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    Thread: Need help interperting and controling a vivid recurring dream I have started having

    1. #1
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      Need help interperting and controling a vivid recurring dream I have started having

      I am a first time poster and new member. I have been having a very vivid recurring dream since returning back home from spending the holidays with my family (this was first Christmas since my father passed away).

      The dream takes place in spring 1994 and I am 15 years old. I am in my grandads old Tan 1983 Plymouth Reliant K Car (which would become my first car later that summer when I turned 16). I am buckled in the front middle seat and the car is parked in my parent’s driveway. Soon my 11-year-old sister is opening the passenger side door and sitting down in the passenger seat next to me. She is wearing the same pink hypercolor shirt, red overalls, and tan sandals that she always wears in the dream(one of her favorite outfits during that time). She closes the passenger side door and then buckles her seat belt.

      For most of the dream, my sister and I spend waiting in the car for mom to come and get it. We are both buckled-up and ready to go and just need her to get in. We always spend a really long time waiting. Probably around 20 – 30 minutes. During this time my attention sifts between looking through the windshield at our backyard; looking at the gauges on the dash board, the tan steering wheel, and empty tan vinyl drivers seat; watching at my sister blowing on her shirt so it will change colors & putting her feet on the glovebox; looking at the a/c controls and radio that are by my knees; and looking over my left shoulder towards the back door of our house to see if I see mom getting ready to come out. I try to avoid have any conversations with my sister while we are waiting for mom as her breath reeks and I will have to smell it if she talks.

      Eventually, mom is unlocking the drivers side door and sitting down in the drivers seat next to me. She puts the key in the ignition and the car makes a buzzing sound until she closes her door. She then always spends a long time adjusting the mirrors. Once she has them adjusted, I see her hand reach for the black key in the ignition and turn it so start the car. The car fails to start as I see the dash illuminated with red lights and her the buzzing sound again. Mom keeps turning the key trying to start the car, but it doesn’t want to start. I am focusing on her hand turning the key, the red lights on the dash, and the buzzing sound. Eventually she starts pumping the accelerator with her brown clog, but each crank still ends with the red lights on the dash, the buzzing sound, and the engine failing to start. I keep watching her pump the accelerator and turn the key hoping it will start on the next crank.

      I normally wake-up from the dream while mom is still trying to get the car started, pumping on the accelerator and turning the key. In some of the dreams, mom becomes worried she has left something on in the house and leaves us in the car to go in and check and I wake-up while we are waiting for her come back out.

      The dream always ends before mom has been able to start the car or has given up, so I have no idea if she is eventually able to get it started. I also have no idea where we are going as the dream begins and ends with me bucked to the center seat in the reliant.

      The time when this dream happens is around 6 months after my grandad passed away a was a really dark time I do not like to think about. I am getting really tired of having this dream most nights and then having a hard time getting back to sleep afterward.

      I decided to join this form in hopes that other members can help me with interpreting this dream and how I can stop having it. I am also interested in learning more about how I can used Lucid Dreaming (which I have never tried) to control this dream and either get it to where (1) mom gets the car started and we get to where we are supposed to go or (2) mom decides the car will not start and I unbuckle and get out of the car. I am concerned I will keep having this dream if I keep waking up while she is trying to start the car.
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    2. #2
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      woffordwv!

      Sorry about losing your father. I can't imagine how difficult that would be.

      Perhaps spending time with your family triggered feelings of reliance on them. In the dream, you're relying on your mother to start the Reliant. The theme of security recurs often in the dream with the seatbeats, illuminated dash, buzzing sounds, adjusting mirrors, ect. You feel secure in the Reliant, but the Reliant isn't working. In waking life, if you feel reliance on your family, perhaps you feel secure in this reliance, but you also feel this reliance isn't working because you want to feel more independent.

      As for lucid dreaming, upon going to bed, imagine this dream, only with you realizing you are dreaming and remembering to try whatever dream goal you have. Tell yourself this is what you want to happen next time you have this dream. The idea is to develop a connection between this dream and the intention to realize you're dreaming. This way, being in this dream is more likely to remind you that you're dreaming.

      As a dream goal, I would ask where we're going. That might offer more clues about what the dream is about.

      I think recurring dreams are based on unresolved problems we habitually think about while we're dreaming and once the problem is resolved, the recurring dream goes away.
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      Thanks for the comment about my father! He was a great man and greatly missed!

      Thanks for your interpretation and suggestions for on how I can try to take control through lucid dreaming. I will give it a try tonight and hopefully I will be able to update progress in my next dream journal entry.

