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
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?
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
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BABY 7MOS IN SUITCASE; MOVIES, RIVER, PIGS AND COWS
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..
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
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2 YR OLD SUDDENLY DEAD
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 :(
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
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2 1/2 BECOMES 7 DYING BUT DANCING
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???
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.
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DEAD 3 YR OLD, INDIFFERENT GRANDMA
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
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 :)
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.
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3 YR OLD SNAKE, EGG, CHURCH, BURIED CHILD IN GARDEN (SICK GRANDFATHER)
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.
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.
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.
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
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3 YR OLD KID KILLED WITH BAT
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!
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.
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3 YR OLD LIFELESS IN STRANGE RED BRICK HOUSE
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.
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.
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3 YR OLD RUN OVER
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….
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…
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4 YR OLD TWIN KIDNAPPED AND KILLED
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!!
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.
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DEFLATING 4 YEAR OLD
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
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.
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5 YR OLD DIES AT OFFICE PARTY
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..
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
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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
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.
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
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.
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
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9 YR OLD CHILD DIES AND IN BAG (WOMB), KIDNAPPED, DENIAL
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.
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.
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.
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11 YEAR OLD HAS TO DIE (LIKE SACRIFICE)
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
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
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BOY FALLS DOWN HILL BREAKS SPINE
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!
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.
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
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GIRL SHOT IN NECK
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?
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!