Nightmares where Children Die

August 4, 2013

While it is absolutely horrifying to dream of the death of a child, which makes sense because the loss of a child truly is just about the worst thing a parent can experience, dreams about children dying are fairly common and could be thought of in a variety of ways.

Firstly, it makes sense that our deep need to keep our children alive, much less safe from harm, would be deeply wired into our biology, consistent with our species intention to carry on.

Secondly, however, one could think about what our children might symbolize for us (our treasure, our most loved aspect, our hope for the future, our wish to “get it right,” innocence, potential, etc.).  Thus dreams about our “child self” dying could mean that we ourselves are struggling to come to a new level of maturity, growth or personal power.

In this perspective it could be that our identification with our child has to die so that we can become more truly our own unique selves as grown-ups, no longer as children.  Sometimes this insight can help us both be more effective and empowered, but also liberate a child-like sense of wonder and joy that also needs to live and breathe in us no matter what our chronological age.

Hopefully, if a reader has had a terrible dream of this sort, the dreams below will bring some comfort, some sense of not being alone and perhaps some new ways to think about such an upsetting dream:

[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.]

DEAD 5 WEEK OLD, SHRINKING; EXORCIST

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Jennifer August 2, 2012 at 9:50 am [edit]

Hello Bruce.

About three weeks ago, I had a dream in which in that dream I had just finished arguing with my boyfriend. I don’t recall if I was inside the car when that happened or by then I went towards the car. As I approached the carseat there laid my 5week old baby, dead. A blanket was on top of his face not allowing him to breath. As I got him out of the carseat he for some reason shrinked into a tiny little thing. He was close to being as big as my whole hand. I went out and walked around te streets asking people to help me. I would open my mouth but nothing came out. People would just stare at me as I extended my hands out with my baby stiff and dead. Some people tried holding him and tried doing somewhat of CPR techniques but nothing helped. I continued to walk around and just continued seeking for help. The dream was terrible and I woke up out of breath and ran towards my baby to make sure he was okay. I walked around to make sure his father was okay as well and everyone else in the household.

Now, three weeks later. My son is about 10weeks old. He is handsome and healthy and everyone just absolutely adores my son.
Once again, I had a terrible nightmare last night and once again, it included my son. My son laid in his bassinet and I don’t recall if it was a Dr/nurse next to the bassinet. My son laid in there opening his eyes and mouth. As I stared in closer his eyes were no longer green, but white/gray. His pupils were black… And as he open his mouth, you could see something white/gray.. It seemed like saliva or something stuck in his mouth. As I stared longer the more he would open his eyes and mouth as if some type of exorcism was being done to him. (according to the films, that’s what it seemed like) I told the Dr./nurse to look and do something, but she was
scared to look. She got closer to the bassinet, yet hesitated to look in. I tried yelling my boyfriend’s name out, but once again not a word came out so he couldn’t come to us.
I finally woke up from the dream, and my boyfriend said he had no idea how to wake me up from the nightmare I was having. He said I was making terrible noises. As if I was out of breath. I then began to cry and held
my son to calm myself down. It took a while for myself to calm down, and I felt out of breath and my heart was beating extremely fast. For about 10minutes.
I don’t know what this dream means, but it scares me. after my 1st dream something did happen that I was able to connect to my dream, but I don’t know if that could have been it. What do you think?
Jenn

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Bruce August 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm [edit]

Hi Jenn,

Yes this is very scary and disturbing, but likely has more to do with your own psychology than it does with any danger to your baby.

One way to think about the first dream is that you are, unconsciously, re-experiencing what it might have felt like to be you when you were just born—perhaps there was trauma or stress affecting your own parents, perhaps you felt abandoned a little bit or neglected. If that happens babies may “fail to thrive” and become emotionally shut down (i.e. “feel” a bit dead).

A blanket is something to comfort us and keep us warm, but in your dream is it covering the baby’s face, implying that the comfort you were offered might have felt suffocating or constricting. Maybe you felt like a yo-yo as a baby, alternating from alone to over-protective closeness. Fear can cause us to project our own inner or psychological past selves into our children and then attempt to over-protect or over-comfort our own wounded selves. This can lead to children feeling confused and anxious (i.e. to your own current anxiety that has been triggered by becoming a parent).

The baby grows smaller and smaller, implying a sort of regression to an even younger state, raising the question about stress that your mother might have experienced when you were still in her womb.

You are “asking for help” in the dream, which is something you can effectively do now as a grown-up and a mother (as in writing to this blog) but as a baby you could not effectively ask for help and get the response you needed. Becoming conscious of this and imagining how much love you needed as a baby yourself may help you heal the areas of fear that have been set up in your brain.

Your brain is flexible and can grow safe by imagining love for the baby in your mind, dreams, inner psyche. It may take about four months, but if you picture holding yourself as a baby every time you are scared by a thought or a nightmare you will likely experience some healing changes. At the very least, learning how to soothe yourself will make you a calming mom as your baby grows up.

Dealing with any traumas from your own past will also be important for developing a sense of calm and safety.

In the second dream we see another version of your baby self, in this case imagined as possessed by evil. This may represent the way you came to understand your own self as you developed and need to either recognize your parents as limited, or else imagine that they were great and that they were right to treat you in a less than ideal way because you were “bad.” This is the fantasy of being powerful but bad as a defense against facing that you were sweet, innocent and helpless (powerless and not bad).

A baby is powerless and vulnerable, and if a baby is not made safe and secure this is terribly sad. If a baby think’s it’s her own fault, this is a catastrophe that can lead to many years of pain and feeling undeserving of love and/or respect.

The second dream, echoing the first with the blanket over the face, shows a baby and a mom unable to speak, communicate or ask for help.

Please be aware that your pain is real enough, but is is more like a memory of the past than a predictor of the future. If it takes a village to raise a child, perhaps we need a little bit of village to hold your pain and your fear so that you come to know that you are not alone and that we are all connected in our true and deep wish to protect and love everyone’s babies and children.

While I know it is scary to talk about bad dreams, by making them more conscious we hope they will heal and you will be freed to love and trust through loving your own child so deeply. In this way parenting itself, even though it is very difficult, is also a way that we might heal ourselves by getting past our own past and pain in the service of loving someone else even more than we love ourselves.

Hope these ideas are helpful—and either way wishing you Good Dreams

^ * * * ^

BABY 7MOS IN SUITCASE; MOVIES, RIVER, PIGS AND COWS

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Jessica September 12, 2012 at 4:37 am [edit]

I dreamed my infant son – almost 7 months on the 14th this month died by someone putting him in a suitcase at the movies. And it took me forever to finally get to the movies My husband was with him at the movies I wasnt I felt like I was trapped in a place stuck and couldn’t go find him before he died. In mydreamed we buried him in the river where cows, and pigs sit by it and protected it..
Any meaning?

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Bruce September 12, 2012 at 10:54 am [edit]

Hi Jessica,

Movies are collective dreams, thus your psychological baby (that has been re-born into fuller consciousness by becoming a parent) is trapped by the “baggage” of our collective past.

Do not despair. This is all symbolic. The baby must die for the grown-up to be born. Your actual baby is fine, but you are coming into reality, not movies and fantasy.

You bury the baby in the river (symbol of great crossings to underworld and promised land alike; to heaven and hell and all that is beyond human understanding as well as the best of truly being alive and not just eating and breathing). Thus you release the past to the great river of time and cows (symbols of food, both milk/mother and meat/father) and pigs (symbols of greed? but also the Great Mother in preChristian tales) protect the baby.

Who is symbolically reborn (Moses drawn from the waters) as a higher consciousness of Love, compassion and deeper understanding.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^

2 YR OLD SUDDENLY DEAD

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francis December 10, 2012 at 6:10 am [edit]

just have dreams that my 2 year old son is dead. There is no leading up to or even a how…. He is just all of a sudden dead :(

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Bruce December 10, 2012 at 8:18 am [edit]

Hi Francis,

Simple and yet horrible… it makes me wonder if something in your own past, particularly around age 2, made you feel heartbroken? A loss, a move, perhaps something that you don’t officially know that you know, or realize as significant?

An example of this might be your mother having a miscarriage when you were two, and a feeling of sadness and loss around you that you would not understand in a mature sense.

The suddenness also seems to be a key feeling of the dream. In this sense perhaps a car accident or other very sudden event may haunt you. Sometimes when we have been hurt, but not conscious about it, our bodies feel scared and then our minds create scenarios that could explain the feeling.

Your dream suggests a feeling that is very terrible, but it does not reflect your reality when you wake up. Thus the point is to more fully wake up to the love and safety that is your life right now THROUGH giving validation to the pain your body carries, but now must let go.

Thus your connection to a dead child self must itself die in order for a living connection with your living child, your self and the eternal child also within, and between, us all (or something like this, we must move to dreams, poems and metaphors to even try and capture the ineffable feeling of life, love and loss that unite and yet mystifies us all).

Certainly wishing you gentle healing instead of sudden painful surprises.

Sweet Dreams and Sweet Life too

^ * * * ^

2 1/2 BECOMES 7 DYING BUT DANCING

Jessica s. February 5, 2013 at 8:22 am [edit]

I had a very disturbing dream, i dreamt that my son, who in real life is 2 1/2, was about 7 yrs old and we were in a hospital room and the dr came in saying that he was at the end. Tht he was dying. Im not sure what he had. So the dr tells me that he can leave the hospital and enjoy the last few hours of life. So we leave the hospital and as we are walking we hear music coming from a buildig and see people dancing inside so my son says he wants to go in and dance so we go and inside i sat down and just watch him dance with another little boy who was dancing very well. A person that looked like they worked there came up to me and asked if i wanted to participate in a couples show (like to show how well my husband and i know each other type game) and so i signed my name and then he asked where my husband was and i looked around and he wasnt there but behind me was a guy friend of mine and he signed next to my name and after the man who signed us up left he told me that he would pretend to be my husband any day. I turn around and i see my son now dancing with many more people (adults and children) and he smiles at me and says i love you mommy forever and ever. I woke up abruptly because i felt that he was saying goodbye to me with that. I woke up with tears in my eyes, sweating and with a heavy feeling in my chest. What could this mean???

REPLY

Bruce February 5, 2013 at 10:20 pm [edit]

Hi Jessica,

I might give some thought to life when you yourself were 7 years old—did you have a loss or something that made you feel like you were losing something or someone important?

This dream is very poignant, but it seems to be about the importance of living and enjoying life, of truly living the precious time that we do have. The dream also seems to be about love, perhaps about how the child part of you is very social and confident and able to love and experience joy; brave in the face of mortality, loss or endings.

I might interpret the guy who would be your husband any day as an “animus” figure, to use Jung’s term for the male aspect of a woman’s psychology. This figure, like your symbolic child figure, represent the part of you that love you and can make you feel special and connected.

Dancing is a natural and unselfconscious way of connecting and of expressing and also of feeling (music, emotions, life).

We could imagine that your identification with your child-like self has to die in order for the fully empowered and free/safe woman to emerge into both consciousness within but also fuller expression in “real” waking life.

Again, I cannot know what dreams truly mean, or even if they have any absolute meaning—we only know that dreams can be very powerful and emotional and so I appreciate your sharing it here and hope you will come to some new and creative insights… and that you will feel like life is more dancing than dying or being separated from those we love.

All Best

^ * * * ^

DEAD 3 YR OLD, INDIFFERENT GRANDMA

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Maggie August 19, 2012 at 5:55 pm [edit]

Hi my name is Maggie and I had a very disturbng dream of my 3 year old son had died and I was cradling him in my arms sobbing. He looked perfect and I couldn’t believe he was dead. I was fluffying his hair to allow the curls to spring up. Crying and saying ‘oh my beautiful little boy,’ My Mum was sitting in a chair behind me but not reacting. I was thinking how I couldn’t grieve like this infront of anyone but her. The pain was unbearable. In my waking life I am stressed and worriied and my older daughter(21yrs) is having jaw surgery within 2 days and so this dream hasn’t helped and I hope it doesn’t mean anything will happen to either of my children. Thanks Maggie

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Bruce August 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm [edit]

Hi Maggie,

While of course this dream touches on our most deeply-held dread (and in fact I write about the death of a child as the most profound tragedy that can befall a parent, but also about how this is because our children teach us to love truly beyond our own selves, in the last chapter of my book, “Privilege of Parenting”) and of course I wish health and safety for all our children (and stand terrified and humbled before that which is beyond us), I think this dream offers insights into your own psyche more than any warning about outer danger.

You can think about this dream as representing you in relationship to your inner child and also your inner mother. In symbolic terms we often see the death of a child as signifying the birth of the grown-up. With one child being 21, which is the official age of being a grown-up in some sense, and another being only three, you are parenting across the developmental life-cycle.

Not only are you able to grieve in front of your mom (or your inner mother self) in this dream, but you are seeing how your mother self “has your back” (in being behind you) and she holds the faith that she can bear witness to agony (i.e. not be ruled by emotions, particularly fear). Your inner mother lets you fully express your feelings, and thus you are safe as you transition from any over-identification with the child toward an identification with yourself as you are, in reality—in between children and grandparents.

Given that there is a strong wish to be witnessed in your secret fear (and reluctance to talk about your fear, perhaps based on superstitious ideas that your fears can make bad things come true, when our truth is that our thoughts are not quite so powerful, and our real fear is our feeling of helplessness if our kids are hurt or sick) I might wonder if when you were three years old if your mom was not so steady and mature as she is now.

In this way you might be unconsciously trying to work out how your mom couldn’t witness and contain your sorrow and your fear when you were little, and so now you are being witnessed and thus healing.

Imagine the dead child as the part of you that felt like she died when you were little; the part of you who might not have gotten to go off and explore the world when you first became a mom (perhaps when you were 21 or even younger) and so you might have felt like a part of you died when you became a mom. Also, you are much more mature now, and perhaps your 21 year-old feels you were not as containing and patient when they were three, and so you might now be old enough to related to your own mom’s struggles when she parented you, and to your older girl’s frustration in being parented by you.

The bottom line is that you love your kids and your mom; but also that you are not dead and instead being newly psychologically born as a true grown-up—one who can hold the fear and sorrow for both your children because she is the mom who has their back no matter what.

While the dream is not about the jaw surgery, this does have to do with the mouth and with the ability to digest things (ideas and feelings as well as food) and to express ourselves (talking and saying how we really feel). Perhaps you didn’t always get to fully express how you felt and that was a kind of symbolic death of your creative, outspoken, empowered self who is yearning to be “born” into lived existence through your words, actions and relationships in your life now.

Finally, hair as a symbol has to do with thoughts (things that grow spontaneously out of our heads) and so working to fluff the hair and allow the curls to spring up might symbolize how you are freeing your mind to let all the thoughts and feelings out (including anger, sorrow, fear, etc.).

As you cultivate the thoughts of the dead part of yourself, and your mom is not emotional in this dream, it is possible that you experienced your mom as not caring, when you were little and she was more limited, and so the dream could show the old situation of a baby who felt dead and uncared about and a mom who was unemotional… only now you’re in the middle, crying and feeling seen by your inner mom, so things are truly different now.

Time to own the power of your new maturity and ability to accept the past, grieve and heal the wounds of the past, and forgive yourself and your mom for whatever you might have wished to be different in the past.

Time to work together with your self, your mom, your friends and community to treasure your children and truly witness their pain, anger, complaints, etc (without being defensive) so that they can feel safe and loved, each at their proper age and stage, and so you can experience the symbolic death of your relationship with your older kid as she has been (your baby) and move into the sort of relationship you’ve now built with your mom (more mature, more sophisticated).

Your babies will always be your babies, just as you will always be to your mom, but as we grow we expand and can be so much more to each other.

Wishing health and safety to you and your kids… and sweet dreams too :)

REPLY

Maggie August 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm [edit]

Hi Bruce
Thank-you so much for taking the time to reply to my dream query. And thank-you for your insightful interptretation of my horrid dream. You have put my mind at rest and have given me plenty to think about!
Kindest Regards Maggie.

^ * * * ^

3 YR OLD SNAKE, EGG, CHURCH, BURIED CHILD IN GARDEN (SICK GRANDFATHER)

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Rajesh October 29, 2012 at 7:15 am [edit]

Hi Bruce,

Two days back, my wife had a horrible dream @ 3.15 AM, which made both of us crying for hours. Although, we know that this is just a dream but they way she picturized it to me, made me look for the meaning behind this dream. I found your article to be the one which i’m looking for and reaching out here for your help.

The dream is :

My wife saw a small snake coming out an egg. My father-in-law (he is suffering from cancer and his days are being counted now ) took the snake in his hand and started to play with it. He acted as if he is throwing the snake on my wife. She took the snake from the father-in-law and threw it out through the window. The snake again came out of the egg and this time, she killed the snake. And then the dream changed to the following one..

My wife and my daughter are returning from my daughter’s school by walk. Instead of coming in the regular route, My wife saw herself going in a road near a church (we visit this church twice in a year. My mother-in-law always says that lot of people come and pray here and going to this church often will bring you some bad new, it’s her belief ..). My Daughter stayed back and my wife kept walking for few steps. She turned around to see my daughter and found that she is playing with another kid (don’t know whether it’s a boy or a girl, hence I’m referring as ‘kid’ here) from her school and the kid’s father (we know this person and have seen him a couple of times in my daughter’s school) is also with them. My wife continued to walk for few more steps again and turned around to call my daughter. To her horror, my daughter was not to be seen there. My wife saw the kid’s father walking alone and asked him about my daughter, he said “don’t know” (not sure what exactly he replied in the dream). My wife started to run in the road and search everywhere for my daughter. All of a sudden, she saw my daughter standing in front a house (my wife says that she has never seen that street before and don’t remember the house as well) with a worried and scared face. When my wife asked her what is she doing here, she started running into the house . When my wife followed her, my daughter stopped in the garden and there my wife saw my daughter buried.

Me and my wife love our daughter a lot (like all other parent). My Daughter is 3 years old and my son is 15 months old. Could you please interpret this dream and tell us the message?

Thanks in advance, if you could relieve me and my wife from this horror.
Rajesh

REPLY

Bruce October 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm [edit]

Hi Rajesh,

Firstly, I am sorry for your wife’s nightmare but also for your father-in-law’s ailing.

While dreams can have many meanings, and I would not presume to know a dreamer’s dream’s meaning, I would offer some things to consider and hope they bring insight and relief to the extent possible.

We start with the snake, and this is a very complex symbol, for in western culture it can mean the dark force that causes humans to leave paradise, in Greek myth the snake is Sophia, who brings wisdom; while eastern myths may hold the snake in more esteemed regards. Certainly the snake has a reptilian brain, and could be seen as connected with deep and ancient instincts, particularly aggression, sex and non-emotional survival (as opposed to mammal bonding, nurturing and parenting).

The egg is a symbol of the Self, the totality out of which the myriad aspects emerge. In the dream we see the father throwing the snake on the daughter, or playing as if he might. Maybe this symbolizes the father in relationship to the daughter, perhaps giving wisdom, perhaps giving trouble. Your wife throws the snake out the window, symbolizing the rejection of the darker aspect of the self, tossed out of the house, as symbol of the conscious, or civilized, or family self.

You can’t really kick the snake out, any more than you can have an evolved human brain without the reptilian brain as foundation of the house. This is clear in that the snake just comes back. So your wife attempts to kill this part of herself… and this is where the trouble starts.

Before turning to the second dream, consider your wife’s struggle to come to terms with her father’s mortality. We all have our issues with our parents, but it is hard to be angry at someone whose days are numbered. We can also be angry at someone for being sick, as that threatens to abandon us who are left behind, and it is not so easy to be conscious of our mixed feelings and so we kill the snake, maybe in the hopes of magically saving the father?

In King Arthur sorts of legends killing the snake symbolizes slaying our own primitive, Shadow aspect. However this is very dualistic while cultivating an attitude of respect and some consciousness regarding the Shadow/snake is more likely to integrate the personality, melding compassion with power and discernment.

The second dream amplifies and supports the dark poetry of the first dream: the road is a path toward consciousness, and she takes a different road, a different path than the socially sanctioned one. Leading by the church, this symbolizes for your wife the place of suffering (where people come in times of pain). She is in a time of pain, because of her dad, and so she goes to this house of sorrow, but it would seem she is not feeling good about this as a way of relating to the higher Self (or God). The church casts the snake as evil, and your daughter is feeling angry at God or cancer or the tragic and painful idea of death, loss and family being hurt.

