Dreams of Teenagers
SWEET SIXTEEN MEETS A BIG BAD WOLF—THE DREAM:I was in the woods alone. It was all peaceful. I was in a pink lace and satin dress, had curled my hair, was wearing flawless make-up, and sat barefoot by a stream. I see a big black wolf. It laid its head in my lap. I petted it and it turned into my best guy friend. He looked into my eyes and his green eyes glowed. Then he kissed me. After he kissed me, he said "I love you!”FELT HOW: In love, happy.MAIN LIFE ISSUES: Age 16. Pain, trust issues, regret. Age sixteen.STORY LINE: Someone treats something scary with kindness and discovers there is nothing to fear.SYMBOLS:Alone in the woods: In a vulnerable place, unprotected.Pink satin dress: Similar to a prom dress, a symbol of a special event and being a star, yet young and vulnerable.Curling one’s hair: Dressing up, preparing for a special event; in this dream, a metaphor for “getting ready for love.”Barefoot: Unprotected path, a metaphor for not yet prepared for life’s challenges.A wolf: On the dating scene, a wolf is a male who is on the prowl and looking for love. A wolf can be a compliment or warning depending on the context.Wolf becomes a friend: Something scary becomes likeable.WHAT IT MEANS:The dream shows how, at age sixteen, you are exploring your feelings about love, attraction, sex and passion. The dream is a story about extremes—a vulnerable young girl versus a big bad wolf. The wolf is a symbol of your curiosity about love. The dream tells you that even though you feel vulnerable, that will change. By treating the opposite sex with kindness, you will see their friendly side. The dream may also hint that you may flirt with the idea of having sex. Dreams like this one help you understand yourself and life, they are not invitation to act.BOTTOM LINE: Gaining confidence in love and in life takes time and just being a good friend.
GETTING A GIRL’S ATTENTION—THE DREAM: I was lying on a bed in the middle of my beloved's street. Suddenly, she came out on the balcony and yelled at me to get out of the road. I told her to leave me alone and covered myself up with a bed sheet. Then I saw her in the supermarket buying spaghetti, carrots, lemons and a single onion.FELT HOW: Anxious, nervous.MAIN LIFE ISSUES: I love a girl and want to talk to her (age 17).STORY LINES: (a) Someone responds badly to something that is out of place. And (b) Someone picks up items for a dish that people love. SYMBOLS:Bed on a Street: An inappropriate act, doing something foolish.Middle of the Road: A vulnerable place, too open.Supermarket: A place that offers items that nurture.Spaghetti: A meal people love, a popular item.Vegetables: Carrots, lemons and onions are healthy items that add flavor and spice to a dish.Cooking a Favorite Meal: Preparing a healthy dish someone will love.A single onion: A little bit of an intense item, just enough to add flavor and spice, hence a metaphor for not overdoing something, showing restraint.WHAT IT MEANS:Love at age seventeen is a different than love at age thirty or forty. The dream has two messages. It deals with your fear or anxiety about making a fool of yourself, and hints that you need to be appropriate in how you approach the girl you hold dear. The part about shopping for ingredients and a spaghetti dinner suggests it is important to learn how to do things right and present yourself in a way she will enjoy and like.The dream tells you that talking to a girl does not need to be drastic or awkward. Jumping in with both feet and acting silly (bed on street) does not work. Talk about something she enjoys and ask about things she does. That is the equivalent of making a spaghetti dinner everyone loves. The healthy lemons, carrots as symbols tell you to do things right and you will get results. It will also make you loved and popular with girls and everyone else.BOTTOM LINE: In time everyone learns how to be natural in romance. Talk about things of interest to her and to you and ask questions.
