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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question
Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, PhD
Category: Dream Interpretation
Satisfied Customers: 1207
Experience:  40yrs interpreting dreams & connecting conscious & unconscious minds
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I had a dream last night that an intruder broke into a house

Customer Question

I had a dream last night that an intruder broke into a house where I was sat with my best friend and his mother. They didn't notice he was there until he went to step into the room. My friends mum stood up and the intruder ran off, my friend disappeared. I was instantly panicking and went to find him. He was inside this crawl space that was much bigger on the inside but very dark. I could see him sat on the bottom bunk of a bunk bed with a blanket wrapped around him, possibly crying. I remember thinking in my dream "Comfort him." So I went over to him, said his name and pulled him close saying it was going to be ok. I started stroking his hair and continued doing so for a long time, and saying it would be alright. His mother came in, saw that her son was ok and I was looking out for him and went to see if the intruder was still about.
I have looked all over the internet and have seen many things about a man stroking a woman's hair in a dream but none about a womans stroking a mans hair. Any idea what this means?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dream Interpretation
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 3 years ago.
Dr. Norman Brown :

Having a breakin in a dreamnormally symbolizes some new experience or challenge entering unexpectedly into your own personality. I could interpret it better if I know your age and living situation, and whether you are in a romantic relationship in addition to this best-friendship. Also I’d be interested in your ideas on how your friend’s mother is similar to and different from your own mother. It’s quite likely that both characters are in the dream to show you some aspects of yourself, since they don’t notice the intruder as soon as you do. It’s also interesting that the mother seems to be the most powerful person in the dream, NOT the intruder and NOT you. (For in most intruder dreams the intruder is the most forceful person, and when a female dreamer get protection from another character, that’s usually a male.

So does this ability to be the dominant force in a territory an expected characteristic of your friend’s mother? Is it also an expected characteristic of your own mother?

Please don’t assume that this is a dream interpretation yet. I’m just gathering information from you so that I can develop an interpretation.

Customer :

Thank you for your reply, I'm 25 and living with my husband. I have romantic feelings for my best friend, but I think I have confused romantic feelings with caring about him. Both my mother and his mother share very mentally strong personalitys and aren't afraid of much at all, but that's all I really know about my best friends mother. My mother wouldn't think twice about confronting an intruder, she's always always taught me to defend myself so I won't need a man to protect me. But yes, my mother, his mother and even my husbands mother have a very dominant personality, they have never shown any nastiness to me but you just know they are in charge.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 3 years ago.

Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

I keep writing, even tho your response didn't show up on this window yet. I remember it well enough.

There's a lot for me to chew on, especially because you have a triplicated family constellation in your dream and comments: Strong mother, one offspring, absent father. I'm not going to try to teach you Jungian depth psychology now, because it takes too much time and typing. I'm going to use your imagery instead.

This tripled family structure is pretty normal for a woman your age; you appear to be going inward as part of your young adult development. The best friend as male suggests that you may be not yet ready for a full-fledged adult marriage, indicated by splitting your erotic energies between two young men.

The dependent young male crawling away from the intruder represents your own masculine side that returns to the womb--that is symbolically becomes "unborn" (going inward, introverted energy) in preparation for being reborn at some later time. So it would be a good time to study psychology, write your dreams down for interpretation, read books about becoming a woman.

The Intruder IS the only representative of the absent father in this inner landscape, and the strong mother only needs to stand up for him to flee. Is your husband (like your best friend) a "soft male" that is very supportive and understanding of women and not very aggressive? What happened with all 3 of the fathers in your 3 family constellations?

