Communication through Dreams in the Recovery Process


recovery dreamsIt’s never too late to say “Happy New Year!”

For me the whole month of December and lead up to Christmas and then celebrating a new year is an amazing time of year for me and for many reasons. As a young adult I dreaded Christmas as it was a reminder of my lacking and longing for love. Christmas was lonely. Some years it was scary.

Since I began my journey to wholeness, Christmas and the few weeks following New Year’s has become a time to validate and acknowledge the wonder of life, the changes I’ve made and the things that I have accomplished. The holiday season has become about real love and real relationships and celebrating that love. January and the weeks following New Years are also about coming home to me and the journey of life. Christmas marks the end of one year and New Years marks the beginning of another and during this time of year I also celebrate and validate all accomplishments of the previous year and get ready for a new year welcoming the many more accomplishments and victories to come.  

And some times when I am pondering all of this wonder in my life, I have a healing dream;

A few nights ago I dreamed a very vivid healing dream. I dreamt that I was a professional basketball player. I was playing a very intense game and the crowd was cheering wildly. I saw myself from the outside of my body and I was also aware of myself from the inside where my thoughts and feelings were. I was dreaming, but I was experiencing myself as the dreamer as well.

The lights were bright almost too bright. I was out of breath and very aware of how much I was perspiring and how warm I felt. I noticed a faint sheen of perspiration on my arms and on my upper lip. My hair felt damp. I felt good! I felt healthy and strong. Everything was loud; the crowd, the announcer, my coach, the other teams coach; there was this feeling of intense excitement. And I noticed the brightly lit score board; the game was tied!

In a flurry of activity, a lot of dribbling and passing and what seemed like organized confusion, I scored the winning basket!

For those of you who don’t know, I am in my fifties. Since menopause became a big part of my life this last few years have struggled with being over-weight and although I have been fit for most of my adult life, I am not particularly athletic. I don’t actually know much about basketball, nor am I a big fan so I am not sure why that sport was highlighted in my dream. But this dream was not about basketball. This dream was about my life. This dream was about who I am today and how far I have come in my personal growth.

In this dream I was proudly wearing a very unattractive uniform in favorite shade of green and my hair was corn braided! I was wearing high-top shoes and green and white knee socks that matched my uniform.  As the dreamer, I was thinking OH WOW, my hair looks really cool but I think it makes me look older and that uniform leaves a lot to be desired but wow, I love those shoes! Hahaha.

In my mind in the dream, I knew that I was a really amazing basketball player. I knew that I was a leader on the team and an important member of the team. I loved my teammates. I belonged on that court; I fit in there. I took all the lights and cheering in stride; in the dream I was used to it. I was just part of the whole picture. I was comfortable with myself and with my gift. I had this understanding and awareness that this is just ‘what I do’ and I am good at it. I wasn’t self-conscious about my weight, my age, my hair or my uniform. None of that defined me in any way. This was such a powerful realization for me; this level of acceptance of myself is something I strove for, for so many years. 

I was aware of the cheering during the last few minutes of the game when I scored the winning basket and the feeling of pride and even honour that I felt. I scored the winning basket, but I didn’t do it alone. I was part of a team. I was trusted with the ball and I delivered.

The crowd went wild when the announcer said that I had won the award for the most valuable player! I could feel the heat from the intensity of the game and from the bright lights ~ I could see and feel the sweat on my body as my team mates thumped me on the back congratulating me for the MVP award. All my life I thought that being a star, having approval, or being recognized would make me happy, but at this moment in the dream (and then as soon as I woke up) I knew that it isn’t what I do, it’s who I am that matters. It isn’t what other people think, it’s what I think about me that makes all the difference. 

As I was walking off the court, an older man walked up to me and said “don’t you think you are a bit too fat to be playing professional sports”. And I looked him straight in the eye and responded “why would you feel the need to say such a discounting and disrespectful thing to me? What possibly could your motive be?” I was thinking about the expression “don’t tell me it can’t be done when I have already done it.” He looked like a fish out of water standing there turning red with his mouth opening and closing while he unsuccessfully searched for the perfect reply. I shrugged as I turned back to my teammates and forgetting all about that pathetic man I smiled my brightest smile and we walked off the court together laughing and talking about our victory.

I love to figure out the significance of my dreams. This dream wasn’t about basketball, but about who I am as a person. It was a validation dream. This dream reminded me that I am ‘the most valuable player’ in my own life. I am ‘in the game’ and part of the team and my team validates and acknowledges me and my worth in the overall game of life and so do I just as I validate their worth and contribution. This dream is about Emerging from Broken, this website, the work that I do in this world and the contribution that I make and the fact that ‘we’ are all part of a team here too. This dream is about the confidence that I have now, confidence that I never had when my life belonged to others. I heard the applause and I was comfortable with it. It didn’t define me; it was just part of living in my purpose. I recognized an abuser and called him on his nasty verbal put down. This is how I am today. He didn’t take my joy. He didn’t define me. He didn’t make me cry or even hurt my feelings because I recognized him for the pathetic bully that he is. He had no power over me; after all, I just won the game.

I am a star in my own life.

I am the most valuable player in my own life and I am as valuable as any other player on the team.

I live what I teach and I live in truth. I am a survivor and even more that that today I TRIVE and flourish in my life; I know my worth and that is the greatest reward that has been a direct result of doing the healing work and facing how the broken began.   

It all began with one single ray of hope that perhaps I could do it. It began with the hope that perhaps there really was healing and wholeness on the other side of broken and perhaps I too could have it. It began with ME taking that leap of faith that maybe, just maybe the answers really were inside of me, and they were!  

This is my hope for each of you in 2104. Thank you all for being part of my dream. Thank you all for supporting OUR team!

Happy New Year! See you on “the court”!

May the truth set you free;

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Self Esteem



I read the first paragraph and thought, wow…that’s why! I always wondered why the holidays were so draining for me. As I read through the rest this thought came to mind; we each have to be ‘the unlikely hero’ in our own lives. ‘Unlikely Hero’ was the headline in our local paper, with a pic of my son scoring the winning basket. Having just come off the bench for the first time in the game. Excellent post! Thanks.


Love your dream, Darlene. Thank you so much for sharing it. It is a wonderful example of how our dreams can help us to heal or show us just how much healing we have already done. You are a great leader in this movement to stop child sexual abuse.


Hi Judy
That is so true! It’s profound actually!
when I think back I realize that I fought against having to be my own hero for years and it was only when I made that decision that if I couldn’t do it for me, it wasn’t going to happen, that I plunged in.
Thanks for sharing! This is a great story to apply to the process of healing!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Patricia
Thank you. I have had way more dreams that were an indication of what I was struggling with and why ~ it has only been this last 2 years or so that I have had dreams that validate how far I have come, and wow, I am glad that they started coming! 🙂
hugs Darlene


What a beautiful, empowering and hopeful post! Loved the dream, the basketball team, and loved the way you handled the obnoxious guy!
I was thinking while reading this that we are part of your basketball team. You as captain are mentor to us who are learning how to work through the process. And it takes time, but under your mentor ship I am gradually learning how to make those passes, free throws and working up to trifectas (I actually am a big basketball fan by the way!) Thank you once again for all you do!


Hi Darlene,

Happy New Year!!! Thank you for sharing this dream. It must be nice to have a dream in which you are doing the work, and winning. And being cheered! To me, we the readers, are those in the stand, cheering. And we are all in different stages of playing our own game. We may be on the team, or we may be on the sidelines, getting ready to get into play, and it’s okay, wherever we are.

You are definitely my MVP. You’ve lived it, worked it through, and excelled. You are a leader, because you speak to us all, wherever we are in our own journey, or “game”. That is the beauty of it all! Thank you so much!

I wanted to share this quotation that came to mind when I thought about your dream. I think it applies!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat”.
Theodore Roosevelt, “Man in the Arena” Speech given April 23, 1910

I thought of this quote, because you were not a porcelain doll in the dream, you were an active participant. You looked good, but you sweat. You breathed heavily at times. You did the work!
The critic, was on the sidelines, with seemingly no intention of getting in the game, of moving forward. If he was busy about the business of living his own life, playing his own game, he would not have had time to critique and verbally abuse you.

This is true of all of the critics in our life. We are in the game, or getting ready to be. And they are rooted on the sidelines, often where the chief abuser planted them. They are the “cold and timid souls”!

A question. At this point in your life, would you actually call a bully out like that? Would you say these words? That would be awesome! It is something I am working on, communicating at the moment of the put down or bullying. I don’t want to behave in a passive aggressive way, as is the family pattern. As I try to advance my education, I find, curiously, that some of those further up the ladder, try to put me down and kick my hands off the rungs. Two in particular are bullies, and I would like to call them out and put them in check, in real time. Isn’t it odd to be worried about what is socially acceptable when dealing with a bully? Communication is something I definitely want to work on this year, though.

Thanks again for sharing this. You are definitely our most valuable player. When I come here and check in, I feel like this is the basketball clinic of life! :0)

Hugs, and Happy New Year!


P.S. For the record, I see you as the person who is enjoying the triumph of great achievement. you have done the trial and error work that is described in the passage, to come to this place. I would like to congratulate you, and the little child you were, with at times no one cheering you on. That little girl made it, too!



