I’ve had vivid dreams that I can remember since I was a small child. Some of them are mundane, like the one I had around kindergarten age where I am in a covered wagon and Indians are shooting arrows through the tarp. Mostly, however, they are strange and some of them border on Stephen King like symbology.
I also have a tendency to have recurring characters and locations in my dreams. For example, right around the time I drempt of the covered wagon I began to dream about a midget vampire. I was 5 or 6 and he was around the same height as me. I partially blame my cousin Jeanna for that since she is the one that made me watch Dracula. Movies will give me nightmares more readily than anything else.
If my vampire had a name, I don’t recall it. What I remember is years of dreaming about being chased by him. Sometimes he caught me and sometimes he didn’t. He turned me into a vampire once which I was not very happy about. One dream I remember particularly well I suddenly had super powers and jumped to the top of the bunk bed to get away from him. Imagine my distress when he laughed and jumped up there too.
I drempt about him on an off for about a decade and then I had a dream where he popped out of a coffin that was hidden in my wall somehow. He sat up and declared that he was tired of being a vampire and we spent the dream time finding a way to cure him. Eventually we found it. I never drempt about him again after that. I miss him in some ways. You get attached to the figments of your imagination if you spend enough time with them.
I’m telling you all this as background for what this post is really about. One of the other things that will trigger the strange and bizarre in my dreamscape is any kind of emotional distress. Right now I have an interpersonal issue that is driving me around the bend. So it came out in a dream, of course.
I know what the dream is about and what the things in it likely signified. Well, some of them, some of it is just too bizarre. So I decided, out of sheer boredom and a tiny bit of curiosity, to apply traditional dream interpretation to it. The results were…interesting.
The dream starts out in my house, only it isn’t my house. I know it is my house because the walls are all new sheetrock and spackle with no paint. Which is the state of my house right now. The person I’m having the interpersonal issue with suddenly shows up and I drag them down the hallway. Because I need to talk to them alone. Normalish so far. Just wait, it gets weird quickly.
Halfway down the hall I open a door to a room so that we can talk in private and the room is filled with bunnies and baby hedgehogs. While I am standing there going “What the heck” the baby hedgehogs notice us and charge. They were rabid baby hedgehogs. Or at least very angry baby hedgehogs.
Now, I don’t have a lot of experience with hedgehogs of any type but imagine something like this:
Cute, aren’t they? Now visualize them with the blood shot eyes and attitude of this one. Now make there be hundreds of them all coming for you in a mass. It is amazing how the cute can suddenly become frightening when you discover it has claws, fangs and a bad attitude.
Needless to say, we ran. Which wasn’t much of an improvement. Because the room we ran into had cages and cages of dead, dessicated parakeets. The person I was with decided maybe now was not the time for conversation. They tried to leave but I talked them into going to a different house that was mine.
Now this different house is one of my recurring locations. It shows up when I am upset usually and the third floor of it is terribly frightening. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. It just is. Sometimes in my dreams I have to go up there and I am always terrified of that. Fortunately this was not one of those dreams.
We make it to the other house and I try to take them into the back room to talk but when I open the door, you guessed it, there are more rabid baby hedghogs. Also a couple of rats, but mostly the hedgehogs. It is worse this time because they are apparently cannibalizing each other. Before they can come after us, I slam the door shut.
At this point the person I am with tells me that they can’t deal with this any longer and obviously something is seriously wrong with me. So they leave. I wander into the main room of the house and a woman shows up to tell me that it is being foreclosed on. I freak out, because I am sure I paid her. Then I give up and ask if I can at least take my mask collection with me.
The last little bit of the dream involves me packing up a bunch of mardi gras type masks into boxes. I remember in the dream thinking that if only I had come back home sooner I could have stopped the hedgehog infestation but it was too late now. I was sad I think.
Even without interpretation all that is passing strange. With it? It gets even weirder.
Hedgehogs in dreams mean that you are being overly sensitive. They also mean that you are losing your soul. Which is creepy enough but rabies means unexpressed hostility that may erupt in violence and cannibalism symbolizes a destructive and forbidden desire or obsession.
Rabbits mean that you are sacrificing something or that you are acting rashly or being clever. That’s not as bad as the hedgehogs, I must admit.
Parakeets by themselves indicate a lack of spontaneity and initiative. Dead parakeets, however, mean that you have have shut down some aspect of yourself, that you are dead inside because of it. In this case your spontaneity.
Rats signify doubts, greed, guilt, unworthiness and envy. You are keeping something to yourself that is eating you up inside.
Masks suggest that the information that you are receiving from others is being filtered. You are not getting the full information. Others may perceive you as fragile or vulnerable.
Now, if we put all this together, I am a big, hostile cry baby that is danger of losing my soul through hostility and unexpressed anger who might erupt into violence at any moment. I’ve given up something, perhaps rashly, which has caused me to become dead inside.
I am overwhelmed with doubt, greed and guilt and on top of that have a low self-esteem and am envious. I’m sublimating something that is driving me nuts. And someone is either lying to me or not telling me the whole truth because they perceive me as fragile and vulnerable.
Frankly, if I believed even a quarter of that…I’d check myself into the sanitarium tomorrow. I’m staying away from the dream dictionary from now on. Sticking to my own interpretations. Which in this case is that I am frustrated because I need to communicate with someone but I can’t because there are roadblocks that they refuse to try and remove to make it possible.
My interpretation won’t keep me up nights and cost me thousands in therapy bills.