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Recurring dreams

(59 Posts)
BlueSky Fri 14-Jun-19 09:26:53

I've had the same disturbing dream since I was a teenager! I find it so strange that this is still upsetting me after 50+ years and being completely removed from that time and place. I wake up with a feeling of dread even though I know it's only a dream. I've tried talking to my DH about it hoping that bringing it out in the open would help but no joy.

Pollyanna2 Fri 14-Jun-19 10:27:14

Could you share your dream with us?

EllanVannin Fri 14-Jun-19 11:54:52

Some dreams are foretelling, strangely enough. I hope this recurring dream of yours isn't as bad as expected and that you can eventually by-pass it should anything come of it.

BlueSky Fri 14-Jun-19 12:28:50

Let's just say that it was something that frightened me as a child, nothing sinister as most people would think nothing of it. Probably to do with my chronic anxiety...

notentirelyallhere Fri 14-Jun-19 13:40:22

I used to have recurring dreams in my 20s of being chased and unable to get away or of being in the house alone and someone breaking in. Dreams are generally understood as your brain attempting to resolve an emotional situation which your conscious mind cannot deal with.
Sometimes aspects in dreams are said to represent parts of your life as a metaphor. For example, a house might be a way of representing the self so those dreams of mine were, I now think, anxiety dreams about safety and security.
One of the best explanations I've read about dreams was in a book called Human Givens by Ivan Tyrrell and Joe Griffin. Its easy to find in libraries and on Amazon. In case you weren't aware, there are many theories on the meaning of dreams from the simplistic to the academic.

If you're worried about your dream, no qualified counsellor would be surprised by someone wanting the opportunity to talk about it.

BlueSky Fri 14-Jun-19 14:44:44

Thank you Notenterely very interesting post.

Fennel Fri 14-Jun-19 18:34:55

Notentirely - your post reminded me of a projective test which was popular during my working days as a psychologist. Which was to draw a picture of a house, a tree and a person. Then interpret using very wide rules.
I think the house represented family life.

midgey Fri 14-Jun-19 21:26:31

Fennel that reminds me of a college lecture about young children’s paintings.- A small boy painted a bright yellow ‘blob’ then painted it black....long lecture about the meaning of such significant colouring etc etc. The cynic at the back of the group asked the child what he had painted, a haystack in the day and now you can’t see it it’s nighttime came the reply! grin

Jomarie Fri 14-Jun-19 21:40:32

"out of the mouths of babes etc." midgey brilliant!!

notentirelyallhere Fri 14-Jun-19 22:51:05

Fennel the courses I took suggested that imagery was likely to be personal rather than objectively specific. I think that's the point you're making?

crazyH Fri 14-Jun-19 22:56:02

Midgey - I wonder what became of that clever little boy 😘

notentirelyallhere Sat 15-Jun-19 09:26:09

Chances are that boy was a pain in the neck to his teachers and ended up doing time!!

There was a French painter called Alphonse Allais who was well known for humorous paintings, for instance a black canvas entitled 'Negroes fighting in a tunnel at night' and similar. More here:

lovebooks Sat 15-Jun-19 10:01:46

For years and years, I had versions of the same dream in which I had cut someone's head off (the actual bloody deed was never featured) and was trying to hide the evidence. I was told it's a guilt dream, but very disturbing.

harrigran Sat 15-Jun-19 10:13:22

I have dreams that seem to highlight medical problems in myself and others, I kept dreaming I was being diagnosed with cancer, it stopped when I got the diagnosis in RL.
I started dreaming about DH but did not tell him about my dreams I just urged him to go to the GP and I was right to urge him.
I put the dreams down to having medical knowledge and picking up on warning signs but I think the family think I am a witch.
Strangely I sometimes dream about DD not being well so I get in touch and sure enough she will be at home in bed. Must say that I don't speak to her often enough to pick up signals in conversation hmm

ReadyMeals Sat 15-Jun-19 10:19:51

I have a dream sometimes that I am on death row in prison and due to be executed within days. My main worry is that everyone is going to hate me for whatever it was I did (in the dream I assume I killed someone) but in fact the prison officers are really supportive and kind to me, and that makes me feel a bit better. I usually wake up at that point so I don't go through the execution in my dream!

Witzend Sat 15-Jun-19 10:20:46

I still have exam nightmares (exams I've done zero preparation for!), ditto Christmas shopping, it's 4 pm on Chr. Eve and I've forgotten to buy anything.
Always such a relief to wake up from those!

