Sample Dream Interpretation
Following is a sample dream interpretation. It follows the model used by the dream interpretation service offered on this site, in which (1) the dreamer is requested to send in a brief description of himself/herself, and the general circumstances of his/her life, plus a detailed account of the dream to be interpreted; (2) the interpretation service replies with a request for more information (if needed), meant to shed light on some of the dream details; (3) the dreamer replies with a follow-up e-mail, providing the information requested; (4) the service provides the final dream interpretation.
The Dreamerís Initial Contact Letter
I am a female, 19 years old. I live with my boyfriend in New York City. Lately I think heís been cheating on me and Iím not happy about the way heís been treating me. This is my dream:
I lost my gold chain. Itís one he gave me. I want my chain back and so I start looking for it and first I have to go thru this long dark tunnel. Itís like in a hill, but inside itís dark and thereís train trax. Iím afraid its so long a train may come before I can get out and I keep listening for a train and looking for headlights and getting real nervous. Then finally I get out and see a house. I think my chain is in that house so I climb a hill up to that house and sneak in a door. Iím afraid to get caught because itís like they could say Iím a burglar even tho Iím only looking for my own chain. So now I start to walk around and around. And then I hear this guy singing and Iím scared heíll find me. I peek around a corner and see him and heís completely naked and very well-built, in fact heís very nice if you know what I mean and Iím sort of excited. But if he sees me Iíll be in trouble because Iíve kind of broken into his house, so I have to keep trying to move away from him which isnít easy because heís walking around from room to room, naked and singing, just like he owns the place, which he does in fact. So Iím trying to move from room to room, one room ahead of him, not to be seen even tho I desire him in a way while Iím still looking for my chain. At last I see a safe with a combination lock and I just know my chain is in there, I donít know how but I do. I bend down to open the safe, but I get worried I may leave fingerprints since I donít have gloves or anything like that. But finally I come up with the idea of using a handkerchief I have to turn the knob and somehow I open up the safe. The numbers to open it are 718 I remember, just like the area code. When the safe pops open Iím surprised to find a doll I had when I was a kid, I take her and give up looking for the chain, I wait for the naked guy to pass thru the hallway and turn a corner and then I try to go out the door which was open when I came in, but now itís locked so I canít get out, but I tell myself itís not fair and Iím angry about it and then itís like that part of my dream changes and the door is open now just like when I came in, so I can leave. As soon as Iím out, I run, because I donít want to risk him seeing me if he stops by to look out a window. And I think thatís when I wake up.
Dream Interpretation Servicesí First Reply
Thanks for your e-mail. The dream seems to have a lot of important content for you, and it looks like I will be able to interpret it.
To help make the interpretation as precise and helpful to you as possible, I am sending you a list of questions about certain details of the dream, and your life. Please answer these questions as best as you can. Your answers will provide valuable input to the final interpretation of the dream.
1. Please describe the chain. Is this chain real (did your boyfriend really give it to you in real life, or is it only in your dream)? What does this chain mean to you, what feelings do you have about it, and why?
2. Do you know a real train tunnel like the one you described? If so, tell me about it.
3. Do you know the house you saw in your dream? If so, tell me about it.
4. Do you remember what the man was singing in the dream? Does that song or music have any special meaning to you?
5. Do you recognize the man you saw in your dream from real life?
6. Can you describe more about the dynamics of your relationship with your boyfriend. For example, is he abusive? Jealous? Possessive? Would he be angry or threatening if you ever said you were going to leave him?
7. What does the 718 area code mean to you? Is that your area code or of someone else you know? Think about what associations come to you with that number.
8. Please tell me everything about the doll that you remember. What did she look like, what were your feelings about her, what did she mean to you?
After you send back the answers to as many of these questions as you can, I will get back to you with my interpretation.
You really ask a lot of questions. I should be a professional typist for this. I will try to answer your questions the best I can, but I donít have answers for everything, thatís why Iím writing to you!
