The JustAnswer computer system has stopped sending any customers' responses on to our home email addresses, and around half of all customers lose interest without any warning. I'm sorry, but my awareness that we had started but weren't making any progress fell thru the cracks. It was incumbent on ME to offer more information. My caregiving for both wife and daughter is the highest time commitment in my life, but this work and my developing book on the emotional dynamics of love are the principal rewards that keep me working with my craft, since I don't have time to transfer my license from FLA to GA and build a therapy practice here.
It's been a long time, but the transcript of our conversation is right in front of us. The keys to what your dreams might show/tell you that you DON'T already know about yourself lie in the contradictions between dream content and waking-life experience plus thoughts, feelings & convictions. But you have to be as precise as possible about what the place Looks Like where you are in your dream... So you also have to pick a particular dream -- for which you might know a possible triggering event/thought/feeling--such as "getting ready to go to Croatia/Italy" or "hassle with boys' father."
No, I'm not a psychic, but 50+ years of dream interpreting (40+ professionally) make some intuitive leaps possible. The psycho-logic of dreams is very elegant, if not as rigid as Aristotelian logic. Freud discovered some of it, Jung became a consummate master, and others have continued to find new wrinkles.
There's enough specificity in one dream-place to point out one "place" where your spiritual hero-journey could be fruitful if you choose to commit some energy&time to it: "Often times I am staying in large homes with many rooms to explore." Your mind has many rooms to explore; and if your significant relationships show up there even peripherally, those rooms & linkages might be available to understand more psychologically/deeply than you do now. That means dream- and personal-life analysis of the Jungian & neofreudian types, in which your childhood hangups are not the goal, but your creative personality development towards the wisdom, service and integration that your Higher Power uniquely intends for you. The journey INWARD takes just as much courage as the journey to distant lands. Your own psychic symbol-language uses the images of your travels, just as one of my own symbol-languages uses my own history of high mountain living and exploring, as well as some of my own 5yrs worth of European travels.
One more generalized dream-situation you mention is this: "The roads are confusing and I get worried about getting on roads that are too crowded or full of overpasses." So when YOU're driving, you're conducting an "auto"nomous (ie self-directed) hero-search/PILGRIMAGE, NOT a "guided tour" led by some professional who decides FOR everybody WHAT THEY SHOULD SEE(K). And you DON'T want to get confused by following a crowded (ie mass-society) life-trajectory-- NOT a pilgrimage that "everybody else" is also following. Nor do you want to get confused and "PASS OVER" some essential goal/treasure that was YOURS ONLY to discover! [Isn't it exquisite, how artistically accurate your own dream-word-symbols can be?!]
Comparison: In my 5 college-age years in Europe (60's), 1 subsequent family trip (1989) & 4 solo mountain walking tours since 2000, I never went on ONE guided tour, not even of a city or museum. For I had to be free to let each essential treasure & epiphany surprise me without predictions or preconceptions--and I never drove a car, but took public trains, buses and boats and hitch-hiked. To maximize SURPRISE in who I met. I didn't even know until I married a veteran of Jungian analysis in 1985 what SYNCHRONICITY was! I BET you know that concept and it's a major source of fulfillment on your own travels -- since those magic meetings of unexpected meaning are the equivalent in daily life of the enlightening finger of dreams, and they're much more likely to spark during foreign travel.
To really carry out an exploration first depicted in one of your dreams, you have to be as complete and detailed in your transcription of a dream as you can, including what might have triggered it. For the keys to any dream's meaning (if it's not just anyold generic "big house with many rooms" that you don't see ANYTHING inside of at all) are the differences between what you Actually see & experience, what aspects of YOU you are in the dream, and all the other thoughts, expectations, fragments and tangents you collect from that dream.
I still don't know enough about any of your dreams to go into any depth with you. So let's consider the dilemma you have in your life at just about 40 (what day in October?). Your wanderlust seems to lead you into guilt about leaving your boys behind, but your Higher Power Dream-director doesn't want you to come back to the humdrum until you've discovered or experienced something you can't seem to find in your multivoyage waking itinerary.
You've written that the main reason you're always trying to get back home in your dreams is to see your 3 boys. Is your exhusband happy to have them for as long as you're gone? Is he an interested and exemplary dad? Are your boys in danger of any bad influences if you leave them with their dad for more than a normal adventure-trip?
If you were to consider your Croatia/Italy trip as a Pilgrimage, what icons or symbols or saints would you be going to worship? (broadly conceived)
In your big house dream(s) what rooms, floors or sectors (including yards, pastures, forests, ponds of other landscape phenomena) manifest the ominous noises, mysteries, forbidden-zones, Surprises or climactic epiphanies?
I need to read one or two complete & detailed dreams from beginning to end. Please use dreams that have some Surprises or Shocks, and for which you remember something that might have triggered them. With a few detailed dreams and your willingness to discuss and describe them we can see if there are more indepth-meanings in relation to the historical, relational and spiritual dimensions of your personality.
For if you WERE to discover that you are fulfilled (as well as scared, energized and enchanted as much as in any journey to an exotic foreign land) by inner explorations, then by the time your youngest boy was beyond needing you to keep him close to you (around 7 years), you might be ready to add a graduate degree in counseling, psychology, creative writing or art and gain credentials and experience for a midlife career as a psychotherapist, or artist, novelist, story-teller or popular-press counselor. Your travels could feed your creativity, and your nightly inward journeys could build layers of your personality that only the few in American society (or anywhere) know exist.
Have you ever considered the dimension of life known for Socrates' motto "Know thyself" and Terence's motto "Nothing Human is alien to me?" If so, have you read the bestselling selfhelp book of the 1980s, "The Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck? If you are not interested in these inner riches (and demons) then consciousness development thru cultivating the unique wisdom of your dreams may not be a pilgrim-path for you.
Even if you don't want to go indepth, just answering my questions a few paragraphs above could lead us to some useful insights thru a general dream-survey.
Thank you for that dream-image of "auto-journeys" because it enabled me to retrospectively realize that I was dedicated to that kind of life since my first year in Europe alone at 18, and before that since my early bike trips to the foothills of the LA Mtns at around 10. There's a Jungian analyst's book called "The Soul's Code" by ***** *****man, 1997, where he writes that we're each born with a unique character-code that will uncoil its transformative energy, once we're able to shrug off familial and societal strait-jackets: That's what's emerging in your dreams.