Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?

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Menopause Barbie

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Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« on: October 04, 2016, 11:38:54 PM »
For years as a child I had a nightmare that was so terrifying I can still remember it. Only since coming Out of the FOG was I able to understand the deep significance of this nightmare as it pertains to my relationship with unBPmom. I would be walking in the woods behind my grandmother's house and get lost. In the distance, there was a little house made of candy (Like in Hansel and Gretel). After a while, a witch would lock me in this candy house but I would escape, fleeing through the woods for my life. Then, just as I was losing hope of ever getting home, I would see unBPmom in the distance, her face turned away from me. Exhausted and relieved, I would run to uBPmom. When she turned to face me, I would see that mom was the witch. Then I would wake up out of breath and hysterical.

I had this dream for many years and it is the only  childhood nightmare that I can recall. Of course, the dream played out my life with a mother who could turn on me at any moment and yet remained the mother I desperately sought comfort from. Sometimes, most of the time, she did comfort me. But when she turned on me, or betrayed me, or neglected me, the fact that she was sometimes good to me made those emotional abandonments so painfully unexpected.

I am wondering if anyone else had a particular dream as a child that became more significant when the FOG began to lift? Maybe your dreams will jog my memory of other significant childhood thoughts or nightmares--I want to remember more because it somehow helps me.   

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MeOutLoud

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2016, 01:00:39 AM »
Yes!

It seems it was around the age of six, I began to dream nightly about being in an old, musty department store Mother frequented.  Unlike during our visits where we were followed around and talked to for what seemed like hours (because the store owners were also fellow church members), in my dream I was completely alone in the store.  While I stood in the middle of the story, looking around in fear but not making a sound, I would hear the old floor boards begin to creak as if someone were walking on them.  I'd call out for my mother but no one would respond.  I would finally go in search of the footsteps only to be met by my Mrs. Beasley doll coming down the aisle toward me.  I would open my mouth to scream but before any sound could come out, I would wake up.

I tend to believe the being alone in the department store and calling out for Mother with no reply is reflective of my fears of abandonment and neglect I suffered until just a few years ago.  But what is it with that creepy doll?  What could that mean?

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snoflinga

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2016, 02:24:33 AM »
My parents used to have a wall in their living room decorated with dozens of family photos and a few pieces of kitschy art. I had a recurring dream where I would go over to their house and sit down in the living room with a cup of coffee, chatting with my Nmom. Then I would look up, and notice every picture on the wall was upside-down. Nmom just sat smiling and sipping her coffee. It sounds ridiculous but it was *terrifying* and I would always wake up crying.

I know now, of course, that my subconscious was trying to tell me that everything in my FOO was NOT alright.

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Nancyann

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2016, 02:34:15 AM »
When I was maybe four years old, starting dreaming that I was standing outside next to a house and there was HUGE black wave getting ready to wash over me and the house. I always thought it was tar. My parents died 20 years ago. I think my mom was uNPD and dad was an enabler. Now when I'm really stressed I dream I'm driving a car and cannot open my eyes. Ugh

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Fightsong

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2016, 04:49:15 AM »
I had a recurring dream that I had a pet usually a horse, not always. And I had forgotten it for ages, not fed, groomed, cleaned etc. I would rush down the garden to it and give it loads and loads of attention, make up for neglecting it, ride it whatever and promise to never forget it again.  Then of course I'd have the dream again. I've had it a few times as an adult too

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snoflinga

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2016, 05:30:31 AM »
I had a recurring dream that I had a pet usually a horse, not always. And I had forgotten it for ages, not fed, groomed, cleaned etc. I would rush down the garden to it and give it loads and loads of attention, make up for neglecting it, ride it whatever and promise to never forget it again.  Then of course I'd have the dream again. I've had it a few times as an adult too

Oh my gosh, I used to have this same dream about fish! Like I'd suddenly remember that I hadn't fed my fish (I didn't even own fish IRL) in 10 years or something horrible.

As I came OOF, I realized that it meant I had neglected my inner, true self. Do you think that's true for you, too?