1. Yes the chain is real. Itís gold, just a chain, but it does have my name you know, hanging down from the chain. My boyfriend gave it to me when we first started dating and he was so romantic in those days giving me flowers and everything and promising me he only loved me and he was going to do this and do that for me and he really seemed so much in love.
2. I donít know this train tunnel, I mean maybe thereís stuff like that by one of the train yards, but I never walk that way, itís just like an idea I had in my mind. I do use the subways all the time, but this was pretty different.
3. I donít know the house, itís big and nice though, the kind of house you would like to live in as long you didnít have to keep it clean all by yourself.
4. I donít remember what the man was singing, it was just some kind of song like somebody might sing in the shower, I just donít know it, like something from the radio.
5. No, I donít recognize the man, what really stood out about him was his great body completely naked. I wish I knew a guy like that (well Iím just kidding, well not really but you know what I mean, I hope.)
6. Yes, my boyfriend is all of the above. He is very jealous, if he sees me look at another guy he tells me Respect me, and sometimes he pulls my arm like I think itís going to come off. He doesnít like me to go out by myself or be gone too long in spite of his own disappearing acts. If somethingís not right about something I do he gets really pissed off and like yells at me or tells me something like What the hell were you thinking about? He doesnít really abuse me bad, though he will shake me or hold me by the hair in a nasty way while heís giving me a lecture. But tho heís so possessive about me, like I said heís gone a lot and sometimes he comes back like heís really happy and has had a good time without me, and he used to like to have sex all the time but now he just sleeps and rolls over. And I see the way he looks at girls on the street like he would break his neck trying to look at them. I mean I really do love him because heís very good-looking and has charisma, you just feel it coming out of him and he can be sweet, but now itís like things are really going downhill and itís just not the same it used to be.
7. I live in the 212 area code, and thatís where we live now. 718 is Queens and Brooklyn and the Bronx, and I tried to think about what they meant to me and do associations and something I came up with is that 718 is the area code of well, besides a lot of people I know, especially this boy from Brooklyn who was really shy and wrote me this poem once about The Girl With The Eyes I Want To Heal, he meant with his love, but he was so shy and only average-looking, and my current boyfriend just really blew him away like when the sun is up you canít see the moon or whatever. The boy from Brooklyn wrote his telephone number at the bottom of the poem and I thought about calling him once when I had been drinking and my boyfriend didnít come back but then I thought donít get him in this mess and anyway, life moves on and you canít go back in time to do things differently than you have already done. So thatís the strongest association about 718 I could think of, really.
8. My doll had a long dress like a fancy dress that wasnít quite like a wedding dress but maybe something like somebody in a fairy tale would wear, and I always called her Mari, or The Princess. I slept with her, and I never covered her mouth with blankets or anything that could interfere with her breathing because, like for me it was very important that she should be treated just like a real person. And I told her that one day she would meet a prince and live in a beautiful house or even a palace, and when I played with her princes were always falling in love with her and she was making plans to get married all the time and everything like that.
I hope my answers help and that you can tell me what my dream means!
The Dream Interpretation
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer the questions, they have helped a lot. Here is my interpretation of your dream:
The gold chain you lost represents the concept of love you had, what you were originally searching for, when you first went with your boyfriend. You were hoping for romance, to be treated in a special and loving way, for your dreams to come true.
The loss of the chain in your dream means that you have lost the kind of "true love" you want, that the relationship that remains no longer has that feeling of romance, that freshness and beauty it once had.
Your dream search for the gold chain is really a dream search for the love thatís missing in your life.
As you begin the search, you go into the train tunnel. The darkness represents uncertainty, and the possibility of a train coming represents some degree of danger. You are taking a risk. That risk could be the risk of looking for love itself, the risk of facing the truth (the truth sometimes upsets us or disorganizes our lives), or the risk of making changes in your life.