      Just wondering.. do you have any interpretation as to why I am always in the middle of the front seat during this dream and why I spend so much of the dream waiting (first in the car by myself and then for the majority of the dream in the car with my sister). I am always especially confused about riding in the middle since (1) the reliant had a backseat and (2) my sister is younger/shorter/smaller than me. This part of the dream has never made sense. Is there some significance to me always being in the middle, my sister by the window, and my mom driving? Is there any significance to my sister and I always spending over 20 minutes in the car before my mom even get in? The whole dream is really confusing and hopefully I can take control and move on!
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      I think you're always in the middle of the front seat in the dream because you always feel you're in the middle of this situation where you want feel like you're in control of where you're going (in front), but are still yielding to and being dependent on your family.

      I think you are yielding the front window seat to your sister because you want to be nice to her, feel close to her, and feel she can take care of herself. Mom is driving the car and choosing a direction because you feel you are not quite capable of doing this and are placing your trust in her. I think in waking life this represents an inner conflict where you want to feel more independent in choosing where you go in life, but still feel security in feeling attached to and dependent on your family. I think in the dream you wait for a long time because in this situation in waking life, you feel like time is passing by and being wasted.

      That's my guess!

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      I tried to use Lucid Dreaming on Tuesday(1/7)/Wednesday(1/8)/Thursday(1/9) to control this dream.

      On Tuesday night, I started hoking the horn after my sister and I had been waiting for less than 10 minutes and I was getting tired of having her try to talk to me and having to smell her breath. I kept laying on the horn until mom cam out of the house. Mom worked in her garden for a while and then went back in the house for another 30 minutes because I honked at her. I tried to get out after mom went back in the house, but the drivers side door was locked and I couldn't undo my seatbelt because my sister was sitting on the buckle. When mom finally came out, she spend the longest time I can remember in any of the dreams trying to get the car started. She kept getting out and looking under the hood to try to figure out why it wasn't starting. I eventually woke up while she was trying to start it.

      On Wednesday, in the dream I thought the car smelled really bad. My sister also thought is smelled when she got in. While mom was trying to get the car started, she noticed I stepped in dog poop. I unbuckled my seatbelt and my sister let me out so I could clean my shoe. I woke-up while I was cleaning my show and could hear mom still trying to start the car in the background. This was the first time EVER in the dream that I was not buckled to the front center seat.

      I did not have the dream on Thursday and have not had it again since Wednesday when I dreamed I stepped in dog poop and got let our of the car to clean it.

      Wondering if Lucid Dreaming was responsible for the changes to the dream on Tuesday and Wednesday (and it not recurring since then) or if it was just a coincidence. Friday evening through this afternoon, I was leading an out of town retreat for the leadership team for a big community event I am running this summer. It has been a nice break from the family drama I dealt with over Christmas.

    6. #6
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      Sorry to hear about your father.

      Never underestimate the power of your subconscious. Your mind can do some funky things in your dreams. One thing I do see, it looks like you are heading in the right direction. However, not all lucid tricks can magically fix everything and make your nightmare go away. Just keep that in mind. Keep on fighting.
      Your subconscious, probably like this one, will make you go through all kinds of scenarios before you can solve it.
      What do you fear in your real life? It's good that you got that leadership thing. Positive can always be a plus for battling inner turmoil.
      You can lock up bad memories, you can burn it. Bury it and pray that it dies but, it never will. It just rests awhile. I suppose that can't always make a nightmare disappear just like that. You can lock your doors in your dream, and say your prayers at night but, a nightmare is out there, waiting. And maybe, just maybe, it's closer than you think. You have a lot of work to do because if you suppress a bad dream, it will take a different form.
      So, as far as Lucid Dreaming was responsible for the changes to the dream on Tuesday and Wednesday? That is a possibility. Something happening in your waking life can have a compact on your non-lucid and your lucid dreaming.
      What would help if you continue practicing is "all-day awareness" and Dream journaling. If it comes up again, chronicle it. Right everything down that you remember. Some of the smallest details can help solve your inner puzzle.
      Continue to do things in your waking life that will boost your confidence.
      With me: I've had dreams like this where they started badly at first, like losing a family member, gone lucid and made the mistake of thinking that you can just fix the problem just like that. The next time something negative happened, in my life, they appeared again but, different scenarios.
      I got to a point where I still see these dream characters but, they are not the problem. Then again, they only really appear when I have self-doubt.
      Seriously, though, there is no essay way of making something go away.
      I hope that helps?
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      If this is truly one of those unresolved issue things then I have done what you describe, hundreds of times, and it is not a cure. When I take control of these types of dreams I find that even though I am aware and in control, I still experience the same frame of mind, and the same emotions as I would otherwise. It's as if the stage is set for one of those dreams, and being aware doesn't change that. You'd think, "I could take control over the dream and change it to something happy" but that is not what happens. One cannot simply choose to be happy. The dream, being a relative construct of your own consciousness, cannot be happy if you are not. Having control over your dream is not the same as having control over your emotions during that dream.
      That said, I'm not saying that taking control over a dream like this is a bad idea. I am saying that it may not result exactly how you would expect. I speak from a LOT of experience doing exactly what you're talking about. In fact, it is the reason my profile is tagged with "haunted by entropy", and has been for years. I've never told anyone here, but most of my lucid dreams these days are these recurring unresolved issue dreams, based on my grandfather. I have them every week.
      However, everyone is different, and your experience may be completely different.

