the next i see her walking outside the car towards a building and sge is taken. I dont see the man but know it is. I am yelling to get her because i cant. She is returned or we find her….and then ut is like i am interrogatin the man. He is older and grungy an not familiar to me. He never says anything than telling me how he abused making her touch him. It is so disturbing and scary. My daughter isa happy and healthy little girl…so i dont believe it to be a dream to open my eyes to anything pertaining to her safety and well being? Thank you for any insight!


Bruce September 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Hi Lindsey,

If you read through the other dreams above and my comments about them it will give you a number of ways to think about your own dream.

In general you want to consider whether you yourself experienced trauma in the past, and if so seek help in healing this. It could also be that emotional experiences when you were three were not actual abuse, but the feelings you had might have seemed overwhelming and horrible. Again if this were true it would be good to find a way to heal your own past; sometimes I think that being a good parent, especially if our own childhood was less than ideal, is a way we can help heal ourselves. Even so, giving our kids what we did not get can, at times anyway, feel like a bit of a nightmare.

Also, sometimes dreams just show us how we are feeling at the present moment, even if they get a little dramatic to make their point. In this view your kids is “outside of your car” which could be symbolic for not being protected, outside of the zone of safety; this could relate to her growing more able to be on her own, go to preschool, etc. and an increasing risk of her getting into danger.

While we like to say “terrible twos” three can be one of the very hardest ages, the age of “No!” and kids being to young to know the danger they could be in and wanting to be more in charge.

Finally, the grungy abusing man who “makes her touch him” could also be a symbol of the part of you that needs touch (i.e. healthy affection) but if you feel frustrated or rejected (i.e. from your child’s growing sense of independence) you might unconsciously feel like you are “making her love you” when you miss the intimacy of nursing, baby snuggles, etc.

Odd to say, but then you might feel wrong about your need for love, and turn it into a monstrous figure who is in destructive relationship with not your daughter, but the young child part of you, as symbolized by your daughter in the dream.

The main thing is that, if there is not actual harm in your past or your child’s present, to be more accepting of all your feelings and get back to having…

Sweet Dreams


Yazmin October 24, 2013 at 8:57 pm

So it’s not me with the nightmares, its my 5 year old son. He wakes, well not even fully wakes, its almost as if hes sleep walking and starys screaming and crying as if in pain or scared of something tryung to touch him. He will be like this from 5-10 minutes. All I can do is hold him and kiss because all he does is cry and try to push away. When he finally wakes up, I ask him what just happend and he remembers so vividly and tells me on a few different occasions that I was either trying to choke him, or I was pushing/stepping on his stomach or hit him. Mind you, I do not hit my child in that way. I have spanked him on his bottom but thats as far as my physical discipline goes with him. It absolutely breaks my heart and makes me cry that he would even dream something like that. Please tell me if thete is any advice you can give me for my son.
Thank you


Bruce October 25, 2013 at 7:34 am

Hi Yazmin,

The pattern you describe could be consistent with night terrors, and while this is relatively rare (and extremely distressing) it is not thought to be dangerous. You might want to research on that topic, and consult your pediatrician.

That said, the content of his nightmares could be the way his mind processes the physical sensations and turns them into stories to explain sensation (this is why so many people dream of falling and flying—the brain generates the sensation and we make up a story to match).

Thus, if his nervous stomach is night and his dread makes him hyperventilate in his sleep, and if he is terrified he might imagine his worst fear—that his loving mother turns against him, hurting him and choking him… a way of explaining to himself, via “nightmare,” why he feels like he’s dying or being killed.

That said, I would still be inclined to encourage you to consider any unresolved traumas you might carry (or your own parents or grandparents); did anyone in the family get asphyxiated, hang themselves, do “bad things” or have bad things done to them?

My cousin had nightmares of someone dying on barbed wire, and they didn’t go away until my uncle disclosed to his son that the grandfather, who died decades before the boy was born, had witnessed his own best friend die on barbed wire in World War I. Sometimes kids know things that they don’t really know that they know, or what it’s all about.

Sometimes a coherent story can help clarify the nightmare of things happening to us that actually are not happening to us, but which have haunted our caregivers. We tend to protect kids from the “bad stuff” but it can show up, mysteriously.

Ultimately I’m for whatever works. The last idea is that your child might feel like you, or his father, are unhappy or suffering; kids can feel like such things are their fault, and they can even conjure up a sort of self-imagined punishment in response. BTW, if the child is very sensitive, perhaps even spanking would be better off left out of the parenting tool-box.

Lastly, sometimes being attacked or chased can be an unconscious defense against being abandoned or neglected, preferring choking to being alone. In some ways this is a deep root of nightmares of persecution. Notice if his nightmares happen when you have been away or out late or less available to him emotionally for any reason.

Hope these ideas help.


Firsty Lasty November 5, 2013 at 9:30 am

I dreamt I got to know this child. I saw her around everyone in a while and she would talk to me do I got to know about her. She was a cute funny sweet sensitive slightly clingy awesome child and I felt attached to her. Then one day she tells me her mom is abusing her, she said something along the lines of help me and I remember the sad look in her eyes, I assumed she was just being hit which I don’t consider abuse (I consider being beaten up badly abuse) so I told her that her mom loves her. Days pass by and we continue to talk, then she shows me her pants she wore last night when her mom beat her, they were blue jeans but one of the pant leg was cut out and it was covered in blood. I was shocked and horrified, it was very upsetting, then my younger brother walks in (2nd youngest) and I show him the jeans and tell him the story and he says he will go to the police. I walk him to the door and for some reason I begin to get very afraid and I told him if he doesn’t return in 10 minutes I will the police (I had this weird irrational fear that the abusive mother would try to kill him, which now that I think about it makes no sense). He just kinda smiles at me and tells me not to worry and leaves, and I go back to talk to and hug and comfort the girl telling her everything will be alright.
I know this dream is strange but I’m curious how you will interpret it
Thanks and have a great day


Firsty Lasty November 7, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Why is my comment still in moderation?
I guess Bruce isn’t able to interpret this dream??


Bruce November 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Hi Firsty Lasty,

It seems you may have just typed your dream in the comment box without even reading the post, much less any of the other dreams…

As I write above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

Perhaps if you read through some of the dreams you will find some ways to think about this dream? I am sorry if this dream upset you, and particularly if it has anything to do with a difficult time in your own past; and we certainly wish for all children (and the adults who were once those hurt children) to be safe and find comfort, not just in interpretations but in relatedness.

I have taken a lot of time to respond to dreams, and yet they really are more similar than different, if only we can take the time to hear each other’s nightmares and stories and find ourselves less alone.

Thus I “respond” to you in the spirit of compassion, rather than interpretation, and hope we can both grow to set good boundaries, help others and have good and fun lives in the mix.

If you really read through all the dreams, and want to share your own interpretation of your dream, perhaps that will inspire other readers to do the same… and then if we are truly stuck maybe myself, or other readers, will have some helpful ideas for us all :)

Good luck and sweet dreams, hopefully, ahead!


Firsty Lasty November 14, 2013 at 3:13 am

I read through the other dreams and still can’t interpret my own dream
Will you interpret mine now, it’s not even that long


Bruce November 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Hi Firsty Lasty,

I notice that you say you read through the dreams, but you offer no guesses of your own about your dream.

My interpretation is that you were not very well parented, and this left you feeling dependent and not powerful and also afraid about being hurt. The little girl in the dream is a symbol of yourself, and you are giving that child love and this can be healing.

It is not clear if you have any children of your own, and you don’t sound worried about any actual child; again this sounds like a dream about you and the painful way that you experienced childhood.

Maybe you were “abused” as a kid, or maybe it just felt like abuse and that’s the best way your unconscious can “explain” it to you in the dream.

I think the dream is positive in that you hug and soothe the “child” who is the hurt and lonely part of you. Perhaps the dream is trying to help you heal and my “interpretation” is mostly just an affirmation of your own ability to love and to heal.

As the child in you heals and feels safe you may find that you have better relationships with actual people not just in your dreams.

Hope this helps


Firsty Lasty November 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Yeah, thanks :D


arlene November 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

hi my dream was about my 6 year old son. he was playing, in our apartment and jumping from my bed to out the window, then suddenly he did it.but this time it.was from a second floor in my same window. as he flew out and fell his arm was cut up to his fore arm and only hanging by a piece of skin. it was not bloody. i immediately rushed to the hospital, but before I stopped by his grand mother so she could let his father know (he has absolutly no contact, no relationship with his father in actuality) and as I spoke to his grandmother he said “it doesnt hurt mom” and he fell asleep. I woke up right after that. this dream has been on my mind and I would like an interpretation please.


Bruce November 22, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Hi Arlene,

I am noticing that some readers fail to read even the post above, much less any of the other dreams or comments, so I re-type the words above:

[Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

Please actually read some of your fellow-parent’s nightmares and you will find dreams that are similar to your own and comments to guide you.

All Best Wishes


Ahakfkkf February 25, 2016 at 6:16 am

You know I have been sitting here reading some for awhile. And I find you quite rude Bruce. Not once have I seen any post saying you can’t interpret anymore or whatever you are saying. You answered everyone else so why can’t you help others now? Maybe you should stop being rude to everyone asking help by saying you people didn’t read because we HAVE and it’s not very noticeable anywhere!


Bruce February 25, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Hi Ahakfkkf,

As noted at the top of this post: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

I’m sorry but I just can’t keep up with the demand. I’m also sorry if my limitations lead to you feeling disrespected as I don’t want to be rude.

Certainly wishing you well asleep and awake :)


Ayushi Jain January 24, 2014 at 2:17 am

m dreaming about bad guys molesting a girl basically a mid age girl…m not dreamind about being molested,neither i have any past traumas..nor i have a family issue…its just that m having nightmares of grls being raped,one girl surrounded with many bad boys and she is not screaming for help,she is only crying…and its not the same girl every time..sometimes its a young girl,sometimes its an adult…please reply as soon as possible


Bruce January 25, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Hi Ayushi,

While I did want to give you the courtesy of a reply, it appears that you did not actually read the post above, which says:

[Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

Please do take the time to read through the dreams of others and perhaps you will find insights and also that you are not alone.

Hint: the girls being hurt in the dream are the part of you that feels like a victim, but the rapists are the angry part of you that hurts the innocent part of you, the “bad boy” parts of the psyche. Perhaps you can realize, if you are dreaming another nightmare, that this is your own mind. Then you can stop the “bad boys” and ask them why they are doing this? What is it you are not yet learning about hurting and being hurt? My intention is to support you to heal and feel safe, even if the hurt you experience is not something that happened to you (although you might want to ask your parents if there is trauma in the family that you somehow picked up through intuition). The main point is to be compassionate with all the parts within you, and with the world we share in which too much hurt and abuse does actually occur.

Wishing you Better Dreams


ashley March 25, 2014 at 7:11 am

I had a nightmare of a baby getting sexually abused.
I was at my old house still living with my parents and i had my child with me with me asleep in my room and then i hear another baby not close to one yet.i left my child asleep to go see who Was crying. I peeked into a family members room and see that an uncle was on top of the baby sexualy abusing and physically hurting the baby. Then i forced the door open to help the baby. I screamed for help my grandma came in saw the baby hurt and told me the baby was ok i grabbed the baby still crying call for help and no one came so i go into my room with this baby i don’t know and my child was still sleeping but no body came to help all i could do was hold the baby till i could figure out what to do so i cleaned him up and held both my child and the hurt baby and protect them.
I woke up scared checking my child to see if he was Oka i don’t know what my dream ment but i know it felt real. I Know nothing happened to a baby as i dreamt but I’m now scared to let anyone get my baby and hurt him


Bruce March 25, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Hi Ashley,

As written above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

So… please do read through the thread of dreams above. I know you’re scared but the comments will help prompt you to consider if you have a history of abuse, and if so, encourage you to seek help to heal the trauma. This is an act of love for your child as much as for yourself.

On the other hand, the images of abuse might be symbols of how you may have felt in the past, or in your life as a mom, even though no one is currently hurting you or your child.

I appreciate that you reached out here for help, and I would encourage you to read the dreams of others so you will realize that no matter what your dream means, you are not as alone as you might fear.

Certainly children, and parents, deserve respect and safety. If your dream is “just psychological” then you will find ways to think about this through the comments of other dreams; and if there has been real hurt in your past I hope you will find empowerment and encouragement to both heal and to protect your child effectively.

Ultimately abuse is a social and political issue, like poverty, other forms of violence, addiction—something we must address not just individually but as a culture.

If after reading through the dreams and comments you still have specific questions feel free to leave a follow-up comment and we’ll take it from there.

Wishing you healing if you need it, safety for you and your baby and sweet dreams based on a safe and happy life ahead


Holly March 30, 2014 at 5:35 am


I had a dream really recently of my son being molested by a man i cant describe, couldn’t see him but im my dream i could somewhat describe him..It started out as myself and him going to a job interview at a restaurant and the manager was rude. It then cuts to me and my son in bed with this unknown man and he starts to cry (hes one so this was especially upsetting for me) I scooped him up and ran away taking him to where ever his grandparents are staying and set a bed up for him but the man is nearly to where i am and is being vulgar to my son while my son is crying…and then i wake up…I woke up horrified and almost in tears..if you can give me any insight i would appreciate it. I have never been molested as a child or abused, so i dont know where this might branch from.


Holly March 30, 2014 at 5:37 am

I just read you arent interpreting anymore so dont worry about it. Sorry.


Bruce April 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Hi Holly, Thank you for reading and realizing I’m not interpreting more dreams, but I do hope you might read through the other dreams as I think you will find some insights into your own dream and some suggestions on how to begin making sense of your feelings and fears, hopefully toward calming and, if needed, healing yourself. All Best & Sweet Dreams


Rupali May 9, 2014 at 4:58 am

Hi Bruce,

I need your help to understand what my dream meant.

I dreamed about my 8 year daughter being sexually abused (Oral sex) she wasnt screaming nor crying, i was sitting next to her watching all that and when everything was over i was dere to clean her. I am really ashamed to have such a dream and also worried why such a dream. Please help.


Bruce May 9, 2014 at 10:09 am

Hi Rupali, [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

This will help you think about your past, if your child is safe or not and invite you to discern fears/fantasies from actual danger (past or present). From this place of waking clarity you can best heal trauma if you have had it, protect your child (from your emotional issues as well as from potential danger in her own life) and perhaps make use of your dream as information from which you might grow, or learn to just let it go as a bad dream and little else.

If after you truly read the other dreams and comments you have a further specific question write again.

Sweet dreams in the meantime


Nicole May 20, 2014 at 8:18 am

Hello, I had two dreams that were both related. The first dream, I was at my child’s grandparents with my child and her father. We were all sitting in the kitchen. My little girl was sitting on the cabinet and I was in front of her she said “mommy, I love Erica’s dad (Erica is my child’s father girlfriend, we are no longer together)” and I said “you do, why you love him” and she says “because he says I’m pretty and pinches me down there” as she’s pointing to her privates. Next in the dream I’m in her grandparents room with her grandparents and telling them what happened. We are about to call Erica on the phone then I wake up. A hour or two later I fall back asleep. My dream starts off fuzzy and confused. Then all of a sudden myself, my daughter and her dad are in a car driving. As we are getting out of the car, I asked him dis he talk to Erica about what happened. He informed me that he did and the dad did admit to touching my little girl. We are in a field and my little girl just passing out while she is standing up. She comes back and starts running, I call for her she is running to me but never seems to make it to me, her dad ask me if I want to take her to the hospital and I wake up. My little girl is 4 years old.
My child’s father and I split custody of my little girl for now until she starts school. Half of the year she is with me and the other half she is with him.
When she is away I am always a little afraid. I can’t protect her and don’t know what’s happening when she is not with me.


Nicole May 20, 2014 at 8:21 am

Sorry just noticed no more dream interpretations. Reading the others I can understand a bit what my dream is about. Thanks


Bruce May 21, 2014 at 10:11 pm

HI Nicole,

Thanks for reading the other dreams to help yourself figure out your own (and to see you’re not alone; and to keep your child safe without jumping to conclusions about her being actually hurt just because you have a dream like that).

Wishing you and yours all best wishes and Sweet Dreams too


Dana June 13, 2014 at 2:38 am

I’ve had strange and unusual dreams for years now and this deeply concerns me. Now that I do not affiliate or associate my self with the religion I once did I no longer have an idea of what they mean. I always seem to forget my dreams shortly after I have them but this one has stuck with me. There were three suns outside in a reddish hued sky. Millions of people screaming and crying in agony. I seemed to have an omniscient P.O.V and scanned the scene they all appeared to be holding on to one another. Once I found myself I saw I too was holding on to some one, a friend of mine. Although I have not the slightest clue as to who this person was or is I know I had a strong bond with them. This was approximately 5 years ago. Just to give you a clue why I am so desperately attempting to decipher its meaning, I have a horrible memory. I can’t remember what I wore last week.


Bruce June 15, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Hi Dana,

While I am not “officially” interpreting dreams these days (maybe because I increasingly need to admit that there is no way for me to “know” what someone else’s dream is about) I can still offer my response in the hope it might be of some use to you.

However, as I note above in the original post: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

That said, I’ll just rift on what came to my mind when I read your dream, and maybe you can add that to your own imagination, feelings, intuitions and see if anything makes sense for you.

Three Suns could symbolize a lot of things, but you mention you are no longer associated with religion. That makes me wonder if the “sun” might symbolize the Son as symbolized by Christ for Christians, but by many things in the past, such as Mithras as the Sun God for ancient Persia (which some anthropologists suggest became Christ for the Christians as Rome transformed from paganism to a monotheistic religion). In this context we have the Trinity, which could relate to “3 sons” (this dream coming to me in time for Father’s Day).

So… what if we re-think religion as just a bridge or a way of thinking about whatever it is that we humans really cannot comprehend (not only what happens before we are born and after we die, if anything; but also why we humans aren’t nicer to each other and to our planet?)

If the three suns possibly could symbolize the past, the present and the future, we have a different sort of “trinity” where consciousness is shinning “all at once” so to speak. This could be a symbol of Judgement if one is very religious, but it could also be a symbol of a unifying event where humans are finally humble before something other than our own vain god-making anxiety.

Any True God surely would unite the world, and thus a personal experience in your psyche might be like a True Spiritual experience. You end up clinging to someone you “don’t know” but with whom you “have a bond”.

Perhaps this is symbolic for your ego-self uniting with some sort of “soul” or higher “Self”?

