DEAR AMY: I have been married for five years. We have two beautiful boys. While we’ve had typical ups and downs, we are happy.
In high school, I had a serious boyfriend for three years. It was a very emotionally abusive and a very unhealthy relationship for me.
However, for the last year and a half, I have had dreams about this high school boyfriend every night!
Some dreams are a bit steamy, but most of them are like clips from an unlived life. We’re doing daily tasks in our home, spending time with his family, going out with friends.
The kicker is, I’m so happy in these dreams! My rational mind knows that there were few positive aspects to this relationship from over a decade ago, but what gives? A dream or two is one thing, but 18 months of them!?
DEAR DREAMER: Our subconscious sometimes emerges during dreams to help us resolve issues in our waking lives. I suggest that you start writing down your dreams each day in order to look for emergent patterns that you could interpret. The act of writing will help you to recall specifics in your dreamscape.
My own interpretation is that you might feel guilty for staying in such an unhealthy relationship for so long. Rewriting the old script (exploring the “unlived life”) might be your mind’s way of trying to prompt an attitude of acceptance and forgiveness toward your younger self. I hope you follow this prompt.
The fact that you are having these dreams every night without resolution is cause for concern. A psychologist could help you to turn the corner and dream differently. (c) Ask Amy
I’ve had such dreams. I’ll dream of someone who, in waking life, is a total jerk; but who, in my dreamworld, is ever so nice and loving toward me.
I interpret it thusly: each person we dream about represents an aspect of ourselves. If the person is our gender, it’s an aspect of our conscious mind (i.e., we know all about that side of ourselves). If it’s a member of the opposite gender, it’s an aspect of our subconscious mind (i.e., we do it or have that trait without really knowing we’re doing it).
If you dream of someone, you should describe the person in a few simple words. (Not based on how the person acts in your dream, but based on the waking-life version of the person.) I know whenever I dream of Brad, a friend I had in college, that I’m dreaming of my hardworking, industrious side. Often, the day before I dreamt of him, I got a lot done and worked hard. I know when I dream of Bennett, aka Mr. Self-Absorption, that I’ve been self-absorbed the previous day. I know when I dream of Sam that I’m getting in touch with my disciplined, focused side.
Sam (in real life) is into martial arts and disciplined breathing, and that sort of thing. He’s also the world’s hugest jerk, although I don’t think he means to be. My dreams of him are always (and always have been–this goes back to high school) very pleasant. I wake up, and my first thought is, “Huh. That’s not the Sam I know.” Dreams are symbolic like that.
With this letter writer, I’d wonder a few things. This guy from her past must represent her subconscious controlling, abusive side, so it concerns me greatly that she’s having recurring dreams about him. I’d wonder primarily, is she a loving and gentle wife and mother?
If she passes that test, then the issue might be that she’s putting too much energy into unhealthy lifestyle choices. She says that her ex was very unhealthy for her, and I believe her; so is she eating unhealthy foods, drinking alcohol, etc., etc.? Because the happy dreams of this guy might indicate that she’s indulging in unhealthy choices. I’d ask her to explore the previous day every time she dreams it–did she make any unhealthy choices yesterday, before the dream? If so, bingo.
This is how her subconscious mind (through dreams) is trying to get her attention. In real life, the guy was a controlling jerk. In the dreamworld, she’s embracing his family (different aspects of unhealthy lifestyle choices and/or controlling tendencies) and doing stuff at home (home represents a state of mind, which shows that she’s nurturing these bad aspects of him within her). My guess is that in her dreams, she and he are on the second floor of the house. The second floor represents the subconscious mind, and since he’s the opposite gender of her, that would make sense.
To resolve the recurring dream, she’d have to take action accordingly. And for anyone who’s enjoyed this blog post, please consider preordering my newest novel, The Enervation of Eve, which is all about what I’ve been talking about here.
It’s easy to think the dream is about the other person, the one you’re dreaming about. But it isn’t. It’s about you. And this makes dreams very strange indeed.
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I was so depressed earlier, so I spent all day eating junk food, and then I felt better. Go figure. Whatever it is in junk food, it makes me feel good. Fat? Sugar? Carbs? Starch? All of the above? I just felt off-kilter today, and it made the first half of the day feel pretty lame.
But then I rallied and things got better. I think it was the help of the junk food. I’ve also been working on making some Christmas trees to sell later this year on etsy. I finished cutting, drilling, and sanding the wood. In the below photo, the isoceles trapezoids and the top triangle are balancing on top of one another. It’s not time to screw them together yet, although the screw holes are there for it to happen, hidden between the levels. I’m also going to stain them bright red and put a glitzy black upholstery pin in the exact middle of each of the four levels. There will also be topcoat to add gloss and durability to the finish. (For example, if you were to get it wet or dirty, it would wipe clean easily with the topcoat.)
They should be quite pretty, I hope. I’ve invested under $5 per unit (I’m making ten) so if I can sell them for more than $5 apiece, I’ll make a profit. Of course, I’ve never successfully sold my woodworking. We’ll have to see!!