That Sinking Feeling—Dreams about Children Drowning

August 4, 2013

Below you will find a thread of dreams from youngest to older children involving water and drowning.  This is the most common category of nightmares I have received from parents so at the very least you are not alone in this nightmare.

Some theories of dreaming include the notion that our brains naturally experience a sinking feeling in our sleep and perhaps we create a water scenario to explain our experience to ourselves.  Further, if we somehow know we are not in water, it might make sense to “explain” the sensation to ourselves by imagining that our child (a part of us we care so much about) might be sinking and that is why we feel the way we do, even though we are asleep.

Beyond the science of dreaming we might then delve into the art of interpretation, with water itself being an apt symbol of our own unconscious…

[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.]

MOM DYING FOR BABY

Erika February 8, 2013 at 1:14 am [edit]

Dear Bruce,
I just recently had my first child four months ago an I can’t seem to stop having nightmares. It is really starting to affect me an I don’t know what to think about them. My most recent dream was last night and I was on some beach with cliffs and an a walkway. I was the guide to help people cross the part of the beach where it was dangerous. The waves would come in small but out of no where come in huge and engulf that whole section. It was like a bowl sort of. I started walking with my son in my arms an we got across an into this cave. We were safe and out of nowhere the cave entrance started to fill up with water. I looked at my son an he began crying I tried to swim up but we got surrounded with water. As the cave was filling to the top I could see my son face underwater screaming an then starting to go limp so I began to suck air into him an take the water out even though we were both submerged. The next thing I know I see my son at the top of this hill laying limp in my arms an I start screaming an suddenly my friends an family come an grab him from my arms an hes ok an I’m dead an looking down at my body. I keep having dreams were my son falls into a body of water an starts to drown an I jump to save him an I can’t he will drown or I drown. Any insight would be appreciated this is the fourth dream that has dealt with water. Thank you

REPLY

Bruce February 8, 2013 at 11:40 am [edit]

Hi Erika,

I am sorry you are having these nightmares, however, I thank you for sharing them with me. After reading so many of these, combined with my years of clinical work, perhaps some patterns are emerging, at least to me.

It seems the most common dreams have water and drowning or else falling and flying. You are having both. The sensations of falling or weightlessness, as well as dropping down, going deep or drowning, seem to be naturally generated by the brain. In ancient times the visionaries, or shamans, saw the universe as having three levels: upper (the spirit world, flying); normal (waking reality); and lower (the underworld, drowning, hellish experience).

In seeking rational AND compassionate understanding, perhaps the brain generates sensations and then the mind makes up stories to make sense of the sensations. Vaguely knowing that you are not actually drowning, but feeling like you are, your mind comes up with stories to make sense of the sensations.

And while there may be no actual danger to you or your baby, the WAY the mind makes a story offers possible insights into your worries and fears.

My first question might be about what life was like when you were newly born and particularly around four months. Did your mom have an illness, a post-partum depression, did her mom get sick or die?

The imagery of you crossing a narrow cliff between water and land could symbolize that liminal space between inner and outer reality, the place where dreams as well as myth, art, religion and mysticism happen.

You cast yourself as guide and protector, but perhaps when you were a baby you needed a guide and protector. Perhaps you felt like you were drowning in infancy (did you struggle with asthma, pneumonia, a bad-bathtub experience?)

You may not have access to conscious memory about your early infancy, however you may carry the tracings of trauma. You might have some wish to return to the womb (a cave filled with water) and have life breath (spirit) breathed into you by the Mother you have now become. Maybe this dream is about healing some deep wounds of the past, about dying as the mother you once had to be born again as the child you now have, your ego-self serving as conduit between selves, states of mind, states of consciousness?

Perhaps your mom was a little narcissistic, the sort who “sucks the air out of a room,” and you are imagining a way to put the air back in the treasured baby, a symbol of your newly emerging self in a sort of archetypal baptism or rebirth not by patriarchal magic but by matriarchal compassion and sacrifice—not the son dying tragically for man, but the mom dying tragically for baby.

Know that these are symbols, not predictions of disaster. They are, if not random, more likely to be ways of remembering past trauma than crystal balls into pending doom.

I hope these ideas result in you having better dreams. Feel free to let me know how it goes.

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^

3 MOS DROWNING

Jessica March 23, 2013 at 12:17 am [edit]

Hi Bruce

I been having dreams for the past couple days about my 3 month old baby boy the first one was of him being taken away dead, I don’t remember the others, but yesterday I had one of him drowning, and tonight again for some reason I was in a car and the car de railed in to a lake or river deep and we landed I grabbed my baby and got out the car swam to ah house with a dad and mom that I did not know, but my brother was there and as I thought I saved my son coming to find out it was a doll baby I grabbed then I went in the water again and grab who I thought was my baby and came out and I told my brother this does not look like my baby so I look out and my baby was there in a boat or the car don’t really remember but he fell in the water andi can hear him crying but for some reason all I can do is tell a woman that was there to get him help please but I couldn’t to help my son as he drowned so I kept yelling right there right there get my baby and then I wake up and my baby is sleeping next to me so I just burst in tears…. I hate this dreams there so hurtful please help calm myself… Thank you

REPLY

Bruce March 23, 2013 at 7:46 am [edit]

Hi Jessica,

As you can see above, many moms (and some dads) are having similar dreams, so you are not alone. Perhaps there is no official meaning, but we are story-makers so we make dreams up a a natural thing; and we are worriers, it helps keep us alive and helps us protect our children. So perhaps there are several viable ways to think about this terrible dream (and if we “get it right” we will know because you won’t have that dream again).

First hypothesis: your brain, like all of our brains, is prone to generate random firings of neurons when asleep. Some wonder if this moves memory from short term storage to long-term (which is another way of saying consolidate learning). From ancient times mothers need to know to protect babies, this is instinct. Perhaps we “practice” saving them from danger in our sleep so we can be better at saving them if any actual danger arises… perhaps it “puts us on our toes” against danger?

In any event, the random firings of neurons often makes us feel as if we are either floating or sinking. Our brains seem to turn this into flying and falling, up in sky or sinking down into water or earth. This may be the biological basis for our myths of spirit worlds and underworlds.

We are spiritual beings, us humans, and this may be partly about how much we love our children, and how we expand our sense of self through them… and the great gift and beauty of this has a shadow side, the possibility of loss. The loss of a child, even in our dreams or imagination, is so terrible that perhaps it turns us either neurotic or spiritual (or both).

In more psychological terms, the baby could represent the baby part of yourself, and this could mean that inside you feel a little trapped, overwhelmed, symbolically drowning in emotion (hormones, attachment, sleep deprivation, joy and also dealing with the primitive rage and hunger of a baby).

If parenting makes you angry, which is natural, but forbidden to our idealized image of ourselves as super-parents of love, love, love… then the dark secret sneaks out as a dream of harm or loss. This is hard to look at, but the looking at it tends to dispel the bad dreams, and link us to each other as grown-ups in the honest admission that we love our kids, but they vex and deplete us sometimes.

Perhaps in the old-old days the clan was better able to support moms, as parenting is really too much for one parent alone to do optimally.

In your dream the “brother” would be the male part of you who could help, and the new mother and father could be the parents not that you had but that you are becoming. Symbolically, the child (or our identification with the helpless child, victim) must die for our Self to be born as a more full grown-up.

Beyond symbols of loss, growth and change, it is possible that you actually had a difficult early life. In this case your baby and all the love you have may trigger pre-verbal memories about what it felt like to be you as a newborn, and that might have felt scary and overwhelming. This leads to feeling less secure in life, but parenting is a way you may become more secure… by giving what you did not get.

Finally, just as you try to sort out real baby from doll in the dream, our little interchange here may be in the service of sorting out the past from the present, emotion/fear from reality (which is that your baby is safe right now).

As parents we need to be able to hold our own feelings and those of our children (the Great Mother kindness of vast love, but this is like the car trying to hold the lake, or a thimble trying to hold an ocean sometimes); and we have to be able to have limits, boundaries, firmness (the mother bear fierce that is part of nature).

This is hard, and this is worth it; for this we need each other as humans who care about each other and support each other and each other’s children.

Hope you have lots of love around you and that your child is kept safe and secure and happy as a result of it.

All Best

^ * * * ^

8 MOS SCARY WATER RIDE (LOST ARM)

REPLY

Chris June 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm [edit]

Hi Bruce,
I had a dream my family (my wife and our 8 month old baby and I) were like visiting a resort by the water (more like a sea or an ocean) and they had like children’s ride and there was this ride specifically for babies. Our son was crawling around and he crawled into a pod. Once he got it, it activated and moved along the outside of the room and made sounds and then disappeared behind the wall with like a smoke effect and came out on the other side of the room. baby really liked it. my wife went away, maybe 100 yards only. but baby was crawling around again and ended up getting back on a ride. so again he went along the room in that pod and when he went behind the wall …and I was wondering what the ride looks like behind the wall. when he came out from behind the wall on the other side of the room…but he no longer was in a pod and had a very concerned look on his face. and just as he started crying I realized what was wrong…his left arm was cut off. I started screaming and ran and picked up the baby and the arm and was ready to run…but then I woke up.
this freaked me out so much I didn’t even tell my wife about this dream. Please help me understand ….thank you!

REPLY

Bruce June 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm [edit]

Hi Chris,

Of course this does sound upsetting, but perhaps if you think about it as a window into your own unconscious, pre-verbal (i.e. around when you were 8 months old) experience it will prove illuminating and healing.

You are near the water, which is a symbol of emotions (tears, the feminine principle and the Great Mother, particularly the sea). In other words you and your family situation are, in the dream, in psychological relationship to your own time of being the baby.

The “pod” could be a symbol of the womb, or of a cocoon-like place where one retreats in order to transform into the next stage of ourselves. At first it is fun, but when the mother goes away (and even a hundred yards is miles to a baby) things get difficult. The “wall” could symbolize conscious and unconscious, thus the baby goes into the out of sight/out of mind place where perhaps you felt that you were as a little baby.

The “left” side could be a sort of pun, that you felt “left” by your mom, or other caregivers, and this injured you terribly, the cut-off arm symbolizes just how bad the injury might have felt (sort of a dazed, “Saving Private Ryan” D-Day/B-Day horror at landing in this life?).

You pick up the baby (your symbolic self) and you pick up the severed left arm (the part of you that was “left” behind) and you hold both parts, in horror, but also in consciousness.

Perhaps you could use your imagination to picture, cartoon-like, re-attaching the baby’s arm, and magically healing and protecting the baby, and promising it that whether or not you felt safe as a child, you are going to take good care of both your real child, but also your imagined child. Too complicated to explain here, but doing this sort of imagination can prove very healing, literally, to the brain, giving you a new sense of safety, playfulness, empowerment and enhancing your ability to trust and connect with others.

Hope this helps. All Good Wishes

^ * * * ^

8 MOS BECOMES 2 MOS IN WATER AND ICE

RiverLee February 5, 2013 at 4:18 am [edit]

Your article came very timely although today is Feb. 5, 2013. I woke disturbed by a long, invoked dream of searching at length for my son, now eight months old, but much younger when I finally found him in the dream. He was probably two months old or less when I heard his cries and finally found him in a toy chest in an open plastic bag with ice (some melted to water) and fire starter fluid. I screamed at the top of my lungs, ‘Who did this? !!!” Over and over again while running frantically back up stairs and through rooms with people from my past just staring back at me shaking their heads. I ended the dream by sitting down in bed to breastfeed and nurture his icy cold fingers and toes… then woke up with him sleeping quite peacefully in my arms. I was terrified, but after reading your words, I realized a part of me was probably very hurt before I could remember when my mom went back to work after six months maternity leave and left me under the care of grandparents. I think the dream led me through an entire gamut of unconscious hurt and pqin layers throughout my life starting with my present fear of feeling vulnerable to being attacked at night and isolated from loved ones through the levels of the house and different people/scenarios associated with my mom and our broken bond all the way back to younger than two months old. I cries after reading your post to relieve old pain and for happy relief my own baby is a miracle who keeps teaching me more about commission every day… and night!

REPLY

Bruce February 5, 2013 at 6:54 am [edit]

Hi RiverLee,

I am so pleased to read your words, to see how you were able to work with the imagery of your dream to better understand your fear and past hurts. By sharing your words you connect with me and with other readers who can relate all to well to these themes, perhaps more able to treasure the blessings of those we love, and of love itself. Maybe we can even think about our fears in some new way: as impetus to awaken to love and to our shared condition in which we all truly want the best for our children (which is also, symbolically, the eternally emerging aspect of our selves, individual and collective).

All Best Wishes

REPLY

^ * * * ^

1 YEAR OLD SWEPT TO SEA

Crystal May 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm [edit]

Hello, I need help with my nightmares. It seems like here recently they have become more frequent but has kept around the same amount of intensity. My dreams are always about my children dying. I am a fearful mother at times (sometimes I am cool with them just doing their own thing outside, except baby) but having dreams about my children dying, particularly my youngest, which is 1, is really stating to get to me. This afternoon I laid down for a nap. I don’t remember anything before looking at a new home and almost talking to a real estate agent (they were busy talking to another client at this home). Next thing I remember is taking a cab to the next town? over, even though we had our own car. We made it there, got dropped of at a Chinese restaurant and being the only customers there. We never made it past the fish tank, which used to be full of fish but now only had one. When we decided to go home,we realized we couldnt afford a taxi back cause it was expensive to get there. We were thinking if we can just get back into town, we can walk from where ever to get to our car. We ended up stealing a car. (I have never stolen a car a day in my life). We drove back into the town we lived in, the nearest place we could stop in the town we lived in was at the beach. We got out, got the carseats out, our stuff etc. Went walking along the beach sidewalk, down the stairs that usually would lead us into the sandy shoreline but this day was different. The water was high, I had my both my little girls hands, my fiancee had my sons hand and was higher on the stairway than me and the girls. A wave came in and swept my baby girl away. I saw her underwater facing up and looking at me as she was taken into the ocean. I just stood there and thought to myself ” She can be anywhere in this water.”, deeply, deeply saddened. Then I woke up and realized that I might have a nightmare issue since this is not my first go around here recently about having a dream about my kids dying. Please help me. I am on well my way to my breaking point about these dreams. They hurt me on the inside alot. I dont want to feel those feelings anymore.
P.S.- No im not suicidal, just am fed up with the way I feel during the dreams. I.E., the saddness, the emotional grief.
Regards, Crystal

REPLY

Bruce May 8, 2013 at 9:16 pm [edit]

Hi Crystal,

While you have a lot of content here, I’ll make a few guesses at some of the central symbols and hope it sparks your own creativity and Self-exploration.

The houses towns could symbolize different feelings you might have or different “selves” or states of mind. You are looking at a new house, suggesting a wish to come to a new feeling; going to another town could be another way of saying the same thing.

You acknowledge painful feelings, so this dream might mostly be about your search for better feelings, symbolized by water (grief, sorrow, tears, the unconscious).

A lone fish in a tank could further the symbol of your feeling all alone in your sadness, like Alice drowning in her own tears in Wonderland.

You steal a car (not something you would actually do) and this could show that you don’t feel that you can get free, or get a new chance by honest means (suggesting perhaps that past hurts feel like they limit your forward progress).

You go to a “beach sidewalk” which could symbolize an ability to walk alongside the great water (ocean, mother, deep or collective unconscious). The “water is high” perhaps meaning feelings are very big and menacing.

Your fiance would symbolize your own masculine aspect, your higher or analytic thinking when you feel overwhelmed by feeling. Being “higher on the stair” could symbolize this higher consciousness or better view of the situation.

Your baby girl would symbolize your own infant Self, the overwhelmed part of you that felt swept out to sea, perhaps by the emotions of your own life when you were 1 or younger. She is “facing up” meaning perhaps that there is some strange optimism hidden in this seeming tragedy (i.e. “things are looking up”).

Perhaps you too are “looking up” the meaning of your dream, paying attention to your thoughts, feelings and the likely sorrows of the past (which feel like they keep repeating).

If the dream is suggesting that you may be depressed (recurring bad dreams, sadness and emotional grief) perhaps seeking some sort of direct therapeutic help would support you to be happier, and that is always good for our children.

Certainly hoping these ideas help, and that you start to have better dreams.

All Best

^ * * * ^

16 MOS OLD–CHILDREN DROWNING IN HOT TUB (ALSO MOM CHASED BY STRANGERS)

REPLY

Kayla December 21, 2012 at 11:07 am [edit]

I could really use some help determining why I have been having these terrible dreams. I literally can’t remember the last good, positive dream I had…. I’ve been having these terrible dreams for the past 6 months or so. A lot of times I have nightmares that someone is trying to kill me. I’m being chased, completely terrified in my dreams. Something I have noticed in a lot of those dreams is a door. Not the same door but often it involves me trying to secure a door so that they can’t get in and every time there is something wrong with the door. Either it is very flemsy and they could just push in a part of it and climb in, or I cant get it to shut all the way or the locks are messed up and wont lock, and im always panicking b/c if they get in they will kill me.
The other even more terrifying dreams I have are about my children. I have a 5 month old and an almost 16 month old. Most of them have been about my older child. In a recent dream, He was staying with his Grandmother. I wasn’t sure what had happened to him, but he was rushed to the hospital and when I got there I found out he had died. Of course I broke down and was freaking out. My dream went on to days following his death and I was greiving and just could not accept what had happened and was crying to my family. Everyone was acting like I shouldnt be upset. Like it wasnt a big deal….and I would try to tell them how sad and completely devistated I was…?
Last Night I dreamed that both of my boys were staying at there Grandmothers house (same Grandmother as the one I just told you about) and I went over to her house to pick them up and no one was there…..I was walking through the house looking for them and came to this room with a hot tub in it and my babies were in there drowning. I jumped in and got them both out but my 5 month old kept falling back in. From what I remember they did not die. When she came home I was furious and freaking out…..and thats everything I can remember of that dream.
This is just a couple of the dreams ive had. Like I said before, I have them very frequently. If you could please try to help me understand why I have these nightmares. I hate it, it stresses me out so bad and I wake up exhausted because I feel like ive been through a real tragedy. Please help. Thank you so much!

REPLY

Bruce December 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm [edit]

Hi Kayla,

Given that these nightmares are recurring and that they onset around when you were nine months pregnant with your second child, it raises the question about how your life was when you were just born and in the first year or so.

Perhaps your mom had a difficult pregnancy, or maybe there were stresses or losses in the family coinciding with your birth? This would make sense given the symbols in the dream, and it would make sense that it would all be terribly confusing for you if the trauma your body carries, which was triggered into consciousness by having your own babies, originally occurred at a time before we even have memories in the way we think of memory as grown-ups (around 18 months and older).

The door might symbolize how you felt unable to have a safe boundary when you were little. The door is flimsy and you are not protected. This could mean psychological intrusion not necessarily physical.

The fact that grandmother neglects the children suggests deeply held feelings of abandonment.

The hot tub could be a symbol of the womb, and your wish to rescue yourself from feelings of unwantedness stemming that far back. It would be hard for your mom to acknowledge if you were a wanted pregnancy, but it seems like you might at least feel neglected and unwanted—and to a child that feels like dying.

If you can realize that this is no longer about your mom or grandparents or dad or even about your babies, it is more about how the inner parent or great parent figures are in no real relationship with the inner child. You, and your conscious psyche, fishing the children out of the unconscious waters, is the mom bringing all the parts, dark and light, together into consciousness.

In the first dream your feelings of loss and grief are minimized and denied. It would make sense that your unconscious wants to be understood in your feelings of loss and grief SO that you can heal and move on.

Perhaps deeper insight into your pain, anger, loss and sorry will help transform the dreams, which are like a teacher (when the lesson is grasped, the dreams move on to the next lesson).

If the bad feelings or dreams continue, you might like to look at a book on healing trauma by Peter Levine: http://bit.ly/VhabtM

Meanwhile, All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^

2 YR OLD OF MOM WITH NIGHT TERRORS “INLOVED WATER”

REPLY

Amy October 12, 2012 at 6:31 am [edit]

Hi, I’ve read through all the other posts and I can see how you arrive at your interpretations. I keep having the same type of night mare about son who will be 2 this December. All of them involve water, sometimes he’s running off a cliff in water, sometimes we are in car that crashes into water, sometimes the ground beneath our feet just turns into water. But it’s always water and one of us always dies, sometimes me, sometimes him, but ne’er both of us and both of us never live.

When I was kid growing I always had night terrors and they always in loved water too. My night terrors finally went away right before I left for the army and now they are back ever since I had my son. Is my subconscious reverting back to my childhood terrors because I have a child?

REPLY

Bruce October 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm [edit]

Hi Amy,

Perhaps we can look at the three major elements here: mother, child, water.

The child comes from the mother just as the mother came from her mother (the Ocean or Water as Great Mother) and thus we have Great Mother as super-mom or source of life.

In your dream you face a dilemma: you cannot live as both a child and a grown-woman at the same time… except IN the water (in the womb you are one with mother; in the deep unconscious we ARE the water and here we contain all life, all possibility). Men tend to be black and white thinkers (hence computers with their zero or one “thinking”); yet we are arriving at a new science where at least sub-atomic particles can be two places at once, or in two states of being at once).

This, in my view, is a “feminine” sort of consciousness. Thus it fascinates me that you are a mom who served in the army (you’re tougher than myself, i imagine—and hat’s off to you). Your nightmares subsided when you were in the army, perhaps because you were part of a big collective group and you didn’t have to deal on an individual level with decisions, trusting in the chain of command. That works for war and for competing, but it doesn’t work for love and for mothering.

You slipped in your typing and wrote “always in loved water,” perhaps revealing that you fear water and also love it. I wonder how life was for you when you were two (did dad leave mom at that time? Did Grandma pass away swamping mom with sadness? did someone in your family literally drown?) Whatever the “facts” might have been, your feeling was best symbolized by water and drowning.

You are struggling to be conscious, thus it might help to imagine yourself on a beach, staring out a the vast ocean while holding your baby-self on you lap. Pretend you can talk to the ocean, maybe saying, “I respect you in your vastness and know that you are the part of me I cannot contain, control or understand. I am thankful to exist and I am thankful to have a baby. But you have been scaring me and killing me all my life and I recognize that you are my most powerful part, something I cannot control, something that wants to share Her power and wisdom with me. I love you, but I am afraid. Can you please tell me what you want me to know that I do not yet recognize, for if you truly wanted me dead I’d already be dead and I’m open to learn and respect you.”

If the ocean will talk back, in your imagination, maybe you will learn a secret about yourself. Maybe you will grow more powerful, safe and this will be a good thing for your baby and for all of us, since we share the world, and the oceans, and we need to treat nature a little better, I suspect—the nature that is not just in the forest or at sea, but that nature you see when you gaze softly enough into the mirror.

At the very least you can honestly say, to the scared child within, that whatever childhood was about, you are tough and loving and a good protector and your inner child will live at least as long as you live—and happily too, if you have anything to say about it.

All Best Wishes

REPLY

Amy October 12, 2012 at 9:10 pm [edit]

I do love the water and I’m terrified of it at the same time. My son also loves the water and had no fear, he just runs right in. A lot of what you said was really right on with me, I love structure and discipline and schedules, which is why I loved being in the military and I feel lost with out it. My parents divorced when I was in 6th grade but they fought a lot before the divorce. A lot of what you mentioned made me realize things that I hadn’t connected to this before but it makes sense. Thank you so much! Hopefully this will work it all out.

REPLY

Bruce October 12, 2012 at 10:25 pm [edit]

Hi Amy,

I really hope it all does work out for you and your son—and that your dreams and waking life both become, and remain, peaceful.

Warmest Regards

^ * * * ^

2 YR OLD RUNS AWAY AND JUMPS IN RIVER

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Worried mommy December 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm [edit]

Hi Bruce ! I had almost the same dream with the very first dream you posted here.
We went to a mall and my husband parked outdoors, my husband was left at the parking lot he was fixing our things. But the 2 maids with us, a yaya and my niece and daughter got off the car with me. it was already dark at that time, my daughter who is 2yrs old seem excited to go inside the mall. She ran away and I ran after her. Chasing her and afraid that she might get caught with other running cars. To my surprise I can’t keep my pace with her, I am running very slow but at my best but really cant keep track with her which is very impossible to happen and I don’t know why. I keep on chasing her telling her to stop but she wouldn’t stop. til the yaya joined me to chase her, the yaya ran passed me but still can’t keep pace with my daughter. When the 3of us were already near the entrance of the mall, (driveway of the entrance) there is an approaching car and I shouted there is a car! then to my surprise my 2 yr old daughter climbed up the railing and jumped and I heard 2 splashes. 2 splashes Because the yaya also jumped. we didn’t know it was a river. Then I woke up, it was 8am this morning and relieved my daughter is safely sleeping but I am really horrified about the dream. What does this mean?

REPLY

Bruce December 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm [edit]

Hi WM,

Perhaps your inner child is growing fast within you and your conscious or ego-self is realizing that she cannot keep up (i.e. develop the brilliant child-mind that is one with nature and being) with the natural brilliance of a child not yet taught all the wrong lessons of our current culture (fear, greed, violence, shame).