Your daughter in this dream is a symbol of your wife as a child. The girl stands in front of a house that is unfamiliar—this might be symbolic of a different temple, a different way of approaching God, perhaps a place or consciousness that can give the dark aspect its due as part of any total concept of an all powerful aspect, not to mention a unified concept of any person’s ego-transcendent psyche.

The girl leads the mother toward this house of new, and as yet unfamiliar, self. Perhaps the house symbolizes the home you will live in in the future, or the house of the ancestors of the past—but it is a conceptualization of the full personality more than an architectural reality.

Consistent with the snake as dark animal who causes humans to be evicted from paradise, the girl leads her mother-self back into “the garden,” primordial symbol of paradise, of natural existence without “knowledge”. (remember, the snake might also be a bringer of wisdom, which is more feminine/mother, and not of knowledge, which is rational/father).

In seeing the child buried, my guess is that your wife may on the one hand wish to die as daddy’s little girl rather than face his passing, yet you parents would hate to die, but still prefer to have your children live beyond you, as losing a child is the worst tragedy while losing a parent is sad but still part of the natural order of life.

Another possibility about the girl buried could be a symbol of trauma or loss that your wife could have suffered when she was a girl. This might be in her unconscious, thus “buried” or swept under the rug of soldiering on in the face of hard things… a sort of denial that is emerging into consciousness by way of the image of a buried child.

Your wife needs you to understand how she feels (angry, scared, hurt, guilty, confused, alone, ashamed of dark thoughts/dreams, yearning for life, grateful for you and your children) more than she needs interpretation. She needs space to heal her wounds if she has them (and most of us do), and she needs space to just feel her feelings and go through her experiences in her own time.

To share in the horror of this dream, as you have, is an act of love; it helps you understand the horror and helpless confusion she feels. We all dread the mere idea of harm coming to our children, and we do what we can to keep them safe (and hold each other through the unspeakable when that tragically occurs).

Your wife is wrestling with her demons, but this does not mean anything about the future (we do not have crystal balls, we have memories that get projected into the future). Think of this anxiety nightmare as the unremembered past projected into a feared future.

I suspect my comments may seem contradictory, but this may echo what your wife feels; my hope is that she can find the help she needs to be there with her dad through this difficult time, but also find the support and compassion to discover she is not alone (certainly she has you) even in her darkest hours.

My hope is that her contemplation of different ideas about her dream, and the healing effect of being understood by you (even in her most hard-to-explain pain) might prove healing and transformative—and hark the evaporation of these fearsome nightmares.

Warmest Regards

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Rajesh October 30, 2012 at 7:08 am [edit]

Bruce,

First of all thanks a lot for your post.

You are absolutely right, my wife is very sad because of her father’s health condition (as she loves him much more than her mom). As we stay away from my in-laws (15 mins by car), she is not able to meet him every day due to my daughter’s school. As per your post, I will definitely support her as much as I could. Now, I understood the real meaning of that dream.

Regards,
Rajesh

REPLY

Bruce October 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm [edit]

Hi Rajesh,

Your comment also makes me wonder if the girl in the dream might also symbolically relate to your wife’s mother, and thus an inner Mother/Critic voice, who she might be angry at (thus burying her in her dream imagination, and then being beset by remorse and grief to realize that she loves her mom as she loves her little girl—but in the case of mom it is complicated by wounds and unresolved anger).

You sound like a loving and caring husband, and that is a blessing for your wife and your children. It will be up to your wife to one day resolve her relationship with her mom; for now it won’t hurt for you to realize that it’s a love-hate relationship, and to remember that rage could be thought of as love left hungry.

Just listening to your wife and all her emotions will help her feel understood, loved, safe and will help her heal through all sorts of difficult things. These experiences, if weathered with love, are part of what builds and strengthens a marriage to last, and to be a relationship that benefits your children.

Best of Luck

^ * * * ^

3 YR OLD KID KILLED WITH BAT

lalah warren January 27, 2013 at 10:24 pm [edit]

PLEASE INTERPRET!

I dreamt I was in an old mansion with my cousin and her baby and my 3 yr old son. then just as we were all supposed to be sleeping I found myself running down the stairs after my son and he was going out the front door and it was dark out. when I finally got out there I looked to my right and my cousin’s baby was folded in half dead on the pavement then I heard a loud noise and looked to my left and saw a crowd of little boys scrambling and yelling and when I ran over to them one of the little boys had hit my son in the head with an aluminum baseball bat and shattered his skull and as I cried and held him the group of boys beat and killed the boy that killed my son… it was very disturbing and I just need closure on what this may mean…. please help!

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Bruce January 28, 2013 at 8:25 am [edit]

Hi Lalah,

Thank you for sharing this, although I’m sorry the nightmare has such horrible imagery. And please keep in mind that I am chiefly interested in helping mothers and fathers feel calm and safe so that they can be their best Selves as parents, and not in being any sort of master interpreter of dreams.

That said, let’s look from a rational standpoint at a nightmare like this. Some sort of imagery from your day, from movies or TV or books or your own memory may have been sorting themselves out during your sleep when something disturbed you. Once upsetting imagery occurred, your body responded by feeling it was in danger—feeling in danger, your mind came up with something to “explain” the feeling (I can’t find my son) and then the dream of not finding your child felt bad and made the body feel even more scared, that then had to come up with an even worse explanation for why if felt so terrified until we arrive at our worst nightmare in our imagination, which could be seen as a way of understanding anxiety: when we fear something is happening, or is about to happen, when in fact we just imagine it.

The merit of this explanation is the fact that we wake up from a nightmare and our child is, thankfully, okay.

Of course if you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, etc. or if you have frequent of recurring nightmares it could be a signal to seek help with that, or with any sorts of unresolved trauma (i.e. if you actually saw a kid hurt with a bat when you were little).

Nevertheless, I think we all find dreams mysterious and fascinating and so moving into the realm of art more than science I would offer some possible interpretations on the meaning of the dream.

You are in an “old mansion” which might symbolize the collective Self and all its rooms of memory, feelings, fears and desires. You are trying to “go to sleep” which could symbolize NOT wanting to be awake/aware about something (more likely your own agression, anger or hurt feelings, quite possibly about your child; as parents, and humans in general, we are sometimes uncomfortable feeling anger toward our kids, parents, bosses, spouses, etc. and this forbidden emotion has a way of turning into anxiety). Maybe your kid mouthed off that day, or was mean to a sibling? Maybe you are unconsciously feeling like your kid and ganged up on in the family?

You head “downstairs” looking for the kid, and this could symbolize a trip into the dark realm of the unconscious, which is the realm of whatever we are not aware of (i.e. our fear, our rage, our secret desire).

The cousin is “folded in half” which is an image more like a closed book than a human body; perhaps it symbolizes the part of you that feels dead and closed down, hidden away with hurt.

The crowd of boys is like the crowd in Lord of the Flies perhaps symbolic of the madness and violence of the group. In these days of Sandy Hook we are all probably wondering about how to deal with the threat to our children from the unpredictable rage that erupts from the most troubled amongst us and then kills the innocents.

Beyond the personal, perhaps it doesn’t take arcane dream interpretation for the mothers to wake up from the “old mansion” run by “old masters” who simply must have their guns. Taking the guns, as your dream shows, does not end the rage and the violence, for bats, sticks, stones and bare hands have sufficed throughout human history and myth since Cain couldn’t handle his feelings of rejection and frustration and took it out on Abel.

The shattered skull could be seen, symbolically, as an attack on thinking. For it is when we lose our reason that we project our fears and then need weapons and fences to protect us from, ironically, our own selves.

For this reason I would argue that consciousness, awareness of our own dark places, would likely breed increased calm, reason and social good.

I hope you have better dreams and that we might all wake up together and ask ourselves why anyone needs an old mansion in the first place (a symbol of someone with all the money which is only a mansion in comparison to the have nots lacking in a mansion).

Maybe the moms can guide us to a new idea about what a good life looks like? Where bats are for baseballs, guns are for hunting or for nothing at all, and mansions are multi-family mixed-use spaces with plenty of light.

REPLY

^ * * * ^

3 YR OLD LIFELESS IN STRANGE RED BRICK HOUSE

ivy February 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm [edit]

Hi Bruce,
I have been having nightmares involving my children the last few weeks.
It often I involves me running way from something beforehand and just when I am safe, I see one of my boys hurt, unconscious or lifeless.
The most recent one I was running in a dark alley away from people with very tall shadows. I KNOW that some were women in high heels, I was barefoot but they were gaining on me. My feet were cold and wet because it was raining. I reached a strange red brick house I have never been to before, ran inside and saw my 3 year old lifeless on the floor in the middle of the room, there were other people there, my husband, his mother, some others, but none of them seemed to notice. I ran to pick him up, but as I took him in my arms his beautiful long blond hair came away in clumps wherever I touched it. The clumps had scalp, tissue and bone attached to it, leaving bleeding holes in his head. I was covered in his blood and screaming for them to help me but they didn’t hear me. Then I woke up, frightened and realised my 3 year old had climbed I to our bed.

REPLY

Bruce February 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm [edit]

Hi Ivy,

These dreams do sound quite terrifying and I am sorry for that. My first question would be about whether you experienced some sort of trauma when you were a child.

I ask this since the recurring pattern is that you are “running away from something” and then just when you think you are safe, your child is not safe.

If the child could be a symbol of your own child aspect, or the child you once were, it would make sense that your unconscious might be triggered by the mere fact of having a child who, at least unconsciously, would bring back into mind life when you were that age (even if you have no conscious memory of that time).

If we think of our dreams as a combination of random firing of neurons when we are sleeping, which are then interpreted and woven into a narrative through our natural instinct to make sense of things… then the type of sense, the narrative of the dreams, could be giving us clues to themes your deepest Self are trying to resolve.

Running down a dark alley could symbolize going through a place of danger, as alleys at night would be classically dangerous. Your unconscious is taking you into the danger, perhaps in the hopes to bring it to consciousness so you can let go of the past, or of fear, and be more able to live happily in the present.

If you read through other comments you will see much mention of “Shadow” as symbol of danger, bad guys, monsters… all as symbolic for the dark aspect of our own power, of our aggression that attacks our ego-self, or our child-aspect.

That you have “very tall shadows” and some clearly women in heels, perhaps your powerful self is “well heeled” or wearing high heels. These shoes could be symbolic of sexuality, power, higher consciousness (taller, having a higher view), money, desirability, etc.

That you are barefoot and wet casts yourself as the poor, unsophisticated, urchin/orphan who is persecuted by the high heeled aspect.

I wonder if there are issues of class, economics or social status at play in your family. For example, do you feel accepted as an equal (in terms of prestige, status, etc.) by your husband’s family?

Did you give up a career to be a mom? (i.e. did you give up your heels to find yourself “barefoot and pregnant,” and then barefoot and out in the cold wet rain with a child?

As for a “strange red brick house,” houses are often symbols of the wider self, as structure that can hold the different parts of us. You must ask yourself about associations to red brick—perhaps childhood, perhaps red is anger, or passion?

You see the child aspect of self “lifeless” on the floor of this house, and the fact that husband (the husband part of yourself) and mother-in-law (that part of self) are indifferent, not seeming to notice. Perhaps this means you do not feel seen or understood in your fear, struggle, pain… perhaps you feel drained of life at this stage of parenting (three is a particularly challenging age).

Hair can be a symbol for thoughts (they grow spontaneously out of the head) and the fact that hair comes with scalp and bone might be symbol for feeling like your mind is coming apart, or maybe that ironic saying that when something is painful we “need it like a hole in the head.”

Again, you scream for help but no one hears. Could this relate to feeling hurt, or mentally intruded upon, when you were little; and maybe feeling unseen and unheard in your cries for help in the past.

Sometimes the death of a child in a dream can symbolize the need for our own identification with the child, or our childhood, to die so that we can be born as our fuller grown-up Self.

Imagine pretending you are in the brick house and the lifeless child, the shadowy figures in high heels, the unseeing and unhearing family members are all there. You address them as parts of yourself and ask them all by turns what it could be that they are wanting YOU to see, notice, learn, feel, etc.

Often the shadow is trying to bring you power, the child needs to be seen as the child part of you, witnessed and loved. Dreams, and imagination exercises about dreams, are like cartoons. Things transform and dead figures revive, monsters turn friendly and helpful.

Finally, maybe a red “house” might symbolize a little red school house, meaning that new learning is in order. Hopefully, if you pay brave and compassionate attention to the symbols, letting them further reveal their guidance and meanings, you may find yourself mastering new lessons that only you can figure out for yourself.

If it works, your dreams are likely to stop recurring, and even turn more positive.

Certainly wishing you sweeter and more gentle dreams.

^ * * * ^

3 YR OLD RUN OVER

Gina July 23, 2013 at 2:38 am [edit]

Hi, Bruce I had a horrific dream about my 3 year old son. I dreamt that I was taking my sister to her house to get a book that she needed for college to study. We got caught up at her house doing something else that we forgot the book. When I got to my house we see that we forget the book so we then turn around slowly so we could go get it. Then my husband stops the car because he needs to telling me something but I don’t remember what he says. I then see a car coming and I tell my husband to watch the kids because I see them playing outside, but then I see my son running towards the street, I try to stop the woman who is driving the car but she goes in the other lane, speeds up and runs over my son!! At that point all I remember was trying to run to my sign and I’m trying to dial 911 for help but I never could dial it. Then I just wake up and I burst into tears. Can you tell me anything about why I dreamnt my son getting run over, I never thought that I was going to dream about something like this and it scares me….

REPLY

Bruce July 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm [edit]

Hi Gina,

A few thoughts on this dream, however you may want to read through some of the other dreams to see different ways to work with such horrifying material.

If we look at this dream as being more about the different parts of you, as symbolized by those in your life, we see a “sister” who is ready for new learning (college class, needing a book, symbol of compiled knowledge and/or wisdom).

You “got caught up” at her house, distracted from getting the help/knowledge you need. As a parent, three is one of the hardest stages—”No!” is a favorite word and kids are highly mobile but lacking in appropriate understanding of danger… in short, exhausting, nerve wracking and intermittently terrifying.

You realize you “forgot the book” (i.e. forgot your instincts, your trust in your knowledge, perhaps you are doubting yourself as a parent at this tough juncture) and you “turn around slowly” which could be a way of saying go back to your true self, but it’s taking some time, feels slow.

Your “husband” has something to tell you, but this is your own male aspect, but you’re not hearing what he’s saying. The “father voice” in your head is not helpful, perhaps you feel criticized or shamed by his assertion that you must have stronger boundaries, be the “bad cop” more and say no. Perhaps you had some struggles of your own when you were 3?

The woman in the “other lane” would symbolize your angry and destructive self, that which is forbidden from consciousness (and yet we all feel anger toward our loved ones at times, yet if it is forbidden it escalates and becomes murderous in our dreams sometimes).

You mis-type “I was trying to run to my sign” (when I think you mean “son”), and here the unconscious suggests that the hurt boy in your dream is a sign or symbol of your own hurt aspect. Perhaps you put education or career on back-burner to parent? Perhaps you are feeling like you can’t successfully ask for help (failing to be able to dial 911), or you feel like your pleas for help (i.e. asking your husband to watch the kids) are not being heard?

My hope is that by thinking consciously about these symbols you will realize this is normal, be more aware of whatever anger, frustration and hurt you may carry from the parenting struggles or from the past, and gain some wisdom about yourself and how to better take care of yourself.

Contemplating this dream might also help you see that while of course we have to watch our children and keep them safe, this dream is more likely about past hurt or current frustration than any predictor of future danger or horror.

Parenting is very often lonely and we need more social support, but this is more of a big societal discussion perhaps. Meanwhile, I certainly wish you…

Sweet Dreams

^ * * * ^

4 YR OLD TWIN KIDNAPPED AND KILLED

Allyson March 18, 2013 at 9:59 am [edit]

I had a dream last night that I had dropped off my 4 year old twin boys off at daycare and one of them was kidnapped from the daycare. In the dream I was out searching for him and I was in a video store when I got the call on my cell telling me that I needed to go to the doctor to see a Ms. Smith. I asked why and they said they had just found my son dead. I told the person on the phone that I wanted to see him. They told me I could touch him but couldn’t hold him. I remember laying on a couch at the video store crying and the manager coming over to me telling me she is sorry to hear about my son then hands me 4 free vouchers for video rentals. The next thing I know I am in the car with my mom and I start crying and my mom tells me I need to pull it together because I still have two other children who need me as their mother. Then I woke up. This dream has desturbed me all day. What does it mean?? Please help!!

REPLY

Bruce March 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm [edit]

Hi Allyson,

My intuition is that you are a bit overwhelmed by parenting twin 4 year old boys and a third child, but your feelings of overwhelm, wish for a break and need for support are not being allowed into waking consciousness so your unconscious becomes a stern teacher, but a wise and loving one all the same.

If you consider all the elements and situations in your dream as aspects of your own Self with all its complex and interconnected parts, you “drop your kids off at daycare” which is you drop your “twin aspect” (good/evil; male/female; parent/child) at the part of you that “cares” by “day” (shows compassion in waking consciousness).

Alas, the Shadow shows up—a kidnapper (the kid part of you that needs a nap/the shadow part of you that loves your kids so much she would eat them up, as in “Where the Wild Things Are,” or the witch in “Hansel and Gretel”).

You go looking at the video store (already an old-school place to get movies, as now we Netflix and stream), a place where you are looking for a new movie, a new story that you would like better than the horror story of the overwhelmed and secretly angry parent.

You hear about “Mrs. Smith” which might be code for the interchangeable aspect, mother as robot, laundress, driver, cook, etc. (mom as Cinderella).

You are told “you can touch, but not hold” which might symbolize that you love and are touched by all the needs of all you love, but it’s simply too much for you to contain (hold) on your own.

Now comes your inner Mother (looking a lot like your actual mother) who tells you to buck up and deal, but she doesn’t comfort or validate or step up and help parent the other two while you just try not to jump off a bridge because you lost a child (in the dream, and in your own early childhood perhaps, but not in “real life” thankfully).

Tell your real mom you are overwhelmed and need more help and a big enormous hug. If that doesn’t bring more tears, but good ones, and better dreams… then write me again and we’ll go from there.

All Best

^ * * * ^

DEFLATING 4 YEAR OLD

desiree May 8, 2013 at 9:39 am [edit]

Hello bruce,
I just had a dream and woke up hoping i can find an answer why?? I had a dream i was in a store shoping for my 4 yr old son he walks off with his father and then i go looking for them i then find my son playing wit tools, as if one corner of the store was being fixed. He had a ruler on his head i took it off and told him lets go hes not listening so i grab him walk off and he kinda drops so i pick him up i check him for cuts i then look in his ears its so much blood. So im rushing out the store to take him to er i look at him trying to make sure he stays up and his eyes rolled back and so much blood was every where from his ear and he was gone (dead) but he started deflatting i woke up looking for him crying, can you please tell me what that can mean

REPLY

Bruce May 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm [edit]

Hi Desiree,

While I’d invite you to look through other dreams and comments for different ways to think about your dream and symbols in general.

A few thoughts, however, might be to look at your child in the dream as a symbol of your Self as a child (particularly when you were 4). The “corner of the store being fixed” could mean the area of yourself that is under renovation (as you continue to develop). “Playing with tools” could mean trying out new ways of thinking, parenting, relating, etc.

“Being fixed” implies idea that “store” as place that sells things, contain things, and changes (construction) is a symbol of the total Self, and that you see some need for improvement in yourself, perhaps in your relationship to the past or past hurts?

A “ruler on his head” could symbolize the measuring of ideas, intelligence, but also the oppression of a ruler/king lording over… a past voice of father, or of husband when you feel he’s too stern?

You drag the child, but “he drops” which could symbolize regression (i.e. toward crawling). The blood from the ears could symbolize the pain caused by harsh words, by not “measuring up,” according to the “ruler.”

The symbolism of death can relate to the need for your old self, or your identification with the hurt child, to die so that your new self, as a a human being empowered and free of oppression (rulers/measuring). The “deflating” is a literal symbolism of becoming devalued, small, rendered insignificant.

Perhaps you felt this way as a child for some reason? Perhaps as you love your real child you also re-think yourself, your past and pain, and set the psychological stage for a better present and future compared to some sort of past that diminished you, at least in your own mind’s eye.