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2016, 08:43:54 AM »
What a great post and yes I had a recurring childhood dream that followed me into adulthood and through my joinery OOTF. In childhood a dark figure would chase me and I could not run, my feet would move but I'd get nowhere and I'd try to pull myself along a fence or something and still unable to get away and unable to scream. The dream occurred on and off through adulthood and I never made a connection to the meaning until it came back with a vengeance when I landed here. Along my journey OOTF the dark figure took shape and I saw it was updm, as I started IRL to stand up and place boundaries in the dream I started to get a voice. Just a whisper of slight protest at first but then it progressed and I was able to speak with a full voice in the dream and finally to scream and physically defend myself. It only comes back now if my boundaries faulter ever so slightly. It's a good reminder to reset the boundary.

It's helped me to read of your experiences and know I'm not alone in the scary parts of the journey.
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Sandstone

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2016, 12:07:35 PM »
Mine used to be the same as yours Spring Butterfly,  always had dreams of being chased and not being able to run. Like being in quicksand. Used to dream that people would laugh at me for being stuck. Thankfully as an adult i dont get the chased dreams anymore.

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Fightsong

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 12:13:56 PM »
I think of it as about guilt, and feeling like I'm 'neglecting' my mum actually.  Really interesting thread. Few dreams about driving off a cliff lately . No prizes for that one.

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Terichan

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2016, 12:50:37 PM »
I had a recurring dream that I had a pet usually a horse, not always. And I had forgotten it for ages, not fed, groomed, cleaned etc. I would rush down the garden to it and give it loads and loads of attention, make up for neglecting it, ride it whatever and promise to never forget it again.  Then of course I'd have the dream again. I've had it a few times as an adult too

I've had this same dream dozens of times! It was very frequent when I was a child, less so as an adult, but I just had one a few months ago. I'm always horrified at my neglect of my pet. Usually the pet is bedraggled and thin from starving and dirty. It's the worst feeling ever, that I'm just this horrible person, how could I ever forget that I had this beloved pet who needed me and I completely neglected it. I wonder what it represents for me? Neglect of my parents? Neglect of my self?

I also have had the same dream Spring Butterfly describes, always I'm trying to run away from something and my legs won't go, I have to use my hands to try and pull myself along by grabbing things just ahead of me and yanking. Even using my hands and arms I never go fast enough and it's scary and frustrating. I never know what it is that's chasing me, though. I still have that one once in  while.

I also sometimes dream that I'm driving and my car goes out of control, like I can't steer it or stop it, often it flies over a cliff or straight for a huge tree and I wake up before it hits the ground or the tree. I always put that one down to feeling like I'm not in control of my life somehow, maybe it's connected to being unable to control my parents' behavior toward me?

Interesting thread!
 
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
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Menopause Barbie

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2016, 01:38:19 PM »
Oh, thank you, you guys, for sharing your dreams here. I can fuzzily remember the running away but not being able to move ones; another variation was screaming as loudly as I could but being unable to emit any noise. Helplessness theme. Trapped.

Interesting about the neglected pet nightmare. I have had that one more recently and it was chilling to realize I had left my beloved dog on the brink of death. Interesting what snoflinga said about it representing our neglected inner selves (PS snoflinga, I've always wondered the origin of your screen name! Did you throw snowballs at your PDs?). It also plays on the huge burdens that were placed on the parentified us to be perfect, never mess up, and act like responsible adults as young children. (Fightsong, I think your subconscious mind knows that the guilt doesn't lie with you. I think it's your conscious mind that put the guilt spin on a dream that your mind gave you as a RELEASE from the pressure and guilt--just my thought.) So maybe the theme there is neglect of ourselves emotionally and burdening ourselves through parentification and unrealistic expectations. What do you guys think?

MeOutLoud, when I read yours, I thought  your doll represented something similar to uBPmom in my dream. Something that should be a source of soothing and comfort becomes a surprise, out-of-nowhere threat. Theme of neglect and well-disguised emotional abuse perhaps?