The two maids would be the attending parts of your own psyche, of lower social status but higher spiritual status. “Yaya” derives from the Yoruba name for great grandmother and divine spirit. Your niece is the part of you that is your sibling’s child, thus also closer to your own child aspect.

Your husband self represents the male aspect, the part in our culture that “fixes” things, a perspective that frames everything as rational, as puzzles to solve and this aspect tries to dominate and subjugate nature and, at worst, other humans.

This is not about your actual husband, the masculine principle is an aspect in women and men alike, but when thinking and fixing gets separated from feeling and connecting we have… the mall. The collective place where the zombie parts of ourselves gather to buy stuff we mostly don’t need and just as often can’t afford.

Thus the child appears to run toward the collective, in danger of being destroyed by the car (symbol of the ego-self and the polluting destructive machine age). The child reaches the barrier and leaps… into the river (river of life, feminine aspect, the place where the yaya and the child, the mother and the child, your own conscious ego-self and your deeper and more authentic Soul Self, all meet in the symbolic source and destiny of us all.

This is a good dream. Trust that your child soul knows exactly what she is doing.

You are being transformed by your dream life just as you are being transformed by parenting, by loving someone more than you love yourself.

Trust this process, have a soft and loving heart toward that person you may glimpse in the mirror when you look compassionately enough. Then take that gaze to the world and the zombies may appear merely hurt children.

Here’s to better dreams through understanding the disturbing ones. Hope it helps.

^ * * * ^

2 YR OLD–BIG WAVE SMASHES HOUSE AND GETS DAUGHTER

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Irazu January 5, 2013 at 4:04 am [edit]

Hello Bruce, I really want to understand this dream I had. I dreamt that I was living in a two flat next to the ocean and we were on the second floor
. My husband and I were hosting a small gathering of people from both our families. All of a sudden a huge wave starting coming thru the windows and everyone jumps up in disbelief.
Everyone is ok and after the waves die down I exit my apartment thru the back to check on the first floor. I see a few people cleaning up and although I have never met these people I know that they are the owners of this building.they are also ok.
The screen changes immediately to everyone and i at my event are sitting on a wooden deck over the water laughing in disbelief of what just happened when another wave comes crashing into us and the deck breaks apart. We all start floating with the wave and it is the first time in my dream I think about my daughter who is almost 2 years old. Then one of my relatives floating near me shout ” the baby, get the baby”. I look where she is pointing and I see my child floating face down. The wave brings her closer and my relative and I could not reach her. I woke up in panic just to find her sleeping next to me and ok. Please let me know what it’s means thank you!!!!

REPLY

Bruce January 5, 2013 at 9:08 am [edit]

Hi Irazu,

We could look at this dream at both personal and possibly collective levels.

At the personal level the “two flat” itself might be a symbol of your ego-self with all its varied contents while the ocean might symbolize the larger soul Self out of which the individual self emerges and stands in relationship to it.

Dreams have some element of wish in them, and the gathering of people from both your own and your husband’s families suggests your wish to blend the part of yourself, perhaps parts that do not yet fully get along or function as one unified family (symbol of one unified self as a human being, which in turn can then better relate to the group and to the world, but we all seem to work on this all our lives).

You inhabit the second floor, suggesting you place yourself in higher consciousness, but this might also hint that you are not as down to earth as some in your family, or inner self, think you should be? In any event, the wave comes in the window, and this could be symbolic of the unconscious coming into your own consciousness. But the unconscious is too big for the conscious to contain. “Everyone jumps up in disbelief” could symbolize how parts of you, or your family in waking life, appear not to believe in anything they cannot see or touch (i.e. lack of spirit, or soul, or faith, etc.).

When the wave literally comes in the window, it’s hard to maintain denial that the wave is “real.” Of course it is only “real” in your dream, which hints at the dilemma of taking the inner world seriously without asserting that it is real in the same way as the the waking world. However, if we do ignore the inner world, that of spirit and soul, it does tend to get louder and “wake us up” with its messages.

You go downstairs and see people “you do not know” cleaning up. They “own the building” thus they symbolize the earthier “land lords” who possess the ego but not the soul or ocean. Still, they do the hard work, the stuff connected to earth and foundation and they are the hard-working but unappreciated part of you—again we all can related to working hard while feeling unseen, misunderstood or unappreciated (where the ocean unites us, but threatens to harm us in our individuality we are not alone, but we are a bit at sea).

In order to check on the first floor you go through the “back door” perhaps suggesting you are traveling into the realm of the past to understand better the situation of the present.

You are on a wooden deck over the water, which is like a ship in some sense, a way to navigate the water, but this deck is still attached to land, and thus cannot be on the sea without being ripped apart. Perhaps this symbolizes the pull between earth and water, between mother and father. This makes me wonder if you feel tension with your husband, or felt tension between your mom and dad when you were little, especially when you were nearly two years old yourself?

The wave is like a force that is too big to stop, and this could symbolize your emotions when you were little, and how you somehow felt like you were unseen and emotionally drowned in the context of your childhood situation. Perhaps there was even some literally brush with danger at the sea or in the bath?

The unconscious may be saying that you must notice your own inner child who may appear drowned, but in dream logic she can be revived and your panic and sorrow (your own ocean of tears) can serve to rescue her and discover that the child is a symbol of the eternal child, which never dies but which brings us to our more soulful and more alive Selves.

Finally, at the collective level, perhaps we parents are all feeling a bit overwhelmed by the various oceans (information, debt, violence, fear, loneliness) that we feel like we face alone and ill-equipped, and our collective children drown in the reflecting waters of our own massive narcissism (i.e. our not knowing who we actually are, not individually nor collectively).

Perhaps if we make use of our dreams, and our technology, much as your dream and our shared technology has lead to this little interaction in this little box on a blog in the vast ocean of seemingly random information, we might all slowly find ourselves guided by our fears (harm to our children) and our desires (community, family, harmony, safety, playfulness, freedom without isolation) toward new ways of relating and parenting and even partying.

In closing, I note that your name, Irazu, might be associated with the volcano in Costa Rica. In this sense your mother and father, and the fate they represent, name you and you yourself might be associated, in your own unconscious, with something potentially destructive that sits high up between two oceans. Not to make too much of this, but a volcano can be a way in which land itself emerges out of ocean, offering verdant dwelling and yet potentially threatening those who live near it… echoing the way humans emerge from the ocean, and now threaten to poison the very ocean who is our Mother (with sea water in our very veins).

As we evolve, the poetic and mystical meet and merge with the rational and scientific. Perhaps when this melding gains adequate maturity we will use our rational AND loving potential to take better care of our parents (land and water) and our children (actual kids as well as the spirit, akin to light, that they carry, illuminating our lives and our consciousness with what actually “matters”).

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^

2 YR OLD WATER AND FISH [ALSO WITH ANIMALS]

Vimi November 17, 2009 at 7:49 am [edit]

Hi Bruce,

I just had a strange dream and I was looking for an interpretation and I stumbled upon this post. It’s a very similar dream but different at the same time.

It started with me and my friends in a water park. We are having fun and all of a sudden we decide to leave ’cause of cold weather warnings. My dreams just shifted to a different place. Somehow I was at a rocky formation with a lake in the middle. The lake didn’t seem too large, but it was crystal clear, nice blue. My entire family was there. But the people I most vividly remember are my mom, older sis and grandma with my 2 yr old nephew. In that lake we saw giant dolphins, belugas and black whales swimming, or rather having fun. There was a huge crwd to see them . In my dream it seemed like a miracle that so many of these huge bodies would appear in this lake out of nowhere and they are swimming in the direction of the water flow. Surprisingly to me, nobody was trying to hurt them or hunt/fish them either. Everyone was just peacefully watching them swim.

Then all of a sudden my nephew asked if he could get something for my sis. It seemed very cute. It’s almost as if he said, “mamma, can I get (happiness) for you?” I don’t really remember if he said happiness…this is the only word I don’t quite rememeber. But I do rememeber that we thought that it was cute that a 2 yr old would ask to get this for his mom. my sis just smiled and said yes. Then he started running. To everyone it seemed he’s just running around like small kids do, but I got an intuition that he’s gonna jump from that rocky cliff and I ran after him and he jumped.

I don’t know what happened after that but the next scene immediately was a huge group of penguins walking in front of me. And then I woke up.

I don’t know what this means, but I was left quite disturbed because this was the first time I had a dream about my nephew and he jumped off a cliff :(

P.S: Last night I had a dream that a tiny black fish dived inside my stomach and is swimming in my blood in my body. Somehow I got it out but it dived in again. I seemed to be very scared in my dream about this.

It’s been two nights in a row I have been having fish dreams. What do you think it might symbolize?

Thanks for your help.

REPLY

privilegeofparenting November 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm [edit]

Thanks for sharing this dream. A couple of ideas to consider might be that “cold weather warnings” suggest the psyche is about to deal with the issue of isolation or lack of comfort. Next the body of water is a collective image of the unconscious with these evolved aspects safe and in harmony with the environment. I might think of your sister as your “sad self” and your nephew as your “child self” who seeks to bring happiness to your sad self. The child is natural and without falseness, and thus relates thematically to the natural creatures in the water; water can also represent the feeling aspect of the psyche. The child leads you “off the cliff” of the rational thinking self and toward the water (i.e. into feelings and exploration of the unconscious).

Next appear penguins in a big group. Penguins are both black and white, so they might represent the melding of your thinking and feeling selves; they are also comfortable on land and in the water, representing your versatile aspect; they are also good parents who work together to keep their babies warm.

As for the black fish, this dream could be saying that the dark aspect of the self is not a fish out of water, but is at home in your gut (or intuition) and in your blood. They say we once lived in the ocean, and our blood is like sea water. These dreams seem to be inviting you to confront your fears, perhaps feelings of abandonment, coldness, hurt in the past and to trust that there may be forces in the psyche ready to help you.

In some fairy tales a magic fish is released and grants wishes. Fish also live in schools, a possible hint that it is time for some new learning. A nice thing to do might be engaging the fish, and the dolphins, whales, penguins, etc. in a fantasied conversation where perhaps they have lessons to teach.

You might like to look at a former post about whales: http://tiny.cc/utImh

And also note that a more recent post ( http://tiny.cc/wh6qc ) was inviting dreams to be shared, so perhaps it is synchronicity that you came across this older post when you did.

Finally, please do not take anything I venture as definitive. My main encouragement is to assist you, and other readers, in engaging our inner worlds in a creative manner—toward the greater penguin and whale and fish wisdom that sees us humans as part of, and not observers of, nature.

Namaste, Bruce

**

^ * * * ^

2 YR OLD FALL THROUGH CRACKS, ASPIRATING

Krystal whitacre May 13, 2013 at 1:55 am [edit]

Bruce
I have been having some very bad dreams about my 2 year old son getting hurt. The most recent dream i had was so horrific i woke up crying. We were house sitting and their steps were open and for whatever reason we were on them when my son slipped through the crack. I clearly remember holding on to him awkwardly screaming for my husband who just continued to sleep soundly. I was unable to pull my son up and he fell but underneath the steps wasnt just your average carpet/floor, it led to the garbage disposle 30ft down :( I was scurrying down to the little open door to crawl in and see if I could find him. Fortunetly when I opened the door he was there crying. He had a broken arm and was acting limp and just out of it. I called 911 and couldn’t get them there quick enough so my dream turned to me trying to get him to the hosp on my on. Once we were in the hosp things started to go wrong medically and I was intervening. For ex: he had on concentrated oxygen and was trached. Well, I had woke up in my dream to him choking from water gettting through his nasal canula. I ripped out his oxygen and saved him from aspirating. Then at this point I actually woke up in real life time running into his room to find him sound asleeo. Why am I having such horrific dreams about my baby getting hurt? Thanks in advance!

REPLY

Bruce May 13, 2013 at 8:13 am [edit]

Hi Krystal,

I’m sorry that you’ve been waking up crying, but I suspect these dreams are more about your own past and your own traumas than about your actual child now. The good news is that resolving your own trauma helps you make your child secure so that the trauma does not get carried forward in the family.

Your dream is both graphic and also poetic. After all, how many children seem to “fall through the cracks” in our culture that fails children and parents so often with regard to health services, education and compassion.

But just as a nightmare literally costs nothing, the mind just makes it up; perhaps our ability to care about each other as human beings does not come from government. We are the people, after all, we’re just a bit scared, traumatized and lacking in conscious awareness; when we feel safe and loved, we are generous and compassionate. Men change the world one war and empire after another, going around in a big circle; mothers change the world one child at a time, taking that big circle in an upward spiral of consciousness toward the angels, the Buddhas, the Christs, etc… whatever can bring the love, that’s what we need.

So… you’re a mom, and you know you love your child more than anything (same as every mother through human history); and you feel a bit powerless against the current situation: badly constructed steps in a house that is not really your own.

The steps could symbolize development—individual and collective/societal. The “house” you are “sitting” is a symbol of self (something that contains multiple rooms, ideas, states of mind). “Sitting” is passive, but also meditative; it is time to contemplate this “other” house. That house is the house of bad ideas, but it is not men, governments, fathers, perpetrators and other traitors (but rather our own Shadow, that which is “lower” or less conscious in us… our reptilian brains, (see:http://privilegeofparenting.com/2011/01/19/the-lizard-brain-is-a-lonely-hunter/
)

The Shadow holds our power, and we must deal with it consciously, in the light of waking thought. Your 2-year-old self may be a symbol of a time when you got hurt, when you fell through the cracks (of a disintegrating family situation, of economic struggle, of difficult moves, or losses in the family?)

The “garbage disposal” is an apt symbol of utter annihilation, that dread of being unwanted like garbage and pulverized into sewage and swept out to sea of non-existence. It is the core of our human, and universal, existential dread. It can undo us, but our shared dread of it can bond us together. First in primitive superstition, then in religion, and later in a more enlightened and rational society.

Pain is a teacher, and threat to our children is a very powerful teacher indeed.

Still, in dream-life, your child is your child-self, thus the broken arm could represent your own past helplessness to fight back or even contribute to the family situation (arm not working/capacity impaired).

Acting “limp and out of it” suggests a dissociation response. This is where the child goes after fight-flight is overwhelmed by threat combined with helplessness. They look like they are “calm” but they have left their bodies, psychologically. Thus perhaps this dream is a sort of “soul retrieval” for you, a coming back into your body where it was when the soul left the body of your building and sent you “house sitting” a sort of ghostly persona somewhere that was anywhere but in your actual self, for she was in too much pain to deal.

The metaphor of having to get your child-self to the hospital on your own only furthers the message, as your call for help is not heard (“911 is a joke,” to reference Public Enemy, and it’s true, at least in your nightmare).

Your mother self knows her way around a hospital, and that’s a good thing for your child self. “Concentrated oxygen” could be a pun about mental acuity, your ability to concentrate what is needed, and pull the trache… which could symbolically be like a knife in the throat, choking your child self and preventing him/her from having a voice.

Finally, a child who is getting oxygen, but not on their own, could symbolize a fetus connected by tube to the mother… the “bad mother” as nightmare hospital; and themes about garbage disposals, broken arms, cracks (“crack” the drug) could also symbolize urban oppression, and themes of pregnancies that may not be born of love… leaving kids feeling like garbage, unwanted, like they were psychologically aborted.

While this may not be true for your waking reality, having worked with group home kids and other children in “the system,” I can attest that it is true for too many of our children. In this way sometimes dreams are about a bigger situation and not just ourselves.

If you had a tough childhood, I encourage you to seek help to heal any lingering trauma. If you had a good childhood, perhaps you are so solid you are dreaming about the collective situation and the needs of other moms and kids who fall through the cracks that form when we are divided from each other as parents caring together for all our collective children.

I do think your real baby is okay, and I do think “concentrating” on these dreams and their potential meaning will help you no longer have the nightmares.

If the dreams don’t go away, write again and we’ll try another interpretation.

And send good wishes to all the children who feel like the child does in your nightmare. Sometimes our identification with the child must die in order for our fuller selves as parents, grown-ups, fellow humans to be born.

Here’s to all the help and love we can get and muster for that!

^ * * * ^

3 YR OLD WATER PARK

REPLY

sarah November 4, 2012 at 6:56 am [edit]

Hello, I for the first time had a bad dream about my 3 yr old son. We were at a waterpark then out of no where I fell somehow in to this rushing river taken me away from my son. But it was all going on at a water park still. My son did not go into the watter but I tried to swim against these rapids to get to the shore-like place he ewas left behind I was frantic and then found a way to get out of the river then searched for the spot were I left him and I had to continue going through obstacles and that seemes to always take me further from him before I could find him I awake and started crying.. my son is my everything. I’m a single mom and hate when he’s away for long periods like visiting his dad for weeks or months. I don’t quite get this dream. I have been searching all morning…help….

REPLY

Bruce November 5, 2012 at 8:50 am [edit]

Hi Sarah,

Perhaps the water is the flow of your deeper self and the baby is the baby you once were (perhaps there was separation or loss when you were 3?).

Imagine that you are the river. You let go, you flow with it to the ocean where all the rivers meet and none are refused. You evaporate and become a cloud. You drift to the mountain, the higher part of your consciousness where all the rivers begin. You fall gently like a snow-flake and then melt into a droplet and flow calmly and then swiftly to arrive again at your baby self where you gently help him/her emerge from the unconscious and into the lovely possibility of today.

Obstacles are like rocks in the river of life. They do not stop the river, but the river takes care of them over time, the way water always prevails over rock.

The more your inner mom holds your inner-baby calmly and confidently, letting the river of tears be cried by you so your baby does not drown in his/her own tears, the more able you will be to tolerate the separation periods.

BTW you also have an inner dad figure who can hang out with you and your inner baby in the healing times when your actual baby is away. Then your baby returns to a mother who is more happy and safe (not turbulent or too watery) and benefits from your ability to be a bit of a rock yourself in the river of your child’s own journey of development.

By being a bit playful, we can inhabit all the parts (baby/mother; water/obstacles) and combine solid mature parenting with playful and liberating imagining.

All Best Wishes

p.s. see Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” for a lot of deep thoughts on the watery part of the world. He writes, “Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.”

^ * * * ^

3 YR OLD FALLING INTO WATER

REPLY

Deborah March 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm [edit]

Personally I think the only meanings of these dreams reflect the love you have for your children and the extent you will go to to protect them. I’m forever having these dreams and now I realise why. I love my son unconditionally and my worst fear would be (as all parents) to lose him. I’m forever being told by my brothers I’m over protective, my lad is 3 and I won’t allow him to walk by rivers in aided or climb climbing frames unless I’m beneath to catch him if he falls, surly it would be neglect if I didn’t and he fell from such a height etc etc. So last night I dreamt my brother was out walking with my son and the approached a stream with boulders on the side, he allowed my son to climb over these boulders unaided and I could see this at a distance then I seen my son trip and fall from a height into the river below. I remember my brother jumping in but I also remember myself jumping too and breaking both legs in the fall. This happened at a place I grew up also where I used to play with my friends. Next thing I remember is seeing my brother holding up my son who was opened eyes and ridged but breathing (paralysed). This was 5.30am I awoke in a sweat and crying and seeing my baby laying peacefully besides me I was relieved. However, I could go back to sleep as I was so disturbed by what potentially could have been real life. I think my dreams just tell me I’m doing a good job looking out for my sons safety always as neglect is where accidents can’t be prevented. So if you have nightmares about your children having accidents or dying, it just shows how much you love them as many dreams are about your worst fears. Well done for loving your children unconditionally as they’re life’s little gifts and treasures. A pity not all parents have this bond xxx

REPLY

Bruce March 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm [edit]

HI Deborah,

I certainly agree that these nightmares are related to the fact that we love our children so much that losing them or seeing them seriously hurt is truly the worst thing we can imagine as parents.

While it is essential to keep our children safe, it is also interesting to consider multiple possibilities in interpreting dreams, including that dreams about our children may be symbolic dreams about the children we once were ourselves, and how safe that “inner child” does or doesn’t feel right now.

In your dream it could be that you feel criticized by your brother saying you are over-protective, and so in your dream you prove that you are not (only the “brother” who jumps in could be symbolically be that part of yourself that is bold enough to give space for your kid to explore, but which is reckless and unable to protect the child.

Just as Hamlet struggles with opposing feelings and thoughts, perhaps this dream show the mother with broken legs, the child paralyzed and the brother unable to protect.

If there happened to be trauma, losses or injuries within your family when you were a child, or even in your own parents’ childhoods, then this dream might also make sense as we try and deal with the river of ongoing life across generations and different points of view.

Ultimately I agree that you treasure your child and the main point of the dream is that love. Still, as I get ready to launch my oldest child off to college, I can still remember that vulnerable little three-year-old and how scary it can be just trying to keep them safe. As parents we have to continually sort out our own fears, anxieties and past wounds (and be consciously aware of them) SO that we can keep our kids safe and do what’s best for them.

Somehow we want to keep our kids safe while at the same time teaching them to have confidence in themselves and also confidence that they can make good decisions and stay safe in the world. There will be plenty of time for this as children develop, and you have to trust your instincts above all else, adjusting as your child grows.

Thanks so much for stopping by Privilege of Parenting. All Good Wishes and, hopefully, Sweet Dreams (and waking life too)

^ * * * ^

3 YR OLD DROWNED IN POOL

REPLY

Marinliza July 10, 2012 at 7:10 am [edit]

Hi Bruce. Thank you for your interesting insights on one’s dreams. I had a very disturbing dream last night (I hope its because I’m coming down with flu and that the dream was due to fever….. :-()

I was told by dr’s that I would never be able to have kids. So in my middle 30′s I fell pregnant and it was twins,however,we lost the one at 16 weeks. So yes, I am very protected over my 3 year old.

I dreamt me and him was at a very popular swimming resort. I was having coffee with the manager in his office when I “remembered” about my kid (something that is defnitely not likely to happen). I ran to the swimming pool that was full of swimmers and I asked them if they saw him. All said no,as I was about to turn arround to look for him I saw his lifeless body (he had a red t-shirt and a red short on) on the bottom of the pool.

I jumped in to get him out but woke up before I knew what happened.

This is really a disturbing dream for me……

REPLY

Bruce July 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm [edit]

Hi Marinliza,

I know these dreams can be so haunting and horrifying, yet we might think about it in terms of your own thoughts and feelings and not about danger for your child.

Given that you lost one of the twins in your pregnancy, perhaps you are still trying to come to terms with that loss, which metaphorically becomes expressed as a drowning (i.e. to die in the womb is to die in water).

Swimming and water can be symbolic of the unconscious, thus a “popular swimming resort,” might be a symbol for a collective “pool” of our unconscious—just as talking together here on this blog is a collective pool of thinking, and your dream joins several other dreams as we all try and understand our fears, accept life and loss and strive to love and be kind to each other—perhaps even to the spirits of those who have died.

The “manager” of the swimming resort might symbolize the part of yourself who is in charge, who “manages” the feelings and thoughts of ALL the swimmers. You were having coffee with your manager self, and coffee might symbolize waking up, or becoming more conscious or aware (of feelings, losses, of the different parts of your self).

Seemingly as an effect of coffee with the manager you “remember” or come back into consciousness of your child (this might be the child you lost, but also the child that you once were when you were three—perhaps a time of pain of “drowning” in difficult feelings?).

You ask the other swimmers if they saw your child, and they had not—symbolizing how your child self, and your pain (and particularly the pain of losing a child before term, which is generally not truly recognized in our culture as the tragedy that it is) has not been seen by the group.

You have to think about what red might symbolize, but certainly anger, passion and love are possibilities as for the meaning of the red t-shirt and short.

You jump into the water (i.e. you accept the unconscious and the need to go there into your deep and sad feelings… which allows you to “wake up” and realize that your actual child that did survive is okay, but that you need to fully grieve the loss of your child who died at 16 weeks.

Thus I wish you condolences and compassion, and invite other readers who come across these words to join me in sending love to you for your loss, and to the spirit of the child you did lose.

While the past contains terrible sadness, this dream is not a harbinger of the future so much as an opportunity to come to terms with the past and into greater life and joy in the present moment.

Warmest Regards

^ * * * ^

3 YR OLD DROWNING IN WELL

REPLY

christina August 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm [edit]

hello my name is christina and for the past week Ive been having the same nightmare every night. my 3 year old son, husband and father are standing around a deep well they just dug. as i walk up to them i can hear my son ask to play in the water and my husband states “sure go ahead” as my son jumps into the well and i see him sink deeper and deeper out of sight, im the only one frantic trying to get him back everyone else is just standing there watching him sink further and further like nothing is happening. i fall to my knees and try to grab him then suddenly he begins to float slowly to the top so i grab him out of the water and hold him tightly to my chest all i can feel the ice cold water dripping off his red pajamas i cant tell weather or not he is ok. i wake up heart pounding and have to go check on him or i cant fall back to sleep. i am very nervous about this my father has a summer home and just had a well dug yesterday i want to keep him away from the summer home but i know that its being overly protective

REPLY

Bruce August 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm [edit]

Hi Christina,

Yes this is very scary, but I think the meaning is not as dire as you might think. Obviously you would want to supervise any 3 year-old closely around pools, wells, lakes, roads and other sorts of potential danger. That said, the psychological meaning of this dream could be something about the “male” aspect of your own self.