Whatever I say, these are just guesses. Hopefully they will spark your creative process of understanding yourself, trusting that your child is safe, and growing into your own best Self.

All Best

^ * * * ^

5 YR OLD DIES AT OFFICE PARTY

carol January 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm [edit]

Hi Bruce,
I had a dream last night and it really bothers me. It was started like there’s an ongoing party from our office. i was with my husband and 2 sons. my husband and i are outside. my kids is playing in upper floor (im not sure if its 2nd floor or 4th floor). then suddenly i saw there’s a group of people looking for something..i saw a boy in lying position with the stomach under..i knew it was my 5 yo son because i recognized his polo..one of my office mate carry him and i saw that his left hand fells down..i asked my office mate if he’s still alive and my office mate said no. i cried and i woke up already with my heart beating faster. i came to my son to hug and kiss him that night. i was so worried. i want to know the meaning of that dream. i hope you could help me. thanks in advance..

REPLY

Bruce January 9, 2013 at 8:52 pm [edit]

HI Carol,

As you can see from the thread of comments, many people have dreams like this and I am beginning to notice some trends.

While this could be a dream suggesting that you need to understand that your kids are in danger of feeling neglected (it’s in the middle of a party that your boy dies), I might be inclined to also look at how this dream reflects your own inner situation and feelings.

In this perspective the office would possibly represent the business part of you, the part concerned with making money and having grown-up fun. The children are either on the 2nd or 4th floor, but either way they represent the child part of you that is “above you.” This could be a way of saying your child has higher consciousness than the materialistic partying ground floor basic part of you.

A group of people could symbolize… the group; community, the collective, the crowd that notices what your ego-individual aspect does not.

The fact the you notice his “left hand” could symbolize the part of you that feels “left” as in neglected or abandoned.

The death of a child in a dream can symbolize your recognition that the child part of yourself must die, this typically is so that the true grown-up part of you can be born. This is symbolic and your actual child does not die, but your identification with childish thinking (i.e. partying while a child is neglected) might be a way of processing how you yourself felt when you were five. Maybe you felt like the grown-ups wanted to chase their money and have their fun and you felt left and hurt and psychologically like you died, or died to them if they didn’t seem to pay attention.

Parenting is hard. Growing up is hard. Maybe the group that is all of us parents who do love our kids, and care about each other’s children too, might turn our living and loving into a better sort of party where no one is left out much less has to die.

Here’s to better dreams, and waking life as well, ahead

REPLY

^ * * * ^

6 YR OLD SHOT IN HEAD AS MAN RELEASED FROM COURTHOUSE AND CHILD IS SHOT (ALSO HISTORY OF NIGHT TERRORS)

By email, not posted to blog:

The dream I had this morning was by far the worst dream I have ever had and I am actually having a hard time holding myself together because I don’t understand where it came from. If you could help me understand why I had such a twisted dream about my daughter I would really appreciate it. Thank you!!

I was driving in a car with my mom and my daughter and we were driving by the courthouse where my ex of 2 1/2 years was being released (not her father, and the ex has never been to jail) my daughter and mom were in the back seat just talking away and writing on the back of a book and then it happened. A gunshot rang out and all of a sudden my 6 year old fell silent and my mom just started to cry. I looked back to see my daughter had been shot in the head and I wrecked my car into something. I got out and pulled her out of the car and just held her. The strange part was there was no blood. As I held her I cried huge sobs and couldn’t breath. A police officer was trying to ask what had happened and I was just begging him to kill me or put me in a room, I kept telling him I can’t live without her. For some reason they let us take her lifeless body back to my apartment and I laid her in her bed and cried. I had to go find her dad and his parents to let them know what had happened, and what was weird was my ex husband had it all recorded on his phone. I watched the horrific insident again and watched the bullet come out of her head and she dropped the book she was writing on to the floor of the car, so I went running to the car and picked it up to hold and on the back it said “I love you mommy, I’ll always love you” I turned to look at my mom and I told her “I’m sorry, but I can’t do this without her” and I woke up, but I woke up trying to breath…it was like I quit breathing and my chest hurt. When I finally caught my breath I cried so hard and I couldn’t stop…the dream was so detailed and so real I was and am still slightly confused as to why I would dream this. I haven’t watched any movies about death, in fact the last movie I watched was “17 again” and I’m not on any medications. All tho after that dream I am wondering if I should be. I had night terrors from age 5-17 and was on sleeping meds…but I stopped those a year before I got pregnant. I haven’t had a “bad” dream in about a year…why now? Why THIS dream??

Sent from my iPhone

BD REPLY:

My guess is that you probably suffered trauma of some sort as a child of five (and/or earlier)

Your child being six is re-triggering the awful period of 5 through seventeen when you had night terrors.

Watching “17 Again” probably did also trigger the idea of returning to a past you would prefer to forget… yet you have to fully remember, and in some sense re-experience, the past (in a context of compassion and understanding) to free yourself from it.

Thus the Ex is getting out of jail (this is a symbol of the part of you who is not free)

The girl writes in a book, the part of you who tries to make a coherent story out of her past experiences, and whose ultimate message is love.

The bullet to the head is an attack on thinking, because the pain has been too painful to think about.

Your own deep unconscious is the architect of the entire dream and you are ALL the parts.

Give love to your “killed child” self, because dream logic is like a cartoon where things die and come back to life.  Talk to your inner gun-shooter, tell them they don’t need to keep killing the child, you are ready to love and hold her, to cry and shake and return to your body.

Note that you “wreck the car” which is a symbol of the ego-self crashing—destroying your own sense of self in the context of your child-self being hurt.

My guess is that your hurt is real, but it is in the past.  It is not GOING to happen, but it hurts like it is still happening.

Perhaps some talk therapy focused on healing trauma would be helpful?  MIndfulness practices and yoga are good.  Maybe just the love of friends and family, as you better understand the logic and non-craziness of this dream will do nicely.

My hope is that better understanding will help with you suffering less, and with your child being safe, happy and free and protected from anything like the pain you have perhaps experienced.

Warmest Regards

*

Wow I appreciate the fact you got back to me m, let alone so fast!!! Thank you sooooooo much for that!!! Yes I went through some insane things as a kid, and I have had therapy but I guess it didn’t work?? I really appreciate you picking apart my dream, if there is anything I can do to repay you for being so kind please let me know…

Sent from my iPhone

BD REPLY:

Thank you for your kind words,

Sometimes therapy, or even multiple therapies, are called for to heal.  Hard stuff is hard to heal, but totally possible

… that dream threw me for a loop. I can’t express to you the gratitude I have for you helping me with my dream and I am still in shock about how correct you were. I even read the email to my mom because I scared the heck out of her when I called her to have her calm me down. It’s been a very long time since I have felt that anxiety and fear. I thought maybe I was done. But I will be looking at ways to heal myself. I take pride in the fact I don’t let my past effect my daily life and sometimes with therapy it really screws with my head and my daily life because I have worked so hard to push all of that to the back of my mind an try to forget. It’s crazy how one dream can just break a person…I just need to figure out where to start.

Sent from my iPhone

Yes, I hear you.  Take things very gentle and as you find time/energy, just try things and see what helps (yoga or other mindfulness things, even five minutes of breathing in love and breathing out fear and desire can really help).

Trust in your own power to heal.  I like that you talked with your mom.  That can be a very healing relationships, for she undoubtedly loves you no less than you love your daughter.  We all have our limitations, and we can all grow (particularly as family and community), but you must trust that you are loved, that you are not alone, and that this alone can get you through.

Healing Wishes

Well thank you again for bein someone to talk to. It’s almost like you know me and believe it or not, your words alone have helped me through my rough day and I will take your advice.. Thank you so much!!!!

Sent from my iPhone

^ * * * ^

9 YR OLD CHILD DIES AND IN BAG (WOMB), KIDNAPPED, DENIAL

REPLY

Melissa July 26, 2012 at 2:56 am [edit]

This is the first time I have replied to one of these; I apologize if I am only commenting on the previous entry instead of the thread. Like others, I have had some disturbing dreams about my son; in fact 2 tonight, which is what brings me here at 5am. This seems to be a current and active thread with timely responses, so here it goes….
Months ago I had a dream that I was going to a coworkers house to babysit her new born baby. At the beginning of the dream my son was not even there, I was just talking to my coworker and her husband. They had left and when I sat on the couch my son was next to me in a plastic bag. (I hate these dreams, I feel evil for dreaming such horrid things about the most important person in my life) he was not alive. But the bag had gooey stuff in it also, looking like an alien or resembling a child in a womb or something. That dream was months ago though.
Tonight, I can’t recall the events that happen in the dream prior but once again my son was dead. This time though, I was in denial. I still played with him and he was next to me very much alive but only to me. In the dream my father called me and asked if I was going to go buy the casket because the funeral was to be that Sunday. Only after that did I realize he was dead. I woke up, startled. After managing to fall back asleep I had another bad dream…
We (my son and I) were at a family gathering. Everyone was leaving, and I stayed behind to thank my aunt and uncle who hosted the event. My aunt was in the shower so I was waiting for her to finish to say thank you. My cousin, who is 28 in waking life, was about 7 in this dream and having a sleep over with another girl of about 7. I don’t know if this is pertinent information but my son is 9 and was his same age in my dream. Anyway, it was dark and the girls were playing with a kitten and somehow I had my kitten with me also. My aunt was done so I thanked her and told her I had a nice time. I went to leave but my car was no longer in front of the house. I was confused, like how the hell did I loose my car? Some how I figured out the car was stolen. Next I was with a group of teenagers or ppl in their early 20′. We were in a gym locker room but it was below a night club. I had a bad vibe about the people there, they had know it all, nasty ready to fight attitudes (as teenagers often do) the girl I was with seemed tough and she advised me not to call the police that we would call and meet up with the guy to get my car back. The locker room screen changed and I was with the two young adults, a boy and a girl, back in front of my aunts house. My cell phone rang, it was the guy who stole my car. I was yelling at him for taking the car and he said he was just using it, he knew it was Sunday and that I had to work Monday and he would bring it back by morning. The fact that he knew my schedule and what I was doing caused me to think of the things I had in my car. Now I’m still on the phone with him but running through my mind was “oh no! I have a ton of paperwork in my car, he will know my address and personal information.” thoughts of stalking and identity theft were interrupted by him telling me he also had my son. He said he was going to return my son when he brought back the car but if I made too much of a stink about it my son was going to starve. Still on the phone my mind wanders again, “how did I forget about my son being in the car this whole time, instead of listening to the girl And going to the locker room I should have realized my son was missing and called the police!” Now I yell at the man that I want to speak to my son and to bring him back. He puts my son on the phone and I could not make out the words but he sounded scared and tired. The phone is disconnected and as soon as it hung up I had 9 missed called (I have other dreams with the # 9 in it also, if that’s any significance) I said to the people that were there that I was on the phone long enough for the police to trace the call. I began running around frantic telling them we have to go to the police station to make a report.
I woke up, went to my sons room to check on him, he is sleeping peacefully but I have not been able to fall back asleep.
I’ve read that death in dreams is not always bad and I know everything is broken down by symbols. I don’t understand why I have such bad dreams involving my son though. He does not seem to appear in any of my other dreams, or very few of my other dreams. I wake up feeling horrible that such thoughts even exsist in my mind.

REPLY

Melissa July 26, 2012 at 3:14 am [edit]

To add a little info to my post, in waking life I am actually a little over protective of my son. I try to have my eyes on him at all times and both of my parents say I need to calm down a bit. So for me to forget my son being in the car is a disturbing weird concept. Also I am 31, my son is 9. I am a single parent and my sons father does not play an active role in his life. I work full time and go to school full time as well in addition to maintaing my role as a mother.

REPLY

Bruce July 26, 2012 at 11:02 am [edit]

Hi Melissa,

Yes this is quite a lot of fear and pain you are struggling with, and so my hope is that by sharing these dreams and striving for greater understanding you may grow into your best, happiest, calmest and most loving Self.

These dreams offer many clues, even though they are very scary and painful, and for that I am sorry (but encourage you to trust that when you “wake up” your child is safe, lovely and peaceful).

The overall imagery of these dreams relates to the archetype of the child and the Shadow. These might be understood as the child aspect of your own self and the villian/misunderstood Shadow.

The number nine repeats so many times that it begs the question about whether you experienced some sort of loss or trauma when you were nine, perhaps something that made you feel dead, suffocated, abducted, threatened etc. Nine is also the number of months for pregnancy, and the image of the child in the bag, who appears “alien” or like an “other” might symbolize a death of either a child aspect of your self, or even a fetal aspect of self. Not likely, but if your mom carried a second baby who she lost late in pregnancy when she had you, that sort of story would make strange sense. More likely, you have felt that you can’t quite fully grow up (i.e. the child must symbolically die for the woman to come into full being; or more accurately your “identification” with being an overwhelmed, suffocated (you say you’re a bit “over-protective” which is something you may have felt, if not neglected, as a kid; the balance has to be right for us to feel safe and secure).

You keep confronting this death, including when your inner father calls to make you confront the death of this child self, the dad prompting the girl to become a woman by dying as a kid. Then the Shadow comes into the picture, taking your car (a symbol of your ego-self, holding your identity, ways by which you could be “found”). Like Gretel in the forest, you unconsciously leave a trail by which you might be “found” (i.e. loved, protected, wanted) but with the breakdown in trust it becomes the “bad guy” who might find you.

The Shadow is a symbol of your power—the dark aspect you deny (and which you may have projected onto your son’s father, who then abandoned you both). You might unconsciously experience aspects of the father of your boy in your boy, which creates unconscious aggression toward the abandoning/demanding male (normal feelings, but forbidden, thus the “bad guy” self “wants”/kidnaps the child; meaning your misunderstood but powerful side is aligned with your splendid male/child side… and when they are recognized and integrated into consciousness you are positioned to complete school (i.e. grow up that next step) and live happily ever after so to speak—secure in the love that transcends even death when it comes to our children (and the symbolic children inside our minds).

Thus the child self dies, or is kidnapped and returned, but tends to come back to life again, like in a cartoon or a myth, helping us overcome our base fears (of being alone, “bad,” unloved) so that we can become our true Selves, and then be of loving service to the “children” (i.e. the parts of ourselves and others who still suffer in the nightmare of unconscious terror).

Playing with the cats might suggest you as a seven-year-old, the shower and your aunt might related to feelings of being dirty and trying to wash away something (“wash that man right out of my hair” as is sung in “South Pacific”) and also could relate to sexual wounds, betrayals or violations.

In any event, trust your love, your intelligence and your courage and see if just sharing and thinking more consciously about these dreams might not cause them to shift or evaporate. Maybe you’ll get another dream to guide the way forward.

Meanwhile, wishing you all the best in waking as well as sleeping experience.

^ * * * ^

11 YEAR OLD HAS TO DIE (LIKE SACRIFICE)

REPLY

Worried mom January 4, 2013 at 8:45 am [edit]

Hi yesterday I had a bad bad dream, I can’t really recall the beginning but it involved my husband and 11 year old son.in my dream for some reason my son had to die I don’t know why but my son understood the reason and was ok with it, they are in the bathroom talking about it and I’m in the kitchen I can’t hear what they are saying but at this point my husband stabs him in the back twice, I’m in the kitchen pacing and can hear my husband softly talking to him, I finally go into the bathroom to see my son and he’s a very pale white pink and I see his eyes close I drop down to him and start screaming and crying my baby….and this is where the dream gets worse…..he start not being able to breath and his face starts swelling up and turning purple then his eyeballs sink deep in his head , I’m crying and look up at my husband and ask what are we gonna do now, and I’m thinking how are we going to hide this from the cops…then I wake up…this was a horrible I think it might of had something to do with him wanting to walk to his friends house, which is close but he has to cross a busy street

REPLY

Bruce January 4, 2013 at 11:19 am [edit]

Hi Worried Mom,

One take on this might be that your husband/father self has to sacrifice your child self for some psychological reason. Perhaps symbolically this is about your own identification with your child aspect having to die so that your fuller self as a woman/mother/human being can be born into consciousness.

The dream may also be about your unconscious feelings about separation, the fear that in crossing the busy street your child could get hurt or killed causes you to have your inner father (power) aspect kill him and get it over with—coping with loss of control by taking control, even in a dark and terrible way.

Another thing to consider is life for yourself when you were eleven; were there betrayals (stabbed in the back) or losses, deaths or things that felt like death to you?

The fact that your child is okay with dying could suggest the pathos of innocence, as the archetypal situation of father killing child could evoke the Abraham and Isaac situation, only in your dream no angel stays father’s hand.

This takes us to the collective level, wherein we live in a society where children do die and are often not protected. If any angel is to show up it might have to be in the form of our sane and connected consciousness as parents. In this way perhaps our nightmares bring us together and to a place of compassion and softness born of horror that we do not want to see come to pass for any of our children.

Maybe rising compassion and consciousness will help us all sleep better at night and enjoy our waking time more fully as well.

We can hide crimes from cops, but we can’t hide our pain from our selves without paying a high price. I hope these thoughts are helpful.

Sweeter dreams ahead

^ * * * ^

BOY FALLS DOWN HILL BREAKS SPINE

Mary Johnson May 2, 2013 at 2:19 am [edit]

Bruce, Worst nightmare! my son had hurt his back but insisted he was ok. He was playing with cousins both big n small and they were all running around in a big hilly yard with fences house etc. someone yelled n said my son was really hurt. I ran to him he was face down & his backbone was snapped n protruding between his shoulders I turned him over to see his face and saw that it was almost completely severed in another place around his chin mouth area only large veins were attached and I had screamed for someone to call 911 . I was just praying his life could be saved somehow . I was telling him to hold on and he looked at me very intently like he really wanted me to know and mouthed/ spoke “mom, I love you” I said I love you too jake. And I woke up extremely upset. In the dream somehow I’d gathered that he had been running down a hill with a smaller cousin on his back even though it was already hurt. Just a horrendous nightmare!!!! Please tell me what you think. Thank you!

REPLY

Bruce May 2, 2013 at 5:30 pm [edit]

Hi Mary,

While there are various ways to approach a dream, I would start by inviting you to see this dream, and all its aspects, as reflecting your Self (and not necessarily the reality of your waking life or any danger to your child).

In this perspective a “hilly yard” could symbolize the ups and downs of your emotions. Your child might be the childlike part of you. Injury to the “back” could symbolize the past—unresolved hurt from times you “fell down” (i.e. got depressed) while carrying a “smaller cousin” (i.e. feeling weighted down with responsibility, perhaps for younger siblings, perhaps for parents who needed you to take emotional care of them?).

The spine protrudes between the shoulders, the shoulders bear responsibility. Thus the pain of the past is breaking through into consciousness, and the unconscious is forcing you to look at it, perhaps something you could not do before, perhaps something your love for your child is either triggering (think about what was going on when you were the same age as Jake is now) and/or that love is compelling you to heal so you can be happier and more fully present to your child.

The injury to the face, severing the jaw, could symbolize how you had no voice, could not speak up about what hurt you.

The child aspect finds voice, however, to say the essential truth—you are loved.

Another approach to dreams, one Freud favored, was dream as unconscious wish. This is a darker path, but if you had felt hurt by your child, rejected or disrespected you might have a violent dream of aggression and loss, which inevitably spills us back to love and gratitude, all is forgiven and we are just relieved our kids are safe.

I hope these ideas spark your own creative imagination and healing heart, as I’m not confident in my interpretation (not knowing you or having a chance to more fully explore the symbols and what they mean to you), but I am confident that we both want you and Jake to be healthy, happy and safe.

It is my experience, and the research literature supports this, that confronting and exploring bad dreams seems to lead to them being resolved and no longer bothering the dreamer.

Hope that’s the way this one rolls out.

Mary Johnson May 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm [edit]

It was a comfort to find this page and type the
Nightmare out. Thank you so much for
Providing this service and Sharing your time. I
really appreciate your response and your unique
insight! :)

^ * * * ^

GIRL SHOT IN NECK

Regina June 11, 2013 at 9:57 am [edit]

Hi Bruce,
This morning i had a short dream that confused me a lot. I could not hear anything. I was riding a bike though traffic. Suddenly I was sitting in the middle of the street fixing my shoe. So I walked the bike to the island in the middle of the road. When I was done I walked the bike and traded it to an unknown person (could not see their face) for my daughter. I then walked, holding my daughter, toward my house. A man almost fell in front of me so I asked him if he was ok and he replied “yes and how are you” (I heard him clearly) I said “good thank you” and kept walking. i run into a group of teenage girls arguing with older guys. As I walked past a building i realized that I was walking the wrong way so I went to turn around and one of the girls ran past me. Still looking at her I kept walking.