Hi Amber,
Love your comments! Thanks! Yes, one of the things that was really profound about the dream was how I knew that I wasn’t “above” anyone else ~ growing up in such a dysfunctional system where the one with the most power is the only one that wins left me with this ‘fear’ of wanting to be in control over others. This dream showed me that I really feel and live and believe in equal value and that I KNOW I am equally valuable ~ not more or less valuable as a human being.
hugs, Darlene


Hi Janie
Awesome comments! (like a commentary!! love it) and thank you for the quote!
Yes, I am that person, I live and I love ~ thank you for your congratulations.

As for your question, YES I would and yes I do and I have done it. (well no one has called me fat, but I’ve done it in other situations)
I usually start with “HEY” and then say “Why are you speaking to me that way?” Sometimes I add “like I am ‘nothing’. People are shocked AND embarrassed when I call them out on something like that. I think bullies are pathetic. One think that I am proud of is that I don’t bully them back. I don’t try to beat them at their own game, I just speak the truth about what they are doing and sometimes include how it makes me feel depending on the situation. When I confront people this way, it’s as if they become aware of the fact that I KNOW they are pathetic. And that is usually their biggest secret ~ the one they are most afraid of having revealed or discovered.
Hugs, Darlene


You’re very good at dream interpretation, Darlene!

The primary way I’ve healed from complex PTSD is through dreams, interpreting them, and then beginning to apply the lessons. I absolutely love what you said here: “I live what I teach and I live in truth. I am a survivor and even more that that today I TRIVE and flourish in my life; I know my worth and that is the greatest reward that has been a direct result of doing the healing work and facing how the broken began.

It all began with one single ray of hope that perhaps I could do it. It began with the hope that perhaps there really was healing and wholeness on the other side of broken and perhaps I too could have it. It began with ME taking that leap of faith that maybe, just maybe the answers really were inside of me, and they were!”

Excellent – thanks so much!


“This dream showed me that I really feel and live and believe in equal value and that I KNOW I am equally valuable ~ not more or less valuable as a human being”.
I think I understand know, when you say, people say “But she is your mother” and you say, “Yes. And I am her daughter”. That is the equality.
Thank you, Darlene, for giving me a way to respond to mean bullies. I actually think I may practice some dialog with myself, as some of them say the same types of things repeatedly.
I think you are right, it is pointless to try and beat them at their own game. I have tried to do that in the past with family bullies. Calling them out, requesting them to rise up to your level rather than sinking to theirs, is very powerful.


Thank you for sharing your awesome healing dream. What a terrific validation for you! It was actually validating for me also, because it gives me hope that one day I will have the strength you possess.
With deep appreciation,


That is so awesome, Darlene!! What an awesome feel good dream!!! I am so glad you had such an amazing dream!!

~ Risé


Darlene, Congratulations on your hard work taking back your life. You are my hero. Reading your posts on Facebook help so much. You have come so very far that I think we all try to emulate your progress.
Keep the faith,
Suzanne Allen
Sandia Park, NM


Hi Darlene and all!
Although I still sometimes have an unpleasant dream now and again, my dreams tend to be very positive and uplifting nowadays. I often have dreams about triumph and good fortune, also dreams that have answers to questions I have been asking myself, and also solutions to problems that I have been experiencing. These dreams are very different to the ones I had before I sterted my recovery from emotional and psychological abuse. For decades, I had recurring nightmares about strangers coming into my house, and none of my doors having locks on, so that I couldnt keep the intruders out. I now realise that these dreams reflected my total lack of of boundaries, and a deep-seated belief that I didnt deserve privacy. This was a result of not being allowed to close the doors to the bathroom, or my bedroom in my early years, and my mother reading my diary, searching my room, opening my letters etc. I still occasionally have one of these dreams,but it always ends with me triumphing over the interlopers. I also used to have a recurring dream about overhearing people talking about how it would be best if I were confined to a cage. How it would be for my “own good”, and for my own safety. Once again, a reflection of the past, and how much I had been contolled and dominated. Another dream I used to have was about witnessing a tragic accident. When I told my therapist, he said it was a classic “guilt” dream. When my father died, I was 14, and my mother blamed me for his death from lung cancer (go figure!) After that discussion with my therapist, I never had that dream again… What a fascinating subject, its amazing how dreams show us our false beliefs and unresolved inner wounds. Thanks Darlene! Big Hug all x


since I have been committed to healing, dreams too play a huge part in my life, sometimes I have to have a quick lie down in the middle of the day because I can feel a dream coming on, not because I am tired and want to sleep. And sure enough there is usually alot happening those dreams, quite explicit and quite informative, a sort of running commentary of how I am doing with myself in case I am not already aware. quite an amazing process and always comforting in a way as though there is a higher part looking over this process and caring over me in it all. I am very grateful to have a place to share myself as I dont talk much to anyone about the things we discuss here, for fear of them rolling their eyes, as though thinking, “arent you over it all yet!” Unfortunately I dont think I will ever fully recover from the childhood abuse and neglect, though I am learning more and more how to self nurture and to self validate. There always seem to be triggers to the deep sorrow and sadness of not having known love from a primary carer, but I am more able to be with myself and let myself feel when I need and not act out like I use to in the pain. Thank you everyone for sharing, means alot to me.


Awesome dream! What a great start to 2014!
My dreams have a lot to do with having no sense of direction, which is true in real life, but also in the sense that I am still lost, and still finding my way. This is going to be a healing year for me and hopefully for a lot of us. Starting with my health…menaopausem, allergies, arthritis, weight gain, etc…and also looking for a therapist to help me put my life into perspective and put my past into perspective too.
Wishing you Darlene, and all of you on EFB , a healthy new year….body mind and spirit.


Hi Susan,
Welcome to EFB ~ I did a lot of dream work in my early recovery ~ I noticed that my dreams were usually trying to tell me something and that they seemed to come from my sub-conscious. And it’s wonderful now that my dreams are telling me something so positive!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Cindy
Yes and yay for hope. Hope was one of the most major keys for me!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Rise
It was a really great dream!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Suzanne
Thank you!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Sylvia
Yes, those are exactly the types of things that I am talking about ~ thank you for sharing those examples. I used to have re-occurring ‘house dreams’ and when I sorted out all my belief system stuff, those dreams disappeared. It was cool to see those dreams change (the house got more and more finished where it used to be abandoned) as I recovered.
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Johanna
That is cool! I love how you feel a ‘dream coming on’ and I love how you listen to yourself when you feel that! Awesome self care and self validation.
One thing about ‘triggers.’ in my life they have become less and less and they also effect me less and less.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

Hi Nadia
Yay for a healing year!
hugs, Darlene


Happy New Year Darlene!!!

What a positive and empowering dream; thank you for sharing it with us. It is inspiring!! I can feel the vibrancy and vitality in your voice in the post.

Your first two paragraphs moved me as well…the first describes how I feel now and have for many years, the second how I want it to be. It gives me so much hope for how it could be.


You gave that guy the “floor” by asking him a question…??
Just point to the scoreboard!
He is entertained by your response. Don’t give it.


I stopped celebrating Christmas years ago, but this year it was the lonliest for me because I haven’t spoken to my Mom for a year. I had a weird dream right at the beginning of the new year, but it doesn’t translate to anything about being a “star.” My dream translated more to “right back to where you started.”

Great post!


“I am the star of my life”; this declaration inspires me so much Darlene. Thank you!!!


May you all have more dreams like that!!



interesting…..during my last year nervous break down I experienced a reoccuring dream (3 times) of being suffocated.
One time with a pillow, by my ex- bf (I woke up covered in sweat, such thing has never happened to me before), another 2 times I could only see 3 palms reaching to my throat, trying to grab me and choke me, I knew in my dream than one of the hands belonged to my mother. Again i woke up, or rather my own scream woke me up. Than another one that I can remember was really awful: it was again my ex – bf, this time he was playing basketball but he had no palms (how surreal can our dreams be?), I do not have those nightmares anymore. Than for a while I had no dreams that I could remember (exactly that I could remember, accordign to scientists we dream every night, we just do not always remember our dreams).
My most recent vivid dream was last week, but it was a very pleasant one! I remember a feeling of not wanting to wake up it felt so good. And when I finally did, I felt very rested and happy. In that dream I was with some guy that I know I have never met in my life yet and I cannot even describe, I just knew it was my future husband….The dream had no sexual context, it was more of a feeling of his presence. I know it is silly. Maybe it is just my wishful thinking…maybe this is what I want and that’s why I dreamt of it. Nothing was really happening in that dream, I just remember the FEELING: the warmth and coziness, that’s what felt so good.

The first 3 dreams are kind of obvious to interpret…but please feel free if you have any ideas in regards to my recent one 🙂
I have been feeling much better since Xmas I guess.
And I have not had any nightmares in a very long time.



Regarding your “hey why do you talk to me like that?…”
And how do you response to this:
“like what?”/ “what do you mean by that?’
And let’s say, you say “like I am nothing”
And the person goes:
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” or will roll his/ her eyes and/ or laugh and say “Jeeeez”, “oh cut it out”, “I don’t know how I am supposed to talk to you anymore. you get insulted by everything/ you misinterpet everything”
and than silence



Your most recent dream may be a dream of your future husband. I don’t think it is silly. I have had a couple premonition dreams in my life. I did dream about my future husband when I was 18 years old. I dreamed I was going to marry a Japanese person. Very vivid dream that I told my friend about the next day. I met my future husband when I was 22 years old. He is half-Japanese and grew up in Japan.

