by Norman M. Brown Ph.D. |
Dreamer: I am in late middle age, and born as the middle of 5 children. All of my life I had a dream that I am on one side of a bridge but water is fast flooding over it. My family is on the other side and I can’t get over to them. Just this past year I have stopped having the nightmare.
Interpreter: It would help if you could point out particular times when you had that nightmare and connect them to what was happening in your life. It could also help if you could suggest a few things about your life that have changed in the last year.
Dreamer: I have had the dream on a regular basis since I was very young. I can’t say anything in particular brought it on or stopped it.
Interpreter: Okay. I’ll tell you what the symbolism of your dream might mean: If there are no details about the bridge, I’d guess that the bridge represents an unconscious separation between you and the rest of your family, with the ground of your existence or your sources of meaning and value different from those of your family. The water flowing over, it represents the emotional possibility of being swept away if you try to cross over to rejoin your family.
It’s a well-known observation of middle children that some of them don’t feel like they have a particular niche or meaningful belonging to their family. In your case you might have continued yearning for easier closeness until last year, and you might have yearned for this ever since you were a child. Middle children are often better at getting along with others, especially when they don’t feel included among their siblings in their family of origin in the same way most of the others seem to be. These others typically include first borns, last-borns, oldest girl and oldest boy, and any child in any birth order whose role is well-known—such as smart one, funny one, cute/pretty one etc.
Interpreter Question: Does some of this normal unconscious emotional meaning fit for you?
Interpreter: If so, you might instinctively expect that trying to be re-welcomed into your family of origin would set off a tremendous flood of emotional distress in you, which might be more than you could cope with. Therefore you might actually never take the risk of trying to get the respect, meaning and signs of love you want from the others in your family who all seem to have an easier time fitting in with the family than you do.
Interpreter Conclusion: Dreams come to deliver a higher wisdom perspective on your life. So reviewing your thoughts and feelings about yourself vis-a-vis the others in your family might open up new possibilities for acting differently towards the siblings and parents that you may have felt more estranged from than you’ve realized. It might also suggest that you could begin to build individual bridges to one sibling at a time, instead of imagining that your whole family is different from you and you’re the only one that doesn’t fit in as well as the others. A similar sense of alienation might be present for some of the other siblings in your family, especially if there were certain ways of thinking, feeling and acting that seemed to be favored by the dominant people and other ways were considered outliers. Those siblings with “outlier attitudes” would be the first ones who could be delighted to receive an invitation to develop an individual relationship with you.
That flooding water on the bridge between you and the other family members symbolizes a psychoactive event such as a flood of emotions that could begin to occur when you start to make a more stable connection with any of your family members. For the sense of safety and belonging, and its opposite, the alienation and longing for communal life, exist in many families to some degree. But you might be the one in your family who’s been most aware of it.
Interpreter Question: What do you think about this perspective?
Dreamer: Thank you. Your answer very much makes sense!
6 thoughts on “Water Over The Bridge: Dream Interpretation”
I had a dream about a bridge that was under the water then when I got to it the water went down I crossed it then the water covered the bridge again then I came to another bridge with water running over it to but there was a truck on it about to get washed off then I said God I need your help again then the water went down before the truck went over then I woke up just trying to find out something on this
Your dream suggests that you expect making transitions between one stable life stage or lifestyle and another will be emotionally overwhelming, since some emotional experience is normal during any life transition. But you’ve recently noticed that the actual transition was not as upsetting as you expected after all. It would be valuable to imagine what the truck on the second bridge looked like and what might have been inside of it. Because you needed to appeal to the God within you to bring over what you needed to flourish in a new situation or stage of life. How has this latest life change been more challenging than some that happened before? Or have you also needed to learn something new to recreate your well-being in your new situation? And what skills or qualities have you developed to succeed in your new life stage?
I had a dream last night where I was coming from a job interview or something of the sort and I ended up riding with a friend and she took me and my sister across a bridge that was submerged in water we didn’t realize it was til we started crossing we scared that we would drown but it never went above our necks. As we were crossing there was a cruise ship wrecked into it. Passing the cruise ship alil more we came onto this road with beautiful fields and a house. The house had people at it but dark stuff happened but we got out. I had the same dream a yr or so ago and that time the bridge was full and over the water and a friend took us to this same house and stuff happened then too the same thing just ro someone else child this time it happened to mine
Your dream suggests that you can keep your head despite your fear of being overwhelmed with emotions, esp by trusting in your sister for companionship. It also suggests that you might let cruise vacations interfere with making major changes in your lifestyle. Perhaps the cruiseship symbolizes reunions with family or oldfriends peergroup. The result of these reunions appears to restimulate dark experiences from your ancient past. Since this new dream brings up the dark house stuff as affecting your own (inner) child, your dreams may be trying harder to bring up those early experiences that are in the way of you being able to change your life so that you can review them and release yourself from their power to imprison your spirit’s urge for growth.
I want to cross the bridge but the suspension bridge is extended into water and bridge is shaking but a man tried to cross and stuck in the middle of the bridge. I was afraid that the water may rise and swept me away so I was sitting on safe place watching that man struggling in the middle of bridge.
The man who’s venturing on ahead may represent a more assertive risktaking side of yourself who is braving the flood of emotions to complete your contemplated transition, while your dream’s ego-consciousness hangs back to find out if it’s worth risking. I hope you didn’t let your waking life hesitation get in the way of doing what you could to complete the change you’re contemplating.