When I turned around I realized that everyone was running and I heard a very faint pop. I turned to look at my baby and she was screaming (could not hear but saw her facial expression). She moved her head and I saw that she was shot in the neck. I grabbed her tight and started to run home but I woke up with my baby laying next to me perfectly fine. What does this mean?

REPLY

Bruce June 11, 2013 at 10:42 pm [edit]

Hi Regina,

I cannot be too definitive here, as your symbols are personal and would make most sense to you. Still, I can suggest some ideas and perhaps you will come up with deeper understanding through shared process.

It starts where you can’t hear anything. Perhaps this is your unconscious wish not to hear something painful about your past or your feelings? It could also symbolize a current state of unconsciousness about something, alerting you to the need to “hear” something, to “listen up” to your own unconscious.

Riding a bike through traffic could suggest a kid mode of transport where you feel less powerful or empowered than the people in cars (more adult transport). Suddenly you are “fixing your shoe while “Sitting in the middle of the street.” For a kid, the middle of the street could symbolize danger—the last place we want our children to be. Fixing the shoe could imply that your point of view (i.e. put yourself in someone else’s shoes) is “broken” (needs repair).

You walk the bike to an “island” in the middle of the road, suggesting the need for a safe harbor in the midst of hurt and danger.

I’m wondering if this is all some sort of view backward to what it was like when you were the age your daughter is currently?

You trade the bike for your daughter; this could symbolize how the bike was your childhood, and now your daughter reminds you of that childhood… a link in the symbol of your girl as your child self now and the bike as your child self in the past?

You walk toward your house, with your daughter, perhaps symbolizing that no place like home feeling, with house symbolizing the larger Self and your aim being to protect and integrate the child self into your full personality.

Now a man falls down in front of you. A “fallen” person could symbolize hurt, or some sort of “fall from grace.” Perhaps there was a man you trusted who “fell” in front of your eyes (in your estimation)? He says he’s okay, but he might symbolize the male part of your personality, and the falling could suggest your need to cultivate your power or your masculine aspect (i.e. do you struggle to set firm limits as a parent, do you hate to be the “bad guy?”).

Teens argue with older guys… did you find it hard to deal with older, perhaps less than honorable, men when you were a vulnerable teen? You find yourself “walking the wrong way”—did you make choices in your past that you feel were wrong for you? Are you still trying to heal some sort of hurt or shame?

Finally, there is the nightmare moment where your child is hurt. If we take this as your own child self, we get the sense of everyone running away from danger (this could be your own unconscious aggression and anger, that which perhaps never got fully or safely expressed when you were a kid). Certainly no one is protecting the child, but you finally do hear, even if it is a faint pop. You hear the hurt, but not the screams of your child aspect, yet you do SEE the hurt, and that is the same as becoming conscious and not denying hurt.

That this child aspect is “shot in the neck” could be as simple as a pun: your childhood was painful and felt like a pain in the neck. The neck is also the place in between heart and mind, between thinking and feeling. This place of hurt may have blocked you from fully integrating your thinking with your feeling.

Sometimes when parents or caregivers disappoint or hurt us, because we depend on them nonetheless, we develop shame and guilt, we repress our feelings and with it our anger. Then kids come along and remind us that we too were once innocent and no child “deserves” to be hurt.

So begins consciousness, which offers us opportunity to heal; and also to “wake up” and see that our kid, thankfully, is safe. Maybe now it’s time for you to join your daughter in trusting in yourself and in your love as a mother BEING the safe place now.

Hope these ideas help. Sweet dreams!

<<<<>>>>

{ 155 comments… read them below or add one }

kay November 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I just wanted to say thank you!! My son is 1 1/2, and since the day he was born I’ve had horrific dreams. Through your words and other mothers stories I’ve come to realize why i could be having the dreams. Due to abuse and abandonment. But i have one question. How do I make them stop?

Reply

Bruce November 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Hi Kay,

If you have realized that you have suffered abuse and abandonment, firstly I am very sorry to hear it (and I am sad at how many people have suffered, and continue to suffer in this way); being aware is a first step, and then some sort of healing is in order. Therapy can be very helpful, perhaps with someone who is knowledgable about trauma.

While books are not really a substitute for therapy, I would consider my own book which I designed to be as healing as possible, especially for parents trying to give to children the sort of childhood they themselves might not have been so fortunate to experience. (see: http://amzn.to/w76zcY)

Additionally, you might consider yoga or mindfulness practice to help deal with the anxiety that still haunts you, as this is relatively inexpensive and has been shown to help with things like depression and anxiety.

Finally, there are different ways to heal trauma, but the ideas of Peter Levine can be powerful in that he bases his approach to healing more on natural biology and the body’s need to discharge tension than on purely intellectual process, which can sometimes stir things back up without necessarily healing them.

Certainly wishing you abundant healing (and when that works, perhaps a sense of how you can help others who may suffer similar pasts).

Warmest Regards

Reply

kyle September 13, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Hi I had a dream last night that we started in a car and it was me my wife and baby then some complete strangers and they had told us to eat our son I tried saying no but my wife without saying a word got out of the car opened the trunk got a crowbar from the trunk grabbed our baby and walked infront of the car till out of sight I tried getting up but couldn’t move she then came back after some time with a bloofy paper bag and no baby got in the car and we drove off to a house where she then started to boil our son I walked past him bawling my eyes out but couldn’t help him he just layed there with his head smashed and brains out looking at me following me where I walked the cops had called me and said they were on there way to aresst us and I got him out of the pan and put him in a bag took him to the cops and asked them to help him they said it was to late then they arrested everyone but me and then finally I had woke up heart racing and not knowing what to do so I took my son downstairs and left my wife sleeping upstairs I dont know what this dream means or what I should think about it but I was so vivid like I was living it that im scared to sleep tonight I hope you can help explain it and thank you in advance

Reply

Bruce September 13, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Hi Kyle,

As I 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 that if you read through some of the dreams and comments you will much better understand your dream, you will get various ways to think about this dream and also about your dreams in general and you will see you are not alone in having such a dream.

That said, a couple of hints to get you started:

The theme of eating the child could be interpreted as a very primitive form of love. If you don’t know the children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are,” it’s a must for your kid library. In one part “monsters” say, “I’ll eat you up I love you so.”

Older and yet just as insightful are the Grimm’s tales, particularly “The Juniper Tree.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Juniper_Tree_(fairy_tale))

Which has insights into eating children and the archetypal potential meanings about spirit and transformation. Another classic tale is “Hansel and Gretel” in which the witch (code for negative aspect of the feminine or mother) plans to eat the children.

These are all dreams about abandonment, and the fear of being unwanted and then dying, with food as symbol of what lets us live (Gingerbread houses lure the children who then become potentially dinner). Being “eaten” is an extreme form of being “wanted.”

Thus… your dream is about (maybe) the deep unconscious ambivalence fathers can develop in envy of how much the mother loves the baby (and this leaves dad a little out in the cold at first). Maybe you unconsciously express your aggression in having your wife (who in the dream is playing the part of your own Shadow) aggress and then want you to eat the child (to have you have the baby “inside your stomach” in a reversal of how the baby was literally inside the mom before).

Not to over-analyze, but even a CROW bar could secretly hint at not just a tool but a bird, which is a symbol of spirit (birds eat the crumbs in “Hansel and Gretel” and a bird is a bringer of gifts and punishment in “The Juniper Tree.”)

Images of the brains coming out could symbolize your own child self, with your thoughts revealing themselves (symbolized by brains on the outside).

Maybe you had some rough time of it when you were the age your child is now?

Maybe you are sad lately (bawling your eyes out) and needed to access this feeling to release it?

You take your child downstairs (to regular consciousness) and “leave your wife sleeping upstairs” (interesting symbol… leaving the feminine unconscious, but at a level of higher consciousness/upstairs).

The main point is that it’s “just a dream.” It does not mean that your child is in danger. You love your kid and fear anything happening. This is evolutionary biology (otherwise we would probably just walk away, as kids are hard to deal with… and plenty of dads do walk away in waking life).

So… good for you for being a loving and feeling dad. Please contemplate your dream deeply and decide for your own self what it means for you. Don’t rely on experts to tell you what you think and feel.

In this way you will raise your child to be curious, brave and respectful of other opinions while also valuing his own experience, heart, mind and opinions—by being that sort of dad.

Hope these ideas get you thinking… and dreaming more pleasantly…

Certainly wishing you a very good waking life :)

Reply

Diana October 24, 2014 at 8:09 am

Hi Bruce, I had a dream of finding my 5yr old son lifeless and sufforcated in my car. I remember in my dream running to the car as if I was stressed or tense and opening the car doer as if I had forgot my son in their knowing it was for a long period of time. I was so scared he was laying on a suit case facing the door with his eyes wide open and his mouth open (his mouth looked dry and Greg white) I broke down in tears in my dream and I frantically tried to resuscitate him I laid his body in the back seat and climbed over him and started to press down on his chest up and down and I kept doing it and going in San and begging god to please bring my baby back and the more I did it the more he started to respond and then I held him close I still never got a full respond but seeing his stomach inflate and his chest trying to work. I woke up in fear and so Sad and scared.

Reply

Bruce October 24, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Hi Diana,

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 follow the cues and if you read through some dreams and come back still confused you can tell me what you think it might mean and where you are still puzzled and I’ll do my best to help.

I’m sorry that I cannot keep taking so much time to personally try to figure out these dreams, but they all resemble each other and you are not alone, but you do need to put a little effort in.

Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams and Peace in waking life too

Reply

Rudy Moreno October 30, 2014 at 3:05 am

Dear Bruce, I just recently had a dream about my 30-year-old son. He seemed to be laying lifeless on the concrete patio, E seem to be fixing or repairing a motorcycle. In the dream I see him lifeless laying with parts of the motorcycle all around him, he’s wearing his military camo gear. In the dream I do not even attempt to speak to him. I suddenly wake up horrified thinking that he is either hurt or dead. I have studied dreams for over 20 years and I know simple interpretations, and I’ve read several concerning my son and how I might be going back into my childhood, or there might be a new path in my life is a mature adult. But with this stream. It was terrifying to see him laying so lifeless, I could see his face. He seemed to be unconscious yet peaceful. It made me stand up immediately and go to my computer to try to interpret my dream and see if there was any positive outlook to the dream. Please help with your interpretation and see if I’m missing something. I’m trying to see the positive in the dream and not the negative.

Reply

Rudy Moreno October 30, 2014 at 3:08 am

Oh by the way, I forgot to mention he’s been in the military since he was 17 and a half years. So he is now 30 years old.

Reply

Bruce October 30, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Hi Rudy,

I’m glad you have given this some thought and done some work to try and figure out what it might mean.

I cannot be definitive, but I’ll share a couple of ideas:

Concrete patio (concrete is symbol, material, dense, opposite of abstract or ethereal).

Motorcycle: Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; a machine for taking one (maybe two) people; not a car, not a bus… not a family or a collective community vehicle

Camo gear: trying to not be seen in order to stay safe. Perhaps he is the part of you that you have not been seeing, the part that is trying to fix the “motorcycle” of your own life, which feels like it is in parts, and a wish to let go of your own racing mind (motorcycle like racing thoughts, like bad dreams, like monkey mind or hamster wheel mind).

he is unconscious yet peaceful: perhaps your own wish to let go, to be peaceful. Yes it could be that a part of you is dying so a new you, more Zen, more at peace can be born.

I might think a bit about where you were at when you were 30; perhaps you are hoping for grandchildren and thinking a bit about where you were at 17 and 30 and now in your life.

Finally, you might have a little unconscious aggression toward your son (maybe he doesn’t visit, or just because his being in the military make you have to worry) and this could manifest in a dream where he dies when it is your own unconscious that “killed” him by writing this as the dream.

Maybe imagine that you are back in the dream. Realize it is a dream. Now you are having a “lucid dream”. Say to your son: you are the part of me who appears to be dead; I love you and want to learn from this dream in which my real son is not dead, thank goodness, and I’m just dreaming, thank goodness, so I’m going to turn it into a happy dream. I’m going to fix your motorcycle, and I’m going to wake you with kisses, and I’m going to drive us both to a safe and happy time ahead. Make it happen in your imagination and feel free to let me know if you end up anywhere worth visiting :)

Sweet Dreams and Certainly hoping you and your son well in waking life

Reply

Iain Wilkie November 26, 2014 at 1:35 am

Dear Bruce,

I suffer from nightmares regularly and have had a different one each night for the past four nights, but last night was the worst. I struggled to get to sleep and each time I did I had the same dream about my children. This occurred three times and on two of the occassions I awoke crying. The dream felt quite short and abrupt but had no less impact for that fact.

I have three children aged 17, 15 ans 13yrs. The children, their step mother and me are all at a friends house for dinner. The friend has a husband and two children aged 14 and 8 who are also in the dream. Everyone, apart from my children, is chatting and laughing around the the dinner table which is in the conservatory when we become aware that there is a fire in the house that has spread enough by now that we cannot get through the hallway to where my children are in Ben’s bedroom. Ben is the eldest child of my friend. We all leave the house via the conservatory and make our way around to the main house door to find that the porche is engulfed in flames so there is no way for us to get in to rescue my children. We make sure my friends children are safely away from the house and my friend’s husband and me go around the back of the house to the bedroom window, through which I can see all three of my children. I shout to them to open the winow and climb out but my oldest son shouts back that the lock is jammed. At this point Trevor and me try to smash the window from the outside whilst my sons try to smash it from the inside but the glass won’t give. I continue to try to smash the window to free them as I hear their screams and watch them die in the fire.

I have been divorced from the children’s mother for 10yrs now and although things were difficult for a few years we now have a very good relationship and get on well. I see my children regularly, on a weekly basis, and they stay with me every other weekend. I have been with my current partner for 7yrs now whom the children get on with and are very fond of.

Reply

Bruce November 26, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Dear Iain,

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.]

But I think if you take some time to read through some of the other dreams you’ll get the gist of my varying ideas on how you might think about your dream.

In the meantime, a couple of hints to get you started:

Consider the house as a possible symbol of your total Self that contains your various feelings.

The friends are the friendly and accepting part of you, and they feed you and make a family situation all together with you.

The friend and husband are the part of you that stayed together, and the “children” of that union are safe.

Your children might not be literally your children so much as symbols of the child self, the helpless self, the suffering self.

This would track with them being in Ben’s room, inside the “bedroom” or sleeping part of your mind; they are “locked” in the room, maybe symbolizing how your child-like self (innocent, particularly if you feel guilty, perhaps about the divorce and the effects on the children; perhaps an echo of the way your childhood felt to you?) is “locked” in your mind, just coming into consciousness (fire both threatening but also illuminating). The glass that cannot be smashed might symbolize the barrier you feel inside yourself between your conscious mind/observing self and your childlike/feeling self.

Symbolically you are trying to get in psychological/emotional contact with the helpless child within you; thus it might make sense to explore if you felt abandoned by your own father, or had a loss regarding him?

Finally, depending on what your ex and current wife might say about you, if they would consider you a bit of a “big kid” (i.e. not totally responsible, that part might be symbolized by Trevor) the dream might be working with the symbolic idea that your over-identification with the children must “die” in order for your more full identification with the father to be “born” or consolidated.

You must think about what a conservatory might symbolize, but it could relate to letting in the warming sun in a cold climate (a safe level of illumination as opposed to the out of control fire which might symbolize your anger and your consuming love for your children as you psychologically work our your stuff in your dreamscape); a conservatory might also symbolize a place for cultivating delicate plants, again a symbol of growth protected from the elements (the “cold” of your first marriage, or of your childhood?).

In a nod to this idea you might see another post about “orchid kids”: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2009/11/23/orchid-children/

And as a dad you might check out my book as guidance for self-healing (if you are in the market for that) not to mention a somewhat different approach to parenting advice (reframing the whole thing akin to yoga or some organic path toward love and higher consciousness).

http://www.amazon.com/Privilege-Parenting-Bruce-Dolin-ebook/dp/B006VOMQKQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417066249&sr=8-1&keywords=bruce+dolin+privilege+of+parenting

Hope this helps a bit. Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams and a great (and safe) waking life

Reply

Morgan January 8, 2015 at 7:47 am

Hi Bruce:

After reading through some of these other dreams, I am certain that my dream last night is directly connected to my inner child dying. What is perplexing is that although my daughter is 5, it was as though she was a bit younger. We were in the hospital, and she essentially withered in my arms. I can’t recall what was happening prior to her passing, but I do know that I held her out in my arms, and saw the life leave her body. I held her, and had huge waves of tears…it was really almost like I was throwing a tantrum…on the floor and everything. And perhaps this is about having to accept certain things of adulthood, even though I may not like them so much. What was interesting is that shortly after, the dream shifted and she was alive and well again. Which puzzled me in my dream state and I think in my actual mind when I woke again. Maybe I am closer to actualizing that fullness of adulthood with an appreciation for my child like self…

It all made me just take the morning completely slow. My waking up at 4am routine was not going to happen today. I wanted to take my time and say “f*ck it” just for a bit. Had to get her to school and get to work.

Any thoughts are appreciated, but I understand your time constraints. I also just want to thank you. Early in the summer I had a dream about my daughter drowning and stumbled upon your site in the process of trying to figure it out. As my dream suggested, I indeed had to “go deep” to get to the other side of whatever was happening at that moment. You are truly insightful. Thank you; it is indeed a privilege to be a parent. We are able to teach in learn in such amazing ways.

Warmly,

Morgan

Reply

Bruce January 8, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Hi Morgan,

Good for you for doing the deep work and making sense of your experience as an act of love for Self that benefits your child (and the rest of us too).

The only thing I might add is that the trope of life leaving the body, and then the child being alive and well again seems to hint at the archetype of death and rebirth, thus the girl (or the identification with the child) dies, as you have realized, but what is reborn is not so much the child self but the spirit or soul of the child (i.e. your true Self, which is soul, or mind, or love depending on what words you like that merely point to what is beyond words), in a sense perhaps the soul is real (who knows for sure in our human condition) and the child in the dream serves as a symbol of the soul. If this were true, that soul or mind or love is real, then we meet soul in our children (who are like ambassadors for us to see soul again, in the mirror and in our world), all of which takes us to the next level of loving consciousness—to love someone beyond our ego-selves (as a parent, a teacher, a pet owner) and perhaps even love them more than we love our own selves and our sometimes hollow lives (and thus deepen our relationship to true happiness, we touch the eternal, which is a concept beyond measure but suffused with love.

As T.S. Elliot writes “…til human voices wake us and we drown.” Perhaps implying that our lives, at least in the last century torn by so much war, might have felt more like unreal nightmares than our deeper realms where truth may live unproven and unprovable.

If love is real, then what is more important than love? And if it isn’t real than we probably want to wake up from a world without love, a nightmare world. As parents we get to bring the love, and in that way we learn what we teach. This is painful and ironic, but seems to offer such deep rewards as we perhaps regain faith in humanity, in each other and in love itself.

Certainly wishing you, and all of us Sweet Dreams and Sweet waking lives as well in 2015 and forward.

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Karina Aguayo August 5, 2016 at 2:28 am

I am currently up at 2.19 am because I had a dream where I killed my own 1 year old son. I was dreaming that we were at our previous house and that it was getting dark and gloomy. We were back in our room that we had when I was a kid. My mom was in bed with my son and I looked out the window and that there were sharks outside. I told my mom and she said to hide so the wouldnt see us. So one of the sharks seen us amd they got into the room but my mom immediately took us to the kitchen. We could hear the shark in the room looking for us so my mom had us jump out the kitchen window (I jumped out with my infant son in my arms) and my uncle opened their back door of their house amd asked us whatwas going on. So i told him “theres a storm and the sharks are gathering up around the house” and that somehow a big chunk of red meat appeared by us and that a shark came and tried eating it and i started stabbing the shark and it turned into my son and when i realized it was him i stopped and i had stabbed him in the head so behind his head he had a lump that was bleeding and i tried to stop it and i was crying because a doctor appeared and he said enjoy your last moments its too late and that my son was back to being 1 year old and he was dancing amd singing and i woke up shaking and crying non stop and currently holding my son. I cannot go back to sleep this dream has me heartbroken. I dont understand it.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:39 pm
Amanda February 3, 2016 at 4:39 am

I had a dream last night in which I had moved to a new house and started a new job. In my dream my new neighbor came over before I went to work and offered to take my son’s to the school park with her own kids. I said ok and went to work. Dream skip forward and I come home to no kids. I freak and go to the park to look for her and my boys. I do d her and my oldest but the neighbor had lost my youngest and she claimed he was dead. I believed her in my dream and grieved his death for what felt like months. I then notice something strange at her house and break into her house and find my 4 year old being held captive against his will.