It's possible that the women in your life, including yourself, are each doing well as replacing the lost father/husband as the "man of the house," but this may make it harder for you to develop a whole female personality. I wonder if you're in a place in your life where you could do reading and study of psychology (like my wife did at that age)--because some women can't because they're in graduate school or they're very eager to have a baby. I imagine those mothers could want you to have a baby, but it would not be good for you at this time, because you need to be giving new birth to yourself instead. If you do want to look into some psychology of womanhood, I suggest Knowing Woman, a Feminine psychology Irene Castillejo.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 3 years ago.
Abbie (I like your name) There's actually some neuroscientific theories around now about your age bracket has gone thru "pruning back" of neuronal structures from 16 on (wild years) and is now rebuilding a new personality structure for adulthood (and see also LouAnne Brizendine, The Female Brain)--so going inward to a womblike hole-up is appropriate. But you need to get beneath that crawlspace to find your deeper roots in the unconscious soil of your ancestry and species.
I hope my comments aren't too scattered, but I'm not trying to do a word by word exegesis yet. I want to know if you resonate to the ways I'm mapping your inner family landscape and your developmental threshold.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You have said a lot that has resonated with me, although my father lived with us until I was 11, he was very distant and I never really felt like I knew him. I don't even have any memories of him until after I was 10 years. Also the past year or so, I have found myself trying to become more feminine, I have found that I am uncomfortable with not really having that feminine energy.

My husband is very much the soft male, he is very gentle and understanding and I find that I am the defender and the breadwinner of our family which seemed almost natural to me. He had the same situation with his father as I did, present but very distant. My best friend has a softer side but overall is very masculine although his father left him when he was 2 years old.

Yes, I am getting a lot of pressure from my mother in law to have a child, but I am not in the right frame of mind or place in life to even consider it.

I agree wholeheartedly that I need to find myself. I was in a very traumatic and abusive relationship from the age of 15 to 18 years old which is obviously a very important time for personal development, so I believe that experience stunted my growth as a person. I have purchased the book you have recommended, I'm just waiting for it arrive.

Thank you again.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 3 years ago.

Abbie, Thanks for joining our dream discovery team. The paradoxical details are very revealing. The character chosen to represent your masculine side is not your husband, but the more masculine-appearing friend--yet HE retreats to the household womb when the absent father intrudes on the matriarchal household. Your disturbing attraction to him is an unconscious message that you need to give rebirth to an authentic masculine strength in your own personality instead of settling for women who can manage a masculine role. When your parents don't embody the masculine and feminine energies with sufficient involvement to help you constellate your own (all parents have deficiencies) you have to go to work inside to create your own.

My daughter's agemate (born 3 days apart same hospital) finds herself married without passion and having an affair with another guy who has what she needs: a passionate drive towards a worldly goal. Castillejo's book will teach you about the animus and anima symbol-figures (see wikipedia for intro to them). Erotic feelings are noticed where one's personality is reaching out toward future growth.

I warned about your mother(s) wanting you to bear (them) a grandchild, because it's very "normal" in a society that doesn't have well-known worldly & spiritual paths for women after motherhood for mothers to want to keep their "oldest profession" by quickly becoming grandmothers, so they don't have to find some new way to serve their social & spiritual growth in the "empty nest." It sounds like you have good intuition about what you're ready for in your life--and your interest in the friend may also represent part of your own need to expand your personality beyond the marital union BEFORE you have to retreat from the outer world to raise a baby.

It's also the father's mission to mentor both daughters and sons thru their efforts to step out from the maternal nest, despite the mother's sorrow at "losing" ;them and (sometimes) her efforts to be a "too good mother" from whom they'd never want to separate. For example, many of my college girl students would declare "My mother is my best friend," and they expected to find a job back home after graduating. Then look at the reversal of this mythic pattern in your dream: The towering mother's mere rising to her feet makes the Intruder-Man run away and the twentysomething son crawl back into the lowest womb in the house.

Do you like to write? Could you make up a folk tale? Why don't you imagine a dream-adventure-drama, practice visualizing scenarios before bed--and perhaps you'll get some related dream imagery too. Imagine and write an adventure story as a brave young princess to whom a mysterious knight suddenly appears on a horse at the front gate and then gallops off into the night. But instead of retreating to the bunkbeds to soothe her frightened brother, she goes out after the fleeing horseman to find out who he is and what he wants. You could write the story here, or if you want more privacy, agree to an extra fee for "additional services" that I'll post, and then we could carry on both folkloric and book-development work thu Skype & email as private channels. Either way is OK with me.

Did you ever talk thru your early relationship with a therapist?That damaging relationship might have crushed your natural adventure of leaving mother for love of a man, and this marriage may represent a healing-recovery coupling afterwards.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 3 years ago.
PS. Another very good book full of folk tales for women is Clarissa Pinkola-Estes Women Who Run With The Wolves. This one could seed your imagination for your own development and give examples of folktale style too.