Friday, February 1, 2013

Beloved Pet Attacks


A friend of mine gave me your address after she had written to you about a dream she had. Your analysis was right on. I am hoping that you could provide some insight into a recurring dream that I have been having lately. It has only happened a handful of times over the past few months, but each time it has disturbed me. While the dream has been different each time, a certain occurrence remains almost the same.

Just a little background. When I was growing up my family had a pet cat named Sam. He and I had an instant bond, as people with pets often do, and he was soon known as "my" pet more than any other of the family. I loved Sam, and I knew he loved me.

Now on to my dream:

The first time I had the dream I was alone. I was sitting on my couch and Sam was under the coffee table. He was in a playful mood and I was putting my hand down and quickly taking it away as I often did when I played with him. Suddenly, he got a malicious look in his eye. He jumped from under the coffee table and bit into my neck, his paws wrapped around me, claws digging into me. I was terrified! I tried to get him off without hurting him but knowing that I would have to hurt him to do so, but his grip was too strong...I woke up with a gasp at that point.

Last night I had another dream. I was sitting in a kitchen chair that my family had as I was growing up. I don't think I was in my childhood home, however. I remember there being someone around, a friend, but I cannot say who and I don't think it was very important in the dream. Sam was there again. But instead of attacking me, he jumped and attacked the back of the kitchen chair. Still I was terrified, it was almost as if he was attacking me and not the chair. I had the same feelings--not wanting to hurt him because I loved him and he didn't know any better because he was just a cat but needing to hurt him to make him stop. He had changed and I didn't know what to do. At this point I woke up.

I almost feel as if it's a trust issue, here's this thing I love but it ends up hurting me. I have been hurt plenty of times before, and I have a really hard time opening up and trusting men that I date. I just started a new relationship, but I cannot remember if the first dream I had was before or after it began. I am also growing apart from a friend that brought me much comfort when I was going through a bad spell. I don't feel that bad about it though, it just seems natural that we are going our own separate ways. Anyhow, I just thought this might help with the analysis.

This recurrence has been very disturbing and I am not sure what to make of it. Can you help?

Thank you,

Good morning, Stephanie.

Given who Sam was to you, we have to equate his dream image to someone whom you also love, and from whom you expect love in return. Not only that, but he would never have hurt you as he does in the dreams, nor would you hurt him. So this is someone that you already love and trust.

With that in mind, we now look at his dream behavior. He's biting and clawing, hanging on so tightly that you cannot remove him without hurting. This can indicate a tightly-clinging behavior. Biting into the back of your chair can refer to "back-biting." Biting your hand sounds exactly like "biting the hand that feeds you."

All of this behavior is undoubtedly a betrayal of trust, but not on your part. It is coming from someone who means a great deal to you, or at least used to - I'm thinking an ex, a close friend, or even a family member - I rather doubt it's your current love interest, but we should remain open to the possibility. This person is hurting you in many ways, and it looks as if the only way to stop it is to end the relationship permanently. You are reluctant to do so for the very reasons you outline from your dream: you don't want to hurt Sam, just as you don't want to hurt this person.

Your dreams don't seem to be giving you any alternatives, though. It looks as if ending the relationship is your only way to keep from being hurt more. The only suggestion I can give here is, do it as quickly and kindly as possible - but do get out of it.

Pleasant dreams,


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