      If you want them to go away, tackle the root of the issue; Controlling the dream that emerges from that issue does not necessarily make it go away.
      Last edited by sloth; 01-13-2020 at 08:40 AM.
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      I stumbled on your thread after reading some of your DJ entries about this recurring dream. I had some thoughts I thought I'd share on the DJ, but think it'll make more sense if I do it here.

      Firstly I'd like to start with what sloth said:

      Quote Originally Posted by sloth View Post
      (...) everyone is different, and your experience may be completely different.

      If you want them to go away, tackle the root of the issue; Controlling the dream that emerges from that issue does not necessarily make it go away.
      Ultimately this the truth of life. We can cover a rotten beam of wood with however many layers of plaster or decoration we want; at it's core, it's still rotting, just more pleasant to look at. But it will give in some day if it's not taken care of properly. If you can identify the root cause of the issue, whether through waking life or through dream interpretation, it can be best to work on the issue directly if possible.

      I do think there is a benefit to having awareness in this type of recurring dream. I personally find that trying to communicate with dream characters about what's going on can give some insight into why that situation is even coming back frequently in dream form. I don't ever assume that a dream that is similar to a memory actually has something to do directly with that memory.

      I can't interpret your dreams for you because I don't know you at a personal level and that takes months or years to establish, so personally I think a good idea would be that if you do gain conscious awareness during this dream to try and interrupt your mom or your sister from their dream routines and ask some questions; whatever comes to mind about the dream's plot/context may be helpful, but maybe something more specific too... Before bed, I think I'd write down a few ideas about what I'd like to ask on paper - if you write down a lot, try to narrow it down to the ones you feel are most important.

      And even if you don't become lucid during the dream but you have the intent to ask questions to find out more stuff directly with your subconscious may be of help anyway.

      The thing about the strong smells strikes me as a bit odd, but smell is a weak sense for me in dreams anyway. It does make me wonder if your sister doesn't realise in the dream that she is causing you this state of near-agony from her breath. That could be a starting point on something to ask about, too.

      But one thing I am quite curious about is the destination. Do you know, in the dream's context, where you're supposed to be going in the car? You're very specific about the date but as I said, I wouldn't assume a dream to necessarily be linked directly to a specific memory. In the dream's context, do you know what was happening before you got in the car, or what's supposed to be happening later on? Finally, I'm also curious since you said you got the car later in reality; did it have anything wrong with it when you started using it yourself? Since it's your grandad's car, maybe it has more to do with the car itself and your grandad, somehow.

      Boiled down, I think what I'm trying to say is that you could take on an inquisitive attitude towards this recurring dream and sort of grab it by the horns and see where it steers you. See what you can find under the surface of the dream context as it presents itself and then start to narrow down the possible reasons for why it's coming up so frequently.

      Tiny edit: From my experience, it is much worse to become obsessed about recurring dreams, regardless of their nature. I haven't had what I would consider a nightmare in over 2 years, in large part because I've let go of the fear of having them. I still have "worse" dreams, but nothing like I ever used to. It's not easy and takes some mental adjustment, but it is possible to let go of that fear and negative expectation. Things become so much less stressful once you do, too.
      Last edited by DarkestDarkness; 02-01-2020 at 07:05 PM.
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    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      Tiny edit: From my experience, it is much worse to become obsessed about recurring dreams, regardless of their nature. I haven't had what I would consider a nightmare in over 2 years, in large part because I've let go of the fear of having them. I still have "worse" dreams, but nothing like I ever used to. It's not easy and takes some mental adjustment, but it is possible to let go of that fear and negative expectation. Things become so much less stressful once you do, too.
      We are all just one small adjustment away from making our lives work. This can apply to your dreams as well.
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      I went and spent last weekend with my mom and helped her take care of some things she needed help with. I have started having this dream again and have had it every night since Monday (now 6 nights in a row).

      A few things have changed in the dream this time around. In the earlier dreams, I did not want to talk to my sister while we were waiting in the car for mom because her breath reeked and I had to smell it whenever she talked to me. I would just ignore her and she would stop taking. She would always stay on her side of an imaginary line between us and I only noticed she was sitting beside me if I turned to look at her. In the dreams this week, she is trying harder to get me to talk to her. When I ignore her, she invades my space to try to talk to me. I do not know what she is saying because I try to tune her out, but I cannot avoid having to smell her breath when she is taking to me. The only thing I can do to try and avoid her breath is to look at the empty driver seat, but I can still feel her sitting beside me and trying to get my attention.

