Freud (1913) believed that dreams served as a way to solve unresolved conflicts from the past or present. Think of it like this: all dreams carry a certain theme at a particular time. For example, prior to coming to the States, I had dreams about leaving a place, and seeing my memories dissipate within the stream of time. I found myself sprinting away from the bad guys, hoping that I could save the good guys.
Everything I knew was being destroyed, flooded, burnt, or murdered, and left me feeling completely helpless. One morning I woke up with chills in my body as I attempted to put the pieces together in my mind. As I dragged myself out of bed towards our dinning area, my mother asked me whether I was doing well. She noted that she heard me scream in the middle of the night, and when she came to check up on me, I was fast asleep. I don’t recall this event, but I was aware that I was trying to leave whatever that was keeping me hostage.
After a couple of weeks, the dreams subsided as I became more aware of my situation. They were still powerful enough to shake me, but interestingly, they began to have an ending. Towards the end of each dream, I would call someone on the phone who would say, “you are not alone.” During this stage, my mind became better prepared for my next transitional stage in life, which I believe was a blessing in disguise.
Try to use your dreams as a tool for self-exploration and healing. Some individuals have a dream journal, while others jot down a few words when they wake up. I used to create elaborate sketches so that I could remember the different scenes that occurred in my dreams. At one point, I felt that sketching dreams became daunting and task-like, which caused me to put it off. Eventually, I would try to remember my dreams, but I would forget them by the end of the day. So, it’s really important to make this fun and experiential, otherwise it could definitely be tricky to commit to.
Freud, S. (1913). The interpretation of dreams.