Your dream sounds very nice and it gave you a feeling of warmth and coziness. That is something to hold on to and remember. I hope you meet this man very soon!



Great dream! I personally have read all the dream books when I was younger and I religiously wrote in my dream journals. I gained control of my bad dreams through the lucid dreaming books. Very highly recommended! It’s amazing to read how much you grow and learn more about self from these journals. I have had all kinds of dreams including ‘clearing the daily subconscious junk’ dreams, past life dreams, and precognitive(very rare)…

I’m glad you had a happy dream but most of my dreams regarding my parents have been more like nightmares! I have had so many dreams about being trapped and trying to get out. These dreams have had the themes of being in an unsafe place and trying to run away.

I remember a recurring dream when I was a kid where I would always sit on my dresser and look out my bedroom window into the night sky. I looked up into the sky and I saw gold outlines of the constellations, but they were all different from the traditional ones. These stars were in the shapes of gold outline cartoon characters! I think the message from Spirit was that I am always spiritually protected and I must trust and follow Spirit to get out someday!

I have had so many dreams where I felt like I was being hunted and I had to escape. It comes from not feeling safe with my parents and not just physically, but needing to protect my interests, friends, tastes, future goals, and my real Celtic Pagan religion. My most precious belongings are my spiritual books and I’ve had to painfully keep all of my metaphysical/Pagan books packed in boxes when I was younger. I have had dreams where my evil Narc. mother has tried to steal my Pagan Book of Shadows in order to gain magical knowledge and use it against me! Of course, these were only bad dreams. I have noticed that these nightmares have gone away since I’m a lot older now and living in my own house.

Truly, I believe that these dreams are like a rehearsal where you can learn to stand up to these abusers. You can live out your healthy fantasies where you can actually win for a change. You control the outcome.

I have gone deeper than the traditional dream dictionaries, making up my own dream symbols beyond these books. I can use my tarot cards, runes, and pendulum to figure out my dream meanings. Rarely do I have an unusual dream that confuses me anymore. These past nightmares have more to do with not feeling safe in my situation and feeling trapped.

(For a good dream site, see: http://www.DreamMoods.com)

(Go to the Dream Moods Discussion Forum—you can post your dream and others will give their interpretation —2 cents worth—but the most important dream interpretation is your own!)

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(


My hidden room dream. I’ve had a few versions of this dream but they are all very similar. There is a secret hard to access passageway in my house. Once I am through the hard to find entrance I go through a tunnel like narrow hallway. I end up going through a basement or a dingy bathroom. Many times the pipes are leaking and the floors are flooding. Finally in a corner of the basement or bathroom there is an entrance to a room. It is usually a dining room or bedroom, and it is magnificently done up in burgundy and gold colors. The fabrics for curtains and bedspreads are soft and luxurious. It is a beautiful room.

I think the beautiful room represents happiness, peace, love, contentment. Trying to get to it is difficult and I believe it represents my journey. I pass through narrow, dark, dingy passageways and a flooded room…the perils of my journey. Finally at the end is the love and happiness in that beautiful richly colored room.


Hi Andria!
Thanks for your comment!

And your dream! Wow! That is so amazing!


Wow @Amber, I have exactly one like that too! It’s a room most often belonging to my grandparents to be precise and in it, aside from the beauty and richness of the room and the view (stunning) I also find a cupboard in it with lots of beautiful and valuable jewelry. And the idea in the dream is always that my mother/parents have been hiding this stuff from me. That they have known about the room and even spend time in it themselves but have never let me go in there. And they certainly want to keep the jewelry for themselves too.


Hi Darlene,

Thank you for sharing your special dream. It makes me smile to think about and all the things it represents.
And thank you for being a beacon of light for the rest of us. As you know, it can get dark and heavy for adult children from dysfunctional and abusive families, but we deserve to find our way into the light of our own lives. You help with that more than you know.



I am loving this conversation about dreams! I had a couple of versions of ‘house dreams’ and I did a LOT of work with them when I was in the process of healing. The main dream that I had was very similar to what you shared Amber but there were many rooms in many states of abandonment and darkness, etc. As I was healing I noticed that some of the rooms were changing. One day I realized that the house was actually me and parts of me. And the rooms that were falling apart, abandoned, dirty, dark, in a state of disarray, etc. were all changing as I grew in my recovery and strength. The beautiful room was actually ME but I didn’t know there was anything beautiful or precious about me. And when I found my beautiful room I was filled with the feeling of ‘coming home’, and of wonder and delight and I never wanted to leave.

When I read the dream from Amber, I felt this powerful surge of affirmation! I have been there too! When I read the account from Alice, I had that same feeling again ~ I thought YES they (my parents) knew all along that I was worthy but controllers can only control when they make sure you never know your worth. That is the pathetic way that they feel good about themselves.. but making sure someone else ‘knows’ they are less valuable… so sick.

I hope that this conversation continues. Having spoken to many about this, the ‘house dreams’ I was surprised to find out, are actually very common for survivors of dysfunctional family and abuse.
love and hugs, Darlene


Hi Winnie
Welcome to EFB! Thank you for your lovely comment filled with support and validation for what is going on here!
Hugs, Darlene


Oh wow Darlene and Alice, our dreams are so similar! I always felt that my hidden room dream was about me searching for something beautiful that is missing. But i looked at iit and it’s beauty as things coming from outside of me. Now I have a different perspective to look at. I think the hidden room represents things that are hiding within me! And, yes, as the dream in my message 31 suggests, it is a journey and the hidden room with all it’s beauty and comfort is very very difficult yo find and involves journeying through some unpleasant rooms and hallways first. But the room is always worth finding!!

I didn’t mention in my first post about that dream that a few years ago I did my dining room over and not in a dream…..in shades of burgundy and gold!


I searched a term for adult survivors this morning and posted this on an earlier date (6/08)on this site. When I cam back I hit home and figured out tha format so I copied it and am pasting it here. I just reread it all for the first time since I started writing it after I posted this note this morning. I’m hoping there is someone who recognises the story that was either there or had a family member tell them the story. I know most of the guilty people are still alive.
If you are vulnerable to triggering don’t click the link. This is my story.

I am seeking justice. I want admittance, and acknowledgement of what happened to me while I was in protective custody. I am using the handle anonymous because this is private and in a just world would only be between myself and the justice system.
Here is a link to where I started posting what I remember as it comes up. It cycles, I recall then lose it and it comes back with more or less info the next time round. If you read it you will understand why. I was ECT’d a lot and drugged a lot to both damage my mind and destroy my memory of the abuse.
It took place in the 60?s and foster care went on into 73. The parts I never remembered until being triggered to in fall 07 are the time I spent at the Shelter. Until I started to remember my life of continuous memory had always begun on the day I was taken out the front door of that hospital they used in A Beautiful Mind. It was sometime in spring 68.


Darlene, I love your dream and it’s message of self-acceptance and validation. Having been encouraged to be extremely self-conscious as a child, taught that I was so inappropriate and out of place, it’s very difficult to push out that internalized message. But you’re so right in standing up for yourself to the bully who tried to tell you that you “didn’t belong” in your own life.

Amber and Darlene, thanks for sharing your house dreams! Ever since I was a child I had a similar recurring scenario in my dreams, and didn’t realize this was common. In my childhood home, I would suddenly find secret, hidden passages to new areas that fascinated me. Yet they were very treacherous–sometimes I had to jump onto structures that were half-broken and ready to fall in order to reach the door, and these hidden spaces were often vast, unfinished and dark. I was always filled with fear that I might stay too long–and this was usually requited when my father or brother would start yelling at me to get out of “their” space.

Two years ago when I began to recover my memories of incest–the dark secret in our home, these dreams started to make sense. I also found that after a while my dreams changed–instead I would be in my current home, and the new areas weren’t hidden or dangerous, they were bright, sunny new rooms and open staircases that I could explore at my own pace; reflecting that now I’m ready to remember, and see the truth.


Wow, Caden, so many similarities in your dream too! My secret, hidden passages ALWAYS were in the house I was living in at the time of the dream. In my childhood, it involved an entrance through my bedroom closet that lead to a secret bedroom, colored pale yellow and with an abundance of sunshine coming through the windows. The dream wasn’t too sophisticated, and no long perilous passageways, but the secret room was a bright happy place. My adult version always takes place in my current home, it involves long, dark and many times perilous passages and almost always has that dingy green (color you might find in a school gym locker room) bathroom or a dark basement or sub basement that has leaky pipes and the place is just starting to flood. The leaky pipe area is always near the end of the journey, right before I get to the hard to find door (which is often in a back corner of the flooding room) and that door opens up to the beautiful burgundy and gold bright room.
I’m thinking differently about this dream today. I always felt that I was looking for something EXTERNAL that brings the beauty and happiness of that room, but for the first time I’m thinking it is INTERNAL and maybe that has been the puzzle I was trying to fit together all these years.