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Bruce February 4, 2016 at 2:12 pm

[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.]

Hint: perhaps feeling overwhelmed leads to an unconscious wish for a break, which becomes a dream about “losing our kids”

Thus find them captive could mean they are “held hostage” by the part of the psyche that “actually wants them” meanwhile the kids are symbolic of our own innocent, but demanding, aspect

… or something like that.

Sweet dreams

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Ingrid February 3, 2016 at 6:07 am

Hi Bruce,

Last night I had a really bad dream, I was driving with my 5 year old daughter and 2 other people that I don’t know who they were but I guess we were friends in my dream, and we had a car accident, I was able to get out I only had a few bruces and found my was to the back where my daughter was. My daughter had no scratches and no bruces but she was dead, and so were the other two people in the car with me. I kept repeating that I was sorry and that it was my fault. I was holding my daughter very tight and didn’t let anyone take her, I decided to take her to my room and laid her down next to me wishing she would wake up but I woke up instead.

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Bruce February 4, 2016 at 2:15 pm

[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.]

BTW I think you mean “bruises”–“Bruce” is a person’s name, and hopefully not something painful :)

Hint: the child is the “dead” part of you that needs to “wake up” or become more conscious. Read the other dreams and see if you can put a meaning together for yourself.

I’m rooting for you, I’m just not able to do the work for you

Sweet Dreams

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Kirsty February 16, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Hi i just had a dream about my 1 year old daughter falling down a big massive deep hole in our front yard. I ran next door to my partners mother to get help n den i heard a big bang the hole exploded n my daughter was bearly alive in d bottom of the hole.i woke up then so never seen what happened then.

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Bruce February 25, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Hi Kirsty,

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.]

please read the other comments though for help in how to think about your own dream

Certainly wishing you well asleep and awake :)

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Lebogang February 20, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Hi Bruce

I am a 30 years old new father to a beautiful girl who just turned 1 year 3 days ago. Just about an hour ago, I had just woken up from a terrible nightmare that she had past away. In the Nightmare I was just having a great day with her babysitting as I don’t stay with her mother. Later on the mother came to get her and when she got to her apartment, I called several times to see if they arrived safely but she didn’t pick up my calls. I then drove to my daughter’s mom to see them as I was worried and to my shock they were older people at the apartment crying and my daughter placed in some blue cloth that covered her completely. My fiancee came to me screaming ” it’s your fault, you did this” and as she hit me on the chest I noticed everyone looking at me with hate in their eyes and I left. Getting to my home, I told my mother that my daughter has passed and she just said “okay and ask if I will be fine” . I set in my room crying and when I woke up from this nightmare I was still crying n took me a while then called my fiancée and she confirmed me that my daughter was okay and just sleeping.
Still after this call I felt horrible inside for having to dream my own daughter died. How do inside get rid of this?

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Bruce February 25, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Hi Lebogang,

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.]

please read the other comments though for help in how to think about your own dream

Certainly wishing you well asleep and awake :)

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Cecilia February 24, 2016 at 9:00 am

Hi Bruce,
I thought I was awake when I felt cold and then felt my adopted 3yr old son’s body cold and limp who was laying next to me. I jolted up and said oh no he’s dead and moved him of course he was fine and I went to check on my other children. But it was so real, I thought he was dead and he felt dead. He sneaks into my bed every night and sleeps right next to me. It was a bit chilly in the room after so I covered him with the blanket and I covered my baby who sleeps in the crib in my room as well.
I’m still shaken up about it.

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Bruce February 25, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Hi Cecilia,

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.

Certainly wishing you well asleep and awake :)

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Michaela February 25, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Hello Bruce?
I’m 19 years old, Im not a mother, but I do have a lot of nightmares that frighten me and make me scared to fall asleep again. Last night I had a dream where my stepdad killed a new born in a sink by putting a fish down her throat, and as per usual in my dreams, I think I wake up. But then the dream actually continues but I think I am awake. The girl was about 7 years old for some reason and her mouth was deformed and shifted to the side. She tried to talk to me. And that’s when I woke up crying.

I’ve had weirder dreams lately. But my stepdad is Hindu and he says that my dreams tell me that I will have bad fortune and that someone is wishing unpleasant things upon me.

I am sorry for the long story but it is so hard to get back to sleep each night.

Kind regards and I thought it was a very interesting piece of writing.

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Bruce February 25, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Hi Michaela,

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. As for your step-dad’s idea, I don’t know about that but I certainly want to wish you well and suggest that the dream shows how you feel inside and if you understand this I hope there will be no reason at all for future pain, rather consciousness about pain you already feel.

Take a look at these dreams for more insight into abusive situations like fishes in throats (like choking the voice with a creature from the water/the unconscious).

http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-about-children-being-abused-or-traumatized/

Certainly wishing you well asleep and awake :)

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Nokuthula March 9, 2016 at 8:28 pm

Hi Bruce,
this is my first time that I stumble to this block and I hope you will help me to understand the meaning of my dream. Last night I dreamed off my late daughter that she passed on the 27July 2014 at the age of 11years .Though her passing it left me with so many UN answered questions as she took her life but I think now I have come to terms with her death. Lastnight I dreamed off her that I was struggling to carry her on my back as she was heavy for me but I kept on trying for several times until I managed to put her on my back then i woke up so terrified. could you please tell me what does it means.

thank you

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Bruce March 9, 2016 at 9:31 pm

Hi Nokuthula,

I am so very sorry to hear of this tragic loss. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death amongst young people and it recently has become the leading cause of death in men in some cultures.

For anyone who comes across this and has any doubts about their own child’s safety regarding self harm please see this blog post:

http://privilegeofparenting.com/2010/01/22/suicide-what-to-do-when-kids-say-they-want-to-kill-themselves/

As for your dream, my interpretation is that it represents an unconscious wish: to feel your child, to carry the “burden” of her pain, to have her back, even if it is so “heavy” emotionally and sad.

In my book I write the final chapter on the most dreaded possible experience for a parent, to lose their child, and I am more inclined to simply offer compassion and respect for your pain and loss.

Hopefully your unconscious will bring you more dreams to help you heal and to live.

You might benefit from seeking some counseling for the grief and loss, but if you feel you are dealing with it okay, then perhaps you might have a dream where you speak to the child you lost, for in the dreams it may symbolize the part of you who died. Maybe you could imagine asking them if you can help them in any way.

Maybe you might eventually become involved in suicide awareness or prevention (imagine working at a suicide hotline, having lost a child; if a child calls asking for help, maybe you can help someone else’s child stay alive and come to see all children as our collective humanity’s children).

Too many people are in terrible pain, and I am sorry for the pain in your family.

Certainly wishing you a good life in which you can be a source of love for others, deepened by your own experience of pain and loss

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Rachel March 10, 2016 at 8:35 am

Hi Bruce. I found this page when I did a search about dreaming about the death of a child. Now when I say child, I just mean my child and not a small child. Most of the posts on here are about smaller children. Mine is an adult. She is 21 and still lives with me. She is my only child and I was a single mom. I always tried to set a good example for her by finishing high school and going on to college and graduating with honors and by taking care of her with little to no help from anyone, although my family was always there when I needed them. She and I have always been close. But here lately, we have been having problems and are fighting a lot. And she’s been getting into some trouble lately with the law and is dating a guy with no job and a kid he isn’t supporting so I can’t stand him. 2 weeks ago, she left our apartment and I couldn’t get in touch with her for over 24 hours. Then she finally called me from jail in a small town south of where we live. She’s since been released, but it doesn’t seem to have made her see that she needs to change her behavior. She’s a good kid really and wasn’t arrested for anything horrible, just a pipe she had in her car. But she just seems to keep dragging these losers home, both friends and boyfriends, and she isn’t going anywhere in life. She works as a waitress and is getting more and more in debt. I am giving you the backstory because I think this could be the reason for the dream, but I don’t know that for certain.

So in my dream, we were in a house of some sort and she was down in this room that had an electric lock. The power went out and she was locked inside and the temperature dropped to below freezing. I didn’t know where she was and kept trying to find her when I came to the locked door. When I was finally able to get the door open, I found her frozen to death. The rest of the dream was me going around to family and friends and telling them about her passing and it felt so real that I could almost feel myself screaming and crying and feel my heart breaking. Normally I can pull myself out of nightmares or wake myself up, but this one I couldn’t. It was like I was stuck inside the nightmare.

This was just last night and I can’t get the image of her face out of my mind. And even though I’m supposed to be upset with her right now because of her behavior, I just really want to run home and hug her and not let go. My co-worker says it’s because of a show I watch, but I know that isn’t it. I feel like it has something to do with all the fighting and her going further and further down the wrong path. Can you help me interpret my dream so maybe I can put it behind me? Thank you.

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Bruce March 10, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Hi Rachel,

As noted above I cannot keep up with the demand for individual interpretation so please do read the other dreams and comment for more insight.

A couple of hints to get you started: You are very bonded with your daughter by your report. Your dream is about how your inner child, symbolized by your daughter, is locked up inside you and “frozen” for lack of your love and attention which you overly lavish on your actual daughter, which keeps her from feeling able to separate and grow up.

Perhaps if you turn to the frozen girl who is your past self, abandoned and unsupported by family or husband, you can help her thaw, come back to life and become liberated from the prison of your unconscious fear.

Your conscious wish to hug your daughter and keep her a baby, is like “freezing” her in the past. You have much love to give, and you will never stop loving your daughter in waking life, however you are in transition and so is your daughter. You must become two grown women who love and respect each other rather than trying to remain mommy and baby which freezes and imprisons both of you.

Hope this helps. Sweet Dreams and liberation into love for both you and your daughter :)

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charity March 19, 2016 at 8:12 am

I woke up crying. Which is odd for me. I dreamed I was cooking at my moms house and my 13 year old daughter was with my mom (grandma). Grandma lives in a trailer court. So I had to go home and go something( for some reason I lived in a trailer too) which I don’t. and I seen a big storm coming(huge) it was so massive, it was a tornado. I could see across town and needed to ger back to save them..i couldn’t. I had to go right running with everyone else for protection. it was aweful. at the end of the storm it was a massively destructive and wiped everything out. I ran over to find my mom and daughter to find the trailer court was destroyed. I asked a lady if she had seen my mom and daughter and she showed me a dress saying it was my moms( which it wasn’t) it was orangey earth colors – but it wasn’t my moms. then I preceded to run around the destroyed trailer court looking for the two of them. then this other women said Hailey( my daughter died) and she died horribly, she couldn’t breath and all she did was cry for you( her mom). I woke up with my heart pounding like it was real…and in shock. still am.

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Bruce March 19, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Hi Charity,

As noted above, I can’t interpret in depth any longer, but if you read the other dreams and comments you’ll get ideas on how to think about your own dream.

A couple of hints to get you started (in the perspective that all the aspects of the dream symbolize aspects of your own Self):

Your inner mother lives in a vulnerable situation (trailer home) and your inner child is with her cooking (getting nourishment/love). A big storm comes (emotions of destructive anger, coming from the fact that you feel unsupported by mother and abandoned by child who accepts your mother in a way you do not, as you are still angry because you are hurt).

You learn that your child self couldn’t breathe, (was suffocated by the storm and by the limited mother’s self-involvement) but was crying out for you, the ego-self, thus validating that you are the “true mother.”

There is a mix here of unconscious aggression against your mother and your child, and an unconscious wish to bring them together and have them “die” as separate parts of your mind so that your true Self can be born in equilibrium between grandmother and child.

How fitting to have this dream on the spring equinox.

Finally, there could be a collective level to this dream in terms of the real waking world with the “storm” representing the destructive forces that are unleashed upon the most vulnerable or at risk people (children and the aging) when “orange” colored angry emotions inspire mass hatred, exploiting fears and vulnerabilities. All of us become less intelligent when we are scared. That’s how humans become destructive.

Perhaps realizing that your deeper truth is that you love your mom and your daughter and that your hurt feelings are not a real tornado will allow you, like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, to realize the Wizard is just a con artist and that “no place like home” doesn’t particularly mean Kansas but one’s own true Self or heart.

Then you wake up to love, healing and more authentic understanding. Fear and rage calm down, and you come to your grateful senses and love your family and your community and hope all of us wake up with you.

Sweet Dreams and waking life too :)

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charity March 20, 2016 at 9:44 pm

thank you Bruce :) I have been wrecked since that dream. This helped. Thank you! You are right it was spring equinox…bizarre!

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Rocquelle March 20, 2016 at 10:21 pm

I recently just found out I was pregnant with my second child. My daughter is 1yr. Few nights ago I had a dream she was hit by a car & died. She cried for a few seconds in her dads arms and then there was silence. All I could see were her little feet go limp. It was like a horror movie. All I did was cry in the dream. I went into a deep depression and could not go on with life. I woke up feeling the same way, tears in my eyes believing this was all real. Then I saw her sleeping right next to me. ny heart was in my throat. Im still upset at myself, how could I dream such of a thing. I havent had a dream since moving into my new home, until this new pregnancy. I dont know if its guilt of having a baby unexpectedly so soon or something else.

Thank you for your time.

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Bruce April 8, 2016 at 8:03 am

Hi Rocquelle,

Sorry for the delay in responding, but as I mention above I really can’t keep up with the demand any longer and invite you to read the other comments if you want clues to your own dream. Mostly I think the dying child is a symbol of you, as you might feel overwhelmed by parenting one kid and the idea of a second makes you unconsciously feel like your own inner needs are not met. The unconscious sometimes takes forbidden wishes and expresses them in horrific form: the wish for silence/peace becomes a silent child.

Fortunately this is your inner self and not outer; unfortunately, you are troubled in your inner self. I encourage you to pay attention to your dreams as if they represent your feelings (not facts in reality) and give love to the “dead baby” you, and perhaps like in a fairy tale, or a dream, the child comes back to life, transformed :)

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Rocquelle April 15, 2016 at 9:33 pm

Thank you and I will

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Abagail April 3, 2016 at 7:26 am

Hello Bruce,
I had a dream my daughter can early and the next day could crawl d roll ansum what talk I had nothing to put on her or feed her or anything so I asked my GMA and we set the baby on the table and she got ahold of ravioli a choked
Then the second one I had 2 babies ( I only have 1) we were all I’m the pool and I found out my youngest the new baby boy (the pretend child) had drowned
The third thinks since the second one I’ve had a dream every night I’ have two kids a boy and a girl and I don’t even always give birth to the b9y sometimes I dp sometimes I adopt sometimes he’s giving to me what does this mean?

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Bruce April 14, 2016 at 6:26 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: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/that-sinking-feeling%E2%80%94dreams-about-children-drowning/

If your nightmare involves falling or flying try here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-about-children-falling/

If the core dread is kids running away or being hurt from neglect click here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-about-children-running-away-or-being-neglected-or-abandoned/

If kidnappers or scary animals, bad guys or monsters are the subject go here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-of-children-being-kidnapped-or-chased/

If the child actually does die in the dream click here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-where-children-die/

If the dream involves overt abuse or graphic trauma read from here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-about-children-being-abused-or-traumatized/

If the dream involves poison try here: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/dreams-about-children-poisoned/

If there is a family feud or families fighting see these: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/dreams-where-families-fight/

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: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/dreams-as-teachers/

And… Sweet Dreams

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Teresa Mendes May 3, 2016 at 6:53 am

Hi Bruce
I had a dream that my 33 year old daughter died of a gunshot near her house. And her husband takes her body inside so that their son does not see it. this dream has
me feel so sad. please help me interpret it. I also had a dream about my nephew and his family being with me even though in real life he is not close to me at all.

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Bruce May 5, 2016 at 6:40 am

Hi Teresa,

Please read the above post more fully, and/or other comments to understand why I cannot interpret your dream at this time.

Still wishing you well and sweet dreams :)

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Lori May 3, 2016 at 2:19 pm

I had a dream that my stepson came to visit his Dad and I to get money and once he got in his car to leave, a car was driving next to him on a slippery street. The car bumped his and he hydroplaned upward. I then looked out the window of a balcony and there was a maroon hurst outside. Never saw him but remembered having to go to the funeral home to see his face? Never visual saw him or a funeral

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Bruce May 5, 2016 at 6:42 am

Hi Lori,

Pleas fully read the above original post and/or recent replies to comments to understand why I cannot interpret your dream at this time.

Nevertheless wishing you well and sweet dreams :)

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krista May 20, 2016 at 3:35 am

Hello. I recently had a dream that I was in an apartment in my old high school (odd) and that my fiance put our newborn baby through a woodchipper and I saw..everything.after screaming and crying in the dream and leaving the room I returned to where her body would be and there she was, alive and well sitting by blades that weren’t turned on and I was confused and in shock and he took me around the corner to show me he had taken an infant cpr dummy and tricked me into thinking he killed the baby. Idk how cuz I saw blood and everything and it was her face and everything. She was just….alive now
I’m super upset about this dream and need to know what it means.

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Bruce May 24, 2016 at 8:10 pm

Hi Krista,

If you read the post above and/or recent comments you will understand why I cannot interpret individual dreams at this time. If you read some of the dreams you will get some tools or ways of thinking about this dream. If your child symbolized a part of yourself, perhaps it could mean that the “false self” who is a “dummy” gets destroyed so that you can relate to the “real child self” who, because it looks like your kid, is lovable. Also, parenting is stressful and evokes natural anger in parents, which is generally forbidden from consciousness, and thus unconscious aggression can play out in dreams; not to mention the wish to repair the damage and not really hurt any parts of yourself, much less your child.

Please read more and give it some thought, then your own smart mind and kind heart will gain some deeper meaning from doing your best to figure out what it means to you (not to me).

Sweet Dreams :)

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Tori May 31, 2016 at 6:34 am

Hi Bruce,
I understand you aren’t interpreting dreams anymore, but I thought I’d try, just in case. Last night I had a horrible dream that my mother told me to shoot everyone in our immediate family. She didn’t tell me why in the dream, just that it had to be done, and if I loved them, I’d do it. While I took a gun to all of my family members, I had two strangers baby sit my five year old daughter. I would come back a few times in the dream to make sure she was doing ok. But once I finished with all of my family, it was her turn. Unlike the rest, I waited for to turn around from me, yelled at the tops of my lungs “I will always love you” then shot her twice in the back. She fell, so I ran over to pick her body off of the floor, she was unconscious, I kissed her forehead, then when to take a hot bath. As I’m in the bath I start to cry and wonder why I would do that to my five year old daughter, begin to get angry with my mom. Shortly after that thought, my daughter walked in the bathroom and climbed in the bath tub with me, she said it made the gun shot wound feel better, and that she was going to be ok. In my dream I didn’t question it, i was just happy she was alive.

So what’s going on in my waking life, is that I just got divorced from my husband, and despite my mother’s wishes he and I are getting back on good terms and have decided to go to counselling together. Deep inside me, I want to make things work, however, i dont think my family and friends will be so understanding, but it would make my daughter so happy.

Also, my grandmother passed on the morning i had this dream, my mom held her while she slipped away and told me the story not long before i had this dream. So I’m wondering which of the two, if not both, scenarios are related to the dream.

Thank you in advance.

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Bruce June 7, 2016 at 10:40 pm

Hi Tori, Thanks for actually reading and realizing I can’t just keep interpreting all these dreams :) You did a good start on your own work and I would just add that while you love your family, the primary wish in the dream is to merge with the Mothers, in the unconscious/uterine bath; I think you can be mad at your family without killing them or yourself, and your unconscious is yearning to connect grandmother (now in spirit form) and your child (symbol of eternal love) THROUGH yourself and the love you are trying to rekindle with your ex. See if going into couples counseling with conscious awareness that you have anger, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of, and taking responsibility for your part in things, but holding others accountable for the ways you have been made to feel hurt, might create conditions for a new beginning. Killing the child, and then her being “reborn” in the bath with you, might symbolize your own need to finally die as a helpless child and be born as a woman/mother/person—equal to others, be they male or female, but respected and supported in your role as parent without denying you are also a grandchild, child, wife, etc.

