Gransnet forums


Very Confusing, and concerning me...

(8 Posts)
FannyCornforth Fri 12-Feb-21 04:51:09

Hello Everyone

I lost my wonderful mom when I was 25, almost 25 years ago.
We were incredibly close and utterly devoted to each other. I am an only child, and from the age of 5 years old until I was 12 it was just my mom and me.

I was utterly devastated when she died and very nearly had a nervous breakdown. One of my (many) bereavement councillors said that the only other time that they had seen a reaction like mine concerned the death of a twin.

I have always had a very intense dream life. I have very vivid and life like dreams.
I have regular dreams, nightmares really, in which my mom is obviously the main influence and driving factor. I have a dream about her about once a week.

In my dreams she is always, without fail, absolutely horrible. She is very nasty and cruel to me (and sometimes to my dad aswell). She acts selfishly and without thought, she acts as if my dad and I don't exist; it is apparent that she dislikes even hates me. Sometimes in these dreams she is unfaithful to my dad and is having multiple affairs. (Absolutely nothing happened like this in reality). The main emotion I experience is painful rejection, followed by deep sadness and hurt.
I usually wake up crying.

I have never told anyone about these dreams (it has been quite upsetting and difficult to write about it here, for obvious reasons, but I also feel like I am somehow betraying her).

Has anyone experienced anything similar? What are your dreams about lost loved ones like? Do you have any thoughts on why my dreams about my mother invariably take this form?
I would love to have a nice 'normal' dream about my wonderful mom.

Thank you for reading this - I know that it's a bit odd.

CanadianGran Fri 12-Feb-21 06:36:04

It sounds like you are angry at your mother for leaving you; perhaps by making her the 'mean' one, your mind is able to allow your anger to express itself. Does this make any sense? Anger is a part of grieving, but should eventually lead to acceptance of the loss.

Perhaps you should talk to another counselor; after all this time you are still grieving. It would be so nice if our loved ones came to visit in our dreams; for some I do think it happens, and it would hopefully be comforting. flowers

NellG Fri 12-Feb-21 07:15:50

I lost my dad when I was quite young (18), similarly to your situation we were very close and I adored him. He was the one kind and caring character in my family and when he died I was numb about it for a long time.

I used to dream about him a lot and always wake up stressed and upset because in this 'sleep life' I would discover that he hadn't died at all, but had left us and was living another life somewhere else - sometimes with another family, wife and children, sometimes on his own. He was always aloof and unwelcoming in these dreams and I would constantly wonder what I'd done that was so awful he would leave me.

I interpret these dreams as partly to do with my insecurities, partly to do with trust issues within the rest of my bog awful family but mostly I think it's my brain still trying to make sense of the loss and to find a 'reason' for it. It's very taunting, suggesting that if I can find him I can reclaim him somehow.

I wonder in your case whether it's your psyche telling you to finally let go and move on and to live with it, not through it. By manifesting your lovely mum as this horror your mind is trying to create a reason why she 'left' so that you can separate from her and accommodate the loss.

Sometimes we do get stuck when such a close relationship is taken from us and it doesn't matter how much counselling, or good advice we receive, it just doesn't change - mainly because at some level we are refusing to feel the feelings because it feels like they will overwhelm us and swallow us whole. They wont, but it is terrifying to think about.

Sometimes counselling can seem good way of dealing with something without having to feel the feelings - we talk about them, give them to therapist and in some ways hope they will be able to interpret them, wrap them in panic package, stick a bow on it and make the whole thing more 'palatable'.

Nope, I'm afraid you have to feel them - red eyed, screaming, howling, on the floor in a pool of tears and snot. Therein lies the strength to truly grieve, separate yourself from the person who's gone and move on with them metaphorically by your side, rather than trapped inside you and fighting with your mind to get out.

I hope all of that makes sense and that you can get to a place where 'conjuring' your mum is a warm and comforting thing.

I still dream about my dad from time to time - he's still not where I want him to be, but it's better, and he's pleased to see me now.

best wishes - it's never easy to miss people. x

NellG Fri 12-Feb-21 07:17:29

panic*? Sorry, typo - should read, neat package.

Sparkling Fri 12-Feb-21 07:29:14

FC, you haven't moved on from your loss. I think you need help from cousellors more able to help you. Some of us, have suffered the same as you, but we move on, it's not to be stuck in the past as you are. I wish I could help you, but your dreams are angry and yet no one was to blame. Life can be and is cruel at times. Neither person wanted or chose to leave you and they would want you happy as everyone who loves someone wants.

keepingquiet Fri 12-Feb-21 09:37:48

I agree that counselling may be the way forward. I understand the isolation of Covid is making us all dream more and I do dream about lost loved ones but not in the way you describe.
I believe (and I have no basis for this, so could be wrong) that the people we dream about are just manifestations of our inner selves. Therefore maybe this is just you being unhappy, angry, frustrated with some aspects of your own life? Personally, I believe your mum is at rest and is not visiting you in your dreams. Be at peace with her as you were when she was alive. Stop tormenting yourself and talk to someone.

FannyCornforth Fri 12-Feb-21 10:01:53

Thank you all so much for taking the time to write such thoughtful replies.
I will read them again and come back to you. Thank you again thanks

wildswan16 Fri 12-Feb-21 10:41:42

It sounds as if you have never told any of your bereavement counsellors about your disturbed sleep and the strange dreams you have been having? As others have said, you are still angry at your mother for leaving you and turning her into a bad person.

You are stuck at a certain point in your grief and really need to find a counsellor who can help you let go of this so that you can continue with your own life.