I’m not big into analyzing my dreams–most of them are very random, making me believe that my subconscious is having fun pulling out fistfuls of memories, throwing them up into the air, and giggling at the mess they make when they come down. I tend to pay attention to recurring dreams, though, especially if they fall into one of the categories below. Rabia, these dreams tell me, you’re stressed, overwhelmed and feeling helpless. Stop pretending you’re okay and deal with your emotions.
Alright, subconscious, I’m listening. What are you trying to tell me here?
Oh no! I forgot to study for my physics exam and they’re going to make me repeat high school if I fail! These dreams always always take place in high school. And they always involve the adult-me, not the teenage-me. Adult-me, who has forgotten all her physics and most of her chemistry and higher-level math, but somehow must take these exams. The fact that I have three children to raise does not deter my high school teachers/zombie slave-masters from insisting I do so. The terror of being trapped in high school–again!–permeates these dreams.
Subconscious says: You’re feeling like you have lost control of your life. Stuff happens to you and you can’t cope. PANIC!
Help! I’m stuck in a house with a hundred rooms and I can’t get out! In this dream, I’m in a house. Supposedly my house. Only my house has spawned a hundred extra rooms when I wasn’t looking. And these rooms are old and horrid, full of peeling wallpaper, cracked linoleum, and stained metal bathtubs with clawed feet. And all of these rooms need renovating. Every single one, from the ground up.
I’m overwhelmed before I even start.
And no, it’s not like I’ve ever had to renovate a fixer-upper of a house or anything like that before. *puts tongue firmly in cheek*
Subconscious say: Yeah, you bit off more than you can chew. STRESS!!!
I’m in the ocean. No, by the shore. No, I’m crossing over a waterfall. Ah, the water dreams. These are the dreams I’ve had the longest, and they are the most ambiguous. Sometimes, they are downright terrifying, like the one in which a child of mine was swept off a narrow bridge and into the boiling rapids *shudder*. Other times, they are surprisingly peaceful; once, I dreamed I was in a shallow place in the middle of the ocean, bobbing in clear clear water, surrounded by white walls which kept out big waves. In the last iteration of the water dream, I was in a beach house right by the sea, looking out of a big picture window. Every so often, a massive wave would come in and engulf the house. I’d see dolphins and whales go by the picture window. Then the wave would retreat, and I’d wait for the next one. I wasn’t terrified, but it was surreal.
Subconscious says: WATER: raging, terrible, sweeping away. WATER: calm, peaceful, protective. WATER: vast, powerful, majestic. Oooh, look at the pretty dolphins!
Yeah, subconscious, I don’t get it, either.
What about you? Do you have recurring dreams? What do you think your subconscious is trying to tell you?
No, I don’t have recurring dreams often. Very occasionally the one about the exam I’d forgotten and hadn’t revised for – or I can’t get to where the exam is being held. Once every two to three years maybe.
I like the vivid ones – also infrequent. I wrote a poem based on the last one: the phrase rattling round my head after the dream was ‘in a timewarp of dreams’. Poem written, the phrase left me alone 🙂
Isn’t it funny how exam-terror lasts throughout all our lives? It’s been AGES since I had to take an exam, but the exam dreams come out to haunt me when I’m stressed out. And it’s always my A-levels, never my college exams, proving that I was more stressed out about academics in high school!
My dreams are all over the map, but most of them are relevant to what’s going on in my life—except heat dreams. I get hot, my dreams get weird. :shudders: And if I’m scared when I wake up, I usually don’t think it’s my subconscious telling me anything useful (since when is fear useful? If I’m afraid in the dream, different matter). I just ignore and move on.
My recurring dreams are mostly the house stuck outside of time. I’ve visited there about five nights over the years and I’m still not sure what that’s about.
Don’t know if this is helpful, but in dreams: water usually represents lots of people (think, the nations) and houses represent individual people, houses, or assignments. Assignments can be a project, your work, or a goal.
I can see that interpretation of my house dreams, but for the most part my water dreams are full of calm and solitude. Not sure what to make of that. I always interpreted the water to be life–unpredictable, sweeping, sometimes crazy, sometimes calm.
Kim Griffin says
Dreams are such an interesting topic! I don’t so much have recurring dreams now, but when I was a kid I did. There are two that I remember: one was being engulfed by a huge wave that I could not escape. The other was about me being able to fly. They stick with me because I could feel the sensations in both dreams.
I usually dream vividly which can be either beautiful or terrifying. I’m not sure of their meaning…
Ooh, have you ever had the falling dream? The one where you’re falling and just as you’re about to hit the ground with a messy thump, you jerk awake? I’ve never flown in my dreams, but I have fall-ed (to quote from The Land Before Time).
Yes! I hate that dream.
Ooo! Yes I’ve had the falling one. It’s really unpleasant. I’ve flown too. And sailed the high seas on a sailing ship. I’m a nervous sailor but I enjoyed it in the dream 😀
Love this post. I dream ALL the time. I have a few weird repeats that I can never fully explain. They are more of a feeling than anything else, but I wake up really upset about something really small being way too heavy. Whatever it is, I’m worried it is going to crush us all.
I have those high school dreams a LOT. They sound a lot like yours.
And then I’ve had ones like this: http://wosushi.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/the-dangers-of-the-internet/ Care to analyze that one? 🙂
Oh my gosh, yes! Me too! I have several dream themes that reoccur. I have a recurring water dream, but mine almost always involves a split in the river, where half of it goes down a steep waterfall, and the other half is a peaceful channel. I’m usually trying to navigate for the peaceful channel, but I’m stressing over the current and being sucked down the raging half.
Then there are my very weird ones, and I have not figured out what these mean… but they’re what I call my “saving the fish” dreams. I have these recurring dreams where I’m trying to save fish. Usually it’s large koi in an overcrowded pond with the water slowly draining. I’ll be frantically trying to move the fish to a new pond, or trying to find a hose to give them more water. Occasionally, it’s goldfish in a bowl that’s cracked. But always fish, and I’m always needing to save them. What’s up with that?
I also have recurring dreams about being unable to do something because I can’t find X, where X changes. Sometimes it’s me being unable to flee for safety because I can’t find my shoes or something to wear. Sometimes it’s tied into my worldly possessions being in boxes ready to move.
I remember reading about your koi dreams on your blog, once. That is strange. I wonder why fish? You didn’t have a pet fish you failed to save, did you?