Seems rather mean spirited of you to delete my post considering what this site is allegedly about. Not even an email to let me know why.

It has been my experience for the last 6 years that most sites and groups I fond online are BS and seeking money. I guess this is one more.


I take it back I just saw there was a couple of new posts and I didn’t see it.I just saw the name Amber which was above mine and assumed that meant my post had been deleted.


I wrote the following comment before I saw your apology: I want you to understand a few things ~ I am one person and I do not live in this website. Sometimes comments are held in moderation for 12 hours or more while I am actually living my life. That was not the case here ~ I published your comment almost right after it came in so your comment attacking me really stings. If you actually knew anything about this site, you never would have said such a thing about me doing this for ‘money’ and being full of BS ~ in the first place. I am a real person and I do this work from my heart and for free (although it costs me 200.00 out of my own pocket to maintain this site and I without the donations that sometimes come in, I would not be able to do it.) I hope in the future you will not ‘jump’ on someone else so quickly.

Thank you for your apology, I thought about deleting my comment back to you in response to your attack once I saw your apology, but I decided that I wanted to address what you originally said anyway so I am publishing it.
Hugs, Darlene



To address one thing. I have never seen you be mean spirited about anything on this website and I am the world’s worst at being overly sensitive about things.

I do love you having come so far as to be able to have good dreams. I pray that I will reach that point in my healing adventure. My dreams are always about being lost in a mall, a hospital, a house, anything that entails me having to be somewhere on time, getting lost, forgetting to do an assignment, falling asleep at work (I was a night nurse), forgetting to wear underwear, strange things but with all of the usual fears of being somewhere unprotected…I have a terrible case of agoraphobia.

You have come so amazingly far and the fact that you provide us with a place to talk without asking for anything in return. Thank you so much. My prayers to you always…and Amber, Mimi, Sandra, Davina, Yvonne, Marquis and everyone else….hugs to you all,



I’m Sorry. I acted rashly. I have become isolated and let that affect my outlook on the world. The silence coming back at me from my efforts at seeking justice allowed me to get lazy and I posted angrily about something that I thought had happened, which did not happen, and I didn’t even realize I had not taken time to make sure until after I had posted it.
I think all here for the purpose of this web page know that loneliness but it is no excuse for my not making sure before I let myself react. Heck as I write I’m not so sure any longer that just openly venting my anger, even if it were legitimate is OK. Hopefully I will remember this in future.
And again I apologise.


Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for the explanation and apology. Yes I think we do all know what its like to be at the end of that rope. I hope you find justice and more than that I hope you find freedom. 🙂
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Linda
I used to have a lot of getting lost dreams too! And when I think about it I WAS LOST ~ in my real awake life I was so very lost. But now that I am no longer lost, those dreams have disappeared too! Your dreams sound like survival dreams. Always having to be ‘aware’ and do everything ‘right’ or something bad might happen. I love this dream discussion!
hugs, Darlene


Hi Winnie
Yes it gets VERY dark and heavy! Thank you for your lovely comments!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Caden
Yes, my house dreams were so similar. They represent how hard it was to navigate my life! And they also tell the story of my journey to freedom and how hard that was and sometimes still is, too! And they tell of the beauty on the other side! That the journey through the scary rooms was and is worth it! If I get some extra time here soon, I will write a post about the house dreams and how I figured them out.
love and hugs, Darlene


I know now that I started remembering in fall 07 the horrible things I experienced like OCD and other triggered reactions which I had to live with thinking were my congenital defects got solved by me using my dreams. I could not honestly claim they are solved as I do get triggered in the right circumstances and old fears I had forgotten come back (this is how I began recalling in 07) but I know that what do they call it????self guided dreams or controlled dreams anyway I, Conscious dreaming! that’s it. I used this as a way to drive the fear back and learn how to not let the triggered reactions show. Over time some of them went away like crippling fear of pretty much everything. But the thing using my dreams allowed was for me to be able to go on with my fear not letting it stop me from trying. It did often win out or cause me to make mistakes and fail but I have never stopped trying.


I would love to have a dream like this! I’ve been stressed and overworked lately. It was also my mom’s birthday yesterday and that was perhaps affecting me, too. I had such a horrible dream a couple nights ago. I feel like it could be the plot of an actual horror movie. It was set out in the woods somewhere, with a guy who had a family or a group of people like a family. Everyone was getting sick except him. He decided that he was capable of taking care of them himself, rather than taking them out to get medical attention, even though he had no expertise whatsoever. All along, though, he was actually infected with whatever disease and it was he who was getting everyone sick (while he wasn’t sick—just a carrier). I was there and trying to reason with him. I think I was sick but not as sick as everyone else. I also kept trying to get the others to come with me, to escape and get real help, but nobody wanted to come. For some reason, they all put faith in this guy or just didn’t have the energy—were too fatigued and incapable or not believing things were as bad as they were, just wishfully thinking they’d get better without real medical attention. I eventually left to save myself. Later, when I was living safely away in some cottage elsewhere, I received a letter from him telling me what had happened—everyone had died, after he had gone so far as performing surgeries and amputations. And then after that, instead of burying the dead, because he was a hunter, he decided he would gut and skin them for their meat like you would a deer or something, but again because of this disease or infection he had, it all rotted/spoiled. It was the most disgusting dream I think I’ve ever had. (Sorry about this—it must also be disgusting to read…) In the end, the guy wrote this letter with remorse, though not so much for the death and desecration of bodies so much as the fact that he had failed at what he thought he could do. It was his ego or pride that was injured more than anything. When I woke up, I wondered why I hadn’t gone to the authorities to get help for these people, but somehow in that world it was really as if there were no authorities to go to; it was only I who had the chance to save them but having failed to, I simply got out…. where I lived afterwards, in this small village, no one would ever really know what I had seen and experienced. The letter was chilling and absolutely disgusting, as I saw the images that were being described, but afterward I also knew it was over and I was safe, though I’d never be the same as my neighbours. I’d always have this history.

It reminded me of another dream I had maybe a year ago, also set in the woods, also very movie-like, where I was taken into a kind of cult where they killed children. In that one, as part of the initiation process, I had to kill a child. We were out on a river in canoes (the children we were killing were on the other side of the river, I guess). I was given a rifle and I was trying to figure out whether or not it was a bluff (if they would honestly trust me with a loaded weapon). If it was loaded, I’d take my chances at shooting the other guy (one of my captors) in the boat and taking a swim for it. If it was unloaded, I’d make out to kill the child to further gain their trust so that I’d maybe have a better chance at escaping as well as helping others trapped in the cult to get out… Of course I woke up before I was able to make a decision.

I seem to have a very violent mind… I also do have very mundane dreams that are so much like everyday life, I can mistake them for reality, but generally I don’t remember my dreams.

I hope one day to have such a nice dream as yours, Darlene.


Alaina, reading about your dream it seems that there is a clear message there. I’ve found that dreams will use all kinds of weird images to catch my attention and put emphasis on things. A lot of them have been so helpful in this process and getting interested in them as a source of information and healing has been interesting all by itself.

Darlene, that was a way of looking at that room dream that I had never considered!

I can also relate to having to nap a lot because so much was getting done in dreams.


Hi Alaina,
Wow, that dream is way to close to reality! (both of them actually) ~ do you see it? The first one reminds me of the dysfunctional family system, including all the sickness. Thanks for sharing! I had these kinds of dreams before too, its only in the last 2 years or so that I have these really nice ones!
hugs, Darlene


When I was very young under 10 I had a recurrent dream of being crushed by large boulders that came crashing down from a high ledge. Had it over and over and would wake up shaking. I walked and talked in my sleep. I would open the outside door and call out for my mother. She would often leave me alone asleep going to the train station to pick up my dad who commuted. I still talk in my sleep when stressed.
I have always thought the sleep walking a sign of childhood distress.
I also bit my nails and sucked my thumb til I was 6 or 7. I was constantly yelled at for that.
Gosh at 55 yrs old my mother would yell in that same voice …dont bite your nails!!!
I have lots of weird dreams now but am told its a side effect of my meds. Hugs to all.


Alice and Darlene, yes, I definitely got the message loud and clear! Certainly sensational but as a metaphor, pretty apt.

I just quit my job. It’s a bit scary but I had to. This is the fourth job I’ve left with nothing lined up next (twice because I was moving). It never stops being scary. I need to take some time off to recuperate and then figure out what I want to do next.

I remember when I was young, I had a dream at least a couple times of being locked in a tower, where the walls had spikes on them and the walls started to move in closer and closer, until at the last minute before I was crushed, there was a trapdoor that I would fall through. I have this idea that the original image came from a cartoon, as my memory of the dream has an animation feel to it. The thing that always stays with me was that even though the trap door was my escape and freedom and there was that feeling, it was also scary and dark and I didn’t know for sure if it was my way to a “wonderland” or if it was all a part of the design of this torture tower. I link the trapdoor to my imagination and likewise have always had fears of my imagination, not knowing if it would save me or kill me, and knowing that the only way I would find out was to let myself fall (something I’m not good at—I tend to want to control too much whatever kind of art I’m engaged in; it’s always a struggle to let go).


