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Dreaming of People from the Past?

Jambalaya

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I keep dreaming of two people in particular from the past. Does that happen to you? It can get a little annoying! I was very attracted to someone 12 years ago but realized he wasn't for me. But I dream of him every so often, and last night was the longest dream yet! It's never sexual, but we're just together and having a nice time hanging out. In waking hours I swear I never think of this person and am quite clear that once I got to know him, he wasn't my type in terms of interests or character. He was all the things I'm not attracted to in a man - no education, bad manners etc - but physically he was very good-looking.

And I also dream of a childhood friend - again, I never, ever think of her during waking hours and she also turned out not to have the world's most upstanding character, but we did have laughs together in our youth. Of course, these dreams lead me to look up these old friends online, and they're fine - married with kids, living their lives, etc. When I dream of them, I wake up feeling a bit empty. I had a deep, intense love in college 25 years ago but I never dream about him, not ever, even though I have looked him up online, too.

I wish my dreams about these two people would go away. I never think about them when I'm awake. They happen once every few weeks or months and I find it a little upsetting to keep being reminded of people from the past. The only thing they have in common is that if I'm honest, I cared more for them than they did for me. But they were years and years ago, and I see that our characters weren't at all suited, and I have no desire to actually be in touch with them.

I dream of my departed loved ones, too, but I think that's natural - I loved them, they loved me, and it's nice to see them in my dreams.

But people from years ago, who I dropped out of touch with for good reasons? Man, just go away!!

Anyone else have unwanted dreams of recurring people from the past? Especially people whose characters you couldn't think well of once you got to know them better, but had previously liked a lot.

If anyone has found a technique to make annoying recurring dreams disappear, I'd be glad to hear it. I wouldn't care if I never dreamed of these two again, and if I didn't dream of them, I'd never think of them.
 

distracts

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Eh. Dreams are weird. I dream about anything and everything. I think if anything my dreams involve more people and situations from long ago than from the present. Like, WHY do I keep dreaming of middle school? WHYYYYYY????? Middle school is always bizarrely delightful and fun in my dreams, which is not at all how it was when I lived through it. I don't think it really has anything to do with what you're thinking about or any deeper meaning; it's just brains doing weird stuff.

My only unwanted dreams are actual nightmares. I have a lot of nightmares where I scream and cry in real life until I am woken up. I don't like those.
 

packrat

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I dream about people randomly too. If it's someone from the past, it will be classmates. Sometimes I think it's triggered by something I've seen on FB, or reading in a forum, something comes to mind that has to do w/a classmate, and then that night or even a couple nights later, they're in my dream and I think wth? ohhh yeah, I saw X and that reminded me of her.

There's probably just something in your life that brings those memories back randomly. And really, w/our minds being as crazy as they are, it could be something as simple and a smell and you don't realize it but your subconscious pulls it out when you're sleeping. Yes you like those cinnamon rolls, but your brain remembers that you used to have them every Sunday morning when you dated so and so, so it's brought to the forefront when you're sleeping. The connections our conscious and subconscious mind makes gets pretty crazy sometimes I think.
 

Jambalaya

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Thanks, Packrat! These two people are pretty persistent in my dreams and I so want them to go away for good that I did some hard thinking today. It's not easy to be honest with yourself, but I just want these dreams to stop. I've decided it's to do with feelings of inadequacy on my part. They were both from much wealthier families than mine - I mean, the girl literally had a mansion and a pony - and the guy was also very privileged, attending an expensive private high school and it was whispered that he had a "trust fund." The girl went to my high school which was surprising, as my school was an ordinary free school, but her background was very posh anyway. Both of them had much, much posher families than mine. They are both people who rejected me and I think they just stand for insecurity in me. So perhaps if I have a moment of insecurity in the day, these two appear. I never thought of it consciously, but perhaps part of me suspects that they rejected me because I wasn't as posh as them, although I'm sure that's not really true because the guy's wife isn't from a wealthy background.

Consciously, these things don't matter to me but I think it's just my brain's way of expressing any insecurities - and also, it's true that sometimes I do get intimidated if I meet people who grew up with a lot of privilege. When I was young, out of college, I worked with a girl who was from money and she would say things like "he isn't one of us" and she took me to a dance where they all knew how to do ballroom-dancing, and I thought they all looked wonderful dancing like that, and she said "that's the private school magic, Jambalaya!" Haaahaaaa! All I did was compliment the dancing, so I'm not sure why she related it back to private school. I mean, it's pretty funny really. I'd never say something like that! I don't consciously have an issue with not coming from privilege, because my sense of self comes from trying to be a good person, which is much more important than how you grew up. But it's the best explanation I can come up with since it's the only thing that these two people in my life had in common.