While I have no great vision for humanity, I do have compassion for individual suffering and I know that Love (not dogma) is a healing force.

Plato, 300 years before Jesus, asserted that it’s good to put our own “philosopher” self (that which wants to learn, not for money or status, but for love and curiosity) in charge of our own self. He also asserted the absolute equality of women, and he acknowledged that we all have a sort of Tyrant within our personalities. He influenced Freud and Shakespeare and he’s well worth a read if you have nothing better to do.

Finally, if you think of the suns in the dream as your illuminated self, your trinity shinning upon your frightened self (symbolized by “everybody” clinging to each other, thus unified in fear) we might hope that another dream may come along and allow something unexpected to come into your consciousness.

Many people have left dreams here about their children being hurt. Maybe these three suns represent all our kids, and our need to stop hurting their Mother/Father as earth, or something like that, and not so much “worship” the sun (one or three) but rather actually see it for what it is: light and energy.

Maybe our dreams, like the sun, reflect some sort of light we don’t understand, and by which we are unable to see ourselves, but by which we might see that our brothers and sisters are scared and if we’re all scared together we just might be ready for a better way… inside ourselves, rather than bossing others around, even if we tell ourselves we mean well or know better.

Let’s face it, almost no one is going to read these words but you, so perhaps you can trust that I’m just wishing you better dreams and trusting that your well-being is my well-being.

Sweet Dreams


Danielle June 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I had a dream about my 5 year old sister and my stepfather which is her dad having more than a father- daughter relationship. He would rub her external genitilia and she would sit on his lap and rock back and forth. They would do this when my mom was not home and when they thought I wasn’t looking. I got tired of them doing nasty things and I told my mom when it was only me and her home. My stepfather and sister came home and my mom told my stepfather I don’t have anything to say to you. He knew I told her so he turned to me with a smirk on his face and said who told you to say anything. I rose my voice and said you are a nasty creep and he threatened to punch me in my face. I told him ok I have something for you and I walked into the kitchen. The only thing I had in my mind was to get the butcher knife and stab/kill him. As soon I was about to grab the knife I woke up out of the dream. I would like to know what this means?


Danielle June 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Sorry I didn’t see no more dream predictions


Bruce June 15, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Hi Danielle,

Thank you for realizing that I’m not interpreting dreams at this time. However, I would encourage you to read through the other dreams and consider if they shed light on your own feelings.

The main points would be to consider if you have been abused in the past and you happen to know this (not wonder about it). If so consider if you need assistance to heal unresolved trauma.

If you have not been traumatized, another way to think about this dream is that you simply do not like your step-father and have aggressive feelings toward him.

He might be less than nice without necessarily being an abuser, but of course I have no knowledge whatsoever about you or anyone in your family’s actual behavior.

Finally, the step father in the dream could merely symbolize the mean or destructive part of you and the child could symbolize the hurt part of you and your anger might be against the “mother” part of you who doesn’t protect the child part. In this case, even if the past was not very pleasant, it could be inspiration to become a good mom to yourself, learn to manage the destructive part of you (maybe with therapy, or with mindfulness meditation to calm the hurtful and critical mind).

In this way, no matter what the past, you might be inspired by your dream to heal, grow and develop a harmonious family within yourself which just might help you develop a harmonious family and friends group in waking life too.

Sweet Dreams


Anele June 25, 2014 at 1:02 am


I dreamt a horrible dream last night and it is really bothering. I dreamt that my sister’s husband is hitting his son with a rod. And that we were there when it happened but my father didn’t do anything about it.
But in reality my sister’s husband is not violent towards his kids but this dream really bothers me can someone please tell me the meaning of this?


Bruce June 25, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Hi Anele,

As mentioned above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

Please do read some of the dreams above for some ideas that might help you make better sense of your own dream.

All Best Luck


8 YR OLD GIRL SEXUALY ABUSED July 6, 2014 at 1:08 am

I woke up this morning from a dream of my 8 yr old gaughtet being sexualy abused. It was a short dream n starts off with me looking for her franticly in a house not familiar to me and in one of the rooms she is lying on the floor in a fetal position. I rolled her on her back sshe had no panties on n was in a state of shock crying mommy help me. I opened her legs to see her private area to see if any blood and if any penetration had taken place. As i am looking her private area (vagina) was red n i hear her say mommyhe was calling it susie and i notice on the left inner thigh is an area that looks like boils or some kind of infection. I quickly grab my cell phone and start to dial calling her attacker (like i know who did but i dont know who it is in my dream) as im dialing im upset crying saying im going to kill him several times i say this then i wake up from my dream still crying. I cried for about an hour prayed crying to god for her protection n all children then asked her to come lay with me and just held her in my arms for an hour. It was bout 8 am when i woke up from dream and didnt want to go back to sleep in fear i would continue the dream or repeat it. She fell back to sleep i ijust held her n watched her ssleep Kissed her on forehead and tried to not think of how heartbroken scared and upsetting this dream was.


Bruce July 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm


As noted above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

I do think if you read through the other dreams you will get some ideas about how to think about your own dream.

From what you share, it sounds like and awful dream but just a dream. You know if your child is safe and it sounds like you are keeping her safe.

Next question to consider would be if you had been hurt when you were her age. If you were you would likely know this, but if you have not dealt with your own pain of the past it could be a clue to get help with this.

More likely is that the dream is just a nightmare, and not about anything real. Certainly our worst feeling as parents would be harm to our kids, and our brains are wired to stay safe ourselves and protect our children. Being worried and able to imagine bad things happening does help us stay safe, but it also makes us suffer by making worst-case scenarios so vivid and easy to imagine, particularly in a bad dream.

Maybe the interpretation is that you love your kid and in fact you love your kid more than even yourself (which is typical, we generally have trouble loving our own selves) and so you dream of your child who you KNOW is innocent. Maybe the truth is that you are innocent too, that you are a loving mom, that you don’t need nightmares to remind you to protect your child.

Do read the other dreams to see you’re not alone, and for more ideas.

The main hope here is that you and your child can be safe and free and happy and that there will be no need for more bad dreams. Even better is that you both have a safe and happy waking life :)

Sweet Dreams


Deanna July 11, 2014 at 5:21 am

My daughter had a dream 3 men were hurting her baby sister as she watched I her mom was trying to help the baby but the men laughed and continued to hit the baby and my daughter couldn’t speak or move as her sister screamed.


Bruce July 11, 2014 at 9:32 pm

HI Deanna,

As noted above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

I really think if you take some time to read the dreams above and the responses you will get a sense of some ways to think about the dream. For example,thinking about the dream as representing different parts of your daughter’s feelings or symbols of her personality (the victim, the “bad guys” and the helpless witness or bystander); it might just be a way of working out problems (like feeling she hurts her baby in some way, or feeling like she herself is hurt about something).

Maybe as her mom you can read the different ideas above, maybe you will have some insight into how or why your own baby suffers. Maybe even it’s a clue into the pain that has been passed mother to daughter for generations, and thus an opportunity to break the cycle and bond as mother, daughter and grand-daughter.

Even the pattern of you the mom writing (speaking up) as your daughter remains scared and silent (as in the dream) shows a family pattern, and thus a chance to be more conscious, more empowered, more connected and more self-expressed.

Certainly wishing you all Sweet Dreams and a sweet awakened life as well


sam July 16, 2014 at 10:22 pm

I had a dream that I was in a church, which was also a hospital I was with my 7 year old daughter and my 9 year old son we were there for some type of religious treatment I think to erase bad religious thoughts but the only way to get treatment was to have someone I guess you can say nominate you with their testimony it was a woman who honestly seemed either mentally ill or on drugs but, she somehow knew me and was nominating my family for treatment after her testimony I walked her to her car it was late and dark and there was a man in the parking lot with these huge scissors he seemed crazy too and I thought hes going to kill us so I rushed back in I told three men in the church and they rushed out I got to my kids and my son was standing there as my daughter was rolled out in a stretcher and had received electro shock therapy and wasnt responding I asked the nurse if she would go back to normal the nurse said yes with a look of no and shut the curtain I opened it and started yelling at her I told her god would make her pay for what she did to my daughter I immediately started crying, blaming myself, and asking myself what had I done I told a man who was there that I would never forgive myself and that I would have to live with this until my dying days he shook his head yes and I remember thinking how horrible it would be for my son remembering his sister being normal I woke up in tears after that.Aside from the fact that the dream was so horrible I didn’t understand how religion fit in because I am not a religious person


Bruce July 16, 2014 at 11:03 pm

HI Sam,

As noted above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

Still, a couple of hints (and reading the other dreams will give you some tools for thinking about your own).

If we think about our brains rationally, we have a worry brain that sees monsters in the dark, makes up stories about guilt, shame, sin and is always trying to get safe but never feels safe. This brain drives us to over-work, and also to make up delusions about what we did wrong. Feeling like we cannot escape from harm truly is a nightmare.

This same brain that makes up our nightmares also makes up the sort of religion that you are not into.

Then we have a higher brain, the part that feels empathy, compassion and a sense of timelessness. Maybe this is how people who have faith connect to their faith, but even if you do not have faith it would be useful to cultivate your calm and loving brain, and use this understanding to manage your worried brain.

In this context maybe the church is a symbol of your own self, or your own mind. You have anxiety, and also the wish to “erase” those “bad” thoughts.

You have a part of you that seems “mentally ill” or “on drugs” to you; in other words a delusional worried brain that is meant to keep you safe, but cannot stop shouting danger. Maybe this is exactly what a nightmare is.

Scissors could symbolize another way of getting rid of bad thoughts, cutting rather than erasing. Electro shock therapy also seeks to stop depressive thoughts, but all these images are nightmares and not “treatment.”

The curtain is a classic religious symbol, dividing the people from the sacred. Think about how the curtain is pulled back by Toto in “Wizard of Oz” for insights into what the curtain means.

The worry brain oscillates between blame and self-hate, and thus you are angry at the nurse and then “blaming myself” and “would never forgive myself”

Guilt, shame… nightmare.

Finally, religion is a symbol of a path to God, and God might be itself a symbol for Truth, Justice, Eternity. We are probably all best to be humble before mysteries we do not understand, such as how the universe truly comes into being (i.e. the question of first cause, even if the big bang is our “rational” theory), thus as someone said of war, “there are no atheists in a foxhole” being a parent makes us love our kids so much and become humble before the great mystery of our existence, which in turn makes us turn to suffering in the hope we might protect our children through our sacrifice.

Christians might say let God’s sacrifice suffice rather than your own. Rational non-religious minds might say that guilt is not productive, just love your children and accept that you are not in charge of the world and be grateful for what you have rather than imagine disaster (which won’t protect you or your children, merely make you feel miserable as if your worst nightmare is your emotional reality… waking up in real tears about what your mind cooked up for you in your sleep).

Carl Jung, whose dad was a minister, but who himself was not religious, suggested that all religions are like bridges to a common island of God. If God meant peace, compassion, love or even freedom from fear and desire, than this is where we want to go with our kids, with or without religion.

Perhaps rational thinking in the light of day, and the realization that you love your children and that’s what you can do, might help us all move beyond the nightmare of arguing about religion and help us personally find a little peace.

After all, whatever’s actually True is true whether we dream it, say it, realize it or not. Our dreams are our personal story-telling, but they are the world as we imagine it, at least emotionally. Our shared waking reality is often enough a nightmare too, but maybe we can make that into a better dream by getting a handle on our own tendencies toward blame and self–blame and instead cultivate a calmer mind. Prayer works for some, meditation for others. In my book I try to make the case for parenting itself as a mindfulness practice (one that unites people across other divides of religion, culture, economics, etc.)

So… find your bridge, cross it with courage and love, and dedicate your peace and happiness to the well-being of your children and everybody else’s children. This won’t, rationally speaking, make much difference to other people, but it will change your mind, and then you can make a positive difference for others in actual waking reality.

hope this helps. Sweet Dreams.


Mia July 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Okay well me my mom, my older brother, my moms fiance, and my little brother were at this open house and we were gonna buy it. So we were walking around going in rooms and everything but it was one room I just wouldn’t go in because I felt something but they went in it. My little brother came out he looked and acted different but we didn’t really pay attention till the end. I didn’t wanna buy the house cause I was terrified like I knew something else was with us but my mom didn’t wanna listen then it skipped to night time we were picking out rooms but there was still some people there looking at the house. I went to my room and layed down there was 2 mirriors one behind me another in front and it was real dark so I freaked and ran out. My cousin and my little brother were sitting in the living room my mom and her fiance were looking for something so I started to go with them but I look back to make sure Tristan my little brother is okay and all of the sudden a shadow reaches its arm up at Tristan and I ran and grabbed him. I screamed “I TOLD YOU THIS PLACE WAS HAUNTED” they say “I KNOW” I go in there with them, I don’t quite remember what it looked like but I know it was dark, nasty, and creepy. We heard a loud noise and we all ran out including the people still looking at the house and Tristan’s eyes just change colors and he just started running at people biting chunks out of them and killing people so ofcouse were scattered everywhere. I lose my family and I ran inside a care with 5 other people I look behind me for Tristan and I heard my friend tell the girl beside her to scoot over. I automatically knew Tristan was coming I jump out and ran into the woods and hide and watch him eat everyone else and bury them then I woke up….. I woke up terrified


Bruce July 20, 2014 at 9:49 am

Hi Mia,

As noted above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

That said, I’ll offer some suggestions in the service of better dreams.

The whole dream just might represent YOU with all your feelings, ideas, fears and so-called problems: The house as symbol of the self, the little brother as hurt and haunted (the part of you that you used to be, or fear you still are); this hurt part becomes a ravenous sort of zombie (the part of us that might “eat you up I love you so” to quote “Where the Wild Things Are”; you might like to read that before bed and sleep better I would guess, because it gives a playful way of understanding how our instinct to “put on the wolf suit” leads to time out in our room, and wild imagination of monsters, and then remembering that we are part of a loving family… and even if your personal family, and/or self, has some issues, and who doesn’t, the big picture is about better dreams, and then waking up to love where we see that the violent crazy stuff was literally but a bad dream).

While I can relate to your way of dreaming, thinking, you make the same mistakes I so often do: rushing, not actually reading or paying attention to the detail (for fear and the anxiety that gets our minds racing).

So… just like so many of us, you are wanting to be safe, and loved, but even when you “choose your room” (i.e. choose which part of you to identify with, not realizing you are all the rooms, all the feelings) you find the two “mirriors” (which in the misspelling sound like warrior mirrors, the confrontation of the problem self in the mirror). The mirror behind and in front might represent the mind that makes past and future and which then faces the nightmare of never being in the present moment. Trust me I can relate, but in this comment perhaps I might function like a mirror to your fear. Then we might not judge, or turn away or even try too hard to help others, but rather calm down and see what’s really here rather than the shadows of our mind.

What’s actually here, then, is your wish to feel safe, and your projection of violence (that merely comes from your fear that hurt in the past means hurt in the future; we need to let go of the past and our predicting of the future to discover something we didn’t see, obscured as it was by our own minds).

While a part of you is your monster brother, right now you can see that your brother is just your brother and not a monster (although he probably acts up sometimes, making you jealous and angry, and then attacking him in your dream with your own Shadow, and then guiltily finding yourself chased by him, wishing to make up for your guilt by being punished. Ah, the human mind is quite a piece of work!)

And the fact that the boy is Tristian… rich in potential for interpretation (read about the myth if you like) and perhaps some unconscious themes of forbidden love, in this case sibling love, that gets turned into aggression in the dream, a sexual metaphor of ravishing the other, consuming them.

The fingers slip and reveal the unconscious: “I ran inside a care” by which you meant a car (symbol of individual freedom, pollution, status, identity) but end up inside the spirit of “care” and your wish to sleep better, your fear that you are not okay.

The way forward? Think about what the dream means for you. Meditate on it, but then work to cultivate a quiet mind, seeing that all the ideas of the mind are not better than love, and love is not explainable or understandable, but still it might be like the house that holds everything, and the earth that holds the house and the universe that holds the earth; in other words, too big for our minds to grasp. Better to relax the mind and all its monsters and trust that you will be able to have better dreams, and then a better waking life, and then maybe we’ll all “wake up” to something truly better, which might not be anything more fancy or mystical than our own human capacity to care about each other and see that our meaningless competing and projecting brings us only suffering and never freedom or safety.

Plato, well over 2000 years ago, said we’re not going to have a just world, but still we can each strive to place the curious and rational part of our mind above the violent, selfish, anxious part of our mind (that we all have, it’s our biology) and thus have a happier life, even if it doesn’t result in “success” in the larger world.

Feel free to let me know if any of this makes any sense, but like David Byrne of “Talking Heads” sang long ago as he encouraged us to stop making sense:

“Girlfriend Is Better”

I . . . Who took the money?
Who took the money away?
I . . . It’s always showtime
Here at the edge of the stage
I, I, I, wake up and wonder
What was the place, what was the name?
We wanna wait, but here we go again…

I . . . takes over slowly
But doesn’t last very long
I . . . no need to worry
Evr’ything’s under control
O – U – T But no hard feelings
What do you know? Take you away
We’re being taken for a ride again
I got a girlfriend that’s better than that
She has the smoke in her eyes
She’s moving up, going right through my house
She’s ginna give me surprise
Better than this, know that It’s right
I think you can if you like
I git a girlfriend with bows in her hair
And nothing is better than that

Down, down in the basement
We hear the sound of machines
I, I, I’m driving in circles
Come to my senses sometimes
Why, why, why, why start it over?
Nothing was lost, everthing’s free
I don’t care how impossible it seems

Somebody calls you but you cannot hear
Get closer to be far away
Only one look and that’s all that we need
Maybe that’s all that it takes
All that it takes, all that it takes
All that it takes, all that it takes
I got a girlfriend that’s betther than that
And she goes wherever she likes. (there she goes…)

I got a girlfriend that’s better than that
Now everyone’s getting involved
She’s moving up going right through my heart
We might not ever get caught
Going right through (try to stay cool) going through, staying cool
I got a girlfriend that’s better than that
And nothing is better than you

I got a girlfriend thats better that this
And you don’t remember at all
As we get older and stop making sense
You won’t find her waiting long
Stop making sense, stop making sense…stop making sense, making sense
I got a girlfriend that’s better than that
And nothing is better that this
( is it? )

Sweet Dreams!