I HAVE SUPERPOWERS—THE DREAM: I am walking to the store when I see a rainbow. The rainbow shrinks and gives me superpowers. The government locks down the town in which I live. My family and I are hiding from the government and as time passes, I gain new powers.FELT HOW: Good.MAIN LIFE ISSUES: Age 15. Life is not good.STORY LINE: It’s a story about becoming powerful.SYMBOLS:Walking: Going forward slowly; limited in how one moves forward.A rainbow: Something beautiful; beauty after a storm as a metaphor that even after challenges, good things will come about.Shrinking, becoming small: Something good retreats, disappears; a metaphor for losing something that was inspiring or helpful. Superpowers: Skills or abilities that enable one to overcome a great deal; a metaphor that says you have great potential and will succeed.Hiding: Not safe, feeling insecure, threatened.Hiding from the government: Fear of those in authority.WHAT IT MEANS:At age 15, life can feel difficult and for some, there are many challenges even at a young age.The rainbow hints that you have a whole array of special talents and abilities. A rainbow also denotes a happy ending after a storm, suggesting that even though circumstances are challenging now, life will get better and you will find happiness. The dream says you have the skills and power to succeed, talents you may yet discover.The image of the government locking down the town speaks of living in a place or circumstance that makes you feel hemmed in or held back; it suggests that you feel extremely limited. Yet in the dream you gain great power, so in time you will overcome all obstacles.BOTTOM LINE: Your life is difficult now but that will change. The dream is an assurance that you will succeed because of strength and talent – those are your superpowers. In the long run, all will be well.
GRAY EYES AND MASKS—THE DREAM: I dreamed I was in a restaurant where the floor was like a chess board, in the middle of the ocean. There were waves, yet it was peaceful. A little girl with a mask was holding her mother's hand and looking at me; then I saw myself as if a few years younger then I am now (I am 26, in the dream I'm around 22). I had long blond hair (I have blond hair) and a mask, like the little girl. In the last scene, there is a men who also wears a mask; all I could see were his cold, yet amazing, gray eyes.FELT HOW: Without feelings.MAIN LIFE ISSUES: Work, love, work again.STORY LINE: It is a story about extreme contrasts.SYMBOLS:Chess Board: Something that requires calculated thinking.Ocean: Water as emotions, the ocean as a lot of emotions.Mask: Not showing who or what one really is.Face: One’s calling card, what one shows, reveals to others.Younger version of self: Image that directs you to something in your past, in younger years, as related to the issue in the dream. WHAT IT MEANS:A chessboard is a metaphor for intense thought and the ability to use the brain. Water often refers to feelings and being in the middle of the ocean is an image of intense feelings. These images for an extreme contrast of intellect versus emotions. As further contrasts, a little girl has tender emotions and yet the man in the mask has cold grey eyes, which is an image of no emotion. Both of them wear masks, hiding themselves.The dream suggests that you are trying to reconcile deep feelings with strong mental abilities. Ideally, these traits work together but if there has been pain or trauma, mind and emotions can separate out, at least in certain circumstances, and cause problems by compromising one’s ability to relate to people. Seeing a younger version of yourself suggests that something traumatic in your past created this push-pull between mind and heart, intellect and feelings. When something is painful, one way of coping is to push away the related feelings and "intellectualize." However, such a "dam" between feelings and the incident, eventually tumbles. The dream invites you to explore the pain and deal with it, possibly with the help of a counselor. BOTTOM LINE: The dream indicates a need to balance emotions and intellect, whether as a current phase or as a main character requirement. For your best success in life, it’s important to amalgamate your head and heart.
CLAWED AND BLEEDING—THE DREAM: I'm standing in a twilight nothingness on an invisible floor. I see a girl at the other end who means a lot to me and who I love, but her eyes are gone and smudged in black. She looks like a zombie. Her eyes are just shadows and her mouth is a gaping hole of nothing, her skin is white. She laughs or screams, sometimes a strange combination of both. She walks toward me. I feel metal claws on my shoulder and cannot move. Next, I hear scraping against wood, a sound I hate that actually gives me minor spasms. She turns me around to face her and screams at me, grabs my arms and my arms bleed. Then she lets go, my left hand has a slit down it which is bleeding and I have a carving knife in my right hand. She laughs or screams and then I wake up. It is happening every night.FELT HOW: Scared, lonely, humiliated, horrified. Feel unwanted. Age fifteen.MAIN LIFE ISSUES: Age 15. Mum lives away, not with me. The girl is the only person who I've ever truly trusted.STORY LINE: Someone watches a loved one turn into something scary.SYMBOLS:Twilight: When sun disappears; in this case, a metaphor of getting darker, feelings becoming sad.No floor or invisible floor: A play on words for no solid ground on which to stand, a metaphor for feeling lost with no emotional anchor.A close friend: Someone one loves, source of support and strength.Zombie and smudged black eyes: Zombie is a metaphor for what has died, what is in the past, yet haunts you; something is scary.Laughing and screaming: Contradictory feelings; metaphor of trying to look normal yet in great distress and pain.Claws that draw blood: Feelings that take hold, dig deep. Another image that describes intense, painful feelings.A carving knife: What digs deep, creates a strong reaction.WHAT IT MEANS:Dreams often exaggerate to make a point, and at age fifteen, feelings can be very intense. The friend in the dream is a symbol of what makes you feel anxious and scared. Your mother does not live with you and dreams process the hurt you feel of not being close to your mum. That does not mean that your mother does not love you, it merely mirrors the pain you feel at not having her around.BOTTOM LINE. At times dreams help you digest painful feelings and that is likely what these recurring nightmares are about. If possible, reach out to your mum by phone or in other ways to compensate for her absence. Or spend time with other adults or friends who can be there for you, to fill the gap. It is important to talk to someone about your pain.