By being brutally honest with myself, I'm hoping that they will disappear from my dreams!
 

packrat

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Isn't it funny how our minds work? Sometimes funny ha-ha and sometimes funny make you want to pull your hair out.
 

asscherisme

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I have VERY vivid dreams about people in my life that have died. I often wake up shaken or creeped out. The dreams seem so real. And often in the dream, I am aware the people have died, and that they shouldn't be there or I should not be able to communicate with them, yet I am. I had one the other day where I told my grandmother (who died this year) that she shouldn't be able to talk to me because she died. In the dream, she was upset at me for deleting her number from my cell phone and told me I deleted it too soon.

My father who committed suicide 15 years ago is frequently in my dreams. And I hate that. Just hate it. He was abusive and I hate that he still has the power to get into my thoughts when I'm sleeping. Like when I'm asleep I'm not at peace because i can't shut him out.

My ex stepfather (who is dead now) also appears in my dreams, He too was abusive. And I dream about my grandfathers too (both passed on). Sometimes my aunts (also passed on).

I wonder if that's normal to dream of people so frequently that have passed?

My teenage daughter finds it creepy and weird that I dream so frequently about people who have passed on and she thinks they are trying to communicate with me. I told her I think its just my mind thinking about them. I am such a logical person, but I admit the dreams are really freaky when I think about the.

So yes, to the original question, I do dream of people from my past, but usually ones who have passed.
 

Jambalaya

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packrat|1443531250|3933105 said:
Isn't it funny how our minds work? Sometimes funny ha-ha and sometimes funny make you want to pull your hair out.

Yep! I would never think about these two if I didn't dream about them. It's like, oh man - just go away already! The guy was there again last night and we were hanging out having a nice time in his multi-million dollar penthouse! I'm hoping it's just because I was thinking about him yesterday and trying to get to the bottom of it. I don't want to be dreaming about these two for the rest of my days! :errrr:
 

Jambalaya

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asscherisme|1443544629|3933172 said:
I have VERY vivid dreams about people in my life that have died. I often wake up shaken or creeped out. The dreams seem so real. And often in the dream, I am aware the people have died, and that they shouldn't be there or I should not be able to communicate with them, yet I am. I had one the other day where I told my grandmother (who died this year) that she shouldn't be able to talk to me because she died. In the dream, she was upset at me for deleting her number from my cell phone and told me I deleted it too soon.
My father who committed suicide 15 years ago is frequently in my dreams. And I hate that. Just hate it. He was abusive and I hate that he still has the power to get into my thoughts when I'm sleeping. Like when I'm asleep I'm not at peace because i can't shut him out.

My ex stepfather (who is dead now) also appears in my dreams, He too was abusive. And I dream about my grandfathers too (both passed on). Sometimes my aunts (also passed on).

I wonder if that's normal to dream of people so frequently that have passed?

My teenage daughter finds it creepy and weird that I dream so frequently about people who have passed on and she thinks they are trying to communicate with me. I told her I think its just my mind thinking about them. I am such a logical person, but I admit the dreams are really freaky when I think about the.

So yes, to the original question, I do dream of people from my past, but usually ones who have passed.


Asscherisme, you have my sympathy. It's just the worst when all you want to do is completely forget about a person and you succeed in your waking hours because you never think of them, and then there they are in your dreams! The dream about your dad sounds particularly distressing. I googled all this and there is a self-help technique that's apparently very simple and effective called Image Reversal Therapy:

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/when-nightmares-wont-go-away?page=2

I also dream about those who have passed and although I had a good relationship with my mom, I do have the occasional nightmare about her. I have dreams where she's in the room and looking, sounding perfectly normal but we all know she's actually dead, and ones where I can see her but she can't see me. I had one where she was in a chair looking really ghoulish and then there was another normal version of my mom on the other side of the room - it was horrible. But I have other dreams of her that aren't so bad. I also dream of my dead grandparents. I think it's normal to dream of those who have passed. I probably dream of my mom once a week.

Most of my dreams in general are neutral or somewhat unpleasant - I never, ever have really lovely, pleasant dreams.

