It Is Just a Dream

This is a post I wrote for somewhere else and decided as it deals with my life right now, I’d cross post it by putting it here also.

What exactly is a dream? According to Wikipedia

Dreams are a succession of images, ideas, emotions and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. The content and purpose of dreams are not yet understood, though they have been a topic of speculation and interest throughout recorded history.

I haven’t had a nightmare in a while, which is a good sign I suppose. Yet last night, the demons took hold and I dreamt of Barry (my son, who passed away in 2006), of murder, of evilness and of adandonment. The bad things were all done by me and Barry (even though he was only a child of about three in the dream) was angry at me.

In the dream it was a hot, humid night. The house was filled with people I didn’t know, except for Barry. He was a child wearing winter PJs and was soaking wet from sweat. I offered to find him a pair of cooler, summer pyjamas but he declined the offer…curtly, he was angry with me. Feeling uncomfortable myself, I left Barry to fix himself supper, I went off to find something cooler to wear and whilst changing discovered explosives fixed to the windows. I raced to other rooms and found those windows laced with explosives too. Several men in dark clothing were working on the front door and windows (fixing explosives to them too). They spotted me and in a burst of confusion I found myself armed with a long, sharp knife which I deftly punched into the stomach of one of the men, aiming upward at the heart. He died. I was quick to do the same to the second man and then I ran out the door and attacked the third man. However, the third man was holding a hand grenade between his teeth and the pin had been pulled. I watched it roll slowly down his body and along the ground towards me. I pushed it away and turned to run, knowing that when it went off it would set the explosives off and the entire house would explode. Suddenly, I’m no longer running, I’m crawling away (apparently injured) and my last thought was Barry’s inside the house.

I woke up.

I felt confused, upset and depressed. However, that wasn’t the worst of it. I woke up feeling as if I had let Barry down…again!

That feeling made me cry.

I sat on the edge of the bed and apologised to my son. “How could I be such a terrible mother to let you down so often?”

I know it’s just a dream. I also know that the dream isn’t even about Barry, it’s about me. The anger he felt is my own guilty conscience. That is something I’ll have to learn to live with. However, what about the other stuff? What does that mean? Perhaps it means nothing, but where did it all come from? I certainly don’t go around murdering people on a regular basis (in fact, never!) so why have I dreamed these disturbing scenes.

The Dream Moods Dictionary informs me of the following:

Dreaming of murder means:

To dream that you have committed a murder, indicates that you are putting an end to an old habit and a former way of thinking. This could also refer to an end to an addiction. Alternatively, the dream indicates that you have some repressed aggression or rage at yourself or at someone. Note also that dreams of murder occur frequently during periods of depression.

Well, I know I’m not “putting an end to an old habit” or way of thinking. And there’s definitely no addiction to end. So I have to concede that I have “repressed aggression or rage” and depression is something to consider also.

Dreaming of explosions mean:

To see explosions in your dream, symbolize your repressed anger. The rage that you have been holding in has come to the surface in a forceful and violent manner. Your unconscious is trying to get your attention.

I didn’t dream of an explosion, I dreamed of an upcoming explosion. The meaning is exactly the same as murder reiterating the fact that I could be filled with repressed anger. Doesn’t sound good!

Dreaming of sweating means:

To dream that you are sweating, suggests that you are experiencing some overwhelming anxiety, stress, fear, or nervousness in your life. This dream may serve to remind you that in order to achieve success, you need to endure the struggle and efforts that go along with success. Alternatively, sweating signifies a kind of cleansing or ridding of bad karma. You may be going through an emotional cool-off period.

Actually, I do feel highly anxious and stressed at the moment as I started a new job three months ago.

Dreaming of injury means:

To dream that you are injured, suggests that you need to work on healing old wounds and hurts. You need to stop and slow down. Consider where or how you were injured for further significance.

To dream of abandonment means:

To abandon others in your dream, suggests that you are overwhelmed by the problems and decisions in your life.

The fact that I abandoned Barry in the dream is what is causing me the most pain. There’s no excuse. He’s my child and I should have gone into the house to get him, even if it meant certain death for both of us. I feel quite strongly about this and that’s why I feel I’ve let him down again. Yes, it was only a dream, but still…

And lastly, to dream of anger in a dream means:

If you dream that someone is angry at you, then this means that you either suspect that the person in real life is angry at you, or you have that particular paranoia.

The dream was clear. I was not angry at Barry, he was angry at me. Now the question is: Is he really? It brings tears to my eyes just typing the question. Is Barry angry with me? Is the guilt I carry justified? I suppose I’ll never know.

Dreams are meant to be about us, about how we feel and what we’re going through in our life. It’s not about the person/people we are dreaming about. If we dream about another person it’s because we are worried about them, we carry guilt about them, maybe even hatred towards them. It’s complicated. But dreaming is about us, not them.

Strangely, after several hours of pondering the dream I believe it mainly stems from my new job. The job is mentally exhausting, some of the “policies” go against what I believe in, and I’ve had a particularly difficult time grasping every aspect of the job because it is complex. As a result I feel confused, anxious, stressed and, yes, even angry to a certain extent.

But why did I dream of Barry? Why did I abandon him? In truth, Barry’s role in the dream felt misplaced, contradictory. If he hadn’t been in the dream it would be easier to ignore…

And maybe that’s the key. Maybe that’s exactly why he was in the dream. I could easily ignore the dream as being “just a dream” if it wasn’t for his role. Is it possible that my subconscious is telling me to take better care of myself? Is my body telling me I’m heading for a period of depression and anxiety unless I find a way to deal with the situation? And did Barry force himself into my dreams to reiterate the warning?

I don’t know what it all means. I do know I sound like a raving idiot, but the truth is my life is stressful at the moment and I believe I need to listen to the warning and be careful in the immediate future that I don’t “crack”.

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