Do my dreams tell me I feel guilt?

I believe that dreaming is important. I believe dreams are there to deal with the experiences in life, to process the thoughts we have on the things we encounter. I believe that dreams are made up by our true feelings, even the ones we hide from ourselves during the day. Dreams are extremely personal and I think that in a way they can tell us much about ourselves, dreams show us our true desires and fears.

The falling dream

I think you are familiar with this dream you have when you are about to wake up just after you have fallen asleep. The one that ends in falling, a long and deep fall, when there just doesn’t seem to be any ground to land on. After minutes in the air you wake up in a shock, and afterwards you fall asleep for real. I think everyone is familiar with a dream like this, I think it’s one of the few universal dream experiences that might occur as a reaction to your body going into sleep mode. For me however, this dream has changed.

Every night when I fall asleep, I have a dream that should be the falling one, the dream occurs right after I started falling asleep and I wake up with the same shock I used to experience waking up halfway in my fall. However, in the dream I’m not falling, I’m not in the air. Instead, I am with my grandpa.

The grandpa dream

Every night, I dream about my grandpa. The story is always different, as well as the setting. There are nights my grandpa is in the hospital, nights that he is gardening, nights that he is attacked by zombies and nights that he is just at home with my grandmother. No matter what happens in the dream, it always starts with seeing him, healthy, the way he used to be.

But then something happens to him, he get’s sick, there is a fire, there are too much zombies for him to fight or a tigers enters his garden. Something happens and his life is at risk. In my dream, I will try to do everything I can to save him, fighting with all my dream-powers to keep him alive.

Every time, no matter how hard I try, I fail and in the end of the dreams he always dies and I wake up in a shock. The shock feels similar to the one of the falling dream, however, is combined with a feeling of failing. I blame myself that I again wasn’t able to save my grandpa.

What does it mean?

I can’t stop wondering what this daily returning dream means, what feelings it expresses that I’m hiding from myself during the day. Why am I dreaming the same thing every night? What is secretly bothering me deep inside my mind?

The falling dream, that used to occur in the same way as the grandpa dream does now, often is a reaction to falling asleep, the transition state. Your muscles start to relax, however, your brain misinterprets this feeling of relaxation, thinking that your body is falling. This is when a twitch or jerk is experienced in the muscles and you abruptly wake up.

Relaxation problem

This could mean that whenever my body starts to relax, I think about my grandpa and in a way I believe this makes a lot of sense. Since my grandpa got sick I have never allowed myself a minute to relax. First I was always busy with my care for him and after he passed away, I never allowed time to relax, afraid of what sadness might surface.

Until recently, I never relaxed so it makes sense that my brain is responding to relaxation. It even makes sense that I link relaxation to my grandpa since loosing him has caused major stress in my life. With him everything started, the sadness and emotions linked to his death made me run and hide behind a shield of anger, unable to face the feelings that would come up once I would relax.

Hate and blame

What scares me is the stress and self-hate that occur at the end of the dreams. As soon as I relax, my mind comes up with a situation in which I feel stressed. I have to do anything that’s within my dream-me powers to save my grandpa from dying and no matter how hard I try, I will fail. Leaving me with feelings of hate and blame when I wake up.

This makes me wonder if I secretly blame myself in relation to my grandpa. Do I secretly believe I didn’t do enough for him? Is there something I believe I could have done better? Or am I just afraid that bad things will happen once I relax, projecting this on the loss of my grandpa?

I know I’ve done everything within my powers to be there for him as often as possible. I spend all my free time with him, I even worked nights till 11 PM to be able to leave early the next day to spend some time with him. I was there his last day, as well as almost every day in the week and months before that day.

Self-compassion

I have done everything I could and I’m definitely not to blame. No one could have cured my grandpa, it was his time. I hope my subconsciousness believes the same. I hope I don’t have any hidden feelings of self-blame when it comes to my grandpa. I don’t deserve them.

I hope this dream shows me that I just can not allow myself to relax, that I don’t allow myself any peace. I hope it’s this because this is one of the things I’m working on during therapy. I am allowed to relax and I am allowed to take time for myself and this is what I have to learn.

Stay positive

Besides the strange and unknown meaning of the dreams, besides the feelings of blame and hate when I wake up, I am thankful for the dreams. Every night I am able to see my grandpa again, every night he is alive and close to me for a little while. I see him the way he used to be and spend some time with him, see him laugh, see him live and this is what I try to remember from these dreams every night.

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