I'd give anything for these two jokers to just disappear though - I never think about them when awake, and I just want them to go away. :(sad
 

Jambalaya

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And the really annoying thing is I'd bet my 401k that neither of them are dreaming about me!
 

missy

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Sometimes I dream about my grandma who died in 1992 and she is always alive in my dreams. I wish I could dream about her more and talk to her more in my dreams because I miss her. More often than not the people who are in my dreams are alive. I rarely remember the dream when I wake up though and I wish I could remember more. Especially when I dream about my grandma. ::)
 

asscherisme

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Jambalaya|1443550103|3933192 said:
And the really annoying thing is I'd bet my 401k that neither of them are dreaming about me!

Thanks for the link. You sound like you so get what I'm going through.

The dreams about your mother sounds awful. I am so sorry you are also dealing with that. I sometimes in my dreams feel my dad as just an evil presence that I can't see but know he is there. I feel like a survivor and so strong during the day, I have been through a lot and have moved on to a good life. But I just hate when I'm asleep, I can't control what I dream about.
 

Jambalaya

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Thanks, asscherisme. I hope the technique works, if you want to try it - it's supposed to be very effective.

I don't mind the dreams about my mom so much - I feel that at least I get to "see" her - but it's the dreams about the two friends from the past that really bother me. Neither of them were that nice to me really, made me feel small, and they were so much more privileged than me, coming from generations of money. I've long since gotten over the pair of them and the dreams about them aren't unpleasant, but I feel those dreams are holding me back from forgetting about them completely and the way they made me feel not-quite-good-enough way back when. Haven't seen either them in twelve years, and the dreams probably started about three years ago, when many members of my family and social circle started dying off.

I also have an older abusive family member who is still alive. I've had a few nightmares about him when I was much younger. It will be interesting to see what kind of dreams I have about him when he passes.

Still, I don't really care about any of my dreams except that those two former friends keep showing up which means I can't forget about them. Every time I dream of them I feel small and poor and not good enough, although I certainly don't feel like that in reality - only in relation to these two. And we might not have made much money but my dad was an eminent scientist who pulled himself up from a poor background. I never boasted about the things he developed, which included some very well-known medical materials that today we can't live without. I never, ever talked about his achievements and I also had a relative who was a soloist in the New York City Ballet, and I never mentioned her either. It wouldn't have occurred to me. There was a girl at high school whose brother had gotten in to Harvard - a big deal in our town, he was in the local paper - and she never stopped telling everyone and going on about it. I wasn't like that, so I think the rich girl I was friends with just assumed my family were hicks since we weren't wealthy. Not that there's anything wrong with being a hick!

We weren't rich money-wise but we were rich in other ways and had achieved everything from a background where the grandparents were quite poor and the next generation pulled themselves up through nothing but hard work. But it never occurred to me to try and impress these two because I was so naive I didn't realize that some posh people judge you, your background, etc and judge where you might fit in with them. I was young enough to think that it was all about merit, with everyone. Now I'm older I realize that it's not true and that they might have been thinking negatively about my background, since they came from old money. I remember some of the comments the girl made. But whether it's in my imagination or whether it was true, I feel they partly rejected me because I wasn't posh enough for their backgrounds, although I've no way of knowing if that's true.

Consciously I know I'm good enough, and that it's about being a good person not how much money you have, so I wish these two who represent snobbery would just go away!
 

Jambalaya

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missy|1443551986|3933209 said:
Here's a link some of you might find interesting re lucid dreaming. Maybe this can help you have more pleasant dreams.

http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/how-to-control-your-dreams.html

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-control-dreams/


Thanks, Missy. I'm sorry to hear about your grandma and that you miss her. Does your family by chance have forgotten photographs or old cine camera film of your grandma? We found some of that in the attic after my four grandparents died. Maybe you can look at photos of her more and talk about her with the parent who is your grandma's child? Ask for as many stories of her as you can! Maybe then you will feel closer to her and you will have more of a relationship with her in your waking hours. Might there be people still alive her age who knew her, who you could talk to about her?
 

Jambalaya

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asscherisme|1443551199|3933201 said:
Jambalaya|1443550103|3933192 said:
And the really annoying thing is I'd bet my 401k that neither of them are dreaming about me!

Thanks for the link. You sound like you so get what I'm going through.

The dreams about your mother sounds awful. I am so sorry you are also dealing with that. I sometimes in my dreams feel my dad as just an evil presence that I can't see but know he is there. I feel like a survivor and so strong during the day, I have been through a lot and have moved on to a good life. But I just hate when I'm asleep, I can't control what I dream about.