One of the things that strikes me about my disease dream is how the guy wrote me this letter in confidence. There was this air to it like I was his friend… but not exactly. I’m very often the “friend.” I have a sympathetic ear and am understanding. I also tend to be perceptive. Sometimes I have the impression with people like this in real life (I mean with more common, less horrifying versions) that they want to have me under control because the truth I see is a threat but also because, like anyone, they crave to be seen and understood and also want to be absolved but this becomes dangerous because wanting me to absolve them gives me power that makes them angry, so there’s this edge that requires me to be meek in order to keep things okay in their presence. My child-killing cult dream also had this element of trying to negotiate when to go along and when it was possible to stand up…. and when was going along in my best interest and when was it quite simply killing myself… A lot of my dreams throughout my life have involved either being held hostage or running away, which could easily sum up my life.


Hi Karen
When I read your dream I was reminded of how when I was in the thick of my process and coming out of the fog I often felt like there were boulders on my chest or like someone was sitting on my chest. I finally realized that I felt like I was literally being ‘crushed’ by these controlling people who never gave me a second of acceptance, validation or any kind of individuality. Thanks for sharing your dream! It reminds me that I don’t ever get that crushed feeling anymore!!! 🙂
hugs, Darlene


I had a similar dream about an elevator! (I have had lots of elevator nightmares). The trap door fear reminds me of the fear of facing the future~ which I had to the extreme when I looked at standing up for myself. As much as I hated the way things were, going forward ‘on my own’ scared me almost to death. (and there is those deep down beliefs that rejection is death, so they are always operating beneath the surface too)

It’s like that story about the slaves who when set free didn’t know anything but slavery and they begged to be kept as slaves. Love your last sentence ~ In my early writing in EFB I used to say this : I struggle with forward motion. 🙂 The key is that we keep striving to go forward! (and YOU DO!)
love and hugs, Darlene


Even though I know I used conscious dreaming I have no memories of any of my dreams. It is rare for me to remember a dream when I wake up and it goes away quickly if I do.
What just came to me was that I didn’t really solve the problem of daytime triggering etc with conscious dreaming so much as I learned to be able to take control of the nightmares by making myself realise it was ‘just a dream’.
I don’t remember any of those dreams. Maybe now that I’ve thought about this the memories will come back to me.


Darlene, RE message 56, I have had that feeling of something pushing down heavily on my chest. This is not actually a dream, but a feeling I get when I do something that goes against the grain of the very strict rules my father had during my growing years and beyond. I picture having conversations with him where I tell him I am no longer going to do certain things his way. And I get the feeling then. When I picture myself rebelling against his strictness, which was oppressive, and get that boulder on my chest type feeling, I think it’s no longer just from my fathers oppressive rules pushing me down, but also the pushback that I am finally getting strong enough to do, even though he has been deceased for several years. Amazing how his influence and rules lived on beyond his lifetime and affected me still, including what I did and said. But I am finally feeling ready to push back and beyond this to live my life my way, according to my wishes.


Hi Amber
Yes, I had that too. I realized that it was the sheer terror of standing up for myself and what the consequences for doing so would be. And I found out that my fear was a left over fear from childhood, a fear that in a way helped me to survive most of my life and I was terrified to let it go because I so deeply believed that I would ‘die’ without that fear that kept me alive and helped me to survive in childhood. I wrote down all my fears related to that feeling, validated where they originated, and went through an exercise with them one by one about what I would do today (as an adult) if any of them happened. Some of them were what I thought at the time was crazy! I was still afraid that my mother would hit me and that people would sexually abuse me, but instead of calling myself crazy, I validated the reason that I had that fear and that freed me to look at what I could do as an adult if any of those things happened to me “today’. I made an action plan ~ for each fear, and it was fantastic!
love and hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene, your message was very helpful! I feel that same fear of consequences if I stand up for myself and I know it is a throwback to childhood when I would get hit or verbally thrashed if I had stood up for myself then. Sometimes Even knowing where the fear originated isn’t enough. I have to make an effort to push past it and stand up for myself. On another thread here I wrote about an issue I was having with a babysitter who was pushing for extra hours when I didn’t need them. I saw her yesterday and when she brought this up again I held firm to my boundary that if I have someplace to go I will call her and give her the extra time, but I will not give her hours when I don’t need them. This pushy woman may need to have this repeated a couple more times but I am holding my ground. Sure, it was scary to reinforce that boundary but I did it!!


Hi All,

Just wanted to share more on dreams….I know that I’ve repeatedly mentioned that I’m a VERY metaphysical person–(Celtic Pagan and Spiritualist Church). In my past, I have read books on lucid dreaming. Recently, I found a GREAT AUTHOR on amazon.com named Robert Moss. He has a few dream books published but his books go way beyond the average books.

As a reviewer wrote: “Moss is the best when it comes to working with dreams. Forget about the Freudian and other books of dream symbols…Moss is the real thing- that rare individual who has not only experienced these things for himself, but has also studied with shamanic dreamers from many traditions and can teach that information to others in an accessible and useful manner.”

I just got “Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole”, by Robert Moss. See: amazon.com (paper) or Kindle. Interesting–you can learn how to access your dreams in all directions of time–very deep! He takes you on a journey to heal soul loss and ancestral wounds—highly recommended for abuse victims. (Not to be confused with soul retrieval–different but good—-see “Soul Retrieval” by Sandra Ingerman). I will be doing some heavy duty reading. Don’t give up on healing through dreams everyone.

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(


Yvonne, your comment came at the perfect time for me. I am going to a dream workshop next month, and I’m about to purchase a notebook to write down my dreams. I am interested in doing more healing this year and becoming a more spiritual person.

Recently I dreamt that there was a house that needed to be torn down. It stood alone with no vegetation around it, just brown dirt or maybe some dried grass. I was attempting to tell someone (the construction crew?) how to go about it, but he corrected me and told me all four sides needed to come down. He was saying that my way wouldn’t take it all down – it needed to ALL come down.

I have the feeling that this dream is about dismantling my harmful relationships with some family members by making a bold move to emotionally cut off and end it. I think this will mostly happen inside of me…I’m not so sure I have to move away…..but maybe the dream was telling me, yes, I do.

If you have any thoughts I would be very interested!


Hi Light (63)

I don’t claim to be any dream expert but I feel like you answered your own question. Your dream about the house needing to be torn down represents your past family issues and it all needs to come down. I don’t know if you are either NC or LC with parents and family members?

Most of our regular dreams are about the subconscious mind clearing out unresolved “gunk” and giving us guidance. The problem being is that these dreams are like a secret code, heavily cloaked in symbolism. If you buy these dream dictionaries with symbols they are all a bit different. There is no one universal meaning for each symbol, but they can all come close. In the past, I have argued with so-called therapists regarding some of my dream interpretations. They have had the nerve to tell me what the meaning was. Of course, it’s only their opinion and I have told them this is what I really think and feel about my dream meaning. Some of the best dream interpretation books make you do exercises where you try to interpret the meaning really quickly. If you try to make it too logical, then you are putting too much logic into the process. You have to go with the first idea or thought that pops into your head about the meaning. Then you ask yourself how do I feel? If it feels right then it probably is.

The notebook is the best way of recording and understanding dreams. Buying a standard journal is good and I have used colored pens to mark and highlight important points. I have an artist friend who prefers to draw instead of write and she kept a sketch pad and pencils on her nightstand. Then she would wake up like ten minutes earlier (set your alarm) and draw her dreams and write a few key words. The golden rule of keeping a dream journal is to ALWAYS include the date with month, day, and year in the corner. The best part about the journal work is that you can see patterns of behavior and certain things that keep coming over a period of weeks and months. Sometimes the same characters reappear along with the same themes.

I sincerely hope not to scare anyone here with my metaphysical beliefs but I can take the dream work a step further than the regular dream books. Whenever I have had an unusual dream which I can’t understand then I can do psychic divination. I like to read the tarot cards and I can use another divination tool like a pendulum if I still can’t get the meaning. Normally, I can get the meaning with one or two divination tools. My favorite overall dream book is:

“Sylvia Browne’s Book of Dreams” by Sylvia Browne. She covers all of the basic dream categories with lots of examples.

The best part about dreams is that you can get a lot of information. If you ever have a big decision to make, then you can “sleep” on it and often receive answers to your problem. There are solutions from dreams and it should just “feel” right. Then there are precognitive dreams–very rare–and I have personally had only one precognitive dream in my life when I was about 11 years old. I kept having a recurring dream when we moved into our new, big, luxury house and it made no sense at the time. In this precognitive dream, I saw myself looking a few years older and I kept seeing the landscape of a foreign country, like the desert. Then further in the dream, I saw myself in “Europe” as a teenager. I could not exactly name the country but I kept hearing classical music playing in the background—very significant and I later figured out it was actually Salzburg, Austria, known for being the classical music capital of Europe! It turned out that my engineer father took a job living abroad in a middle-eastern country and then I lived in Europe! So, my precognitive dream was giving me a message that it would all work out and not to be scared of change!