Jordin July 27, 2014 at 7:34 am

Hey Bruce,

My name is Jordin and back when I was 13 I was raped and sexually assaulted at 17. I am 23 now and a parent of two beautiful children. However this past year I’ve had countless amount of dreams of one of my children being molested. Usually in the dream its by someone I know. I’m sure the dreams stem from me being raped and sexually abused by people I know… my question is how do I make the dreams stop? Most nights I’m up fighting my sleep to avoid these nightmares. How can I get my sleep back?


Bruce July 27, 2014 at 10:18 am

Hi Jordin,

Firstly please let me express compassion for what you have been through—it’s tragic and, unfortunately, very widespread (by some counts 7 out of 10 women on planet earth will experience sexual assault in their lifetimes).

Perhaps you would benefit from some cognitive-behavioral therapy targeting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (and recurring nightmares can by consistent with PTSD). I’m glad you are reaching out here, and I would counsel you to see what resources are available in your community. For example there are rape treatment centers in various cities, there are abuse hotlines, women’s shelters. The people who work in such places often have lists of resources for therapy. And if you have insurance, and seek treatment from a professional for PTSD, it is likely that it will be paid for, or perhaps you can find low-fee treatment if you lack health insurance. Not all people realize that recent laws (mental health parity) means that psychological issues are covered the way physical health problems are covered—in other words we, as a culture, are realizing that mental health struggles are “real” issues and not “just in people’s heads.”

That said, and please do seek help because when your lovely children become 13 and 17 it will be much easier to parent them if you have gotten help for your own traumas ahead of that time, perhaps an idea to help you deal with your nightmares:

Before you fall asleep, tell yourself you hope to have a “lucid dream,” which means that you would realize you are dreaming while you are dreaming. Tell yourself that if anything terrible is happening, you will ask yourself, “Could this be a dream?” You can test if you are dreaming by, for example, flying. Obviously, if you can fly you are not in waking reality (just a couple of inches off the floor will do nicely, don’t test if you’re dreaming by jumping off a height!).

Once you realize you are dreaming, you can turn to the situation and powerfully protect the children, using your imagination to put yourself between the “bad guy” and the “innocent child.” Since you know you are dreaming, at this point, you will remember this discussion and the idea that this dream is all in your head.

You can remember that while terrible things happened to you in “real life” they are not happening anymore. You can realize that the children are just symbols of your own innocent self, one you can protect now. More importantly, the rapist is just a symbol of your angry, destructive, violent self.

Yes, we all have an angry, destructive, violent self. We could call that the “ego” or we could call it the “zombie mind” or we could call it the limbic-brain connected to the story-making brain.

This is where you become as sort of super-hero of your own mind: A Good Enough Mother.

You say to the criminal rapist in the dream: I know you are the part of me who is violent and out of control, you are the part of me that could hurt others, you are the part of me who has no clue on how to love. I’m not judging you, you say to this monster, but you are no longer in charge inside my own mind. You will calm down and you will never again hurt my children. You can, however, tell me what you want, what you are teaching me. Perhaps you are a symbol of power, but power that doesn’t know yet how to be used for anything beyond acting out rage and feelings of powerlessness by scaring children.

That doesn’t look too impressive to me, you say to it, like a “monster” who disappears from a child’s room when the lights go on and it proves just a shadow.

You really were hurt in real life and that is tragic. But your Mother Love is committed to peace now. Good for you. Good for all of us.

Love doesn’t fight. It is powerful in being quiet and compassionate.

The “monsters” in your dreams are nothing more than memories. They are the past, and you and your love for your children will move into the present. This is how slaves get freed, how rights are restored, how women gain true equality, how children stop being abused: not by more laws, we have laws against the terrible things that just keep happening; but by change in consciousness.

This is well within your power. You love your kids more than yourself. Dedicate your own healing to the well-being of your children and you have “super powers,” which are nothing more amazing than the love you already have for your kids. No one “gave that” to you except nature (the same nature that gives us our violent brains too).

The Wise Mother in all of us just loves. Do it in your dreams and then you can do it in your waking life. Perhaps this is how we shall overcome: quietly.

Sweet Dreams


Kayla August 3, 2014 at 12:18 am

Hi. I am 16 and I keep having dreams where I am kidnapped, mostly with others. Last night my dream was that I was kidnapped by a lady, me being the oldest of all the other girls kidnapped by her. She abused and tortured us and since I was older and could take the pain, I was tortured the most. I don’t remember most of the torture but that we would that we would have scars like her initials. One of the girls was her daughter. When I escaped I took them all with me to my parents. We were followed by one of women’s workers, but he was found out and arrested. Later I was kidnapped again by the woman and the others were to I woke up before anything else happened. Another dream was me and a bunch of other students kidnapped by a female teacher and we were in her basement but I don’t remember anymore. The other dream I had I was kidnapped alone by a male gym teacher and locked in a storage room in school. I just am concerned about my dreams and want to know what they mean. They kinda scare me.


Bruce August 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Hi Kayla,

As noted above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

Still, a few hints (and you can also read some of the other dreams for more ideas about how to think about your dreams).

You are only 16 and not a parent. Most of the dreams (and there are hundreds) are from parents who had nightmares about their children.

You are still a child, so my first thought is to talk to your mom and dad about your dreams; my hope is that you are not in an abusive home and that your loving parents can read about the dreams and they can help keep you safe and help you grow up into womanhood in a healthy and empowered way.

In symbolic terms, it’s possible that growing up (learning to drive, having more maturity and freedom, getting closer to adulthood) is making you feel a bit less loved. Maybe you have younger siblings who are getting to “be the baby” and you might be feeling a little abandoned.

Sometimes we dream of being chased or kidnapped when, unconsciously, we are feeling lonely and abandoned. Then the only way we can imagine being “wanted” is to be hurt. In this way the “bad” people in the dream could symbolize your own angry self, which then tortures you (for having “bad” thoughts about wanting to be special, or more loved, or little again).

The conflict is probably more between your wish to be all grown up (powerful) and all the way back in childhood (innocent). Teen years are really, really hard.

So… you need your family’s love, support and understanding much more than you need someone to interpret your dreams.

Fingers crossed, this will be enough interpretation to make such bad dreams no longer necessary. Then your dreams can go from scary to sweet and empowered (kidnappers and “bad guys” also symbolize your growing power that, particularly females, tend to run away from—recognizing that you can be both “good” and “powerful” is important; loving and helping others is powerful, hurting people and being mean is weak, even if it looks powerful at first, it never really is), and then, with the love of your friends and family, your waking life can be filled with love and support as you go from girl to woman—just the sort of safe, loved and loving human being that you want to be—the one you already are when you feel safe and loved.

Sweet Dreams


Shavonne August 20, 2014 at 8:04 am

I had a dream last night that a man I didn’t know was laying across my kitchen table with his penis out and my 6yr old daughter was sitting in a chair right in front of him and she started stroking his penis. As Im watching this I become very confused then I asked her “What are you doing”? She says she doesn’t want to jeopardize it. I yell and curse at the guy to leave and I started to whip her 3x with a belt and it cuts deep through her skin down almost to the bone. It was so horrible, it looked like someone took a knife and sliced her open. Please I need help understanding this


Bruce August 20, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Hi Shavonne,

As noted above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

So… PLEASE read the other dreams and comments. The main points are to help you consider if this is “just a bad dream,” and then to consider how to interpret (i.e. some male part of you in relationship to some kid part of you… and the mother part of you hurting the child part of you, etc.).

While we must keep our children safe, a bad dream does not mean that our actual child is in danger or being abused. Of course if any child is, in waking life, being hurt they need to be protected—but this has nothing to do with bad dreams (unless we are turning a blind eye to child-abuse and the dream is forcing us to face this… but then we wouldn’t be “confused” by the dream).

Lastly, it’s important to consider if you yourself were abused as a child. Sometimes a child becoming the age we were when hurt can trigger memories, flashbacks or nightmares. If this is true you might want to seek help in healing (for example if the dream suggests that not only did you get abused, but then punished, or somehow came to feel like it was your fault).

Obviously I have no knowledge of your life or your history, thus I can only encourage you to think deeply about your dream (perhaps assisted by the other dreams and comments above) and then use your own heart and mind to either let it go as little more than a bad dream, or perhaps allow any healing that you may need and deserve—sometimes wanting the best for our kid is the ultimate motivation to heal ourselves.

Wishing you safety, happiness and Good Dreams


Brittni Alwood September 22, 2014 at 7:31 am

just woke up this morning crying I’m 33 weeks pregnant and I just had the most vivid dream it felt so real and I don’t know why I get so emotional and feel as tho it actuallyhas happened to me I dreamedthat I was at a place I used to work little convenience store and three guys came in and raped me then I kicked them out in a scare and started my first day at work didn’t know how to ring in things and i caught a guy shoplifting and just was crying the whole time trying to compose myself and more and more people keptcoming in and demanding things from me like grab me this and don’t you know your job come on! And then my mom walked in and I just started to bawl my eyes out and I could barely speak about what happened but I needed to get it off my chest I felt like I couldn’t breathe and that’s how I woke up crying feeling like I couldn’t breathe and that is just happened it felt so real and my boyfriend just laughed andsaid not to worry as it wasn’t real but it took me almost an hour to calm down and now I’m going to try and fall back asleepjust thought it was so weird I have never had anything happen to me like that in real life but it sure felt real any insight would be greatly appreciated Thanks


Bruce September 22, 2014 at 8:15 am

HI Brittni,

As noted above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

So, please take a little time to read through some dreams and comments as it will make you feel less alone and give you a few different ways to think about your dream.

A couple of hints to get you started:

Hormones may be particularly high right now and this may contribute to extra vividness in the dream, making it seem more real than usual. It makes sense if you think about it—if your body can make a real baby it certainly can make a story seem very real.

As for interpreting the possible meanings… you might want to consider if you have had any actual trauma in the past (if yes, this would be great time to seek counseling to heal as an act of love for your baby. this is true because unresolved trauma can contribute to kids being anxious while if mom talks it through and heals her trauma won’t hurt the child).

By trauma it might be that you had emotional hurts and not quite rape, but hurt is hurt and healing is always a good idea.

Another idea is that you are anxious about your “new job” in being a mom. This gets symbolized by the “convenience store” where people are just grabbing things (perhaps this is how life has felt? Mom maybe had trauma of her own, perhaps she was unable to make you feel confident and safe? Men have felt like rapists and shop lifters? This might be more symbolic than “real” but your feelings are important).

In this way you could think about all the figures in the dream as symbols of parts of your own total psychology— the male part of you as symbol of aggression and power, the store as the total self who has a baby inside and feels overwhelmed to be “inside” her own waking situation, the mom as your inner Mother who shows up and allows you to just break down crying (thus to become the baby). It makes sense sometimes to going backward, to a more child-like state of emotion and thinking, in order to grow and move forward.

Please do read the other dreams as I think it would make more sense of my brief comments here.

Also, the book I wrote it ideal reading for this stage of parenting—when you have questions and are motivated to learn, but the baby is not yet demanding all your time. It might feel a little healing to your own self as we all have to become our own parents a little bit, and through parenting kids we sometimes accidentally end up healing ourselves (and maybe through this, one day we might have a safer and more compassionate world to leave to our children).

For the book at Amazon see:

Certainly wishing you all the best with your baby and Sweet Dreams


Michael October 16, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Hello bruce, My name is Michael from Philadelphia. I got bad nightmare dream about lady is looking for a baby child under the stairs. She pick a baby child up, her fingers pressed a baby head, poke baby eyes start bleeding and screaming. I try to save baby child, my dream is slip away. Sigh, i didn’t make it back to save a baby child alive from bad dream. I look at my son and hug him being good daddy. Try avoiding bad dream by lady kill a baby child is wrong. Why? Just asking.


Bruce October 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Hi Michael,

As noted above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

So… please read the other dreams and comments. I think it might help.

A couple of hints to get you started: The stairs could symbolize rising or going lower into higher consciousness or into the unconscious. The baby could symbolize yourself as a baby.

The woman hurting the baby could symbolize how you felt hurt as a baby.

Thus your unconscious presents a story: the baby is taken out from where it was hidden, or not looked at, so you can see the pain, and also so you can confront how you felt helpless as a baby.

Your real, waking life, now is about loving your child, protecting him. You are healing, and although you cannot change the past, you can “wake up” and realize that you are safe, and that you can protect your baby, and even though this can make us sad (because we wonder where was this sort of love and protection when we were the baby), it also makes us strong.

Be proud of yourself for being a loving father. Love is powerful, it will protect your child, heal your past and empower you to link with me and other parents in making this a better, safer and more fun world for all of us, especially our children.

Sweet Dreams & a sweet waking life


Deborah November 4, 2014 at 3:37 am

Hello Bruce and everyone who has posted and comes across this wonderful post in the future,

Thank you so much for writing in and posting all your dreams. I really appreciate your replies Bruce as they have held and comforted me greatly when looking into my own series of terrifying child molestation dreams. I understand that you’re not replying anymore but wanted to leave last week’s dream here and also to ask a question which you may not have the answer to, but I believe you may have an idea and that would be a great beginning for me.

Last week I dreamt that I was walking through the woods with my female partner and my two year old daughter. I notice that I am around four months pregnant. The woods are green and lush, it looks and feels like late spring. I turned away from her for a split second and my daughter is gone. I start to run through the woods frantically calling out to her but she has literally disappeared. Suddenly I notice about 12 tan coloured ferocious dogs all gathered in a circle (heads together) attacking something.

I know before they scatter that my child will be lying underneath and she is. She is lying dead yet unmarked. She has turned very pale and her little black duffel coat is buttoned up and her hood is pulled up too. I go to find my partner and on the way again I see the group of wild dogs gathered and as the dogs scatter a slightly older child lies underneath she is about four years old. Again the child is wearing a hooded coat which has been pulled up.

I wake up feeling deeply upset. I’ve been having these nightmares on and off for years and can well relate to having had a deeply traumatic and abusive childhood myself. The question that puzzles me is that in many of my dreams I am also in the role of the child abuser and in dreams I enjoy having sex with the children. This completely freaks me out and I have never spoken of it to anyone. Please could you throw some light on why in my dreams I would want to have sex with a two year old child?

I can understand it the other way round but not when I’m the abuser. I wake up feeling really traumatised after these kinds of dreams. I have been reading Jung avidly over the past two years and because my dreams often take place in the woods I feel that it’s telling me the wound/complex is taking place in the feminine. Thank you for being brave and courageous enough to talk about what is often swept under the carpet because it’s just too much for most people.

Kind regards,


Bruce November 4, 2014 at 9:03 pm

HI Deborah,

Thank you for your kind and compassionate words to me and to others who pass this way.

Starting with your question about why you might dream about being the abuser, I might venture some thoughts, however, we must always be curious, respectful and cultivate love and healing rather than worrying too much about being “right.”

Obviously children should be protected. Abuse causes many layers of hurt, including confusing children if they experience arousal (i.e. physical pleasure) when they are emotionally too young to assimilate these feelings in the context of a trusting and intimate relationship. This is particularly true when a so-called “grown-up” uses a child as an object for their own gratification.

This use of child as object is just what you experience in these disturbing dreams, thus perhaps it gives insight into a particular aspect of your own wound—perhaps hinting at how you might have experienced a feeling of being special, or having secrets, and the intensity of pleasure and being important (even in such a hurtful manner to the child) to an adult, especially if you felt otherwise neglected or unimportant/unseen for who you truly were, might have left you doubly confused as a child.

Often perpetrators blame the victim for “making them do it” (which is akin to assertions that revealing clothing invites rape or assault). I think the key focus must be on your healing, particularly on healing any residual shame you may carry (as if some aspects feeling good mean that you made it happen. You did not. Children are in a huge power differential compared to grown-ups. The responsibility for not acting out sexually with children rests entirely upon the grown-ups).

Also, you may have dreams in which you perpetrate, but this is not at all the same as acting this out in waking life.

From a dream perspective, perhaps you are trying to reintegrate your child and your sexual selves—to have a clear boundary between the child and the grown-up in your mind, where the child gets to be a child again and the grown-up gets to be a sexually expressed adult, and the full Self being solid container of both.

One imaginal exercise that has helped some of my abused clients is to imagine tucking in your child-self and helping her feel safe and protected before imagining she falls asleep and your adult self can be sexual with your partner behind the appropriate boundary of a closed bedroom door where two grown-ups and no children are free to express love and release shame, guilt and rage.

Turning to the dreams of the dogs, a few thoughts on these include:

Dog is “God” reversed. Thus the child finds herself overwhelmed in a “godless” world or pure animal desires, a world in which she is victimized.

Dogs, akin to wolves, might represent hunger and raw sexual power. This might be hinted at in the hoods the children wear in death. Little Red Riding Hood is about sex (the red hood as emerging sexuality, the wolf as sexual predator. Let’s not even speculate about what “eating grandma” could be about). Then the “hunter” arrives and shoots the wolf with his phallic gun and rescues the feminine from the primal masculine.

The fact that there are 12 dogs suggests patriarchy (twelve months is the solar calendar, but the lunar calendar, which preceded it in the time of matriarchy and a ruling feminine principle, has thirteen cycles per year. This is where the healing woman becomes the witch, where 13 becomes unlucky and associated with dark forces and where the so-called reason of man leads to the world we currently have. A world where 7 out of 10 women are sexually assaulted worldwide in their lifetime.

Four seems an important number here. 4 mos pregnant, 4 year-old in later dream hurt by dogs. Perhaps you were molested around age four, and perhaps you fear being triggered as your child approaches four (and like the wolfman under the spell of the full moon, fear some sort of trance state where you imagine being unconscious, as in dreams, and getting hurt/hurting a child).

Four is also a square, a stable number, like a table with four legs, four is an earthy number, and this might connect to the forest which you identify with the feminine, but also with all those trees it holds the symbolic power of soul—tree as soul image tracing back to kings of the wood, power, shamanic journey up to the upper worlds and down to underworlds.

This is spoken of as the child is on the ground in the dream with dogs above, and then the child also disappears which might relate to myths such as Persephone being taken away from her mother Demeter and forced to reside with Hades (as captive, perhaps connected to subjugation but also to dark natural turns of seasons, epochs, etc.).

I say this, finally, in the chance that your dreams are both personal and also “big dreams” relating to the collective unconscious. Certainly it would be good if humans could be more conscious and more compassionate; more aware of soul, sacred, both in the natural environment and in our children.