Tunnels are, also, often thought to symbolize the "birth canal", the passage through which we travel from the darkness of the womb to the light of the world outside - the process of being born, in other words. (In many Near-Death-Experiences, people imagine going through a tunnel as they die and on their way to Heaven - which is another form of birth.) The train tunnel which you saw could also, therefore, represent the experience of making a major transition in your life, of passing from one phase to another, of "being born" into something new.
Climbing up the hill to the house could represent some effort. The height of the house could also symbolize its importance (dominating the landscape of your dream).
You entered the house to look for something that belonged to you - your gold chain, with your name on it, representing the kind of love you believed you deserved. But even so, you felt nervous about coming to claim or to get what was yours. You felt that you could be mistaken for a burglar. This could mean that you felt guilty about taking back what was yours (maybe you would be afraid of hurting somebody else by doing this); or else it could mean that you were afraid that you would be blamed and threatened, because someone else had taken control of what belonged to you, and now considered it to be his property and not yours.
I believe that the naked, singing man who you saw walking around the house symbolizes your boyfriend. He is "everywhere", hard to avoid. You feel that he will interfere with what you have come to do, and there is the idea that if he discovers you - if he learns about what you are up to - that he may try to stop you.
Even though he is an obstacle to your effort to find the chain (romantic/complete/true love), and on the one hand you want to avoid him, on the other hand, there is a part of you that is very much attracted to him and wants to be with him. That interest seems to be largely physical and sexual (though the exact nature of the song he is singing could influence this interpretation). What seems to develop from this symbolism is that your boyfriend is no longer manifesting the kind of love which you want, from the romantic point of view; and yet, you are still very attracted to him sexually (his physical charisma) and this is helping to keep you bonded to him, in spite of your current dissatisfaction.
Finally, you discover that the gold chain is inside a safe. He has it "locked up", meaning he is controlling it right now. Because you are attracted to him and a part of you doesnít want to leave, your hopes to have a romantic relationship are in his hands, and in his power. The part of you that is physically mesmerized by him wonít let the part that is dissatisfied with him pick up and leave.
You are afraid of leaving fingerprints on the combination lock. That indicates that you have some fear of your boyfriend. If he knew what was going on in your head, that you wanted to either leave him, or else increase your "power" (or rights) within the relationship - to challenge his right to have everything his way - then you feel there could be trouble. You donít want to leave a trace. You feel you must be secretive. This is, of course, not a good sign for a relationship, for it implies that you have a lot of doubt about your ability to have genuine communication and dialogue in this relationship. And of course, communication and dialogue are the foundations of any deep relationship, and must, at the very least, be available as resources for problem-solving whenever difficulties arise in a relationship.
The combination that opens up the safe is 718. You have come up with a key association, by linking 718 to the shy boy from Brooklyn who once wrote you a poem. It seems that you sort of rejected him, or left him behind, because your current boyfriendís physical presence overshadowed him. But now you are beginning to see that, although the physical element is very important in a relationship, real love, true love, romantic love, friendship, etc., are even more important, the things we long for most of all in life. As the boyís poem says, that is the kind of love which you feel can really heal the wounds in your soul and heart. The fact that the safe opened with the numbers 718 does not necessarily mean that you should try to look up that boy from your past right now (but it could mean that. You will have to decide.) What it surely does mean is that the kind of love which he represented is what you need now in your life.