OTOH I've dreamt often of a large family house I've never seen or visited - always the same one - yet in my dream it's always so familiar, I know every room.

Craftycat Sat 15-Jun-19 10:27:20

I had a very scary recurring dream when I was a teenager. I was in a house- which I knew ( although it looked like nowhere I did actually know). I was walking up the stairs to a room at the top & I knew there was something really awful behind the door but I HAD to open it. I always woke up as I opened the door so never saw what or who it was.
It stopped when I was 20 & got married & was not sleeping alone.
I still remember the fear I felt at the time.

ReadyMeals Sat 15-Jun-19 10:32:05

Crafycat, that was telepathy from your mother, who probably dreaded what state she'd find in your room when she opened the door. When you got married and left home, your mother's telepathy transmitted her relief at the room finally being tidy, and so the dreams stopped.

Purplepoppies Sat 15-Jun-19 10:35:22

I do have a recurring nightmare. It's based on a real event that was extremely scary at the time. I wake up shaking and have to get up and distract myself before I can sleep again without going back into it again.

Juliet27 Sat 15-Jun-19 10:36:56

Midgey. That reminded me that apparently at age three I drew a fish then turned the paper over to draw his other eye. Just the eye...nothing else.

Juliet27 Sat 15-Jun-19 10:39:52

Its the dream where you find yourself out in the street with no clothes on and nowhere to hide that I hate....used to have that often.
Then there's the one where I've not done enough revision for an exam.

Sheilasue Sat 15-Jun-19 10:58:09

Sometimes I get a recurring dream of my late son, we are either having a conversation, or his phoning me. But that’s to do with grief I think. It never leaves you no matter how long someone is dead.

BradfordLass72 Sat 15-Jun-19 10:59:38

The content of the dream usually doesn't matter it is how the dreamer feels which is upsetting.
My son dreamed of a fox running across the garden but he knew it was going to be killed (he did not see this happening) but it was that which scared him.

However, I offer here what may help you as it did with my elder son.

You can do this alone or with a partner (obviously my son and I did it together). You relax, start describing the dream and then at the crucial moment your partner (if you are working with one) says, 'OK, stop a moment' and gives you an alternative scenario or suggestion.

You talk about this in some detail, making sure you have grasped the fact that you are going to be in charge next time you dream.
I know it sounds odd and it may not work immediately but after several sessions it can give you the power to change how you feel in the dream.

In our case I then said, 'This is a clever little fox and he knows all the countryside so he is never going to get caught.'
We talked a lot about how foxes are smart, with a good sense of smell and see better in the dark than humans.

The next time we did the imagining (before he had the dream again), the people who were looking for the fox got lost. They were very stupid people, couldn't find their feet in a fog. grin so gave up and went home, having got very wet and cold.

Next time, we put the fox's favourite food out and had a party - later still we imagined he had found a lady fox and had cubs.
All this took several very talkative sessions of course.

But little by little I gave my son the ability to feel differently, more powerful in his dream which he had 2 or 3 times more but was no longer freaked out by it.

Clearly you and your DH will have to tailor your 'weapons' to your own story.

This was nearly 50 years ago but I think the technique may still work. smile

annodomini Sat 15-Jun-19 11:09:34

My recurrent dream is about exams, often about being late for an exam which never happened. I dream about writing exam answers, though not in troubling way. Exams are half a century (or more) behind me and I was never frightened of them, being something of a 'swot'. Nevertheless, they still crop up quite often. Maybe I still feel I am being tested and have something to prove?

Saggi Sat 15-Jun-19 11:19:20

I’m glad I don’t sleep deeply enough to dream anymore. I used to have a recurring nightmare where I’m walking over one of these precarious rope/ plank bridges over a raging river about 100ft in the air and one of my nephews ( the youngest) was always behind me and shouting at me to get of the bridge .... too late , the bridge breaks and I cling on but he goes over and drowns. I had this nightmare for five years nearly every week , as clear as day to me. The nephew later had to have a lung transplant because his body was rejecting his own lungs ( all the tests done with no conclusion as to why!).... he lived 6 years after his transplant and refused a second .... he died aged 30 , basically “ drowned by his own fluids” the doctor said. I haven’t slept deeply since that time and I don’t want to!