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Dream Interpretation: My Abusive Ex’s Dog Bites Me

Mon, May 2, 2011

Advice, Dream Interpretation

photo via Flickr

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. This week, a reader asks Lauri:

My ex boyfriend and I broke up last summer. My ex was abusing drugs, and I was there for him to help him try to get sober. One day, I tried to break up with him and he threatened me so I stayed with him and suffered the consequences. The relationship ended up very bad. Ever since, I’ve been having dreams about him, that he wants to hurt me and how much he hates me. In my dream he punched me and threw me everywhere. Also he had his dog bite me — it left marks on me. I felt the burning pain of the bites. I also fainted in my dream. As I woke up I had tears running down my face.

Lauri: This breaks my heart. But unfortunately, your situation and the resulting dreams are far too common. Sigh. Being in an abusive relationship is a form of trauma because you live in constant fear while in the relationship and experience physical harm to your body and/or emotional harm to your mind. And when the relationship is finally over, you are changed and you are scarred… or so it seems.

This is exactly what your dreams reflect: the emotional scars you are living with. In your dreams he wants to hurt you because you are still emotionally stuck in that state of mind that you could get yelled at or hurt in a moment’s notice. Additionally, you are also emotionally hurt by how things went. You gave an awful lot of yourself to him and supported him through a very rough time and, despite that, he treated you badly. That reality still hurts, doesn’t it?

He punches and throws you around because you are probably beating yourself up over this and throwing around all kinds of excuses, thoughts and ideas in your head as to why things turned the way they did.

The hate he is spewing at you in the dream may be connected to how he made you feel in real life, like he hated you. You certainly don’t hit or even threaten to hit people that you love. And on a deeper level, the hate being directed at you may also be contempt you have for yourself.  I have counseled countless women that have been through abusive relationship and what they all have in common is anger at themselves, anger for allowing themselves to be in a relationship like that for so long. That being said, a big part of your healing is to forgive yourself.

In the end, he lets his dog bite you. The dog actually symbolizes the relationship itself and your loyalty toward each other. The dog bites you because choosing to remain loyal to the relationship and not follow through with your break up, essentially, came back to bite you.  You feel the burning pain because it still hurts emotionally. Physical pain in a dream can always be connected to emotional pain in waking life.  The bite left marks because you are currently bearing the emotional marks of the trauma.

The good news is that marks do not have to turn into scars. Notice how you didn’t even refer to them as scars? That is a tell-tale sign that you are likely to heal nicely from this situation. And the first step, as I mentioned before, is to forgive yourself and stop beating yourself up. When you can do that, you may find that any anger or fear or negative feelings you have been holding on to regarding this relationship will be much easier to let go of.  If you need to get professional help to let this go, then do.  It is crucial that you do let go because you DO NOT want to bring any of that into a new relationship. That will be unfair to you and to any new boyfriend you have and will be a recipe for misery. You deserve a loving, lasting relationship that builds you up, not tears you down.

Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it. Anonymity guaranteed! And don’t forget: you can get access to Lauri’s Instant Dream Decoding Dictionary on her site.

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