Friday, October 7, 2011

Dream Re-Runs

Did you know that almost everyone has the dream where you're trying to drive the car from the back seat? Or the brakes are blown and you're trying not to crash and burn?

Apparently, that's a very common dream. I suspect it has to do with feeling that life is out of control. [Pause while I google to find out.] According to the Dream Dictionary, I'm not far off.

Cars are symbols of the real life conscious world. They are symbols of how you are progressing towards your goals. So think about the practical ways in which you have been moving towards your goals. Is the dream making some point about how well or how badly you are progressing. Are you heading in the right direction. A car at a standstill could suggest that you are taking a pause or that you have come up against some delay.

I've had that dream many, many times. I've also repeatedly had the flying dream, and the one about crumbling teeth, which is also apparently fairly common and apparently means something about the loss of something that should be permanent (a break-up or the death of a loved one).

But I also have a couple of other recurring dreams.

Darling Katie, not even one day old.
Not surprisingly, I dream about babies often. But usually it's a really stressful dream: the baby is not my own, or there are too many babies to care for, or something is wrong. It's probably normal bad-mommy anxiety still playing out. If motherhood were remotely like these dreams, I would never have had four children.

Also an anxiety dream. The houses in my dreams are always my homes (in the dream, I mean, not in real life). They have rooms where you wouldn't expect them, are falling into disrepair, have indoor pools and secret passageways, multiple kitchens, and built-in beds. I've dreamt of cottages sinking into swamps, grand houses that could be featured in Architectural Digest, and just about everything in between. In all of these cases, things are in flux, something is incomplete (even in the mansions). I've also dreamt of my childhood home, but not often. [It was an irretrievably ill-designed house. Some day I will have to write about it, it was that bad.]

These dreams started when we lived in Alabama and received training on what to do in case of such an emergency. In the summer, we had weekly tornado drills, with alarms. And we did have one tornado warning, meaning that tornadoes had been seen in the area. It was very frightening, and I remember hunkering in a linen closet with wee Katie, just months old, while sirens blared without stopping.

These are panicky dreams where I don't feel safe. [No shit, Sherlock.] They reached a peak when I was going through the most tumultuous time with my mother, before our estrangement began. The worst ones are where my tornado dreams and my baby dreams meld and I am trying to save children while this murderous force bears down on us. Mercifully, these are rare.

What about you? What are your recurring dreams, and what do you think they mean?


  1. Very interesting. I always dream that I am Harry Potter. Seriously. I have like three posts on my blog dedicated to me being Harry and living in a magical world. In fact, I even had one last night.

  2. My recurring dream is a 4 inch thick grey calculus textbook that I am madly struggling to get through before an exam. The text is very small print, and zero graphics, diagrams, etc. Just lots of words and equations. And everything rides on me getting through it cover to cover. It pops into my dreams typically when in real life I am woefully unprepared for something. (So ya...pretty regularly! )

    In real life,years ago, brother Doug dropped studying for his exams, and spent an entire day, helping me prepare for my calculus final.He taught me the entire course from beginning to end, and it was like a lightbulb went on...I understood the logic of it for the first time and ended up doing very well.(This after having failed miserably on the mid-term.)

  3. @Brian - Harry Potter, eh? I'll have to read your posts.

    @Pat - Peter is able to do the same thing as Doug. He just "gets it" so intuitively that he can explain things really well.

  4. I vividly remember a tornado dream when I was younger- I was trying to run from one and got caught up in it and even my yells couldn't escape the tornado. I remember waking up very frightened.

    I really don't get recurring dreams. Nor have I had many of the common recurring dreams- driving from the backseat, crumbling teeth, being naked, etc. I have tons of strange dreams (especially while pregnant), but each one seems to be fairly unique.


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