GROWING BLACK WINGS—THE DREAM: I was bitten by a winged creature and sprouted two large, black wings like those of a raven, from my shoulders. I could feel every muscle in my wings as though they were really there. I so vividly remember learning to flex and bend my new muscles, and the struggle that using my new appendages presented to me. And when I finally did fly, it was the greatest feeling I have ever felt.FELT HOW: Excited.MAIN LIFE ISSUES: Age 17, thinking about what lies ahead.STORY LINE: It is a story about new skills and achieving great joy and freedom.SYMBOLS:Bitten: Something that penetrates, breaks through. In this case, a metaphor for a breakthrough in life such as college or new directions.Winged creature: Mythical character that jumpstarts an initiation.Black: The color black can relate to death, as a symbol of transition.Flexing muscles: Being in touch with oneself, trying things out.Struggle with new tools: Need to work hard to achieve results.Flying and loving it: Achieving freedom, rising above a situation; a great accomplishment.WHAT IT MEANS:The dream is a fantastic metaphor as a turning point about growing up, as a teenager. It tells you that as you go forward into young adulthood, much awaits you and you will love it. Sprouting wings shows you are ready and eager to develop talents and skills (e.g. by college or education). Because you enjoy taking flight, the dream says that you will succeed and the experience will feel great. You will soar and achieve much.This type of dream is called is called a Signal Dream—one of 27 kinds of dreams outlined in my book. A signal dream alerts you to what is on the horizon, and what is on the horizon for you is spreading your wings in a way that leads into adulthood and brings joy and success.BOTTOM LINE: A great dream. Go for it!
JEALOUSY AT A PARTY—THE DREAM: My friend came down to Cape Town to visit me yet wasn't spending any time with me. She was with my brother and every now and then I’d ask her to spend time with me and she refused. I got angry, went to my room and started throwing things, then went to her again. As I opened the door someone called me. I turned; I saw myself at a party sitting next to this hot guy I know, we were in a back room, talking. His put his arm around me. When I looked again, my friend was next to him. I pulled her to sit on the other side of me so I was in the middle. He showed me selfies as pictures of him with his arm around me and our heads leaning together in a cute romantic way. He asked for my number; as I was about to give it to him, I woke up!!FELT HOW: When I woke up it was really nice, but sad because it was a dream.MAIN LIFE ISSUES: Will this happen to me the next party I go to?STORY LINE: Someone wants attention and gets it from a different source than expected. There is anger when things don’t go your way, but when you relax and let things happen, it goes your way.SYMBOLS:Having a Party: Place of meeting others in a relaxed way.Taking a Selfie: Noting the moment; or, a metaphor of fun sharing. WHAT IT MEANS:The dream says you don’t have to be jealous of anyone or behave badly to get your way. It tells you to relax and be friendly as the way to attracting a nice guy. BOTTOM LINE: Relax, be confident and friendly.
KISSING A FRIEND—THE DREAM: I dreamed a friend I’ve known for a month was holding and kissing me.FELT HOW: Happy, loved.MAIN LIFE ISSUES: Shy, lonely. STORY LINE: Someone gets close to another. SYMBOL: Kissing: A kiss is not always a sign of something romantic. Sometimes it's a metaphor for getting close.WHAT IT MEANS:The dream hints that you may become friends with the new person and that something romantic could evolve out of that friendship. However, because you are shy, the dream may simply denote you’ll get to know him better and become friends.BOTTOM LINE: Become a friend and see what happens. If it’s friendship, it helps you overcome shyness; if it becomes something more, that’s an added bonus. You’re young and have lots of time to gain confidence, so either version is a step in the right direction.