Hope this helps and Best of Luck no matter what :)

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Miranda June 7, 2016 at 6:40 am

I had a dream i was driving with my five children and i saw a guy driving next to me and he had a gun he kept looking back so i looked to see what was goin on and a police officer shot the back of his car from ontop a building i had a toy gun and was waving like i was gonna shoot him to scare him and he acted like he didnt care and was gonna shoot me so i put my hand up and threw the gun down dont remember how it happened but i heard a shot fire and it was really loud so i stopped the car to check the kids everyone acted fine my daughter lexxi was standing next to me rubbing her eyes and acting sleepy and i sae the blood running down her tank top i pulled her shirt up and seen she was shot in the back on the left side i screamed her heart please god help me and i got out of the car and started waving traffic and tellin people to call 911 next thing i know were at the hospital and the dr told me she didnt make it and i justbsaw her lifeless body lying there and i woke up. What does this mean.

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Bruce June 7, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Hi Miranda, If you read the original post, or recent comments you will understand why I can’t interpret your dream at this time. Still, if you take a little time to read some other dreams and comments you will see that many dreams are like yours and my ideas about those dreams would apply to your dream. One extra note, however; we do seem to live in a time so so much gun violence, that it might be useful if the moms come together to get and stay on message: it’s not okay for any of our children to be cut down by violence. Our sorrow, anger and outrage are well-founded. I’ll defer to the mothers, but you guys might come up with a way to get us all to put down our guns (maybe if more children are held safely by family, and by our society, there will be less sad angry gunmen needing to be “understood” in their hurt, fear and anger. Finally, it’s not just guns, or men, it’s humans who don’t feel respected who end up doing so much damage. So here’s to respect shared equally and the assertion that this reflects who we are truly capable of being—but it’s a lot harder if we are not safe and respected when we are young.

Hope this helps. Sweet Dreams and waking life too :)

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David June 12, 2016 at 10:54 pm

Hello Bruce,

I am about to become a father, and I am starting to having weird dreams in the morning or day time, misshaping to my baby.
Previous day I dream that my baby was exchanged in the hospital. I even woke up shouting on everyone my baby has been exchanged.

And today (13/06/2016) I again I had a dream, I get to sleep in the morning only as I work all night.
Dream Starts
I had a dream that I am cursed and 5 times snake would bite me and my curse would be over, In my dream 3 times I have already been bitten,
In my dream I meet my mom and there is a foreign lady in the house, she is sitting in the living room with her husband and talking to my dad,
And me and mom are in the other room with the baby, I asked my mom why is baby here, she said she is going to take care of the baby for few hours as the foreigners have some urgent work, I found the baby so adorable, I started loving the baby after a minute only I realized that the baby isn’t moving at all, I was stunned and trembling with fear, I told my mom about it we both were in tears and shock, my mom tried taking the blame on herself, I said no mom it is not your mistake. I guess the mother of the baby sensed something wrong and she came to have a look at her baby, my mom coldly replied to her that her baby is dead. the mother was in tears completely.

These incidents given above are the dreams that I am having for the past 2 days.
And it’s really horrifying.
I just want to know that is it a hint for something that God is giving and I need to understand or something evil is gonna happen, please help me with the answers to my dream.

Regards
David Thomas

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Bruce July 6, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Hi David,

If you read recent comments you will understand why I can no longer interpret all these dreams. Nevertheless I do want to wish you will with fatherhood and hope that if you take the time to read other dreams and comments you will learn that your dreams are not abnormal and do not have predictive powers of the future; rather they represent your own brain’s attempts to make sense of images, fears and emotions that you have already experienced. It sounds like you may have some mixed feelings about your mother, but perhaps after you have a chance to parent you will find more compassion for your mom and for how hard parenting can be. Snakes may be symbols of evil in some cultures, but they may be symbols of wisdom (feminine wisdom) in other cultures. Perhaps the “lifting of the curse” and the motif of “switching babies” is more about your feelings of the past, your fear that your child will experience pain as you did, and your intuition (spiritual if you like) that in giving love to a child you may lift the curse of being a distressed baby (yourself in the past) and lift the curse by becoming the very parent you wish you had in the past. Hope this helps a bit and certainly wishing you all the best in any event, Bruce

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Josie Pearce June 26, 2016 at 11:12 am

Hi Bruce
I has a nightmare last nightmare last night that my mum told me that her partner said he has a nightmare that he was going to find my 18 month old daughter dead. Then I let her go to the shop with a boy I used to know when I was a teenager who I haven’t seen since and next thing I know I have realise he has kidnapped her and start panicking then another friend that also used to hang around with me and the boy rings saying she was driving and that she is very sorry but has something to tell me and my mums partner and mum are crying and trying to tell me something and I keep just saying please don’t say it please don’t say it and have a strong feeling she has been hurt badly / killed the nightmare was quite muddled but that’s basically it now I keep thinking about it and have a feeling of fear anxiety and dread. What does this mean?

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Bruce July 6, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Hi Josie,

If you read the post above or recent comments you will understand why I cannot keep up the the demand for dream interpretation Please do read other dreams and comments for insights into your own dream. Hint: maybe this dream is about your own feelings of being hurt, neglected, and a bit unwanted back when you were a baby, and these feelings are coming back now that you are a mom and being reminded of the feelings of the past by your own child.

Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams and a lovely Waking Life too :)

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iram June 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm

i am mother of two kids one five year old and another 3 yrs old.i repeatidly have nightmares regarding my children. i see i am in my parents home where other children are playing they take my kids to the park nearby where we have a lake also . they make my children run and and my kids fell in lake , or i am with them but my son falls in lake drowned.
sometimes i see my son playing with children at my parents house the kids take him outside and my son is lost
i sometimes see i beat ruthlessly my daughter, my anger does not cool down. i killed my daughter accidently because i am too angry.
i sometimes feel i have fit of rage and beat my kids
i fear if i carry both of my kids with me i will lose them
what should i do

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Bruce July 6, 2016 at 9:55 pm

Hi Iram, While I am not able to interpret individual dreams at this time, you might benefit from reading other dreams and comments in this thread, and also in the thread about when kids drown: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/that-sinking-feeling%E2%80%94dreams-about-children-drowning/

Finally, you might like to look that this post about Anger Management: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2009/07/09/anger-management/

We all want to be our best Selves as parents and it’s hard to keep our cool, our patience, stay loving and kind and so I certainly wish you and your family Sweet Dreams and a happy waking life too :)

p.s. my book on parenting was meant for parents just like you who are doing their best and still feeling angry and overwhelmed, maybe it would be comforting: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bruce+dolin+privilege+of+parenting&x=0&y=0

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Jessica M July 6, 2016 at 12:45 am

Hi Bruce,
Me and my husband are 26 yrs old and have two children’ and I had a dream last night of my 7yr old son was slowly driving a car to park it down the street and he hit a tree at only about 10 mph but the airbags went off and he was killed. I grabbed him out of the car and took him to his room where I laid him on his bed and covered him with his blankets like he was sleeping, I walked out of the room and me and my 4yr daughter went looking for my husband at his job. On the way to my husbands job somehow we ended up looking for an object I can’t recall wat it was but we never found it. We finally arrived at my husbands job but it wasn’t his job in real life . For some reason I saw my boss and started crying telling him what happened he told me my husband was in my sons room across the street from where we were. I ran across the street and burst into my sons room and started to explain what happened.. But my husband was holding my son and saying it’s okay he’s fine, when a looked over his shoulder my son was sweating up a storm but he was alive. I grabbed him and just cried and cried. My husband woke me up and told me I was sobbing in my sleep and asked if I was ok. I told him no and ran to my sons room he was fine of course but I was really terrified and I can’t seem to find out why I would have a dream like this when I have never had one before. Please help me understand.
Thank you for listening…
-Jessica

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Bruce July 6, 2016 at 10:12 pm

Hi Jessica,

If you read the original post and recent comments you will understand why I cannot interpret individual dreams at this time. I’ve been just responding to tell people I can’t keep up with all these dreams and now it’s way past my own bedtime :)

A small hint to get you started (and then you have to read other dreams and comments if you are willing to put a little work into understanding your own dream). Perhaps the child in the dream is symbolically you, and having started your family at a young age, you may feel like a kid and you may feel like you can’t control the car that is a symbol of your life, and you may wish to just park (be still) but you hit a tree (symbol of soul, sex and knowledge, life, wisdom… but danger if you run smack into it in a car). The “air bags” deploy (maybe that’s both safety in a real car accident, but also the “windbags” of people who tell us what to do and how to think and what is wrong and who is right…

In that spirit I will retreat to silence, but not before wishing you and your family Sweet Dreams and a great waking life too :)

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Jessica July 7, 2016 at 12:25 am

Bruce,
Thank you so much for the hint and I will defiantly be reading other dreams and your explanations. Have a wonderful night 🙂

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Bruce July 7, 2016 at 6:51 am

It’s good to keep a sense of humor about ourselves and our human condition, especially when looking at dreams and the so-called “unconscious” (which is not much more than a way of saying “whatever we are not conscious of”).

So… will you “definitely” be reading other dreams, or will you be reading them “defiantly” :)

A seven year old drives a car because his or her parents didn’t keep him safe (is that clueless driving or defiant and bold driving?). He or she may both want the “keys to the car” before they are ready AND they may “act out” and get into trouble as a way of saying “I’m still a little kid, you need to set and hold limits because that is also a form of love.”

Some say that “comedy is tragedy plus time.” Maybe dreams are a way of modeling what could happen without actually risking “real” human life and limb; but also a way of reminding ourselves what matters ultimately (not power, cars, sex, money, attention) which is Love, and there seems no more self-transcending love than that of parents for children where we ultimately hope that our children will out-live us, which is our own acceptance of death.

Now, how to see the humor in that… I don’t know if he’s correct, but Billy Wilder, a movie director whose work is rather good, said, “Life is terrible but it’s not that serious.” The problem for me is that whenever it’s been terrible for me personally it feels extremely serious, even in nightmares.

Then again, we wake up, it’s a new day, we have a chat about it all and maybe eventually find ourselves laughing, not at each other, but with each other in this increasingly small (but not necessarily yet kind) world.

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Raven September 14, 2016 at 11:19 pm

I’m in need of help I am a young mother and not sure what my nightmare means. I am terrified of going to sleep at night because my nightmare is recurring. Once I fall asleep I find myself awake and crying. I am only 18 but I love my daughter very much and would died if anything happened to her. She is only 7 months old.

My nightmare is the same but in different ways. I’m always in a car accident. And not just a finder binder. But in my dream I’m driving down the road and everything seems fine at first but then I wreck. Sometimes in my dream I’m at fault and others I’m not. But after the wreck it gets dark as if I were knocked out in the wreck but when I wake up and I looked back my daughter isn’t breathing and at times I can get to her and hold her and try to help her but nothing ever works amd I’m just sitting on the road screaming for help and no one will help me. And other times I can move so I can’t get to her and when the police arrive they help my daughter first and then me and once we arrive at the hospital and my family gets there nobody will tell me anything. And finally the doctor tells me and I hit my knees screaming why and then it goes black and I’m at my daughters funeral. And last night in dream I swerved to miss a man standing in the road and flipped my car down a hill. It went black and then my car was upside down I halve way out of my window and part of the window was stuck in my side and I was looking at my daughter who was crawling on the road bleeding from her head and when I screamed for help it was to late a vehicle had hit my daughter. I can’t take these nightmares anymore. I don’t know what they mean. I feel like I’m dying inside even though when I wake up my daughter is fine. She is happy and playing like always but I need to know what this means because I can’t loose her she is my everything. Please someone help me.

Patricia July 8, 2016 at 11:30 pm

My cousin called me nd told me that he had a dream about my 14 yr old daughter he said my grandfather was in the dream talking to him then he saw a black figure come and the next thing he saw was me standing over my daughter crying and she had died. Please tell me what does this mean?

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:42 pm
Sancia July 15, 2016 at 11:49 am

Hi, in June I had a dream that my daughter was kill by her father. In the dream I was in the bedroom when I heard shots being fired outside, when I ran outside I saw my 2 year old under some hedges bleeding from the head. I ran back inside yelling at her dad asking why did he do it. I woke up that night actually crying as well.
2 nights ago I dreamed that she was missing. In that dream I can clearly remember seeing her laying at the bottom of a river bed and I was trying to reach her but I couldn’t until she was swept away. I was looking for her and couldn’t find her any where. I went to make a police report but while on my way there the entire road was flooded and when I looked even the car I was driving in was flooded too.
I wasn’t able to find her at all but in the dream I was imagining her in the backseat of the car with me, and I felt calm doing that.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:41 pm
Max July 30, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Ok some weeks back i had a dream that i buried my daughter alive as she slept. Which is terrifying because my daughter is my world. But what’s weird is that in my dream she was my sisters daughter. But today i had another dream that i uncovered her and i was in so much panic because now she was mine. I uncovered her and gave her cpr and woke up saying something she usually says but i did’nt pay attention beacause i was just glad she was alive i was so happy in tears holding her so tight.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:40 pm
Ashley August 3, 2016 at 9:00 pm

Bruce,
Please help me understand. I know you’re not answering anymore and I hate to ask you to make an exception, but this is the second dream and I’m terrified for my little girl. I’ll keep it short as these dreams seem to get straight to the point with no real precursor.
First, about a week ago: my youngest was in an ambulance, covered in blood and they had an oxygen mask on her. I can’t say it was her face, as in a lot of my dreams, I just know it’s the person, I don’t actually see them or sometimes they look completely different( if that makes any sense). I remember being oddly calm but looking at my 19 month old baby and just feeling intense sadness. That was it! Nothing more. I remember having a dream about my oldest years ago, when she was an infant. I held her in my arms and she was dead. I freaked out and my own mother old me not to worry because it was probably just my subconscious mourning the loss of my infant as she was becoming a baby. I didn’t let this one bother me due to my prior experience.
Then today happened- I was napping with my 19 month old and out of no where, I’m in a room that I don’t recognize. Her absent father is sitting in a chair talking to someone else I don’t recognize. I ask where she is(again, absent father- I’d never leave either of them with him) and he points to a crib or bed, I swiftly pick her up and she looks strange. I couldn’t even tell you if it’s her to be honest, as I didn’t focus on her face at all, but I knew it was her. The weight and feel of her was different. She was wrapped in a blanket, I unwrapped the blanket to find both her legs missing, bone and what looked like rotted skin/meat exposed. It was terrible and gut wrenching. Even remembering it now, I just can’t even describe the feeling. Again, that was it. This drugged up some pretty intense feelings, as my mother passed 7/3/09, a day before my oldest ‘S 1st birthday, after suffering numerous complications following an open heart surgery. One of which included necrosis and the need to amputate both her legs below the knee and her right arm below the elbow. Needless to say, she never made it home. My mothers birthday is approaching on 8/6. My child’s legs in this dream looked like they had been ripped off by an animal, I remember knowing she was dead, but not really seeing it, maybe I just thought I knew.

I was okay with one dream, if not just slightly disturbed. Two has me anxious and worried. Curious to know what more is here. It may be worth mentioning that in April I aborted a set of twins. I’ve handled it fine as I felt and still do feel it was the right thing to do. Please help me.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:39 pm
Tara August 7, 2016 at 6:09 pm

I had a dream where a deceased family member told me that my now 3 year old would pass away at a party when she is in 9th grade. I can’t get this out of my head. Could this be a prediction?

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:38 pm
saadia August 12, 2016 at 1:49 pm

I had a dream that my two grandchildren died. one is 4 and 4 months boy and other is 1 year and 4 months old girl, as if they have fallen from a building by the time i got there the boy was already dead and the girl was just breathing but i could not save her. that was Feb this year and since then i am so upset i dont know what to do and who to tell. Please tell me what it is? Thanks

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:37 pm
Leetia August 18, 2016 at 5:00 am

Hi there bruce,
I had a dream that me and my middle child going to train station, as we were walking to train, and look for my cousin, and this lady I know from town, and she has a infant, that is premature, and she shouldn’t be talking as a baby, but this baby talked to her mother, when the mother asks and the baby answers, at first the lady I know from town, told me when she asked her how old she is, and the baby replies I think i’m 2, (when she seems just 2/3 month old and talking) and the mother asked how is that possible? The baby replied because I used to play with my friend, and she points to me (as my oldest child, saying i’m the mother of her friend) saying they used to play cart wheel with my daughter, so I thought I think she’s named after someone I forgot who died in the past, I tried to think of a girl who used to be friends with my daughter, I almost remembered something and I was about to ask the baby something, but then the mother pointed to my cousin to let me see her that she came, and my cousin said i’m looking for u, there u are, let’s hurry and go wait at the train (Cuz it’s almost time it’s coming) and I said, wait, let me go get the shoes and backpack, and she just repeated, and followed her, and once again I said, I gotta go get the backpack and shoes where I left them, so my cousin let my daughter (5 yrs old) took her with her, and I quickly turned back and ran to go get the backpack and shoes, and I somehow saw that my cousin and daughter went to train and left, while I went to go get the backpack and shoes, I saw my daughter leaving the train whiles it’s leaving really fast, and she jumped and died, I noticed my cousin wasn’t paying attention when she was heading the door, but she paid attention to her baby. And then I woke up.
But we don’t live in town that has trains,
And I have 3 children and the one I had dream about was my middle child

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:36 pm
Natasha August 18, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Bruce,

I had the worst nightmare last night. The night started off weird anyway. I was very lethargic feeling “just wiped out tired” I feel asleep on the couch, and when I woke it was about 1:30 am. I went I to my bedroom and I heard my daughter who is 1 and a half whimper just a little then stop.
(Briefly before I explain the dream my husband and I recently separated but have since gotten back together and working out our differences) okay now the dream.

I quickly feel asleep and that’s when it came. The nightmare that my husband brutally murdered our daughter. I don’t rennet what lead up to it but I remember not being able to find her. So I placed a missing persons report with the police. In the dream my husband I are not living together but he confines to comfort me through my fears about losing or daughter. I don’t remember how but I started investigating her disappearance myself. I found out my husband was the one who did it. I tried pretending to not know when myself and our 2 boys where with him. Then he sat down and told me he knew I had found outhis and he wanted to tell me why and how it happened. (This is going to sound gross brutal but I need to understand) he stomped and her poor little face and head until she was dead (I am sobbing and hysterical at this point even remembering gives me anxiety) why would he do this. After finding out he kept saying we would have another baby but I’m getting a hysterectomy on the 30th 2 weeks away. I started setting up how to get him caught with a detective, and then a girl I went to elementary with it found her dad an attorney who I don’t even know if he is one in real life to help with the case against him.

After that I was running through the woods where he killed her it was dark, wet, there was a stream, I couldn’t find her then I saw a tiny crushed skull there was a lot of wood in my dream a log cabin I don’t remember what significance it had or why it was there but I was drawn to it. Everything was so vivid I could smell the musky air feel the wet dirt the cold air … the hot glass room with the detective. The mansion of a home where I met the attorney.

Please please if you can help me. I can’t shake the feeling something bad is going to happen.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:36 pm
Amanda August 26, 2016 at 7:39 pm

I had a terrible dream in November 2012 that my youngest son who was 20 years old at the time had died in a car crash. In the dream one of my older sons had called me to say that my youngest son had been in a car crash and to get to the hospital quickly. On my way to the hospital in the dream my son called again to say that my son had died from his injuries. In the dream I was howling with despair and crying from the pit of my stomach, it was so horrific that it woke me up and I was actually still crying desperately with real tears on my face when I woke up. The dream deeply disturbed me. But the very strong message that I got from the dream was that I could not save my son, in real life he had been going through some challenging times and I had been trying to help him as much as I could but I couldn’t solve everything for him because there is only so much a parent can do once a child reaches adulthood. So although the dream was disturbing, the interpretation of it which was loud and clear was that I couldn’t save my son from everything in life as he was an adult now. I think this was a fairly reasonable and logical interpretation. Although I never forgot that dream I didn’t really give it another thought after a while, as the message I got from it was quite sensible and I never believed for a minute that it would actually really happen in real life.