      When mom is trying to start the car, I am also now aware that my sister is on my other side in the passenger seat even when I am focusing on mom pumping the accelerator and truing the key and the red lights and buzzing sound when the car doesn’t start-up. Before, I only knew my sister was sitting next to me if I turned and looked at her. I have also noticed that mom now seems to get more frustrated about the car not starting up. In the earlier dreams, she was just tuning the key and pumping the accelerator and not really saying anything. Now she is expressing her frustration that it is not starting up.

      I have also tried to get out of the car when mom gets out to go back in the house or look under the hood. Mom always tells me she is responsible for starting the car and driving us, and I need to stay buckled in my seat. I feel much more trapped in the Reliant in these dreams than I did in the earlier ones because I know my sister is between me and the door and mom does not want me taking off my seatbelt and getting out of my seat.

      Today I have been trying to think about things in my waking life and things that happed around the time the dream takes place to see if that can help me figure the dream out and try to control it and get closure.

      In my waking life, smell and sound are the two sense I am most sensitive to. I expect that is the reason that my sister’s breath and talking and the buzzing sound when mom tries to start the car play such a big role. I am also someone who needs my personal. It would be very uncomfortable if I had to ride in the middle in my waking life since I would not have the personal space I need. I normally am the one driving when I am in a vehicle because I like to be in control of where I am going and go when I want to go. I am normally a passenger no more than a few times a month. Not sure if this plays a role in the dream or not.

      The Reliant was actually a very reliable car although it was not a very cool car to drive. When I drove it in high school, it almost always started on the first crank and then would make that buzzing sound until I put on my seatbelt. I also remember the Reliant often had a dead battery during the time this dream took place because it was not driven very often and would sit for weeks in our driveway without being cranked. The problem ended-up being a bad battery which was replaced before I started driving it. Not sure if this plays any part in the dream or its timing.

      The time the dream took place was around 6-8 months after my grandad (her father) passed away and mom was stuck in a grieving stage at that time. It was also a tough time for me because he and I were really close as he was like a second father. His death hit me harder than any other death I have had to deal with including my father’s. The back seat of the car was not usable for many months because it was full of my grandad’s stuff that mom was going to donate to charity but wasn’t ready to part with yet. She is now in the same stage with my father’s clothes. She wants to donate them but is not ready for them to leave his closet. Not sure if this plays any part in the dream and its timing.

      I think there was a day around the time the dream takes place where we were out of school and mom was using the Reliant because her car was in the shop. I think I was going to go somewhere with them but decided not to because it was my sister’s day to choose her seat and I was going to have to sit in the middle. I can kind of remember walking out to the car with my sister and may have gotten in the car with her and then unbuckled and got out on the driver side before mom got in because it was so uncomfortable in the middle. There may have been a dead batter when mom got in and then I decided not to go with them after she got a jump start because it was a really tight fit riding between them. I think the dead battery was later on after the back seat was usable and I was sitting back there. I think I would have had a clearer memory if the car had a dead battery when I was in the middle and most likely I either got out before mom got in or did not get in at all. I can’t remember where we were going but know it wasn’t somewhere important enough for me to tolerate riding in the middle in order to go. I could also be mixing-up fragments of different memories here. I can’t remember exactly what happened but expect this may have something to do with the timing of the dream. I may ask my sister if she remembers anything about this next time I talk to her in my waking life to see if that possibly unlocks any memories about this event and if it really happened.

      In waking life, my mom is not someone who has ever been good at planning or making decisions. She always relied on her parents or my father to make the big decisions. Now she is wanting my sister and I to help her make decisions but is reluctant to let us actually make the decisions which means everything is much more complicated than it should be and is an ordeal for me and my sister. Last weekend, if I were handling the things myself I could have gotten done very quickly. However, everything took forever to complete because she struggled to make decisions and was not willing to yield to me to make quick decisions. She is also still stuck in the stage of grieving my father and seems to take issue that both my sister and I have moved on from it. It is really stressful and frustrating dealing with all of this. Normally after the dream, I lay awake for a while worrying about things with my mom.

      I think these issues are what is fueling this dream and I do not know how we can quickly help my mom get to a better place and get this off my mind.

      Sorry for such a long and wordy post, but I wanted to share all of these details I have thought through that could be causing this dream and playing a role with it. I welcome any suggestions or interpretations others may have on this.
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      I have read your post fully and do agree that a lot of those details, especially near the end of the post, seem to be very relevant to what is going on with your dream.

      It's definitely a difficult thing when a person has to start worrying about their parent and this does cause a lot of stress; I haven't yet had to live through this so much myself but I have seen it very clearly with other people.

      All the little bits sound relevant to me anyway. The battery, the situations with your mom driving the car, the fact that your sister had the opportunity to choose a seat on a specific day, etc... But even any mixed fragments of memory are potentially important. That's what your mind uses to construct dreams anyway, so it probably matters just as much as the real details. Still, speaking to your sister about it sounds like a good idea, too.

