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A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

Hello Jerry,
you've provided some really good insights about my dreams a couple of months ago (the "dirty beach" dream) and I'm really thankful for your detailed answers.
I hope that you could help me with the interpretation of a quite unsettling dream which I had the last night.
In this dream, I was staying in a house with my brother. I think that it was my grandparents' house, but I'm not really sure. We've been put by somebody who I don't know in a terrible, frustrating situation. For reasons unknown, either I had to kill my brother or he had to kill me, and there weren't any other options. There was a gun in the house and I took it and pointed it at my brother. However, I couldn't pull the trigger, although I knew that if I spare him, he had to kill me in a few minutes. I just couldn't do it, so I gave my brother the gun. He took it and pointed it at me (I was already lying helplessly at the floor at this time, waiting to die). This was actually the most terrifying moment, because it all felt very real and I was sure that my brother will pull the trigger any second, since he didn't have any other choice. The thought of dying in a couple of seconds was really unbearable. That was complete horror for me, since I don't believe in the afterlife and I knew that I was facing my final end.
However, after a minute or so I was still alive, because my brother couldn't kill me either (no shots fired). And then I suddenly had an idea, I found another solution to our problem: we had to kill the guy who put us in this situation. I told this my brother and he agreed with me. Then we traveled together by car to another city and talked to a hitman there. We payed him a lot of money and he accepted the job (to kill this other guy who put us in the described situation). Then we drove off and we were really relieved, but also kind of dissatisfied, since we had to give the hitman almost all the money we had. I don't know if that's important, but as far as I remember we didn't negotiate with the hitman directly. There was another guy who I kind of knew in the dream, and he did the negotiating. I just saw him handing over the money (our money) for the job. I also didn't see the face of the guy who made the whole trouble for us in the dream. He was not there. I think that he wasn't anyone who I previously knew, more likely an outside person. In the dream I thought that he must have been pretty self-confident to let the whole thing (his plan) carry out without him being there, he must have been pretty sure in the perfection of his scheme. However, I had no idea why he wanted to do us harm.

There is also a second dream I'd like to tell you about: this one I had a couple of months ago, on the night just before a flight. I dreamed that I was sitting in a flying plane that suddenly experienced a major break-down (I think that it was a massive engine failure) and started to lose altitude very fast. The situation grew desperate in a couple of seconds and the plane was in free fall. I was sitting in my seat there completely helpless and I knew that there was no way I could survive this. I woke up shortly before the plain hit the ground. After that (on that day) I went however to the airport and took my flight as planned, since I didn't actually believe that my dream will come true. The flight that followed was actually a little stressful (smell of fuel in the passenger compartment by boarding the plane, then some turbulence later and a little rough landing in the end), but it was all OK and nothing bad happened.
I hope that I'd be able to understand the meaning of these dreams better through your interpretation. Thank you in advance for your time.

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

shatobrian,
My sense of the first dream is you were put into an environment of security and trust but because of experiences in that environment you had experiences that are now causing you great emotional conflict {that would be demonstrated in the second dream which I will address after this one}. A possibility both you and your brother were together in this environment {did you ever live or stay with your grandparents?}. There were experiences that caused certain attitudes to develop within you, something you can not get rid of. These experiences probably happened during very early life.

I believe the first part of the dream is about early life experiences that caused great emotional distress, something that is within your unconscious and either you were too young to remember or have repressed the experiences. Whatever the experiences they may have had an influence on your personality {who you are today}. Something you can't get rid of, an emotional fear or phobia perhaps.

The second part of the dream I believe is addressing current emotional issues {having to do with the early life experiences}. Have you sought help from some other person recently, either to do with psychological issues or personal issues? Or perhaps shared personal information with someone who gave advice? You may have invested valuable emotional energy in doing this. Either way it didn't seem to help and you were back in the same position, having to go it alone.

In the second dream the images would be symbolic of yourself. The flying plane is you {and your experiences with flying}. The major breakdown would be emotional. The massive engine failure would be a failure of those energies that give you the power to function. This 'power failure' is something that tends to bring you down emotionally, and very fast. There is a feeling of helplessness.

The second dream is likely addressing those emotional issues from the first dream. You probably were influenced in such a way early in life emotionally it has caused personality issues today. Is there a particular fear or phobia you possess? Or personal particular personal issues that can come on all of a sudden and emotionally drain you? It all goes back to those early life years and experiences.

Let me know your thoughts. I am getting the sense there are deep seeded issues, unresolved emotional issues from your early life that are now {and probably have been for a long while} playing havoc with your emotions.