If Jung is correct in saying that “it’s what we are unconscious of that materializes and meets us as our fate,” then your dreams, by making unconscious content conscious, helps you heal, reduces the danger of reenactment, supports the healing of not just yourself but the group by showing what’s wrong and challenging us to get beyond hate and perpetuation of violence toward true awakening and forgiveness.

Finally, as I tell my abused, assaulted and molested clients, the perpetrator acted out upon the body, but could not and did not touch the soul or the mind or whatever we might like to call the pristine, innocent, unbreakable Self that ultimately links us to our fellows and all nature in something I hope is akin to love. This is beyond any of our consciousness to know with certainty, but I laud your process and wish you, your partner and your child Sweet Dreams and an equally sweet waking life.


Deborah November 5, 2014 at 3:52 am

Hello Bruce,

Thank you so very much for the richness of your reply. Your words are like an offering of beautiful verse. Full of beauty, compassion and grace. I glimpsed your soul, of that I’m sure. You are a rare gift.

Although I have no conscious memory of being sexually abused I have always suspected that ‘something’ (however defined) took place. My feeling is that this took place when I was very young. The next words will be difficult and will attempt to shame me but I know I must write them in order to heal.

For many years during sex I fantasised I was with my father and that I was a young child again. In my fantasy I was there for him to play with and do as he pleased. Let me be clear I found this to be deeply upsetting and afterwards I would feel sick to my stomach and hate myself.

When I think about this and my nightmares they feel connected somehow, with both fantasy and dream telling me things that my rational mind refuses to listen to. I wonder if incest fantasies are common for many abused children to have as adults. If so, (final question I promise) why does this happen? Even the briefest of descriptions would be most helpful.

In one way it is distressing that I cannot remember the sexual abuse taking place in my childhood (I can recall other abuse) but in another sense I am relieved. I understand that these are difficult things to talk about but my desire to heal overrides all the guilt, confusion and shame that arises from speaking out about such things.

Like a bell being rung in the distance I resonate with many of your words. You are obviously a deeply intuitive therapist. Reintegrating my child and sexual selves makes perfect sense to me and your knowledge of myth and symbolism have been a comforting balm to my wound and I love your suggested exercise.

The tears flow and somehow I feel I am scooping up my dream child from the earth and pulling her into my arms. There are no words, language fails us all so miserably here. I will need to re-read your reply many times because one cannot absorb such wisdom and compassion with this much depth in one sitting. Thank you so very, very much.


Bruce November 5, 2014 at 9:53 am

Hi Deborah,

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my ideas. In both service to you and others who may pass this way let’s look a bit at what we know from emerging and evolving science in the service of your, and others’, healing.

As for “repressed memory” of abuse, we must tread very very cautiously here. I would highly recommend looking at the book, “Trauma,” by Richard J. McNally, a Harvard Psychologist who gives a thorough overview of the topic.

The short answer is that trauma is generally imprinted into the mind very clearly and that the assertions that others have sexually abused but the victim has “repressed” it, particularly when well-meaning, or not, therapists have suggested stories, rather than facts, to fit awful feelings has often only ended up vilifying people who were in, truth, innocent (at least of the charge of sexual abuse). This includes scandals about ritual abuse as well as individual sexual abuse.

This is not to say much abuse doesn’t occur, it certainly does, just that the idea of “repressed memory” doesn’t hold up under scientific scrutiny. I say this to caution against condemning your father on the pretext that although you can’t remember that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The people who I have worked with who have been abused may have had some blockage of details, that may have returned over time, but when it comes to pre-verbal “memory,” the science suggests that we do not truly code, store and thus retrieve “memories” proper until after 18 months of age (give or take).

Earlier we form overall impressions, and clearly, whatever “happened” in your childhood you did not come away feeling safe and secure. Our main focus would be on supporting your healing, and placing this in the service of your child and of others so that we might come to live in a safer, kinder, more sane world (in which children are not hurt, and parents are not left to the wolves to deal with their own past traumas).

I think the position, “I don’t know” is a good place from which to explore, discover, learn, grow, change and, ultimately, hopefully, love.

Thus a few things to consider as you explore and heal. Unresolved trauma in caregivers can have powerful effects upon children. See this post for more on this topic:

as well:

The mind learns to fear very easily, and if the wires of of sex and danger in your mind somehow got crossed (probably from SOME sort of behavior that shaped you) we need to validate and heal that without accusing anyone of things we don’t have facts to support.

What hurt you would be great to know, but even if we don’t know, we can support healing in the here and now. Forgiving is not forgetting, but we need to stop the violence, the war, the poverty and more aggression and more acting out do not break cycles. Love is powerful, and it is founded upon accurate understanding (or at least trying). Be patient and kind with yourself.

Another route toward healing could be in so-called “somatic processing.” The work of Peter Levine is worth a look in this regard:

Finally, perhaps my own book might prove healing as an overall curriculum of support for parenting itself as a spiritual healing path, a way of healing through giving what we didn’t get, perhaps making our way to the group we yearn to belong to, and contribute to, via honoring the gift that children offer:

I would invite you to monitor your dreams going forward and perhaps share here if you have any others that feel relevant, or perhaps you will get a “big dream” that offers healing and insight to the group that you might share as we grow and learn together.

I suspect that we need to parse out the masculine and feminine principle from gender and sexual identity so that we can harmonize them in ourselves and in our shared world.

Back to myth, Deborah was a prophetess in biblical history and she ends up vanquishing a bad guy by driving a tent peg through his head. So here we have an image of violent penetration and feminine power, yet we still wait for a world where vengeance, calm, reason, transparency and compassion rein. Not sure if that’s in the cards for homo sapiens, but it’s fair game to try by at least striving to know ourselves, even in our darkest places (thus the confabulation of wish and horror as you dream of connecting with father and being violated by father; you want to love him, like all our fathers, like the sun (not sure about the Son) and the light and reason, truth, beauty and justice… and you carry your portion of our human history, DNA, reptilian aggression, and human deceit and exploitation of others through the sort of con-artistry we see the Wizard embody in “Wizard of Oz”). Whether it’s Luke and Darth (“I am your father”) or some sort of lovely redemption (see the movie “Kirikou” really fantastic) we are still trying to evolve our collective consciousness. And the Mothers need to step up and show us how it’s done, not via the power of control so much as connecting and letting our best nature unfold, like a lotus with it’s roots deep in the mud of our past, earthy as it may be, and reaching toward the true sun of our enlightenment, whatever that may be.

To love our ancestors and allow the blessings of their love and what they did right and just to nourish us, while redeeming the “sins” or mistakes of our ancestors who, once upon a time practiced human sacrifice (perhaps worse than mere “abuse”) based on the faulty thinking of anxiety, fear and control… who knows, maybe our children will architect a better world? Maybe it’s possible? Maybe we meet through pain and transform that to love and compassion and quietly discover that the loud and greedy folks are just loud and greedy and that there are many quiet children just waiting for a quiet chance at a quiet and lovely world.

People go racing all over the globe “helping,” when perhaps we can stay where we are, make a smaller carbon footprint and “virtually” connect and heal in a manner akin to mice rising up to replace dinosaurs—quiet but convincing over time.

Our greatest potential as humans is to love. On that note I invite mindfulness meditation as a free and non-harming path to healing of self and others. All we have to do is sit quietly and breathe. I like Michael O’Donohue’s meditation from “Anam Cara”: breathe in love, breathe out fear and desire. Repeat.

Hope this helps. Keep us posted on your healing :)


Deborah November 5, 2014 at 10:50 am

Thank you most kindly Bruce. I’ll be feasting on your links, book suggestions and words now for the rest of the week! It’s a beautiful full moon here tonight in England. Perfect timing! :)



Ayla Hourani November 16, 2014 at 4:21 pm

I’m still in shock.
I just woke up crying. My mom and I were driving past an army checkpoint, and he asked us to come back, so we made a U-turn and went back. On the way there, random 2-3 year old children were throwing themselves infront of the car. Even though we were driving very slowly, we couldn’t stop, and ran a child over. (At this point, my mother was driving.) We didn’t even stop to help the child, we just drove off as if it was normal. And then I look in the mirror (I was the driver suddenly), and I see two other children carrying him and running across the highway! Then another similar scene with a 2 year old jumping infront of the car occurs. I was able to avoid this one, but another car comes and runs him over. And once again, two children rush to pick him up and run across the highway carrying him. (My dogs, chihuahuas, are in the back seat during this scenario, and we see a lost poodle also running across the highway. All the cars were so frightened to hit the dog, and managed to move away from her. Here, I was considering pulling the dog into the car with me- although I have been ignoring the children. We then park the car, and we go to the checkpoint walking, although it was a car checkpoint. Half way there, my mom asks me if my dogs will be ok alone in the car, and I had just realized that I forgot them, so I said “I hope so.” And that’s when I woke up startled.

I think it might be relevant to mention that almost 3 weeks ago, I had a dream that I was with my fiancé, and again I was the passenger, and we were driving very very slowly, but the car slips. Suddenly out of no where we find children running and screaming, and the family starts screaming at us for running a child over. So I go down and start apologizing to them. That was very uncomfortable more than it was frightening.

I’m really just so confused as to what these interpretations may mean! Help!


Bruce November 16, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Hi Ayla,

As written above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

So… please read through some of the other dreams and comments for ideas about how to interpret your own dream.

A couple of hints to get you started: The military checkpoint might have to do with crossing a border or boundary in your own life (i.e. you are engaged and thus soon to be married, crossing the threshold as a bride for some reason may be psychologically connected with war, disaster or harm).

Maybe you, or your parents, experienced trauma when young (ages 2-3)?

Maybe you are anxious about moving forward into motherhood after you marry?

Maybe your unconscious is commenting on the absurdity of the human condition where dogs are treated better than humans sometimes?

The “U-turn” could also be a pun: you turn (and the military guy would be a symbol of your own power or authority) and you “go back” which could symbolize memory, and when you do go back children are being hurt. Again, if you felt hurt in some emotional way when you were young, you might need to get some help with that so you are truly free to move forward into grown-up life and parenthood.

Do read some other dreams and see what your own mind thinks is going on for you. Meanwhile wishing you Sweet Dreams and a happy waking life too


Joanne November 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

Hello, I had a really bad upseting dream last night. To the point i am still crying when thinking about it. I was dreaming about me my and my three children ages 14,3 and 13 weeks. We as out and about and then all of a sudden they was a change of military and they was killing other people around us and i told my mom to take the kids and run and i would meet up with them. I made it to where we was going to meet and I didnt see them at the time but the military was at the end of the hall and then i heard my mom and children and I went running to them I grab my children and they shot my mom and then i begged them not to hurt me and my children. So then there leader came up to me as i was holding at my children and said you can pick one of your children. My oldest son was laying againest my chest then his to sister was beside him. I told them i wouldn’t pick and not to hurt my children. Then this lady walked up and i knew her she works with me everyday and she said it ok and the placed this thing on my sons head and told him it wont hurt and he started to cry and i started yell mom loves you and i screamed it to him and cryed. Then i woke up but it is still haunting me and i still crying over it can you help me understand I love my children very much and i dont understand why i would have a dream like this. I dont want anything to happen to my children and Everytime i see the lady here in my office it makes me think about the dream. Why would someone want to hurt my children.


Joanne November 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Also as I was screaming to him mommy loves u, They was saying he wont feel a thing as they was going to kill him.


Bruce November 17, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Hi Joanne,

As noted above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

So… please take some time to read some of the other dreams as comments as it will very likely give you tools to interpret your own dream.

A couple of hints to get you started: You could think of the different people in the dream as parts of your own total Self. In that perspective you have a “military” aspect that is brutal, but unconscious. This shows your relationship to power, and it puts you in either a weak victim position or powerful but brutal.

Sometimes “bad” things in dreams express our own forbidden feelings of anger. In this perspective you are angry at your mom (she gets shot… by the “military” part of you. But who “writes” the dream? You do, in your mind). Maybe mom hurt your feelings, recently or in childhood. Maybe you felt that she played favorites with your siblings and now you’re a parent and you are realizing that the kids may think you favor one (and sometimes you might) but you certainly love them all beyond words. That doesn’t mean you don’t get angry and frustrated.

My guess is that you are struggling to discipline the 14 year old, and they are feeling envious of the babies, and so you unconsciously get rid of that one in the dream, and of course wake horrified that this could happen. It’s not going to happen (unless we have World War III in which case we’re all going to need a lot more than dream interpretation). In fact, by even considering that you may have some angry feelings about your mom and your kid, and considering that this is normal and in no way makes you a “bad” parent, much less a “military” murderer, you are likely to simply not have a repeat of this dream.

Do read some other comments though, as there are numerous ways to think about all this.

Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams and a nice waking life too


Stephanie December 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Hello Bruce,

I read through every dream you interpreted above as i stumbled on your page for answers. (Do dreams help heal past traumas?) I am not expecting a response, as I know you stated you no longer do dream interpretations. I also see how people can burn you out for being ungrateful at times for your gracious and helpful reply’s. I guess i just also needed to write it all out and see the patterns that are taking place. Clarity has always been key to me I constantly look up the symbols that stand out to me but this last dream left me wondering what happened?

for the past 3 years I have used my dreams to guide my healing of past traumas that only came to my memory when I was recently married this past August.

The recurring dreams began in my early twenties ( I am now 29) the theme was always me running away from men. Or me being in a house and having one particular scruffy bearded man looking in on me through windows and door ways. His expression was lifeless and dark. Later the dreams turned into this man or men on different dream occasions chasing me i was always running because i knew they wanted to harm me for their own desires. Later the dreams turned into a new theme they began with me being at the same place a neighborhood where the ocean was about 5 blocks away visible. The Ocean looked brown , cloudy and dirty. In this recurring dream I again saw hostile men when I came closer to the ocean. I feared the ocean so much I would run away and 2 young girls at different ages one a toddler and one an adolescent would appear I would grab their hands and run away. Sometimes on a bike, I soon started to be able to run away in each dream versus before I would be running in a confined space only to hide. Then my dreams turned into me being captured by groups of men along with other girls of all ages. I would have to pretend in my dream to like what they were about to do to me, I would watch them hurt and sexually abuse other girls. I would follow the girls lead in pretentious of being ‘ok’ with what was about to happen to me. Same scenario locked away in this place for no one to find me. and to be used for these males sexual desires, the men are always raging and angry. Later my dreams took a turn which I assumed was for the better I began to rescue women in my dreams however I found that the groups of women I was trying to rescue were to afraid to run away from these horrible places with me. Their fear forced me to leave them behind because i wanted to be saved and new I had the power and strength to run forever … so I did. I finally overcame a huge obstacle in that my past dreams where I am at the same place where the same ocean is in view and I am now running towards it and finally was able to swim in the dark ocean i feared for so long, still somewhat afraid and I saw a woman in the ocean with me she looked like a godess I could not see her face she was almost like a spirit swimming to the left of me with a white flowing dress that moved perfectly in the ocean underwater, i liked her she represented sexual freedom and expression in my mind in the dream. Then it happened, i had a dream of myself in that same ocean swimming in the darkness but unafraid. I was swimming in my subconscious and was no longer afraid of it.
Then last night again I had a dream of being chased and caught by 2 men with machine guns. They kept me hostage with my cousin and forced us to choose sexy clothes to put on and wear for them so they can take pictures. I again began to pretend to like the idea as my cousin in the dream did indeed suggest she was in for it. again I ran grabbed my phone called my husband and he came to save me. Was this a step back as I believed I was moving forward in my healing? There are some traumas that I dont remember but my gut (soul) feels as if some of these dreams resemble what my instinct feels to be true.

Thank you for your time and energy!


Bruce December 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm

HI Stephanie,

Thanks for reading everything and doing your best on your own. It sounds like you are indeed making much progress and there is little need to intervene in your unconscious process but to venture a guess: the recent dream shows you being able to trust a “good” male figure to help rescue you from the “bad guys.” This is a progression through the approach to the “dirty ocean” (the great mother soiled in our human dream of earth and the rise of brutality and yearning for love) and the appearance of the “good mother” which empowers you to grow past the stunted/wounded infant/toddler and adolescent to grow up and marry the prince (not just your man in waking life, although I hope he’s lovely, but the male principle, the just hero to rescue your pure brave feminine principle). From there the two unite and the divine child is born of this union, but symbolically rather than religiously (as your dream comes around the solstice, before Christmas), empowering you to be free, sexual, maternal, brave, tough… and eventually chill, funny, creative, industrious and connected in a kind way with many equally integrated others (i.e. aware of our potential for brutality and thus less inclined to repress or to act out, but to evolve organically, naturally rather than asserting rules, control, violent subjugation, be it of women, children, animals or earth). Who knows, maybe the “dream” of life gets better and then we might actually wake up to some higher consciousness.

Certainly wishing you sweet dreams and a loving and empowered waking life


Holly January 5, 2015 at 11:43 pm

I see that you are not doing this anymore but I am hoping that maybe wriiting it out will help to stop the dream. Sorry for any problems it may cause you, but I think it is a good thing, what you have done for other’s.
I dream that someone is after my children, my husband and myself. We get away from them, only for them to find us again. My husband then fight with them so my children and I can get away. (In my dream I never see my husband again.) They catch up to us and take us to some sort of weare house, I can not explain what they did to my children and myself, when I do I cry. I try to get us away from them and I am shot every time I try. In the dream we are there for about a week. One of the guys left a gun on the table. I grabbed it as they were locking us in a small room for us to slowly die there. I did not have enough bullets for all of them. My choices were let my children suffer from the wounds, broken bones and lake of water or, end the suffering for them. I did. I made sure both of them had no pulse and not breathing then shot myself. I then wake up. I have this dream every night for about 2 months now. I can wake up at anypoint during the dream, go back to sleep, and the dream starts right where it left off.


Bruce January 6, 2015 at 8:23 pm

Hi Holly,

Thank you for reading and for your comment. I do hope it helped to write it out. I would offer an encouragement, since you can “wake up at anypoint during the dream,” you might choose to stay in the dream, but lucid (meaning you realize you are dreaming).

At this point, you can say to the whole dream, and everyone in it: “I realize all of this is just my mind, just stuff my mind made up. I realize that this isn’t real, and still I want to learn and grow. Since this nightmare is just a movie my mind made of all my fears, I want to wish love and understanding to the “bad guy” parts of me, and to the children who are hurt part of me. If any of you parts of me want to teach me something I am ready to learn, but mostly I just want to love so that I can truly wake up, not just from this dream, but from a world where children are hurt, where injustice occurs, where people feel like they are alone and don’t measure up… I know this is just my wish and my imagination, but my truest and deepest Self, that which can love, and which does love, at least my children, wants to learn to be unafraid and love the unbreakable spirit in all children, even that which is seemingly hidden and twisted up in the so-called bad guys I meet in waking life, the afraid people who haven’t had enough love to be nice…”

Ultimately it has to be your words and your ideas, but I offer up a sort of “script” to consider, because if your unconscious likes it, maybe it will take it and make it work for your purpose (which is to stop having nightmares, but also to live a life more filled with happiness and love and also fun).

Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams and a sweet waking life too


Jeremy January 8, 2015 at 2:53 am

Hi, I can tell that you’re trying to stop doing this. I read through all of your stories and you seem very compassionate and intelligent. I hope that even if just a small responseyou find it in your heart to help me. I have a 3 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. Im fortunate enough to have a very close relationship with my sweet baby girl. Unfortuantely, with my son, I do not. I try my hardest to consistently and always will. (Different mommas) Anyways, I had a very vivid and disturbing dream of him just staring in the mirror, and I felt a horrible sense of like an evil pressence. Please help


Bruce January 8, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Hi Jeremy,

Maybe this dream image is a symbolic representation of your child self, blocked from father’s love by mother (itself perhaps symbolic of the innocent part of you who feels ignored by the man/father part of you, and thus an “evil” feeling which might just be a way of describing feeling unloved or cut off from love).

The mirror is very important, if we look into it and do not see our true Self, then we are like Narcissus (who is not vain, but rather unconscious of who he really is).

Thus your dream encourages you, the grown-up, to see you the child, sadly gazing at himself in the mirror and not realizing how loved and lovable he is.

This is a good dream because it shows a relationship between the father and the child, but it is painful because the child (i.e. your own wounded self) doesn’t see that he is seen and loved.

If you could go back in the dream, even in imagination, and then stand next to the child, and then catch his eye, and then transmit your love to him in the mirror, maybe he will turn to you and see that he is loved in the mirror of his father. Maybe this will help heal things with you and your dad, you and your mom, you and your ex…

If this sort of insight helps, consider my book, particularly the chapter on self and self-esteem as it happens to talk a lot about the concept of “mirroring.”

With the right approach, perhaps finding out how to validate and “mirror” the pain your ex has (and thus her withholding your boy from you) perhaps you will heal enough as a family to find a way to engage your son with greater skill (i.e. tolerating his negativity and rejection) and grace. I agree that you should not ever give up on loving your boy as love will win over hate in the long run, or so I hope.

Sweet Dreams


Lisa January 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Hi, I had a really VIVID dream last night about my younger sister (12) confessing to me that my mother had molested her as a child and she was STILL doing it. She also showed me the different places she did this to her and she told me that when she misbehaved when she was younger my mother would lock her in the washroom cupboard that i had never seen before. I was mortified when i woke up and i could not look my mother in the face i was so scared of her and angry and disgusted. While i am aware that this is just a dream i am also aware that this is not the first sexual abuse dream i’ve endured. Also it happened randomly i was not talking or watching anything that had anything to do with that topic. And i’ve been sleeping well for the past week…I dont know why i had a that dream and i dont know if there is another meaning to it.


Bruce January 9, 2015 at 10:28 pm

Hi Lisa,

As I mention above: [Please note that I cannot continue to interpret individual dreams at this time, however if you read through these dreams you will very likely find insights into your own dream—and you will discover that you are not alone in having such nightmares.]

But I encourage you to read the other dreams as they, and the comments, explore the delicate topic of what such dreams could mean, and differentiating this from actual awareness of abuse. The whole topic is controversial and it it very important to respect the difference between “feeling abused” and actually being physically or emotionally abused.

Hopefully the comments above might help you think through your own situation, your dream and your feelings to help figure out what this is about for you and what if any actions you feel you need to take to heal, protect yourself or others if that is what you believe is called for, or maybe just deepen self-awareness and work out your relationships with your mother, your sister and yourself.

Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams and a happy safe waking life


Veronica January 24, 2016 at 10:33 pm

Hi Bruce.
You are a very caring person i can tell.
You have given answers to me just by reading through the responses you gave…i have had the ones of. Seeing your child being abused…by a person i know and one i dont…i have had the one of being scared for my kids being hurt….ive had the one of seeing something evil in my dreams when seeing my child…ect ect…ive had one of me trying to run away from my parents house….n not being able to move or run…or yell for help….i was a neglected kid when smaller i was abused a molested by a family member…i get the gist of what u are talking about…that yes it is within ourselves…i need to do healing…i have been to a counselor but their expensive and could not continue….is there anything u can recommend to help heal…with all the past trauma and also so that i dont become like my mother….abusive to my kids…that is my biggest fear..i adore my kids…but every once in a patience runs thin.
Also here is a dream i used to have all the time but couldny and cant figure out what it means….if u cant respond i understand just thought i would take a shot….and see if u could..thank you

I dream i killed someone…and i know where they are buried…and that im scared to tell anyone….but i know i did wrong in killing this person…but i dont know why i killed them or how…sometimes…i dream that someone else killed someone but again i either see it or im doing the digging to bury them…i wake up and i think…do i really know someone that killed someone….did i hurt someone and cant remember… Is my subconscious mind telling me a part of me is dead…idk im confused…have a good night thanks again for ur forum


Bruce January 25, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Hi Veronica, just a quick note to say that I did read your comment and I am sorry for how much you have had to endure. I know counseling can be expensive but perhaps there are some low fee options in your area?

The reason I say this is that perhaps your dreams are suggesting that the person who you are digging up is a symbolic representation of your authentic original innocent self…

Perhaps this way of viewing it would help make sense of your confusion as to whether you did the wrong thing, as abused children often feel as if it was their fault

Of course, it was not your fault, but just being told that usually fails to convince the person and allow them to heal

Still, I am saying that it’s not your fault and hoping that this will help you realize the truth of it and help you heal without further expense or suffering :-)


linda January 28, 2016 at 6:51 am

I need help I have a dream that I have been dreaming for over 4 yrs now in my dream I dream ata house were I used to leave with the father off my child in that dream we will be fighting or making up but we no longer together he get married again but I always dream about him when we are back into that house everyday I really want to no the meaning off this dream


Bruce February 4, 2016 at 2:05 pm

As noted above I cannot keep personally interpreting all these dreams, but please do read through the answers I’ve already given.

Hint: perhaps the “house” is your total Self and your ex-lover/father of child is the part of you that you cannot break up with because it is part of your true self. It is the part that rejects you (like a voice of past parents or lovers) and the dream says you are having trouble letting go of that part of you. It rejects you, and that makes you want to stay connected.

Time to change that dynamic by “waking up” and loving yourself and you world while realizing that those to hurt us are themselves confused and hurt.

Read the other comments so what I’m saying might make more sense and be actually helpful.

Good luck and sweet dreams.


Michelle March 10, 2016 at 6:45 am

I had a dream where my 9 year old son Ethan was hit by a car, the setting was that I was driving and all of my children were running on each sides of the car. I was swerving not to hit either of them but my mind was saying which one should I be careful not to hit. I look over to the left and my son Ethan is in front of a beige car and its like he was running faster but unaware that he could be harmed but the car hit him and pulled him under the car and then he was under the tire on the left back tire and the man driving was crying and I said don’t cry I need you to help me push the car off of him please and so I pushed the car off of him and he raised up in a sitting position clearly in so much pain and I just kept saying I love you over and over again and my daughter was calling her dad to let him know what was going on but it felt like I was trying to prepare for him to die but right before I woke he was still alive. He is my only boy and he is a mamas boy, it startled me so bad and although I have prayed it still has got me on edge. What could this dream possibly mean?


Bruce March 10, 2016 at 9:19 am

Hi Michelle,

As I note above, please read through the other dreams and comments and you will get ideas about your own dream.

A few hints to get you started: you love all your children, but the dream is also about all the different parts of yourself. Thus your masculine aspect as a boy is something you feel is not strong. You struggle to let that part be with the husband/man part of you, and your own unconscious destructive masculine drives the beige car. He is oblivious but feeling, and his crying is weak and not effective.

Thus you work with the unconscious masculine power, united as one strong and feeling/thinking Mother/Father grown-up or conscious being. You move the burden from the child (the burden of anxious attaching/mama’s boy Mama and the burden of beige neutrality, or I love everyone the same, that’s true spiritually, but not in real human waking life; maybe that’s the problem with human life, we have to choose who to love and only something beyond us could love all and equally.)

What’s dying in you is not your boy, but your unconscious identification with the wounded child (Christ imagery anyone, as we approach Easter for the 2016th time).

Be awake, own your smarts and your power and let those who love you in this life lift the burden of guilt and anxiety/clinging. Release the outdated idea of gender, for girls and boys are equal and we all love all our children. Accept that we do attach and we do have losses. Let’s be a nice as we can to everyone (equality) and try to discern our personal dreams (where all is symbol of self) from our waking dream-like situation where we all may be at the center of our own drama, but our actions do have impacts upon each other.

This realization of Self (or soul) is each person’s journey, but if a few of us do this together perhaps life itself will be more loving and less fraught with unnecessary suffering.

Sweet Dreams and waking life too :)


Michelle March 10, 2016 at 11:11 am

Thank you so much Bruce! Very enlightening & very, very helpful!


anna April 6, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Hello there.. I really need help because its freaking me out ! I don’t know why I dreamed of this & I am scared to think that what if it really happens ? So today I woke up with a jolt because that was a terrible nightmare & I was like wtf !

I had a nightmare about my sister. She really irritates me & she is twelve .We were at a party or something I don’t really know that place but I guess it was safe because me & my sister were walking wth our friends & our parents were helping .. Maybe it was near my home because the next part is my sister & I being in the kitchen with my father. I was really angry because my sister left the party without informing me… I went home to check on her & we were discusing in the kitchen while my dad was eating .. All of a sudden I slapped my sister & I asked her what did that guy do she started crying along with me & my dad because maybe I had a faint hint of what happened & I asked her several times before she told me what had happened .. & there was a paper in her hand that the guy had scanned himself or something & it was written that he was angry & many negative feelings .. It was my dad who saw this & he started wiping his tears & we all went to that party but I woke up scared whenever I have this kind of dreams I open my eye because I can bear it ! I mean I have problems with my sister as everybody else can have but she is still my little sister & I cannot bear seeing someone I love going through this even if its a nightmare ! & I think the fact that I was reading on rape victims for a project may have trigger this to happen … However I am scared & I just hope you can help me in figuring ou if this means danger to our family or something else!
Thank you


anna April 6, 2016 at 8:07 pm

& I really want to add that when I asked my sister what did that guy do . she told me he touched her in her private part & nothing else so we all got ready to go & find that guy but by that time I had already opened my eyes & I really want to know what it is all about ! Thank you for having this blog on which you help people who are terrified by what they dream about & who want to protect their family like me .
& also sorry for the grammar in the previous paragraph , I was reallhy scared & my keyboard wasnot co operating .

Regards, Anna


Bruce April 8, 2016 at 6:49 am

Hi Anna,

I’m sorry that I can’t really keep up with all these dreams, but it mostly sounds like you got triggered from reading upsetting material. It’s good that we can all be aware that real trauma happens, and if there is an actual trauma in your past (which doesn’t have to be sexual) that you get support and healing. If that’s not really in your past, then probably the dream is about how it’s hard for you to fully express your own negative feelings, and so all the characters in the dream would be the parts of you—the hurt one, the comforting one, and your ego-self, feeling left out, angry, guilty, etc.

Sorry for the delay in responding, but probably if you tell your family how much you love them, but sometimes you feel hurt, angry and afraid, but just want them to know so you don’t feel alone, you will get a hug and have a better sleep. This sort of learning might make you better at sustaining closeness throughout your life and in parenting (your inner self and real kids, sisters, etc.)

Wishing you Good dreams and waking life too :)


Amanda April 13, 2016 at 10:27 am

I had a dream last night that I was among several abused children trapped in an apartment that was three stories up. We kept trying to escape only to be brought back with different punishment. So much awful graphic things happened in the dream I won’t list them here. But I will say in waking life I was never overtly abused by my parents. There was a lot of dysfunction. Yesterday I met with my mother and grandmother for lunch and I felt attacked because of my confusion with political beliefs. I try to be a peacemaker and not say much but yesterday I couldn’t hold it in.


Bruce April 14, 2016 at 6:24 am

Given that I can’t really keep up with the demand for dream interpretation that I have been receiving and that I don’t have time to organize the material into a proper guidebook to nightmares about our children I have elected to take an interim step: to offer nine blog posts dealing with the most common categories of nightmare with some insights about overall themes and a quick guide to get a reader moving toward nightmares that might most closely resemble their own.

My hope is that if you find the best general category, and then go to that list of dreams which have been organized in terms of the age of the child in the dream, you may find some insights that you can then use to think about your own particular dream (and hopefully feel less afraid and more conscious about what is being stirred up for you and about how you personally discover is best to take care of your own self and your child).

Note that the threads are long and you must be patient in scrolling down through dreams until you find some that match the age or situation of your own dream.

While I realize it is still cumbersome to scroll down through multiple dreams until you reach one matching your child or your theme, my hope is that it will be somewhat easier than the random thread of comments at the original post.

So… If your dream involves water or drowning click here:

If your nightmare involves falling or flying try here:

If the core dread is kids running away or being hurt from neglect click here:

If kidnappers or scary animals, bad guys or monsters are the subject go here:

If the child actually does die in the dream click here:

If the dream involves overt abuse or graphic trauma read from here:

If the dream involves poison try here:

If there is a family feud or families fighting see these:

And finally, if the dream doesn’t quite fit any of the above categories but you suspect that it is teaching you something consider these dreams:

And… Sweet Dreams


Annie April 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm

I had a dream that I was kidnapped and molested! I have no idea who the guy who kidnapped me even was! This nightmare traumatized me!


Annie April 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm

(Detailed Version) Kidnapped and Molested

I was at the library, I was playing on the computer at the library. Then this guy I never saw in my life walks in and sits beside me, he starts touching me and I back away. The man then gets up and tries to pull me out of my chair but I keep kicking and kicking so he won’t kidnap me! He somehow manages to kidnap me still. He’s carrying me away and I see my mom in the other room. I try to tell her I’m being kidnapped but for some reason I don’t. The random man puts me in his vehicle and locks the doors, he drives me to a hotel and rents a room. He takes me to the room and puts me on the bed, he then starts to molest me and tries to have sex with me. That’s all I can remember. I’ve had lots of other dreams about guys trying to kidnap me and molest me but I have no idea why!


Bruce April 24, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Sorry if you were too scared to read any of the posts, but if you come back to read this comment, do read above. Being scared is no fun, but engaging your brain to think about what it could all mean (not just having someone else tell you) will probably help more than just an interpretation.

At the very least you can see your dream is common and you must consider if you are needing to work through trauma that occurred in waking life in the past, or if your imagination was trying to represent a feeling you have, but not the facts of your experience.

Best of luck either way


Stephanie April 24, 2016 at 3:47 am

I just woke from a shocking dream, that has left me shannen to say the least. First, some background. My son is a year and a half old. He is my whole world and I’ve never loved anyone so much. My mother and I have not been speaking for about 2 months, but it seems that things may stay this way for a long time. She betrayed me and I cannot find it within myself to forgive her. Honestly, it hasn’t been on my mind very much because we have not been very close for the better part of 8 years. Before my son was born it was not uncommon for us not to speak for 6 months or so.
Anyway.. In my dream my mother is living with my son and I in an apartment. Things are obviously tense between us. Then, I walk into my mother’s bedroom while my son is in there with her and she has my grandfathers opiate pain medication tossed all over the floor while he walks around picking it up and eating it like candy. She’s just watching and smiling. Horrified, I pick him up and force him to vomit, searching for my phone and trying to run away. I remember fighting her off and her saying that he’ll be better off dead. I finally get away and go to a neighbors home and before I call 911 the cops show up with an ambulance. She is taken away and somehow my sweet baby is fine again. I have the police clean up the medication and I woke up. This has really shaken me, and I was wondering if you could help me interpret this dream. Thank you so much for what you do.


Bruce April 24, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Hi Stephanie,

This blog has become a bit like “Godfather 3” for me, as every time I say I won’t interpret any more dreams some emotionally traumatized reader with mother issues shows up and I’m pulled back in :)

Please do read the other dreams and comments, but some hints to get you started:

This dream, based on the facts you share about your waking situation, suggests that not only is your mom emotionally impaired, but that you have internalized this image in your head and this neglectful mother figure with “addiction issues” (i.e. dependency on anything that is not human love and relationship), and an inner child who “ate this pain” as a kid and needs to vomit or get rid of it.

The inner mom can’t deal with the inner child (who is “better off dead” in her mind because she knows she cannot parent).

You are the ego-self in the middle, who wants your child to be fine and wants your mom to get help (go to hospital).

In waking life you can do well by your child, but not really get your mom to change or heal. This sort of mother-daughter relationship is truly painful and is just the sort of thing that could benefit from therapy, as well as programs for co-dependency (like Al-Anon).

Not to self-promote, but my book was written with parents like yourself in mind, meant to support parents who may not have time for yoga and spas and therapy… even if you just read one page a day, at least you will know you are not alone and you are staying on message with your parenting, perhaps even healing your own pain through giving your child the sort of parenting you did not get.

Warmest Regards, asleep and awake :)


Yon May 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Hi I just had a very disturbing dream.

I was staying in a shared house with my brother in another room of the house. My grandparents and uncles came to visit him for his birthday. To get to his room they needed to come through my room to leave. I was in the common area but my girlfriend was on the bed in my room.

After they left to their car i had gone to my room to see her and I was curious if they said anything as it was the first time they saw her. She’s Indian and I’m not and I knew they wouldn’t be happy in real life. When I got closer to her her head was in her arms hiding from me. When I asked what was wrong she looked up and had a bruised lip and black eye as though one of them hurt her. I wanted to kill them.. Then I woke up.

What is this pointing to?


Bruce May 11, 2016 at 9:18 pm

Hi Yon,

If you read the post or recent comments you will understand why I cannot interpret your dream at this time.