Yes, exactly! When awake all is well and you're totally fine with everything, it's all good, and then the dreams pull you back into how you felt back then, which is so unfair because you truly don't feel like that any more.
 

asscherisme

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Jambalaya|1443553524|3933223 said:
asscherisme|1443551199|3933201 said:
Jambalaya|1443550103|3933192 said:
And the really annoying thing is I'd bet my 401k that neither of them are dreaming about me!

Thanks for the link. You sound like you so get what I'm going through.

The dreams about your mother sounds awful. I am so sorry you are also dealing with that. I sometimes in my dreams feel my dad as just an evil presence that I can't see but know he is there. I feel like a survivor and so strong during the day, I have been through a lot and have moved on to a good life. But I just hate when I'm asleep, I can't control what I dream about.


Yes, exactly! When awake all is well and you're totally fine with everything, it's all good, and then the dreams pull you back into how you felt back then, which is so unfair because you truly don't feel like that any more.

YES, you definitely get it. I'm so glad you started this thread. I have never told anyone about the dream thing but my oldest daughter. Its so good to know others experience it too.
 

momhappy

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I think I get what you mean, Jambalaya. I had a major (secret) crush on a guy in HS and we never really dated, so I guess that it sort of haunted me. Every once in a while I will still have a dream about this guy! We haven't spoken since HS (which was many, many, many moons ago - too many to even want to mention ;-) ) and he's not even on FB, so I've had zero contact with the guy (not that I'd want to). It's frustrating to dream of him and I always wake up confused :confused: I wish there was some way to make it stop, but I guess it's just part of my brain that resurfaces every now and again.
 

Jambalaya

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momhappy|1443572447|3933319 said:
I think I get what you mean, Jambalaya. I had a major (secret) crush on a guy in HS and we never really dated, so I guess that it sort of haunted me. Every once in a while I will still have a dream about this guy! We haven't spoken since HS (which was many, many, many moons ago - too many to even want to mention ;-) ) and he's not even on FB, so I've had zero contact with the guy (not that I'd want to). It's frustrating to dream of him and I always wake up confused :confused: I wish there was some way to make it stop, but I guess it's just part of my brain that resurfaces every now and again.

Yes, Momhappy, that's it - exactly! Major crush, never really happened, and now so many years later I dream about him even though I know very well that we were not suited and he turned out to be not that great a person anyway. (Example: Once he left me alone in the dark side-streets of a major city to find my own way to the subway instead of walking with me - total turn-off.) I am SO relieved to find that it's not just me who dreams of men that are from the distant past and who I'm definitely not in love with anyway! I can just imagine a dream expert saying stuff like "Oh, you must still have feelings for him" etc and I'd be like, "No, I promise you, I don't!" So annoying that they still skip through our dreams. If it weren't for that, I'd never think about him, ever!

I wonder if boys we knew long ago dream of us. Hmmmm.
 

Jambalaya

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asscherisme|1443571542|3933315 said:
Jambalaya|1443553524|3933223 said:
asscherisme|1443551199|3933201 said:
Jambalaya|1443550103|3933192 said:
And the really annoying thing is I'd bet my 401k that neither of them are dreaming about me!

Thanks for the link. You sound like you so get what I'm going through.

The dreams about your mother sounds awful. I am so sorry you are also dealing with that. I sometimes in my dreams feel my dad as just an evil presence that I can't see but know he is there. I feel like a survivor and so strong during the day, I have been through a lot and have moved on to a good life. But I just hate when I'm asleep, I can't control what I dream about.


Yes, exactly! When awake all is well and you're totally fine with everything, it's all good, and then the dreams pull you back into how you felt back then, which is so unfair because you truly don't feel like that any more.

YES, you definitely get it. I'm so glad you started this thread. I have never told anyone about the dream thing but my oldest daughter. Its so good to know others experience it too.

Well, you can tell us! And yes, it's good to know others experience the annoyance of dreaming about people you'd much rather forget!
 

azstonie

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I dream about my exhusband all the time. I think its because we had a terrible breakup followed by no 'closure' so I feel that the dreams represent my dissatisfaction with the way the marriage ended.

I can usually stop them by telling myself to stop, crazy I know.

Asscher, I'm the daughter of two abusive parents, I feel for you. Out of the Fog is a pretty good website and it also has a support forum. Most of the peeps on the site feel their abusive parents/spouses/etc have personality disorders so there is a focus on that aspect...not that you said you need or want anything, just sayin in case.
 

