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!?

Confused Dreamer

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.

*****     *****     *****

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!!

6 thoughts on “Dreams.

  1. Very interesting interpretation of dreams! I’ve not heard that before about dreaming about the opposite sex although I do tend not to automatically think that dreams about someone else are about them in real life. I’ve dreamed about exes but in the dream I know them to be my partner, it’s a weird weird thing. When I dream about someone else I kind of think about it in all contexts. Recently I had a dream about a distant relative/friend of my dad’s who’d died. The next day I heard it was his mother’s birthday. I’m still processing that. So thanks for sharing your method of interpretation, describing that person in a word or two and applying the analysis to yourself. I’m going to need to remember that.

    Makes me wish you could talk to Dear Amy’s letter writer yourself and get all the answers to your questions here! Dear Meg… 😉

    Good luck with your trees! I love the idea of making cool stuff for other people to enjoy, like crafts, art, jewelry and then selling it is a cherry on top…of the tree! But I wind up spending my time with technology outside of reading and writing. Still working out that time block, but I’ll find it!

    I hope you’re feeling better now! My thing with food is that satisfying tastes are a sensation and those sensations are instant gratification, which temporarily calms anxiety. NOTE TEMPORARILY, they aren’t true relief but pseudo.

    Best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there!! Thanks for your wonderful comment!! And thanks for the compliments about my dream interpretations and dream advice-giving!! YAY! Yeah, I was a member of a sort-of-cult for a while, and they taught me dream symbology, and it seems so freakishly accurate to me, what they taught. Rather arcane and hard to make sense of, but accurate. I did apply once to be an advice columnist, but I got a very nice rejection! Oh well!! Maybe the world’s not ready for my advice! 😉

      Oh my gosh, I hear you about food. I get a high from unhealthy foods. It’s not the taste, but something chemical in my brain, like from the fat, the sugar, the carbs, the starch, etc., I’m not sure exactly, but oh my does it make me feel good! If I’m feeling exhausted, I turn to food right away to give myself a lift. Doubly exacerbated by the fact that I lose my will power when tired. You and I can support each other’s weight loss/eating healthier efforts! Go us!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting background you have there on dream symbology. I do appreciate when I have something positive to take away from experiences I move away from.

        Indeed we can help each other! It always benefits me to reset my taste buds. When first moving from unhealthy to healthy foods it kind of takes a minute (okay days) to get used to the new tastes but it’s worth it in the end. How come it’s never difficult to go back? Lol… It really helps to reward your good efforts with a “cheat day” each week. Not a day in which you go balls to the wall but you do let the diet go for a minute. I’ve found that in anticipation of my cheat day I’ll want to make sure I do well with my diet and exercise so it feels like that much more of a reward. If there’s a week during which I’m not doing so great with my diet then I rethink my cheat day, take it easy or skip all together. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Those are fabulous tips!! I like the part about not using your cheat day is the week is going badly, diet-wise!! Why let yourself cheat if you’ve been cheating when you weren’t allowed to cheat? (HA HA, funny sentence!) And I think there’s something to that resetting your taste buds thing!! You really do have to go for X days without junk food, and then it’s like magic!!


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