And I’ll tell you what they mean.
Thanks to Freud, most of us think our dreams mean something. That they reflect our deepest, most unconscious desires. Freud tended to focus on our repressed sexual urges being depicted in our dreams. For instance, I still remember this example from my introductory psych book where a woman had a dream about a train entering a tunnel (read what you want into that…interpret it on your own Freudian-style or otherwise).
I don’t get it though. There isn’t much research out there to provide evidence that this is what dreams are for everyone. Don’t we have dreams about day-to-day stuff? Or dreams about people we encountered during the day? Or even people we may think about but forget? Where is the sexual connotation for all that?
I sometimes have people asking me to interpret their dream and time and again I find myself wanting to bang my head against a wall and scream at Freud. I tell them it doesn’t mean anything in particular. When you have a dream about a train entering a tunnel it’s just that — a train entering a tunnel. On the other hand, if you have a dream you are having sex with someone — then it’s a sexual dream. (Makes you wonder why Freud never looked at things in such a simplistic way!)
But do these people believe me? I think not.
I think the lure or the fantasy that a dream may reflect something or have some hidden meaning is much better than the harsh truth that for a majority of us, it’s nothing.
I remember looking at a book on interpreting dreams due to this recurring dream of mine (for fun, I swear!!! It’s like how I look at my horoscope). Anyway, I tend to have this dream quite often and since I was a teenager or even younger:
In my dream, my teeth fall out. And not just all popping out but they crack and crumble and they break and they have chips and then they start falling out one by one. I can feel the saliva, the blood and the gums. And I wake up to find that all my teeth are intact. I’m not doing anything as such in the dream — not that I can recollect anyway. Most importantly, the whole thing always feels real and I wake up checking whether they are okay.
The book that I looked at to ‘interpret my dream’ had a couple of things to say: I fear getting older apparently, I fear the death of a loved one, and of course, there was some sexual connotation which I cannot remember right now (fear or sex or something…).
Would someone please explain why a 12 year old would fear getting older?
Re fearing the death of a loved one — it’s a fear I’ve had all my life, but, I do have nightmares of loved ones actually dying — wouldn’t that be a better representation compared to teeth falling out?
Fear of sex — I doubt it. Not a prude so don’t think I actually fear it.
Couldn’t it just be that I probably like my teeth and having them fall out is not good? Or that I’m stressed?
I do wonder what Freud would have said, especially given that he assumed all women were neurotic and everything was related to sex or aggression.
It may just have been interesting!
Until next time,