Dream a little dream

09 May

I often have nightmares. I feel lucky that I don’t have night-time anxiety attacks, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much about nightmares. But here’s the thing…

I have nightmares about snakes. I hate snakes. Only one time did I get an up-close-and-personal of a snake, and it was in 2012. I saw our dog out in the yard sniffing at something in the grass. Then I saw her jump up and back like she’s been bitten by something. I freaked out and ran outside to yell at her to leave it alone–whatever “it” was–and of course she paid no attention. She was concentrating on whatever it was in the grass. You already know I have physical limitations because of my chronic illnesses, but my adrenaline was pumping 1000% through my body as I approached the dog. Because I saw it…a big black snake. And it was curled around a teeny tiny baby bunny. I’m not sure if it thought our dog was trying to get its lunch or what, but the snake was clearly pissed. I am afraid of snakes…I have always had very fearful snake dreams, so coming up on a real live snake was a waking nightmare for me. Add to that the dog was pretty newly adopted and she was not one to listen to us when we call her. So I run into the yard and I am screaming at the dog to get away from the snake and she’s ignoring me. When I get to her, she’s barking and lunging at the snake, and its hissing at her. I was so afraid I would see it strike out and bite her, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle that. I pretty much grabbed the dog–who weighs 95lbs–and I start using my entire body to push her toward our house, which is roughly 100 feet away. The dog is using her considerable weight and stubbornness to resist me, but like I said, the adrenaline was going through me at high speed. I pretty much lowered myself down and used a football stance to push her to the house with my shoulders and chest.

I finally got her to the deck and I literally pushed her up the stairs and into the house. Then I grabbed my cordless phone, ran to our garage for a shovel, and called my Dad. I was hysterical on the phone, nearly crying and screaming at him that there was a snake in the yard and I had just body-blocked the dog into the house. I told him I didn’t know if she’d been bitten or what. He said he’d be out in a flash (he lives next door) with a baseball bat.

When he came outside, I was still sobbing and hysterical, and I pretty much was clinging to the shovel to hold myself upright. I showed him where the snake was…it hadn’t gotten far as this all happened in the space of a few minutes. And I think the snake was reluctant to leave because there turned out to be three baby bunnies that had been hiding in a shallow hole in the yard. So my father is over where the snake is and it starts to slither away. I started screaming at him “kill it!”

He thought he would just let it slither away into the woods behind our house but I was having none of it. I made him kill the damn thing–which he did, with the shovel–and then I watched him lob it into the woods with the shovel. By this time one of the baby bunnies disappeared (we don’t know if it got eaten or ran off), so we sort of encouraged the other two babies to go to a different part of the back woods. They mostly just bumbled around our fence, even though we kept trying to get them to go under the fence and into the brush to hide. Later that night one of them was still there, but either its mother found it or something else got it because it was gone the next day.

But my point? I hate snakes, and that was a living, waking nightmare for me. Fortunately, the dog did not get bitten. But in my dreams? I always get bitten. I get attacked, bitten, often by multiple snakes. I am always terrified, crying, and when I wake up the dream always lingers. Last night it was a new venue–in some body of water–and I was being attacked from multiple sides by multiple snakes. Sometimes there are other people around, sometimes it’s only me. I’ve talked with T about this stuff, and I know snakes often represent transition, transformation, changes, and sometimes “healing”. I think that the abject fear I’m dealing with during the snake dreams might mean I’m terrified of the changes in my life. Whether it’s the anxiety–and dealing with how it has changed my life–or the actual changes happening, I’m not sure. I just know that when the snake dreams start, they often go on for a while. The last time this happened it was right about the time we were selling our old house and building the new one.

Dream interpretation of snakes

When a snake appears in your dreams, it most likely acts as an animal spirit guide inviting you to look at important facts or dynamics that are impacting your life. Snakes featured in dreams often leaves a strong impression on the dreamer: Such dreams tend to be frightening or disturbing because they call on strong unconscious energy.

Whether the snake spirit animal featured in your dream leaves a positive or negative impression, its presence should be considered as an invitation to look at positive changes and transformation.

The dark side of snakes in dreams

When the snake appears in your dream leaves you with a negative feeling, make sure you consider positive meanings as well. The snake spirit animal often appears in dreams as a warning about personal struggles and the need to pay attention to things or events that are escaping your field of awareness.

For instance, when you dream of being bitten or attacked by a snake, it could mean that you need to be careful about important matters you’ve been ignoring so far. If the spirit animal featured in your dream in the shape of a snake is chasing you, it may represent a challenging situation or relationship that you have been avoiding and is pushing you around.

The bottom line is that a dream featuring a snake invites you to check what in your life is “poisonous” and to look at important matters before they sneak up on you and create more damage or difficulty.

I’m going to try to look at these dreams as positives, and look for what I can do to move the transition along in my life. I hope I’m not ignoring things, but I will continue to try to seek out what might be hidden that needs to be revealed. Fortunately, T believes in the animal guides, and we’ve spoken about my snake dreams before…and discussed the transformation issues. What upsets me the most is how terrified I feel during the dreams as well as after. Whether or not the dreams are a good sign or whatever, I still am afraid and that doesn’t help my anxiety issues.

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Posted by on May 9, 2013 in anxiety, dogs, dreams, nightmares


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