We have son, husband and father represented—the male part of yourself that you love, but do not recognize as also a symbolic aspect of your own self, in this case across three generations, but also across the life-cycle from baby to man to grandfather (wisdom figure).

Your dad has a summer house in real life—and the house is also a symbol of a larger sort of self, that which holds all the parts of our psychological self (dreams of hotels, apartment buildings, etc. can have similar symbolic potential).

The summer house (a place for fun) has a deep well—a symbol of the unconscious and also of the Mother/feminine principle. The well (or also the well-spring) are symbols of birth and this could be the birth of a new you, or a new level of consciousness.

Just as your child emerged from your own body, as a symbol of the child who must die in order for the grown-up to be born your child goes into the well, but floats back up (i.e. comes back up into consciousness from the depths of the unconscoius).

On the sad side, you may have felt suffocated, controlled or frustrated when you were 3; certainly three-year-olds can be very challenging, running away to explore and possibly scaring us parents, but also they are growing new powers and thus symbolize the first stages of becoming one’s own little self as a little bit independent person.

On the plus side, you are confronting that something in you can go deep and come back from this. The dream doesn’t mention your mother, but perhaps the well is a symbol of how the mother sits in your own psychology (perhaps a missing of the mother, or a wish that she were able to help contain, renew or transform your own child self).

Now that you ARE a mother, you may be ready to realize that you are a child, but also the parent; that you can contain and renew your most sacred, happy, free and authentic self through going deep within your own true heart and mind.

I’m sure you love your men, but often women struggle to come into full possession of their full grace and power, perhaps preferring a bit to stay as girls (especially if the men want innocence more that wisdom, sweetness more than power in their women).

Finally, the ice cold water might be a symbol of coldness, for example if you felt your mom wasn’t a big hugger or touchy-feely sort. Then the need to hug the cold and scared kid comes up in the dream—but if you imagine holding, warming and protecting your own little kid self you may find that the bad dreams go away and in fact you might feel a greater feeling of joy, play and security and you learn once again to see the world with the wonder of a child tempered by the maturity and wisdom of a parent.

All best wishes and sweet dreams :)

^ * * * ^

3 YR OLD AND 9 YR OLD DROWNING WHEN MOM DRIVES TRUCK IN WATER

Carlene June 1, 2013 at 5:41 am [edit]

I just had a dream last night that disturbed me. It was very real and vivid, and I remember it clearly (and I rarely ever remember my dreams). I dreamt the my 9 year old son, and myself were in a big truck I was driving and the truck somehow ended up sinking in a body of water. We couldn’t get out and darkness came quick my youngest went out of sight first then my 9 year old but before he disappeared completely he grabbed my hand and then I was succumbed to darkness. At this point I didn’t try and fight I just allowed it to swallow me and then I had this huge grasping for air. Now at this point I kind of thought I was dreaming and felt myself really grasping for air where my son sleeping next to me would have felt me grasping and would have woken him up but when I woke he was sound asleep unaffected. I was confused and disturbed by the dream but I went right back to sleep dreaming right away but don’t remember what about. Any interpretations….really felt it was significant but not sure what it could mean…

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Carlene June 1, 2013 at 5:50 am [edit]

It was my 9 year and my 3 year old sons and myself!

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Bruce June 1, 2013 at 8:49 pm [edit]

Hi Carlene,

Firstly, dreams about drowning and water seem to be the most common theme when I tally all these nightmares we have about our children. The second most common theme is falling or flying.

It seems that our brains naturally generate a sensation of sinking and another of floating, and some people suggest that this is where our myths of heaven above and hell below originate.

But our brains also naturally try to make meaning of our experiences, and so we create stories of drowning and flying. One possible idea about your nightmare could be that when you were three, or nine, you might have had some painful experience (parents’ divorce, a move to a new school, loss of a grandparent, etc.) that gave you a sinking feeling of sadness, or an overwhelming feeling like emotional drowning. Of course if you ever had a scary experience with water, in the tub, pool, lake, etc. that could certainly inform your fears.

In this sense anxiety is often a memory of something scary that we then project into the future and fear that it might happen; this is a way of trying to deny that it already happened.

In your dream you allow the darkness to swallow you up, and this might be a signal that whatever pain you have of the past, your mommy self who you are now has a grip on your child selves (symbolized in the dream by your children) and then you wake up, which could mean that you are coming into a more conscious relationship with your own sorrow.

Finally, water could symbolize the mother, and in this perspective you may have felt your mother to have been depressed or somehow suffocating; if this rang true you would be trying to protect your kids from the depression inside—and one way to do this is to be conscious about your feelings. You wake up and see your kids are fine—and that is not symbolic, but your lived reality, and that is a very good thing.

Hope this helps. And Sweet Dreams

^ * * * ^

5 YR OLD–CAR CRASHING INTO WATER

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Momma June 6, 2012 at 10:48 am [edit]

Hi I koiw thatmny reply is later than most others, but I am glad I found the forum in hopes of a reply. Last night I had a dream that I was talking with my sister on a street corner with town houses lining the streets and a lampost nest to us. I knew my 5 yr old son was close by and thought he was safe. All of a sudden I see him in the drivers seat of a close by childcare van that we see alot around our neighborhood, he was driving the van past where we were talking and he was headed downhill toward a busy intersection…and a few blocks further down hill was a large deep stream of water where I was afraid he would end up crashing! My sister and i started running after him until the intersection…i saw him make it through it but could not run throught it myself…I called on my cell phone 911 to try and phone for help while my sister made it past the intersecttion…I felt helpless, confused, and like time was against me, finally when I made it past the intersection I ran toward the water at the bottom of the hill (which were now lined with businesses) I knew he probably went to the water…looking side to side for him while I mad my way to the water, my sister turned right looking for him elswhere. When I got to the railing that lined the water I started crying with great anxiety and a sense of loss…Where is he I cried…I noticed the current of the water was strong so followed it downstream and saw a tire sticking up ..I jumped in the water and swam to it…It was the van. I swam under a it a bit and rolled it up so I could see the drivers seat where my son was at. He was not submerged in water as I thought he would be, but only up to his waist, and he was turned around in the seat and sleeping, his peaceful face against the back of the seat. I pulled him out, and started swimming to safety with him….then the scene changed to me dripping wet sitting on a closed lid bathroom toilet( a personal bathroom not a public one) holding my wet son who seemed to be sleeping…I knew in my heart he was o.k.and felt grateful that he was o.k…… but disturbed that he wasnt waking up. I kissed his face and tried to dry his hair…then woke up. I am still disturbed…why didnt he wake up? was he dead and o.k. cause he was in heaven…or was he really o.k but just sleeping? All is well now…but I am debating weather to keep my plans to go to the pool today with him.

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Bruce June 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm [edit]

Hello Momma,

Firstly, I am sorry for such a scary dream, but besides keeping a close eye on your child as any parent would, and not letting him drive until he has a license :), we can turn to exploring the possible meaning for yourself.

One possibility is seeing the dream as a reflection of different parts of your own self, perhaps even offering wisdom to the rest of us too. In this context your “sister” is your similar, but different, self who watches helpless as this all unfolds (i.e. the passive part of you who must become integrated into your full self via increased consciousness). You are both near a lamppost (a small bit of light, or consciousness, but not enough for the whole picture). You are “near a corner” (about to turn to a new way of seeing things) and there are townhouses, which are separate, but share walls (together AND apart).

A Van is a collective vehicle, not as big as a train or big truck, but bigger than a car, thus suggesting a need to get somewhere with more of yourself. The problem is that your child-self is driving. This could mean that you are not taking good, firm and loving care of your own self, not your kid necessarily. Perhaps in some way your less mature, or conscious, or responsible self feels like it is at the wheel of your life, but not able to control or guide where it is going.

It all goes to the water, which is perhaps a symbol of emotions, tears, the river of life, the great place of crossings (including growing all the way up). Of course rivers can mean renewal and also death, but symbolically as well as literally.

Thus your child self draws you, in your love as a mom, into the water to powerfully set things right (turn over a van, at first all you can see is the tire, perhaps you’re “tired,” as parenting and life can be exhausting).

The sleeping child is the part of you who needs to be loved and allowed to awaken gently… by the loving, brave, protective and increasingly conscious mother aspect of yourself.

Trust your dreams, nature, love and family. We all need to wake up, but in our own good time, and gently, and maybe in the arms of the great Mother that is Divine, or Nature, or God depending on your lexicon. And when we are awake and grown up, then we work together to keep our kids safe, and take good care of whatever portion we are blessed/tasked to look after.

Hope this gives you some ideas to work with. All Good Wishes

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5 YR OLD RUNS OVER THE HILL AND INTO THE POND

The first dream I had, we were at a park that had a pond (a park I had never seen before), and she was running ahead of me, I was yelling for her to come back, but she kept running. She ran up over a hill, I could not see her, finally I came up over the hill and she was floating face down in the pond. I jumped in the pond, grabbed her and started CPR, I was screaming out. It was horrible. Then I woke up.

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5 YR OLD DROWNS (BAD BOY DOES IT)

Mechelle April 21, 2013 at 2:27 am [edit]

I had a really disturbing dream a few months back about my 5 year old son. It started out at an indoor pool it was my boyfriend (who is not my sons biological father), my son and I. There were also other people at the pool that we did not know. There was a young boy there who I did not recognize, maybe a few years older than my son. Me my boyfriend and son are all playing and having fun in the water. We turn around and notice the young boy has pushed a man in the pool and drowned him. For some reason nobody seems surprised and we all carry on in the water. As we are getting ready to leave my son runs off following the boy outside Immediately I take off running after my son outside and I am then standing at the lake where I used to go every summer as a child. It is packed with people and boats in the water and I am searching for my son in the crowd. I feel panicked screaming my sons name as I head towards the water. I am literally running through the water searching for him and other people start helping me look for him. I then feel a hand on my shoulder and think they have found him, thank god! But when I turn around I see the womans expression and look down and there is my sons lifeless body lying in the sand. I feel my heart stop and I cant breath for a minute and then I scream out I am so sorry I failed as a mother and how could I let this happen to my baby! I am so sorry god please forgive me!. I then woke up screaming and crying. My son was staying with my parents for the weekend so I called them to make sure he was alright and sure enough he was fine.In the dream I did not see my son drowned but had a strong feeling that he did and it was the boys fault who he had followed outside.If you can please give me some insight on what this may mean it would be greatly appreciated! also I went back to work in july after being a stay at home mom for two years and have been feeling a large amount of guilt for not being with my son as often as I used to and am not sure if this could have something to do with the dream.

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Bruce April 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm [edit]

Hi Mechelle,

While I cannot hope to be sure what your dream means, we can generate some ideas and hope some make sense to you (and help you have better dreams ahead).

And “indoor pool” could symbolize your personal unconscious—the watery part that is “inside” (i.e. of you). In this space you view your current “family” of son, self and boyfriend.

The “boy you do not recognize” could be you own male aspect and/or child aspect, perhaps it is also the boy within your “boyfriend” who either you, or your child, are not yet fully comfortable with as a “father figure.”

The “man” who is pushed into the pool by the boy would be some sort of inner figure who you either feel has died (your own ex, your father, the image of a “man” who disappointed you?). It is also maybe just “the man,” as in a symbol of oppression. The key here is not to blame but to consider all the figures as parts of Self.

Often we might consider the symbolism of the boy having to die so the man can be born, but here we see the boy killing the man, suggesting a desire not to grow up, perhaps a way of remembering how you yourself felt when you were five, perhaps some feelings you have about your baby becoming a bigger and bigger “little boy.”

In this sense perhaps the older boy represents the non-innocent troublemaker you fear your baby will become as he grows, or perhaps the firebrand you might have been as a “tomboy”? Or perhaps your secret desire to have been more tough and boy-like, particularly if you were hurt in any way as result of being a girl and not a boy?

The venue changes from inside pool to outside lake, and clearly relates back to childhood. The “woman” who brings you the terrible news might be the part of you who sees difficult things (particularly your own past hurts?) and then comes the horrible moment—seeing your child-self dead, presumably drowned, presumably at the hands of the “bad boy.”

Besides supervising your child around water and keeping him safe, which presumably is already an obvious parenting must for you, this dream suggests the confrontation of a feeling of horror, death and tragic loss, but not as a predictor of the future so much as a review of the past. It is when we confront and heal the past that we are free to truly live more fully and joyously in the present.

Yet connecting in dread, tears and lonely feelings of tragic loss sometimes bring the touch of compassionate company that helps facilitate healing. Of course your childhood may have been pure magic and no misery and sometimes a dream is just a dream and nothing more, yet this dream haunted you and so we want to find a loving way to put it properly to bed.

The fact that you had this dream when you son was with your parents would be consistent with some sort of feeling that you yourself didn’t feel entirely emotionally safe when you were little. Your guilt about going back to work could also be a projection onto your child about feeling “left to drown” by mother, when in fact such a long time with him has been fantastic and you’re probably both ready for new steps toward growth and autonomy (work for you, school for him).

Finally, you could imagine going back into the dream and using the power of love and imagination to recognize the “bad kid” as the hurt part of you and the drowned boy as the overwhelmed and “dead” part of you. In dream logic, like cartoon logic, things can reverse and magic can happen. See if you can’t create a better version of this, perhaps seeing the son and the girl you once were, the “bad boy” understood and forgiven and all the parts melding into a you who can love her actual son and actual boyfriend freer of guilt and sorrow.

Please feel free to let me know if this makes any sense or sparks other ideas, and if your dream life gets happier.

^ * * * ^

6 YR OLD HIT BY SHIP

Renee August 2, 2013 at 4:13 am [edit]

Please Help!!! This dream is going to be on my mind for a while. So it begin I was at work ( I work at a daycare and my 6 year old son also attends summer camp there) so we are on a field trip to a place which look like a lake ocean, so my son asked me can he go swim and I told him yes( in real life I would never do that ) So a big ship was coming but my son was still in the water, the ship hit him, so I went in the water after him, when I was saving him he was telling to hurry and get him out of water because he was hurt. So when I got him out of the water he became unconscious. The ambulance was outside waiting for us, so they took him in, but I ended up in a
apartment look for something, when I came downstairs the ambulance was gone, so I got in my car and went to the hospital, however I didn’t end up at the hospital, I ended
up at one of my cousin house, when I was there my mom called and said she was at the hospital with him and he was going into surgery, and was laying down resting
now. I really don’t understand why I didn’t run to be with my baby.

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Bruce August 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm [edit]

Hi Renee,

Some ideas to consider as you contemplate this dream might include the symbolism of water as the unconscious part of yourself. In this sense it is not your actual child, but your child as symbol of your own six year old self who you let swim in the “lake ocean.”

A lake is fresh water and ocean salt, perhaps talking about your mixed feelings between sustenance and tears, between Great Mother/Ocean and the purity of a lake/a child of nature?

So… your child goes into the water (return to the womb/mother and also growth and autonomy/trusting him to swim) perhaps meaning your kid self goes into the unconscious so that you can… bring it up into consciousness.

Yet, a “big ship” comes along. This might symbolize the ego, that which goes where it chooses, can handle the big waters of the unconscious by staying at the surface. Yet the ego self “hits” the child self. Herein lies the conflict within your psyche (or maybe I’m off on this, just wanting to encourage you to think deeply and creatively about your own dream): you want to be a great mom, but you also want to be true to yourself, your grown-up needs, etc. and these two parts of you seem to be at cross-purposes.

You go into the water/the unconscious to rescue your child who urges you to hurry (i.e. to get this pain out of the unconscious and into consciousness… which is precisely what the dream is serving to achieve).

Out of the water/unconscious state the child himself now becomes unconscious… in other words the child part of you is only conscious within the unconscious, but is a sort of fish out of water and lapses out of consciousness when out of the unconscious (hence the problem)

The emergency worker part of you/ambulance takes the child to the hospital, a place of healing, but also often a place of origin, of birth. He goes back where he came from and your unconscious puts you in an apartment.

Parenting is exhausting and you work with young children on top of that. Consciously you are an ever-giving caregiver, and so your secret wish/need for a break is expressed in the dream. Perhaps you fear that taking time for yourself or gratifying your own needs (for rest, solitude, self-expression, etc.) would harm your child, and so you do not allow it… leaving the unconscious wish for some alone time to be expressed in the only way you can imagine… by circumstances beyond any personal control.

In the apartment you are “looking for something” (perhaps this has to do with your own self and what you need aside from being a parent). Think about what your cousin might signify for you, but certainly once you are there your mom calls. This, symbolically, would be your inner mother—underscoring the feeling that you need the mother part of you to go to the hospital and deal with the child part of you (perhaps hinting that you may not have felt like your mom was fully there for you in the way you needed when you were six?).

My hope is that in becoming more conscious about your mixed feelings about trying to give you your own child the level of care you yourself may not have felt like you got, you will not need any more disturbing dreams of this nature.

My guess is that you are a very giving mom, but that you are over giving and need to take more compassionate care of your own child self. This may be easier said than done. They say it takes a village, I hope the village coalesces around you :)

Sweet Dreams

^ * * * ^

5 AND 7 YR OLD FALLING OFF A BOAT

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Shannon December 9, 2012 at 8:58 am [edit]

Hi, I had a dream last night about my husband, my 7 year old soon, my 5 year old soon, and myself being on a huge boat just looking around and all the sudden there was a huge drop and we were going really fast down it and I was screaming to my husband to grab my 5 year old but its like we were all stuck and couldn’t move and the 5 year old flew out of the side of the boat and I keep thinking I need to go get him but I couldn’t then we got of the boat and it seemed no one was worried but me I then woke up and ran in his room and he was sleeping like a baby. I was scared to go back to sleep because I didn’t want to return to that dream.. What do you think it means?

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Bruce December 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm [edit]

Hi Shannon,

I wonder if you find your 5 year-old a little more challenging than the older son? Perhaps he reminds you of someone you have had conflicts with—mother or father or sibling?

I ask because sometimes when we have some unconscious anger (normal and natural as it might be) it can find expression in a dream where something “bad” happens to the person who has hurt or frustrated us.

Another thing to consider is what your own life was like when you were five; particularly if you felt somehow left out of the family, or if there were separations or losses in the family when you were that age. This would make particular sense if you happen to be a younger sibling.

Yet another possibility is that the boat is a symbol of either/both your full Self or the family as a whole. “Going down fast” would make sense if there has been recent trouble for the family (i.e. economic difficulties).

The water itself, the ocean, could symbolize the mother or perhaps the collective unconscious. The sense that you are moving deeper into the unconscious would fit with the notion that you are trying to work out some sort of pain from the past, uncertainties or feelings of loneliness or being left out or left behind when you were little—perhaps a time when you felt like “no one was worried but me.”

Maybe you can “return to the dream” in your active imagination, striving to dialogue with everyone and everything in your dream as aspects of yourself, searching for your “lost self” in the ocean of your Great Mother Self.

Symbolically, sometimes the child self (or our identification with the child self) has to perish and disappear in order for us to become fully grown-up.

Obviously you adore your children and your family. Now that you are in a safe and loving family you are safe enough to heal whatever pain harks back to early childhood or other losses along the way. By contemplating many possibilities (and I hope my ideas spark ideas of your own that I might not be able to come up with) you become more conscious, and being more aware and compassionate about your own self and feelings can help free you of bad dreams and melancholy too.

Hope you have better dreams ahead.

^ * * * ^

7 YR OLD WATER AND DECK, PIPES

alicia January 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm [edit]

Last night I dreamed my 7 year old daughter and my 7 year old sister got me up for school at four in the morning. I hadn’t slept good that night my chest had been hurtin and there were men working on the water because some pipes have busted. One of the men wanted to know if a worker had step on a fitting of the pipe so I asked my step mom who was also in the house. So the day past quicker and we were all at once on a deck but the deck was on the ground. Most of my family was there 3 of my children were my dad step mom grandma pawpaw husband and few people I haven’t a clue who they were. I’m guessing my 7 year old and sister were still at school and at the time I’m holdin my two youngest daughters. Some boy runs and jumps on this deck and it dents it and after he sees it he does it again and again leaving a hole the boy falls in the hole my 3 year old runs to the hole I yell at him tellin him he better not if the fall don’t kill him I will just jokin of course. But he don’t listen and my son jumps in and the hole grew bigger and water appeared I yell at my husband to get him John get him. My husband jumps in the water but it’s got no bottom to it and they both keep goin under. I than try to hand my child that I’m holding which now I’m only holding one and it’s a boy?? To every body around but they won’t take they baby they tell me it’s too late nothing can be done. So I go to the next perso than the next nobody will take the baby I’m holding I can’t save my 3 year old nor my husband. Than the whole deck starts to fall apart I try to get to the ground to save my baby and my self but there’s no longer a ground I look around and I see every one has made it every one is ok but my 3 year old and my husband and all at once my two baby girls are in my arms again. Than I wake up. My sons in his bed sleepin away all my babies are fine I wake my husband up. This is the very first time I’ve ever dreamed bout my 3 year old before. I use to have bad dreams bout my 7 year old when she was a baby but I figured it was because she was my first child and I worried so much about her. Never my son and husband which is arranged because he is daddy’s boy they are so close. Please help me tell me what my dreams mean or if there is a book or something real cheap I can buy that will help me figure it out thanks worrying momma n wife

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Bruce January 9, 2012 at 8:39 am [edit]

Hi Alicia,

While dreams can have many meanings, and I would not want to suggest that I would “know” the meaning of this dream, I could offer some ideas.

Firstly, at the level of the personal/individual I would think about your own life when you were three, four and seven. Particularly 7, because both your child and your sister are seven and the might represent aspects of the seven-year-old you.

You “wake up” at four in the morning, suggesting that something important might relate to being four, and that you are awakened “for school” perhaps cluing you that some sort of new learning is in order. Your chest had been “hurtin” and this could mean “heart-ache” (i.e. emotional pain) and the “pipes” for the “water” are “busted” could mean the heart feels broken, and the water is like feelings and emotions. A worker “step” on a fitting and the “step-mom” could mean some hurt connected with step-mother.

The “deck” might relate to a ship (ships have decks) and the fact that water turns out to be below the deck might confirm this. Boys and men jumping into holes of water could be about how your boy is becoming three, an age when he bonds with dad, and you may be feeling a little left out or abandoned. The water and the hole could be like the earth mother who is is like an angry mother earth swallowing up her boys because she feels rejected (heart-ache, stepped on, sad, overwhelmed with responsibility).

Then there is the part where “no one will take your baby.” This could be both a feeling of being rejected (the baby would be your baby self, and perhaps feelings that you’re not wanted, loved, or good enough; if that’s true you must know we all feel that way sometimes, so you’re not alone; in fact the dream is trying to help you be conscious and aware “to wake up” so that you don’t have to feel sad, alone or heart broken—especially if YOU understand your baby-self’s feelings).

Finally, at a collective level, perhaps this dream is about how the feminine aspects of the world have been stepped on, and how the “girls” have to wake up and take care of the babies, not alone, not in shame and hurt, but together. This is not just about women, it’s about men learning to fix the watery (feelings) ways of the world and for the group (you have people you don’t know in the dream) come together. All hands on deck… just in time for the deck itself (the ships men build, like the Titanic) to fall apart in favor of the earth. Perhaps the earth is the ship and we’re all on it together. Perhaps we humans are ready to “wake up” and take better care of our kids, our earth and each other?

Sometimes a lot of people start dreaming the same dream, and that’s when big change happens. The good news is that everyone makes it in your dream, and all is okay. This is about transition or change, about seeing, and feeling and connecting in new ways.

The very fact that you found this blog and shared your dream and connected with me in this way would not have been possible in the past. Sometimes it’s not so much what we do as the way we do it. Let’s pay attention to our dreams, our children and our natural world with sensitivity, compassion and loving kindness and see, if like a rising tide, we may collectively arrive at a better world that we don’t just wait around for, but wake up to and make happen.

All Good Wishes, Alicia

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7 YR OLD FALLS ASLEEP IN GRASS FORT

Emmie July 19, 2013 at 7:07 am [edit]

I awoke this morning to my own screaming and crying because I was to late!!! I have had a belly ache since this. My 7 yr old son, my fiance, and I went camping, this was a public camp, and my boy found this “fort” (grass and trees) and inside this fort was like a grass bed. Close to some water. He comes to me in my dream to show me something (i believe it was this fort) and his eyes are heavy like he is sleepy. In my dream what feels like a couple hours go by I become concerned as to his whereabouts, I start frantically searching for him, and the first place i think to look is this fort. As we go out looking for him the tide has come in and in that instant I KNOW that he has fallen asleep in there and something is wrong, as we get closer we can see something floating in the water, As I get closer my baby was floating in the fetal position eyes open with complete rigor mortis. I try to perform CPR but he is just to hard and I began screaming hysterically and crying which eventually wakes me completely Im feeling so distraught! Glad to see I am not that alone.

