Dreams use upsetting imagery because they are trying to be remembered. That does not mean that a disconcerting dream is bad, however. Often it is just the opposite: scary, unpleasant dreams can contain uplifting, even exhilarating messages. Keep that in mind as we eavesdrop on a dreamer wrestling with a nightmare from which she awoke, crying.
A scary dream
In my dream I am on some sort of a balcony overlooking a parking lot. I am looking for my car. There is a maintenance worker sweeping the parking lot. Suddenly, to my right, a car comes careening into the lot and slams into the wall that separates the lot from the street. The car’s passenger is forcefully ejected and ends up lying in the parking lot, writhing in pain. I call down to him to stop moving because he is injured and will only make it worse. The maintenance man goes over to him and kneels down, trying to help. But the injured man grabs him by the throat and starts to choke him. Soon, however, the life forces leave the injured man, and he releases his hold on the maintenance man’s neck and dies. I figure that is the end, but then I see that the dead man’s eyes take on a kind of surreal metallic appearance and start staring at me. Even though I was unsuccessful trying to communicate with him when he was alive, I can now feel his thoughts entering my brain telepathically. It is sinister and frightening, and that’s when I wake up, crying and yelling.
What is this dream about?
Has this dreamer been contacted by a telepathic space alien with metallic eyes? Is she about to be abducted? Or does this dream foretell a car crash? Is the dreamer about to be killed? Is the whole thing a terrible omen, hinting at some catastrophe about to befall her?
I would argue not. As horrible as the imagery is, when she and I discussed her dream, my first recommendation to her was to step back and try to divorce herself from the emotional impact of the dream’s plot. This dream is merely trying to make sure that its message is brought to her conscious mind. Probably the dream’s message was one that her subconscious mind tried to deliver to her before in gentler fashion. But the message was ignored, so her subconscious has tried again, this time more forcefully. Most likely, the dream will have nothing to do with injuries or extraterrestrials.
I suggested that we look for dominant themes in the dream’s story. There seem to be several. The most obvious is the theme of cars—vehicles. As the dream opens, she is looking for her car. She is staring at a parking lot which is also about cars. And then there is a crash involving a car. What does a car symbolize to this dreamer? We will ask her on Wednesday when we'll also examine the various other themes in this dream.
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