Anyway, fast forward to March 2016 and one day I was home having lunch and this same eldest son suddenly came to my front door with the police, they told me that my youngest son had died in a very violent car crash that morning and had died at the scene. Naturally like any parent I went into shock and was completely distressed by this (as I still are). However, the next day I remembered this dream I had almost four years earlier and I wonder if I had had a premonition of his death as there were so many eerie similarities between the dream and reality. This has disturbed me almost as much as my son’s death.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:34 pm

Hi Amanda,

While I’m no longer interpreting dreams I did want to say how sorry I am for your loss. Rather than premonition it sounds like you were worried and that your son was at risk, but it seems you are being honest with yourself that you could not control your adult children.

My thought is that you have gone through the worst imaginable loss. You deserve love and compassion, and perhaps you will be of comfort to other parents who must deal with such tragedies.

I would encourage you to clarify mother’s concern from magical knowing. Many of us have such horrible dreams. On rare occasions waking life becomes horribly tragic. That is different from you “knowing” and thus potentially changing the situation.

Mostly I’m just very sorry for your loss, Bruce

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sandra September 8, 2016 at 8:44 pm

I had a deeam lastnight my 20 year old feel in a revinen about two stotys deep and the sound shock me awake i had to get up so i would stop think about it so horrible. Does it mean anything.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:27 pm
Randi September 19, 2016 at 3:02 am

Hello,
So I am pregnant and I keep having dreams of my 3 1/2 year old son die. The first dream was we were on a cruise ship and it began to sink. Neither of us were wearing life vests and as the ship went down it pulled my sun down with it and all I could see from looking down into the water was my son being pulled down reaching for me in a panic and me trying as hard as I could to reach him. but even as I went deeper into the water I could not reach him. At the point where I could no longer see him I woke up in a panic, sobbing, and my heart was racing.

My second dream was tonight. My son has yet to start school. But in my dream he started school. I was going to pick him up from school and I was walking out by where the busses were (oddly enough it was the my elementary school when I was child). I turned around the corner and my son was laying on the side walk in a puddle of his own with his throat being cut. There was absolutely no one else around. Completely empty. the sun was very bright in my dream. As I got to my son I realized that he was still breathing, but unconscious. I picked up his lifeless body and took him to the hospital. When we got there we saw a doctor and he said that my son would be fine from the incident and didn’t seem the least bit concerned about it. But then he told my that my son had cancer. To which I point I woke up.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:26 pm
Marissa September 20, 2016 at 9:16 am

I had a horrible dream about my 5 year old daughter being killed in a neighborhood. I think it’s the one we are about to move into next month. But it was a shooting between some boys. I said something don’t feel right to my friend (which i didn’t see in the dream) and then the shooting started. My lil girl seemed to be playing upstairs on the outside stairwell and I was telling her to come down the stairs so we can go. And the shooter just shot her as she was coming down stairs. I think it was like 4 times. And my husband Friend rushed her to the hospital… (he’s no where near us, hes in Germany) and she didn’t make it. I cried and cried in my dream. I even woke up crying. Please tell me what this means cause I am freaking out about it. 😞 I’m also pregnant. So idk if it’s the pregnancy or what.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:25 pm
Bronwyn September 23, 2016 at 6:32 am

Hi had a dream about my 3 year old daughter, I was at a house that I recognise with my mom and my 2 daughters (the other daughter is 6).
In the front section of the living room was a strip of dirt that looked as if someone started digging a hole. While my 2 daughters were at the back I was shovelling thousands of live grasshoppers into this hole but they kept coming, I said to my mom that we need to kill megane (my 3 year old) because she knows to much and my mom replied saying she will do it as megane has seen to much and will talk (this has nothing to do with the grasshoppers). a little while later my mom came back with megane wraped in a blanket and put her into the hole.

My 6 year old started throwing her closed with sand and I said to her just wait, go to the back I will be there now, when I opened the blanket. Megane was this beautiful 2 year old with these horrid blue bruises down her face and on the front and back of her head (I showed no emotion as if it was the right thing).
When I asked my mom if she used a hammer she said that she hit meagne in the head until she died. I just then saif to megane I am so sorry and that I love her.

(this is heartbreaking and killing me as I keep crying about this, I would never harm my daughter)

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:23 pm
Ann November 5, 2016 at 9:28 am

Me and my husband had a similar dream within couple of days where our third child,2 year old daughter, dies.
First it was my husband dreaming that we were on the pier,and there was a fence looking made out of long pointy spikes.I was next to my daughter when her legs got caught between the post and my daughter died.I seemed to be looking indifferent.
Last night I dreamt that we were on o field covered qith grass,and there were other friends with their children also.I look at my husband while he was chasing my daughter and trying to tell him to be careful as there was a hole in the ground ahead of my daughter.I see my husband looking at me smiling and my daughter all of a sudden falls in the huge hole.I yell at my husband, while he also looks indifferent looking down to see my daughter keeps on going down.I then see myself crying ,but not so many tears come out,was more like a fake crying,but the pain of losing her was real.
I have/had a tendency of having strange dreams,and unfortunately things did happened afterwards.While I was a teenager I dreamt that I was in an orchard and picking up silver coins and jewelry.We won the lottery.Also as a teenager ,me and my mom dreamt weird dreams (my mom dreamt she was a bride) and grandfather died the next day.It was a sudden death,we weren’t expecting it.
Also,every time I used to dream my ex boyfriend me and my husband would end up fighting the next day.After a few fights ,I out 2 and 2 together and made a connection.
Should I worry about our dreams?

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Bruce November 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm
Cyra November 8, 2016 at 5:47 am

hi i had a dream recently were i didn’t no where i was but i say my daughter running out in front of a car and she got hit and when i was at her funeral it wasn’t her coffin but some one else i woke up in tears and i am not right after it what does it mean???

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Bruce November 9, 2016 at 10:59 pm
Casey November 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm

Hi Bruce,

I reguarly experience vivid dreams, and find I am influenced easily by my life experiences including Tv shows and games. My dreams are usually very strange however I enjoy dreaming and even during the bad dreams I feel relaxed and find myself enjoying the experience. Able to wake and continue the dream once asleep again. In saying that I do reflect often and link how my feelings and health to my dreams. However I last night I had a very disturbing dream and has stuck with me as I woke up very in settled. With a feeling of not feeling safe.

My dream started with me, my partner and best friend riding our bikes to work, we work close to each other so ride most of the way there. After work I rode home and my partner was already home. My best friend was having to work late. We had dinner, fooled around and whent to bed. In the morning rather than than him riding, I offered to drive him as it was still dark. Sitting in the car in the drive way we are chatting about my best friend working so late we had received a message saying that she has a promotion and had to work all night. We discuss with each other as we are not sure weather her new job is right for her and weather we should tell her. I then notice there are 6 police cars about 100m behind us with flashing light on our property but we ignore it. We continue to talk and the. People come over asking if they can sit in the car. We are puzzled to why and say no. My partner goes inside to get his workthings he forgot and I wait outside the car. A lady walks up to me and stares me in the eyes and says “I know” I am confused and ask what she is talking about. It is only then I am curious to why the police are there. The lady then tells me that two, two year old girls were murdered in our house and they have found the bodies. We had no idea and had recently moved in. I feel sick and go inside to tell my partner.

He is ironing and as I tell him I decide to get some things as I do not want to be there. There are police in the house and they ask if they can search. I said that is fine and I said I didn’t want to stay. The police then give a discription of a male of mixed origin with a large piercing in his elbow. My partner said he has seen him around the suburb and around near he works.

I walk out to the car and there are police sitting in the car, one makes looks at me and they look like they are in shock. They say ” I hope you don’t sleep in the small room” I feel sick and want to leave. I just feel so sick and terribly scared. I remember looking around the house and seeing stains and thinking is it blood. I go get my partner and we decide to ride so the police don’t have to leave the car. That’s were the dream ends.

When I woke up I felt so drained and close to tears. I was glad that the house in the dream was not our actual home. I still feel unsafe despite living in a secure apartment. It is really bothering me as I can’t link it to anything. Your help is very appreciated.

(Apologies if the grammar and spelling is off, very difficult on my phone)

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Bruce November 9, 2016 at 10:59 pm
Jessica November 23, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Last night I had a dream where i watched my son (7) die in my mothers arms he just stopped breathing and as my son dies my sister and fiancé enter the room and as I run to my fiancé for comfort my sister is holding a child and they look at me with nervous eyes she says she’s sorry but it’s his child and I’m left alone shaking and crying till I wake up.

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Bruce November 27, 2016 at 11:01 pm
Elaine December 5, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Hi Bruce,
I have had some trouble with my oldest daughter not taking responsibility for her life or her kids life. We argue all the time. I feel she is disrespectful. I have kicked her out and stopped communicating with her. It hurts me that she is the way she is. I keep having a dream that she dies. I see her in the hospital. I see the funeral. I then think of my grandchildren. Who will take care of them. I’m getting to old to do it. I can’t figure out why I see her dead. Can u help me understand this?

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Bruce December 6, 2016 at 10:03 pm
sarah January 10, 2017 at 3:23 am

Hey Bruce,
I had a dream that my six year old died .there was a small hole in the grass and he was walking and fell and his head went into the hole and his body went the whole way over and broke his neck i was crying and screaming but then a few minutes later he came back to life… then we were playing and laughing and I turned my back for a minute den turned bak around and he was shot in de head I was screaming few a few seconds then my son came walking around the corner were I hugged him and wouldn’t let him go.can I please help me understand why?
Thank you

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Bruce January 10, 2017 at 8:05 am
April January 20, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Hi i can’t shake this feeling the last few nights I’ve been dreaming my son died of horrible headach ive so scared i keep a eye on him .. But when i go to his casket i cant reach it . i fall i beg in my dreams i wake up crying and begging god to let nothing happen to him i can’t stop thinking about he’s has 4 sibling i don’t dream about them just him .. He’s not very close to me i try he is my boy ..im just worried something is gunna happen i keep dreaming and dreaming

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Bruce January 20, 2017 at 8:25 pm
Sophie Lee January 20, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Hi, I’ve just woken from a terrible nightmare. Me and my partner were on a mattress in a lounge and we had a homeless man with a German Shepherd dog stay with us. By the looks he wud usually have a curtain closed like it was used as a room divider ( the house we were in was our house in the dream but in reality I have never seen it before) the curtain had fell so I asked does he just want to watch TV with us before we fix it. He was happy and asked if he could take a bath first so he did that and his dog jumped up on the sofa ( that wasn’t there before but now the mattress was a sofa) Then I heard banging by the front door n realised someone was trying to Forse there way in so I went and held the door shut and my partner was stood across the hall .. I told him to call the police n he argued with me n got annoyed for some wierd reason then the next minute they put a fire work in the letter box n it shattered the top of the door wich was glass. My partner huffed n puffed n went upstairs while I argued with an idiot group of youths ( its strange cos in reality my partner is the complete opposite and would not have stood for anything like thay happening at all) who had done it for a laugh and when I eventually saw some neighbours I asked them to stand in my door way to keep them out while I go get the phone off my partner and call the police. The first place I checked was the bathroom and there I found the homeless man wrapped in a sleeping bag on the floor .. my partner asleep in a bath full of water but wrapped in a shower curtain and head above water and my 3 year old son under the water as if they had gone to sleep in there it was awful!! I ran screaming into the bath and lifted my son he was blue and I started trying to get him to breath again but as I realised I was doing it wrong ( I was doing what you do to help someone who’s choking) I went to get out to lay him down and do it right but I woke up. I now darent go to sleep n keep checking on my baby boy. Please, if you have any insight on what this could mean I appreciate it. Thankyou .

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Bruce January 20, 2017 at 8:26 pm
Sabrina January 30, 2017 at 11:33 pm

Good Morning.

I am not a parent myself but i did in fact dream of two children being murdered…
the dream began with nothing more then me going to visit a friend, the dream skipped itself from me climbing in the car ti being at his house in split seconds, the person i was visiting we were having some fun watching movies eating pop corn, all of a sudden people that live on the other side of the place start packing there things on his front porch….drinking and going crazy…the friend i was visiting came into the house looking rather upset…i asked his what is wrong, he just walked away so i started following him, we got to the entrance of the property, the friend was walking up and down the whole time, i asked him what is wrong and he said someone murdered the lady that is at his house child right were i was standing, when i turned around to look were, all i saw was a head of a blond child with blue eyes laying right behind me… :( this is were it starts to get weird…i try waking myself up but i couldn’t, i was being held back, paralyzed ( i think it has to do with me trying to wake up during REM sleep )…any who, i was tying to scream, say something but i could not, i could feel i was half awake and moved myself closer to my boyfriend laying on the bed…i fell back into a deep sleep, but this i do not understand, the dream went on, we were walking back from were we came from to his house, but he was way further in front of me, i was hearing a bakkie were he was hearing nothing i was seeing the bakkie were as he as seeing nothing, i turned around and a white bakkie was driving up and down in the road from left to right in circles…but only on one spot, at that point in the dream felt afraid, i started moving closer and closer to the bakkie but while i was doing that the dream i started with, it was fading away behind me, when i got closer to the bakkie, this person driving it was murdering his child…repeatedly driving over his child….the child was as flat as the ground but he just kept on going…..i fell to the ground and could not wake up…i tried so in my dream i started screaming and woke myself up screaming….

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Bruce January 31, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Hi Sabrina,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

you will see from that post that I’m no longer interpreting dreams, but I will comment that “Bakkie” is not part of US Slang, so I had to Google it. Seems you may be writing from South Africa? Now I know it is a “tough/cool car” or a pick-up truck. In any event the root of the word seems to come from an African word meaning bowl or dish. I would consider this a symbol of the Self, that which is able to contain things (like a good mother). Thus a parent hurting their child with their Self might symbolize some way in which the parent you internalized in childhood hurts the child within you? Stuff to work out if you can before you have your own kids.

In any event, wishing you a peaceful life, waking and asleep, as we try to connect around this planet for the good of the planet itself and all the planet’s “children” (kids, adults, animals, oceans) for it seems that we are not taking good care of our world and more and more people seem to be trying to wake up to a better world from the nightmare of humans not understanding how we hurt ourselves when we hurt each other and especially our children

mostly just wishing you well :)

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Cori February 15, 2017 at 7:01 am

Hello, every night when I fall asleep I end up having some sort of nightmare, wake up, go back to sleep, have a similar nightmare with a lot of the same symbols. Last night in the first dream I was diving off a cliff next to a waterfall into clear open water. As I reached the water I noticed a circle of sharks beside where I was going to splash. I hit the water and went under to see 5 or 6 hammerheads coming towards me. I tried to swim away but wasnt fast enough. Then all of a sudden I am this little girl. My mother and father are pulling me out of the water, I’n dead and bloody and they hold me crying wading in the water now with my younger sister. I end up singing something like “Mommy tried, daddy tried but it wasnt quite good enough. Its okay, dont cry for me.”

Thats the end of the first one.

Second dream I was on a beach looking after 5 children. 4 girls and 1 boy. The girls were about 1, 2, 5, and 6. The boy was around 6-8. We were sotting on the beach of a river when the wind picked up and there was a sense of danger. I walked close to the water to see a shadow and the water quivered. I screamed down the river to alert anyone else, “Shaaaaaaark.” I watched animals along the river bank run in fear as the water sloshed angrily at the banks. The shark then emerged. He spoke to me with a slippery evil tongue. He was blue. Like cerulean and had polynesian tribal tattoos on him. I cant remember what he said but I think it was something like “those are some nice kids you got there I’m going to take them from you and eat them on front of you.” I told him no you’re not. Not while I’m around. If he touched one of my kids I would kill him. I had the boy take his 2 older sister out, for some reason the river had a door leading out and to another room like a bedroom to the left. He took his sisters and went into that room. I went to pick up the younger girls. I picked up the one year old and stuck her on my hip. I then grabbed the 2 year old with her towel and all, kind of yanking away from him saying “Ha. These are my girls. You cant have them.” I took my girls and left with them and went into the room to get them into some new clothes. As I went to dress the 2 year old I noticed that she wasnt in the towel at all. It was empty. I counted heads. 1 boy and one, two, three…. Only 3. I rushed back into the room/riverbank as fast as I could but the shark was gone. And so was the river. The river had turned into a hard wood surface and there was blood… I screamed and cried and cried and then woke up bawling.

Mind you these are a bit strange. I love children but I am a very young woman with no children.

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Bruce February 15, 2017 at 10:09 pm
Andrea February 20, 2017 at 12:12 am

Hi I had a dream that my wee sister was kidnapped and I went to look for her and went into a funeral place where they do head stones and I found a little remembering them oddment with my sisters name and some one else’s name which I’m thinking was the name of the person that killed her.

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Bruce February 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Hi Andrea,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

hint to get you started… some inner part of you may resent your little sister, and some other part of you may feel like you were “killed” emotionally in your early life when you were your wee sister’s age. Read the link, breathe in love and think :)

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Francine March 10, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Hello,

I recently had a really disturbing dream last night. I didn’t know what it meant and images from that dream kept on popping up at me through out the day.

It started off with me in a packed concrete, but slowly crumbling village. I was walking through the somewhat empty streets when a man and his daughter came up to me asking for help. Honestly I don’t remember what they had asked, but I do remember saying no and telling them that that was not such a great idea. Then we parted ways. After walking for a bit I entered a small ruined house and made my way into a large dark basement with a high ceiling and random lights all over. Within this basement were a whole bunch of adults cheering on some children. I don’t know if they were their parents or not but they all seemed excited. Everyone was cheering for a child to win a race. Even the children seemed determined as they rushed to the other side carrying large red and black shields. It looked heavy, but not a single child dropped theirs. So there I was watching everyone cheering hollering waiting for a winner when a couple children passed the line and few others didn’t make it in time. I didnt think much of it when the children who lost sat crying that was until a few adults blindfolded their faces with bandages. It was weird and I was confused and felt like something was off but as I watched the adults pulled out drills and put the tip between the bandages and drilled the child, so the only thing you would see was the child’s blood and they were killed.

I became extremely horrified and distraught. Left and right I yelled at them and asked them why they would do something like that. They had told me that it was because they had lost and that was simply it. I realized then that the children were most likely orphans or some family’s missing child. When I had figured that out I had remembered the little girl and her father asking for help. I didn’t want those rotten people to get to the girl, so I ran out of there as fast as I could and started to look for the little girl.

I had found her and her father some way down the street from that very house. I went up to them and promised to help. They quickly followed me as I lead them far from that bloody house. As we tried to leave a few of the adults from the basement started to follow us, so I pushed the two to go faster. We ran as fast as we could to the harbor, where all the boats would be. But once we had arrived I started to notice that the father was missing. It was just me and the girl. I started to panic a little bit and pulled out a gun, watching for anybody or anything that tried to get too close. I don’t know what I had seen but something scared me enough to yell towards the girl and tell her to run. She did and I somehow disappeared.

That’s when I became the little girl and ran through abandoned buildings and the whole island from the adults. I thought I was safe when I came to a single large boulder, but when I had touched it it had moved and a tiny little ball rolled all around it. Then I woke up.

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Bruce March 10, 2017 at 8:52 pm
Desline March 12, 2017 at 11:38 pm

good day

my aunt dream of my daughter being so sick she was laying in the room and she was looking for me but couldn’t find me then when she came back she heard that my daughter has died

please can you help unravel this

regards,
desline

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Bruce March 13, 2017 at 9:38 pm
Nikki jasso March 13, 2017 at 6:37 am

Hi Bruce,
I was reading a little bit of the stories but this nightmare was weird because i dreamt that me and my boyfriend were at a motel with my cousin and we were waiting on a taxi so we could get back to our motel and i went outside to find a gray car with 2 young boys sitting in the back seat, 1 was sitting in the passenger and a man was in the driver seat. I noticed that i knew the 2 boys in the back and the man but i just can’t remember who they r but after i seen the car i noticed both doors on the passenger side open so i looked in and i seen blood all over the backseat so i grabbed the boy closest to the door and he was covered in blood then i looked at my hand and it was also covered in blood so i started yelling “help me help me, call 911” and thats when i woke up. So i am confused on why and what that dream meant

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Bruce March 13, 2017 at 9:39 pm
Jennifer March 22, 2017 at 2:17 am

Help!!! Not a dream more of like a nightmare….

My husband, 3 and 1 year old daughters were at like a aquarium type play yard deal. Everything was going great. We have having a very good time. I walked outside while the girls where playing and my husband was watching them. Next thing I know I hear some gas pipes making noise, I start running back towards the building and I see it blow up not completely but like the windows. I start screaming and before I get there the other windows blew out. It wasn’t burning when I ran in. I seen my husband laying there not moving but I was worried about getting my daughters out. I seen them both laying there lifeless I picked both of them up and carried them outside. Sat them down and try waking them up trying to get the email to come help me and it seemed that they were all worried about trying to help everyone else. Right before I jumped out of bed I remember needing to run in and drag my husband out before the building caught on fire.. can you please give me some insight on this I’m completely freaked out and can not compherehend why I’d have this dream about losing my family.