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Emmie July 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm [edit]

Bruce

We went camping, My 7 year old son, fiancé, and self. There was this lake and trees just beautiful. We were hanging out, and notice this flag down this little hill there’s a patch of brush or group of bushes, its hollowed out kind of looks like a “fort”. We go in there, and it has a grass bed for a person. Kinda cool really. Anyhow end up back indoors relaxing. My boy comes in this room to show me something, a painting I believe. What feels like hours, maybe only a couple, I’d guess. I become extrememly concerned about my baby. I don’t hear him. I cant find him. Starting to panic I go outside. A girl I went to highschool with is outside. Im like have you seen Jude and she says “No, I haven’t”. She and I call his name twice, when it dawned on me that his eyes looked heavy when he came and showed me that painting like he was sleepy… he doesn’t answer I just know he is asleep in that fort. So we head down toward this flag, and there is a huge puddle the “tide” has come in and the fort was almost under water. Well the girl that I went to school with was like I see something what is that and you cant really tell yet But we real its a shirt. My son was in there so I jumped in immediately grabbing the shirt and he is rolled up like in a fetal position in complete rigor mortis with his eyes open all white, blue, and dead!!!!!!! I get him out and try to do CPR he is just to hard I began screaming and crying all over the place. This is what eventually makes me wake! I have only had this dream once. I do not want to ever again. I am glad I found this site is has helped me get through the day. I get sick to my stomach thinking my baby even looked like that.

thank you for reading and creating this.

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Bruce July 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm [edit]

Hi Emmie,

If you read through the other dreams you will see many to do with children drowning and some different ways of thinking about it. To this I might add some ideas about your personal dream:

A “fort” is a place of protection. Your child could symbolize your own child self and “falling asleep” could symbolize lapsing into a state of lesser consciousness, and this could possibly signify a response to overwhelming feelings like loss or trauma.

Consider whether you had any losses or traumas when you were seven, or even when you were still in your mother’s womb (symbolized by a dead child in the fetal position in water). For example might your mother have lost a pregnancy when you were seven, and then become depressed and left you feeling forgotten? That’s just a random guess, but perhaps it will prompt you to realize something about the past, as your dream is more an emotional memory of loss than any predictor of the future.

The “flag” you notice could symbolize a form of identity (more personal than national) and it alerts you to the place of the fort, as if your unconscious has flown the flag to get your attention.

A “bed of grass” could symbolize connecting deeply with mother earth, the archetype of the Great Mother, and a return to the waters of “death” or non-being (i.e. whatever consciousness one has before one is born into this world of attaching and losing, of love and life and death). A “grass bed” could also symbolize taking comfort in grass, and since it leads to the death of the inner child figure, it begs the question about smoking weed or using substances to avoid reality, which leaves kids (inside and outside) at risk.

Finally, the symbolism of a child dying can also be a way that the unconscious helps us grow up; the child who won’t grow up is like Peter Pan, and symbolically that kid (or our identification with that child) must “die” in order for our new identity as parents/grown-ups to be “born” into lived reality.

As you know, birthing a child is not the same as truly parenting a child, and that is a lot of joy but also a lot of stress, expense, exhaustion and frustration. No wonder a part of you just wants to lay down and sleep… Hopefully you shall find that your deep Self is guiding you to more life and love and not death and loss. If there ARE past traumas, find a way to heal, but in any event I certainly wish you…

Sweet Dreams

^ * * * ^

CHILD DEAD IN WATER (ON LEFT SIDE)

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jessica December 20, 2012 at 1:54 am [edit]

I had a horriable dream it was really strange first me and my fiancee of 7yrs my childrens father had sperated and i went to see him at his new place i guess it had been a while since we seen each other and that was a very odd metting but then our children just appeared back into the picture and bad things kept happening when my fieance was suposed to be keeping an eye on one or both of them. well bad things almost happened i was always there right before they could end badley. But it ended with me running back to the new place because i had asked for the uptenth time where are the kids he says their fine so i go back can’t find them anywhere i end up running up like a man made hill with a iron structure and landing/ railing and i see his room mate so i call down to him to call steve i cant find the kids i had lost my phone somewhere along the way. the roommate is kinda freaking out i guess they were supposed to be watching the kids so i run around back again and see signs like toys and i think my sons shirt that s when i i looked over my shoulder to my left and seen a little cliff like a 3 to 4 ft drop but there was water i just keep saying no no no and look into the water it was clear and was daytime out though it had been going on dark when i was first looking for them then it seems like im really sluggish i cant move fast and i see my son lying on his left side in the water with out a shirt or shoes he looks like hes sleeping but i know thats not the case i start to run to him and when i jump in the water i see my daughter out of the coner of my eye close to her brother and im just overwhelmed with grife and dread i knew my babes where gone then i wake up i had fallen asleep with my daughter in my arms and my son at my feet on the sofa any ideas it was 3 in the morning the usual time i wake up from wierd dreams but this one was to much no going back to sleep im still shaken up from it 2 hours later

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Bruce December 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm [edit]

Hi Jessica,

A few thoughts on this dream might begin with wondering how you feel about having a fiance for seven years? Perhaps you do not feel secure in this relationship and the way the children are treated is a symbolic way to understand how you feel. From this angle you confront a “man made hill” (which could symbolize the “obstacle” your fiance has made, at least in your unconscious mind, to you all being safe and together. Then you see your child “lying” (maybe you feel lied to?) on his “left side” (the “side of you” that feels “left” or abandoned).

Although all too common in our current culture, perhaps you feel like a single mom and you are overwhelmed by the responsibility without feeling of support? The water could symbolize feelings, tears, the Mother and/or the unconscious.

Another way to wonder about this dream is in relationship to your past. The cliff is “3 to 4 ft drop” and this could possibly mean that you felt “dropped” when you were 3 or 4. Maybe your dad left your mom around then? Maybe something made you feel like you emotionally died or felt traumatized as a child; perhaps this dream shows how you felt not safe and not supervised as a kid.

Maybe the pain of your past threatens to become the pain of your children’s future. One way to engage this dream is to commit to being there for your own self SO that you can be there for your kids. If your fiance is not there as much as you like, see who can be there (friends, family, community) and maybe imagine your dream and pulling your kids out of the water and imagining them coming back to life and you telling them: I know you are the child parts of me, and I see your pain and I am here for you and we are actually alive right now and even if you weren’t safe as a kid, I can, and will, do everything possible to keep myself and my actual children safe.

Maybe this is our collective prayer, that all our babies can be safe and protected, even if we were not. When kids are hurt it is always unfair. If we show up for all our kids we break the cycle of abandonment and hurt.

Here’s hoping for better dreams and waking life

^ * * * ^

13 & 14 YR OLDS CRUISE SHIP INTO WATER (AND THEN STABBING DREAM)

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Wendy December 11, 2012 at 2:28 am [edit]

Hello Bruce,
I have just read all these postings and your replies. I found this site 2 hours ago after waking up from a nightmare. I am hoping that you can provide insight for me as you have so kindly done for others experiencing these nightmares.
I have had the most stressful year of my life thus far, so I am sure it contributes. I have my own company that I have just sold- days ago. This business has been great for us financially but deprived me of being with my boys,I worked 16 hour days 6-7 days a week and has taken its toll over the past 5 years. So I know that I am experiencing “mothers guilt”… Of not being there, missing so much and forcing them to grow up quickly. I have always had nightmares as I was sexually assaulted at age 17, so I do have OCD about safety things. I am paranoid about safety precautions, preparing for every situation that I possibly can. I am almost 40 now, so I have handled nightmares for some time. I also had a traumatic event with my youngest son, he fell into my moms pond, almost drowned….my step dad heard him splash and ran out and pulled up up by his foot. He is still scared of water.( he was almost 4 when this occurred)
I had an extremely disturbing bad dream about my boys ( ages 13,14) we were on a cruise ship, and something happened and we ended up in the water. I am trying to hold onto both boys but we are all sinking, I lose grip of my youngest son and watch him fall faster to the dark depths. I have both hands now on my oldest son we are holding our breath and we are staring into each others eyes. The water moving our hair into our faces, I can see the panic in his face, and there is absolutely nothing i can do, totally powerless and I know we are going to die, then woke up, crying and didn’t sleep for days. I was afraid to see the ending of that bad dream. It was traumatic for me. I had a hard time of thinking of anything else for a week. I just wanted to hold them and not let go….
However tonight, I was only asleep for an hour… And in my dream I hear a slight noise in the house and wake up in the dream and am looking at my son from above, like the google satellite images. I see a guy come into his room and start stabbing him 6-7 times in the torso. His eyes are open, and the sheer look of fear on his face , and i couldnt help him, this is tearing me apart as I type this….. I can’t stop crying. Once I awoke thinking immediately that this just occurred I jumped out of my bed and headed for his room. It turned out our dog was scratching at the back door, which is probably what really woke me, or even caused sounds that in my dream sent my mind on an excursion. I am still distraught regardless. My boys are the most important thing in my life, and having these bad dreams of something bad happening is taking its toll on me.
As these aren’t the only bad dreams. Just the most recent. I apologize for the long story and background, but thought it would help with possible insight to the interpretation. I appreciate any feedback!

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Bruce December 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm [edit]

Hi Wendy,

The timing of these dreams seems significant. You have just sold your company (congrats on that), but it was in some sense also “your baby.”

While parenting is a privilege and a blessing, it is also exhausting and sometimes very disturbingly provocative, especially when we carry unresolved trauma (as you likely do from being sexually assaulted).

Perhaps one way to look at the dream is that now that you have cashed out on your hard work you are expected to go on a cruise (symbolic for kicking back and celebrating, but also a journey to the watery part of the world—to feelings and the unconscious, to our own relationship with the Great Mother, the ocean itself within us).

The ship is sinking, symbolic of the bigger self that looks like it is grand and strong, but has been torn below the surface (the assault, the stabbing in the second dream). The Titanic of ego is sinking into the truth of Self.

You have trouble “getting a grip” on your child (on getting a grip on your child self and her wounds); under the water (in the unconscious of Truth, of Love, of what really matters) you see hair (symbol of feelings, textural, animal, sensual, but also symbol of thoughts, which grow out of our heads). The kid hair and the mom hair are a tangle of undulating obfuscation of faces, of facing the dire situation of your child self (i.e. your assault, and other things in your childhood likely felt like you were dying).

As you strive to heal, you must come back into your body, into the terror that sent you out of your body… and make your way safely through that (here a trained mental health professional in a private consultation might be in order; as well for your child to process the trauma of nearly drowning if and when they might care to discuss that with someone).

You are awakening to the beauty of your life, thus you must find a way to understand and relinquish the shipwreck that was the past. Trauma’s repeat sometimes in families. Perhaps you too had a trauma around age 4?

In any event, your tears are probably good, as you are feeling your feelings and this is part of healing, so long as you stay with your body and not so much with your racing mind. In fact, the dream could be seen as a way to make pictorial sense of the way your body already feels when frightened, but of exactly what it is not sure.

I hope this helps and certainly wish you and your family well in resolving traumas of the past and relishing the life that you currently live.

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Wendy December 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm [edit]

Bruce, thank you so much for your insight. It feels better coming from someone on the outside observing. I really do appreciate the time you took to help me understand what I am possibly experiencing subconsciously. As you detailed the events of my visions in my nightmares and the images I found emotionally disturbing really is enlightening, and I can understand your explanation clearly, through the emotions I am having, there is a reason I am creating these images. I don’t know of any trauma of when I was 4 except that’s when my parents divorced, however I have no memories or recall that event. I have to tell you that I feel you are gifted in this arena, and it has to be your calling. I have never posted on any forum or venue such as this in my life, I was in a dark place and really needed help understanding. So I am very grateful that I found your site, and you are so kind to share your talents to help so many people. Again, I thank you!

^ * * * ^

13 YR OLD MISSES THE DECK

Cheryl July 7, 2013 at 12:59 am [edit]

Hi. I recently had a dream where my daughter and I were at a beach at night. I told my daughter (she’s 13) not to go on the boat, but she told me arrogantly that “She could see clearly where the boat was and that she would not fall into the sea.” But as I had predicted in the dream, she tried to go on the boat, but missed the deck. She fell into the sea, and started drowning. A man had jumped off the boat to save her, and I stood there screaming and crying for help. He brought her back to shore, and I gave my daughter CPR. When she awoke, she was very sick. And then I woke up. If you could interpret this for me, I’d be very grateful. Thanks.

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Bruce July 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm [edit]

Hi Cheryl,

If you read through the other dreams you’ll see many related to drowning. What I might add here would be taking the dream as a map of your own Self, parts, feelings and inner conflicts.

The beach could symbolize that place where the conscious mind (land) meets the unconscious (sea). The dream is set at night, suggesting a situation in which no one can see clearly due to darkness.

Your daughter might represent the child part of you, and at 13 she is challenging you and this might also be bringing to mind life when you were this age. Perhaps you thought you knew better back then and got into some difficult situations that were “over your head” so to speak.

Now you want to protect your kid from your own pain, and in waking life she may be in conflict with you because she wants to live her own life and doesn’t see the relevance of your life, even if you see it as wisdom. This situation is very “Little Red Riding Hood” where the girl emerging into sexual age gets into danger by thinking she knows what she’s doing when she doesn’t.

The drowning part could represent how you feel in parenting a teen, and/or how you felt AS a teen. The man who saves your girl would represent the brave and powerful part of you, although you currently identify with a weak position (“I stood there screaming and crying for help”).

This male aspect has the power to save, revive and awaken your “girl” self; perhaps to help integrate the mother, the rescuer and the child who needs help into one coherent person.

That your girl was “very sick” from this experience might reveal your fear for yourself and the idea that “something might be “wrong” (sick, unwell, traumatized, etc.) with the child part of yourself.

My hope is that by thinking consciously about this dream, and being compassionate to all aspects of yourself, you may find that your unconscious is guiding you to heal and grow.

Hope this helps—here’s to good dreams and smooth safe sailing ahead

^ * * * ^

20 YR OLD  MOM DREAMS DUCK, DROWN, LAKE (PLUS FATHER INCEST) [ALSO WITH ANIMALS]

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

Hi Bruce,

After I had two disturbing dreams, I found your website. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to each of the posts.

First, I’m 47 mother of one son, married 26 years.
My first nightmare was two nights ago. All I recall was that there was a duck that was in a lake, my son at current age 20, was in trouble but wanted to help the duck. Someone was after him and I told him to run, it was dusk. He got caught in these plants on the edge of the water and they would twist around his legs.. Entangling him. He disappeared from my sight and I knew something was wrong. The others that came to look for him said he was ok because he was not a kid and they left. I kept looking for him. I found him half submerged in the waters edge. Some time must had passes because when I pulled him out of the water he was stiff and he had a look of pain on his face. I felt within the dream that unbelievable emotion of facing your child’s death. It was intense and very physically real. When I woke I knew I had dreamed. But I still felt the physical and emotional effects.

2nd dream the next night. I dreamed that my father was coming into my bed and caressing me. I knew I was disgusted. But I didn’t stop it because it began to turn me on. I felt ashamed for feeling that was and the next day volunteered as a midwife and would make milk come in to nurse others babies. Except one breast began to make blood. The other wouldn’t make anything.
I woke up.
Strange dreams. I hope you can give me some insight.

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Bruce November 12, 2012 at 9:01 am [edit]

HI Robyn,

I am increasingly humbled by these dreams, increasingly wanting to be of service and admitting that I really am not sure.

I can share some associations and see if it helps. The duck could be a symbol of the ugly duckling, thus a symbol of transformation (Duck Lake wanting to become Swan Lake?). The lake might be the great mother (perhaps the one who birthed you, but brought pain and blood as well as milk and honey?).

I would view your son in the dream as the part of yourself you love the most, but still the part that must die as a boy to be born as a full grown-up. He gets caught up in the weeds at the water’s edge. For this I would review the story of Narcissus, but in short the clueless human does not fall in love with herself but with an imagined stranger—as if the so-called “ugly” duckling doesn’t realize that she is a swan… and then grows into a plant, transfixed at the water’s edge.

This takes us to the second dream, raising the horrid question about sexual trauma (or emotional). Sometimes children actually are abused, but sometimes incest imagery becomes a way of imagining the way something felt.

You describe a sort of overwhelming experience where the sexual pleasure and the overwhelming power of the father conspire to steal the soul of the child. You could think of your dream as an invitation to call the soul back to your own body, taking the victim projection back from the son, and the victimizer projection back from the father, and striving to integrate these two opposites within your own psyche.

These are big tasks and it can be helpful to know that we all struggle with them. If there is actual trauma in your past you would be well-served to address it, perhaps with a therapist or other helper. But we don’t want to go on witch hunts either and confuse the dream world with the waking world.

If you can, maybe you will be able to use your imagination to talk to these figures—the duck, the weeds, the son in your own mind and the father too, asking what each wants, needs and feels (as they are parts of you).

You become a midwife (a helper in birthing new consciousness?). You attend to the many babies, perhaps the purpose of how you have learned to love, to soothe to give pounds of flesh and your own symbolic blood for the love of your child. You have given blood to make your child, that’s the breast that gives life beyond nursing. The other breast gives nothing… maybe it’s the one that’s just for you now?

Certainly wishing you better dreams

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Robyn November 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm [edit]

Well, I was abused sexually by my grandfather at a very young age. I have been in therapy not only for that but for my husbands betrayal of our marriage. I have not been able to forgive my grandfather and perhaps I know I should. But I made very bad life choices because I felt dirty unworthy and unloved. At the same time I never told my parents until two years ago as part of my healing. They were supportive. My grandfather has been dead years. Cone to find out he also tried to molest my brother. And neither one of us told. I feel angry and betrayed by men. Lately my son and I have fought constantly every time he comes home from college. To the point I don’t like being around him. Brings back the memories of the hateful man my husband was to me. We worked through it. At least I guess I’m trying to work through it. I felt I had to protect my mom and grandmother from my monster grandfather and my son who was a teenager from his hateful father. He went to therapy for sexual addiction and we are very happy. Or am I. Does this give any insight to my dreams.

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Bruce November 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm [edit]

Hi Robyn,

Firstly, I am very sorry to hear that there was abuse and then shame and then subsequent pain, but you sound like you have found courage to heal and you have given your son so much better than you got.

The painful facts seem to reaffirm the importance of integrating the parts of you that may have been sealed off or prevented from growing or being expressed in the past. It’s good to work on these things with your therapist, perhaps bringing the dream (and new dreams that you might get along the way) as evidence about what your unconscious might still be experiencing.

The “unbelievable emotion of facing your child’s death” is a very good way of expressing the way the abuse was like a death, as often we leave our body and float above such overwhelming horror.

Our brains can heal, our hearts can heal, and you seem brave and loving to do the very hard work of breaking the cycle of abuse. It sounds like you are doing things right, after terribly wrong things happened to you—my hope is that time and self-expression and eventual forgiveness (which does not in any way excuse the abuse) may conspire to help you become increasingly safe and free within your own Self.

Maybe your words, and your experiences, may inspire others to also heal. With greater consciousness, and compassion at the level of all parents toward each other and all kids, the multigenerational cycles of abuse may be broken and better days unfold for our children and our grandchildren.

Meanwhile, Healing Wishes for you

^ * * * ^

(SIBS NOT KIDS) SISTERS ON DARK LAKE, AIR MATRESS AND SHOT IN HEAD

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A December 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm [edit]

my older sister had a dream that her,myself,and our middle sister was on a air mattress in the middle of a dark lake or creek water type. when my middle sister fell into the water drowning and then she said that i fell also and was drowning. my older sister was in the middle of the air mattress still just watching us drown panicking trying to save the both of us but couldn’t. when she finally saw/pulled us up ,myself and my middle sister had a bullet hole in our head. so not only did myself and my middle sister drown but we were also shot in the head.so what could my sister dream mean.

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Bruce December 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm [edit]

Hi A,

This dream is probably mostly about your older sister’s psychology, suggesting that she has some unresolved resentment toward you and your middle sister.

No worries, I trust that your older sister loves you very much and your middle sister.

However, the dream suggests that your childhood was not perfect (but then who has had a perfect childhood? Or what would that actually be?)

An air mattress suggests a psychological state as if on a cloud, away from the earth element. The water element connects with the mother and the unconscious, thus it sounds like at least your older sister might have experienced mother as difficult, perhaps she felt like she had to be a mother to her younger sisters.

To be loved is to be deeply known, thus the sisters in the dream would be the younger aspects of your older sister’s own self that feel like they are both drowned (i.e. subsumed in the needs of mother) and their thinking function is impaired (i.e. shot in the head).

The dream is about a feeling of helplessness, but also about protecting herself (in an air mattress is like being in a bubble—unable to save her younger self, but perhaps also protected from further harm).

Being in an air mattress, away from the drowning could be a way that your sister’s psyche represents some sort of trauma, as we sort of leave our bodies when fear or pain are overwhelming.

Sometimes a part of us has to die in order for a new part of us to be born, or more precisely (in psychological terms) our identification with some victimized or immature part of our self must become recognized and integrated into our full personality so we can move forward.

Perhaps your sister was so disturbed about having unconscious aggression toward you and your sister that she felt guilty and worried and thus told you her dream and then you are seeking solutions to your sister’s pain.

It would probably be quite healing, if it were true, for you to tell you sister that you recognize that she has had pain and anger and you are sorry if you have contributed to that in any way, and that you also have had pain and anger and forgive your sister(s). Then if the three of you can come to both recognize your mother and father’s limitations, accept that there has been pain there too (there always is some, so it seems) and forgive them for whatever it was you become freer and more alive.

If you manage to do this then get ready for soon your children will tell you how you have hurt them. If instead of denial you acknowledge, apologize (without undue guilt) we move into more real, less perfectionistic relating.

Finally, it strikes me (without any particular basis to suppor it) that we could think about this dream as having collective resonance in which the “older sister” could represent our parents (no matter how old we are) generation, the middle could be our own generation (whatever era in which we live, boom, x, y, etc) and the younger could represent our children’s generation (i.e. whatever we both leave behind, but also in some sense become… eventually).

If the Older (i.e. wisdom, maturity) is helpless to protect the present and the future, perhaps such consciousness itself might end the tragic cycle of violence, alienation and general douche-baggery that has so seemed to typify life on planet earth in terms of war, pollution, greed, lying and fame-for-fame’s sake—the lurid narcissism that would seem to elevate the self-important and leave the great vast sea of the kind and the quiet scratching their heads as to why this is so.

My fantasy is that more of us might realize that we are quiet, nice and actually do want the best for everyone; but also that very many more of us than we might imagine see things roughly the same way. If someone truly wants the best for others and wants to live a good life and is willing to say we are sorry when we accidentally hurt others because of our own hurt, shame, unconsciousness, etc. perhaps some odd tide of consciousness, which I have thought of as a feminine principle (inspired by Jung’s thinking, and having little to do with gender and much more to do with compassion and empathy and a vision for a world that is more fun and less tacky) might rise organically.

Who can say for sure. It doesn’t hurt to dream, especially if we pay attention to those dreams and meet in the space of thinking, sharing, feeling and connecting in the service of whatever dream weaves us together.

Sweet Dreams

^ * * * ^

(COLLECTIVE/OTHER’S KIDS) TRYING TO SAVE OTHER PEOPLE’S KIDS (WATER IN WAREHOUSE, WIRES)

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Quinton January 1, 2013 at 7:32 am [edit]

I just wanted to find out some information for my fiance’s dream. She keeps having dreams where she has to save 3 to 5 children but they are her own kids. We just found out she was recently pregnant in November. The past couple of days she has been having nightmares that are different situations but she still has to save the kids. the most recent nightmare is where she is in a warehouse of some sort and there is water that has flooded the building almost all the way to the ceiling. There are wires that are hanging from the ceiling that the kids are hanging onto and she has to find a way to save them. She never has finished the dream because she wakes up in a panic. I’m really concerned about what might be going on and what it symbolizes.

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Bruce January 1, 2013 at 11:58 am [edit]

Hi Quinton,

Although the best way to explore dreams is through a sort of creative process, I can offer some ideas and you can share them with your fiance.

Symbolic death is also connected to symbolic birth or renewal. Thus your fiance, in getting ready for motherhood, faces the death of her “inner child” or more accurately, the death of her identification with the child so a new identity as wife and mother can be born.

I would ask her to think about what the numbers 3 and 5 mean to her, but possibly they are hints about things she felt or experienced at those ages; possibly they can be symbols of how you will go from a couple (2) to a family (3) and perhaps the other two symbolize your pets, her parents, the three children total she hope, or intuits, might arrive in the future?

A warehouse could be a symbol for a collective Self, a larger psychology than the individual. In expanding her body to house a growing baby, she may feel like a warehouse filled with water (the water could be the womb fluids, but it could also symbolize the Great Mother Herself, the ocean from which we all emerge and to which we all return, symbolically speaking).