Nevertheless wishing you all best wishes awake and asleep :)


Jennifer May 9, 2016 at 10:07 pm

Last night I had a dream that I was sleeping and while I was in bed a man began to have intercourse with me. At first I enjoyed it until all of sudden it stopped and for some reason I ran into my daughter’s room where this man began to undress my 7 year old daughter. I could not see this man as if he were some kind of ghost, only quick flashes of him. Some way I tricked him to come back into my room and I began to fight with him. I felt in control and stronger then him but as I held him I heard my daughter screaming from her room. I told him I was stronger than him and he told me but you can’t stop me from hurting your daughter. Right then I woke up and when I woke up I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. I felt like my lungs were squished.

What scared me is that same day I took a nap because I couldn’t sleep the night before after waking up. I dreamed I was at my old apartment complex where I grew up and I was with my friend, my neighbor downstairs, and we were looking for both our daughters who are also friends. I started to freak out and heard screaming. Finally I found them in a man’s apartment. This time I could see the man clearly. He had harmed both of them I remember one was cut and the other one had a fat lip. I grabbed my daughter and her friend and ran from the man for some reason the girls kept walking away from me as if they were drawn to the man like they had been brainwashed. I couldn’t get her friend but I got my daughter into the apartment and locked the door. The man found his way in and continued to go after my daughter. I went into a drawer and sorted through colored knifes (which I have in my kitchen in real life) I found the biggest knife I could and repeatedly stabbed the man. I thought I had killed him and that my daughter was safe but the man came back to life a few minutes later he made a joke that he would keep coming back and I replied then I would just have to keep killing him


Bruce May 11, 2016 at 9:22 pm

Hi Jennifer,

If you read the above post or recent comments you will understand why I cannot interpret your dream; still if you do read through other comments it will help you decide if this dream is about abuse that happened, in real life, to you in the past (and if so, if you might benefit from some help healing that trauma), or if the dream is more about how you feel, with violence and abuse being the way your unconscious made the point about just how disturbed you feel.

Certainly wishing you all the best, awake and asleep :)


Jessica June 4, 2016 at 8:56 pm


Hi Bruce,
I have been having really crazy dreams for years now. The vividness of the dream is always what scares me the most. They are so vivid that to this day I can’t say if they were reality or a dream because they are etched in my memory as something I experienced. That being said they are not always nightmares. The first dream of this nature I ever had was that I received a call from my mother telling me that my grandmother had passed away in the hospital. I woke up screaming and crying, my poor husband didn’t know what was going on. It was only after he started asking me questions, like how do you know that she is dead, how long ago did you talk to your mother?, did I realize that my phone was off on the other side of the room so it had to be a dream. This has continued over the past three years and I believe that it has gotten worse. My husband now says that I talk (fuss and sometimes beg) and fight alot in my sleep. He even has bruises to prove it. It has gotten so bad that he is sleeping in the guest room because we can’t figure out the trigger to the dreams. Lately things have been good, until last night. We have a three and two year old and last night I dreamed that I walked in on my husband finishing up rapping my year. I am embarrassed to say this because this would never be acceptable and I physically hurt my husband if he were to ever touch my children in this manner but in the dream my mind told me that I was hurt that it was HE was doing this to her and that there was a man that was hurting her on a regular basis. So in this dream I said to him, “I know he is doing it but you were never supposed to do it to”.
I have been upset all day. I know that my husband would never do anything like that to either of our children and I trust them around him 100%. But what does this mean and how is it possible to only dream these vivid dreams like this? Should I go see a doctor for something like this?


Bruce June 7, 2016 at 10:57 pm

Hi Jessica,

Yes, I think a consult with a clinical psychologist who has training in sleep-issues could be a good first step. They could help assess if there is a history of trauma you need to work through, and/or if you are having night-terrors. I know you were upset when you wrote this, but you suggest that in your dream your husband was “rapping my year.” I believe you meant “raping” and it seems you mean your child when you write “year.” Nevertheless, the unconscious slip might have some sort of meaning, but I’m not sure what. Perhaps “rapping” (as in rap music, self-expression born of oppression and having no voice; think Public Enemy or Kendrick) signifies your own need to be creatively self-expressed; I think we all need to be “artists” in the sense of being authentic and speaking from our own experience. As for “year” it sounds like your time is precious, like your children, and you feel like your husband (or the part of yourself symbolized by husband, i.e. the male or powerful part) has been hurting you this year.

Hope this helps. Wishing you and all of yours well asleep and awake :)


Alicia June 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm

I had a dream about my daughter… It was a horrific ordeal for me I literally woke up crying feeling lost. The beginning of the dream my mom was conversing with my relatives and saying you can’t tell her we have to get there to see what’s going on she will lose it. I started to eavesdrop on their conversations. I heard an outcry from my family of a video of my child. They decided to let me know what was going on. She said to me you need to get dress we have to go to the hospital and showed me the horrific video… My daughter is 7 years old now and in the video she was being restrained by older teenagers her body was curled up in an upright fetal position as the young ladies plummeted her with punches… She wouldn’t cry out she kept her head buried but a mom knows her child.. In the dream I knew it was her. There was one young lady in particular sitting amongst the girls and I can vaguely remember her face but no one I knew personally and she began to join the group of girls of all the punches she endured her punches made her fall flat onto her stomach and clinch up but she still refused to scream out in anguish… At that moment of seeing the video I let out a cry of anguish and horror punching walls and door as I got dressed. I was mortified hurt and angry. We made it to the hospital and my sister said that the nurses said a girl named “Angel” gave her the pills that caused an overdose which is why she’s here but when they took off her clothes to examine her body they saw bruises and knots that covered her body that was unexplainable… When the young ladies were questioned they said we beat her for hours but it was “Angel” who hurt her the worst and forced her to overdose on her medication. Now I wake up in a trance I actually had tears streaming down my face looking for her room until my dog barked and I couldn’t help but to feel hopeless and cry… Now I’m going through a custody battle right now my child isn’t in my care.. She also actually prescribed medication for depression and mood swings.. I reside in a totally different state… What does this dream mean? Help me please!!!


Bruce June 7, 2016 at 10:49 pm

Hi Alicia, If you read the post above and recent comments you will understand that I cannot interpret individual dreams at this time. The key question here is if you yourself have a traumatic history, and if yes, how you could trust people to help you heal. If the dream is more about how you feel, then it’s clear enough that a part of you feels coerced, beaten and nearly killed. Perhaps there really are problems with moods in the family, and if yes, we need to understand how this is a form of illness, not of “being a bad person,” and then we need to follow best medical practices, based on solid science, to help address the pain and help with the mending. It sounds like trust is a difficult issue, but I think a compassionate therapist for you to talk through your feelings with could be helpful.

In any event, certainly wishing you well in your dreams and your waking life :)


Breanna June 27, 2016 at 2:05 am

Hi.i just had a nightmare , one of my really bad ones a few hours ago. I dreamed I was in a little cabin kinda the ones down in the south and it was like four of them next to each other . Now again, drama could skip so the location was down south ( like I’m really located down South Carolina now) but there was a little carnival going on. Everything was good. I don’t remember who I was with but me and that person were walking and he or she was kinda giving me the tour guide of the four cabins. That person explain everything and everything was good until we got to a specific one. It was kinda a baby blue color and filled with people (mostly kids) I remember that person saying “stay away from there “. It’s a molestation house” and my eyes just busted and my heart dropped like. I just can’t take when something bad happened to people especially kids man. But in the dream I was really thinking of going in there and just getting people out but I knew what would happen to me if I did and Ofcourse I thought of keeping myself pure and clean until I got married so that was a huge decision but then in my dream and in real life I remember my mom talked about relocating down south (South Carolina) to be exact and I remember I told her we can’t move into that area or those little cabins especially with that going on and it was like she didn’t care .That really had me waking up in a cold sweat all over my body, shaking and almost like I didn’t stop .The only thing I miss on this trip is my mom and I just need her to hold me during times like things. And oh yea I’m on a trip with my big brother and dad . I have a good relationships with th both and they both love me dearly as I love them the same. But please help with this nightmare . This one really was horrible.


Bruce July 6, 2016 at 9:49 pm

Hi Breanna, If you read the original post and recent comments you will understand why I cannot interpret individual dreams at this time, but if you do read other dreams and comments you will get ideas about how to interpret your own dream; particularly if it just represents bad feelings you have or if it is about real trauma you have had which might need treatment with the help of a caring professional. Your heart will know your own truth, but it sounds like you may be having some mixed feelings about sex and being “pure” vs. getting hurt or wanting to rescue others, or your own innocent self. It sounds more like you’re a kid than a parent having dreams about your child (the real focus of this particular blog post); so if you have a loving family perhaps they can help you understand your feelings without making you feel ashamed or hurt. Finally a “baby blue” cabin is a boy color, but also a “Blue Baby” (dead or depressed) and so if you have unresolved sorrow from the past, from being a little kid, I certainly hope you can heal that pain and grow into a happy and more self-aware person in your own natural time as you grow and develop.

Certainly wishing you and your family Sweet Dreams and a wonderful and safe waking life too :)


Heather July 3, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Hello Bruce
My name is Heather and I dont know if you willl even get this comment or not but I want to say thank you for your insight and although I havent told you about the horrible nightmares that ive lived and are living through both in sleep and wake I have learned so much just by going and reading through all the other nightmares and replys that you have sent in regards to others dreams.
I myself had a horrible childhood filled with emotional verbal physical and sexual abuse from numorous people in my life throughout my younger years I have always been a very strong person in general and all these things combined and my now age of 36 this month I have spent most of my life supressing memories and emotions of any kind to protect myself I guess, But I notice as I get older my dreams are down right horrifying to be honest and they are about my second son only I dont know why its always him but I have 3 boys which I love more then llife and they have not been abused or beat or any of that they are all very stable my oldest son is 20 and he just had a little baby with his girl he has his own house car job graduated college last year and has been great my secong son is so so so smart as well he just graduated high school and is very talented as he writes music.
My youngest lives with me still he is going to 9th grade this year and is 14 years ols I cannot have any other kids I had my tubes tied after my last son because I had my oldest at 15 so I didnt want to end up with 16 kids by the time I was 36 now, I also write I have published 4 books on bookemon just poems thoughts and things that go on in my mind stuff about my life things like that writing has always been a outlet for me to let my thoughts and feelings out without getting into trouble for it…. Yes in trouble because my husband is a narsissist and therefore I am not able to show emotions or give thoughts or opinions on things because if its something he doesnt want to hear it just causes me more trouboe then any of its worth to begin with so Ive spent the last 20 with someone who controls my everything and before theat I was deeply and seriously hurt by both my parents and a few uncles and really everyone who was in my life as a young girl was foul to me and I wasnt I dont think ever lovced or protected by any one so you can say i dont know how Ive made it this long without losing my mind or going all the way crazy.. Im not even sure Why Im writing you this I guess just to thank you for your advice and thoughts its nice to get an outside opinion at times when we cant see past our own thoughts..
Heather LInck Las Vegas NV


Bruce July 6, 2016 at 9:59 pm

Hi Heather, Thanks for your comment—it sounds like you’ve been through a lot, and it’s inspiring that folks like you can turn around and provide love and safety for children, and thus break the multi-generational cycle of pain and abuse. You sound like you have a lot of insight and so I will simply wish you and your family well and hope that you have Sweet Dreams ahead and a lovely waking life too. As time goes by I’m less inclined to offer advice, but I encourage you to keep writing, telling your stories, finding your voice and shaping your own narrative into one of ongoing compassion and growth. If you can find your way to inner peace and happiness you can turn around and share that more widely with the many people who are suffering. Warmest Regards no matter what, Bruce


worried July 13, 2016 at 8:05 am

I have read through all the posts here, but still am unsure, I know you are trying to not comment on everyone’s things, but google has given me nothing. I am the mother of 3 young children and the oldest sibling of 6. My childhood home was physically abusive, but I was not sexually abused as a child. I strongly believe both of my brothers were and I know that 5 out of 7 female cousins (at least) were – all by their own fathers. I especially was/am troubled by the situation involving my brothers and our father. Much of my life has been spent thinking, worrying, watching for signs of child abuse. I fear for my own children. What concerns me is that a few times a year I have a sexual dream about one of my own children and myself. I absolutely do not feel this way about my children, or any children, during my waking hours. I never have a dream about any other children in this way, just my own, which leads me to think it must have some other type of meaning – but I can’t figure out what it could be. It disturbs me when I wake up and I haven’t even told my husband I have these types of dreams. I don’t know what to think, please if you have any insight for me…


Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:42 pm
Amit July 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm

I am having horrible dreams and day thought about my brother (6) being kidnapped and tortured, he is crying for help from his mother but she isn’t there, I feel the pain he is going thru and think about how my mother isn’t their to help him. It makes me terrified and I am scared every time he is out of the house (even at a friend or with a parent). It may be because a few weeks ago kidnap was attempted on me and I heard stories (that are real) of people being kidnapped and tortured around my area.
Please help me,


Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:41 pm
Beth heart August 5, 2016 at 3:32 am

In my dreams it’s like I’m another person that observed it all. so I had a dream that I was walking in this tunnel with some friends and then I took out my phone becuz I thought once we got out of the cave incan Snapchat this history. But then my friend that was Infront of my pointed out baby toys and I started to get this were feeling.
Suddenly there were flashes of the ocean and then I was observing this girl that was being really mean to these guys that thought she was cute but they were being disrespectful.
Then she kept starring at something in the desk.
Suddenly it happened….
The ocean appeared and the same lady walking up the steps from the ocean of the side of the dock. I remember her hold the baby and turning my head and seeing a dead mother in the water.(my heart started to race so fast)
Then suddenly before I can do anything I ended up in my living room and my little brother (my best friend to) was color and listening to music. Then the woman and the same baby were on TV then the little girl screamed becuz she knew that wasn’t her mother. Then she was trying to drown the baby. My little suddenly said “that’s a dog she drowning” and I kept yelling at him to close his eyes and the movie wouldn’t stop playing. I was freaking out becuz of helping the child and covering my bros eyes. then the baby was about five and she was hurting her. Then the little girl turned a bit older and the mother raped her and abused her. Then I kept screaming because I was so angry why someone would make a movie like that. Then I woke up. What a horrible nightmare. I don’t know this dream meant something else. But dream or not poor little girl.


Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:38 pm
Sammii downs August 7, 2016 at 11:00 am

Hi, I just had a nightmare which I woke up from in tears and I now cannot sleep from it in fear of it happening again. I was driving to work early in the morning (which is an industrial complex) I had just pulled up when a little boy comes screaming and crying towards my car.. He is followed by a man holding two electrical sanders chasing him.. They go around all the buildings for what felt like ages.. The boy keeps screaming and running and crying for help but I couldn’t help, I couldn’t move, I was stuck in my car not able to move..
I have no children, and I have never been physically abused either. Can you please help me, I can’t get the image out of my head


Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:38 pm
Kay August 15, 2016 at 8:18 am

Bruce, I have had nightmares or night terrors every night for the past 6 years. These dreams happen repeatedly through out the night. I went to a Women’s of Faith Conference in which they put on a skit of an abortion. I was abused most of my life by my mother, father, a church choir teach and school teacher, I was raped in a cemetery which resulted in a pregnancy. I couldn’t tell my mom I was pregnant so I preformed my on abortion. My nightmares are about all these events in my life. I thought I had been so strong all my life but now I feel so weak and broken. I have found some relief with the medication Prazosin. I still have nightmares but not as many a night and I don’t always remember having them but my husband does. I’ve been going to therapy now for the past 3 years but realize I have a lot to work through and it’s a painful process. I do have a question for you though; sometimes in my dreams i see myself being abused as a child but other times I see myself as an adult even though the abuse was when I was a child. I’m confused as to why I see myself as my adult self. Can you shed some light on this for me? Thanks for your help.


Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:37 pm
Natasha September 2, 2016 at 4:32 pm

I have had anxiety about my son going to his fathers and his new wifes home. I dont know her very well. And i dont trust either one of them fully with my son. I had the same nightmare for 3 days prior to my son going on a camping trip with them. I had a dream that they drowned him, then he was lost, and they told me it was an accident,. it was very confusing, and horrifying. I almost canceled the trip. but he is with them now and monday cant come soon enough as I am freaking out and trying to not be irrational the next 3 days!


Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:27 pm
Tiffany September 7, 2016 at 1:21 am

Please someone help me I had a dream my 10 year daughter was being raped by someone I didn’t see his face at all. I woke up in so much pain in tears I just grabbed my baby asked her was she ok until I realized it was a dream. But my problem now is it keeps playing in my head I talk to her but she giving me that look like mama what you talking about. It goes away but it just runs in my head over an over an it hurts cause I hate seeing that vision please some what can I do ?


Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:27 pm
Alexus September 13, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Please someone help!! I’m scared. I had a dream last night about my boyfriend causing harm to me & my son & now it’s stuck on my mind. I’m worried! What if the dream was trying to tell me something ? I’m afraid to even talk to my boyfriend right now, what could the dream mean ?!


Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:27 pm
Laura September 29, 2016 at 2:23 am

Hi, I know at this point you are not interpreting dreams of any kind, but I am really anxious and scared. I just woke up from a nigthmare (the worst if I can say) I was in a school (from what I kinda saw, didn’t really pay attention to that) and was accused by a teacher of doing something I did not do, by the way that teacher was my friends sister in law. I was so scared because I could not go home so I told some friends about what was going on and they encouraged me to do aomething about it so I noticed in the dre thaf I had a phone and try to record her the first tile I failed and the second I actually recorded her saying the truth that it was not me but indeed her who was at fault for the incident but out of no where in the dream she turned into my boyfriend and my son was suddenly by my side. My boyfriend qhile he finisshed sayin that it was him who was at fault notoced I waa recording and tried to take away my phone so I started screamithena loud as I could when I realized we were in a room he then said ok then I guess I’ll just do this and got up grabed my son and I guessed threw him in a restroom when I caugth up behind him to stop him from harming my son I saw that my son was laying face down licking the floor wich was very dirty and my boyfriend had zipped down his ziper of his short takeb his penis out and was telling him to lick it or suck it did not really hear because in that moment I had eent into shock I noticed I was waking up but before that I guess in the dream I was thinking could this be real and actually was thinking of a plan on how to catch my boyfriend and see if he was really like that. Please help me interpretong some of thos anything helps, from what I know I have never been harrassed or raped as a child but then again I am not sure I can hardly remember my childhood to the point were my relatives could be talking about something qnd ask if I remember and I answer no they think I am lying but I really am not it surlrises me I really can not remember most of my childhood, and I just hope my dream is not real. My son seems really happy he loves ky boyfriend calls him daddy, and well that is the only dad he has seen since he was one.