      The point that sticks out to me the most probably has to be your mom's grief though. I don't mean to presume anything, so my apologies if anything sounds out of order. In the dream, the way your mom has started going about the car does sound like it's part of the grief and maybe this reflects your perception of some inability of hers to handle responsibility properly, something that by the sounds of it, she really wants to be able to do.

      Trying to take something like the weight of difficult decisions from your mom may technically be the right thing to do, but maybe it also leaves her feeling helpless, even if you do everything correctly and better. Most parents have a natural instinct to do the right thing for their children even they can't do that thing very well, and in a way, that's sort of what's going with your mom getting frustrated about starting the car, I think.

      One thing is for certain, you seem to have an extremely keen mind, and in a way, your mind might be a bit too hyper-focused on the fact that the dream is recurring. It can't be helped I guess, I know I can't really choose what I obsess about with any amount of ease, but all I'm trying to say is what I've already said before on my previous post's edit: try not to get too deeply focused on the dream itself.

      But with scent and hearing being some of your most sensitive things it becomes obvious just how distressing the dream must get. I am curious about something in that regard. In the dreams you tune out of what your sister is saying, but is there any chance the reverse could happen? If you could tune into what she's saying, and tune out of the bad breath scent... It's a dream after all. Maybe what she's saying is inconsequential, but maybe it isn't.

      Finally, I understand you like your bit of control and how the context of the dream causes distress in that sense, but perhaps try to drop that expectation of control in regards to this dream. It's a dream, ultimately it won't hurt you and losing control has no real consequence in this context. In a way, "giving in" may be more revealing than fighting the circumstances, too. Again, because I don't know you personally, there are so many potentially different ways to go about every single detail...

      But do let me know if anything I said was helpful (or not!), and if I assumed/understood anything incorrectly, please correct me.
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      Thanks for taking the time to read through my entire post. My apologies that it may have been a little on the wordy side, but figured better to share too much than not enough. I do have a couple of follow-up questions on the post.

      I will definitely plan to ask my sister if she has ANY memories of she and I riding in the Reliant with mom. I will probably be very vague on this and then see what she says.

      You mention that my mom's grief sticks out to you the most in the dream. You mention the something about the way my mom has started going about the car does sound like it's part of the grief. I was hoping you could elaborate on this. Which of her actions in this dream do you think are tied to this?

      You then mention later on that I need to try to tune into what my sister is saying and try to tune out her bad breath. How would I go about doing this? I assume I would need to try to get control of my mind as I am falling asleep to try to do this? Any advice on how to do this as I have no idea if she is saying something important and if listening to her will make me tune out her breath.

      You then mention something about I should try to drop the expectation of control in regards to this dream. I was hoping you could elaborate on what you mean by this. What do you mean by "giving in" rather than fighting the circumstances? As I have never tried this before, any advice would be appreciated.

      I am also interested if you (or anyone else) has any interpretation to the significance/meaning of the different recurring themes of the dream. This would include:

      Why does the dream always happen in grandads Reliant
      Why am I always in the car by myself at the beginning
      Why am I always in the middle, my sister by the window, and mom driving
      Why does my sister always have bad breath
      Why do my sister and I always wait a really long time for mom
      Why are my sister and I always wearing out seatbelts when we are in the car but mom never puts hers on
      Why does the car never start-up
      Why does mom keep going back in the house to check on things and look under the hood
      Why does the dream take place at the time it does

      I would welcome any interpretation to any of these as it may help me figure it out.

      Lastly, you mention I need to work on not becoming too obsessed with this dream. In my waking life, I work in logistics. I am accustomed to identifying things that could be problems and solving them before they become problems as well as figuring out how to solve problems when they do pop-up. It is so frustrating on a personal level that I am not able to do this to help my mom as well as not be able to control this dream and make it stop. I do tend to obsess about problems and solving them in my waking life. I have been actively trying to track this dream by journaling it whenever it occurs. I am wondering if this could inadvertently be leading to me becoming obsessed with it and is causing it to keep happening. I am wondering if it may help me control and stop having the dream if I stop journaling it ever day. I am interested to know what your (and others) thoughts on if the journaling is maybe now doing more harm than good in regards to the dream?
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    13. #13
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      Hey Wofford,

      First, I'm sorry for you and you're family and hope the best for you.

      I agree with what's been said up to now.

      I was also thinking, I think a lot of the questions don't have an answer. It's a dream so there is not an actual physical world. This is not a car that can work or not work. There is nothing down the road. It's like how it's difficult to turn a light on in a dream. Or turn on a computer. What I mean is Cause and Effect does not work the same way in dreams as in real life. In real life, no matter your expectations/associations, the car will work if the mechanism works. In a dream, your brain must make the association and expect the next steps. It's like making an animated movie. The car won't go anywhere if you push the gas pedal. You need to draw what happens next.

      Second, your dream structure seems like a looping dream or a stuck dream... Imagine, you're in a room, trying to get out, but each time you leave the room, you are again in the same room. Either because you feel out of control or because your mind has not imagined anything else.

