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Recurring Dream With a New Twist

Many years ago I had a very disturbing recurring dream about having murdered someone. In the dream, I suddenly remember that I killed someone and hid the evidence in some extremely careful and complicated way. I never actually see myself committing the crime -- I'm just aware that I have done it. I'm always completely horrified and repulsed at this recollection and terrified of being found out. The victim is always a faceless, nameless stranger, but is always a man. There seems to be no reason why I did it. The main feeling of the dream is intense guilt, shame, horror and fear of being found out. Every time I have this dream I wake up in a panicky, agitated state that stays with me throughout the day. In real life, I consider myself a gentle and kind person. I don't even kill bugs -- I just can't bring myself to do it because they are living creatures that might feel pain. I assume the dream is about something that I feel guilty about, but I have wracked my brain and I can't come up with anything so awful that I have ever done in my life. I feel like I must have done something terrible but can't remember it.

Well, the dream went away for several years, but returned last night with a new twist. This time I dreamed about two men murdering a third man. I was witnessing this and in some way trying to stop it from happening. At some point during the dream I realize that my six year old son was somehow involved. He didn't actually commit the murder but was somehow guilty by association -- he was still a sweet innocent six year old, but he was somehow guilty just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It made me remember that I too had guilt about murdering someone once a long time ago. In the dream I counseled him to hide the body in a closet and never, ever open that door again. I told him I knew what it was like living with "skeletons in the closet" (I actually used that phrase -- can't get much more blatant than that!) I felt so bad for him because I knew he was actually innocent but would be saddled with this terrible guilt.

I am so upset about this dream and have been in a funk all day because of it. Please help me figure this out. I don't want to dream this ever again.

Thank you.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 44, New York

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? No

Re: Recurring Dream With a New Twist

Jean,
Such dreams of murdering someone is often depicting a wish, need or desire you 'murder' some aspect of your own self. There seems to be some repression of fears that may be related to some past experience. There is guilt involved in this aspect {often such guilt is misplaced, you may feel you are to blame when in fact it was the person who caused the pain who is guilty}. It is not what you have done but what someone else has done to you. The shame, horror and fear was brought about by those person{s} and not you.

The part about your six year old son may reflect something you witnessed in the past {perhaps even when you were six}. The dream may be using your son as a symbol of masculine experiences {the 3 men would also reflect this masculine aspect}. Because of what you witnessed you feel guilty by association {guilt of seeing something but not actually participating in it}.

Look back to when these dream began and determine what experiences prior to that may have caused you to feel guilt over something you may have witnessed. It may not have been something so traumatic as a real murder {that would be metaphor of needing to rid your self of these guilt feelings} but may have been something at an early age that would have made you feel guilty. What are the skeletons in your closet? Again early life may hold the answers.

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 57 Murfreesboro, Tn.

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Recurring Dream With a New Twist

Thak you, Gerard, for responding so quickly. You must be a rare and wonderful person to spend your spare time helping out complete strangers like this. I have never visited this site before last night but I was afraid to go to sleep last night and went searching the internet for some kind of help. Your comments, along with other stuff I saw on the internet did make me feel better, because I think I was really beginning to believe that maybe I've done something really awful and have just repressed the memory of it -- which would be entirely out of character for me, and highly unlikely. So at least now I understand that that's probably not what the dream means.

As far as your suggestion that maybe I witnessed something terrible -- well, that does sound logical, but I just can't come up with anything. I did, however, grow up in a pretty dysfunctional, physically and emotionally abusive family. Also, one of my brothers has had a pretty serious mental illness for his entire life, and there was a great deal of trauma around that. But there was no one particular trauma that stands out above all the others, and especially not at the age of six. It was just a lot of screaming, violence and general humiliation going on most of the time -- a fairly constant stress level throughout my childhood. I recently began to talk to someone (a counselor) about it, and maybe that woke up some sleeping demons. I don't know. I did express some worry that maybe I would inadvertently pass on some of my issues to my son. Maybe that's where the dream came from. Also, I don't know if this has any bearing on any of this, but I had a baby last year, five years after recovering from breast cancer treatment. The after-effects of chemotherapy, along with my "advanced" age (43 at the time) made me a little hormonally nutty (I had EXTREME insomnia) for a while after my daughter was born and that's what I was seeing the counselor about. It turned out I just had a major chemo-induced hormonal imbalance, but I did end up talking to the therapist quite a bit about my childhood. She felt that I survived it extraordinarily well by distancing myself from my family as much and as early as possible, by finding positive role models and outside support, and by excelling academically and in my career. She said I did better than most people would have in my situation because I was resilient and smart, and that I really have successfully worked it all out. Maybe she's not completely right???

I'm not sure I get your references to the male aspects of the dream but I'll give it some thought.

The murder dreams started about 12 or 13 years ago, when I was in my early thirties, and continued for a couple of years. Then they went away for more than ten years and now have made another appearance. Well, I hope the dream the other night was a one-time reprisal that was stirred up by talking to this therapist.

Again, Gerard, thank you for your kindness and help. If you have any other thoughts on the matter, I'd love to hear them.

Jean

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 44, New York

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Just this one

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