Bruce October 3, 2016 at 10:48 pm
Linda October 14, 2016 at 4:15 am

I just woke drempt a mother leaned over and slaped her baby a few times. I was shocked and look at the baby a black a adorable baby, his finger had gone inside his private parts . The black young mother tells me that’s why. So I see the baby tears roll from his face. then I said wow he didn’t even cry the mother tells me he knows better and proceeds to play in a nice loving way with the baby like trying to cover her actions but I was so angry inside of her ways tords
this baby


Bruce October 14, 2016 at 7:18 am

It seems you did not fully read anything at this blog, and so you are unaware that I am no longer interpreting dreams at this time.

Please see:

This link may give you clues as to the dream’s personal meanning for you (i.e. your inner “black baby” might be the part of you that is now being seen by you but was not seen in the past—in “blackness” of not-seeing rather than the “whiteness” of consciousness. Obviously it’s high time we separate skin color from the ideas of good and bad or even conscious and unconscious).

That said I will offer a note on the potentially collective meaning of your dream…

What if some out-of-control figure in public life, say a potential presidential candidate, who was obsessed with building “towers” (symbolic compensation for “little fingers”) was taught as a baby that “black babies” are “bad/poor” and “white/babies are “good/rich”

And what if that big bad “groping” man was once a baby who was shamed for “touching himself” (i.e. being “in touch” with his emotions, being able to give himself pleasure through knowing himself) he might grow up to unconsciously hate women as symbols of his own shaming mother.

That sort of stuck baby parading around in an aging man’s puffed up tower of a body might keep us all in the dark about what’s really wrong, how he came to be so hateful and make no more sense to the world than a helpless, shamed enraged baby.

What would be good about your dream, that is if my collective interpretation makes any sense, is that we might see that the “Good Mother” is not a political figure but the actual mothers we’ve had when lucky, the actual mothers we try to be (and we know how hard it is to always do the right thing and stay lovng).

Maybe, just maybe, if we all took back the collective dream just a little bit we would awaken from the collective nightmare

Then we would know that “touching ourselves/getting to know ourselves” is natural (many babies pleasure themselves until/unless they are shamed out of it; sadly some babies are literally abused and that’s a cycle of unconscious rage and hurt repeating itself across generations).

Awareness of human rights, children’s rights, women’s rights, religious freedom (and separation of Church/Temple/Mosque and State) is also awareness of our own true Selves. Separation of inner ideas and outer reality; separation of delusional projection and shared social life… well that just might be our future as a Nation, and perhaps even as a world, as we slowly graduate from “reality TV” and the age of the Selfie Stick toward a potential time of actual Love and Fellowship with other humans and our Natural World (which, after all, is much harder to separate from our True Self than it is to Separate Stories humans tell or dream from the Truth, albeit beyond all of us limited humans, of whatever Truly Is.

Whatever these words do or do not mean to you, I wish you and all our fellows (the happy and the angry moms, the shamed and the loved babies) Peace and a dawning realization of Love

Sweet Dreams and Sweet Awakening :)


anon October 31, 2016 at 8:12 am

I’ve been having disturbing dreams for a while now, in which babies and children are sexually abused or killed. I was sexually abused as a child so I know it must be some weird way of processing what happened. But what scared me the most is that I don’t know whether I’m the victim, perpetrator or onlooker. I don’t know if this is normal for survivors, my dreams are extremely distressing, it’s like being forced to watch a horror movie. I want to get rid of these thoughts but they just play in my head. Help me please


Bruce November 1, 2016 at 9:34 pm
Tasha November 14, 2016 at 2:36 am

I just had a dream where I sleep and I was taking to a family member on the phone and I was telling her how some weird things were happen for example my house would be really cold and that my 1yr old was not in her crib when I woke up. She was walking to me in the hallway as if she was coming out of my oldest room.. but I woke up in the dream as I were sleep trying to tell her to call 911 but I couldn’t get it out. The feeling was so real I woke up out my sleep feeling like my heart was about to come out my chest because I was scared. It was feeling I have never felt.


Bruce November 15, 2016 at 7:26 pm
Adrianna January 27, 2017 at 3:32 am

I dreamt that I was in an old house I lived in with my boyfriend and son & stepson. My boyfriend and I were in one room and I heard some odd noise so I get up to go check on my son & a familiar man (I’m not too sure who he was ) was in the room with my son. When I walked in my son has semen on his mouth and his eyes rolled back as if he was traumatized and the man laid there. I began to beat this man in the face he did not even move a single time and I beat him until he bruised and bled. I wiped my sons face but he was traumatized then I yelled to my boyfriend that was in the room with me next door to help beat this man and finally I woke up


Bruce January 27, 2017 at 6:50 am

Hi Adrianna,

Please see: please see:

but also please consider reading the responses to other dreams about abuse earlier in the above thread for help and support in discerning if you need to heal an abuse/trauma history, if you need to protect your child from some actual threat in waking life or if these dreams symbols are prompting you to deal with painful feelings that can be tolerated (with compassion and some coaching). Let’s say the key feeling is powerless before a perverse and sexual/bullying male figure who hurts our children. Let’s say that waking life shows us things in the world that seem perverse and sexually bullying, but we feel sick and scared in the night when our mind shows us the “truth” of our emotional/social condition… perhaps just reaching out and sharing your nightmare might somehow lead to validation of your emotions, realization that you are not alone and then the courage to connect with the vast majority of fellow parents who truly want to protect their children and know a bad situation when they see one, even if they don’t yet know what, if anything, they can do about it.

Maybe dreams are also, in the darkest and most horrible times, also a sort of jokester. You see your child traumatized and on his face you notice semen; obviously that’s gross evidence of sexual subjugation, but after all this is just a dream, not a waking-life moment, and therefore it might be a clue about what you are actually feeling yourself—you see injustice and on the innocent face of children you “see men.”

Try to remember not all men are monsters—in fact most are fair and non-abusing, but all humans, without love and compassion and appropriate limits/boundaries made of the social contract of what we as a society say is okay (either deprivation and abuse or entitlement and grandiosity) can make us act in monstrous ways that hurt all our collective children and our “environment” from the physical earth to the shared emotional space of being a human on that earth in this time.

Here’s to better dreams and a rising consciousness in the “reality” we share which for all we know may be akin to some sort of collective dream. If there’s anything to that sort of thinking then we want to keep a sense of humor about ourselves and our situation no matter if we are alone with our private thoughts (as in a personal dream) or “awake” with our collective love or dread depending on what’s happening in our world.

I know this is a bit complicated as an idea, but if we dreamers can see that the so-called monster, at least in a dream, is actually a part of ourself, then we can say to that monster/abuser, “I know you are the part of me who would hurt children. And I also know that you hurt the child part of me. So “be a monster” and not a coward and hurt me if you must, or admit that you are the hurt child and, like in Beauty and the Beast, show the prince within and I will be able to love you. A child can only see a monster; a grown-up parent with a little wisdom can see the over-compensating child in the monstrous three-year-old, see the baby who needs baby-love and can’t ask for it in any normal way and so becomes twisted into horribleness.

To look at whatever we hate and see the part of our own self that has been hurt and then shows teeth and claws and uses sex to appear powerful or hurt others is the beginning of actual social justice by which we heal together through waking up to our own humanity.

If and when the majority of humans look in the mirror and see the beauty and also the beast we may stop the endless projecting, blaming, attacking, competing for love/attention/money that sadly makes a world where we can’t feel safe, loved, respected or connected.


Adrianna January 30, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Thank you for taking time to respond it’s help me see other perspectives of this nightmare


Bruce January 30, 2017 at 5:20 pm



Danielle January 31, 2017 at 5:12 am

Driving down the road. Truck in front pulls upturn over center medion. I look over a boy hanging from parashoot screaming help. Man cuts boy down I reach out to hold him. Look down boy is a baby man walks up and cuts baby’s feet off. I look down in horror waiting to hear baby respond and baby doesn’t. He’s sleeping peacefully.


Bruce January 31, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Hi Danielle,

Please see:

ps maybe some themes here about coming down to earth (growing up) and feeling like you can’t take action/go in the direction you wish (no feet/no walking); that is if the kid represents the kid part of you…


Candice February 6, 2017 at 11:49 am

When I was a child I was sexually abused. I was abused by an older kid.
I had a dream of going to a party with two babies. I have only one baby in real life. At this party a family member is babysitting my babies. When I come back to get both of my babies, my actual baby is missing. I asked my family member and they told me that the older kid has my baby. Offered to babysit. I told them no! You know what this person has done? I find the older kid and condoms. I start crying and I grab a knife and start to slice his neck. When I was almost going to kill him people came to rescue him. In the end he went to jail but I was devastated.
I have had counseling before as a child for being abused. My nightmares started when I had my baby. I have dreams of being abused or someone I love being abused. I have to add that I’ve been abused more than once by different people. It difficult. To know that I was abused and that their are sick people who inflict pain on innocence.


Bruce February 6, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Hi Candice,

I am sorry you have have suffered and certainly wish you peace and healing.

While you have had counseling in the past, having a child tends to stir up all the memories of our own past that match the age of our kid.

If you went for counseling again maybe it could focus on overcoming trauma (possibly Post Traumatic Stress, if that is what’s happening to you). Treatment for anxiety and trauma have improved, so if you can find someone who specializes in this area it might give you some extra relief and be a blessing for your child, and thus a motivation to do the painful work of healing your abuse experiences.

As for the meaning of the dream, please see:

One hint would be thinking of the two babies as symbolic of your own self as a child, but “split into two” which is, psychologically what the abuse does, making the victim feel unreal and not integrated in themselves.

Maybe the anger in the dream is healthy, as you are now more clear than ever that abuse is not okay, and that no kid ever deserves to be hurt or used or abused. That is not so obvious to children who can carry shame about being abused, as if it is their fault and as if they somehow are “bad” and that’s why it happened to them.

In any event wishing you a much better time ahead, asleep and awake :)


Candice February 7, 2017 at 1:01 am

Thank you doctor. I felt like I am going through a lot of anxiety. I plan to get a referral to see a professional.


Bruce February 7, 2017 at 7:14 am

Excellent. Wishing you all the best as you heal :)


Brittney February 23, 2017 at 5:40 am

Please please Help!!!
I keep having this dream of me and my husband going to a bar restaurant
With our two boys and as soon as we walk in my husband hug an kisses this girl
And I ask who that was and he tells me not to worry about it is a girl he hasn’t seen in forever! So we walk outside to set down as this girl is right behind us. Then all of the sudden I’m surrounded by 4 girls and they start beating me and (mind you my eldest son is actually my husbands stepson) but my husband makes my eldest son watch as these girls beat me and he laughs and as my eldest cries and begs for daddy my husband turns to him and says I’m not your dad ad calls him a little baby and pushes him away. My husband at this point ha taken my phone an keys to my vehicle and I ask him to call my mom and he won’t let me and he won’t give me the keys. He tells me if I want to leave to take my son an go set by the road where the trash goes cause that’s all we are is trash! And then our youngest son (is ours together) he hands to his girl and says this is your mommy and as I fight to get my youngest out of this girls hands I hear lane screaming an crying and my husband is pushin him down and slapping him in the face! I wake up in tears and am drinched in sweat!
Because of these dreams I very rarely go anywhere with my husband! I need someone’s help!! I can’t hardly sleep at night afraid to return to this dream


Bruce February 23, 2017 at 6:53 am
Kelsey March 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Hello, im 21 years old and have no children but I had the most terrible dream last night. I was chasing a man with the most sinister look on his face , with a grin they gave me chills . He was chasing a little girl around three, he caught the girl and pulled down her underwear ….. I will not go in to detail but what I sall in my dream was incredibly disgusting and horrifying and I was force to watch as he did unthinkable think to this girl ….. When he was done he held up his hand to show me , it was bloody and he looked proud and happy with him self ….. I could of sworn I seen the devil in his eyes
The creepy thing about this is I was molested my self when I was three ….. I only remember bits and pices
Could this dream be some form of repressed memory ???? Or something else ????
Please help


Bruce March 6, 2017 at 10:33 pm

Hi Kelsey,

I am very sorry to hear that you were molested, and I would encourage you to seek therapy to work through that trauma. This would be a gift to any children you may have in the future.

While a comment box on a blog is not the place to go into the complexities of healing from trauma, there is help available, and any medical insurance that you have will cover mental health. If you are having nightmares you can contact a therapist to find out if you may qualify for treatment based on the traumatic effects of your past.

As for interpreting the dream, please see:

Again, I am very sorry that you have been through trauma, but with help you can make that a painful memory that does not stop you from having the healthy and loving life you deserve.

Perhaps if you can heal, you can later be an advocate for others who need to heal, and even find some way to participate in protecting children and reducing the cycle of abuse in the future.

Healing Wishes


Nora March 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm

I had a dream in which my teenage daughter was gang raped by family acquaintances. In my dream my mom, my daighter and I are walking through streets of our town trying to get to our house. For some reason we end up in this aparment as we are leaving this aparment my mom and I exit aparment but my daughter stays behind talking on phone. I look back and see her standing there door wide open I yelled out let’s go, but she remains standing there in middle of the living room with the door wide open. I assume in my dream that she had followed me so I keep on walking behind my mom. My mom and I get to our house when I look back lookong for my daughter she is not behind me. I for some reason had completely undressed so I start looking for clothes to put on to go back and get my daughter. I can clearly see myself trying to pick right T-shirt color.I can see all these pink T-shirts. I am standing looking for right T-shirt to wear rather than to go find out why my daughter is not back yet. Realization of being gone for too long hits me hard so I immidiately get on phone to call her. I am getting dress as I am calling her. I can hear her screaming in phone. I panic run out of house wearing no shoes. Having a panic attack as I am running back to that aparment where she was at. Thinking about worse that can be happening to her. I get there the door is still wide open she is lying on floor blood in between her legs. I see her there knowing that she had been raped. I feel so guilty for leaving her behind not forcing her to come with me. I start asking her what happened when a friend from high school comes out of kitchen stating she had got to the aparment just in time. She said my brother and his friends got here saw her starting sexually assaulting her didn’t penetrate her but one of them couldn’t control himself end up raping her I told them to go away leave her alone. My daughter still lying on floor starts repeating same words my friend is saying defending these men. I start yelling at my friend she walks out back to kitchen I followed her grab her from behind start writing all over her expensive coat with a sharpie demanding her to tell me where are these men at who are they so I can tell police. I woke up crying shaking uncontrallably. My dream was so vivid. I can still see here lying on that floor so still motionless knowing her world had just end it. She is lying there so confused Trying to understand what had happened. I felt so hopeless in my dream blaming myself for taking too long dressing for stopping to look for right T-shirt to wear to go look for her! I Felt so guilty for leaving her behind in first place. In the dream the Apartment belong to my friend’s brother whom I have only met once in my life. In my dream he and his friends arrive to apartment see my daughter standing there assaulted her my friend got there saw what they had done men left when they realize one of them when too far. I just woke up from this dream not even an hour ago have actually start feeling chest pain even though I know it was just a dream. Can you please help me? What does this dream mean? Fact that I knew at least one man that assaulted my daughter in the dream. Fact that my friend in my dream was defending these me let them leave aparment so police wouldn’t incarcerate them.


Bruce March 10, 2017 at 8:52 pm
Shell March 31, 2017 at 6:25 pm

So I had a dream last night that has completely had me freaked out all day.

This dream was about me and my mother going on some type of killing spree of random people and then burying them so we wouldn’t get caught. But the part of my dream that is in question is when my mother hit my 5 year old daughter with a brick that was made out of CHEESE that knocked her unconscious. Afterwards she stuffed her in a small box and then put that box inside her toy box, taping it shut so that she would not be able to get out or be found, meanwhile I was allowing this to go on. A little while passes and I started to panic thinking we were going to get caught and thinking I just couldn’t do that to my daughter or allow it to happen. So I told my mom that I just couldn’t do that to my child and quickly pulled my daughter out of the boxes and was holding her as if she was a new born baby. Making sure that she was okay and just completely coddling her as if I hadn’t just allowed my mother to beat her, put her in a box, and attempt to bury her alive. She had sustained a few small injuries from being stuffed inside a box, but was mainly concerned that her Grandma had just put her in “time-out” in a box! This is where my dream ends and I woke up. But, I woke up in panic mode as if these things had actually occurred and have felt this incredible amount of shame over this dream all day long.

After I had my daughter I went into a severe state of postpartum depression/psychosis in which I was having irregular thoughts about bad things that I would never have normally, which was treated. I still think I suffer from somewhat of a PTSD (self diagnosed) from going through such a negative, very traumatic time (emotionally) in my life and tend to over analyze everything these days because of it. I do not regularly have these types of dreams and maybe this is a case of over analyzing things! Maybe I am watching too many detective/crime reality TV shows these days! Not sure! But, this really freaked me out and I would like to know what it is about.


Bruce April 1, 2017 at 8:14 am

Hi Shell,

Please see:

one hint to add to the mix might be that your dream symbolically represents the different parts of yourself, and perhaps your deeper Self is offering you a conceptualization of the grandmother in relation to the mother in relation to the grand child (but as aspect of varying degrees of maturation or sophistication).

Thus putting parts of us in boxes and burying them could symbolize how trying to put something that has become conscious (like a child becoming born) cannot just be put back into the unconscious (the womb, the ground, the box as symbol of death/casket and pre-born state/uterus).

Post-partum depression is really tough, and while you have recovered, maybe now you are trying to figure out what do do with the “depressed” or “impaired” mother self, and trying to be sure she doesn’t hurt the actual child or the child-self. If human life happens in the context of time, and time slows awfully when we are depressed, maybe grandma using “time-out” is a mixed message about relief from suffering or cause of suffering.

As we develop, we increase our capacity to love, and thus forgive, and thus forgive ourselves and our ancestors and at the same time appreciate that we exist, to the extent we are able to appreciate it, also thanks to our parents and our ancestors.

Ultimately “waking up” might mean more than just not having nightmares, but realizing that as a group or planet we cannot put our suffering in a box, or deny the negative effects we have on the world, but we can take good care of each other and wake up to what is good for the group, the family, the community.

In real waking terms that means that if you have trouble finding the love and support you need just for yourself, you will possibly find it for yourself in the service of your child.