Moreover there are dreams about past life recall, but these are mainly with very young children, under the age of five years old. I don’t have enough space here to talk about mine, but I had a couple of past life dreams as a young child, and later I was able to talk about it with a gifted psychic reader. (Sylvia Browne’s dream book goes into the past life dreams of kids!) I like to watch a great TV show on Lifetime called, “The Ghost Inside My Child”—not frightening but about kid’s past life dreams. The dream details are verified on the show and the kid did NOT see something on TV or in a movie, since their details are far too accurate and checked out. The average person will normally have a couple of past life dreams as a kid, but then they grow out of it and don’t remember anymore.

I do believe in a Spirit world with communication between spirits, earthbound spirits—(A.K.A. ghosts) and my spirit guides, plus I’m also a member of the Spiritualist Church. Anyway, I do believe that there are some instances where you can actually receive clear messages from a deceased family member or loved one in a dream, especially if you consider yourself as psychic as a bag of rocks. My father who is an engineer/atheist/and total skeptic believes in NOTHING—not like me at all—LOL!

Once my father was talking about a dream he had that really shook him up and this was several years back. I don’t live with my dysfunctional parents and we are not that close. Anyway, my father kept talking about his dream. He was surprised to see in his dream his Uncle Les who died years ago. They had some kind of initial dialogue, “Dick, you came and we were not sure if you were coming!” “The whole family is waiting to see you and we’re all ready to sit down for dinner.” Then my father said that he went with his uncle to a large brick house which he had never seen before. His uncle opened the door and there was a big dining room table. Sitting around the dining room table were all of his deceased family members. My father said that he saw his Aunt Margaret, Uncle Bill, Uncle Fred….almost everyone except for his deceased parents. These deceased family members were as clear as day and it’s as if they had never died and they were all sitting down to a big family dinner. Sadly, before my father sat down at the table, there was an outdoor sound of an emergency vehicle which woke him up. To this day, my father still remembers that dream since its seemed so “real”. I had a psychic reading with the pastor of the Spiritualist Church and she gave me a reading saying that my father had temporarily “crossed over” into the Spirit world in his sleep and had actually met with his family members! Yes, I know it sounds crazy and people can say that it’s your imagination working overtime, but I personally believe in NDE—near death experiences. Even my Narc crazy mom has received dream messages from a couple of dead people. There was a neighbor lady, Beth, who died and also her own mother. They both appeared very real in separate dreams giving her a message. I was VERY SURPRISED that the neighbor lady would give my Narc mom a message but it was something like, “I want to help you and your daughter both….” How interesting! Well, you’re certainly entitled to your beliefs about dream messages. What I personally take an issue with is the standard psychology belief saying that every character in your dream is ALWAYS AN ASPECT OF YOURSELF—-I TOTALLY DISAGREE! There are way too many messages from the Spirit Side trying to get through and not exclusively always clearing out “gunk” from the subconscious mind.

Plus, if you ever have a bad nightmare experience, know that you must be VERY STRESSED out and nightmares are just a kind of clearing. It’s like having an occasional bad cold or flu and it’s hard but you must clear out a lot of negativity. I’m really not trying to convert anyone to any kind of religion, but I would seriously suggest that whatever Faith you have (if any) then it’s always good to say a protection prayer or a positive affirmation like, “I only have positive dreams that I can grow from”…..something like this before sleep. If you’re really stressed out, then you can consider making a “dream pillow” with herbs for pleasant dreams, and you can place protective crystals by the bed, essential oils, and so forth. Don’t give up…

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(


Good blog. I always had nightmares of my parents and I fist fighting in my dreams. I had this one dream long ago where my dad and I were fighting and at the end of the dream, the background was like a circus, there was a lion and he came out of the lion’s mouth. His head started to spin, his hands looked like claws tickling me under my arms (yea I did feel it in my body), head spinning in a circle laughing like the devil and blood coming out of his mouth with sharp fangs.

I’ve had dreams where my mom and I fist fought and we flew out of the glass sliding door, landed on top of the glass, still beating each other. Lots of my dreams were violent towards them and had me waking up crying – took me a long time to go back to sleep. I also had a couple of dreams that I left my parents’ house, came back to the house for something (dream never told me), was dressed like I was in HR, looked like I had a Lexus (couldn’t see the car that well), and went in the dump. It showed how super happy I was living my own life in my dreams and another dream I had my boyfriend and I had our own place (what job? dream didn’t tell me what jobs we had) yet we were super happy.

I haven’t had those dreams in 3-4 yrs and my therapist said how they show I want to leave so badly. I told her I don’t understand why I still gotta stay here and suffer yet I can’t find any work with a little work history that I have plus nowhere to go as well. Interesting how these those nice dreams never told me how I got out of my situation and was living a happy life.


Hi Yvonne,

Unbelievable about the therapists pushing their meaning. They had the opportunity to be good therapists and explore what it means FOR YOU – that’s the point in therapy as I understand it – but they chose to focus on themselves and push their agenda. Just wrong and really going off on the wrong direction.

Thank you for talking more about dreams, dream work, and how to protect oneself. I had nightmares all the time, until my mid-late 20s. After a few years with a therapist (we didn’t really talk about my dreams) they thankfully started becoming less frequent. When I am stressed now, and having a nightmare, it is often about an animal biting me. And to answer your question I am lower contact with my family, some of it my choosing, and some of it rejection.


Everyone: Here is a letter from Dylan Farrow about sexual abuse from her adopted father, Woody Allen. I could personally relate to some of her experiences.




I was reading a post of yours in the archives from 2011, and you talked about how at one time your husband and kids “played the crazy card” and talked to you as if you were crazy.

You must be an incredibly strong person. To have your FOO abandon you and choose not to have an equal relationship, and to have to stand up to your husband and kids. I have so much admiration for you.

I’m at a crossroads now. I have to be even lower contact with my FOO and it hurts. I am not married and it’s lonely too, when they all get together, or when I decline an invitation because something will probably happen and I’ll feel left out or marginalized.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that you give me hope and strength and comfort. Thank you.



I understand how it feels with your FOO. I was low contact for many years. Then my father got sick and he lived with us for five years. We were glad when he left. I kept contact with him for about ten months after he left. Then I went no contact. He had marginalized me again. After all the time and effort we put out to care for him. I know how hurt you feel. I understand feeling the dread before a visit that “something will probably happen.” My sister always made disparaging remarks to me every time I saw her. My sister is the golden child even when she did not step up and take care of her father. He lived a couple of miles from her home, but it was too much trouble for her. So we stepped up and moved him into our home 300 miles away. In the end living with us destroyed what little relationship we had to my father. He moved back by my sister into an assisted living facility.

We always felt left out in my FOO. I even felt left out when my dad was living with us. He does not really care for me and that really hurts. But what hurts more is having the contact and being rejected over and over again.

I am sorry that you feel lonely. I can feel lonely sometimes too. I am glad you find comfort here on this site. I do too.



I’ve been nc for 12 years with my 87 year old mother and recently decided not to see or talk to her again though her life is drawing to a close.

Last night I dreamed that she wanted to see me and I was reluctantly trying to get ready to visit her. I was wearing a knitted white shirt with a blood-red band knitted into the front neck area and a black bra showing through the top in an odd, not fashionable way. I was trying to take a bath or shower and change clothes before going to see her. There was a bathtub and several shower stalls available, but the bathtub was backed up with brown sewage and the openings in the shower stalls were too narrow to fit through. The dream ended with me not being able to bathe or change clothes but unsettled by the knowledge that my mother wanted to see me and I couldn’t get ready.


Hi Davina,
I’m in no way an expert on dreams, but the feeling or message I got from yours was that you were trying to alter yourself ( shower and changing clothes)for the visit with Mom so she wouldn’t see you while not at your best, and the unsettling feeling being about Mom seeing certain things about you that you may not want her to see. Maybe all those things we keep hidden for fear of being criticized or getting into trouble? Just something to think about.
Wishing you the best on your journey! Amber


Thank you Light for posting the link. Karen



Thanks–I’m not good at deciphering my own dreams so your comment gives me something to consider.

I thought the dream was about me trying to wash off all the bad stuff that my NM did or let happen (with a smile on her face and glittering eyes in real life, yuck) and that not being able to bathe or change meant that I can’t clean it off enough to return.

I thought the red had to do with my injuries and the black bra symbolized the bad situation. I couldn’t come up with all this symbolism in my waking hours so heaven knows how my brain did this.

In real life I’d love to go back but she’d start being mean and insulting within the first five minutes.

Thanks, Amber–best to you!


Thank, Davina! Only you know all the details of your situation so see how it all fits into your dream interpretation. Good luck to you!


Hi Light,
Thanks! That’s really all I want ~ to give hope and strength and a little comfort.
My kids learned to treat me the way they saw me being treated. They were blameless. It took a long time to turn that train around, (and it may not have been possible if my husband had not admitted that he was part of the overall problem and if he had not changed too) but we did it. I did it and today our lives are 100% different!
hugs, Darlene


Here’s a weird one. I haven’t had a dream I remembered in years. Last night I had one in which I was driving and I was blind or I was slumped down in the seat unable to see over the wheel and unable to get up. Yet I was turning the wheel as if steering around corners. I stood on the brakes terrified of being arrested and the car slowed a bit but would not stop and the terror of being “caught” filled me. Then I either woke up and went to the bathroom, or whatever mechanism I taught myself to get past the constant nightmares as a boy kicked in and I drifted off to dreamless sleep again.
I don’t have any more. Not that I’m selfish I was also thinking of the possibility of hitting a person or cars but it was the thought of police that most scared me. ?!?