The wires could symbolize the umbilical cord and how the children connect to the warehouse of the uterus.

The fact that it is a nightmare may be about how your fiance is struggling to integrate her conscious feeling (joy at love, marriage and motherhood) and her unconscious feeling (of loss, fear, drowning).

This is a good time for you and your fiance to think about your past, about the family history, about where we all are as humans regarding parenting and community. I think babies are meant to be brought into this world in a context of family and safety, yet many women (and some men) feel like they are in this alone, and this makes babies and responsibility overwhelming and makes us feel like we must save others while the Titanic of our culture feels like its sinking.

Perhaps there is a better way? Perhaps it begins with compassion (i.e. my thoughts on interpreting the dream could translate to you putting your arms around your fiance and letting her know that you are in this with her, she is not alone, and if either of you had pain and suffering in your own childhoods you band together in love and consciousness to give a better experience to your child or children).

Trust that tears can be a good thing, they are often about loneliness and overwhelm; if we can use our tears to create bonds of compassion and trust and honesty, perhaps our kids will benefit and we too will live better lives than the anxious, competitive, all too often hollow and lonely lives too many of us have been floundering in.

Hope this helps a little

^ * * * ^

PAST CATTLE GUARD INTO WATER

Wanda February 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm [edit]

Hi my name it’s Wanda and I’ve been having alot of strange dreams lately but i can’t remember most of them i just know i feel horrible when i wake up. But i do somewhat remembe one egger me and my daughter were out walking and she fell through a cattle guard and was drowning and no matter how hard i tried i just couldn’t reach her and she was drowning in the water inside ofit and i woke up scared and crying what does it mean?? Thank you

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Bruce February 5, 2013 at 10:34 pm [edit]

Hi Wanda,

You might read through some of the other dreams in which I discuss possible meanings of water and drowning dreams, but this seems pretty common. The idea of a cattle guard is interesting, as cattle could represent meat or dairy—that which dies and is eaten or that which gives milk (a mother figure possibly).

One way of looking at it is that a cattle guard would be the symbolic line between the human part of us and the animal aspect. The child falls through, maybe symbolizing a poor boundary or psychological line between you and your child, or between the animal and the human part of self.

Drowning and water could symbolize a sort of return to the womb, to an unconscious state of being. Maybe you feel like you were unprotected as a child and fell through the cracks of your caregiver’s neglect? Maybe you feel like parenting is hard and you struggle to protect your child and keep her safe?

It might not hurt to imagine the dream and being able to successfully get the baby out of the water, safe from the cattle and then imagine asking the child (who is a symbol of your self) what she wants or needs you to understand about her. Depending on your sense of play and imagination you could ask the cattle as well, the strong animal natural aspect if they have some sort of animal wisdom for you.

As I see in so many of these dreams, the symbolic death of children is not the same as actually losing them, but more a way of understanding that some old way of being or of thinking has to die for a new way to come into being. That could be a fancy way of saying that your child aspect needs to come up out of the mud and the water and the animal place and grow up into her best self as a woman and a mother.

Keep in mind the dreamer himself or herself is the best interpreter of the dream, but I’m glad you shared here and hope my ideas spark some new one of your own.

All Best

^ * * * ^

KID SWEPT AWAY FROM MOM ON BRIDGE

Mac February 19, 2013 at 2:39 am [edit]

Well I had a dream at first I was with my dog me and her woke up in the middle of the city by a bus stop station I remember seeing my father after that he was healthy just working forgot what he said anyway went to the pawn shop I remember taking a necklace that was easy to take and the lady screaming but me and my dog got away we was taking a look at it next thing I know we by the great falls just a couple blocks from downtown and I was with my sister and my daughter and my dog when we was about to cross the bridge we seen the water passing over the bridge but the bridge was different normally it’s straight to go across the fall not anywhere close to the rapid flowin river towards the fall but this time it was across the river it was like a half a inch over the wood planked bridge we we walk towards it and I’m like na lets go back and when we was walking back to land my daughter just let go of my hand and vanished in the water I’m like What the hell where she go is she at the bottom and instantly woke up out the dream… My thoughts after reading a couple things where karma. Could it be that if I decide to steal anything I could loose my daughter as karma? I don’t kno but I’m still kind of shook.. Not lot ago I just got a valentines day card from her thru my phone I’m currently banned out of America and stuff because of issues with my record but anyway I hardly see her but we speak a lot and video cam when we can… What could it be?????

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Bruce February 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm [edit]

Hi Mac,

It sounds like in “real life” you have the pain of not actually getting to see your daughter and this could be the central meaning of your dream.

It starts with you and your dog, and the dog could be a symbol for the natural part of us that is loyal, but not responsible for thinking.

You are at a bus stop, which might be symbol for the place we join the group and go in the direction that we want, which is not walking or a personal car… symbolic perhaps of getting along with the group and the rules of society.

You see your dad and he is healthy, which could symbolize the parent part of you getting to see the kid, which is you compared to your dad.

The pawn shop is next, symbol of a place where people give up what they value because they are desperate, or a place people go looking for bargains (and who don’t mind the karma on the objects they buy). You steal a necklace, which might symbolize that you feel that you cannot get what you value (your daughter) by honest means and are desperate to have it. A necklace adorns the neck, the place that connects, but also divides, head and heart.

The screaming lady would by your inner shaming voice who criticizes you but does not teach you how to do better.

Now you face the bridge and the falls. This could symbolize the path you must follow to get from your current situation to the one you want: happy, with your daughter, safe and loved.

But the situation shows the inner dilemma: the water (symbol of the tears you have cried? or of the Mother, or perhaps the Unconscious which is powerful) threatens to block the crossing of the bridge. The water is too high and strong, meaning you feel overwhelmed and the bridge is not high enough (it is a level of consciousness not yet high enough to be able to safely cross the river of feelings). The bridge is like thinking and the river like feeling; your heart swamps your mind, and in this situation you lose your grip on your girl (who symbolizes the child you once were, the place where your emotional troubles possibly began, back when what you were asked to do was too much for you, and might have felt like trying to cross a mighty river on a flooded bridge).

Read some of the other dreams above, I like this one about rescuing the daughter from a similar dream situation:

http://privilegeofparenting.com/2009/05/28/when-we-have-bad-dreams-about-our-children/#comment-4498

My hope is that your dreams will bring you encouragement to heal and follow the path that is truly right for you… and that this will bring you into better relationship with all the parts of your inner Self and with your real daughter too.

Until then, you know that you are always connected with your daughter in your heart, and she is your great motivation to choose well so you can be your best Self as an act of love for her. The dream helps us know how hard it can be, but it also teaches you that you don’t have to deal with everything alone (sister, dad and dog will all help).

All Best Wishes

^ * * * ^

KILLER HUSBAND, KID AND LAKE

celeste February 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm [edit]

I had this dream a few weeks ago and have not stopped thinking about it ever since, and was hoping I could get some kind of an interpretation.

In the dream, my husband and I are getting married. We were at the hotel where the wedding was being held, and the bodies of young women kept showing up in the hotel rooms. The police would come investigate, but didn’t know who it was.

Fast Forward and it was revealed that the killer was my husband. He forces me and our daughter in the car as he escaped from the police. We are driving down a curvy road in the mountains and there is a lake to the right. As we are driving he is talking to me about how it will all be over soon and we will all be together forever. I can tell he is planning on killing himself and taking our daughter and me with him. Trying to find a way out of the situation and save my daughter and myself, I try to convince him to go to a hotel and rest, and that in the morning we will all “go together”. He agrees, and I feel a weight off my shoulders, But suddenly there is a gap in the guard rail on the road, and he swerves the car into the lake.

As the car is sinking, I struggle to get my seat belt off and get myself and my daughter out of the car. Finally, I get both of us out of the car, but my daughter is in the water about 2 feet away from me, so I try and swim to get her to go to the surface. But just as my hand goes to grab her, my husbands hand reaches up from the sinking car and grabs her foot and drags her into the darkness of the water. This was the moment I woke up.

The dream really terrified me, and I have been looking for an explanation for weeks now, but have not found anything that makes sense. My husband and I have a great relationship, we love each other very much, and my husbands relationship with our 3 yr old daughter is wonderful as well. So you can see why it does not really make sense.

REPLY

Bruce February 27, 2013 at 8:22 pm [edit]

Hi Celeste,

As a former screenwriter we have to give hats off to your unconscious for crafting a such a compelling horror story, and yet I am sorry that you have been so disturbed by the contents of your unconscious.

My hope is that perhaps if we come up with a coherent interpretation it might unlock your feeling of dread and disturbance.

As you might notice from the dreams already shared in this space, drowning is a very common theme, one quite likely related to random firing of neurons conveying a feeling of sinking, which the narrative brain senses and then spins into a narrative as it prefers a story of terror to nameless, imageless dread.

That said, the contents and symbols of the dream might relate to the themes envy, competition and loss. Let me explain: taking the dream as a representation of your own Self, all the elements might then be re-envisioned as symbols standing in for seemingly contradictory emotions and impulses, particularly “forbidden” elements relating to the Shadow, or destructive power-wielding aspect of the psyche.

In this perspective we have a hotel, symbol of a collective self where many people go and many things happen, but particularly rest and sexual situations. The fact that you are getting married in the dream could symbolize the wish to know that you are still favored, desired and adored in waking life; but in the dream the husband would be a symbol of your own male aspect: that which adores you, but also that which might be a “bad guy”—the part of yourself you would not readily acknowledge or identify with.

Bodies of YOUNG WOMEN keep showing up, perhaps suggesting an unconscious anxiety that as you age your husband might lose desire for you. If you are the unconscious architect of the dream, perhaps there is a part of you who wants to “kill the young women” because they are rivals, threats to your husband’s affection (remember the husband would be the empowered/dark aspect of you, the part that carries the anger and destruction that you may feel unacceptable as emotions… which then become exaggerated into violence).

I actually suspect that the real rival here is your daughter, for at 3 she must be an adorable princess and she must be in love with daddy. In waking life you celebrate this, but as a mom you work your ass off to take care of her and end up feeling like Cinderella and when daddy comes home it’s a huge love fest and you can end up feeling like the dowdy maid.

This would be forbidden to think, which is often the birth of nightmares… You three escape together (from the police, symbol of the part of you who enforces the rules, fairness and justice). Yet you are outlaws on the road, Bonny & Clyde… and that is sexy, and you are alive and desired (even if it is death the love-object plans… for orgasm in French may be called Le Petite Mort after all).

Now the car goes through the gap in the guardrail. Perhaps the guardrail is a symbol of the protective function, the boundary between road (reality) and water (the unconscious, but also perhaps the Mother). The guardrail also brings to mind the crib railings and the “gap” could symbolize the little space between mom and dad that all children dive into for a snuggle and exploit to get their way.

Perhaps you feel dad sides with daughter sometimes, spoiling and not holding the line on rules? Now you find you all three going down together, showing how some part of you would rather die than be separated from your husband and daughter… rather die together than live alone (remember your unconscious is the author, your ego self in the dream a mere player in the show).

Now the chiller moment, you get the girl out and hope to get to the surface with her (this might symbolize the wish to save the little girl part of you, the part that is killed by becoming a parent and being unthroned in the little girl department by the real little girl). Yet another gloss on this is how the little girl must die in ourselves for the woman to be born in full ernest.

Yet… the husband part of you and the child part are so deeply linked that they will not be separated and his hand grabs her… causing you to wake up: to have a chance at consciousness… to search for my blog, to search for meaning, to confront your own unconscious and the beautiful and painful mystery of how you yearn to be free and you yearn to be held and never let go… like all of us.

This dream does not mean anything bad is going to happen, and it does not mean you are a bad parent or that your husband is a killer. I encourage you to pretend you are back in the dream with this new way of seeing it. You say, “Pull over, you are my inner killer and you hold my power and you love my inner little girl and I am conscious about all this so we don’t need drama and driving into lakes. The cops are my inner cops and we are all in a big play meant to illuminate our total Self…”

Then, ask the killer husband what he really wants, and the daughter too. Since they are you you can assure them that you love them and will never leave them nor can they leave you. Maybe the dream becomes a pleasant adventure and all the dead young girls turn out to be the part of you who has felt killed by the toll parenting takes (but we deny because we’re supposed to just say the “nice things”)… maybe they revive and with them your spirit of sexiness and fun and adventure and power and innocence and trust and abundance and generosity… and once you are in the fairytale things tend to turn out happily ever after.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter if I am “right,” only that you feel better and that your dreams become less upsetting and hopefully even sweet.

All Best Wishes

<<<<>>>>

{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

joanne September 10, 2013 at 12:03 am

I have had two nightmares recently the fisrt one was me my partner and my two youngest children were at some kind of a zoo when a big tidal wave comes into sight it hits us straight away then is b one we are standing knee hight in water and I turn to find my three year old floating up to the surface so I grab her and turn to find my two year old but can find him that is when I woke up very scared.
then last night I dremt that my son was missing fir a week and a half then I was in some deep water and found my son upside down with his foot stuck holding him under I freed him and took him out of the water and my partner gave him resusitation and he came back to life what do they mean this one also woke me up scared.

Reply

Bruce September 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Hi Joanne,

I’m sorry you were frightened and disturbed by these dreams.

As I have tried to explain (http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/a-guide-to-bad-dreams-about-our-children/) I cannot really keep up with the requests for personal interpretation, particularly when if readers would go through the already interpreted dreams they would likely get some solid ideas about their own dreams.

If you read through the dreams and comments/interpretations above I think you will find a number of ways to think about this dream. If you are impatient, you can scroll down quickly to dreams about 3 year olds and they are likely to be helpful, and also you will see such dreams are fairly common and you are not alone in having them

If that doesn’t quite do it, the dreams about children dying might also prove helpful: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-where-children-die/

I have done my best to organize these dreams and interpretations, but you will have to do a bit of reading to gain the tools for your own understanding and analysis of your dream.

If you really read though them all and still cannot make any sense of your own dream come back and comment with what you think it might mean and we can take it from there. Hints: The Tidal wave could symbolized the power of your feelings; the water in general could symbolize your unconscious; the themes of the child part of you “dying” could symbolize the time for your more grown-up self to emerge and be born.

Perhaps a part of you needs love and parenting because you didn’t get it, but through giving our children what we ourselves might not have gotten (protection, understanding, compassion) maybe we end up healing ourselves and get psychologically revived and even healed.

Certainly wishing you well & Sweet Dreams

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trey September 13, 2013 at 2:02 am

Dear Bruce;
I have 2 sons 11&7. They live with their dad. I had a disturbing dream that my ex husband and his current partner had split up and she came to tell me at work. Her mouth was white and dirty. Her general appearance was dirty. Id never seen her so low. I felt sorry for her and was going for my purse to get her some money. Then out of nowhere a black ambulance was approaching. Someone gave me a phone it was wet. Had my ex husbands picture on the phone. I started asking why is it wet?
Who’s in the ambulance? I wanted a name!
Was screaming and shouting they weren’t allowing me to see inside. Finally they said my eldest sons name. I looked inside he was unconscious. But there was water and blood everywhere. I asked them why did they bring him to me? He needs the emergency room! He was in the wrong place. My body went numb. I woke up and was numb. Just sobbing.
Please help me.

Reply

Bruce September 14, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Hi Trey,

If you read my response to Joanne above it helps explain why I cannot give comprehensive interpretation to this dream.

Please read through some of the other dreams and you will get the gist of what I have to offer in the way of interpretation strategies.

A hint, however: take the dream as reflecting yourself. Consider as well the power of the wish, the dark power, in which our forbidden emotions may express themselves in such horrific ways. The value of being conscious is that it makes us LESS likely to act out our unconscious aggression, which in the end generally hurts ourselves and not those we resent.

Thus… your ex splits up with partner; perhaps you resent the relationship and wish for the break-up? Mouth was “dirty”; maybe you put the “dirty” (mean, violent, cruel) words in her mouth (but, symbolically, she is the part of you twice-rejected and tasting dirt/i.e. defeat or humiliation).

You were going to give her money: compassion, but also giving her value.

Black ambulance: mix of healing and hearse; symbolic that the hurt part of you (the child aspect) has to die (or at least your identification with the victim and the immature one) so that you can come more fully into being as a grown-up and as a healed, peaceful and loving person.

Phone is wet, symbolic of tears, and also feeling. You make your husband “wet” so that he can feel all the sorrow you have been left alone with.

Even your kids, in being with father, might feel like they rejected you. Your dream retaliates, and then you are horrified at the thought of loss. Why did they bring him to you? Perhaps so that you would be conscious of this part of you who needs, not an ER, but to be fully seen and recognized by you.

Please read some of the other dreams, you will see you are not alone, and as you become conscious of your unresolved anger, sorrow and general wounds my hope is that your dreams will become much less disturbing (and your waking life might go better too).

All Best Wishes

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Eric October 28, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Hey Bruce,

I am new to this entire question of dreams. I usually don’t dream at all that I can recall once I wake up but last night I had a very bad dream. My son (who is 17 months old) and I was standing on the edge of a lake playing in the shallow water (just enough to cover our feet) and we were confined by a what I think was a bridge directly in front of us in the water. It was about 6 feet out in the water. I remember playing with my son and walking out to the bridge and grabbing something out of the water. When I turned around the waves were really large (which that were not any once I walked out to the bridge). The waves started pulling my son under the water and I ran as fast as I could in water. I lost sight of him and I dove down into the water which was about 3-4 feet deep and I caught a glimpse of him. I grabbed him in my arms and picked him up. Once I got him out of the water he was limp and no life was in him. I laid him down and started CPR where he then coughed up a lot of water and came to. He was fine after that just coughing a little. I picked him up and held him and then my soon to be mother in-law/ fiancé was standing there asking if he ok and I replied with I got him, he is fine; I continued to hold him and then I woke up.

Reply

Bruce October 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Hi Eric,

If you read through some of the other dreams and responses it will give you a bunch of ideas to inform what your dream might mean.

A few thoughts, however, include: the bridge—a symbol of connecting two land masses divided by water; or connecting father and son; or connecting father with the forgotten memory of who he was as a boy.

For the third option keep in mind water could symbolize: feelings, mother, womb, the unconscious.

The near drowning of your child in the dream might suggest that you feel overwhelmed by parenting (it is a big job) but also that you might have had some emotionally overwhelming experiences when you were very young.

The fact that you get your kid (i.e. rescue your forgotten self from your own unconscious and the turbulent waves of emotion that swamped you, maybe, when you were little) is a hopeful sign. You bring yourself back to life in rescuing your kid in the dream; and in parenting you get to give to a kid the very things you likely did not get when young, and this is hard but also healing.

You interestingly refer to fiance/mother-in-law in a way that makes it sound as if you are soon to marry your mother-in-law. I know you did not mean this, but the way it was written could suggest that you want the “mother” figure to see that you are competent to help the child, and also you want the mother to see that the child is okay (so that you will know that you are okay).

Hope this helps, certainly wishing you good dreams ahead and good waking life too

Reply

Brittney October 29, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Last night I had two terrible nightmares back to back.
My 1st nightmare… I dreamt that my fiance and I went on a trip to Gatlinburg (which a friend at work just did over the weekend). While on our trip, my fiance committed suicide. I was subconsciously aware of what he was doing while in my dream, and was okay with it, it felt like, but nothing was blatantly said. He was drinking some type of white wine out of a goblet type cup, which was actually poison (he is far from a drinker in reality) while soaking in a regular sized bath tub, with his legs propped up. My dream flashed, and it was some time later (minutes, hours..?) and me and my older brother were standing there looking at his dead body. His eyes were open, and the goblet of wine was sitting on the inside shelf of the tub, by his head. I smelled the cup, and set it down, feeling like I wanted to drink it to. I cried. I kept trying to close his eyes, but they kept opening. My brother offered to lift him out of the tub and carry him out, but I insisted on doing it instead.
I lifted his body out of the water, and was carrying him out of the bathroom (which i have never seen) like a baby (which is not possible in reality)
I woke from that nightmare, rolled over and saw he was okay and alive, and soon went back to sleep.
My second nightmare… All I remember of it, was there being 2, 3, maybe 4 people around, and one of them was holding our 13 month old sons body, and i was in an unknown place. I can’t remember if it was indoor or outdoor. I can’t remember if my fiance was there. In the dream I knew he drowned, but nothing was said about it, and he was not wet. But he drowned…. All i remember is focusing on his face and body the whole time. I didn’t look away. The person originally holding him said “I can take his body” and i said “No, I want to.” I remember reaching out and grabbing him, and his head laying on my chest. In my dream I though “He feels like he does when he is asleep, and I carry him to bed. Or when he is asleep and I get him out of the carseat to carry him inside.” I woke up after I grabbed him. Instantly freaked out and my heart was pounding harder than it ever has. I got out of bed, and went and checked on him, and he too was fine.
Mind you, I am 37 weeks pregnant, and do have weird dreams occasionally. I have been worrying about our son, because everyone is telling me he is so small. He has been crawling since 6 months, and walking since 10, and is a very very active child. He is normal height for his age, but at his 12 month checkup the Dr. referred me to a specialist because his weight is dropping on his growth chart (in the 5th percentile for weight, 50th for height). I believe he is this way, though, because he is so active, and never wants to eat. I don’t believe he has a health issue, I believe it is a stage. I didn’t take him to the specialist. There are 2 other children that are 2 months older than him that are around him once or twice a week (babysitters… which one is my cousin, the other is a friend.) They are all about the same height, but chunkers compared to my son. And my son even eats real food better! Both parents of both children are slightly, to very, overweight. I am 5’4 and never overweight, and my fiance is 5’10 and 180. Average. My son is built like my fiance, tall and slim, but not disgustingly skinny.
I have also been worried about mine and my fiances relationship. I don’t feel we will ever separate, bc of our family… We are two of a kind, and compliment each other very well. We think just alike. But i have been so hormonal during this pregnancy, and feel as if I am pushing him away. Sometimes I feel he deserves better, and all the time I know he doesn’t deserve my attitude. But I am having a hard time controlling it. I am hoping i will be fine once I have this baby, I wasn’t always like this. I am scared I am pushing him away.
These dreams terrified me. I know dreaming of death means a life will happen, and visa verse. Both I and my cousin are pregnant, due the same day. Could this mean we are going to have our babies soon (2 deaths, 2 babies)? Or is there more meaning? I am not happy, or comfortable at all that I saw the images I did in those dreams. Back to back.

Reply

Bruce October 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hi Brittany,

It seems that you landed at this thread, unaware of my previous posts where I explained that I can no longer keep up with the demand of dreams coming in, after striving to interpret hundreds of them.

If you take the time to read through the thread of dreams above you will find many dreams that are similar and you will find the ideas I have offered up.

While I cannot provide an in-depth interpretation of your dreams, perhaps something like the tragedy of Romeo & Juliet is at work here? The gothic poison and wanting to die rather than be separated could suggest some anxiety around attaching and losing loved ones.

While your doctor wanted you to see a specialist and you didn’t go, perhaps your unconscious fears that you or your kid might benefit from some help (and thus you are reaching out here).

When it comes to developmental issues, it’s important to identify things early and get help early; thus if the “expert” says you don’t need any help at least you’ve fully investigated, and if they suggest some sort of help (for your kid, or maybe someone to talk to yourself about your worries and feelings) you can consider it, and how much it would cost, and if there is any downside to the suggestions.

My intention is to be as helpful as I can within limits of what I can offer, and I would refer you back to your doctor, or encourage a second opinion of a doctor in your area.

As for the dreams, please do read through some and you will find a variety of ways to reconsider your own (and you can go back to the original thread as well for a wide array of different dreams:

http://privilegeofparenting.com/2009/05/28/when-we-have-bad-dreams-about-our-children/

Sweet Dreams

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Nova November 2, 2013 at 4:58 am

Hi Bruce,

Early this morning I dreamt that my son, who turns 5 on Sunday, was throwing up profusely, cereal to be exact. I took him into the bathroom to stand over the toilet, as the water begin to flush down his head was sucked inside. I tried to stop him, but the water was so powerful. I remember holding on to his arm.

Thanks,
Stephanie

Reply

Bruce November 3, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Hi Nova,

As I have tried to explain elsewhere in this blog, I can’t really keep up with interpreting all these nightmares, which is why I’m hoping you can read through some of the other dreams and very likely find many insights into your own dream.

Just a brief hint: dream as wish could mean you have felt some irritation toward your kid recently; more likely you may have some bad memories yourself of turning five—in this framework the child is a symbol of your own five-year-old self, and the confusion about the toilet might imply that you felt like poop as a kid, or that you felt unwanted, flushed away, etc.

If this has any truth in it, then being conscious of your past pain, and loving your child and treasuring him, will probably prove healing over time.

Please do read other dreams and responses and I think you’ll find more in-depth ideas, and this I hope you will find comforting.

All Best Wishes to you and Happy B-Day to your boy

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Lisa November 21, 2013 at 3:33 am

DREAMED FOUND 5YO DAUGHTER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POOL.

