Month: February 2013

Double Vision: Lifelong Recurring Nightmare

Dear Susyn and Oceania:

I have had the same dream over and over for years. It’s as if I’m someone completely different, yet I know this person is me. I’m walking home with my five children. Two are walking beside me, three are being pushed in a trolley. The street is very wide. It feels like we’re almost home, though I’ve never traveled here before. Suddenly, we’re chased by two men who are yelling and screaming at me and my kids. It feels like they’ve been after me for years. I make my children run alongside me. I know they’re after me and my family. We run into an alleyway, where I make my oldest child take the trolley and hide, telling him to change your names, be safe and know that I’ll always love you. Crying, I leave my kids and try to save myself. I hide in a house under a sofa. One man comes in breathing heavily, smelling of dirt and sweat. Knowing where I’ve hidden, he drags me out by my hair as I play dead. The other man that couldn’t find my kids enters the room panting. I hear him groaning as he lifts something heavy. As I lie there knowing that I am about to die, thinking of my children, I feel a gush of air and a loud thud as a very large rock gets thrown at my head. I try so hard to stay still. The man stands over me, his sweat dripping on my body as my eyes flicker with fear. He holds the rock over me and forcefully throws it at my head. I know I’m dead. I hear them leave as they wipe their hands of dirt and talk to each other, now trying to find my children to obviously do the same or worse. The dream is always the same, and I can’t explain how horrifying it is to experience it over and over again. I’ve had many dreams that have come true throughout my life, but this one is different. Sometimes I have it six or seven times in a night, however many times I wake up. I would love your opinion on it. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Sarah

Susyn’s answer:

This speaks to me of a past life memory. Because of the intense nature of the dream, your recall of specific details, and the fact that the events are always the same, it’s my opnion that this is definitely a scenario you have experienced in real life. Our dreams are designed to process ideas, fears or experiences we are unable to access in our waking hours. They can also reveal past lives or play out as historic trauma. Repeating dreams are often an indicator that we need to pay closer attention to them.

Once you come to realize that this is an event from the past, it should alleviate some of the upset it causes you. However, you may want to investigate this one-on-one with a psychic to get more information. The fact that you are reliving it so frequently suggests that you may need to do some past-life healing therapy to release the hold it carries over you.

The description of your dream calls to mind the terror and horror of Nazi Germany. If you are of Jewish, Polish or Austrian decent, this could hold a clue to the past life you are dreaming about. As the Nazis began to occupy Europe, their brutality knew no bounds. In eerily similar fashions to your dream, men, women and children were murdered without a second thought; they were chased down in the streets and forced to hide or separate. While there were other eras in history when this type of brutality took place, based on your description, I am inclined to target war-torn Europe between 1939 and 1945 as the source of this past-life.

As we travel from lifetime to lifetime, we are usually accompanied by the same people. Hence, the five children you have now were likely the same children you lost during this past incarnation. It is even possible that you will or have encountered the two men in your dream. They may not play a key role in your life, but you will know when this happens, for you will feel an inexplicable sense of fear or unease when you are around them.

You may see no reason for these men to be after you, but if you watch movies like Schindler’s List, The Pianist, Life is Beautiful and other films related to World War II, you can see how people were tortured and killed for no reason other than being a certain race. Though difficult to watch, you may want to explore these movies to see if they evoke unusual memories or feelings for you.

As you do more research into this dream, remember that this incident happened in the past and will not be repeated. Once you consciously identify where this disturbing recurring dream is coming from, you will likely stop having it.

Oceania’s answer:

Given that there are vulnerable children in the dream as well as men who have been after you for years, this dream may reflect a traumatic event from your early life. Dream children often represent our own inner child; likewise, angry perpetrators may represent our own aggressive impulses and repressed anger.

That you manage to save your dream children may provide temporary gratification of your wish that someone had saved YOU as a child. You play dead in your dream as if you had to shut down and hide your feelings as a child. Many who endure sexual or physical abuse mentally separate from their bodies or “dissociate,” which is similar to playing dead.

Your vivid description of your attackers (who stand over you, breathe heavily, pant, groan, are forceful and smell sweaty,) along with your use of the word “dirt” (which could be short for “dirty,”) all point to the possibility of sexual abuse. Since recurring dreams are part of PTSD, you might look online to see if you have any of the other symptoms. If so, I urge you to obtain The PTSD Workbook by Williams and Poijula, or meet with a therapist who treats this disorder.

You might also consider consulting a psychiatrist, since anti-depressant medications can break the cycle of recurring thoughts that seem beyond one’s control to stop. It’s as if neurons in the brain have formed a loop and a particular thought or scenario keeps repeating, usually as a means of preventing you from thinking about something ELSE that may be even more anxiety-provoking. If you do feel trapped in an obsessive dream, medication might help disrupt that pattern.

Dreams about being chased are common, and while they often reflect running from the past, they can also point to current stress. Your fight or flight response has been triggered and you’re running from rather than confronting a situation. Even when you’re attacked in the dream, you don’t fight back to save your life, which suggests you fear confrontation. It’s not that you necessarily fear the anger of others, but that you fear your own unfamiliar anger. You may worry that if you “go there,” you’ll end up harming someone. A counselor could help you practice expressing your anger constructively so that it no longer scares you.

Avoidance is not a long-term solution! Since you’ve had this dream for years, you might try to pinpoint when it started, because that timeframe may point to an unresolved event. A counselor or healer could help you face what is troubling you and also provide support while you explore your options.

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