I expect this is something to do with the abuse which involved inflicting brain damage and denial of knowledge as well as conditioning me to not revealing any weaknesses or lack of knowledge for fear of being locked up. It also evokes now that I am writing this memories of me having driven drunk when I was still self medicating. Not knowing how I had gotten home was a lot like this unable to see and unable to stop dream.


Thank you Andria! I appreciate your kind words. It must really hurt to have a father who does not care for you. That was generous of you to have your father move in for five years…that’s a very long time! My scenario is a little different. Both of my parents loved me, but they also did incomprehensible things: my father was a covert sexual abuser, and my mother – once she found out – she wouldn’t stand up for me. He admitted what he did to my sister (and she stood up for her), but denied his behaviors with me…and my mother therefore did not back me up.

I find it all very, very confusing. In my FOO people can be very loving and giving and warm, AND cold or in denial or neglectful or mean. It’s a world of extremes. Anytime there is a family get-together I am so torn about attending. I want to be there if it will feel loving, but it is just as likely that something bad will happen.



Thanks for your response! Yes, your situation sounds very confusing. It sounds like your parents don’t treat you like they treat your sister. It seems strange that your mother does not believe that your father abused you; yet she believes that your sister was abused.

I am sorry about how your family treats you and how that makes you feel. You don’t know which way it will go, so you don’t want to attend. I understand that. In my case, I had to make a decision about how I felt. I had to weigh in on the good and the bad. The bad out weighed the good so overwhelmingly that I had to make the big decision to just let them all go.



My little grandson put his cup back on the counter and I cheered and applauded him. He smiled and then found every cup he could find so I would cheer some more. We need cheerleaders. What a wonderful dream to have others cheering for you.


Im not sure how we connected on facebook but I’m thrilled. Great dream. Im happy for you. I too am DID and emerging. Yes the truth will set us free once we can share it with ourselves. (((Hugs)))


Hi Andria and everyone,

My mother did finally write a letter to my siblings admitting that he was a sexual abuser — when I was in my fifties. I am grateful for the letter, however so much damage and pain and marginalization had happened within my FOO (and this also rippled to the nieces and nephews). I can never recover all of those years when I had little validation (…regarding my mother’s behavior, I did have some validation re: my father) and instead had criticism because of my rage. There were so many family gatherings when I was tense and irritable because I had to swallow myself and pretend I was OK and that her denial was OK. She was all pleasant and light. It was brutal. I was in so much emotional pain. I still am in some pain, because the dysfunction still plays out to this day. Patterns have been set. I am detaching however.

After she sent the letter, not one of my siblings initiated a conversation with me about it. Not one!! That’s an example of the marginalization of me and the dysfunction of the family.

My theory about why she was so reluctant to back me up is this: when it was “just” my sister (and her friend), and my father could explain it as all in the past and “twenty years ago” she could barely stomach it but she did. However when I shined the light on my own experiences, she was faced with the prospect that his problem ran much deeper and wider and it would define him definitely as a sexual abuser….and then what would that mean for her?? How does she cope? I think it was easier FOR HER to deny it and deny me….at my expense of course.

With sexual abuse, the emotional and possible physical injuries are of course terrible and hurtful. Then what follows in the aftermath is a potentially fractured family that takes sides and/or minimizes or simply denies it ever happened. This is all shrouded in silence with a sense of shame if the abuse is revealed.


What comes to mind is the fracturing that happened in the families of Sandusky and Dylan Farrow. When I see the similarities, I don’t feel so alone.


Light, how are you feeling? I have been following the Dylan Farrow situation online and there is such a variety of *reactions* out there. I can only imagine this must mirror what happens when anyone speaks out about what was done to them.

I don’t say “what happened” anymore. As if there was some random disembodied event that no-one was responsible for. No, you are not alone. I think threatening abandonment is also part of the tactics used by abusers.

A couple of years ago (before NC) my mother actually said right out to me that if I didn’t do this particular thing she wanted me to she would tell “everyone” what a “piece of work” I was. But before she said that she tried telling me it was “for you” and then “for your father”.

I gave in. But I don’t think I will forget coming to the bare realization about what she was doing. It’s one thing when you are a child and have no other references. Quite another in (now relatively) full consciousness and from a (now relatively) safe position. For anyone who ever asks “Why is she/he talking about that *now*.


I think I need to start keeping a dream journal. I’ve never done this before…any hints/tips? I officially got engaged this weekend. I knew this was coming, we had been discussing for a while, but my dreams have gone bazerk since it became official and they are all over the map. It’s affecting my sleep. I’m assuming since my brokeness came primarily from my verbaly abusive/narcasistic exhusband, that the idea of having a new spouse is pretty major to my phsyche. My friends have been acting wierd too and that is also disturbing me. I’m hoping getting my dreams down in an organized fashion will possibly lead to some insight that my conscious mind is struggling to locate.


I have been following the Dylan Farrow case too and her latest response back to woody allen was really amazing. 🙂 The thing that deeply bothers me is how so many people are willing to accuse the child and back up the abuser in light of so much evidence. (the things she included in the latest response to his reply). I am planning to write more on this topic (what I am going to refer to as parental entitlement) this month.
hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene:)

I’ve also read the latest response from Dylan and was very impressed with how strongly she represented both herself and the facts in the face of such an onslaught.

I’m also really looking forward to your next post as I think it’s one of the main things driving both these “parents'” behavior as well as reactions by others. This idea that “You’re my child” entitles them to behavior no-one (not even themselves!) would tolerate from anyone else.



Alice, I really like your distinction between the phrase “what happened” versus “what was done to me, her, etc.” Thank you for that. It is a much more active statement and indicates there was/is a perpetrator.

It reminds me a bit of the diagnosis of depression versus PTSD. Of course a lot goes into a diagnosis, everyone is different, and I’m not in the medical profession. However, there was a time I wanted the diagnosis PTSD – not depression – because it implied that I went through something traumatic ….rather than a depression that can be viewed as coming from within the individual.

That sounds difficult to see your mother’s attempt at manipulation in the cold harsh light as adult-to-adult. So hard when it’s a MOTHER – the woman who is supposed to love us fiercely and protect us with her life.

I am feeling OK, thanks for asking! I’m wearing a monitor now.


Hi Light-

I am glad that you are feeling okay. If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of a monitor are you wearing? I don’t know what is your situation.

I know what you mean about depression that is seems to come from within the person. I have suffered from depression. When I look back at my bouts of depression they always had a catalyst. The catalyst was always a situation with family. I didn’t figure this out until last year. I have learned that all though the depression was mine it didn’t come from me. It came from the situation I was in.


Hi Light,
Good to hear you’re ok. Yes, I would also like formal recognition of the lasting effects of being mistreated by my mother. I also think that the medical profession has abstracted depression too much. It has drifted into “chemical imbalance” which allows the causes to be detached from their effects. Yes there is probably a chemical hormonal correlate but like you said, there’s this idea that it comes only from within the individual. To me this is yet another way of denying what people are doing to each other.
I know it’s pointless to expect validation from the people who mistreated you but one would think that other people who’s role it is to help others heal would be interested in adopting a more truthful stance on it.


Hi Alice and Light,

You know that I have been working on healing my issues for years. When I was younger, I was VERY traumatized by the power of these “so-called” therapists. I desperately tried as a teenager to explain my side of the story in counseling but they NEVER really heard me. Instead, I was slapped with a label of a “chemical imbalance”. Then the therapist referred me to a shrink who attempted to put me on an antidepressant medication. That didn’t last long since I was complaining of side effects and demanded to be taken off.

The problem is that these so-called professionals never really listen nor do they really give a care about younger people. It’s VERY easy to take advantage of a younger person and they only need to control their parents first. There is truly NO scientific basis for a “chemical imbalance”. Please check out the anti-psychiatry websites…

It’s also funny that other past therapists would diagnose me as being depressed. How can they even say that? Do they live inside my head and know my true thoughts and feelings? I think not but they were so adamant in slapping on a depression label on me. They only want to stay in business of course. I am so very glad that I had the common sense to get away from these people and work out my own healing. Just my two cents worth…..

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(


Hi Yvonne,

Yes it has been my experience in therapy with a couple of therapists that as soon as I broached the subject of my mother, the therapist had difficulties with that and we just weren’t able to continue. The therapy that has worked with me has had at its foundation the validation of what I went through.

Things that don’t work are injunctions to “forgive” or what I’d call “overresponsibility lecturing” which basically tells the “patient” that they are responsible, that they must change themselves to have a better relationship with their parents, that they must not blame their parents for their present issues and so on and so forth and this is supposed to be “empowering”.

I guess I’m lucky in that I’ve known for a long time that my experience with my family is at the root of many problems I was carrying, including depression, so the “chemical imbalance” story never quite took hold in me.

But more recently I’ve had the experience of having a GP who was all too willing to throw medication at me for my “anxiety” while in the same session, upon hearing me explain the cause (it was a period when I was still in contact and making more frequent visits to my parents and my father was dying) tell me that I should take care of my aging mother because that was my duty as a daughter.