      So for your questions about "what's out there? Where are we going? Why is the car not working?" part of the answer might be, your mind has not imagined anything else. The dream is just about this moment. And the rest is variations of feeling out of control.

      It seems you are now figuring this dream is about you processing your mom's grief, or that's what I'm understanding. Because you are dealing with your mother's grief, mainly, it makes sense you are powerless. You and your sister are just waiting for her because you've been moving on. But your mother's not quite ready.

      So if this was my dream, my interpretation is that the dream is a manifestation of my feelings about my mother's grief. And it's an invitation to process that. Maybe talk about it with her, only if it to communicate, that you are accepting that she needs her time. You said she seems frustrated that you and your sister are moving on faster. Maybe she feels the pressure to end her grief but just can't.

      In real life, you can read up on grief, talk about it with your family. In the dream, you can do the same. what happens to the dream if you ask your mom about how she's feeling about her father and husband. Or what happens if you sit in the back, a place you associate with your grandfather and talk about him. Maybe before going to bed, think of a positive memory with your grandfather and intend to dream about that or once you are in the car, reminisce over that memory to see if you enter it.

      The car, the breath... Those are not the real obstacles. If they are, you can use visualization techniques and expectation techniques. Imagine a mint candy to help with your sister's breath. Expect a bus is coming to pick you up to go to the beach...

      Good luck
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 02-04-2020 at 09:57 PM.
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    14. #14
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      From the last bit in your post here I do see how that can make things very frustrating. I completely get that.

      Quote Originally Posted by woffordwv View Post
      I am wondering if this could inadvertently be leading to me becoming obsessed with it and is causing it to keep happening. I am wondering if it may help me control and stop having the dream if I stop journaling it ever day. I am interested to know what your (and others) thoughts on if the journaling is maybe now doing more harm than good in regards to the dream?
      Firstly though, on this point above: I don't think that this necessarily causes any harm. Journaling the dream is fine. If you feel that it's contributing as an obsessing factor, then only you can really decide what the correct choice is in regards to that. But my personal advice is that you do keep journaling, but when you do, try to sort of separate yourself from the emotion of it. Remind yourself when writing, this is just a dream, it doesn't control or even define in any way your life and how you live it.

      Most importantly perhaps, try to let go of the worry that you "have" to control this dream. After all, it can't control you unless you really let it.

      Quote Originally Posted by woffordwv View Post
      How would I go about doing this? I assume I would need to try to get control of my mind as I am falling asleep to try to do this? Any advice on how to do this as I have no idea if she is saying something important and if listening to her will make me tune out her breath.
      Assumptions, fears, concerns, hopes... In my view, these things are all the exact same thing in dreaming really, they are forms of expectation, which is one of the things dreams build themselves around. But this is helpful too, because this means that you don't necessarily have to take control of anything to potentially see a change. When you go to sleep, when you want something about the dream to be influenced, focus on that bit of the dream in your mind while you're in bed. Remember that it's the dream and then imagine that part differently. Set an intent to do something differently for a specific part. I would start doing this for one or two bits only at a time per night, personally.

      You can set an intent for example by making an affirmation in your mind a few times as you go to sleep. For example, I might think: "When my sister speaks to me, I'll hold my sense of smell and listen." and repeat it a couple of times to myself, either vocally or simply in thought. Personally, I know I can hold myself from smelling something by "cutting off" a part at the back of my throat, so that's also something I would focus on as I set such an intention. Doing some of this may at least be helpful to get over the sense of being overpowered by the bad smell.

      Quote Originally Posted by woffordwv View Post
      You mention that my mom's grief sticks out to you the most in the dream. You mention the something about the way my mom has started going about the car does sound like it's part of the grief. I was hoping you could elaborate on this. Which of her actions in this dream do you think are tied to this?
      I don't have a lot of time on hand just now so I'll just address this one more point. I'll come back to the rest of your post and this specific point again later today if I can.

      What I meant about your mom's grief being expressed in the dream is how she has been becoming increasingly agitated in each of the dreams since you started journaling them. Like you said, she's even trying to look under the hood and trying to fix the situation somehow now. However, I realise now that this could also reflect your own personal frustration about either the dream itself or your mom's grief, because of what you mentioned in this post at the end.

      And Occipitalred said some pretty good stuff too.

      Edit: Was re-reading Occipitalred's post and your last post again, so just wanted to re-iterate that I agree with pretty much every point Occipitalred made. The points are very well made and well worded, much better than I could do, especially in regards to the bit about processing your mom's grief and in regards to what the obstacles are.

      I think I could also add that from my experience of helping other people with stuff like this in the past, these things can take time to process and this is why I personally feel it's important to not get too obsessed or excessively focused on the actual dreams themselves, as I've been mentioning. It can be important to allow yourself to understand that it may take time for everything to sort itself out, even with others giving a hand. It helps to ease whatever suffering and impact the dreams have on your waking life.