Jerry

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

Hello Jerry,
thank you for your detailed answer.
Yes, I used to live with my grandparents in their house in a very early age (as a small child). That continued for approximately 5 years and these were actually some very happy childhood years for me. This was indeed a secure environment and since I was the first-born in the family and the first grandchild, I received a lot of attention. That felt really good. I am actually even now very attached to my grandparents and to this place (their house). My brother lived with them for a much shorter period of time and we did live for some time together in this house as kids.
You ask me if I possess emotional fears and/or phobias. I guess that I have the fear of failure, especially when my failure will be obvious to the people I know / the people I work with. I really hate it when it happens (and I hate myself in such inconvenient moments) and I think that I'm really afraid of it (especially the major professional failures). It has probably something to do with the fact that from a very early age on people expect a lot of me and I don't want to disappoint them. By people I mean my parents, other relatives, my superiors and even some of my friends.
There is also one other thing, I am not sure if you can call that phobia, but it's namely the fact that in certain situations I tend to be extremely shy and timid, and I sometimes worry a lot about little things. This might have something to do with the fact that for many years I have really cared a lot about what others would think of me and what would I look like in their eyes. That really affected the way I behaved. I think that I am now beginning to overcome these weaknesses / negative traits of mine, but I guess that I still haven't managed to get over them completely .

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

shatobrian,
You dream fits the pattern I have documented many times. Whenever there is an image or narrative about childhood homes or experiences {yours is in your grandparents home} in the first part of the dream {usually in the first sentence}, then the focus of the dream is about an emotional experience {conflict} during that period of the dreamer's life. The opening of the dream sets the stage for what emotional conflict the dream is wishing to communicate to the dreamer. Your response clarifies what conflict from childhood the dream is addressing and when you go back and look at those early years you will have a better understanding for your 'sometimes' extreme shyness.

Your grandparent's home was a secure environment {as I stated in my analysis}. But you were at the same time also in 'frustrating situation'. That situation, reading your response, could be very well be the pressures you were getting from other family members, expecting more from you than was possible. This may seem benign but for a small child with a developing psyche it can be traumatic. It could be what is causing your fears of failure as an adult. Let's look at the dream and see if there is any other clues to what else {if anything} that contributes to your condition.

In the dream it was you vs your brother. Could it be the expectations from parents/relatives were because your brother excelled and you were expected to also? You couldn't 'kill' him {kill/change yourself to be him} and he couldn't be you. An inability to pull the trigger {cause yourself to do better}. This would be a central experience to your condition today.

But looking at the dream I sense an actual experience also {besides the emotional conflict is causes today}. This is normal in dreams since all dreams have at least two or more meanings/applications. The dream reads as if there were an actual 'terrifying moment' {"This was actually the most terrifying moment"}. Death or dying in a dream is not usually a literal death {it is metaphorical of something that comes to an end}. But in this case there may have been a moment were there was a real fear of dying. and that could have something to do with your fear as an adult.

But then the dream seems to get away from any actual experience and goes back to its symbolic/metaphorical language. "The thought of dying in a couple of seconds was really unbearable" is not something a very young child would be thinking of in a time of real fear or horror. And then the statement about the afterlife would not be a conscious thought either. It could be an archetypal image, the developing psyche using preset patterns within the psyche to describe a weakness that was to develop in your future {which what is true when you had the dream as an adult}.

Before we go further let's analyze the possible actual experience as a child. Look back at that period of your life and see if you can think on any experience that would fit. I'll look at the dream in the morning {need to digest the turkey and dressing} and see what else I can get from the dream knowing we are on the right track, yet with another possibility to the 'brother experience'.

Jerry

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

Hello Jerry,
My brother is actually younger than me, and it surely wasn't the case that I have tried to be (or to act) like him. I am the older one and therefore the one "to lead the way" and more or less "to be an example" for my younger brother. So it is possible that he may have wanted at some point to be more or less like me, without actually mentioning it. The opposite however has never been the case.
To answer your other question, I don't really remember having any terrifying near-death experiences in my real life. There was a "near-car crash" once, but it all happened in a second and I literally didn't have the time to get scared. However, it may be the case that I do have a subconscious fear of dying based on my believes: I don't really believe in the afterlife, so my death will mean my absolute end (just "lights off" and nothing happens after that).
I also have another, perhaps more literal interpretation of the situation with my brother in my dream and I'd like to hear your thoughts on this: it could have something to do with trust and with the fact that I usually tend to be a very wary/distrustful person. I don't completely trust even my closest relatives, it is just in my nature. So, in the dream I thought that my brother will surely kill me, since I didn't really trust him and I thought that he'd more likely choose his own life over mine. That's why I was so terrified (I really believed that he will kill me). But in the end, he didn't do it and then together, we quickly came up with a solution to our problem (by hiring the hitman in the dream). We came up with this solution only after choosing to work together. For me, the message could be that I should probably place more confidence in my brother and that we can achieve a lot more by putting our minds and efforts together (at least in some situations in life) rather than being "every man for himself".
Jerry, could you give me some practical advice on how to overcome my fear of failure (and the "shyness" in such situations) more effectively? I am now aware (thanks to your detailed analysis) that this fear of mine may result from the high expectations of my parents and relatives (and probably other people to a certain extent) toward me in my early life. But what should I actually do to get rid of this?
Thanks again for your time and your help.