I have 2 children a son 11 and daughter 5 & have been married 20 years. I normally have vivid active dreams. I will see color and have realistic sensory sensation. Most of the time I know I am dreaming and if I do not like the path it is going down I will change it up. If I do not like how it ended I will start over and change it till I get the ending I like. I typically remember my dreams well but the beginning of this one is hazy. It is the ending that was so raw and vivid it woke me up. It was at night or very early morning because it was dark outside. I went to the backyard looking for a male friend, I didn’t see him so I was getting ready to go back inside but for some reason I looked in the pool. I want to say there may have been floats still in the pool, but it was something on top of the water large enough to obstruct the view of a large portion of the pool. I remember stooping down to see what was under them. The pool was kind of dark, like any pool would be at night. I noticed a childs body on the other end of the corner of the pool highlighted with a soft golden light from an outdoor light. I realized the child was my daughter. She was at the bottom of the pool lifeless, eyes open, mouth slightly open, wearing a dress and matching sweater, frilly socks and shoes, holding her stuffed monkey (her security “blanket”) to her chest like she does every night when she goes to bed. I knew she was dead but I jumped in the pool to get her. I grab her and I know it is too late, she is dead. When I come up out of the water I am holding her up in the air by her legs and screaming NO, no, noooooo! This is when I woke up aslo saying noooo and crying. At that point I knew I was dreaming but my emotions were still very raw. Had it not been 4:00 AM I would have woke up my husband for comfort. I tried to go back to sleep but the image of her lifeless body at the bottom of the pool with her eyes opened would not go away and I did not want to repeat that dream. I had to get out fo bed and I went to check on both of the children. I almost got into bed with her but I did not want to disturb her. She was sleeping so peacefully. So here I am posting it and asking you for guidance.

Reply

Bruce November 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Hi Lisa,

I hear that you are very disturbed by this dream, so much so that you may not have actually read my post, so I reiterate:

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

Please actually read some of your fellow-parent’s nightmares and you will find dreams that are similar to your own and comments to guide you. I know this was just awful, but you will find my insights and ideas in the responses to other dreams above, and these comments contain all that I would share with you were I to respond personally to you dream.

Perhaps if you start again at the top you will truly find what you need so that you won’t have this dream again and gain insights on how to incorporate my ideas with your own ability to shape your dreams under most circumstances.

Perhaps you have control issues and this dream literally blew you out of the water and confronted you with the unsolvable situation, all of our very worst dread as parents.

This drowned child might be a symbol of yourself, the self you could not save when you were actually a child. Maybe it’s time to heal the trauma of the past; maybe you will find your way by delving into the fears of others and finding we are not alone in our dread.

I am sorry that I cannot keep individually repeating the same basic ideas, even if all these nightmares break my heart and disturb my own sleep. As I am interested in the widest gain for all of us and our kids, this means trusting that your dream does indeed resemble other dreams and if you are willing to take time to read you’ll see my point.

Please consider how many kids are anxious, how many parents are anxious, and trust your healing process (i.e. I’m glad you left your dream and your comments for others to read, and perhaps others will read these words in response and then read some of the other dreams).

Finally, my book (“Privilege of Parenting” at Amazon) is a structured guide to deeper understanding of our pain as parents (including depression, which is what drowning is likely about in dreams; but also anxiety, trauma self-esteem, etc.) was written to be compassionate and healing for parents. There I spent seven years gathering what I know to help parents to heal and to be there for their children, and because there are only so many hours in the day it seemed a good way to help those I can’t necessarily meet with one-on-one.

Hope this makes sense, and if you truly read through it all and honestly still find yourself stumped feel free to post a follow up comment with what you HAVE figured out where you authentically remain stuck (although I hope a little reading will clear things up, no more bad dreams and you’re on with feeling safe and enjoying your life and your children).

Meanwhile, All Best Wishes

Reply

naomi December 18, 2013 at 7:04 am

my son engulfed by the wave
my dream was about my son, in my dream I was in our old house ( we used to live there during my elementary school years), my grandfather was there ( he’s dead), my cousin was there also and a young man who happens to be my husband now, it was muddy outside but it’s not raining. the young man gave us some money for school allowance, he handed me a 500 saudi riyal bill and I suggested that I should give it to my mother in law ( his mother) to keep as a souvenir ( because we use peso as our currency) and the young man said yes I should give it to her mother if I like. When we get inside the house I saw my son running towards the other door and got outside so I chased him and took him inside and he would run again to that other door and be outside again and I would chase him again to taje him inside, then as I was locking the entrance door he rushed to the exit and I saw him smile at me ( he always does that whenever he does something I forbid him as if to test my temper) and I when I open the door I saw him playing in the sand and the wave is coming and engulfed him so I dived but I dived so far that I was on the ocean and my son is still on the shore and I could hear him crying and all I could think about is that can somebody please hear my son coz I remember that there is a cliff after the sand and I can’t swim back towards him because of the waves and then I woke up…please help me I’m 3 months pregnant as of now and having sleepless night and when I do sleep I have nightmare.

Reply

Bruce December 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Hi Naomi,

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

Just a couple of hints though… “school allowance” could symbolize that new learning is called for.

Trying to confine your child but he keeps getting past you could symbolize your struggle to let him grow up, and for you to make room for the next child.

Your jumping past your kid to the ocean could be a way of your unconscious showing you that you’re missing the point (missing your child) by trying so hard, controlling, fighting his natural progression to grow (and the child might also symbolize your own child-like self).

Please do read through the other dreams as I think you will get many creative ideas from other people’s dreams, and if you hit on the insights that ring true for you your bad dreams are likely to stop (having delivered their message).

Finally, the ocean could be symbol of the mother, so maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed by parenting at the moment and long to return to the safety of your own mother?

Sweet Dreams

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naomi January 5, 2014 at 4:26 am

Thank you so much.

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Paul Duck January 20, 2014 at 8:17 am

I lost my son six years ago. He was 17 senior in high school. I keep having these dreams that we’re swimming and he’s drowning and I can’t get to him. II don’t know remains

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Bruce January 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Dear Paul,

I just want to say how very sorry I am for this absolutely tragic loss. Of course you are plagued by bad dreams—your unconscious is still trying to save him, and yourself. To be honest, there is nothing anyone can say or do to change the deep anguish of your situation. I can only humanly wish that whatever mysteries lay beyond our conscious grasp might include comfort, love and release from suffering for your child, or his soul or whatever “remains.”

You, however, do remain and so I wish you love and compassion that you may heal. Perhaps your dreams will change as more time goes by. Perhaps you can wish love and healing for other parents who have had to face what seems life’s very worst scenario. Perhaps some sort of support group of others who can speak directly from their experience of such loss—perhaps, if you find your way out of the place of drowning, you may learn how to do this, perhaps then you may be able to help others across this terrible passage.

Finally, in a classical sense, you could consider that your boy in your dreams is also a symbol of the boy self, the one who feels like he died along with your child. Maybe you can imagine your older self coming along in a boat and pulling you both out, or even letting you drown and saving your “child” self who we both intuit deserved to live. Maybe a sort of imagined relationship between your very old Self, one maybe who has come to terms with mortality, could then calmly and confidently guide the drowning you?

In symbolic terms it has been said that the child (or our identification with the child) must die in order for the man/grown-up to be fully born. Perhaps you have other children, a partner in life, friends? They may need you to heal and live and love again.

Maybe some counseling could help, or at least looking at Kubler-Ross’s book on death and dying, and on how we eventually come to acceptance. Another book that you may or may not resonate with is “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” which I had forever and resisted reading, and then I finally did and it has really stayed with me (http://www.amazon.com/Tibetan-Book-Living-Dying-International/dp/0062508342).

It offers up a prayer in there, which whether we say it in Tibetan or not, is really just the wish that no sentient beings suffer (including ourselves).

Call it a prayer or a wish, it is what I wish for you Paul Duck, and for your son, and I hope anyone who happens across these words will wish it too.

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tiffany February 7, 2014 at 7:20 am

Last night I dreamed I was in my car with my two year old son. Then all of a sudden the streets of my home town was flooded and my car was now a boat going really fast and I didn’t know how to control the boat and there was big waves. I looked back at my son and he was holding a white pillow then the boat went under was front first really hard. I couldn’t get to my son. I was panicking and crying and the people around was helping me look for him but he was under the dark water. I went to my boyfriends moms house and she was on the internet putting out an amber alert for him but the picture was of me when I was two years old and I kept telling her he’s a boy and that picture is so obviously a girl its wrong. Then she mentioned a relative of hers was in town and he was a bad guy he may of found my son alive and killed him. I went to the police station to see if anyone found my son but no one had. It had been days and now I knew he was dead. I was crying and shaking then all of a sudden he was there and I picked him up and was kissing him and hugging him and he just smiled at me and then I was at my car I found my car boat and I opened the back and there was the pillow he was holding. I knew if I kept looking I’d find his dead body . So I sat on the ground holding my son. At a point I thought I lost my mind and then I thought maybe gods giving me a little more time with him. I knew if I left he would vanish so I just sat there with him. Then I woke up. Also I woke up several times and when I went back to sleep the dream kept going.

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Bruce February 10, 2014 at 11:52 am

Hi Tiffany,

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

Please DO read through some of the dreams above and my comments, my intention is to help us be together in our fear and terror, and in our love of our children, so that not only can your kid be safe today, but you too might get to a place of safety. In our fear we are alone, in our aloneness we are in fear… until we come together in some deeper way.

Maybe the water symbolizes Nature, Mother, things in the face of which we are powerless. Maybe the car symbolizes the ego, the lonely boat.

Maybe your idea of “gods giving me a little more time” is the key to the dream, we all get whatever little time we get and it’s so hard because it feels like we lose our loved ones and that’s so sad we’re in an ocean of tears.

And then we have to surrender, and we wake up to the truth, today, that your child is alright. The mix up on the photo hints that it is/was YOU who wasn’t safe at age 2. Think about that time in your life, read the other dreams and comments and get back with me if you still honestly have more questions.

Truly wishing you, yours and all of ours safety, good dreams and good waking lives too

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Trisha February 18, 2014 at 7:39 am

Hi Bruce,

I am so happy I found you. I have been having a recurring nightmare, not every day but it seems like every few months. It is weird because it always involves me in a car with my now 4 year old and someone else is always driving. The first time, it was an unidentified man driving my car. Me and my son are in the car too and he is in the car seat behind me. The man turns a corner and all of a sudden the road is missing and we plummet into a large body of water. I get unbuckled and then realize he is in the back seat. I swim back just before his head goes under water and we get out and he is fine.

I had a similar dream last night. It was me and my boss and my son. He again was in the back seat but not in his car seat. All of a sudden we plummet into a dirty lake. I can’t get to him but out of no where my 15 year old is under the water too and he has our 4 year old. He pulls him above the water and I scream throw him to me as my 15 year old struggles to stay above the water. In both dreams my kids are fine but my husband is never with us, which is unusual. We both just started working again after being unemployed for about a year and we are in financial hardship but coming out slowly. When I wake up my 4 year old is sleeping soundly next to me and in my dream last night when I woke up so was my 15 year old.

It terrifies me and I wake up thinking something happened to one or both of them. It reoccurs every few months and I don’t know what to think of the dream. Both times I had it my son had just started day care. Please help.

Trish

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Bruce February 18, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Hi Trish,

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 do read through the dreams above, particularly skip down the thread to kids around 4 (one 3yrs 9 mos, two on 5 yr olds) and then teens.

A couple of hints in the meantime: You are “not in control” (i.e. of the car) and some man, maybe a boss, is in charge… your child is in danger.

Symbolically the car is the self, the boss/man your internalized authority figure, the ego is you and the child is the kid you once were.

The road drops away, symbolically the path of other people, what they do (i.e. drive badly, neglect children) is not viable. You are thrown into the water, symbol of the Mother and of the unconscious.

The kids keep being okay, but the dream reads like an attempt by the unconscious to heal trauma of the past. Perhaps you had pain, emotionally, of loss, or of hurt when you were first separating from family, when you were four, when you were a teen.

Economic struggle is difficult (and a growing issue for more and more of us as the wealth inequality grows more severe, deteriorating our culture, our “roads,” and plunging us into the dirty lake of our past materialism and the toxic effects of it); economic hardship is like drowning, parents’ pain is like drowning, neglect and depression are like drowning.

Please read some of the other dreams for more hints, and for now try to imagine that you are not alone, not in your pain, not in your struggle, not in your wish to protect and raise your children.

If you still have questions after you read a bit more, leave another comment and we’ll take it from there.

Wishing you well-being and sweet dreams

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Trisha February 21, 2014 at 7:16 am

Thank you so much for your insight Bruce. I think you hit a lot of good points and brought to light some of the things I forget about. My husband and I have a great relationship. He is my rock and our protector. He is an air force veteran and protects myself and our children. So maybe these dreams are about myself protecting our kids more and more. So that kind of sets that into light.

Also, my parents divorced when I was young about our 4 year olds age. I remember they split up and had split visitation (my dad for 6 months then my mom for 6 months). After the split I was sexually molested twice by two different men, one a friend of my mom’s in a bathroom of a restaurant when I was about 5 and the other by my oldest brother’s best friend (who was 12) when I was 7 for 6 months. So I am cautious as to who I allow around my children and I think that now that my youngest is back in daycare I feel that I can’t protect him like I did when he was home and I am always concerned about someone else taking care of him and if something happens we won’t be there. Also, my oldest has shown signs of becoming sexually active and it scares me that he may make the same mistakes I did at his age. I became pregnant with him at 16 and I really don’t want that to be his fate either, but realize I have no control of his actions anymore.

I have been really stressed since our financial situation has begun last January. I become more and more worried about how it is affecting our children and how bad it makes me feel when they want something small and I have to say no to them, something my husband and I don’t say to our children a lot when they ask for a dollar toy, some coins for the machines at the front of stores and then how upset they get when we can’t do fun things. My parents couldn’t afford a lot of the stuff we do with our kids and now I feel like we are failing as parents because we can’t afford some of the fun stuff we used to do that I never got to do as a kid.

I did remember one other dream that I had a few years ago when I was going through health problems. My 4 year old was about 2 and I had a dream that I was going to my car in a parking lot somewhere that I had never been. I got a call from my husband telling me our son was missing and when I opened my the back door to the car a child’s body was in the back wrapped in a carpet. I screamed and ran off calling the police. I thought it was my son. Then when the police got there I found out it wasn’t my son, it was a child I had never seen before. Then my son walked to me out of no where. I have nightmares a lot, but most of the time they don’t involve my children, but when they do I wake up in a panic.

Thank you so much for helping me to understand why I keep having these recurring nightmares. Hopefully now they will stop.

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Bruce February 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Hi Trisha,

It does sound like we’re on the right track of understanding how trauma and loss in the past is driving the dreams now.

So… first issue is protecting your little one from harm. Given there is a history of abuse you must find that balance between seeing predators everywhere and failing to protect. My friend and colleague Patty Fitzgerald has written a book for children to help them stay safe from abusers. Visit her site for more information and for links to the book:

http://safelyeverafter.com/

Secondly, parenting teens is a challenge, especially when you are trying to give them an experience quite different than your own past. While my blog offers insights into various topics, my book is more like a step-by-step way of healing through parenting. It has chapters on self-esteem, on sadness, on worry, on acting out and oppositionality. It also tries to place parenting in a non-religious yet spiritual context. You can read a lot of it at Amazon and see if it seems interesting or helpful: http://amzn.to/1fopK1r

Finally, you deserve to heal from the trauma of the past. I would advise you to see if there are any programs in your area that are low-cost or, preferably, free. Perhaps a women’s shelter or local hospital knows about resources. While at the moment it is a dream of the future, I certainly think that mothers should be supported to heal in our culture and thus break the chain of abuse. With your husband being a veteran, there may be resources through the VA… or at least knowledgeable people to help guide you to heal.

The same basic psychological pain that our boys and girls are returning from war with also applies to people who have been abused as children. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/

The last dream you shared only further confirms our developing understanding that there is a child who felt “killed,” but it is not your actual child but rather a way of expressing that you were annihilated by abuse and then “swept under the rug” and trapped in the denial and muffled in silence.

Very sad, but the brain can heal, and especially as you have a loving husband and children to motivate you to heal… if the resources are not out there after you look, then let me know and we’ll see what else we can think of (including eventually demanding that those resources be there for all parents). It doesn’t matter if our government won’t pay for it (although I hope it will), we the parents must make it right by giving loving kindness rather than demanding some sort of “justice” from lobbied up governments that stagnate with infighting while people like you suffer. Unacceptable!

Finally, there is a writer/psychologist, Peter Levine, who speaks about healing trauma in a way I really appreciate, helping us understand how we get freaked out and frozen, and how we can heal. Again this means buying books when you are struggling to buy toys for your kids, but maybe your library can get copies of the books I recommend.

For Peter Levine’s book see: http://www.traumahealing.com/somatic-experiencing/waking-tiger.html

Feel free to keep me (and other readers who may come across these words of your brave commitment to heal and do your best with your children) posted on how it goes. Maybe others will benefit from whatever ends up being helpful to you. Just don’t give up on healing!

Warmest Regards to you and your family, Bruce

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Trisha July 14, 2014 at 11:21 am

UPDATE: I have no longer had dreams of my children drowning. I started a new job with a medical company that deals with many different things and I have been able to express and tell others things that happened to me as a child that I kept buried deep inside. Now the only “nightmare” I seem to have is when I am in the bathroom at night, it is like someone is trying to open the door. When I come out, no one is there but the other bathroom door is closed and when I push it open a man I have never seen before comes out. I scream for my husband and then I wake up. I’ve had these types of dreams in the past, sometimes in the dream it isn’t even me, but I am someone I know. Really creepy. Still working on figuring out what this dream means. But I am super happy that I no longer have the dreams of my children drowning.

Ashley March 12, 2014 at 5:43 am

Hi Bruce- I always have dreams that involve water with my children. It can be a beach, where I’m trying to get to them & they are getting pulled away, or a still lake where it’s a little shallow, and I’m trying to get them. Usually it’s one son in a dream at a time (I have 3 boys, 9, 3 & 4).

My most recent, last night, I was at my mothers friends house, and outside she had a dock in the dream, I was inside & couldn’t find my son, I went outside & my 4 year old was under the water in one of the dock slots. I jump in but I end up having his ankle bc I’m sinking to the bottom. I kept thinking ok he’s still struggling, but once I hit the bottom I’ll push up from it to get back to the top & if he passes out I’ll do CPR. Well as were sinking to the bottom, I then realize there is no time to wait to push off from bottom bc he’s limp now. So I do everything I can to get to the surface w him. We get out and I bang on his bag and he breathes. Then out of nowhere I realize my 3 year old is in another dock slot, he’s right under the surface, and I jump in and I think I was able to grab him without sinking. Out of all my dreams the water ones are always very vivid. Like I was actually there. Thank you!!!

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Bruce March 12, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Hi Ashley,

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

So… please read through the other dreams as I’m confident it will give you the tools and insights to think about your dreams in a deeper way, and also to see that you are not alone in these dreams.

Nevertheless, a couple of hints: the dock is a transitional space, between conscious (land) and unconscious (water). The children might represent the child parts of you, those that are struggling to come into full consciousness and not “drown” into the depths of the unconscious.

Your self in the dream is like the ego, trying to save the vulnerable parts of you and at the same time not lose your grown-up self in the process.

Think about life when you were three and four, perhaps something happened that is metaphorically like drowning (a loss of some sort, a move, an illness or injury?).

On a personal note, I could well relate to this dream because I actually did get trapped under a dock when I was a child and nearly drowned—so at least I can empathize with the terror of the dream, and also with the idea of it happening to our children as even worse than happening to ourselves.

Perhaps at a collective level the dream also hints at our current culture where all us parents are struggling to keep afloat while our children are at risk (if not literally under a dock, at least at risk for drowning in the world we are going to leave them… unless we pull it together and make things better, fairer, kinder, safer for all kids).

Please read through the dreams above and if you have further questions after that feel free to leave another comment.

Warmest Regards

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Emi May 4, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Hi,
I had this terrible nightmare last night. I was near this place with water and the water was not clear. My son who is 13 years old was sleeping in this thing i cant explain what was it but wasn’t a bed, he was on the other side of the water. So that thing that was like closet or something fell into the water with my son on it. I started to scream, my father in law was with him and i was begging him to get into water to save my son and he wouldn’t listen to me, i don’t know why i couldn’t jump my self. So than i started to think and i just reached my hand into water removed that thing (closet) and here it is my son, sleeping and he smiled at me. He didn’t even get wet or anything. I am really worried, i mean my father in law loves my son more than anything and still he wouldn’t help my son, and than how come my son wasn’t even wet in the water??? Please let me know what it means i am worried sick, he is my only child he is my Life.

Emi

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Bruce May 4, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Hi Emi,

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

So… please read through the other dreams as I’m confident it will give you the tools and insights to think about your dreams in a deeper way, and also to see that you are not alone in these dreams.

Nevertheless, a couple of hints: Think about what the symbols might mean to you. A bed that’s like a closet could be a symbol of your wish to keep your child close to you (i.e. in the closet) instead of letting him go now that he’s becoming a young man at 13.

Maybe the water symbolizes your own feelings that “aren’t clear” (because like all moms you want to hold onto your kid, but also want him to be free to grow up and become his own separate person).

The father-in-law “not helping” could be the part of you that knows how to facilitate your son’s male development (i.e. by letting your kid have more responsibility, freedom, be allowed to make mistakes and learn). This could be confirmed in the your kid smiles and is “not even wet” (maybe not so sad or emotional… which might show how you, with all your emotions and “reaching into the water,” perhaps a symbol of bringing your child into being from the waters, being birthed, shows how you are a loving mom, doing a lot of the emotional holding so your boy can grow confident).

Finally, the symbols, including the child, might represent parts of your own personality or psychology, the child who is okay (not touched by the sadness of the past) and the mom (who does whatever it takes to protect her child) and the older parent (who doesn’t help, maybe a way you carry memory or feelings about a past where you didn’t feel as supported as you might have liked.

Certainly wishing you good dreams

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sanmit kaur May 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Hi,

I saw in my dream that me, my mother and my son are going in a bycycle. I was holding a milk bottle. and suddenly there was a big slope came with a sand. Everyone fell down. And in a next second I saw my son was drowning in a drain and I started screaming and after that I woke up. This dream has shaken me up. I never had this kind of dreams before. Please help. Many thanks

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sanmit kaur May 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm

I forgot to mention that my son is 7 year old.

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Bruce May 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Hi Sanmit,

As noted above in the 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.]

Still, a couple of hints: Mother, son, grandchild… on a bicycle… could be a symbol of the wheel of life, the cycle of birth, aging, having children and eventually death (but the life spirit continuing in the children)?

The father holding a milk bottle: could symbolize the father as nurturer, the giver of love, food, life… (perhaps only troubling to the extent you might not feel as if you are ready to leave the position of child, perhaps because it leads to growing up, and then growing old…)

Thus the “big slope” which might symbolize that downward descent toward death, feeling “over the hill” as we mature, the accelerating perceived speed of time.

“Drowning in a drain” might symbolize despair, “things going down the drain,”

Think about whether you felt any losses or melancholy when you were seven?

In this way the dream might represent your various feelings: out of control, depressed/sad “falling down,”and finally the earth itself might relate not to the personal mother but “mother earth” (or even “father earth”), but this downward trend might, ironically, symbolize growing “up”

Contemplate the images, the other dreams in this thread and then do your best to discover for yourself what your dream means to you.

Sweet Dreams

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Anna June 10, 2014 at 2:11 pm

My daughter is 22 and had a baby some 14 weeks ago, last night I dreamt that she (my daughter) was swallowed up in to a hole on the beach, whilst i watched.

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Bruce June 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Hi Anna,

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.]

In the meantime, perhaps a hint: The beach is the space between rational (land) and unconscious (ocean). You have just become a grandmother and so you are transitioning in the life-cycle and you may feel like you are a bit lost in the shuffle. If you were unconsciously angry at your daughter (perhaps you feel she is shutting you out) your unconscious might “swallow” her back into not just the earth, but your own Self as symbolized by the earth/beach. The passing of time can be hard for all of us, and perhaps there is an unconscious wish to turn back the clock and be the young mom carrying your daughter inside you.

More than anything I do believe that mother-daughter bonds are very deep and that there will be time for the love that bonds all three, grandmother, mother and child to deepen and reveal ever-increasing love as deep as the earth and the ocean.

Sweet Dreams

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Ana June 15, 2014 at 6:47 am

Hi Bruce,

I had a dream that I was walking along a trail and all of the sudden I see people chasing a boy. I decided I was going to help him and told the people he had crossed the river even though he had not. They all started to run toward the river. The water was very filthy and the river was very wide. All of the sudden I see my 9 year old daughter crossing the river so I ran to the bridge and kept telling her to be careful. As she get towards the middle she went under the bridge and was drowning, but the water wasn’t dirty anymore it was crystal clear. I tried getting ahold of her to try to pull her up but I couldn’t reach her so I jumped in and saw her but before I could save her I woke up. Me and my daughter butt heads a lot and this dream made me feel horrible. I feel guilty a lot at nights I feel like sometimes I can be too hard on her.

