Confusing Emotions in Dreams

Sometimes, Nothing is As it Seems

Dreams don’t always make sense, do they? Sometimes you’ll dream of hurting someone you love or you’ll dream of loving someone you’d kind of like to punch.

If you’ve ever had these disturbing dreams, maybe it’ll help you to know that you’re not alone. I hear from a lot of dreamers throughout the week and many are troubled by just these types of conflicting dreams.

I always feel bad for anyone who has been kind of turned inside out by a dream because, really, there isn’t a lot you can do about it. It simply takes the mind a little time to recover from especially unsettling dreams. I’ve heard instances of people taking months to get some dreams out of their systems, but the norm is closer to about a week.

One of the most disturbing types of dreams I hear about are those that involve the dreamer harming someone they love. Someone who.. in REAL life… they wouldn’t hurt for anything.  The most unsettling dreams I ever heard was from a mother who dreamed of hurting her little boy. Her agony came through in her e-mail and I spent over an hour replying because I wanted so desperately to help ease her mind.

In dreams of this nature, the dream interpretation is almost always the same: If a dreamer dreams of hurting someone they love, they feel (in their subconscious) that something they are doing – or not doing – could actually bring harm to this person.  I’ve had instances with dreamers where this particular “thing” was smoking (harming them with secondhand smoke), not enforcing seat belt usage, etc.  Some parents even experience dreams like this when they take their children to school for the first time!

Many times dreamers will dream of harming someone they love because they have a secret they fear will be exposed.

Finally, we sometimes take on the “guilt” of hurting them when we don’t deserve any whatsoever.  A dreamer may dream that they harm someone they love simply because they question whether or not they’re doing all they can to protect their loved one from harm.  This was the case with a father who dreamed of hitting his son relentless in his dream. It turned out that the son had just gotten his driver’s license and the father wasn’t convinced he’d prepared him ENOUGH to drive safely.  Through reasoning that could only come from a parent, he was prepared to take on the guilt if anything ever DID happen to his son.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read words such as, “I was so angry in my dream! Why was I so angry?!”  The anger simply represents intense emotion – sometimes even intense love.  When we love someone, the thought of them being hurt causes us intense emotions, so the fact that they’re represented in dreams by one of the most intense emotions we possess (anger) isn’t really surprising.

The flip side of this dream is nearly as disturbing to dreamers: When they dream of being in love with and/or affectionate with someone they “hate.”   I’ve gotten a lot of dream interpretation requests and questions along the lines of, “Why did I dream that I was kissing my ex-boyfriend?!  I HATE him so much!”

Some will go so far as to say, “Please tell me I don’t still have feelings for the creep!”

Again, these intense emotions and actions in dreams simply stand for intense feelings in real life.  I honestly have no idea why the sleeping mind won’t allow someone to simply give their ex-boyfriend a slap in the face in the dream (it’d be infinitely more satisfying, right?). Somehow, our sleeping mind simply sees the need to symbolize “intense emotion” and pulls one from its file.

It isn’t always accurate, that’s for sure.

When you have emotionally conflicting dreams like these, remind yourself that, as far as the sleeping mind is concerned, emotions are emotions. In these instances, think of your “dream brain” as a librarian trying to pull a book off the shelf in the dark. She knows she’s in the “Fiction” section but doesn’t know if she’s pulling an old Agatha Christie mystery or a Stephen King novel  off the shelf .

Just as there’s a world of difference between these two authors, sometimes there’s a world of difference between your dream emotions and your real emotions. Needless to say, the latter are the only ones you really need to worry about.