by Mimi Pettibone
Have you ever dreamed that someone was breaking into your house? This is quite a common dream theme and can be very scary since most people fear that their dreams are literal. The good news is that usually they not literal, but symbolic. That said, even though the dream might not mean an imminent home invasion, it still contains a very important message and paying attention to it will benefit the dreamer greatly. To illustrate this universal theme and its meaning, here is a specific example in the form of a dream sent to me by a 27-year-old woman in Malaysia:
“I am in a house - my house in the dream but different than my real home - and I discover that the roof has a hole in it. Two men come in through the hole, and I tell them ‘Don’t do that!’ They don’t listen to me and come in anyway. Eventually they go outside to meet their friends, and some of them are wearing security uniforms. They don’t seem to want to hurt me, they just seem to want to have fun with their friends. They didn’t steal anything from me, so frustratingly I let them go.
Then I look up at the roof of the house and realize it is made of bag material, like from a school backpack, instead of roof tiles. I can see the sky through the hole in the roof. I also discover that I have an attic and there are men dwelling inside it! I ask my mom what they are doing in my house but she ignores me and just keeps doing her thing. I also remember walking through the house and noticing that some of the walls were cracked. The house was overall not in good condition and in need of some fixing.”
Through working with the dream, it became very clear to the dreamer that she was having boundary issues, especially with men. The dream outlines how men are invading her energetic field, symbolized by the house, and how she feels powerless to do anything about it. Her cries of ‘don’t do that!’ are ignored. When the men go outside she says they don’t seem to want to hurt her, and they didn’t steal anything, so in frustration she just lets them go and they get away with the invasion. As if breaking and entering weren’t enough!! In waking life this mirrored a relationship pattern with men where they would violate her boundaries and she would find ways to minimize, justify, and discount the impact of their actions – thereby minimizing and discounting her own power and violating her own boundaries in the process. Doing this was a natural repeat of what had been modelled for her growing up, as her family dynamics were a world-class training program in ‘how to get your boundaries violated’.
In the dream, some of the men were wearing security uniforms. While security guards are normally associated with protection and safety, these ones were more concerned with having fun with their friends. The dreamer’s association to this was that she did not feel emotionally or physically safe with unknown men. It seems also that the security guards slacking off could have to do with a lack of sense of safety and protection from the men in her life, as well as her own lack of self-protection in terms of setting and enforcing clear boundaries.
Even the dreamer’s mother is of no use when it comes to support or protection. In the dream, the mother just ignores her daughter’s concern over the invasion. The dreamer shared that her father was very volatile and abusive while she was growing up. When he wasn’t lashing out with his explosive temper, he was ignoring her and the rest of the family. She said she never felt safe at home. Is it any wonder that someone who never felt safe at home would have a dream that their home was being broken into? Not everyone who has this dream theme has this history, but in her case it was a relevant reference to how she literally felt at home.
And with parents who ignored her in waking life, her dream objections to the invasion being ignored are also very telling. It’s no leap that her current relationships with men are suffering as this is the relationship template she was provided by her family. At the end of the dream she describes the house having some cracked walls and needing some overall repairs. Walls can be symbols for barriers or boundaries, and this was another layer of symbolism reflecting the need to ‘fix and repair’ her boundaries as well as invest more in her self-care.
The dreamer really ‘got it’ when working with this dream. She said that she had always felt guilty when setting boundaries with her family and with men, and this dream helped her to see that it is a healthy and loving thing to do for herself. She felt a sense of relief at the idea that it was not only OK, but necessary, to have these boundaries for her personal growth, self-love, and sense of safety in the world, as well as in order to create a healthy romantic relationship in the future. Our psyche always knows where we need repairs, and will show us through the mysterious world of dream stories. If you have a dream you’d like to share, contact Mimi through her website at www.thedreamdetective.com
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Mimi Pettibone is a professional dream worker who offers private consultations at East West Bookshop and by phone. Her practice includes dream interpretation, coaching, and personal growth work focused on relationships, communication and authentic life path. She also offers tarot and oracle readings and is the creator of the Enchanted Art Oracle Cards. Her background includes humanistic and social psychology, relationships and communication skills, spirituality, consciousness, and linguistics. Mimi is also a monthly dream columnist for the New Spirit JournalFor more info on Mimi, or to book a consultation: www.thedreamdetective.com