Hope this helps a little, and certainly wishing you and your family well asleep and awake :)


Christine April 7, 2017 at 3:50 am

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your dream interpretations and the information about the dreams themselves. I’ve looked for information on specific dreams before, just like these but, never found a site like yours. It is most helpful. Mine is somewhat different in that I dreamt about my adult child, nearly 22. She is dating an older individual, 31, and quite crazy about him. We haven’t met him yet (they live separately in another city) but, it’s on the horizon. I had this dream that he physically assaulted her, not in a traditional (if there is such a thing) punch or slap way but, rather some kind of a welt or skin burn thing (maybe “Indian burn”) on her shoulder area. It was red with some white puss looking areas. I took several pictures and insisted on calling the police. She was protesting slightly while he phoned from a bathroom with a half apology. I immediately awoke and contacted my daughter to verify her safety. Because I did read through your many insightful interpretations above, I realize you’re not able to individually interpret mine but, any guidance or direction would be appreciated. Thank you!


Bruce April 8, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Hi Christine.

Thank you for actually reading and becoming aware of what’s happening at this blog with regard to individual interpretation :)

If you haven’t read this link, please see:

hopefully this will give you more tools to interpret your own dream. One hint to get you started, could “shoulder” symbolize responsibility? Could “Indian burn” symbolize unfairness or injustice?

All Best wishes no matter what :)


lily April 9, 2017 at 1:26 am

I had the most awful dream about my little brother whom i love so deeply, he is my best friend and the sweetest most caring person. He is my world.
I had a dream where a young boy would talk his clothes off and leave him in the cold. it was humilating for him, I eventually ended up screaming at the bully, I know my brother isnt being bullied himself, but the dream was so scary and real, and I feel sick and helpless. why am I feeling like this, it was just a dream but I cannot shake it


Bruce April 9, 2017 at 10:01 am
Jones April 17, 2017 at 7:58 pm

I had a dream that my daughter was pushed down by an unknown man and snatched off the ground by her collar. My sons father was standing near by but did nothing, he seemed to be close with the unknown man. I ran and grabbed my daughter and went to a secluded area not far from them and held her tight because i felt the rage from the men and the anger from my sons father. I knew it was directed towards me but they were taking it out on my daughter. What does this mean?


Bruce April 17, 2017 at 11:23 pm

Hi Jones,

Please see:

Best of luck (one hint: pushed to the ground could symbolize coming down to earth or reality or back to Mother in some archetypal sense—a painful correction by the unconscious to “ground” some part of you?)


Natalie April 18, 2017 at 4:48 am

I have strange dreams all the time. Last night I had a dream that I was being hunted and I couldn’t kill or even fend off my attacker. I tried to hide and run but he wouldn’t stop. Tonight I had a dream that I was on an outing in a park with a big kind of plastic indoor maze for kids in the park and there’s was lots of children around. I was doing community service and one of the guys faces were disfigured, he starting setting off fireworks and I was like ‘meh only fireworks’ but then when they blew up in a bunch of children’s faces I tried to run down the hill to make sure they were okay but my legs were unable to move as if I physically couldn’t help. I then went to the maze thing and seen him walk out so I screamed for everyone to get out of there which they did luckily. I continued to say to someone ‘he is sick and evil how could u do that’ to which he heard while he was on a JCB machinary type thing, I told him I thought that but laughed it off with him (I think I was feeling scared) but he looked at me and ran me over with the vehicle, I screamed and a woman saw me but it did not hurt me, I pretended it hurt me to him saying ‘my arm I think it’s broken’ to get him to stop but he kept reversing and moving forward to run over me again and again. The woman just stared in shock and did not get up. In reality I have not been abused at all but I’m so confused at what this dream means.


Natalie Cormack April 18, 2017 at 4:50 am

Ps I have read that link and still can’t relate it as I don’t have any children.


Bruce April 19, 2017 at 8:53 pm

Hi Natalie,

I’m a bit confused that you say you “read that link,” if it was the link where I explain why I cannot keep interpreting dreams.

This link is the one to read:

One hint could be that dreams of being “hunted” could be an unconscious wish to be pursued, and some trouble imagining being “wanted” by anyone wishing to help or love you, so you end up chased by “bad guys” who seem to want to harm you. This wish to be pursued might suggest that the real pain underneath is a feeling of loneliness or abandonment, perhaps going back to your own childhood.

Sometimes we are so scared and upset about what’s going on in our heads that we miss important information happening around us, sometimes even help or compassion.

Hope this helps, and best of luck in any event :)


Victoria Kilgo May 2, 2017 at 2:42 pm

I had a nightmare last night about my unkle sexually abusing a child and when i tried to stop him i felt physical pain while i was sleep where he was grabbing my hand and i woke up screaming help me…could you help me understand what this was about???


Bruce May 2, 2017 at 8:53 pm

Hi Victoria,

Please see:

And All Best Wishes in your dream life and awake :)


Codie Hembree May 3, 2017 at 12:10 am

I just had a dream that I had a 6ft dark whole in my laundry room. There was a zombie lady in it, I know that sounds strange. Not a flesh eating zombie, just a lady that was obviously dead but walked around and moaned a lot. She was roaming the house, but we were worried about property value, so we threw her in the hole. Then we had an empty gallon bottle, like a milk carton, and for some reason, we tried it in there a few days later, and she moaned. I told my husband she was still moving around in there and asked him to deal with her that weekend, it was so nonchalant like I was seeing him to please take out the trash. he promised me he would. Well, my 17 month old (who has a lot of medical stuff that may require surgery) walked up to us. We just threw him in there with her for no reason. I guess I was trying to wake up, because I started getting really sad. I was thinking, it’s dark in there and he’s probably upset because he can’t see. He’s probably thirsty and that gallon is empty. He’s probably scared the dead last. Then I heard him say, hey! Like he does all goofy, and woke up crying. Now I want to go hug him, but it’s 3am. What an awful thing to dream, that I’d hurt him on purpose. I was abused as a child, both physically and sexually. But I have resolved those feelings, without therapy. I’m 28, I’ve chalked it up to there’s nothing I can do about it now, but love my kids to pieces. But I’m terrified to fall asleep, I feel guilty for dreaming about hurting my sweet little boy on purpose. I don’t know why I’d dream that, I’ve spent so much time these last few days fighting for adequate doctors to help him.


Bruce May 3, 2017 at 10:05 am

Hi Codie,

Please see:

from there, if you want to leave another message for clarification of your own interpretation I would be happy to assist

Hint to start you off: your “inner zombie” is the part of you not yet fully healed. The “whole/hole” is your emptiness and your deep soul or spiritual completeness merged into one symbol (like yin-yang or good-evil); and the milk is the symbol of nourishment for a child but not exactly the breast. The zombie is alive but not conscious, and consciousness is more full life and love but also more pain when life confronts us with losses and injustice.

I sure hope your child will be okay, and if you want to consider it, my parenting book is meant for parents just like you who don’t have time or money for therapy but might find out that parenting is its own therapy in a strange sort of transformative way

All Best Wishes asleep and awake :)


Bruce May 3, 2017 at 10:06 am

PS “the laundry room” might symbolize where you separate the clothes (protection) from the stains (abuse)


Sarah May 15, 2017 at 4:09 am

I was hoping you could help me with a dream that has been bothering me lately. When I was very young I had a dream I was in a white room with boxes of picture frames everywhere. I don’t remember who was in the pictures, but they were pictures of young girls. I became so overwhelmed with them and was terrified by these pictures even though there was nothing bad about them. I only had that dream once and hoped I would never have it again. Then last night (Mothers day night) I had the dream again but this time I visited my old house where I grew up. These pictures were much more clear. They were of me, my twin brother, and my childhood friend. I was forced to sleep in my old house and was overwhelmed with emotion and had memories from my childhood come back, though I cannot tell you what these memories were since it’s out of my mind the second I wake up. I have been told o endured some pretty harsh physical abuse by my mother at a very young age…could these picture frames symbolize something? Thank you so much!


Bruce May 15, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Dear Sarah,

Please see:

and also:

Overall it might be that as you develop you are becoming more mature and thus more able to actually look at the pain of your childhood and this is symbolized by the “picture becoming clearer.”

Certainly wishing you healing and good times ahead, awake and asleep :)


S May 29, 2017 at 8:26 pm

So last night i had i would say one of the worst dreams i’ve even had, i walked into the room and saw the father of my daughter raping her, but she was sitting on his dick and crying and i tried to get to her but i couldn’t move. all i could do was yell and scream and say you’re making her cry what are doing stop it and she kept reaching out for me and i felt immobilized. i woke up crying. my kids father had died last december 16th 2016. he was abusive towards me for 9 out of 10 years we were together. and he also abused my children but i have never had a dream this vivid before and woke up in terror like i did. what could this mean? i have been upset about this all day


Bruce May 29, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Hi S,

It’s not clear if you read through the post above about abuse and some ways to consider if this dream is triggering memories of your abuse in your relationship, or in your childhood, and what to do to get help for yourself and/or your children if you guys are suffering from trauma. If you did not carefully read the post it might be worth a read.

As for interpreting what the dream could mean, please see:

It’s truly terrible how much abuse there is in this world, and how the cycle seems to continue causing more people to be hurt and then grow up to possibly hurt more kids, or turn to depression, drugs or bad relationships…

Maybe getting whatever help you can for yourself and your children is part of how we stop the cycle and support healing in community, nation and world.

Certainly wishing you all the best asleep and awake :)


Elizabeth June 6, 2017 at 7:39 pm

Hi, I have been having very frequent nightmares for over a year now. I think a lot of them stem from growing up in a very emotionally abusive family, but then there are others that are very sexual and dark and confusing. One particularly awful one I had last night involved a little blonde girl (probably 7 or 8 years old) being hunted and molested by a man. I remember feeling helpless and terrified because I couldn’t protect her. I don’t remember a lot of the details now but that was the general theme. If I remember correctly the girl was wearing a red dress. I’ve wondered for a long time if I was molested as a child and somehow suppressed the memory, and of course I know you can’t tell me for sure, but I’m curious what you think it might mean. Some dreams are easier to shake off than others but when I have the ones with child sexual abuse themes I feel very guilty and dirty and like it makes me a pedophile or something. Any insight is much appreciated.


Bruce June 8, 2017 at 10:08 am

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for reading further and realizing I can’t keep up with the demand for individual interpretations, but for other readers who make it to this point, please see:

And all best to all those suffering in dreams or in waking life — and to the hope that we can heal whatever it is that makes us hurt each other so that both our dreams and our lives can be more loving and children and grown-ups alike be respected and protected


Chelsie June 23, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Hi there, I recently had a disturbing dream where a bunch of us (random strangers in my dream) we were rallied up into cages, i was let free, and in the long line up as i left the crowded mass of being cramped in a cage, i witnessed a man get upset and shake his 2 month old baby boy. i sprung up and yelled out as best i could for him to stop, HEY STOP (in complete panic) , no one noticed what the man had done, a moment went by and i turned and saw him vigorously and violently shake the babies head back and forth, then smashed the baby boys face into the railings. i pounced to try and pry the child out of the mans hands. I then abruptly awoke traumatized. I have a 6 year old son and a 4 year old daughter.


Bruce June 28, 2017 at 10:37 pm
Kierra June 24, 2017 at 8:10 am

I’ve had bad dreams before but this one disturbed me the most. I dreamed that my 2 year old son irritated me so bad that I punched him in his face with both fists repeatedly until the right side of his face became badly bruised and swollen. How could I dream of doing this to my own son? It even makes me feel bad as a parent after waking from it. I love my children and I’d NEVER hurt them in such a way or allow anyone else to do so either.


Bruce June 28, 2017 at 10:39 pm
Stacey September 6, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Hi I’ve had a really bad dream
Throughout my childhood, my cousin sexually assaulted me, I lived in fear since we stayed in one house, I mean I couldn’t even fall asleep without wondering if I’m going to wake up to him touching me (which happened). I’ve told my mother, she never did anything about it as she’s dealing with her own trauma (she was raped) and the result of it is my younger brother.
My dream is about this same nephew of mine having sex with my brother this is freaky, because it makes me think that he also assaulted my brother. What can this mean?


Bruce September 6, 2017 at 9:47 pm
Alex September 27, 2017 at 11:25 pm

Dear Bruce

A little background: We will be relocating to my country of childhood. I have been away from there for 13 years. I have a 4 year old son.

For the past 2 nights I have been having traumatizing ddreams about my son going to kindergarten and upon picking him up,he is full of scratches,sad and withdrawn. He looks like he has been severely traumatized.

Could you please help me?I cannot shake this feeling of fear off.


Bruce September 28, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Hi Alex,

Please see:

One hint: perhaps you felt a little scraped up emotionally in your childhood, and now you literally return, not just to the physical place but to the emotional memories and fear they will happen to your child rather than realizing they already happened to you.

Certainly wishing you and your family all the best through the transition :)


Lorna September 30, 2017 at 2:57 pm

I very much appreciate your forum and want to quickly and briefly ask what a dream may mean. This a.m. I was waking to a dream of my self and my only son in a vehicle together stopped at a train track. I am 60 yrs. and he is 28 but in the dream he was about 13 years. old or so. He got out of the car because we saw a 2-3year old toddler on the tracks and I urged him to assist the child back to her family who appeared to be to the right of us and around some type of barrier on the other side of the track. As he went to the child it ran across the track to the area in which I believed her family to be. There may have been one other person to the left of the child on the track. My son followed her around the barrier,but immediately he was attacked by the group. I saw him on the ground and I got our of my car to come to his aide. I had a hard time walking(like my legs wouldn’t work) .All the while in my mind, I felt he was attacked because of his color. I’m a white mom and my son is my biological child of a father of Native/African-Am. descent. I was so heartbroken that he had to experience this hatred and cruelty. I woke crying. What all is this about? Thanks.


Lorna September 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm

I fear for my child at times. He is also gay.


John October 6, 2017 at 12:29 am

BAD dream
Awake and shaken. Coffee in hand,perched above an IPad. A vivid dream fresh in my mind, loud, with the sounds of voices from my five year old. He was justifying why his 13 year old cousin had his pants down in his bed with him. I awoke furious, murmuring like Yosemite Sam as I washed my face. You see, I KNOW…there something off…about my nephew. He lives in a very maternally Dominant household. His father is instructed when to sit. And be quiet.(I am not embellishing) His personality is very effeminate,which is cool because I know gentlemen that are spectacular people with this attribute. He, however, has a darkness. A sneakiness that is closely guarded. I have seen it on occasion when his family visits mine. A lying nature that through his teeth, and a stack of bibles ,would tell you it is raining on a sunny day. My greatest fear is something horrible happening to my son. I will not let him be alone with my son, and have purposed this idea when he was born. A real nightmare. Writing this in hopes of processing,and maybe a response. Please don’t ask about my Mother… She and my Father aren’t perfect, but about as close as you can get…LOL
Thank you John


Bruce October 6, 2017 at 7:36 am

Hi John,

Please see:

And all best wishes to all your family, awake and asleep :)


Nickey November 13, 2017 at 9:33 am

My daughter is 17 and has been having the same dream for the past 4 year of her father molesting her. She has the dream at th same time of the yea every year. The older she got the more information she was able to tell me about her dream. She has also started having behavioral issues when th dreams started. Each year up until now 5e behaviors escalated. She also identifies with the same sex and each time she has behavioral issues she changes so,etching drastically with her body, looking more and more like a boy as time goes on. Lastly, she had never had a good relationship with her father. He has always treated her different than her younger brother. He’s affectionate with th brother often telling him that he loves him but never expresses his love to her. In fact he avoids her at times. Each time he hurts her, her behavior also gets worse.


Bruce November 13, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Hi Nickey,

As far as dream interpretation goes, please see:

As a parent I would seek to support greater understanding of your child’s psychology; perhaps my book which has chapters on behavioral issues, anxiety, depression, self-esteem and several other topics could give you some tools to better attune with your daughter.

If she is in emotional distress she might benefit from speaking with a therapist herself, and/or perhaps the family could benefit from family therapy to better understand the dynamics where the father has a negative relationship with the child and thus might resent you for not protecting her, or at least feeling like you don’t… sounds complicated, but certainly wishing you and all your family all the best.


Samantha November 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm

I am so overly protective of my daughters as it is that to have a nightmare of them is literally torture! It makes me sick to my stomach! I love my daughters so much and I never let anyone even baby sit my daughters! My 6 year goes to school so I’m always stressing out!

My nightmare starts off with myself and my 6 year old daughter at a warehouse or building that involves me in some kind of meeting but I had her there with me. It was sort’ve dark. While I was discussing something with a supervisor or something, my daughter was waiting for me in the corner of the room but it was kindve shadowy in the corner she was waiting in. Then images of her walking through grass and just on a road start popping up in my head. Then a man starts talking in my dream as if he is the narrator to my dream. Then I realize that the man talking in the dream is following my daughter and is trying to get her to go with him but my daughter ignores him over and over, but he is saying so many things to try to sway her to go with him and he says that her “bike needs a new seat” and then that’s what makes her agree to go with him. Then he says out loud that he lours her to an abandoned town. Then The image in my dream immediately jumps to a surveillance video of them him and my daughter in an abandoned store. The video shows my daughter laying down on the floor in the store and then it shows him on top of her raping her, then the video rewinds and it shows her laying down in another part of the floor and it shows a wooden broom handle being pushed in and out of her private area and she’s yelling and screaming! And it shows the man doing it. The image then goes back to the warehouse or building where i originally was and it gets blurry after that then I am woken by my alarm. I literally wanted to die when I woke up and realized what my nightmare was about! I still cannot get those graphic things out of my head. It is hurting me so badly to imagine my daughter who is only 6 getting violated and I’m not there to stop it! I felt like I wronged her! I kept thinking in my head, “why didn’t I keep a better eye on her when we were in the warehouse or building thing.” I kept wondering to myself why she was even away from me and how it was myself that she was hurt in my dream. I kept telling myself I wish I never had kids because I am always so petrified of something like that happening to them! It’s like I tell myself if I wouldn’t have had her or my other daughter than they would never get hurt because they wouldn’t exist to begin with. That is how frustrated I am with the nightmare. The anxiety a mother has is limitless when it comes to our kids. I would do anything to protect them. I just don’t understand why I would dream of her wondering off and then getting taken and me seeing the actual abuse with such detail. It was the most uncomfortable experience of my life! I don’t recall something sexually traumatizing happening to me when I was a child. So I just don’t understand. Now, I am thinking about every occasion I ever left my daughters with my mom, husband, or any relative. I keep asking myself if I dreamt it as a warning to myself that someone in my life might be harming her or already did or is going to.


Bruce November 15, 2017 at 9:28 pm

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