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Bruce March 23, 2017 at 6:48 am
Charlene louise March 24, 2017 at 8:31 pm

Hi, i had a dream where the doctors phoned me and told me there had been an accident with my 8 yr old at school. She went on to say she had turned black and died. I woke up out of breath. When i got the phone call in the dream i had just started University. I am due to start this september. Do you please know if these are connected please?

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Bruce March 25, 2017 at 7:42 am

Hi Charlene Louise,

http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

a hint to get you stared: think about pain that happened for you when you were 8 years old. Perhaps “turning black” means no longer being seen (i.e. if your parents left or divorced or died when you were a child and left you in shadows of being neglected, sad and invisible). There is a conflict within between innocence and knowledge. Like in the Garden of Eden, we are taught that we are not supposed to know certain things; but we are taught this not by Divine Truth or God but by other humans who benefit from our belief in their story.

Dreams are our own stories, and like the Little Mermaid who deserves legs and a voice, you deserve love and an education.

Especially if you use the education you will earn to give to others, especially all our world’s children.

Finally, actual humans are not really black or white (more like a range from light orange to deep rich brown); in times of hate and distrust and confusion about political correctness vs. actual social justice and equality, you might want to investigate what “turning black” is about for you. Whatever it signifies for you consciously, the part of you you love the most (symbolized by child) has turned a color that signifies death, ashes to ashes, thus perhaps if we all knew that we all “turn black in the end” we might learn to love and live in the unseen truth of equality and justice during this poignant and ephemeral experience called life.

Ultimately perhaps our nightmares teach us something deep about human life: that the worst of it (loss of loved ones, cruelty, abandonment) is a nightmare, but Love is the truest form of waking up.

That sounds a little corny, but at least I’m wishing you All The Best asleep and awake

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Cece March 29, 2017 at 6:23 am

I had a nightmare last night. In my waking life, my children were placed into foster care in 2012. I haven’t been able to speak to my children since last year. In my nightmare, I ran into my oldest son, who at the time looked to be his current age, 11. He was building a rocket ship. He came over and hugged me. He was saying how much he missed me and how much he loves me. I asked him where is his little brother and he wouldn’t answer me. He just kept rubbing his eyes and crying. So I asked him again, where is his little brother. He says “mom, I’m sorry, but he passed away last week”. I broke down. I could hear myself in waking life, screaming no!!!. The scene changed and I noticed two coffins, about the size of my son’s and a coffin the size of an adult. With pictures of my sons laying on top of the small caskets and nothing for the bigger one. The scene switched again and I was yelling at some guy that I don’t know in my waking life, yelling that he killed my sons. He put up with me yelling at him for a while, the he because infuriated and starting pouring liquor all over the place that we were in. I remember saying, “I’ll light it on fire for you. I light the room that I was in on fire and it spread quickly throughout the rooms. I made it out the house and so did that guy. Then I woke up.

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Bruce March 29, 2017 at 8:53 am

Hi Cece,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

but a hint to get you started, perhaps addiction was part of the picture that lead to your boys being taken from you? Perhaps the dream is about you healing to the point where you can allow the grief into consciousness (it is coming from unconscious into awareness through your nightmare, perhaps?)

Perhaps liquor is also “spirit” and thus your true Self, the dreamer who dreams the dream, is showing you that liquor is being transformed into light, and the “bad guy” who didn’t listen (also part of you, but seen as other) is being transformed from Shadow to light.

Also, if you have the patience, I wrote a book truly intended for moms like you, so read a little if you feel inspired:https://www.amazon.com/Privilege-Parenting-Bruce-Dolin-PsyD/dp/0984625755/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490802704&sr=8-1&keywords=bruce+dolin+privilege+of+parenting

Either way wishing you and your entire extended family All Best Wishes asleep and awake, Bruc

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Candace April 4, 2017 at 5:12 am

I had a dream last night that my 3 and 2 year old was taking a bath and for some reason there daddy was in there too but he was getting out. But as he stands up he grabs the hair dryer and starts to dry his hair while standing in the bath. Before I was able to tell him to quit or to tell him to hand it to me he slips and falls with it my 3 year old looks me straight in the eye with this blank face and it electrocuted all of them they were all dead I pulled my kids out and I just rubbed and cried over them and they both woke up but there daddy did die he never woke up. I don’t know why I’m having this dream but I do have a fear of the hair dryer falling in with them so I make it a habbit to put it up after using it now. What could this possibly mean??

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Bruce April 4, 2017 at 10:36 pm

Hi Candace,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

one hint to get you started… could you possibly be feeling some anger toward your husband? This is normal, as family life and parenting is very challenging. If you can be more conscious about all your feelings you may likely not need another dream like this

Best of luck no matter what :)

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Corissa April 4, 2017 at 9:24 pm

Hi Bruce,
I had a dream that my 8 month old son became seriously ill and my husband and I knew he was going to die soon. We didn’t want to put him through the treatment because we felt it was too traumatic and would just cause him too much suffering so we decided that instead we would take him to the beach and when he fell asleep for his nap we would bury him in the sand. So we did. After we burried him a group of our friends walked by and we talked to them for about 10 minutes as if nothing had just happened. After they left we talked about how sad we were and how we just wanted to go to sleep and forget everything. As soon as I laid my head on the sand to go to sleep I realized what I had done and freaked out that we had just buried our son alive. I dug him back up and he was totally fine and alive just still sleeping and taking his nap. I hugged and kissed him apologizing for ever doing that and that was the end of the dream.

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Bruce April 4, 2017 at 10:38 pm

Hi Corissa,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

on hint to get you started, perhaps sand and burying represent the unconscious? Parenting is very stressful, and so perhaps your wish is for a little rest, like putting your child back in the womb, or in the not-yet-born state of potential life which does not generally wake us up in the night the way real babies and bad dreams do

In any event wishing you and your family all the best :)

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Stacey April 8, 2017 at 6:38 am

Read through lots of the dreams above and your interpretations/comments.
Last night I had a very short dream it seemed, like only 5 minutes or so. We were in our church fellowship hall and it was my little brother and sister’s birthday; they are twins. I am a middle child. My sis is wearing a wedding dress, no veil. My brother is dressed up for church and the party. They are celebrating their 35th birthday. The party is going fine but I don’t participate, I’m sitting in a pew in back, not feeling well but working with my hands on a craft project that we will need at an upcoming church service. I’m ready to just go and I keep wanting the party to be over so we won’t be late for the next event.

No one hears a car or gunshot or any noise, but all of a sudden I hear my friend yell out, “is that my child?!” We all turn to the back and a group of people have lifted up my 8 year old nephew’s body’s in the air, and are carrying him down the aisle to the front of the church (the scene changes from the hall to the church). There is a waterfall of dark blood gushing out of his stomach as they carry him up and lay him at the front of the church. His face is very peaceful and he’s smiling warmly. The large crowd from the party are all gathered around my nephew -a mixture of family and church members. No one is praying or fearful as if everyone collectively knows there’s no way to save him because of the massive wound and blood loss. My sister n law (twin little brother’s wife) is short but finally looks through the crowd and sees that the child is their 8 year old son. I don’t see her face as I’m sill in a pew in the back, but I see her completely slump over and faint. Another church member pulls a dark blanket over my nephew’s body and face slowly. Then I wake up.

Any insight you may share is greatly appreciated..

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Bruce April 8, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Hi Stacey,

I know you said you read some of the comments, but please see:

http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

All Best Wishes :)

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Lashanta hollis April 23, 2017 at 12:09 am

I had a dream I was at work. I left my desk to go talk to my supervisor. Then I was somewhere else. I walked is and saw several people carrying a body. I looked over and it was my 6 yr old daughter. I took her body from them and just cried with her in my arms.

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Bruce April 23, 2017 at 7:55 am

Hi Lashanta,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

A hint to get you started… think “inner supervisor” of yourself and “child part of yourself” and “ego self” as the one in-between who is doing her best to manage the conflicts between being their for the children (inner and outer) and dealing with how to make a living without it killing the kids, the soul, love and whatever is truly most important to us

All Best Wishes :)

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Rebecca April 24, 2017 at 5:29 am

Hello. Last night I had a dream about a child (the child in my dream was mine but I don’t have this child in real life). She was about 1 year old and I saw her start to have a seziure and she died. Then my husband had a bunch of people over but I was over come with guilt that I could not save my child that I got angry and left. As I was walking down the street a guy kept bumping into me. I turned around to ask him to stop as I was still sobbing and he grabbed me. I punched him in the face a couple times to get him away from me and he fell on the ground and started choking. Then someone ran over to him I grabbed a nurse who just happened to be there and she said I did what I had to do. Then I woke up. 8 don’t understand what the meaning of this dream would be if you could help that would be amazing

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Bruce April 25, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Hi Rebecca,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

a hint to get you started… the child could be your innocent self and the face you punch could be the false self (the mask we wear/our persona), or something like that; think about how the different aspects of yourself are both aggressive (the critical voice/survival voice) and another part gets hurt. If you stand up to a bully that is good in our bully society; but if the bully is our own self, then a deeper understanding of our mixed emotions might help us develop into a more integrated personality. If enough of us managed to support each other to do this, we might have a kinder sort of society and less nightmares (asleep as well as awake).

All Best Wishes in any event :)

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Laura April 30, 2017 at 6:06 pm

For over a month I have had a reaquering nightmare about my 2 year old. Some nights she’s just kidnapped others she’s kidnapped and raped. But in every one she died. These nightmares don’t end when i wake up, I’ll be at work at my mind will bring up a senerio where she’s in danger and i can’t help her.

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Bruce May 2, 2017 at 8:52 pm
Zach May 7, 2017 at 8:57 pm

I recently was at a club and there was a shooting, a young man was shot and I was the first person there to try and help, he died right there as I was holding his head and applying pressure to his wound, been about a month and I’m having very vivid dreams about my son dying a horrible death, this happens everynight and day and I’m getting no rest, I’m not sure what to do but I feel terrible like it’s all my fault. Any ideas?

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Bruce May 7, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Hi Zach,

If I understand you correctly there was an actual shooting in waking life and you are now having nightmares about your son dying.

If the club was a nightmare as well please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

(and even so, this link might be helpful in understanding the nightmares you are now having).

However, it sounds like you might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While you would need to meet with a doctor to confirm this, my idea would be to tell your general doctor about what happened and what you are now experiencing.

Hopefully you have healthcare as, at least for now, mental health issues are covered just as are physical conditions.

Ask your doc, your friends or internet search for therapists in your area who treat PTSD. I believe you might even qualify for free treatment as a victim (or vicarious victim) of a crime. In Los Angeles there is a program to check out: http://www.connectingmentalhealth.com/victims-of-crime.html

Maybe they can make suggestions for your area/situation.

You might get a chance to heal a few things of your own through this work, such as other traumas from the past, or maybe just get some support for you being a parent and living in a world where someone could die in your arms at a club.

Carl Jung talks about our own dark aspects and calls this “Shadow” and if you’re interested in how we’re all in this together consider an old post of mine: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2011/09/07/shadow-work/

Finally, my parenting book draws many examples from the work I did in the past with group home kids, many of whom were struggling to come to terms with not only abandonment but traumatic violence as well

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bruce+dolin+privilege+of+parenting&x=0&y=

Certainly wishing you well, and hoping our world becomes less violent in waking life and in our dreams

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Jessica May 10, 2017 at 5:43 am

My husband had a dream that he found his adult son in our lake with a gunshot to his chest.
In reality, he and his son are not speaking (his son’s choice). His son is seeing his own adult foster sister. They were raised together as siblings and this is unacceptable to my husband and myself. If that’s not bad enough, she had a son when she was 14 and he too was being raised as their sibling. Now he is calling himself that child’s father (the child has already been adopted by his son’s mother and stepfather).
Obviously, my husband is upset about the above. I don’t know any other details of the dream except he woke up after seeing him in the lake.
Can you interpret please?
Thank you

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Bruce May 11, 2017 at 6:38 am

Hi Jessica,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

A couple of hints to get you started… Lake could symbolize the unconscious (i.e. what’s not yet in full conscious awareness); the son could symbolize the “child” or “treasured” aspect of the dreamer’s self, and thus reflect the state it is in (heart-destroyed, but no longer hidden below the water). The water could also symbolize emotion or tears; also the Mother or source of life…

Given that your son clearly does not feel understood (hint: he feels rejected so he is rejecting; he feels he has no family so he is creating one, or trying to) and that you are trying to help a husband who may be stubborn and himself feel misunderstood, unappreciated, unloved and/or disrespected, and that you are the one searching for the meaning of your husband’s dream, you to are in a sort of waking nightmare where the loved parts of yourself are not loving each other. This must tear you apart as well.

So… sending compassion and support that you may all realize that the inability to forgive the past keeps us stuck in the past; and that it would be an act of love for you guys, as the grown-ups, to do the real reach-out to the son by expressing that you finally understand how HE feels, as he’s clearly not yet ready to listen to how you guys feel.

For support on deepening understanding of your child it’s never too late to read a sincere parenting book; the irony is we don’t have time for the books when we’re parenting and when we have time it may feel like it’s too late. It’s not too late as the boy is still alive and the father too. The dream may be saying that it’s time to deal with this as we do not live forever.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bruce+dolin+privilege+of+parenting&x=0&y=0

Finally, the son shot in the father’s dream may show that the father is so angry his inner dreamer shoots the boy, and then his ego looks on dumbly and has no idea who did it.

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Nosta May 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

I just woke up from a dream where I was in some sort of aquatic park on top of a tall tower where you wait your turn for the slides with many other people..While waiting on top along with many people I happened to see someones child probably 2 year old with nothing on but a diaper walking off an opening of the rail and falling off to the pool ! I was scared I couldnt do nothing to stop the child from jumping I was not close. I saw everything happening but couldnt stop it everything happened so fast! After the child not making it to the pool but instead making it to the pavement I remember seeing how its head deattched from its body and its head shattering and blood.. I remember all the people screaming and crying and I felt scared couldn’t move. This dream pretty much woke me up ! Very traumatic. what could it mean?

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Bruce May 21, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Hi Nosta,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

If after you read that you still truly have questions please send a follow-up comment

Thanks!

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Nosta May 21, 2017 at 5:44 pm

I read everything thanks for that article very useful and sorry for not noticing that you are not responding to dreams anymore haha I wrote this half asleep as soon as I had that horrible dream

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Bruce May 21, 2017 at 11:05 pm

Hi Nostra,

Thanks for reading! And definitely wishing all the best, asleep and awake :)

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Ahum anchild May 26, 2017 at 6:03 am

I am not a parent, but I’ve lately had dreams where many children, some I don’t think I know, are killed. Methods of death usually delivered by featureless human-like frames. These methods include heavy objects contacting children’s skulls, suffocating kids, and just dropping kids off of high places. During these dreams my movements freeze up. I don’t wake suddenly, but slowly. That part really bothers me, as I have to keep watching those horrifying scenes until my eyes are completely open. I have 3 siblings, everything I enjoy is family friendly and I listen to classical music. I also live in a supportive and healthy family. Due to all of that I’m pretty sure it’s not media ruining my mind. I’ve got major social anxiety and these nightmares are not helping me overcome them.

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Bruce May 26, 2017 at 7:13 pm

Hi Ahum,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

a hint to get you started: you have diagnosed yourself with anxiety. Anxiety is about avoiding things and feeling relief and then doing even more avoiding. Your dream is exposing you to the things you fear, the “children” are your innocent and vulnerable self and the nightmare scares you but shows you that you wake up and fear is not in itself deadly.

If you let someone help you with your anxiety you will perhaps end your nightmares and your waking life will get better too

Certainly wishing you all the best!

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Ahum anchild May 29, 2017 at 5:20 am

Thank you

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Nicole June 17, 2017 at 12:10 am

Been reading through the individual dreams and unable to match one my heartbreaking dream. I can only recall watching/looking at my daughter’s face being shot with a gun. I don’t know who held the gun ie me or someone else, I just woke up in fright/sense of horror. My daughter (and only child) is 21 months old now.

What is the meaning of this dream?

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Bruce June 19, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Hi Nicole,

Not sure if you read this link, but please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

a hint to get you started, perhaps the face symbolizes the mask we show the world and with the unconscious graphically destroying the “child self” and particularly the “face of the child” the symbolic meaning could be that your identification with your child self (and whatever that means to you, victim, innocent, free spirit, prisoner?) must die for your evolving identity as a fully grown-up woman to become your new face?

All Best Wishes in any event :)

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Teresa June 17, 2017 at 2:13 pm

I have been dreaming of my daughter who is 24 as a young child for weeks now. However my most recent dream is what concern me the most. We are kayaking. Water is clear. I get out of my kayak to use the restroom. She is about 7. My boyfriend pushes her through a rapid and the kayak flips end over end and the current hold the kayak and her under the water and of course she is drowning. I am trying to run to get to her as I am on the bank at the time. The water is clear. I wake up crying. Please let me know!

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Bruce June 19, 2017 at 9:02 pm

Hi Teresa,

Please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

you might also read some of the dreams at: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/that-sinking-feeling%E2%80%94dreams-about-children-drowning/

yes, it would take a bit of work, but perhaps you could consider the symbolic meaning for you of water (the unconscious? Flow too powerful to stop, like sex, love, nature?) and perhaps your boyfriend represents the part of you who resents your child for some reason? Perhaps the dream represents how YOU felt when you were a child, and the wish to emerge from the unconscious lack of awareness of either harm you experienced or feelings of aggression within yourself that are not comfortable to acknowledge?

You must be the interpreter, but certainly wishing you all the best with it :)

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Lorie June 27, 2017 at 3:53 am

I just had a dream where my 9 year old is 12 and dies in a car accident. In the dream i try to hold it together but at some point i start to ball my eyes out an cant hold it in any longer. Then i got woke up by the alarm clock. Any ideas?

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Bruce June 28, 2017 at 10:40 pm
Elizabeth Gonzalez July 15, 2017 at 11:49 pm

Hello,
How can I start this. My sister which is the 2nd youngest out of the 5. Last year she had a dream that my daughter died she was 4 at that time. My mom calls me at my job maybe two days later and tells me what would I do if Abby dies which is my daughter because she had a dream as well. Now to mention to you my sisters and mom have dreams before it happens. I cried like she was gonna already my body got so weak that I lost balance and fell to the floor. I couldn’t breath. In April 27 2017 my sisters ad a dream that mom our mom passed away and our brother was really sick this year. She didn’t know how soon our mother was going to be gone and our brother is really ill. Our mother passed away in April 30th 2017. She kind of had a third eye. Where she dreams about something is happening and it happen. Our brother is okay. He is ill but not as ill as my sister dream. My sister calls me on Friday morning and tells me Abby is going to die. I was like what happen. My sister told me that I was pregnant with a girl and that Abby died it was like a life for a life. That I was crying an screaming I’m sorry I’m sorry. Please I need help. I need to know what’s that reason she had that dream. If my daughter dies I don’t know what I would do. She is my miracle baby girl. I have a son as well. They love each other.

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Elizabeth Gonzalez July 15, 2017 at 11:56 pm

Sorry I just read your link. Thank you

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Bruce July 21, 2017 at 11:07 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks so much for reading :)

Certainly sending all best wishes

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Katie August 9, 2017 at 7:00 am

I have had 3 dreams that are very similar and they freak me out, when my daughter was about 9 moths old I had a dream her dad chocked her to death, a few weeks later he threw me out and took her away from me and slandered my name saying I abused her, I had a dream he drowned her, and then I just woke up from this horrible dream that him and I were still together, living in a bad place with her she is a year and a half, I walked into the bathroom I am assuming he had just gave her a bath because she was naked I told him I needed to move because it was a bad place and when I looked up at my daughter and I realized he was choking her to death and I grabbed her I ran into the kitchen to grab the phone and tried to call 911 but I couldn’t get the numbers right and she was dying in my arms and I could feel her bones broken in her ribs and her shoulders and then I woke up and I couldn’t breathe.. any idea what this could mean?

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Bruce August 14, 2017 at 10:30 pm
Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:26 pm

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