What are the most popular themes in dreams, and what do they mean?
Dream: My boyfriend and I have been fighting a lot lately. I had a dream that the middle of the earth was falling in and he was hanging on to my hand for dear life. I saved him and managed to pull him up and save him from being sucked in, and even though I saved him in the end he left me anyway. I saw my best friend standing there watching. She killed herself a year ago. Please help me interpret what’s going on.
DreamsMaster: My sense from the dream and what little you added about your waking life is that you may be harboring some guilt inside for not being or doing enough for the ones you love. In your effort to help (or save) your boyfriend or this relationship, you may have crossed a line into being the Rescuer, and when we cross that line, we can fall into the trap of the Rescuer > Persecutor > Victim cycle (google: Karpman Triangle), a psychological dance that can lead to resentment in relationships. This might be the source of the arguments you’ve been having with your boyfriend.
The “earth falling in” could be a metaphor for your sense that the relationship is losing ground. It could also be symbolic of your sense that your boyfriend is slipping away, not just from you but from life itself. In the dream, your trying to save him from being “sucked in” could mirror the waking world of your trying to save him from something you perceive is sucking the life out of him. This might be a real danger, perhaps an alcohol or drug addiction? If that doesn’t fit, think about what else you may perceive as a danger to him, which you may be trying in vain to rescue him from.
Your best friend who killed herself is watching. She might represent your fear that your boyfriend is killing himself (either literally or figuratively). She might also represent grief and loss. And abandonment. It’s a pretty intense thing to lose a best friend to suicide. This layer of the dream might be a message to you that try as you might, you cannot rescue others from themselves.
Think about where in your relationship you’ve been crossing the line between helping and rescuing, and take a step back. Ultimately, others must help themselves. Sometimes all we can do is love them through it. And sadly, sometimes a relationship does not withstand the fall.
It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
– Virginia Woolf