When you opened up the safe, you did not find the gold chain, but the doll from your childhood. That doll represents your childhood dreams of the kind of life, the kind of love, you wanted to have. There is still a part of that little child in you, the one who wanted the fairy tale to come true, the one who wanted to be loved, treated like a princess, to be the star of a beautiful romantic movie. When you tried to make all these things come true for your doll, in your childhood games and fantasies, you were also hoping they would come true for you in the future. When your boyfriend gave you the gold chain with your name on it, you hoped that you could realize your dreams through him, that he would be the Prince Charming who would make this fairy tale come true. But times changed, and now he has disappointed you and let your heart down. It is significant that when you opened the safe, you did not find the gold chain which he had originally given you, which suggests that you may not really feel there is too much hope to resurrect your dreams of finding a beautiful and lasting "happily-ever-after" type of romance with him. What you did do was find your childhood doll. You went back to yourself, to your own emotional "roots"; and this suggests that the solution is to get back in touch with yourself, and your heartís true needs. That the happy romantic ending you want may not be "given to you" by your boyfriend, but may be something that you give to yourself, like the weddings which you gave to your doll. By caring for yourself and protecting yourself (like you did with your doll), you may be able to establish the strength and clarity that you need to take whatever actions are necessary to create the situation you want, one that will attract, generate, and develop the kind of love you are praying for. Which will hopefully be physically satisfying, but also romantic, caring and respectful.
In the end, you did not stay in this house, you left. And you did not leave with the gold chain that had been given to you, but with the doll, representing your own ability to love yourself and to create the situation you wanted, to make your own dreams come true.
At first, as you tried to leave, the door seemed locked. You seemed trapped, and said it wasnít fair. This was your subconscious mindís way of recognizing that it is still hard for you to leave your relationship with your boyfriend. You felt he didnít want you to leave, even though you were unhappy and he was treating you badly, and you felt he had the power to make you stay. But then, your willpower surfaced in the dream. A part of you rebelled against the helplessness you felt in this ending, and you created a new ending, in which the door was open, after all, and you could just walk out. This was your dreamís way of telling you that willpower is needed to make changes, things do not, very often, happen magically by themselves; and you were also told that you do have the willpower needed to take charge of your life. If you want out, you do have the strength to leave.
This is my interpretation of your dream. Which is not the same as solving your problem in real life. I always warn people, when dreams seem to suggest major life changes, that they think deeply, outside of the dream, before making any such changes. Making a major change, like leaving a job or a relationship, is not something to be taken lightly. It is a major responsibility, and a major decision, which every individual must make for himself or herself.
In your case, X, it seems clear that your subconscious mind is sending you the following message through your dream: you feel that your relationship with your boyfriend has lost its way, or gone "off course". You want to recover the romance and beauty of a complete love of body, heart, and soul which is what you initially hoped for with your current boyfriend, but which now seems to be missing from that relationship. You are still attracted physically to your boyfriend, a little afraid of the risks of love and the risks of starting over, and also afraid of your boyfriend, in the sense that he may become very angry or even threaten you in an abusive way if you try to leave him. Your dream showed you working through all these doubts and ambiguities, and the result seemed to be that you envisioned yourself rescuing your heart, which longs for real love, by leaving the relationship.
In real life, whether you make such a move or not is up to you. You need to go over the feelings in your own heart very carefully, and to also weigh all the other factors in your life (economic and other). Your decision, your timing, how you handle any choices you make, are all in your hands. Sometimes it is possible to transform a situation without leaving it, if communication is possible, and to save what is good in a relationship while overcoming what is bad. Other times, it may be necessary to leave. The content which came through in your dream suggests that you, at least, on a subconscious level, do not think the chances are too good for transforming the relationship from within, because there does not seem to be the possibility of communication, and the dream atmosphere is dominated by fear or danger, and secrecy. The dream tends to indicate that your own inner compass is pointing towards leaving. But, once again, that is something you will have to think about, and decide for yourself.
If you feel you are in a situation that requires any special support, please refer to the section You Are Not Alone - Services And Resources For Times Of Need, on this web site. Or send an additional e-mail, and I will see if I can point you to any further resources.
Thanks for using this service, and best of luck!
[Note: this dream interpretation is a sample. Though a thorough and helpful interpretation will always be the aim, the length and complexity of interpretations provided by this service may vary according to the nature and complexity of the dreams which are under consideration.]
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