Being chased, falling into an abyss, looking into a mirror and seeing
that our appearance has been altered; balancing on a high wire with no
safety net, unable to get out of a building or sinking into quicksand
are classic nightmare story lines. We may awaken shouting, our heart
beating fast and sobbing with terror shortly relieved to discover it was
Nightmares mean that our deeper levels of being, psychologically and
possibly physically, are keen to be acknowledged by our conscious/ego
Self. Likely, we’ve been gently, and incrementally nudged that
something is not going well, and we’ve been stubbornly ignoring the
signs. Our dream director has taken it upon herself to create a stark
scenario replete with setting, characters and action that will jolt us
into making a change. At this stage in the nudge, you cannot ignore the
hail but beware, you may be tempted to discount or minimize it.
A nightmare’s symbolism is as individual as we are, however, there are
several common reasons for having nightmares. The most obvious one is
trauma. We may not be permitting ourselves to ponder the trauma because
the effects are still too raw. Our consciousness must integrate and
file these experiences into our psychic makeup: Our psyche must give the
trauma context and meaning. We must begin the journey of reaching a
place of peace and acceptance and the nightmare may represent the first
Something has Breached Our Psychic Defenses
There are other common reasons for nightmares; fear of failure, a health
alert, or feeling victimized. Being bullied triggers more than its
share of nightmares in a victim of any age. Being faced with a difficult
choice, behaving in a manner unfamiliar to our self-concept;
abandonment, loneliness, lack of safety or medications can all set off a
Military psychiatrists observed that when warriors on the front lines
began dreaming of the horrors of war, they needed to be removed from the
front lines. The horror witnessed had breached a psychic barrier and a
mental illness was likely to ensue.
A client described a dream series of nightmares whereby she discovered
many of her friends and family were vampires. In the nightmare she was
terrified that they would discover she was human and would start feeding
on her. She wasn’t a fan of the horror genre, so she couldn’t imagine
why she kept having these theme-based nightmares. It wasn’t until I
asked, “Who in your waking life is threatening to suck the life out of you?”
, that she appreciated the genius of her dream director!
Nightmares May Suggest Encroaching Mental Illness
A nightmare may be highlighting a growing neurosis which means you are
fearing something not founded. A phobia is an example of this. People
who describe themselves as worry warts
tend to be plagued more
frequently with nightmares. Regardless, a nightmare in this case still
demands attention. A growing phobia can be crippling. It may prevent
us from living a free and healthy life. If a nightmare is alerting us to
a growing neurosis, we need to have it examined and healed before it
wreaks any further damage to our psyche.
Nightmares in Children
Children are plagued with nightmares more frequently than adults mostly
because everything is new and potentially threatening. Everyone is
bigger and stronger and things in the world make loud, unfamiliar
noises. It’s a scary world to a vulnerable child!
Encourage children to describe their nightmares and offer them
suggestions about how to overcome the monsters. This will help the child
to feel empowered and less threatened in their waking lives. Remember
to empower the child to be the strong one in the nightmare rather than
guiding them to see the threat as smaller. This emboldens the child to
face threats with confidence rather than encourage them along a
dangerous path of magical thinking whereby they might imagine they can
make threats smaller. Some threats are real, and no amount of magical
thinking is going to make them less than what they are, but if we
believe in ourselves and face threats head-on, we’ll have a better
chance at dealing with the monster appropriately and safely.
Nightmares as Creative Inspiration
Ignoring or discounting nightmares as only dreams
them go away because like most forgotten or ignored dreams, they will
simply recycle back. Imagine what the nightmare is asking you and be
playful and imaginative.
Consider a couple of different endings. Often a nightmare is
interrupted by an abrupt awakening, triggered by our increased heart
rate and breath; use your imagination to envision what the ending might
have been that stars you as the winner. A nightmare may even be a
warning of something ahead. Never discount the possibility that a
nightmare is precognitive! This is a good reason to record and date it.
Use your nightmare as a creative inspiration. Draw, paint or collage
the images. Title your nightmare. The stories of Jekyl and Hyde,
Frankenstein, and Dracula were all inspired by nightmares. When you
describe a nightmare to someone, they will likely identify and empathize
with your experience. There is nothing quite like a sharing a
nightmare to bring an uncommon level of intimacy into your social
intercourse and intimate relationships.
testimonial is posted for all the world to see on google. Special thank
you to Niki Gilmour and several others who kindly left me glowing
testimonials and feedback directly on google. I can't thank you enough!
Several people/organizations have left unkind comments and poor
ratings. These negative reviewers don't know me, have never had a
reading done by me. In one case, I was contacted by the organization
immediately on the heels of posting the nasty review, requesting $400/mo
to remove the rating/comment and keep it off. Google gives higher
credence to negative comments which means that it takes almost 4/1
positive to counter the deleterious affects of one negative review.
"I received a reading from Kathleen a long, long time ago. At the time, I couldn’t imagine any of what she told me. Here I am 5 years later and everything Kathleen told me has And is happening!!! Very accurate and definitely recommend a reading with her."
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