I don't think I've had the driving, going off a cliff one, but that seems to also touch on themes of us being loaded down with what we sense is too much responsibility (parentification, perfectionism) and yet being out of control to perform up to the impossible standards demanded from us. Also, the threat comes out of no where. It seems a lot of our dreams had that element of threats appearing suddenly, in a place where we should have felt protected and safe.

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pelican

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2016, 02:08:56 PM »
When I was 6 or 7 I had a recurring nightmare that required me to go to a psychiatrist to end. I’d always begin in my room and see two men at my window. The outside was creepy. I won’t describe it all, but I’d try to run out and up the hallway to my parent’s room but could never make it. With the doctors help, I would make progress each time. I finally could crawl up the hallway using metal “stairs” and then reach their room. It took many attempts to move along in the dream until it finally ended. I still have no clue what the imagery means. I’ve always wanted to explain the whole thing again to someone.

As an adult, I regularly have dreams of airplanes crashing. Usually they’re low in the sky and when I see it, it will make a beeline for me, even turning 180 degrees in the sky. I run and it usually crashes somewhere as I wake up.

Other recurring dreams are spiders. I’ve learned that spiders indicate problems in life. They’re usually on me or around me and the dream will include who/what I am having trouble with. I hate spiders.

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Terichan

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2016, 02:16:10 PM »
Along my journey OOTF the dark figure took shape and I saw it was updm, as I started IRL to stand up and place boundaries in the dream I started to get a voice. Just a whisper of slight protest at first but then it progressed and I was able to speak with a full voice in the dream and finally to scream and physically defend myself. It only comes back now if my boundaries faulter ever so slightly. It's a good reminder to reset the boundary.

It's helped me to read of your experiences and know I'm not alone in the scary parts of the journey.

i think this is wonderful, Spring Butterfly! It's a very powerful reminder that we can overcome our PD parents' legacy with the strength of our own spirits, our own voices. As we grow stronger in the waking world we become stronger in our dreams as well. It's interesting, too, that the dream comes back when you're struggling. You can use it as a source of knowledge and understanding. Beautiful!
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
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snoflinga

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2016, 07:06:36 PM »

Interesting about the neglected pet nightmare. I have had that one more recently and it was chilling to realize I had left my beloved dog on the brink of death. Interesting what snoflinga said about it representing our neglected inner selves (PS snoflinga, I've always wondered the origin of your screen name! Did you throw snowballs at your PDs?). It also plays on the huge burdens that were placed on the parentified us to be perfect, never mess up, and act like responsible adults as young children.

 :wave: I don't want to give specifics about how I cam up with the name because it's pretty identifying, but yes - something like that! I'm impressed you know what it means :)

As to the neglected pet dream - so weird that so many of us had this same one, it's bizarre - I wonder if we were neglected as children, and the dream represents our fears of turning into our parents? This seems obvious now that I write it but the thought never crossed my mind until this conversation. I know my parents were neglectful or me, at least emotionally, and being a good parent is my highest goal in life.

This board is amazing. So much new insight!

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2016, 07:11:56 PM »
Great topic, Menopause Barbie. Creepy dreams  :(

I'm not sure about symbolic dreams, myself, but I do have recurring dreams of my BPDm. My dream is always that I'm back living with my parents for some unknown reason and my m starts raging at me over something ridiculous. A lot of times, I will yell back at her, just making matters worse (I rarely do this in real life). Then, I'm frantically packing up my things to try to move out or get out of their house. The whole thing is very similar to the experience of moving out of their house many years ago. Its all very stressful. After learning about BPD this year, my more recent dreams have started out the same - I'm stuck in their house and m goes off on me about something totally ridiculous. I can feel my blood boiling and I want to yell back at her but I keep thinking in my head that I have to reply in the "correct" way (validate her feelings, etc. like described in Walking on Eggshells). I'm frantically trying to remember / figure out the "correct" way to reply to her in the heat of the moment and then some angry words slip out and I think I've ruined everything. I think its pretty obvious that I have a lot of anxiety about boundary setting and conflict.
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blue1012

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2016, 09:06:25 PM »
Around age 4, I started having dreams that my mom was screaming at me. No matter what I did, or how much I tried to explain that I didn't do anything wrong, she would scream and scream. I'd wake up crying and shaking. This went on until I was about 21, and I awoke from one of these dreams and had a panic attack resulting in me having to be hospitalized. I still have these dreams, but recently I've started fighting back in them. Hopefully that means something positive.