      I'm actually quite tired, so not really able to contribute much now, but definitely try to apply the visualisation and expectation techniques like Occiptalred said. It's pretty much linked to what I say above with setting an intent and the like. But do let us know how it goes.
      Last edited by DarkestDarkness; 02-05-2020 at 12:43 AM.
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    15. #15
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      Thanks to both of you for taking the time to read through the posts and offer your thoughts. I have been thinking some on the different recurring themes of the dream and what they mean.

      I think the dream is happening due to my mom’s grieving the loss of my father as you all suggest. It is definitely something that has been causing me a lot of stress during my waking hours.

      I think we are always in the Reliant because it was my first car and it gave me a new freedom I did not have when relying on someone else to take me places. I think it is the vehicle that is supposed to take us from a place where we grieve my father to a new place where we will all move on from the grief. Perhaps mom is even trying to drive us somewhere where we will see may father, which of course would not be possible. While the destination is never revealed in the dream, I believe the destination is symbolic of some place where we will no-longer deal with grief. I believe this is where mom is trying to drive us.

      I think our house is a place to grieve my father and remember the life we had with him. We stay in the house while in the grieving stage and then go out and get in the Reliant when we are ready to move on.

      I think the dream takes place when I am 15 since I did not have my drivers license then and was dependent on others to drive me. I couldn’t just drive myself where I wanted to go when I wanted to go. I had to be on someone else’s schedule and had to be dependent on them to get me where I needed to go. At the time of the dream, I couldn’t just go out and start-up the Reliant and drive away. I had to depend on mom to do this for me. There could also be a correlation to my granddad’s death, but I expect it has more to do with it being a time when I was stuck being dependent on mom.

      I think I always start the dream in the car by myself since I was the first one of the 3 of us to move out of the grieving stage. I am probably out of the house and in the car because I do not want to grieve my father anymore and want to move forward. My sister moved out of the grieving stage a few weeks after I did, so that is probably why I am only in the car by myself for a short amount of time. Had my sister been stuck in the grieving stage longer, then perhaps I would spend more of the dream in the car by myself and less of it with her in the car.

      My sister and I are probably both riding in the front seat because mom wants us to be close to her. In dealing with her grief, my mom keeps bringing my sister and I both into things that we (at least I) would rather deal with on my own rather than the 3 of us. Sometimes too, I suggest that we get extended family or friends involved, but she always wants it to just be she, my sister, and I. I also remember she wanted it to just be the 3 of us with my dad at the hospital once he took a turn for the worse and didn’t want other family or friends there.

      I am probably always riding in the middle because I feel like mom is always throwing me in the middle of situations where I have to help her rather than handling things on my own. I find this unpleasant like I find riding in the middle in this dream. I could also always be in the middle since I am always the first one in the car and the middle seat passenger always gets in before the window seat passenger. Perhaps it just has to do with me being ready to move on before my sister was and getting in the car before her since it would not be easy for my sister to climb over me and get to the middle seat if I were riding by the window.

      I am sure the long wait in the car has to do with our long wait for my mom to get out of the grieving stage. We are both in the car and ready to move on, but mom wants to stay in the house and keep grieving for my father. I wonder if she is still not really ready to go when she does finally come out, but realizes that we have been waiting in the car for her for a long time and that she needs to come out and drive us since that is her responsibility as our mother. Perhaps she knows that she is not going to be able to start the car and drive us, but also realizes we are in the car waiting for her and are not coming back in the house, so she needs to give it her best effort to try to start the car and drive us where we need to go.

      I am certain that mom is not able to start the car because she is not able to bring herself out of the grieving stage. Perhaps she knows she is not able to start the car and drive us where we need to go, but she knows it is important to us that we go so that is why she keeps trying to start it and keeps getting out to look under the hood. Since the raised hood blocks my view of mom when she is looking under it, I wonder if she is really going behind it to cry and grieve rather that work on fixing the car since my sister and I cannot see what she is doing. Same thing with going back into the house after trying to start the car. I think likely she is either trying to postpone trying to start the car and drive us or is going back into the house to grieve for a while. I am pretty sure it has to do with her being not ready/unable to get out of the grieving stage.

      I am still unsure of the meaning/significance of the seatbelts and my sisters bad breath, but maybe the meaning of those themes will become clearer if I keep having the dream.

      I have also been trying to think back to the time the dream takes place, and think that I may have been riding in the middle rather than the backseat the time the Reliant had the dead battery. I am hoping my sister may be able to shed some light on that at some point. If that did happen, then that may also play some role in everything and why the dream is in the setting it is.

      I have not had this or any other memorable dreams the last few nights, so I am hopeful that this dream may have finally run its course like it did last month. Will continue to journal it and add to this post if/when it comes back as well as journal any other memorable dreams I may have in the future so I can keep track of them. I will also try the different things that have been suggested if the dream does come back to see if I can move it along more quickly next time.
      Last edited by woffordwv; 02-08-2020 at 08:15 PM.