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Bruce June 15, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Hi Ana,

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

Still, a couple of hints (and then please read the other dreams):

The river is a very widespread symbol of transition (to the underworld, to the promised land, etc.) and might represent transition from one state of consciousness (alive, conscious, enslaved, confused, sad/lonely, etc.) to another state of consciousness (dead, unconscious, free, enlightened, happy/together etc.)

Chasing a boy might symbolized love for the male aspect, the golden child or beloved boy (did you have a brother of whom you were envious? do you have a younger son who steals attention for your girl?). Or “chasing a boy” could be like chasing a dream. You “lie” and say he crossed the river. Could this symbolize that something inside you has not yet truly “crossed over”? To freedom, adulthood, freedom from past hurts, etc.?

You are “on the bridge” (i.e. the symbol that links the two sides of the situation: parent/child; encumbered/free; murky/clear). The “water” (the unconscious, the feminine principal of compassion) gets “clear” once your girl (that which you truly Love) is “in it” (remember you are on the bridge, not really “in the situation”). You “jump in” meaning perhaps you forget your fear and confusion and in love become crystal clear about what to do: save your child; Love.

Your actual child is not drowning, but your symbolic child self pulls you into the unconscious where things are clearer than they are in our murky world. It’s a surprise that to heal sometimes we must go down, root, connect to our Great Mother and our tears and our feelings in order to discover that we are not alone in our deepest Truth or Self.

Hope this helps & Sweet Dreams

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kaitlyne July 2, 2014 at 4:52 am

Dear Bruce ,
Hi I’m Only 16 , And I Had A Dream About My Track Teacher pushing Me In The Water. I Couldn’t Swim And There Was A Loy Of People There On The Boat But They Didn’t Help Me. What Does That Mean? When I Woke Up I Thought Its Was Real.
– Kaitlyne

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Bruce July 2, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Hi Kaitlyne,

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

A couple of hints, however, to get you started… Maybe your “Track Teacher” in the dream symbolizes your inner coach or authority figure. The water could symbolize something like feelings, or the unconscious (what you don’t yet realize you think and/or feel) or it could even symbolize the Mother (the part of you that is truly “creative” and is bigger than you and hard to handle, symbolized by being “unable to swim” or deal with the feelings of being hurt or criticized or rejected “pushed into the water”). On the other hand sometimes this could be symbol of your inner authority pushing you to grow up (sink or swim) and then the dream might show how part of you wants to stay a little girl (stay on the same track you have been on) and part of you wants to grow up.

The boat could symbolize that part of you that contains many parts of you (i.e. able to hold your mixed emotions); in this sense, as a teen particularly, you may feel like you are a “lot of people” and yet it feels like none of them are helping you.

Maybe this symbolizes that even if you are afraid to grow up or maybe afraid to try and fail (it is a bit hard to grow up), the parts of you “pushing you” (i.e. to do well in school, tests, go to college, etc.) and the parts who are all “in the same boat” have faith in you that you can figure it out.

Maybe in the end life is about “waking up” and realizing that all our negative feelings, fears, isolation, feeling persecuted were a sort of “bad dream,” (even if the world is often cruel, like a bad dream). If you try your best no one can ask more of you, including yourself; if yourself is mean to you then that part of you is not your friend. If any dream like that happens again, or if life feels like that, remember that people who feel good about themselves are kind, and thus your inner coach may have faith in you, but probably isn’t very happy.

Hopefully these ideas might help you have happier dreams, and I certainly wish you a happy waking life!

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Trisha July 26, 2014 at 9:11 am

Hi, I read through the dreams and I didn’t see mine, so I thought maybe you could help me. Last night I had a dream that a little girl and my daughter jumped in a very deep body of water and they were doggy paddling and then my daughter had this look of despair and slowly went under the water, I knew I needed to jump to help her, but didn’t do it. I wired a split second to see if she would swim up and then I woke up.

This dream upsets me, because I usually act fast to help my kids, but I didn’t in my dream. This is the second time I ad a dream where I didn’t help my daughter in time.

Last year I had a dream there was a house fire and I jumped to help my son and didn’t help my daughter in time and before i could help her, I woke up.

I’ve been reflecting on my parenting a lot lately and my daughter just hit the pre-teen stage, while my son is still in preschool. Do you think these dreams are about me or my parenting?
My dreams can be so tormenting from time to time and I wish I could understand them better and move on. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, for your time.

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Trisha July 26, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Hi, this reply doesn’t answer my question or apply to my dream. I see there is another Trisha you conversed with on 7/14, but that is not me. Could you please look over and read my dream an question. It is from today, Thank you!

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Bruce July 26, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Hi Trisha,

I see my mistake, sorry. So I’ll try to help, but I really think that the dreams in another category will probably help you understand your dreams and your questions:

http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-about-children-running-away-or-being-neglected-or-abandoned/

That said, a couple of hints: The theme is not getting to help your kids “in time” and that could be about how you felt when you were a kid (“burned” by some sort of painful experience; “drowned” by some sort of overwhelming feelings?)

Perhaps the “deep body of water” symbolizes the depth of your unconscious, and also the mother (a body you were once deeply within, suspended in “water” in her womb). Now you are the mom and you fear you are letting your kids down in the way you once felt let down. Maybe we live our lives “in time” and our love, especially for our children, transcends time and our own selves. If that feels true, then don’t be too quick to imagine your mom doesn’t feel, at least deep down, the same way about you.

In other words, try trusting that you are a good mom, that you are loved, and that if you have something happen that feels like a nightmare, try to realize that you are likely (hopefully) dreaming. From there you can, with this realization, usually shift the dream. Dreams are magical and if you realize you are having one you can fly and have the ability to rescue your child.

From there we can wake up and just support each other to love our kids, and each other and each other’s kids without any more magic than compassion and loving kindness. Not too fancy, very “grown-up” and powerful over time.

From that sort of loving we might find we have better dreams :)

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Trisha July 26, 2014 at 7:59 pm

I appreciate your feedback and I truly believe you are on to something. My childhood was less than perfect, we went through a lot. I swore to myself that I would be a different Mother and while I have done things differently, I have made mistakes along the way and I am trying very hard to fix my attitude. I do carry guilt about that, because being a loving and supportive parent for my children is top of my list. My Mother passed away 5 years ago when her and I had just had a chance to have a good mother/daughter relationship. Her death left a lot of open wounds for my siblings, other family and myself. Thanks for listening, I am going to search your site more diligently and do my best to lead with love.
Cheers

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Bruce July 27, 2014 at 7:39 am

That sounds good Trisha, and I certainly wish you peace and well-being. I know I’ve had many “opinions” as a psychologist, but over the years I’ve come to see that it’s really all about love (the sort we can, as human beings, have for others that is not about romance or gain or advancing through being a tribe against another tribe, but rather the sort of love we learn naturally in our wish to give our children better than we got).

I lost my dad a couple of years ago and you might find my experience (learning that he was more loving than I had sometimes realized, without denying he had his limitations that sometimes hurt me, as we all have our limitations).

That story is a guest essay at another blog, a woman I have only met in this virtual world who has been encouraging, a single mom who had to step up through much pain to love her kids. If you leave a comment there, tell her how you arrived and that I send good wishes for her.

http://dailyplateofcrazy.com/2014/01/26/black-and-purple-butterflies-for-dad-part-7-fathers-bruce-dolin/

In this way we may begin to realize how we are all connected, something our nightmare-making minds cannot really grasp but our loving minds knew was there all along.

All Best Wishes, Bruce

Kapone July 27, 2014 at 11:20 pm

This seems like an old post. But maybe you can help me. Since a child I have had dreams about being in a car getting hit and the car driving off the bridge. These dreams are the most real things I’ve ever dreamed. Now that I have kids I end up being the passenger no longer in the back. I try and jump back and unbuckle my babies 8 months now and 3 years old. My husband the driver is gone I just somehow know. But I find we all die because I can’t just pick one baby. My son can’t be unbuckled die to the terribley hard to unbuckle buckle and my daughter is so terrified and scared and I don’t have time to calm her. The car is flipped as it sinks so everything I do is super disoriented. And it’s the cold water that make my daughter let go and scream her lungs out and my sons car seat I can’t get through the car door. This causes me to never want to sleep. My children are my life. I just cry for hours every time this dream occurs. Any help?

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Bruce July 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Hi Kapone,

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

Still, this does sound very distressing so a couple of hints and suggestions (and then you can read the other dreams and see if you get some more insights, maybe one that will unlock the mystery of this recurring dream and release you from your long series of nightmares).

Given that this dream has shifted over time, but essentially recurs through your life, it seems good to consider the deeper roots of the dream.

Questions like how old were you when you first had the dream, what was going on in your life then, etc. might be important.

The reason so is that if the dream somehow relates to actual trauma it would be useful to know this and then focus on healing your experience of this trauma.

Along those lines you can wonder if you were in some sort of accident as a child, or even if your mom was in an accident when you were still in the womb, or even if there was some sort of tragedy in the family history. I’ve been aware of situations where children have been dreaming of horrific events that actually happened to a grandparent long before the child was born, but which was known to the parent who somehow managed to convey it (maybe unconsciously, maybe in an overheard conversation) to the child who grows up having the recurring dream of some family event.

Next would be a variation on this, such as if the dream symbolically represents a situation. In a car (perhaps transition, perhaps moving, being born, parent divorce, etc.) on a bridge (crossing from one state of being, or consciousness, or actual situation to another—from unborn to born, from no sibling to having a sibling, etc.) Let’s just say that you had a baby sibling born and your mom had complications and became sick or depressed and it felt like you were hurt by this but then you might have also felt guilty (because kids get angry at parents all the time and if something bad happens, or even if they fear something bad might happen, they might think it’s their own fault; THEN they dream of being “trapped” and hurt so that they are sure they are helpless and innocent victims).

Another question: do you suffer from anxiety or OCD? If yes, you would want to target that and consider how the same sort of circular worry-mind is prone to just this sort of dream—catastrophizing, worst case scenario thinking, predicting what’s going to happen which will be terrible. If any of this rings true, seek help for this (and consider reading about “common cognitive distortions” as a good beginning for effective help, as endless interpretation of your mind’s worry scenarios does not lead to calm and safe feelings, no moral or character failing, just nature and the brain’s wiring).

If there is no anxiety, no family history of trauma, etc., then we might be just talking about a dream that is also natural in that our bodies are temporarily paralyzed when we sleep so the feeling of running and not going anywhere has a biological root in dreaming of running while being immobilized in our actual bodies. Likewise, you may be creating a story in your sleeping mind to explain why you cannot save the kids.

In this case it would be fantastic to have a lucid dream—to realize you are dreaming (a likely notion if anything truly horrible is happening) and then you can “wake up” IN the dream and then you can do child-like fantasy of flying and rescue and that will turn the dream from nightmare to good dream.

Much easier to wake happily from a good dream. From there we can actually be awake together in the world we share. Maybe from there we can have a bit of a better time of it in our actual lives, which globally seem like a nightmare in its own right. And maybe from happy and awake we can truly “wake up” to whatever mystery (beyond my pay grade to speculate on that) cooked up our “reality”

Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams (and a better waking life too)

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Karla August 31, 2014 at 8:14 am

Hi Bruce,

I woke up crying from my sleep and all I could feel was terrified and sad. I had a nightmare that my mom and I had gone to dinner out on this beautiful restaurant out in the water and was being held up by 2 strong poles (looked like the golden gate). My mother and I got into an argument and as I walked the 5 mins to get off the restaurant to take a breather and calm down from my mother upsetting me, I saw the bolts on the pole that was securing it all together unscrew and literally pop off. All I could see was my mother holding my daughter and my 3 yr old daughter looking back at me with her huge smile. My mom then notices the bolts and the pole and what was happening, and she saw the pole tilting towards them. I was trying to push the pole in the other direction but it was way too heavy. All I could see after that was the pole falling and hitting my family along with the other people sitting down. It broke the entire restaurant in half and killed everyone. My ex husband came running to me and noticed the disaster from the wreck that had just happened. He started bawling, I was in just such shock that it had hit me as soon as I stepped into the steps of the restaurant. I lifted a board to see if I could reach anybody especially my daughter and/or my mother’s hand but all I could pull was her little toys that she had to carry with her everywhere we go. My ex husband started saying such hurtful things like “this is all you could get!” “These are her toys that you would get irritated when she’d carry tthem and she was just playing with”, I pulled out her toy baby doll and I just lost it (emotionally). He looked at me with tears in his face and said, “don’t you feel bad for all those times you were so mean to her!” I got mad and said “I was only trying to discipline her and teach her wrong from right.” I woke up sweating with tears coming down too. I just laid with my daughter and hugged and kissed her so much.

Thank you for reading,
Karla

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Bruce August 31, 2014 at 3:16 pm

HI Karla,

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 do read through the other dreams as you will see themes that relate to your own, and ways you might think about it.

A few hints: The symbols seem to be your inner mother holding your inner child with you watching from “across the water” (water as Great Mother, feelings, tears, the unconscious). The bridge is a symbol of connecting, while the pole could be a symbol of phallic aggression. Your ex hurt your feelings, but even he in the dream would be that symbolic “man in your head who criticizes you”.

Thus the dream might be showing you that you need to build bridges of understanding rather than “taking breathers” from your mother self or your baby self. That you need to realize how self-critical you are, and that this is a “nightmare,” while compassion and understanding and love would be closer to Truth… where you wake up and you are glad your baby is okay, and inspired not just to “be less mean” (this is misunderstanding) but rather to feel more love and understanding (for yourself, your mom, your ex, your child). This is the “Golden Gate” (a way of being, a loving consciousness) that we hope will lead to love and happiness.

If you want more support on how to think about these things, from anger, to self-esteem, to anxiety consider my book where I take time to explain and offer concrete ideas for so many of these themes:

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

Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams and good waking life too!

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Karla September 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Thank you Bruce :) I’ll take a look into it.

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Tan September 16, 2014 at 8:39 am

Hi im a mother of 5 and the two youngest are twins 6 yrs old and i had a dream that me my husband and all kids were swimming together in pool and my 6yr old twin boy who has some mental disabilities and can not swim with atall he always has his life jacket on in real life-in the dream everything was good we were just playin all yogether i looked down about 3 ft from me i seen my son on bottom of pool lifeless i pulled him up laid him in my arms started cpr and he started coughing and came ro life then i woke up please help this scares me out of all my children i have never dreamed of anything bad u happening to him i have a a huge fear of him around water all summer ling causr he has severe adhd and can not swim

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Bruce September 16, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Hi Tan,

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 if you please read through the other dreams it will give you ideas into what your dream might mean.

A couple of hints to get you started: The boy who drowned in the dream may look like your child, but it is the symbolic representation in your mind and thus is more about the part of your own self that feels unable to deal with the current situation.

It must be terribly hard having a child with extra needs and of course you are worried to protect him because you love him so much. I imagine you are an excellent mom, therefore your dream is about your own feeling of being overwhelmed (metaphorically “drowning”).

While your dream doesn’t need complicated interpretation, your actual awake situation probably calls for more help and support. I’m sorry our current world doesn’t really offer as much compassion and support as we would like for families like yours, however I’m glad at least you saw your dream as a cry for help and wrote to me here.

Hopefully, as you learn that you too must ask for help, for others to help keep an eye on your child, you will also learn that you need to keep an eye on your own child self, that little girl who used to just play in the pool and now has to be lifeguard all the time. That’s exhausting! Perhaps just speaking that emotional truth will give you a little breathing room and you can get back to your deepest wish, which is to be happy and safe all together with your family, but also with all the parts of your inner self.

Jung used to say something to the effect: that which we cannot be conscious of materializes and meets us as our fate. Perhaps dreams allow us to be conscious of our sorrow, our fear, our overwhelm precisely so that we can know it, ask for compassion and understanding and help construct an outcome where we are happier.

Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams and and even better waking life

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Melissa November 1, 2014 at 8:01 am

Hi Bruce,
I’ve been having these awful dreams about my oldest son dying. The first and most often is the one where he and I just went shopping and I have a lot of bags to carry so I can’t hold his hand. My 2 year old then finds a way to cross over the huge tank like water we are walking by. I panic and tell him to come back to me but he runs off I think because he thinks we are playing. I chase him and as I do so he falls into this tank of water, I can see him slowly going deeper ion the water but can’t seem to drop the bags to go catch him. Then I wake up. I also have this nightmare that my husband and I are walking with him and some guy takes my son and in order to get him back we have to make some kind of deal with him. If you could help me unstained what this is about I’d really appreciate it. Thank you!

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Bruce November 1, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Hi Melissa,

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

Still a couple of hints to get you started:

Carrying “bags” could symbolize your own emotional baggage, meaning that your unconscious might be telling you that you need to let go of your baggage and that failing to do so puts your child at risk.

Of course letting go of hurt and resentment can be difficult, particularly when those who have hurt us do not validate our pain, nor do they take responsibility much less truly apologize, which would make forgiving much easier… and forgiving is the key to releasing toxic resentments.

The water tank could symbolize all your uncried tears, the large reservoir of emotion that you cannot seem to cross over, and so your child (a symbol in the dream of your child self, not of your actual child in waking life) is the one to “cross over” or come to a new place—the place of your own deep Self, of your unconscious, of your feelings, and also of your depth, your soul, your deepest love, the Great Mother (often symbolized by big water, tanks, lakes, oceans) and how you need to birth yourself into this new chapter of life.

A child in the tank could easily be a symbol of the baby in the uterus; and thus the deep symbolism might be about rebirth. If you read some of the other dreams and comments you will see a theme of a parent needing to let their identification with childhood, their own child, and their childhood traumas and sorrows die so that their true selves as grown-ups can be “born” so to speak.

Finally, the guy who takes your child is the part of you who wants the child, and by making a deal you assert that you value the child and thus you are working out how you felt devalued or unwanted as a child and your dark mysterious self, your Shadow which holds your fear but also your power, does want the child, does value the child and will “teach” you to integrate your power and your love by dropping your baggage, paying the “ransom” (valuing the child) and coming consciously to realize how much you love your child (and also how it is natural to have resentments and anger toward are loved ones, which is sometimes forbidden in conscious thought, and thus you unconsciously express aggression by having a “bad guy” take (steal, but also want) your child self.

How this helps. Sweet Dreams

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Angel November 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm

I had a dream a few nights ago that me and my son were abducted and taken to this room. It was strange because I’ve never seen anything like it. In the room there was normal tongs like a bed and windows or at least what looked like windows but then there was this balcony booking thing with stairs leading down. I went and looked down and it was a bathroom. My son had fallen asleep so I layed him down on the bed and decided to go explore this strange looking bathroom. I think that we had been there for awhile because I remember the strange guy come in and bring food and stuff. Something happened one time that he came in and I started arguing with him and I got hit a couple of times and then he went after my son and I wouldn’t have it. My son is 11 months old by the way. I vaguely remember going downstairs to try to her away from this guy and the next thing I know is that the whole bathroom starts filling up with water. Like in some horror movie or something. I was trying to go back upstairs but the water was coming in so fast I started having a panic attack cause deep water scares me. I finally got us out of the water and the guy is up top trying to push me back into the water and I start fighting with everything that I have. I finally killed the guy. When I turn around I realize that my son was floating in the water. I freak out and grab him and start doing mouth to mouth and he caughs up the water and comes to. That’s when I woke up sweating and crying. I can’t hardly sleep now cause I’m afraid I’m going to have a dream like this again is there something within this dream that might help me sleep better at night again.

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Bruce November 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Hi Angel,

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

So… please take the time to read some of the dreams. It will give you ways to think about your dream.

A couple of hints to get you started: Bathroom, possible symbol of where you get rid of things you don’t want that were in your body, and where you wash away dirt that you don’t want. Theme—getting rid of feelings you don’t want.

Deep Water, possible symbol of unconscious, of tears, of the Great Mother. Perhaps you have not dealt with some of your emotions, and you are reluctant to go deep (for example, you didn’t actually read the post or instructions above, this could be a style of dealing with the world, missing cues, crying out for help but missing the help that is available if you slow down and were safe enough to pay better attention).

The “bad guy” is a potential symbol of your own personal power (that you may tend to project onto others, perhaps men, and then feel angry and frightened that you feel powerless. Yes, we have a lot of sexism in our culture and if you are angry you have legitimate right to your feelings; still, empowerment comes at least in part from consciousness, from knowing yourself and your feelings and owning your power instead of running away from it).

The baby in your dream looks like your child, but it might be also thought of as a symbol of your own baby self. Perhaps you have anxiety (if your “panic attacks” are actual panic attacks then it would be wise to seek some help with that).

Again, read through other comments and you will find some support for how to deal with this. If you do all that and have further questions please write back as I truly wish to support you and your parenting but have already answered hundred and hundreds of dreams so I need you to meet me halfway.

Wishing you Sweet Dreams and a good waking life too

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Ann November 20, 2014 at 9:32 am

I have this horrible dream of a lil baby boy in danger, his left eye is purple and badly bruised he has fallen in a water space, a bath or something and gotten injured, his mother or mother figure watches him as if wishing he dies and does nothing for several minutes to even pick him up. She knows he would lose consciousness and drown I somehow reach/am there, rush in push her aside and pick up the boy as my own son, but he is not my son. I save him from drowning. I hold him close wipe the water off him with my bare hands and see his swollen purple bruises on his head and left eye. I feel he is my baby or whatever but its a very protective overwhelming maternal feeling holding him. I know him. He is mine. He is in real danger. Plz reply here.
Please Help interpret.
PS: there are no lil babies in my home, friend’s homes or in family.

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Bruce November 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm

HI Ann,

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… if you read some of the other dreams and interpretations you might get clues about your own.

A couple of hints to start you off: the baby might represent your own baby self, a symbol of your forgotten, hurt, helpless self.

Whatever emotional wounds of the past you may have had, maybe this dream is about you bringing that up out of the unconscious (symbolized by water, and by uncaring parents, also a symbol of the part of you who is helpless or checked out).

By loving, accepting and helping the baby perhaps you are integrating your own psychology?

Even the “left eye” could be a pun for the left or abandoned “I”

Hope that helps a bit. Certainly wishing you Sweet Dreams

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amber December 9, 2014 at 6:21 am

I keep having a recurring dream the past week, all different but similar in nature. First dream my son (17 months) jumped into a pool and I had to save him, second dream we were in a mall crowded with people and the mall was built out of a ton of showers. I lost my son and ran around screaming and crying, finally I found him. The third dream my son jumped off a cliff into a lake with a waterfall. I jumped in after him and swan through extremely merky water with a sucken ship looking for him. Finally I found him and brought him to the surface, where I gave him cpr and he survived but barely. My fourth dream my son is sleeping in his crib and I lift his head and under his head was filled with muddy water that he would of drowned in if I didn’t lift his head. I don’t think I’m done having these dreams yet but maybe you can help me and give me a better understanding of them.
keep in mind that the last time I had a recurring dream was years ago, I dreamt of comets for 2 months, some hitting the earth some not. Then, my marriage went through something terrible all of a sudden and ended. I never had the comet dreams again. But now I feel as if I should take this dream as a warning or sign. What do you think?

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Bruce December 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Hi Amber,

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.]

This might be particularly helpful as many of the different dreams in the thread resemble some of your dreams.

As you read through the other dreams, think about the central symbolism in all your dreams: water. If it means emotion/tears, the unconscious, the Mother, the flow of life… you must intuit.

Nevertheless, it seems possible that these dreams are about your inner feelings, particularly about the past/childhood, symbolized by your children. You go into the water (enter the emotional world), shower (wash away what’s no longer needed, maybe resentment, fear, shame), go deeper into the murky water (confusion) to a sunken ship (symbol of your old depressed self, crashed, broken, downhearted, forgotten on the bottom of the feelings zone), and the last dream (after rescuing your child self from obscurity) now she/he’s in the crib (moving in safer direction) but the water is “in his head” but “leaking out” as mud on the pillow (the pain of the past is no longer your life, only it lingers in your thoughts/in your head, so it falls out onto the pillow where you can now see it. So… if you don’t “lift the head” (elevate your consciousness) you remain in depression/confusion/weakness (stuck in the murky muddy water), but if you “lift the head” you cheer up, grow up and come to life.

Comets crashed in the past, now the child/self rises to adulthood and learns how to love, how to pay attention to feelings, how to revive (or redeem) sad situations.

