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Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, PhD
Category: Dream Interpretation
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Experience:  40yrs interpreting dreams & connecting conscious & unconscious minds
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I 't remember a lot about this dream but it was kind of

Customer Question

I don't remember a lot about this dream but it was kind of disturbing for me. I dreamt me and two other friends were taking selfies and my ex bf says to us he's going to work. We were just like okay whatever. Then my ex comes out in a wheel chair with
tubes in his nose. He's hooked up to an oxygen tank and a thought runs through my head that he has been hiding this "illness" from me. Then someone starts telling me that my ex is dying and I start crying in my dream. Then the guy starts telling me that I'm
the only one who could probably heal him. Another thought goes through my head that he's currently talking to someone else (which I assume he's already talking to other people in real life) but I get the feeling she's not good for him, that whoever she is
is making him sick. Then my friends and I and my ex start playing around with my ex's music studio stuff which then my dream ends with my ex going back to normal all healthy and walking around.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dream Interpretation
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

This dream clearly shows the stage where you are in recovering from the breakup of your relationship. (Who initiated it? And who wanted it the most, you or him?)

In real life you imagine he's already "talking to someone else" because that's the typical way that youngish people's relationships start via online contacts--where the normal shyness is avoided because there's no eye contact, so people shift rapidly into stronger rose-colored images and attitudes toward each other, that are based on idealized images that lack reality checks. (I'm dividing your dream into a series of scenes with their own psycho-logic:

1. Taking selfies: Symbolizes focusing only on yourself, together with friends--probably female: So there are no pairbonds with erotic partners in the picture anymore.

2. This opening scene reminds you that your exBF is going away to do his own work. His focus is NOT on you or a pairbond with you. He is NOT disabled in this scene.

3. Your reaction is to identify with your "friends" (are they all women?) in "blowing off the awareness that he's really leaving to do his own work in a world beyond yours. So you're repressing your loss and hiding it from yourself by substituting your friends' companionship for his. [This is a normal & healthy way of coping with loss, but it leaves your grieving for a later time.]

4. So now he shows up in your dream as a character who can't walk and can barely breathe. Not walking symbolizes that your relationship is not going anywhere now--that it would need external help, or YOUR help to progress any further. Also he cannot breathe without added oxygen, so his flame, and thus the flames of your love are in danger of dying out.

5. Your dream ego thinks he's been hiding this development from you. [But the dream has already showed that you have blocked out your own awareness that his life energy was turning elsewhere--which you remember from your waking awareness a few lines later.]

6. Now a voice announces that your internalized (possessed) image of your ex is dying, and the emotional reality hits you with crying.

7. Some masculine part of you says YOU have to act to heal that. Your own thoughts promptly agree with that by inventing another GF that isn't good for him--or more accurately doesn't "feel good for him" to you: because you still have a loving relation pattern in your brain that feels good, and any replacement of that (your loss) would feel "not good." His (typical male) effort to quickly "move on" by assuring himself that he can get another woman as quickly as he wants, feels sickening to you, because he could be dying in your merged couplehood already. [Your own ducking under the covers of girlfriends just having self-focused fun is more innocent--because it's equivalent to regressing into teenage girlgang mentality & solidarity. It's serving the same purpose of repressing the awareness of your&his loss, except that it leaves more room for you to pick up the erotic torch for him again if you want to. Of course HE could do the same for you if he wanted, but YOU could not be sure of that, and NEW LOVE often chases away old love, while girlfriendship does not.] So you could be at a disadvantage in this game of post-breakup "truth-or-dare."

8. So the final scene shows that your exBF is actually keeping you in his music studio, where your playing around creates the mythic atmosphere of being a musical ensemble, of your ego's being unified through the creative play with music. Looks like a "happily ever after" except that it's NOT just you and him as a couple going down the road of life, even though he is walking around. It's him and your group of friends [are the ones in the dream really HIS friends too?]

So to find out what the ending means, we have to explore how it is similar to and DIFFERENT from what you are aware of in real life. Could he be a man whose most enduring love relationship is really with his music? If that's true, then your continuation as his lover after this pause (that may be refreshing him, and MIGHT, you hope, turn out to be disappointing) is over--would be related to how well your needs and relationship behavior fit into the supportive role of "current female lover" and hence finish better than any other woman he might flirt with. [I'm only suggesting this scenario IF he really does love music more than any real woman--which was true for the Beatles until Yoko (a very determined narcissist) stole John's soul away from the group. And other factors could play a role like his and your ages and your levels of maturity, and the duration of your relationship as lovers until now. But it sounds like your commitments to a shared future have been pretty shallow, which would be in normal range if you're under 30.]

