Meanings of Dreams

Kate's Dream

Welcome to our Meanings of Dreams page. This client story is taken from John's case files:

Shadow of Child on Swing 'Kate came to see me about her life and its lack of direction. She was a small timid lady with a caring heart who even from the outset seemed burdened with overbearing guilt.

One day Kate entered my office very upset. I asked what was wrong to which she replied:

“My ex husband has been stalking me. He does this crap as soon as he finds out where I’m living”.

“The one who beat you?”

Kate nodded. “He’s been hassling my daughter too”.

“Is he the one that molested her?” I asked astounded.

Kate nodded again. She sat silent for a time gently weeping when suddenly she looked up and started to tell me about a dream she had. It surprised me because it was so out-of-step with her emotive state at that point in time and I had said nothing to her previously about dreams...

“I was at my old house. The one I lived in when I was married. But I was the age I am now.”

“Was anyone else with you?” I asked.

“Yes, my daughter and my ex husband... They were the same age they are now too. Anyway, my daughter for some reason went outside to play and I watched as she went out the door. Then she came back and she was a little girl again and she was all covered in mud. She started sort of like choking. Like she couldn’t breathe and she started clutching her throat. I picked her up and started gently patting her back but it didn’t work so I had to slap her back hard but that didn’t work and I started to panic. I looked over at my ex husband for help but he sat there and waved me off like I was making something out of nothing. Then it all stopped and I woke up.”

“Very disturbing dream, Kate.”

“Yes, it was, I was still panicking when I woke up.”

“What do you think it’s about?”

“That bastard I was married to. He’s found me again so I’m having nightmares.”

“I definitely think he is part of the message or meaning in the dream but the majority of the imagery is to do with you and your daughter. Can we explore this a little further?”

Kate nodded.

“First things first, Kate, what are your ideas about everyone being the same age they are now except your daughter up until she went outside?”

“I don’t know.” A very long pause ensued.

Kate started, “I think maybe it was going back in time sort of thing. That she went back in time and reappeared as a little girl.”

“Back to a time when she was innocent?”

“Yes, very.”

“And you said when she reappeared she was covered in mud?”

Kate nodded.

“Kate, is there anything that happened to your daughter that might make her feel dirty?”

Kate looked up, “Yes! I’ve told you that mongrel sexually assaulted her for years!”

Kate settled, “Is that what you think the mud on her is about?”

“What do you think, Kate?”

“I think it’s what the mud is supposed to mean.”

“So then she started choking?” I continued.

“Yes, and nothing I did helped.”

We both sat thinking for a while. Personally, I was contemplating Kate’s last sentence.

“Maybe she wasn’t choking, Kate” I said.


“Maybe she wasn’t choking and that’s why she didn’t respond to your back patting.”

“Then what could it be?”

I waited.

Suddenly she looked up, “She couldn’t talk!”

“Why couldn’t she talk?” I asked.

Kate would not answer.

I asked, “Kate, it’s okay if you don’t want to answer. Just tell me to move on if the reason you aren’t talking is because you don’t want to.”

Kate looked at me directly, something she hardly ever did, and replied, “I don’t want to answer it, I need to... My daughter couldn’t tell anyone because there was no one to tell.”

“Go on.”

Kate sat staring at her feet for a good ten minutes. She didn’t respond or react in any way, she just sat there. Eventually she spoke, “There was no point in her talking. Whenever we would leave, he would track us down, beat me up in front of her, and drag me back to the house. I made so many promises to that little girl. I promised her over and over again that he wouldn’t find us or hurt us ever again. She was let down so many times because I allowed my fear of him to overshadow protecting her.”

“Kate, after the dream you spoke a lot about panic, did you feel any guilt?”

“Massive guilt, always have, always will.”

“When you were patting your daughter’s back in the dream it seems to me you knew she wasn’t choking.”

Kate nodded.

I thought about the impact of my next intended statement, but I made up my mind to make it given the dream described was obviously pushed to the forefront of Kate’s conscious for a reason...

“It seems to me, Kate, that you knew your daughter needed your help.”

“I should have done something”, she whispered, “I’m as bad as he is”.'

More Client Dreams

If you enjoy working out the meanings of dreams and want to read more of our real life client dreams, return to stories from the couch.

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