Jambalaya

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Aww, I'm sorry to hear that, Azstonie. It can't be much fun to keep dreaming of an ex-spouse. When you say you tell yourself to stop, do you mean in the dream, or do you tell yourself in the day that you are not going to dream of him tonight?
 

momhappy

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Jambalaya|1443578054|3933338 said:
momhappy|1443572447|3933319 said:
I think I get what you mean, Jambalaya. I had a major (secret) crush on a guy in HS and we never really dated, so I guess that it sort of haunted me. Every once in a while I will still have a dream about this guy! We haven't spoken since HS (which was many, many, many moons ago - too many to even want to mention ;-) ) and he's not even on FB, so I've had zero contact with the guy (not that I'd want to). It's frustrating to dream of him and I always wake up confused :confused: I wish there was some way to make it stop, but I guess it's just part of my brain that resurfaces every now and again.

Yes, Momhappy, that's it - exactly! Major crush, never really happened, and now so many years later I dream about him even though I know very well that we were not suited and he turned out to be not that great a person anyway. (Example: Once he left me alone in the dark side-streets of a major city to find my own way to the subway instead of walking with me - total turn-off.) I am SO relieved to find that it's not just me who dreams of men that are from the distant past and who I'm definitely not in love with anyway! I can just imagine a dream expert saying stuff like "Oh, you must still have feelings for him" etc and I'd be like, "No, I promise you, I don't!" So annoying that they still skip through our dreams. If it weren't for that, I'd never think about him, ever!

I wonder if boys we knew long ago dream of us. Hmmmm.


I think it's pretty normal to dream of people from your past. I actually haven't even seen a picture of my old crush, so I have no idea what he actually looks like :shock: When he turns up in my dreams, he looks like he did in high school :lol: I don't think that it has to have any deeper meaning (like still having feelings for someone) - I think that it's just your mind taking you back to that place of intense feelings.
 

partgypsy

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Usually when I have people in my dreams, they are good dreams. Last week in my dreams my yiayia (now dead) was in the dream alive. Nothing earth shattering happened in the dream, she was doing her usual busybody stuff in the background, but when I woke up it took me a few moments to process she wasn't actually alive. The overall feeling I was left with was one of happiness and contentment, being in her presence even for a short time.

I have always heard that having someone in your dreams has to do with unresolved conflict or feelings about that person. That could be true, but mostly when I have dreams of both people and of pets, they are of people or animals who are gone and it is just me wanting to be with them. They are happy dreams.
 

azstonie

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Hi Jambie, as I lay in bed to go to sleep I tell myself that I won't let X into my dreams that night. Usually works.
 

Jambalaya

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I think it's pretty normal to dream of people from your past. I actually haven't even seen a picture of my old crush, so I have no idea what he actually looks like :shock: When he turns up in my dreams, he looks like he did in high school :lol: I don't think that it has to have any deeper meaning (like still having feelings for someone) - I think that it's just your mind taking you back to that place of intense feelings.

But in my case, it's just these two people and in a romantic sense, just this one guy - who I didn't get it on with, anyway! I've had lots of relationships in my life so it's driving me a bit nutty that it's just this one. However, I haven't dreamed about him since doing some deep thinking about him, so fingers crossed! I also think it's normal to dream of people from your past, but surprisingly I don't do it that much, except with these two.
 

Jambalaya

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azstonie|1443646841|3933575 said:
Hi Jambie, as I lay in bed to go to sleep I tell myself that I won't let X into my dreams that night. Usually works.


Good advice. Obviously I will need to say this to myself every night, because last night I had the most involved dream yet about the former female friend from high school. I dreamed she came to my town, we became friends again - and in the dream we ended up kissing!!! I'm completely straight and have never been attracted to her in real life.

However, the dream was actually quite comforting. The truth is I do wish we would bump into each other and become friends again - although I could do without the kissing part! :lol:

But we live on opposite coasts and she has a busy life, so I don't think it will happen. In the dream, I found that she and her family had changed a lot from when we were teenagers, and it was all different. (As I mentioned above, I came to have suspicions after school that maybe she wasn't as good a person as I'd thought, anyway.)

It was nice in a way to have my deeper wishes acknowledged via the dream. I do wish we hadn't drifted apart, but she didn't want to keep in touch after high school, and that's life. I found the dream comforting rather than frustrating. I wish we were still friends, but you can't always have what you want, and that's OK.
 
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