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Fightsong

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2016, 06:45:13 AM »
I'm amazed the neglected pet dream is so prevalent! I feel quite happy about that. It was a horrible dream. It took someone else years ago to point out it might be about feeling I was neglectful. I was still fogged in then. It's interesting to think about what else it might symbolise. I did feel very guilty though, even though that wasn't mine to carry.

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blacksheep7

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2016, 12:46:47 PM »
I don't remember any childhood dreams but mine were when I was a young adult. I often dreamt  that I was back in high school, always looking for my locker and/or not knowing the code of my lock.  I didn't do well in high school.
I would dream that I would go home, as a teen  but my family was no longer living there.
In grade school, we had to walk up a steep hill to get home. I couldn't because the street and sidewalk was too icy.
The other was that I was always arguing, screaming with my father at the entrance of his house that I was telling him that I would be leaving as if I still lived there. Sometimes I had my young children with me.
The worst is that I stabbed him. Yup, that's how much he got to me.  I hated him!
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

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breakthesilence

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2016, 06:49:25 AM »
Interesting topic. I hadn't thought about my nightmares in a longtime. I have a couple of them, so don't feel forced to read them all.

I also had a couple of times the trying to scream of the top of my lungs but not getting anything out dream. (i guess ages 3 - 16) Then I had also like 3,4 times crashing airplanes in my early twenties.

I’d always begin in my room and see two men at my window. The outside was creepy. I won’t describe it all, but I’d try to run out and up the hallway to my parent’s room but could never make it.

yea, when i was pretty young, maybe 5-10 i had a similar recurring dream. well, only the beginning is similar.
It is totally dark. i feel someone is infront of my window starring in pervasive, piercingly. It totally creeps me out. I hide under my blanket "praying" he will go away."

I only see this now, but it makes perfect sense for my by then situation. NPD dad trying to get under my skin finding out things about me to use them against me. My coping tactic as child until i got 1 year away at age 16 was always to not express any emotion at all to nobody. I specifically remember at a very young age (kindergarden) to try hard not showing any feelings infront of NPD dad, hence hiding under the blanket.

At age around 5-7 I had around every other night a dream of being chased subteraennean by monsters who tried to kill me. They either had already killed both my parents or they had allready killed my father and my mother was running behind me, also being chased. Sometimes she was killed by them while I kept running and crying sometimes she made it. Sometimes some monster got me and in the moment it would kill me I woke up screaming.

Interestingly enough these dreams recurred when I was about 18, but then I did not run away but stayed and tried to fight them. (yeiii :) )

Another recurring dream. ages around 11 I guess:
I am walking up a bridge, and right before the bridge starts covering the gap underneath, there is a line drawn on the ashphalt (on the bridge). I want to cross the bridge, but I am unable to step over the line. I try jumping over the line. I try running to it, I try to force myself to cross it, but it is impossible to even take one single step over the line.

And then the most weird recurring dream of all, with which I can make no sense came to me like 3 or 4 times, but with always a couple of years in between.
I am watching from the top, I would need to float in order to have that perspective, also I am invisible. So I see a room, which reminds at a witchs place. In the middle a huge kettle with green bubbling fluid inside. At the walls all kind of things, bundled straws, herbs, etc. The room actually looks nice but spooky. There is a hunched woman with a big hat, bandy nose with a wart, and brown linen cloth, hold together by a cord. This woman walks some meters up and down.

Thats all the dream was, very weird, especially since there were exact recurrences of it. Only sometimes she seemed to sense somebody (me) is there, sometimes she didnt. The first time I had this dream it was very disturbing and let my blood freeze in my veins, but it got less and less disturbing each time I had the dream and felt more and more familiar.

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sparrow

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Re: Do you remember any recurring childhood nightmares?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2016, 12:13:50 PM »
Yes. I have nightmares still that started when I was a preschooler and involve family members and people from the past.