SUFFOCATED—THE DREAM:I dreamed I was sitting in my sister's living room talking to my brother in-law and he want me to read an article on nutrition. As I took the article and was about to open it, I hear a soft voice outside the window calling my name. As I answer, a hairy creature, like a big cat, jumped on my face. I couldn't breath or call my brother-in-law or sister for help and the creature was trying to hump me. I finally got the strength and courage to push it off and woke up shouting "get off of me".FELT HOW: ScaredSTORY LINE: Something gets in a face and tries to screw and overpower them, but someone successfully defends self.SYMBOLS:Can’t breathe: Not able to find one’s voice or strength.Article about nutrition: Learning what is healthy, what is good for you.Hairy Creature: Something that crosses boundaries, gets too close.In your Face: A confrontation, an attempt to overpower.WHAT IT MEANS:The dream is a heads up about someone trying to confront or overpower you with words or influence you in a negative way, but you successfully defend yourself. The dream is an encouragement to assert yourself and stay in control and shows that you can. BOTTOM LINE: Dreams exaggerate to make a point and as a teenager, you are learning how to assert yourself; if possible, do so constructively.
ATTACKED AT SCHOOL—THE DREAM: I was at my high school in a long, narrow hallway. The left side was all wall with an open door at the end leading to the school. The right was rows of doors, like sliding closet doors. As I walked with other students, a door slides open and two SWAT team men scream, “the gunman is shooting, the attack must be personal.” The SWAT men tell us to run; others didn't hear but I do, and I run, and the SWAT men are shot in the head. Students go crazy, it gets chaotic, teachers are screaming and kids are crying, people are being shot. I pick up a Golden Handgun and start shooting at the shooters and run to the open door at end of the hall. I almost get there before I’m shot in the back a couple of times. I wake up screaming and crying, I can feel myself dying. I woke up terrified.FELT HOW: Terrified.MAIN LIFE ISSUES: Age 15. Death and School. STORY LINE: Someone is given a heads up about an attack and those who warn them about the attack are destroyed. A special tool brings partial success, though the tool user does not go unscathed. SYMBOLS:SWAT team: Those who help others through a drastic encounter.Shooting: An attack; verbal attacks and snipes.Death: Change, a lot of change.WHAT IT MEANS:The dream is not about a shooting at your school. Most dreams are metaphors and dreams exaggerate to make a point. The dream is about verbal attacks and hurtful remarks that teenage friends exchange in "the school of life." Gossip at school and verbal sniping can cause a lot of emotional chaos and even when you try to defend yourself, you get hurt, which is what the dream shows. You have likely experienced such nastiness and as a new school year gets close, you are getting anxious about what may happen with friends or cliques, which the dream mirrors. Dying at the end suggests there is a lot of change going on in you and your life, and that can be good. We grow and change, we get stronger. VISITING SICK FRIENDS—THE DREAM: For some reason I went to the hospital with my mother and we sat down in the waiting room. I see two people from school, Josh and Aaron, people I barely talk to. They come in and sit down but do not see me. I go to their examination room and peek at their files. The files list questions asked by a therapist or psychiatrist and what caught my eye was that both of their answers hint at abusive lives at home. Strangely, though we are not really friends, I wait until they are done with their appointments, and then they hitch a ride home with me and my mom.FELT HOW: Surprised.MAIN LIFE ISSUES: Age 13. Feel self conscious.STORY LINE: Someone discovers that others experience hidden pain.SYMBOLS:Hospital: Where diagnoses are made, where help is given.An acquaintance: Someone you know but feel no connection with.Medical files: Private information; a record of one’s history or pain.Therapist or psychiatrist: Someone who understands another’s problems and their origins. Questions and answers: Learning, looking for meaning or resolution.Abuse at home: Challenges that are not obvious to others; hidden pain and circumstances.WHAT IT MEANS:The dream shows someone noticing the hidden pain that people suffer and indicates that you are growing in sensitivity and awareness. As you realize that others also suffer in silence, you will become less self conscious and more confident.BOTTOM LINE: The fact that you give these acquaintances a ride home shows you are a good friend and like to help others. Caring and reaching out will help you become confident and successful.BOTTOM LINE: The dream invites you to work on your self confidence. Confront your fears in the next school term. Own your confidence and decide how to handle nasty words, gossip, and people. Talk to good friends or adults about such strategies. That can help.