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

Shatobrian,
A brief comment now and later i will take another look at your dream. Your beliefs about the afterlife today are interesting. As I stated in my last post you were too young to hold such beliefs as a child {although you could have been introduced to those beliefs early in life} but since you have them today the experiences of childhood and those adult beliefs may have synthesized. If true then there would be related contents between the two. As for your brother and him being younger than you, could it have been the attention he received as the younger child the reason you could have felt you needed to measure up to parents/relatives expectations? It would necessarily needed to be a conscious 'opposition' but an unconscious one that was established because your parents gave less admiration to you {which made you feel pressured to do better}. Sibling rivalry is a common experience but it need not be conscious. The developing mind is so influenced by environment and what is experienced such things are capsulized into something unconscious. You may have never felt a conscious rivalry with your brother but unconsciously that could have manifested into a rivalry within yourself. That would fit with your thoughts about trust. But the reason for not trusting anyone would have roots somewhere in your childhood. they just don't form for no reason.

As for overcoming your fears of failure. As you suggested, building bonds with your brother as an adult could begin that process. As a child something happened that caused you to mistrust people. He lived in the same environment so if you can get closer to him and discover his mentality {and his impressions of childhood} together that may help lead to understanding the unconscious forces that caused you to mistrust people which is likely the associated to your fear of failure. Those two things go hand in hand.

But there are likely other forces from childhood that caused you to mistrust people. And perhaps 'one particular experience'. That experience need not be a literal traumatic experience {although it could border trauma} but instead be from a relationship with a person or persons in early life. is there anyone you can think of from childhood you did not like {which for a child could be the same as mistrust}. Give thought to that. The root to understanding your fear of behavior as an adult lies in your childhood experiences, those foundations that were laid early in life that are 'fixed'. They are unconscious but yet controlling {again my experiences as a child precipitated me to do things I would not have done if I had a normal relationship with my father}. It may be possible to work through those fears alone but it mat require counseling with a train therapist {preferably someone who works with dreams}. Instead of laying on a couch an trying to get you to reveal your deepest thoughts through word association and/or piece meal analyzation {Freud's method}, a therapist who will take your dreams to look into your unconscious. Jung's direction to his patients was to state, 'let's get back to your dream'. He knew the dream was a direct link to the unconscious.

Give what i have offered in this post thought and I will look at the dream and your comments even more a little later and provide my thoughts.

Jerry

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

Hello Jerry,
Today I've thought again about my early childhood years. I don't believe that I received less attention from my parents and relatives in comparison to my brother. However, there were many situations in my early years when my parents (especially my father) put more pressure on me and were more forgiving with my brother. I think that it had to do with the fact that I was the older sibling and had to take the "leading role" and assume more responsibility than my younger brother. That was at least the way my father saw it.
You have asked me if there was a person I didn't like in my childhood years. I guess that could be my father, especially on certain occasions, and also some of my classmates in the elementary school. I was the brightest kid in my class (a straight A student) and that attracted a lot of hate and envy. I hated them likewise for being so mean to me.
When I think of my mistrustful nature, I think that it has a lot to do with the way my parents brought me up ("don't speak to strangers", "don't tell the others what you know and what you really think", "don't accept offers from other people", "come straight home after school", etc.). Being mistrustful and extra careful was probably the safest strategy back then (these were turbulent times in my country, there was a major economic crisis and most of the people were pretty poor).

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

Shatobrian,
Certainly what you state how your father put pressure on you because you were the older sibling could stimulate the dream to use the images of you against your brother. Those early years of imprinting are powerful and although you don't now see any competition between you and your brother, as a child it would have different. Those experiences and feelings go with you as you age. The way you were 'brought up' is what you become later in life. Imprinting is a part of every animals structure, be it human or otherwise.

The bad guy in your dream could very well be your father. There may not be a deep mistrust an adult would consciously have over such minor experiences as a child. But for a child they would be real. As would the feelings about your classmates. If we could sit down and go over your early life in great detail I have no doubt we could connect every aspect of the dream to your life.

