There are times when I really wish I could interpret dreams. I don’t mean as a way of predicting the future – I’ve dreamed of losing my teeth on numerous occasions but am far from rich as yet! – but as a means of reading my own subconscious. Sometimes when things happen I am just too close to the situation to see the effect they have had, and so often these situations coincide with my most vivid dreams and nightmares.

Two dreams in particular have struck me as breaking from my usual pattern this week.

In the first, I lived in a building with a security guard on the door. He wasn’t just your usual, uniformed type of guard, more the big burly bouncer type with scars and few of his own teeth, a hulking mountain of a beast. In my dream I was sure he was a harmless enough teddy-bear of a guy, a little bit simple, but there to look after me.

I had come home from work one night, eaten tea, watched TV and gone to bed. I woke up – still in my dream of course – to find him standing over me watching me sleep, half hunched over me, half crouched as if ready to pounce. He was predatory and terrifying. I was aware almost immediately that this was not the first time he had done this, that he intruded on my slumber most nights. I woke from the dream feeling sick, violated, threatened and uneasy.

The second dream was closer to my usual fantasy/fairytale/sci-fi type of dream (remember the Dr Who one?) in which I was involved in a sort of LARP style murder mystery game. Only in this game people really did get murdered. There were a dozen of so players in this game, some of whom had “powers” and one amongst whom was a murderer. The rules of the game stated that only players could be killed – and would be killed until the murderer was identified. Although the game took place in day-to-day life, no non-players could or would be killed. We couldn’t run away – if we had signed up for it our role in the game was to track down the killer at our own peril. It was all about facing up to our fears.

I’d narrowed the potential killer down to two choices – a witch, and a jolly-yet-sinister old man who lived in a neat house in the village. My suspicions were more heavily weighted toward the witch, so I cornered her one terrifying evening in a dark, dilapidated old house, where it quickly became clear that I was wrong. She was not the bad guy.

Suddenly, in the strange disjointed way of dreams, it was the  next morning and I was off to the village in bright sunlight to visit with the sinisterly-jolly old man. As I approached his white picket fence and manicured front yard, basket of freshly-baked buns in hand (when did I bake those??), I realised I wasn’t alone in my verdict. Other players were cautiously approaching, each with a gift to appease the killer and hold him off long enough to declare him guilty and for the game to therefore end. Just outside his gate I bumped into Ben, my brother, who insisted on coming into the old man’s kitchen with me. As a non-player I knew Ben was in no danger whatsoever, so agreed that he could come along.

So, there we were, in the kitchen, admiring the pile of pot plants and home-baked pies on the kitchen table, all ready for the confrontation – when the doorbell rang. The old man answered it to yet another player, a chubby young teenager with the oddest blue eyes. I saw the old man’s eyes sparkle in a way that told me he wasn’t human, and a moment too late, spotted the gleaming knife glowing blue with ancient magic in the teenager’s hand. He plunged it into the old man’s side triumphantly.

In terror I grabbed Ben and pulled him between us. I still knew that, as a non-player, Ben could not be harmed – the magic wouldn’t let him – and might buy me vital seconds to escape. Of course, Ben didn’t know any of this. He darted from between us and out through the back door, leaving me cornered.

I can’t tell you how much it hurt me to be deserted by him in my dream. I felt betrayed and bereft. I was so sure, in my heart, that my brother would always be by my side, always protect me from everything he could – even blue glowing knives!

I fled after Ben, but my legs were like lead and I couldn’t make my body move forward with any speed. It felt like I was wading through treacle, as all around me my fellow players sprinted past, leaving me far behind. I turned to see the teenager-beast was almost upon me, knife out, and knew that death was only seconds away…

And I woke up.

I woke up in my own bed, in the pitch black, just 30 mins after I’d first gone to sleep. I was so shaken that I had to put the lights on and check the whole flat – for what I don’t know: teenage boys maybe? (Or orcs?!) But I knew that the fear welling up inside me was not of dying on that knife, but of being betrayed, left to fend for myself, alone with that monster.

There’s gotta be some deep psychological meaning in that, I’m sure!


9 thoughts on “Interpretations

  1. Dream number 1
    it seems to me there is something or someone you have allowed to get close to you but that deep down you don’t trust. Your subconscious is asking you to reconsider having let your guard down. Your instincts are asking you to trust them.

  2. hmm. Not an expert obviously but my take on dream one is that something that you had seen as secure and safe has snuck up on you/suddenly become menacing – maybe your job?

    Dream two seems to be about betrayal of something you thought was close and safe (do you see where I am going here..?) not actually your brother but the realisation that no one else can protect you from something.

    I’d say bearing in mind your current situation, both dreams are about you feeling betrayed by your employer – completely normal I’d say.

    Something I always do when I have an evil dream is to try to dream it again and then confront the person/monster/situation – grrrrrr! I’m always amazed at where those dreams take me and wake up fighting fit and ready to take anything on.

    I have one recurring dream, or thought (normally when I am about to go to sleep) of skipping rope. When I look down at my feet as I skip, the rope seems to slip sideways and I miss it every time. It almost makes me cry. When I did took “go back and dream again” approach I found that as long as I believe that the rope is going under my feet, but look straight ahead and just enjoy skipping, then the rope is going under my feet and I AM skipping. Go figure 🙂

  3. Perhaps these dreams signify that when you have put your ‘security’ in the hands of others you can never be your own boss 😉

  4. I think the others have hit the nail on the head really, and it’s a normal, if not creative, response to a highly stressful situation.

    I wish I could remember my dreams. There are only two I have that I remember and one is not so much of a dream as a feeling. The one I remember clearly involves standing in a kitchen (different kitchens but always a familiar one) being eviscerated by rats, and I just stand there watching my intestines fall all over the floor and these rats swarm all over the place chomping on them. Hideous!

    On that charming note, I think I’ll go now. Sweet dreams.

  5. Sounds to me like you’re feeling ultra vulnerable at present, and that those people who ought to protect / help you i.e. the security guard and Ben have in some way let you down or even turned on you. Do you keep a regular dream diary? That can sometimes help pinpoint themes and patterns.

    I have a recurring dream whereby I murder my sister – or attempt to at any rate as she typically outruns me or appears immune to my wrath. Sibling rivalry anyone? 🙂

  6. I must agree to all the comments above – I suppose dreams like this are your brain’s way of working through all of the anxiety and hurt you are feeling around what has happened at work. It is the same with me – when something is going on in my life I always have anxiety dreams. They always take the same format as well, which is someone I love telling me that I have disappointed them in a variety of ways. In the most recent one my best friend punched me in the mouth, which was horrible! It’s amazing when you think about it, really,. I think my anxiety dreams are my brain’s way of making me face up to feelings I haven’t properly dealt with yet, and maybe this is what is happening here with you as well.

  7. Having replied to all your lovely comments from the rest of this week I REALLY need to get back to some work now, so I’m sending you one of those annoying mass comments:

    Ladies! I think you’re right!

    In fact, reading back over the dreams with hindsight it is blindingly obvious that betrayal and loss of protection are the key themes. Which is all relevant… but I honestly didn’t see when I woke up!


  8. There is also some sort of link to the supernatural/monster type books you’ve been reading recently!

    As for the betrayal – you’ve had your share over recent years but you will always be able to trust Ben. He’s solid as a rock. xxx

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