    16. #16
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      I think I have finally gotten this dream under control. I have only had it once in the past 2 weeks and talked with my sister the day before I had the dream and think that probably caused it that night.

      When I talked with my sister, I asked her if she had any memories of mom driving us in the reliant and mentioned I had been having some strange dreams about us in it. She told me the only time she remembered was during our spring break when mom was going to drive us to the Science Center in it. She said she remembers it had a dead battery and we ended up getting a ride from friends. She remembers we were both riding up front because the back seat was full of junk and that she was by the window and I was in the middle. She remembers she wanted us to go on out and get in the car and that we ended up having to wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes because mom got a phone call after we went out and got in the car. She said it was the longest time she ever remembers waiting in a car. She said she is pretty sure I stepped in dog poo and that I had a panic attack when mom couldn’t get the car started. I really think my sister sharing her memory caused the last dream I had because in that dream I stepped in dog poop and mom kept telling me to calm down.

      Since my sister seems certain that I was in the middle and we waited a long time for mom when the reliant had the dead battery, I guess that is the reason the dream takes place in that setting. It is interesting than an even that I had blocked out of my memory which happed over 25 years ago became the setting for this recurring dream.

      Hopefully I have finally moved on from it and will not have it anymore going forward.

    17. #17
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      It's pretty cool you have brought that unconscious memory back into your consciousness.

      How would you feel if this is the dream that comes up every time the dream explores 'panic attack'-y feelings? Is it possible that it makes the experience a bit more familiar, a bit less nightmarish?
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    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      How would you feel if this is the dream that comes up every time the dream explores 'panic attack'-y feelings? Is it possible that it makes the experience a bit more familiar, a bit less nightmarish?

      I am a little confused about what you are asking above. Would you be able to elaborate??

      Also... I don't remember having a panic attack when the car wouldn't start. I think I just had to ask my sister to let me out several times before she did. She may have blow the panic attack out of proportion. I also do not remember stepping in dog poop although that could be the reason there are bad smells in the dream always.
      Last edited by woffordwv; 03-16-2020 at 05:10 PM.

    19. #19
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      Oh, I just took your sister's word for it when she said you had a panic attack.

      To elaborate my question:

      Now, you say this is a dream about disgust, frustration, impatience, lack of control, others grief, your grief (things of that nature). You hope to not have it again. Just because you remember the memory the dream is based on?

      Anyway, the question is: when your psyche tends to explore these negative, discomforting emotions, isn't comforting that it's happening within this familiar memory?

      I guess you can sense I'm insinuating something so I guess I'll say it. It'll be good for you not to have this dream every day and think about it so frequently. However, it's a good dream to have, that you can quickly understand and recognize when it occurs and explore those feelings. You probably do but I do encourage you to have some "strategy" or "ritual." A way that you know how to react in that situation. Could be simple, like just reassuring things you tell yourself when you feel stuck. Washing yourself if you feel disgusting. And the intention to do that ritual in real life and in the dream when the situation occurs. The dream can become a sort of indicator that helps you see how your chosen strategy or ritual is working for you.

      For example, a common negative dream scenario for me is [running away from]. Before it used to be everyone in the city where the dream was taking place. I decided it had to do with social anxiety. My ritual in social situations was this mantra: "I belong here, I am safe" and things of the nature. I still have dreams of [running away from] but not from everyone. Now there are people with me running with me, that I am running to, that are just not running after me. So I can tell my strategy helped me. Now, I still have the [running away from] dream. Maybe now, it's more about a general anxiety, not so much just social. So I can find new rituals/strategies. Instead of hoping these dreams will be gone, I'm excited to see what they will tell me.

      So, I'm happy for you the dream is not as frequent but I am happy you know the dream well now and hope you form a good relationship with it for the time that this dream will be relevant to you.
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      I have been thinking about what you said in your most recent post Occiptalred. While the dream is not particularly pleasant as was the event in my waking life, I do have many happy memories of going places with my grandad in that car as well as many happy memories of the car giving me a new freedom when I turned 16 and got my license. In addition, while it is not pleasant being in the middle between my sister and my mom in the dream at least I am between two people who I do love very much. Thank you for helping me to see that while the dream is unpleasant, at least the setting is familiar and I am with people I love in it.

      While it was really uncomfortable and unpleasant spending several minutes buckled to the middle seat of the car with my sister invading my space and then having to rely on my mom to get the car started (while also invading my space) and my sister to let me out when it wouldn't start, the situation in my waking life was really just an inconvenience. Once mom couldn't get the car started and my sister let me out, life went on like it did before I got in the car. I need to remember that the situation in the dream is really just and inconvenience and not a situation where I am at any risk of physical harm.

      I have not had the dream any since I had it a few weeks ago, but will try to remember the positives about the familiar setting if and when it comes back.
      Last edited by woffordwv; 03-22-2020 at 04:35 PM.
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