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Question
Posted by: Tracey | 2012/06/25

Dream about school

I matriculated in 1983. My father committed suicide during my prelims and we (my brother and I) were taken out of school so we wrote exams in December without studying but managed to pass.

The reason I am telling you this is because I am now 46 (female) and for the past 10 years especially I have a dream that is now really beginning to bother me. I wake up sodden with sweat and sometimes wake up with a jolt:

I dream that I am at school desperately trying to get copies of the matric setwork books. I go to the Principal, I ask the Personnel Dept. I even end up at some sort of govermental department searching with no success. In my dream I am preparing for matric. I have less than 3 months to go and have studied nothing, the time dwindles away. I can''t get the books. Then I am wandering around without the classroom timetables and I can''t find my class. I end up panic-stricken.

I did have some counselling after my father died. I thought maybe it could be because of his suicide anyway? Or the fact that I feel under a lot of pressure at work to succeed and keep myself &  one parent going as I am single with no family to really rely on.

One would expect a dream to be horrendous with monsters and what-not, so I almost feel shy to tell someone about this dream of mine.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

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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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/06/25

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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