Tag Archives: dream analysis

Wait. What Are You Trying to Imply?

Therapist: “How are you feeling about turning 41?”

Me: “I honestly haven’t really thought about it at all! So I’m fine, I guess! Everything is fine!”

Therapist: “Ok. And how have you been sleeping?”

Me: “Oh, well that’s been less fine. Lately I wake up about 3 times a night drenched in sweat. I’m having constant nightmares. They usually involve time– like I’m late for something, or I’m running out of time to do something, and the consequences will be huge. Last night Eric had to shake me awake because I was screaming– apparently in my dream I was being chased by an oversized grandfather clock, like the size of Big Ben, just waiting to fall over and crush me to death.”


Me: “What?”

Therapist: “I’ll ask you again, how are you feeling about turning 41?”

Me: “I haven’t really thought about it at all! Why?”


Really Horrible Nightmare

Eric: “What happened last night? You woke up SCREAMING in the middle of the night, it was crazy.”
Emily: “I know, sorry. I was having this really horrible nightmare.”
Eric: “What happened?”
Emily: “I was in a classroom trying to get everyone to be quiet and no one was listening, and no matter what I did, the kids kept misbehaving, and totally ignoring me like I didn’t even exist, so finally I mustered all my strength and just yelled as loud as I could.”

So basically my “really horrible nightmare” was my regular life every day for 9 years.


I’d Like to Spend One Day Inside His Brain

I have notoriously disturbing dreams, clearly driven by my anxiety. Sometimes they’re straight up terrifying horror shows, other times they are just upsetting and leave me feeling uneasy, like last night’s.

Eric: “Did you sleep ok? You were tossing and turning.”

Me: “No. I had a dream where, for whatever reason, I was walking around a mall holding thousands of dollars in a bag. And I stopped in the mall arcade, and put a $1000 bill in the arcade machine, even though I meant to put in a $10. But then it was too late. So it ate the money and gave me tickets. But then, I actually ended up winning all these vouchers– like thousands of dollars in vouchers. All I had to do was go claim it. But then somehow I misplaced the bag with my cash and vouchers, and I ended up losing all the money I started with, plus the money I won. I started panicking, sweating, running around the mall, trying to retrace my steps. Everyone was telling me how irresponsible I am. And the more they said it, the more I panicked, but no matter what I did I couldn’t find my way back to the money, and nobody would help me.”

(silent pause)

Eric: “I dreamt that I wore my new Uggs and someone was like– ‘you don’t have to wear socks with those, they’re so soft!'”


Dream Analysis

I’ve always been one to have pretty vivid dreams, and my therapist tells me that when this happens, in order to interpret them I should focus on the FEELING I had in the dream. The actual characters, context, and events of the dream are usually not relevant and shouldn’t be over-analyzed. It’s the emotion during the dream that you should focus on, as it’s likely an emotion you are trying to suppress in your waking life.

I’ve shared this wisdom with Eric, so we now make it a habit to discuss these vivid dreams when I have them (Side-note: We do NOT to make it a habit to discuss Eric’s dreams, as Eric is quite possibly the WORST summarizer of dreams on the planet. He is an exceptional storyteller in general, but when it comes to his dreams, he suddenly has the verbal capabilities of Forrest Gump. It will take him 15 minutes to explain a dream that could not have possibly lasted longer than 7 seconds. The benefit of discussing/interpreting his dream does not outweigh the amount of life minutes lost waiting for him to get to the point, so I generally refuse to participate and just tiptoe slowly out the room as he’s talking, which, 50% of the time, he does not even notice.)

This morning’s discussion…

Me: “I had a dream that you proposed. But the ring was a HUGE purple quartz rock. Literally a rock, in its rock form. And the ring part was flexible plastic, like the kind of ring you win at an arcade, that can fit on any sized finger. It literally looked like this, sitting upon a yellow plastic ring:


And my sister was in the background yelling ‘I helped pick it out!’ which was just baffling to me, especially considering how nice her ring is, and how impossibly picky she is about jewelry. And you were just sitting there with a shit-eating grin on your face, so proud of your choice, particularly the flexible plastic base, because, as you put it, ‘This way it will always fit, even if you get fatter!'”

Eric: “And how did that make you FEEL?”

(Pause as I contemplate the baseline emotion of the dream)

Me: “It made me feel like you’re a fucking idiot.”

Eric: “Sounds about right. Analysis complete!”