I Dreamt I was Eating My Daughter. Help!
- Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Q. I've always wanted to find out about this dream that I had but was unable to. I am a new mother of a 4 month old and never felt happier in my life. About a month and a half ago, I had a very disturbing dream to say the least. In my dream, I was eating my daughter as a dessert (she was on a platter). I was told that it was just a replica of her so I scoped one of her eyes and put it in my mouth while she just starred back at me. The guilt that followed were enormous and I just picked her up and took her to my mother. I was worried that my mother would notice that her face was different, however she didn't and I was relieved although her arms were missing. I was very very distraught that I woke up feeling very disturbed even now everytime I think about the dream. What does this mean? -Mavis
A: Thanks for your dream Mavis. I can help you make some sense of this disturbing dream. All my dream interpretations come from both experience and intuition, but I never "pronounce" interpretations without the dreamer's own associations and input. The ethics of the dreamwork that anyone does, have to be in place! Based on your emails, this is what I would imagine "if it were my dream" (the famous dream group phrase):
In classic Freudian dream interpretation, food was associated with sexual appetites but your dream isn't about that at all! Your dream is about the challenge of being a first-time mother. You are delighted in the sweet "dessert" of your new baby daughter in your life. The dessert which you described as smooth and delicate, describes your daughter. And you have never felt happier. Sometimes the powerful love we feel for a dearly wanted child seems overwhelming at times. What mother hasn't nibbled at the delicious child in her arms where it seems as if she could devour her child with love? So the dream very specifically shows you that picture in the image of your daughter as dessert, and the powerful feelings that you have for her, which may be new for you. Eating the eye, may represent something you don't want to see. The missing arms, parts with which we reach out to others, are missing. You might have trouble reaching out to express your feelings or ask for help.
What jumps out at me next is your relationship with your own mother. First time mothers, if they are lucky, have their own mothers to turn to for advice or help. In your case, your own mother is very helpful to you, especially around the new baby. Yet at the same time you described her as a very harsh critic, who is not considerate of other people's feelings. In the dream, you were relieved that your mother didn't notice that you had eaten the baby- relieved to avoid her criticism! The dream is showing you that perhaps your relationship with your mother, the very woman who both helps and criticizes, is distressing for you. The stages we go through raising children will bring up any unfinished business we have with our own parents or in our own childhood, and the dream is showing you that you may have some work to do around your feelings in relation to your mother. Though the dream was disturbing for you, it is the kind of dream that our psyche wants us to pay attention to. I'm glad you were listening! Now, it is up to you to decide what to do in your waking life with this information.