Dear Claire,

I dreamt that I had this baby with me everywhere. I had to take it with me everywhere I went because I was its mother. The baby kept crying and squirming around while I was carrying it. I was trying to go places and do things, but it kept crying and slowing me down and holding me back. Finally, I slapped it. I slapped the baby! Then, I immediately woke up. I was horrified and mortified because I would never hurt anyone, especially not a baby. I am not a child abuser, I don’t have a baby, and I would never, ever, ever slap a baby. It scared me. Why would I ever dream this?  

After hearing this dream, it became rather apparent that someone in the dreamer’s waking life must be dragging her down to the point of extreme frustration and anger—and it’s likely that this offending person is either infantile and/or childish in nature, or this person has been displaying infantile and/or childish behavior as of late. In addition, it is pretty clear that this “dream baby” must be someone who the dreamer feels that she has to parent or assume a parental type of role with—or the dreamer may see herself as being more emotionally mature and responsible than this other person, and, for this reason, has made herself the parental figure in the dream. However, what is more important to note is that this particular relationship appears to be creating great anger and frustration for the dreamer—and it appears to be holding her back and keeping her from making progress in life.                                                                                            The action of slapping is definitely a symbol for aggression and anger—and, because this type of aggression and anger is being unleashed on a “dream baby”, this raises the suspicion that the dreamer is not being allowed the opportunity to vent her anger and frustration with the offending person in her waking world. Unable or unwilling to release these negative emotions in her conscious world, the dreamer’s subconscious mind has taken charge and released these suppressed feelings of anger and frustration on the “baby” in her dreams. While it is absolutely horrifying to even contemplate such an action taking place in the conscious world, it is a totally acceptable—and even positive—action to have taking place in the dreaming world. Pent-up anger is extremely unhealthy, and it is the duty of your subconscious mind to work in the best interests of your personal health and happiness—even if it requires manifesting something in your dreams which would be considered unthinkable in the conscious world. However, once again, one must bear in mind that the “dream baby” is not representing an actual infant—it is merely symbolizes a person in the dreamer’s life who is behaving in that manner and so has taken on that form.                                                                                                                                                                  After asking the dreamer to try to recall any people in her waking world who may be causing her anger and frustration—especially people who display infantile and/or childish behavior, impede her progress, and force her into a parental role—the dreamer immediately lighted upon the individual. She stated that her soon-to-be-ex-husband was creating continual issues that were delaying their divorce proceedings and preventing her from moving forward in life. She stated that she was extremely angry and frustrated with him—and that she’d had no opportunity to vent these feelings. She also stated that she felt that she had had to “carry” him throughout their marriage—and that he had become a symbol of total dependence in her eyes. Although she just wanted the legal process to be finalized and be able to move on and create a new life, she felt that he was “holding her back” from being able to do so with his continual and childish complaints, delays, and demands (symbolized in her dream by the crying and etc.).                                                                                                                                                                               So, while it is important to note that a baby can serve as a beautiful and powerful dream symbol for innocence, hope, vulnerability, renewal, and creation—in this case, the baby was merely the dream representation of an immature and dependent soon-to-be-ex-husband.

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