Our expert says:
It sounds rather patheic for me to say that its obvious that the sort of experience you went through, though long ago, of having to cope with both the personal grief of losing your father ( in a particularly upsetting way ) combined with struggling to pass exams in the most difficult of circumstances, made a major impression on you. It would have been odd if it had not done so. And its likely that anxiety dreams of a similar sense of grappling against the odds with unreasonable difficulties could recur when you are in an analogous situation, such as experiencing work stress and demands while feeling understandably under-resources and alone.
Don't feel shy about describing this - in a real sense unreal fantasy monsters are a less bothersome theme in bad dreams - in these dreams, you face versions of the monsters you reall did face in real life ; and maybe you have drawn conclusions from those experiences that are much less flattering about yourself than they deserve to be - you coped remarkably well and achieved well against the odds, but may not be giving yourself the full credit you deserve for all that.
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