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He initiated breakup because I kept breaking up with him.I was hanging out with a guy friend (who does like me in reality) and someone whom I can't recall is a male of female in the selfies scene - which I'm honestly not even sure that's what we were doing but we were having fun.2. & 3. He will be leaving in the coming months possibly even this month to go to a ministry institute in another city so he can work to help recovering addicts. I fully support his decision even though I'm slightly sad but I think its a good purpose to follow for him.4. I know our relationship can't go anywhere now since he's leaving and he wants to leave soon as he can. As for whatever we feel for each other I know on my end I'm getting over it as long as I'm not around him. I was doing well til he called that same day to hang out.7. These girls he's talking to are people he went to rehab with. After we hung out I just found out he's talking to his ex before he met me who lives in another state now. I feel like I am good for him but he's not good for me ( at least who he is right now). And yes I've been socializing more to keep myself away from him. My mental state has been a lot better.8. I didn't mention he was walking with anyone else at the end but he was walking with 2 other people I can't identify...how'd you know that?? That's crazy.He believes he's only good at his guitar and helping others with their lives, but I know he's only comfortable with those who have gone through what he has...which is drug addiction. And of course God will help him stay clean at the same time.Thing is I can't help but think that my presence as of now just remedies his loneliness so maybe that's where the oxygen comes in - until he gets accepted into the school and can go do his own thing. Loneliness was why he called me in the first place since I saw him last 2 weeks ago. I've stopped the sex with him but he's still very affectionate, I even slept over and he kept holding me tight and kissing my arm in the middle of sleeping. He even apologized during a conversation that he was sorry for the bullshit and for being an asshole to me.I hope this question isn't too off but do you believe in God? I prayed to god to inspire my ex in some way to give me a call that day. Guess I was worried about him too. And he did. I'm not saying all these things have a bigger broader meaning but its very strange to me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
BTW...I would never take him away from doing something he thinks he should do. I feel he needs this time to sort himself out so I'm really happy for him, just a little sad for me.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

I really appreciate the continuity of our connecting over your dreams. And I didn't even realize this music-centered dream was from you; so I thought you were a 20something involved with a musician. Jungian psychologist ***** *****man has written that there are 3 sectors of human life that are strongly connected with spiritual development: Religion, Music and Mythology (of which the personal connection lies in dreaming); and Jung wrote that creative artistry (in any field) is the individual connection with spiritual development.

Your respect for Michael as a person separate from your love for him allows him to function as an inspiration in your dream, which you willingly share with the others in his music studio. Your own personality growth shows shows as realization of the difference between Michael the person and Michael your spiritual animus (masculine-side image).

You asked if I believe in God. I do, but not as any particular image, except as the wondrous power of Love--which has been my guide since I followed an 16yr old Italian exchange student from my former high school to Europe when I was 18, so I decided to study in Germany (BEFORE there was any such thing as a "Junior Year Abroad" in any university, including UC Berkeley, where I was a successful Physics major. That trip turned me into a love of Europe, hitchihiking, humanity, languages, arts, and all kinds of knowledge, which led to Freud, then psychiatry, then a PhD in Humanities & German Studies at Stanford, then psychotherapy @ 29. The at 30, when I started practicing to become a therapist, to knowing that it was Love, as Divine energy from beyond me, that was healing through my devotion to the craft, and leading me onward too. So I was still an Agnostic, but only "not-knowing" about the nature of God, more than the Love that I was so happy to feel towards those I was lucky to serve. Psychotherapy for me was/is (for 42 years) a pure form of spiritual worship. As the woman I've been married to since 1984/5 (who already had a Presbyterian Seminary MA) says: "Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there I am too." (Jesus). I was not taught what I should believe (as she was) because my teachers were not as good as hers; but I learned from my own experience that Love is God energy in action; and dreams are God wisdom emerging as art&guidance. Last Summer I rewrote the Lord's Prayer, which I still knew by heart, so updated right now:

O Wondrous Love

Who nourishes Earth, Holy are your many ways. .

Your strength is near, Your works appear in here, at the roots of my being.

Grant me each day my deepest need. May I embrace all faults, be they mine or my neighbors’.

And may I pierce my inflations and remain firm through all evil.

For you are the Light, and the craft

And the Grace that transforms all beings, now and forever.

Shine on.

[But I keep changing it, because only what pierces my heart through the moment is what feels true and not borrowed or contrived. My wife (raised Unitarian without LP, where I was raised Methodist WIth the Lord's Prayer using Trespasses) is like me in not being comfortable with outward verbal expression of Christian conventional prayer words, unless it's an active visual imagination she's using for her self-healing. Her older sister & husband, who was her substitute father figure from teen yrs into 30s, are contemptuous atheists. My older brother is a fundamentalist Christian with whom I've never been close at all.] I say Christianity is one club anyone can belong to even without signing up (by walking the walk). But I call myself a Universalist, because I've seen in a dream that all paths lead to the same spot on the top of the world's central mountain. The Jungian psychospiritual growth path is an active individual "closer walk with the Power" we find within.]

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well thank you for the background lol and I'm in the same boat as you when it comes to the belief in God. And I've learned interesting things from you every time you interpret my dreams. Do you ever think dreams should be ta***** *****terally or is it always usually symbolic? Last thing I wanna know then I'll rate.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

There is often a piece of a normal (symbolic) dream that is precognitive in a literal way, and sometimes the literal meaning is more significant than anything symbolic. It's often the case that both of those levels of meaning are valuable.

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