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Dream 01_199811

Dream of the Month (November 1998)
  1. Title: Losing My Brain

  2. Date of the Dream: 10/11/1998 (mailed Friday, 16 October 1998)

  3. Dream: I remember being outdoors with men I didn't know. I think I found out something that I shouldn't have. I was shot with a rifle several times; the back of my head had a large hole in it. There was a lot of bleeding and I worried about losing consciousness and dying. I knew I was close to death. I had lots of blood coming out of my mouth which I didn't want to swallow. Soon a friend helped me come back to consciousness. I now was in the hospital. A soft head casing was placed around my head. It started to bother me because I felt a lot of pressure in the front between my eyes. So I removed it. That helped and I quickly adjusted it back so I wouldn't lose more brains and blood. I remember calling it a "Brain Basket." I was the only person in the room and they had me in the emergency main entrance. Next, a receptionist asked me what my phone number was. I had a really hard time remembering. I started giving numbers and thought it wasn't right. After several attempts I stopped. The receptionist said "Is -------, your number?" I said "I don't know. Don't expect me to answer a bunch of questions when I'm losing my brains!" I was upset and wanted someone to fix me up, but no doctors were around.

  4. Significant life event: Not very much. I won a contest 2 days earlier

  5. Personal concerns/issues: Nothing

  6. Associations: This is the second very vivid dream I had about myself in a death experience.

  7. Pen Name: Lucy MacAdam

Dr. Holloway's Comments:

Identifying Characteristics

The primary symbols in this dream are anatomical. The head and brain of course represent thinking, intelligence and knowing. The mouth is the organ through which we express ourselves, but also where we take in experience (swallow.) Hospitals often reflect a need to care for the self in a way that is not presently happening.


The wound to the dreamer suggests that in some way, one of the best parts of herself is being blown off. When a dream is so gory and dramatic, it can be because the issue is well-defended in waking life – something we have become skillful at preventing ourselves from thinking about. The loss of a brain is often a metaphor for something that drains the mind in such a way that we are unable to exercise our true talents. While this is typical of modern life, there are special circumstances that accentuate the pressure so that it becomes a crisis, and a wound that feels like it is killing us. Bleeding symbolizes the loss of energy and loss of soul. The dreamer does not want to “swallow the blood” (the signs of her own pain) indicating her instinct for honesty and self-preservation are intact.

The threat of death reveals how poignant and vital this loss is to the dreamer. It may be that a favored hope kept in “the back of her mind” is something she cannot stand to lose. Despite the dream's violence and drama it actually shows that some healing force is gathering within her, drawing attention to what she needs most. These urgent dreams seem horrific, but they are in fact the paramedics of the psyche coming to bring us back to consciousness. If she can recognize and respect her needs inwardly, the outward changes necessary to support them will probably be easier to arrange than she might expect.

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