Free and Professional Dream Analysis and What Dreams Mean
My Mentally Ill Mom
I dream that I argue with my mentally ill mom, who is dead.
There was a factory setting, my mother and her husband were there. We were consulting a doctor concerning different medical tests in which a pregnancy test was the most prominent. She had taken a home pregnancy test that turned out to be positive and I was insisting she take another one with the doctor to confirm that it wasn't just hormonal changes. I was very insistent because she had no reproductive organs both in real life and in the dream. I repeated a few times that she had no organs with which to give birth, but it didn't seem odd until I woke up.
The husband was in the background, just trying to be supportive. After a lot of arguing (in real life she had always been very stubborn), my mother finally mentioned that she had already taken a pregnancy test from another doctor. I remember being very angry that she had not been straight forward with that information instead of giving me a hard time. I collapsed onto a couch very upset, saying something along the lines of needing to prove something because I loved her so much.
I don't remember exactly what I said, but the emotions I was feeling of concern, anger, love, and frustration were so strong that it woke me up.
Main Life Issues:
My mother passed away a few years ago. She isolated herself so much from everyone that it was two weeks before anyone found her dead body. She had been mentally ill most of her life and I was the 'mother' most of mine, taking care of her and my brother. I am now almost 30 years old and am trying to keep our family together. For three years I had stayed away from her, wanting to have my own life. I am on sick leave for depression.
This is a story of someone’s struggle to find the truth and to get validation from a loved one.
Factory Setting: A place of work or drudgery; where things are made.
Consulting a doctor: Seeking healing, and in this case, seeking the truth.
Argument with mother: Reliving the frustrations of your childhood; reliving the push-pull of trying to make sense with someone with mental disorders who could not make sense of things.
Husband in the background: Symbol of your own strong side, supporting you in your journey to heal and find the truth.
I collapsed on a couch: Finally letting go of the push-pull with your mom; a metaphor for acceptance, readiness to let go of the past.
Saying I loved her so much: Your true feelings about your mother, despite the frustrations that her illness created.
What the dream Means:
The dream sounds like the story of your life with your mother, in an intense nutshell. You spent your life trying to take care of her, and yet, because she was mentally ill, it was an impossible task, portrayed in the dream as seemingly wasted efforts.
The dream is an effort by your own psyche to help you heal. It starts by summarizing the nature of your interactions with your mother as you grew up, which were very frustrating. Though it may have been a relief at some level when she died, because it had been such a difficult burden as it would be for any child in that position to be taking care of an unstable parent, you may not have grieved. The dream points out the deep truth that you need to accept and own that love for her, and the grief of losing her, in order to heal and to move on. You were a child needing a parent yourself, yet the dream points out that no matter how frustrating and difficult the role was, leaving you feeling angry, frustrated, alone and unloved for good reason, at a deep gut level, you loved her.
Though you did have to separate yourself for those few years before she died, in order to find yourself and build a healthy life which WAS a good thing to do, when she died alone, those buried feelings of love probably also kicked in a good share of guilt in you.
It sounds to me like you acted wonderfully from start to finish. Yet feelings are feelings. The true healing will come when you see that you loved her and simply accept it. You were not to blame for how she died or the fact that she died alone. In her mental illness, that was the lifestyle she wanted and needed. Let it be. Acknowledge that no one was to blame, not her, not you. It was just the way things were. You did the best you could and it was right for you to move along. She died alone, but that was fine, it was the right circumstance for her. You need to concentrate on letting the ghosts of the difficult childhood heal. Take the time to find a talented therapist who can walk the walk with you, it's easier shared with someone who knows how to light the path home.
Bottom Line: Words in a dream, especially at the end of a dream, often signify the true message. In this case, the dream reminds you that despite all the pain and frustration with your mother, you loved her and she probably loved you just as much, in her own way. Remembering that is the key to healing.
Thank you for this. It is truly appreciated.
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