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    Thread: Falling into pit full of crocodiles

    1. #1
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      Aug 2022

      Falling into pit full of crocodiles

      Hi, thanks for taking your time helping me interpret this dream.

      This is actually a recurring nightmare I had for a time as a kid. I had it between the ages 7 to 9 but it has always bothered me even into adulthood and I have always remembered it very vividly. Iím around 40 now and trying to make sense of it.

      In the nightmare Iím 7, 8 or 9, depending on when I had it. Iím clinging to the wall of a giant stone pit just barely with the tip of my fingers holding onto a tiny brick outcrop. Iím already half way down the pit with no way of climbing out again, as the walls go straight down and with the exception of some loose bricks, the walls are smooth and give no possibility to hold onto barely anything. Imagine it like a giant stone well.

      At the bottom of the pit is dark dirty water, but itís barely visible as itís full of crocodiles piling all over each other, there are huge amounts of them. They are all fighting for the best spot under me, awaiting my fall.

      At some point my fingers loose grip and I fall. The crocodiles all open their mouths ready to catch me. They seem really eager and hungry and fight like crazy.

      I always woke up before reaching them. I donít remember exactly how I woke up, but I do know I wasnít happy. During the dream the feeling is of pure terror and the despair of not being able to escape.

      There was something going on at that age that might very well have caused this recurring nightmare, but Iím interested on what the pit and crocodiles plus the fall and other details might mean. Although Iíve not had it again since age 9, it still generates very strong reactions and anxiety when I remember it and maybe understanding it better makes it easier to put it to rest. By the way Iím European and donít have a religion, just in case it helps.

      Thanks for your help!
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    2. #2
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      My little disclaimer here, I don't think anyone can interpret your dream fully. Dream symbols cannot exactly be interpreted in a sense of "X symbol has Y meaning"; to do so is very reductive of what it could mean to you as an individual and can't account for your life experience. Any interpretation from others, you'll have to decide whether it makes sense to you or not and a dream doesn't need to have one unique meaning anyway. Anything I say here is just my opinion in the end.

      I saw your introduction post and you mentioned you've been having nightmares? Are those at all related with these older ones or are they something separate to this?

      Regarding background, may be worth thinking about this. As individuals, the base archetypes that our minds create in dreams are ultimately the same between all of us, to some extent, even when they appear under different forms for different individuals (psychological schemas, personality/behavioural archetypes and other related concepts are kind of relevant there).

      In the dream, what type of detail was there to the crocodiles? Were they 'toony in some way or realistic? It likely doesn't matter; whatever form something takes in a dream, if it feels scary, then it is scary, simple as... The emotional response is real enough either way, but I suppose what I'm thinking about is the specific origin for the contents of this dream, because I suppose if it was my dream, the first thing I'd want to know is whether the dream relates to something in my life more directly or more by metaphor. I know I did get scared or anxious over harmless things as a kid, both dreaming and not.

      Also, in the pit, did you ever look up? If yes, what was it like above you?

      A very quick and dirty interpretation from me, especially based on you saying that it could be about "something going on that age", would be that it could relate to some kind of social situation, in particular I would guess something relating to people of a similar or only slightly older age, with whom you possibly did not get on with. But as I say, this seems a bit overly reductive, especially without more context about someone's life. Whatever is going on in our life at any age is not just one thing, there's usually multiple points of pressure.

      As for guesses about the details, I would ask first, how do you feel about crocodiles and reptiles in general? Both now and at the time of the dreams. Crocodiles are stereotypically regarded as cold, unfeeling, brutal and so on; sometimes people also consider reptiles to be slimy and therefore repulsive. Pits are fairly straightforward as a storytelling device about being trapped. You said that we could imagine the pit as a well, but is that how you saw it at the time?
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    3. #3
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      Well, if it were my dream, I would think these things (but note that symbols can vary from person to person as Dark suggested):

      - Dark water = negative emotions (fear, anger, hatred, rejection, shame, etc. - could be any of them)

      - Crocodiles = cold-blooded people that may lack empathy

      - Falling into a pit = no way out, feeling of being trapped

      When we are children, we are stuck and completely dependent upon others at home and school. Maybe you felt there were people in your life who did not have your best interests at heart [crocodiles]. Maybe you felt you had no way out [pit] and their attacking you was inevitable. Maybe they would even devour you [or your sense of self].

      I hope this is helpful. Good luck!
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    4. #4
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      I think your suspicion is correct and these nightmares were likely brought on by whatever anxiety you were feeling at that time. In my experience I have seen that dreams are mainly built from our expectations and schemas and feed off our current emotional state whilst asleep. So if youíre feeling anxious and scared then those feelings will likely linger and bring to mind nightmarish scenarios whilst you are dreaming to justify why youíre feeling that way. Dangling off a cliff edge and a pit full of man eating animals are typical things a child around 7-9 would consider scary. After all, theyíre a staple of action/ adventure stories that you were likely exposed to at that age. Indiana Jones comes to mind. Iím not sure if youíve seen those films but something like that may have been an influence for the specific content?

      So in summary: Youíre feeling fear and despair as you fall asleep due to real waking emotions. You associate Fear and despair with something scary, like falling from a great height. Suddenly youíre holding onto a wall above a pit, the pit brings to mind a well, your fear intensifies, wells have water below, what could be in the water to justify your terror? Crocodiles.

      So why did it reoccur? I canít say but my belief is that if we go to sleep with those same feelings of fear and anxiety each night then we may associate that feeling with the terrifying nightmare we experienced, conjuring it up again and again during sleep until you either relieve the fear in waking life or associate it with something else.

      I find it interesting that you mention the dream has bothered you into adulthood and I would guess that maybe thatís not because of the content of the dream itself but that the feeling of fear and despair is still associated with whatever you dealt with back then and is the real reason the nightmare still draws an emotional reaction.

      Thatís just my interpretation and is just some food for thought. In the end itís up to you ultimately to interpret for yourself and make your own conclusion.
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    5. #5
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      Aug 2022
      Iím really sorry for the late reply, have had some complex weeks. And thank you all for your comprehensive answers, itís obvious youíve taken a lot of time to give me these answers, really very grateful!

      Itís interesting that you all take a slightly different approach to the analysis, but come to similar conclusions. All your comments really hit right on the spot though. Iím also aware that Iím the only one capable of making the final analysis, as I understand dreams are highly individual.

      There was indeed some events unfolding during that time and itís only recently that I was actually capable of linking this nightmare to them. I just started working through those events a couple of months ago, so it probably makes sense that this nightmare has been popping back up into memory recently.

      DarkestDarkness, no. The nightmares Iím having now donít share any of the visual components here, they do share quite a bit of the emotions though.

      Hilary, those symbol interpretations fit like a glove, scary.

      At the end, this nightmare lies really way back in the past. Yes, it still bothers me, but understanding it better does help me a lot figuring out what I might have felt at the time. Itís funny that even though I remember so little from childhood, this nightmare has always stayed in memory, maybe I should have paid more attention to it sooner.

      Again thank you all for your help. Iím going to work through all your comments as they all bring something really meaningful to me.

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