Dear Cynthia: I am 15. I'm on my local dance team, active in my church youth group, and I have a boyfriend. I have been having this dream about once a month for a year.
I dream that I am coming home from somewhere at night. I unlock the door. No one is home and it is dark. As I walk down the hallway, someone jumps out, grabs me and beats me until I wake up, which is when I die. I am never able to make out this man's face.
I was wondering, is this a dream predicting how I am going to die? My boyfriend and my grandpa are both concerned. What does this mean?
Dear Reader: Your nightmare sounds terrifying. Nightmares often are vivid and dramatic and thus easier to remember. A recurring dream is a message from your subconscious mind saying "please pay attention."
First I want to relieve you regarding your question of death. When we dream of death, it usually means "transformation." One part of us is "dying" or "ending" so that another part can be born. For example, when you graduate from college, the student part of your life will be ending and the working member of society will be born. So it practically never means actual death.
But your dream does concern me. Even though most dreams speak in symbols we should never ignore the literal possibility. So, it seems prudent to use caution if you do come home late.
That being said, let's look to the symbols in your dream--you experience a brutal surprise attack. Do you feel beaten up, emotionally or in some other way? As an active teenager, I wonder if your busy schedule leaves you feeling exhausted or beaten up. You may want to schedule some private time to recharge your batteries.
Also, darkness represents the absence of truth or knowledge. Is there any area of your life where you feel vulnerable?
A hallway can represent a passage in life. Perhaps you have some apprehension about growing up and all that will be expected of you as an adult. Since your dream is recurring and disturbing, you might find it comforting to have a conversation with a school counselor or your minister.
Fax your dreams to Cynthia Richmond at (213) 237-0732 or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your hometown and a daytime phone number. "In Your Dreams" appears every Tuesday and should be read for entertainment purposes only.