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Dr-A-Green, PsyD
Category: Dream Interpretation
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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I keep getting recurring dreams where I am looking after

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Hi, I keep getting recurring dreams where I am looking after small animals but they keep dying or nearly dying. They have been all different types of animals, but all small: rodents, insects...last night I dreamed I was looking after fish in a tank but they were close to dying. I find these dreams very upsetting as I love animals and am a vegetarian. I want to know what the dream is trying to tell me please? Is there something wrong with me to have such horrible dreams?

Oh gosh - there's nothing wrong with you, I swear! Dreams are symbolic, so my guess is that it actually doesn't have anything to do with animals at all... That said, if my interpretation doesn't ring true to you, please let me know and we can work on it together.

Also - I have a couple of questions, but I'll try to work them into the narrative here.

First off, I think that the animals represent something in your life that you're nurturing - like a goal, or project. Since the animals are small, my guess is that whatever you've been wanting to pursue isn't something huge (like a new career), but is something that you view as a 'hobby' or 'side project' - it's not as if you want to change your entire life, you'd just like to dedicate more time to whatever this is. In your dream, you were having difficulty keeping the animals alive, which seems to say that this goal you've always harbored is kind of slipping away. Perhaps you feel as though you're getting too old to do it, or you tell yourself it's "silly." But your unconscious mind is telling you otherwise. It's telling you that you need to nurture this goal more to keep it going.

However, I'm not sure about the context in which you found yourself - the environment. For instance, was the fish tank clean and sparkly and beautiful, or was it cracked and dingy and in need of repair? These details might give me a bit more to go on. Additionally, how did you feel in the dream (not after you woke up)? What were you doing to keep the animals alive?

Thanks - I look forward to hearing from you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, thanks for your reply.
In my dream I remember the fish tank wasn't brand new but it was in an OK condition - it needed cleaning I think. In this particular dream I was arguing with my mother as she had put the 'wrong' sort of water in the tank so I was trying to put clean water in.
In all of these dreams I have felt anxious to save the remaining animals that are still alive, but also a bit of a failure that some have died in my care. Usually I am alone in the dreams as far as I can remember.

Alright - thank you! The reason I'd asked about the condition of the tank and your surroundings is because I'm guessing that those details correspond with your environment. So, in the fish tank dream, I'm guessing that you feel that your environment isn't exactly 'right' for nurturing your goal or project. You may also feel that others in your life are sabotaging your plans a bit (not necessarily on purpose - like your mother putting the wrong water in the tank). So, all in all, I'd say that you may be dreaming about dusting off some old ideas or pursuing a project, but you feel that you don't have the necessary support to do so. Thus, your stab at this goal keep failing (the animals 'dying'). This may be your unconscious's way of encouraging you to actively pursue whatever this is.

What are your thoughts?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this does make sense to me. I am trying to implement new things in my life (new diet, exercise) to try to improve myself and my life but I haven't managed to do anything productive about it yet. I still live at home with my parents at 28 and am limited by money and work and family so there are lots of obstacles to get around.

Oh, that does make sense then. Your unconscious is just playing out that anxiety of trying to realize your goals with all the constraints. It makes more sense too in that your mother was in the dream. If you live with them, it probably feels like you're often "in the wrong water" when it comes to trying to get things done.

The good news is that you're far from giving up. Your dreams feature a struggle - which can be disturbing, I know - but you haven't succumbed, and aren't hopeless. On the contrary, since your dream self is working so hard to keep the animals alive, that tells me that you have a fair amount of drive left.

Keep at it, and once some progress is made, I think your dreams will change substantially. :)

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