I almost hit the roof! And then he had the gall to tell me my blood-pressure seemed a “a bit high” and that I should get it checked out. By that point I was snorting with anger, almost laughing because it was so ridiculous.
When I did see the nurse who did the blood-taking etc for the tests and blood-pressure on a subsequent visit, she told me my blood-pressure was fine and I told her what her “boss” had said to me. In the past I wouldn’t have dared “tell on him”. I haven’t returned there since.


And more on the topic of dreams. My father appeared in one the other day. He was trying to break into the bathroom in our first house (which I had locked from the inside) and he managed to do so only to tell me as he came through the door that I was not a member of “this family”.

The phrase “A part of this family” or “A member of this family” was used very often by both my parents as a sort of a command – an injunction of sorts to get me to act in a certain way or take part in some collective thing they (the rest of the family) were doing. I never did feel like I was part of the family and I didn’t feel as if I was either like them or belonged there.

I’m not very sure about what this dream could signify, it wasn’t pleasant to have him confirm what I already felt (that I wasn’t part of the family). Now I am NC, it’s more than clear that the rest of them don’t actually care about me (and likely never actually did unless I was kowtowing and behaving the way they wanted). Aside from my mother who can’t take no for an answer, none of the rest have been in touch, no questions about why I’m NC, no offers to listen, no apologies, nothing.

It did cross my mind that perhaps my father was in fact “liberating” me from the obligation to be “part of the family” but I’m not sure.



I can relate to your comment. Like you I didn’t feel a part of my family or that I was like either of my parents. I am NC as well. They don’t care about me, and wanted me to kowtow and behave the way they wanted. I did find out one thing while watching a Spartan life coach YouTube: don’t ever expect an apology from them. That would mean they would have to own up to the fact that they had been nasty and treated you badly for years. It would make them feel bad about themselves and they are just not willing to do that.

My mother is deceased. After I had not talked to my dad for 3 months he did call my husband at his work and ask what was going on. My husband told him what I already had told my father were the problems with the relationship. By this time I had not talked to my sister for a year. My dad has tried to call me a few times since. But there has never been a hint of an apology. Of course it is all my fault. It is still painful for me, but I really don’t see any other choice for me. I still think about all of this many times during the day.

I did have a dream the other day that I was on a train with my family and I got off before the rest did. I was trying to get back on a train and proceed to the “correct” stop, but I decided that I was just going to stay where I was. I suppose in real life that is what I did.


Hi Andria,

I also think about it (the NC) often and sometimes there is sadness there that I want to reach so I can cry so the grief of it would somehow resolve. I am so far unable to, but I am also more at peace than I’ve ever been.

No more dreading seeing that caller ID. No more stressing about those emails. No more days (or sometimes it was weeks) spoiled by angry exchanges and attacks on my character and integrity.

I am saddened that they don’t care enough to think about just how much it must have taken for me to decide that NC would be the best thing.

The only thing I can think of is that they must not think any of it was abuse and then I spiral into the idea that if they think its ok, it must be actually ok. This last thing is so hard because as soon as it starts I begin to question whether I have done the right thing and whether things really were *that bad*. I have to remind myself that the truth is that they are not responding to my actions, that they are not apologizing and probably never will.


Hey Alice,

I am glad you are more at peace than before. I understand the feeling of sadness of how your decision of NC being the best thing for you does not even make a blip on their radar screen.

Yes, it is most likely true that they don’t think they are abusive. I have gone through the stage of questioning if it was not “that bad”. But you know what? It was that bad because I know how I felt. No one else in my life had ever made me feel that bad as my family did. It hurts even more because they are supposed to care. My family decided that I was the one with the problem.


Hi Everyone.

Andria and Alice – I am wearing a heart monitor. While I believe there is a physical basis to the palpitations (supplements/electolyte imbalance/etc.), I also was so sad and hurt and angry at the holidays….I think my heart was feeling the pain.

Like some of you, these family relationships weigh on me every day. It’s like a dark cloud hangs over me, along with a vague heavy feeling in my stomach. I try to stay busy with activities that I love – but it is sad and scary to grow older without a family who cares (except my mother thankfully. She cares but she’s also hurt me in incomprehensible ways). I know it’s difficult for all of us.

I wish we could have an annual retreat that we could all attend! With all kinds of self-healing workshops and services!


Andria, umpteen times a day I’m wondering if things were ‘that bad’ or am I just over- reacting. When I manage to take a little step back, I know they were that bad and worse.


I was just looking into organizing some small group retreats yesterday! I would like to start off doing groups of 4 or 5 people at a time and I was looking into renting a condo in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. (I have spent a lot of time there so I know the city and have a lot of support there as well.)
I’m excited about the idea!
hugs, Darlene


Another dream, this time with younger versions of my mother and my father in it. The details are slipping but I dreamt that my mother was opposite me, squeezing my face and asking me “But how could you have abused that child?!” And I replied that I hadn’t but that SHE had and she looked at me and said “No I didn’t, there’s no child here, you’re the one doing it” and we went back and forth like this and the pain I felt from realizing what I had done to the child was unbearable.

Then I told her “Yes, the child IS here, right here”. “Where?!” she demanded and I pointed to the center of my chest and said “right in here”. The feeling of sadness was terrible and when I woke up, I thought I might be crying/or cry. I didn’t.

I’m feeling a bit rattled. I mean I couldn’t imagine the pain someone would feel if they suddenly realized what they had done to their child, or any child for that matter. It would be overwhelming. The other thing I noticed was that the child seemed to be within me but it wasn’t me.


Hi Alice,
Wow, That is quite a dream!
I know someone who’s mother didn’t want to lose her daughter and she actually tried to listen to her daughter. That mother felt such grief and remorse when she finally realized what she had done to her daughter and the emotional damage she had caused and it was very healing for both of them. (and a long process too!)
hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

Yes I do seem to have pretty strident dreams 🙂
That’s great that the mother opened up to what she had done to cause emotional pain in her daughter. I don’t think mine would ever do that.

And in a way I don’t want her to if the pain would be too great. At least the way things are she can pretend that everything is my fault and be relatively free of suffering from it. I used to want her to suffer every bit as much as I have but I don’t any more. Not having her in my life at this point is enough to support my own process.


Hi everybody,
Isnt it weird how some of us remember all dream details and yet people like my husband remember non.
Maybe someone might have an explanation for a dream that I have constantly involving snakes which I am terrified of.Always well hidden snakes that grab my feet and wrap themselves around my legs biting me.Very simimlar dreams always snakes.Hope someone can explain. Thanks Wendy am x



Love your idea for a small group retreat in Puerto Vallarta! I dream of blue skies and oceans, especially during the winter. Hope you are well.



Hi Everyone,
I have been having trouble with the website this last week. The server had to be completely transferred to a new server and there were some problems with missing content on my site. Yesterday over half the comments (12,000 comments) were gone. This morning they restored everything from the 22nd so the comments from yesterday are gone. There are also comments missing from the 18th and a few other days which I can’t get back. I will be re-posting the most recent blog post which also could not be restored, this week. I am sorry for all the confusion.
hugs, Darlene


I think my latest dream wasn’t so encouraging. I dreamed that all the clerks in a warehouse store I was shopping at were vampires and that if you killed one, you became a vampire.


I don’t dream anymore… docs made them stop… overwhelming couldn’t handle it…

I am so Happy to be a Part of This Team… This team is a Good Team and is going to Free Me…
I know my younger Sister is Happy that I’m here doing this now!!!

marquis (female)
April 5th, 2014 at 12:09 am

I had a dream the other day that my parents and I moved to another city in AZ and they were buying a house! I remember my dad claiming he wanted to buy his friend’s mom’s house but his friend’s ex wife is living in it. Then, long ago, he was on a mailing list to buy a home and that was very suspicious – it had nothing to do with surprising us with a home or anything. THis house in my dream was very nice, in a nice neighborhood, and mom complaining as always how it has stairs and wooden flooring everywhere.

I still don’t why in these dreams that I am still moving with them! My mom has been saying for years she wanted out of this neighborhood since we moved to AZ in 96, claimed we were gonna move in 2010 after the fire incident but used that to get me to move back home, and nothing’s changed! I don’t want to move with them anywhere because it won’t happen. My dad keeps saying ‘oh we don’t have the money, not time to move. Move for what? Why should we move? It’s cheap, there’s nothing cheaper like $100/mo like it used to be in the 70s (yep, they live in the past), who says we need to move? Let’s wait a few years to move.’ Yep, that’s what he said.

I want to be far away from them which is why I got a job and hopefully I can move out later on. Why do they continue wanting to live in dirty looking neighborhoods when my dad clearly has the money to buy a house or rent an apartment for over $1k is beyond me. He likes his hoarding yet complains when people peek in, complains how vehicles have been vandalize including his, etc there’s way more negatives in our neighborhood.

I need more dreams where it shows me how I succeeded in leaving home and being happy (had those in the past but not those lately). Living with them has been hell since birth and I plan on leaving part time job or not!


I had a dream about a week ago involving many snakes. Snakes in trees. I don’t know what the trees were about, but I looked it up and snakes are usually symbolic of a transformation of some sort. Perfectly sums up my life right now in regards to standing up to my family and beginning to see them for what they are.

Leave a Comment