But what is important now is the total influence of those experiences and what influence they have over your adult life. Fear of failure could very well be from relationship with your father {seeking approval from the father is a 'biggie', as it was in my life and the influences it unconsciously had on my actions as an adult}. In your second dream there is a massive engine failure and losing altitude very fast. I see that as your fear of failure and perhaps addressing a particular incident that caused you to succumb to those fears in a very short amount of time {situation drew desperate in a few seconds}. Those type of experiences leave you feeling helpless, a feeling you will not survive through the experience. The fact you woke up before you hit the ground and were killed {dreams will usually end this way because it is not literal but symbolic}. The fact you had an experience later that day that caused you to think of the dream was probably because of an heightened awareness because of the dream contents {and a fear it was literal}.

I think we've identified your problem and a great deal for it goes back to childhood {as is usually the case}. Now the question is what to do about your fear of failure? I am not a trained psychologist and although I have used Jung's Individuation Process to resolve my issues, I don't know if it will work for you. It is a time consuming and demanding way to reach wholeness and takes a lot of discipline and study to get there. Are you able to acquire the services of a trained therapist or psychologist? Especially someone who works with dreams and/or is familiar with Jungian psychology. Working through those early life imprinting is what needs to be done. Once you begin you will immediately show results but the time it takes to resolve the problems will take time. The good thing is you do know what the underlying problems are and you won't have to sort through that. There is likely more to be discovered but the primary issues are known. Resolving the issues is the next step. How to go about that is something you need to work on. You can overcome your fears and be whole if you really want to do what is necessary to get there.

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

Hello Jerry,
Thanks again for your detailed answer. I think that I will have to work on this problem on my own, since finding a trained psychologist/therapist who also works with dreams in my area would not be easy at all. Moreover, due to my long working hours it would be very difficult for me to visit a therapist on a regular basis in their usual office hours. But I am highly motivated to work on this problem alone and I really want to get rid of my fear of failure and the shyness which have been hampering my everyday life for many years. I will surely need to educate myself for this purpose. What would you recommend me to read, could you point me in the right direction? (For example appropriate Internet resources or books, if available.) Thanks again.

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

Shatobrian,
I'll give a response to your most recent post tomorrow. Spent all day defending defenseless cats and dogs at the local animal services department.

Jerry

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

Shatobrian,
I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Involved in saving animals at the local animal shelter and that has become a time consuming effort {but worth it}.

How I was able to resolve my inner issues from childhood and get myself on a path to wholeness was from Jung's Individuation Process. The definition of this process is:

individuation is the process of transforming one’s psyche by bringing the personal and collective unconscious into conscious.

Individuation has a holistic healing effect on the person, both mentally and physically.

Individuation is a process of psychological differentiation, having for its goal the development of the individual personality. In general, it is the process by which individual beings are formed and differentiated; in particular, it is the development of the psychological individual as a being distinct from the general, collective psychology.

Besides achieving physical and mental health, people who have advanced towards individuation, they tend to become harmonious, mature, responsible, they promote freedom and justice and have a good understanding about the workings of human nature and the universe.
_________________________________________
In short it is the process of analyzing your own self, your own life, looking 'within' yourself to discover your true self, your true identity. You begin the process by analyzing all aspects of your life starting with your earliest childhood memories and experiences and taking those and seeing how they have affected who you are as an adult. What you will find, with a deep reflection that will take time, are foundations of unconscious motivations. For instance, if you grow up where there is an absence of a father there is a good chance you will in later life unconscious substitute the love and acceptance you never got from an absent father with some time of negative behavior. often that behavior will be similar to that your actual father {as was my 'addictive' behavior}. When you begin to understand these unconscious motivations you can correct them. This is one aspect of dreams, what dreams attempt to do by provide insights to the unconscious stimuli for conscious behavior. If you remain unaware of these motivations you will continue to let the energies they possess control your conscious life. Because many of these unconscious energies are painful the ego will attempt to deny you access to them by repressing or ignoring them. But the ego has no control over dreams.

Read the link I provided [and related pages listed in that page} and then research other sources on the subject until you understand exactly what the process involves. Although may be able to understand in words what is being stated, it often takes a deeper sense of understanding for one to realize the full meaning. Then begin a self analyzation of your life and see what comes up. Take time to 'remember' specific periods of your life and give deep thought to them and let new memories come up. You will be surprised what comes up.

Also continue to listen to your dreams and interpret them.
They are a direct link to your unconscious and when you begin a self analyzation your dreams will also present new materials that will help in memories. Realization comes with understanding your foundations. Uderstanding your foundations will help you understand your true self as you are today. Removing the negative aspects will allow you to find balance and harmony, and overcome disabilities {since most of those disabilities will be linked to early life influences/experiences}.

The key word is discipline. Stay with the process and see will, over time, see results from it. It will take time. But the end result will be worth it. And you can always post questions and dreams at the Dream Forum if you need assistance.

Jerry

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Re: A scary dream with me, my brother and somebody else

Jerry,
Thank you for all the information and help you have provided. I wish you all the best!

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