Hopefully these notes help, and if they do you won’t have any catastrophe (it already happened, to YOU, in the past) and instead “wake up” to the love and life you have now. Reality is your kids are okay. That alone is reason to have Sweet Dreams

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Claudia December 22, 2014 at 8:22 am

Hello Bruce, I dreamed ln the morning that I was with my son inside the water on the beach playing. There was a woman with a plastic small blow up boat . All the sudden my son was gone. I screamed I was looking everywhere when I walked out the water I found his body underneath me in the water. I brought him to the morgue I tried to wake him up. . Suddenly he talked and told me he want strawberry juce I told the people around me he is alive but nobody could see him talking. When I looked back to him he was dead again. All the sudden my mom was there and said she was sitting on the beach and told me she was waiting the whole day and now her grandson is gone that I couldn’t take care. Then I was in hospital and wanted to talk to my father . I woke up crying . Side note my son is almost 7 . My mother lives in Germany and I’m in the USA . I just starting to have contact with my fathers other daugther and saw my fathers picture after 5 years .

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Bruce December 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Hi Claudia,

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.]

If you read the other dreams and comments you will get some ideas. Be patient, but put in the effort.

A couple of hints to start: Water could be your unconscious, and also your emotions (tears). The idea of “waking up” could symbolize consciousness, coming to true life and love. You are connected to the “dead child” part of yourself (not your actual child, a symbol of someone lovable who has died from “neglect”)

By just paying attention to this part of yourself you are already healing, and I’m hoping your dreams will grow sweet as strawberries and then you will wake gently to your life, ready to forgive, to heal, to love.

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ajay January 5, 2015 at 1:54 am

just wondering what my dream mean’s I keep dreaming the same thing at least twice a week.
I’m walking on a wooden board walk with my son strapped into his pram. The board walk crumbles and my sons pram falls a black ocean with my son strapped in tightly, I can see him disappear into the black ocean, I jump in to save him but the water is to deep and black and I can’t find him, days later he washes on a beach having drowned still strapped into the pram.

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Bruce January 5, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Hi Ajay,

I’m not sure if you had a chance to read the post above, but it notes: [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… do read the thread of dreams as I believe you will find ideas that apply to your dream.

A couple of hints to get you started: The child in the dream might be a symbolic representation of your own self as a child, or of the way you experienced your childhood. “Strapped” in the pram could signify your feeling of having been trapped in your situation. The boardwalk crumbling might signify your world crumbling, particularly parental divorce, trauma or loss for you.

The “black ocean” could symbolize the unconscious, and how you are currently unable to see into your own deepest feelings… and that you may suffer from melancholy or even depression, with water possibly signifying Mother, or tears.

Washing onto the beach could symbolize a feeling of deadness you long carried now coming into you conscious awareness. Other than good safety around water for your child, something every parent needs to practice, my guess is that this dream has more to do with your own painful past than any dangerous future for your child.

Anyway, read some of the other dreams and in the meantime I wish you Sweet Dreams

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child falls in pool after being played with by mother February 7, 2016 at 4:11 am

Hi bruce
I recently was just jolted from my sleep by an aeful dream about my son. He is 11 months now will be a 1 yr on the 24. My son had surgery at 4 days old of malrotaion an volvus. He was released without a bowl movement to get home the same night n my son was passing blood. He had cardiac arrets twice. 2 bkiid transfusions. An a bone marrow transplant. His intentions were jn knots an hanging. His appendix was in the wrong spot. His chances of this happe ing again before he is 2 are 75 percent but also unlikley. As he gets in his older ages it is more likley to happen again. In this dream I am at someone house. I domt kmow where it is all unfamilar to me. I was on the top deck which was high enough that even if i broke the wood in the deck to go after him or dive into the pool I could had died. I was yelling to my son in the playful voice that I do an he was laughin at me …. An he started play running away from me. Their were my sisters n her friend an other people standing down their around him. An i yelled to someone watch him so he dont run into the pool. He ran along side of the pool while I was still screaming to everyone but it was like nothing was coming out of my mouth. I stood their in ahock hoping my son would go the other way. I was mad no one had eent after my son yet . he finally walked to close to the end an fell in. I watched him hit water. I toom off through the house screaming an came past every one screaming my sister n someone to be in my aister cane uo empty ganded. I jumoed down in the water an it was like my son wasnt even at the bottom of the pool it was like he was floating on the water. I snatched him feom the water layed him on cement n tilted his head back. When I did that his eyes shot open at me . Then it was like they were closed again I guess cause I was gonna perform cpr. He has brown eyes these eyes were blue as can be like the water. I saw him in his blue n red shirt at thw bottom of the pool. And blue jeans if I remember correctly. But when I layed him on the concrete he had nothing but a diaper on. I did cpr to him an breathed in his mouth and comtinued to pump his chest. I remmeber the fear inside of me n the pain. I was so scared. An suddently I woke up. I was jolted to my surroundings. I drank some water n got on hear to search my dreams as i always do and went an grabbed my son from his crib an layed him with me.

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Bruce February 11, 2016 at 11:46 am

While I can no longer reply in depth to individual dreams, I did want to let you know I got your comment and want to send compassion and healing wishes to you and your son.

This dream strikes me as relating very clearly to the trauma you have faced in reality or waking life. This dream reflects how deeply you love your child and how helpless you have felt to help him grow safe and secure.

He is on the “surface of the water,” maybe meaning he is in your heart, but consciously or “at the surface (rather than out of your heart or consciousness). You revive him and this is how you feel, constantly just keeping your child alive.

Maybe the “blue jeans” is a poetic pun on your concern that your genetics or genes contribute to the biological struggles; we all feel prone to guilt as parents, both our behavior and our genetics. We tend to be too hard on ourselves and it sounds like you are a loving and great mom and you deserve love and compassion and support to maximize your child’s healing and wellness.

Lastly, (and I encourage you to read other dreams above in this thread) you could interpret the child in the dream as symbolic of your own inner child self–suffering, unseen, beautiful, coming to the surface of your awareness. In that spirit the bright blue eyes might signify that you see your true or spirit self in this angel’s eyes—and maybe, just maybe, you somehow know that his spirit is your spirit and that this bright blue angel spirit does not die… maybe it has come into your awareness to help you, to teach or guide you so that you can rise to life’s challenge safe in the deep trust that you will never, in spirit, be separated from your beloved son and at the deepest level you are already one with him.

Who can say if that is even remotely true, so I will simply wish you the very best and hope for love and healing all around

Sweet Dreams and Sweet Waking life too

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Kia February 11, 2016 at 6:27 pm

I dreamt that I was on top of a cliff following someone to the edge. This someone was a female and hed a fimiliar prescence (like my sister) but i dont know who it was exactly. As I walked towards the edge of the cliff, i glanced around me and saw the greenest grass stretched across the cliff. I thought to myself, wow this is beautiful. I then looked ahead of me and there was a blue sea off the edge of the cliff. When i reached the edge, i looked out far across the sea and embraced its beauty. Then My eyes wandered to the bottom of the cliff where there was cliff rocks and a small beach roughly the length of a semi trailer. Then a dark snake appeared a ways off shore. It frightened me so i stepped back abit. Then i looked to the right and saw my 7 month old crawling to the edge. I immediately ran to grabb him but he fell off right before i got to him. I was devestated because i couldnt get to him in time. I watched him fall hoping he didnt hit the cliff rocks. I jumped after him because i knew there was a possible chance i could save him and i didnt want the snake get to him. He didnt fall far from shore so i grabbed him and swimmed ashore to the small beach. My child’s alive. I was so grateful but i was afraid of the snake coming ashore. There wasnt a way back up to the cliff. Then 3 of my brothers appeared from nowhere. Its like they just popped out of nowhere. One of them was telling me something and the only word i understood was RUN. He then pulled a snake from something he was holding and threw it to the sea. The snake seemed to be swimming away but in a blank of an eye, it lauched itself towards my baby. It wrapped itself around my baby. I did what i could to get the snake off. I struggled to get the snake off him. It was so graphic. I panicked because the snake seemed to have entered inside his body from his mouth through to the bottom. I felt infuriated because i was so helpless and couldnt get the snake off. Then my brother told me to stop because everything was going to be okay, which calmed me down a bit.

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Bruce February 25, 2016 at 10:40 am

Hi Kia,

As noted above I cannot reply in depth to all these dreams that keep coming, so please read this thread carefully and you will have ideas about this dream:

http://privilegeofparenting.com/2013/08/04/nightmares-about-children-falling/

Also, the snake is a symbol of wisdom and nature (in a sense the unconscious which can seem both the devouring force but also the life giving spirit of healing and renewal).

I wonder if you have Irish ancestry, because the cliffs of Ireland are beautiful like in your dream, and the legend as well tells us that St Patrick drove the snakes into the sea…

Mix that with the Pied Piper who gets rid of rats and then leads away the children and you have the stuff of both fairytales and dreams, and also the deep Self or unconscious…

Perhaps your unconscious will give more dreams to guide you, but certainly wishing you happiness asleep and awake :)

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linda February 25, 2016 at 7:52 am

Hello,
I don’t remember many dreams and when I do they are either fulled with loved or sadness. I woke up in a panic today after taking a nap while the kids was at school. Realizing my child was safe gave me a lot of comfort. My dream started out weird told my boyfriend to fixed our daughter hamster cage before it got out and of course he was to late it got out. The next thing I remember was taking my mom brother mikeylah (daughter) xyler (son) sister and her kids putting them in the car and started up headed down the road then realizing my steeling wheel was missing I was freaking out. There was a pillow right beside the gas pedal through that in the back. I was screaming where is the steeling wheel my mom said here it is i took it off. Said why would you do that u put every ones life in danger. Then I couldnt even put the steeling wheel on because it was missing a piece.All this is going on while the car is in motion going down a straight freeway. The next part of my dream is everyone is near a creek I dont see our car but our clothes where not wet then i saw 3 cars pull up and people jumping out jumping into the river. I said what r they doing my cousin adam came out of no where and said dont look just dont look. So as a mother I have to look and I couldnt find my little boy anywhere and I woke up.

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Bruce February 25, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Hi Linda,

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. It does make me sad that so many parents are having nightmares about their children and I hope others may step up to join me in helping. Still, if you take the time to read other comments you might find insights into your own dream.

Certainly wishing you well asleep and awake :)

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Chimi Dema April 12, 2016 at 9:33 pm

i had three dreams and in all the dreams i saw a girl child of around 3-5yrs drowning and then dies. In all the dreams i find myself trying to safe her but i fails. After the dream i feel the pain, as if i hav been swimming for hours.

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Bruce April 14, 2016 at 6:25 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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Farzana July 16, 2016 at 11:27 pm

Good morning
I dreamt that my husband, kids and myself are on holiday. Whilst walking through a harbour I see ships and yatchs then suddenly as we walk we enter into water my husband holds on both my kids to prevent them from drowning and I’m away from them close to a wall that I hold onto for support. We are swimming forward whilst other people in the water are swimming in the opposite direction. We then come onto a platform and my husband says to me check your mobile is not wet and remove it from my handbag and wipe it dry. I say to him to do likewise and he looks at his mobile and says to us that he would love to come back to this place tomorrow but will check his work schedule. Please take note that my husband and I currently separated and I have the kids. He never has time to spend with the kids as he is always working or spending time with the women he left us for.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:41 pm
Crystal July 18, 2016 at 4:56 am

I read all of the posts here. I can’t seem to find anything similar other than the water.
Unlike others, I didn’t see the event happen. My son was with a new baseball team working out near a lake. I forgot his bag so he didn’t have what he needed (never happens) and he was just to watch practice. I was with my younger son in the concession nearby getting him a drink and this boy comes up in yelling that there was an accident and ambulances are coming. His mom runs our so I run just to get my son because in my head he wasn’t involved because I knew he was just sitting and watching. As I get there I realize its a boating accident or something. Still I just know he’s not involved but I can’t find him, I’m yelling his name louder and louder and I start to get a sinking feeling that he’s involved. I’m asking the boys that are being pulled front the water where he is, if he was there but no one answers me. A man says he’s going back down and “it had to be the little one”. My son is small and I just knew it was him, I was in the water and put my head under to see if i could see anything and it was my son, laying on the bottom, his eyes wide open, mouth open and he had been hurt on the back of his head, it was bloody behind him. The man swims away from him so I go to pick him up, just staring into his eyes thinking he’s gone but no this can’t be happening and I lift him up and put my hand on his head to stop the bleeding. I wonder how long he’s been there and it must have been a long time and why wasn’t I there, how did I let this happen to him and telling him o am so sorry I wasn’t there. I wake up. He’s gone. Most of these posts have a good ending, there kids are fine, mine was not. It was horrible. It was the most helpless feeling I have ever had.

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:41 pm
Patricia Mendoza Dolly September 23, 2016 at 4:03 am

Hi,
I had a dream that was a bit disturbing to me last night. I dreamt that I was st see holding my daughter trying to get to safety. She was crying. The waves 🌊 were not that big while we were in the water. After a few minutes of swimming I saw a rock in the middle of the sea so I climbed up to the top of it. When I climbed to the top the waves got huge. Tsunami like but kept breaking before it met us. But each time a new wave formed it was getting closer and closer to us. I had to clam my 3 year old daughter down because she was scared. I took her face and placed it close to my chest. I looked at the terrible huge wave coming at us. It was so big and dirty looking. I thought to myself “That’s it, we are going to die here. I failed my daughter.!”
Then out of nowhere a helicopter appeared and took us to safety before the wave got to us.
What worries me is that in the dream my daughter was alive. And she was soo afraid and I couldn’t help her. I wanted so badly for her to be ok and not be so scared.
NOTE: my daughter died on January 1st 2008. She was three years old

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Bruce September 23, 2016 at 10:25 pm
Mary November 10, 2016 at 5:35 am

I dreamed that I was driving our car and my daughter, 14 years, was sitting in the passenger seat next to me. It was winter and very cold and snowy outside. I was driving through a nice area looking around. I must have been driving too fast because I found myself suddenly leaving the safe familiar area of the homes which switched to a skinny road we were driving on that turned into water around us and ice underneath us. I noticed a truck with headlights behind which I had uneasy feelings about; just as I noticed the truck I realized we were coming to the end of the road with nothing but vast water up ahead of us. While I was attempting to stop I could feel the car, on the passenger side slide into the water. I told her get your seatbelt off and get out my driver’s side window. I tried to get the driver window down and somehow the electric failed and it would not go down. I panicked and my hand hit the power button for the back seat window on the passenger side and not realizing it I had unintentionally put that window down. The feeling I had was it was not deliberate of me and perhaps divine intervention helped me by accidentally putting that window down for centrifical balance of the vehicle. I tried the driver’s window and it now went down. At this point water was coming in the car really quickly and it was going under and we were submerged. I somehow indicated to her to make her way out the window which she did, and by the time I got out of the window she was sinking in the water down below me. She had a pink heavy snow suit on from her childhood which was weighing her down. I went under the water and she was below me and I was able to grab her with my right hand and pull her limp body up to the edge of the water line where there was a man, probably from the car behind me that pulled her out to safety. I was then able to get out and we were both safe. Freakiest dream I have ever had involving her possibly dying. Please interpret

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Bruce November 15, 2016 at 7:25 pm
Amy February 10, 2017 at 6:29 am

Hi Sir,
I just had the most recent dream last night,tho i know you may not answer me im really looking for closure due to my serious anxiety. i had a dream that me and my son was at a pier and each pier dropped down into another pier.. as he wanted to see the water he jumped off one of the piers i yelled at him to wait for me as i hit the wood on the pier he jumped down off the next pier and fell into the water.. as i ran to save him he was sinking i could see the bubbles coming from him as he sank. he was motionless.. i could not grab him i could not go into the water.. i watched my son drowning and as he became farther into the water i awoke to my heart racing having an anxiety attack or panick attack… im unsureof this meaning please help me to understand..

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Bruce February 10, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Hi Amy,

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

On a separate note, I could not help but notice that your dream did resemble a particular near drowning that I actually experienced as a child, and when I tried to work through it using art, I myself had a panic attack. If you want to read my comic book about this see: http://awkwardtangent.com/want-something-or-go-home

If you read some of the interpretations to other drowning dreams, and the post about how to interpret dreams in general, you will get some extra clarity on what your dream means. To get you started, however, would be the idea that your kid might symbolize the part of you that is feeling overwhelmed, but also “under water” or not fully in your conscious awareness. Your dream is allowing you to become more aware, so put a little effort into understanding yourself, and trust that you’re not alone in your feelings, and in your wish to wake up and be sure your own child, and all our children are safe.

In this way dreaming, and talking about our dreams, might lead to more compassionate and real action in a time where so many of us are feeling nervous about the state of our world. “I have a dream” then becomes, “and then I woke up” which maybe becomes “and then I did what I could to make things better for my own kid and everybody’s kids.

This might be hard work, but it’s less lonely, more in keeping with actual justice and compassion, and in the end may prove empowering.

Wishing you and your child sweet dreams and a great waking life too :)

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Amber February 26, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Hello Bruce

My husband keeps having the same dream over and over again. Our 4 month old is in a large pool and my husband is watching over him but not in the pool with him. My husband then has a strong urge to walk away to go do something in the garage and comes back and our son is in the bottom of the pool and he has drowned. Could you help me find outt what this means? It creeped me out the first time he had it, but now he has had the same dream again.

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Bruce February 27, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Hi Amber,

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

That should help you both understand this dream

All Best wishes :)

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Danielle C April 8, 2017 at 2:19 am

Hi Bruce,

I just woke up from a dream where my only child, 1 year old daughter, was drowning in a pool. It was my fault, I had her and an older boy who I did not recognize in a stroller and walked the stroller into the water where it was too deep. I pulled the stroller with the boy out and realized my daughter got out. I tried so hard to get to her but it seemed like every obstacle got in my way. No one would help me. Someone even said “go get your baby” but wouldn’t help. Other people were swimming between us. I woke up before I could get to her but I am so bothered by this. I have had a lot of tragedy in my life since I found out I was pregnant with McKenna. Maybe it’s some kind of fear of losing her.. please help me shed some light on this dream.

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Bruce April 8, 2017 at 8:44 pm
Denisse Jimenez April 15, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Hi Bruce,
I’m not a parent,but my mother keeps having dreams of me(I’m 15) and my sister( she’s 10) of going off a bridge and I being stuck in a car while sinking down into a river about 3 miles from our house.Also she also had another when I was 11 and I didn’t know how to swim and neither did my sister, so my mother had to choose one of us to save.Ever since she’s told me I’ve Ben having nightmares of drowning in a car but I’m happy about it. I really want to know what the meaning of these dreams are could you please give me an educated guess or opinion, thank you.

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Bruce April 15, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Hi Denisse,

I’m sorry that your mom’s anxiety has now become your anxiety in your dreams (even if you are “happy” about it, that could be that you love your mom so much and are trying to help her feel better).

For you and your mom you could think about a bridge as a symbol of crossing from one place, or age, or feeling, or level of consciousness to another (child to adult?), and maybe the water could symbolize the unconscious (that which is not in our conscious awareness); or the water could symbolize the flow of life/river of life; or it could be about your mom wishing you back in her uterus as you are coming into womanhood; it could also be that your mom is not comfortable being mad at you and so she unconsciously dreams of harm to you because it’s a forbidden thought (not that she would wish you any real harm, but teenagers are challenging to parent).

Yet you sound like a very loving kid, like someone who takes care of other people.

As a psychologist I know I learned to take care of my parents’ emotional needs as a kid, so I would support your mom to get support from grown-up members of the family, or a therapist or a friend so that you don’t have to figure out your mom’s emotions, nightmares, etc.

Maybe buy your mom my book for Mother’s Day :)

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

For more on the general ideas of interpreting these dreams please see: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

Certainly wishing you and your family well, asleep and awake

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Tieler May 6, 2017 at 7:52 am

Hello Bruce,
I have only had two nightmares about my son and he is two, but this one from last night really affected me. Me and my sister had taken a trip to our grandmother’s and in their sunroom they have an inground pool. Well in the dream my sister went to get in the pool and me and my son stayed in the kitchen with my grandmother. I then started to help my grandmother cook and after a moment I didn’t hear my son anymore. So I ran into the sunroom and my sister was asleep on a float and my son had jumped in and when I got there he was dead. I picked him up out of the water and I just was crying so hard And I then laid him down to do CPR and he woke up and then that was the end of my dream. The reason this affected me more than the last one is because I actually saw his face and body when he was dead and it was the worst sight I have ever seen. If you could please try and tell me what this could mean I would really appreciate it. Thank you

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Bruce May 6, 2017 at 9:58 pm

Hi Tieler,

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

It’s not clear if you read any of the material in this thread, but I can imagine you were so upset by your dream you didn’t stop to read. Hopefully if you read what I’ve already shared it will give you ideas about your dream and also help you see you are not alone in having such a disturbing dream

All Best Wishes :)

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sourav narjinarai May 8, 2017 at 9:20 am

Hlw . I just returned from my boarding school fpr few days.. n i m very close width k6 brother.. n he said me something abt a girl n a boy.. one at at time. Firat abt girl.. there is a girl who is in a room n says abt something future thats gonna happen n also she knows abt something which is there at some place hidden ( example : a loket.. n then there is boy who orders my brother to do stuffs.. like ” go n take a dip in water near a dam ” n my brother says he has no control of his body n doe evrything the boy says..( the boy is a teen of like 18-19 yrs ) n den he also says to bring stones from water ( exact same spot ) n also he says to cut his hand n drip blood on the 4 pillars ( a place for hindus where we burn the dead bodies. N pls reply me fast ( i m voncerned abt him)

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sourav narjinarai May 8, 2017 at 9:31 am

Well lets make it a bit funnier.. that girl must hv been a slut to stick wid my brother as he is handsome.. what canshe do after all she is a woman 😝 n that boy must hv been a stupid guy who wants revengue as my brother is a bullier who bullies everyone 😎 chill out those two will get punch from me today night if the dare to do something 👍😂😂

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Bruce May 8, 2017 at 4:32 pm
Shatare May 12, 2017 at 4:27 am

*One Year Old Daughter Falls Down Hill Into River*
In the dream we were leaving a family member’s house. (This place did not look familiar at all). I had my hands full with bags but, i had a relative carry her stroller out side for me. Baby girl was with us, so we open the door to get outside, the next thing i know, i lool up and she’s on the front part of a moving car pulling into the driveway.(it was two men in the car). I scream for them to stop several times but, by that time she ends up under the car. (not harmed). I call her name several times while rushing to get her. She gets from under the car, runs up this hill. At the top there was a huge gate, somehow she goes through the gate and ends up on the other side. Falls down a the steep hill into a big river of water face first. I ran down to get her i grabbed her foot but, then i woke up.😞

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Bruce May 12, 2017 at 10:24 pm
Lisa Keen July 3, 2017 at 2:33 am

Hello Bruce,

Are you still providing the above threads of interpretation around dreams please?

Kind regards,

Lisa

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Bruce July 13, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for realizing that I might no longer be interpreting dreams here, but I did write this post especially for readers such as yourself:

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

And certainly wishing you sweet dreams and waking life as well :)

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Bee August 15, 2017 at 9:14 am

Greetings!

I had a dream last night, that contained quite a bit but I can only remember the ending. I was in some sort of house or small building and I had a clothing rack outisde. There were two younger boys and I asked if they could help bring them in. I could see them thru the sliding doors going to the rack, so I engaged in conversation with a man who I assume was their mentor. I look outiside to see what was taking so long and I notice the boys had carried the rack to the beach that was just down the sand. I pondered why they would do that, then noticed they were putting the clothes in the water. It looked like they were having trouble in the water so I began to rush out. The mentor said they were alright, but I didn’t think so, so I ran out to get them. Just as I was jumping in, all of a sudden the beach was filled with people but no one was paying them attention and they began to drown. I dragged them out, one with each hand, and barely made it out myself. When I looked up, their mentor was looking down from the balcony and at this time he was someone who was my spiritual mentor (or someone I looked to for spiritual guidance) during my wake.

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Bee August 15, 2017 at 9:21 am

Apologies! Sometimes my phone takes time to load all the info, didnt realize you were sending people to other links. I will interpret else where. Thank u

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Bruce August 16, 2017 at 10:46 pm

Hi Bee,

Thanks for reading, please do consider this post for help in learning to interpret you dream for yourself: http://privilegeofparenting.com/2016/09/23/what-our-nightmares-about-our-children-could-mean/

All Best Wishes, Bruce

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mailyne September 4, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Hi
I just woke for bout 2 hour sleep and wake me up the bad dream with my daughter wo son and one neist as we in big boat and when going head home the boat starting awhile bout half of the middle of the ocean ocean already.
MY DAUGHTER 5 Y OLD STARTING VOMIT AND MMINUTE START TO GET STOP BREATH , I WAS PANICKING CAUSE BIG WAVING COME ALONG.
i was so scared, and i try as much i could to protect all they are still kids who was arounds im so worried and woke me up. please tell me what its mean bout my nightmare> thank you very much

mailyne

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mailyne September 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm

i mean two son sorry bad keyboard and no got enough sleep sorry for the intterupted sir ma’am.
AND ONE NEIST ONE DAUGHTER MY ELDEST BOY WAS 8 SECOND BOY 6 3RD IS GIRL 4 Y OLD MY NEIST IS 3.

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Bruce September 4, 2017 at 8:19 pm

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