Dear Claire,

The following dream affected me a lot. I have thought about it for over a week, and I am still thinking about it. In the dream, I am leaving work really late, and everyone is long gone. It is very dark everywhere in the building and in my office. I have my car parked at work, but when I go to find it, it’s gone. I keep looking and looking, thinking that I just forgot where I parked. Then, I suddenly realize that my employers towed it! They just took it even though I was working late without extra pay! I loudly say a bad word directed at the people who took it. Other people from outside come up and say that yes, they probably took it. So I start to walk home, and I see this beautiful, green, grassy area that I had forgotten about, but that is on the way to my house. I say, “Yes, I used to go home this way! I forgot all about it!” And I am really happy all of a sudden. But after that, I woke up and felt angry.

Automobiles in a dream are usually symbols for autonomy, progress, and/or control in life—either being in control of life in general, or of some aspect of life (work, relationships, etc.). When a person is “at the wheel”, he/she is moving towards a destination, as well as moving at a pace, which he/she is personally controlling. For this reason, the removing of the dreamer’s automobile by her employer most likely symbolizes that the dreamer believes that her place of employment—for whatever reason—has taken away her autonomy and her sense of control in life.

Furthermore, the towing of the vehicle appears to demonstrate that the dreamer believes that her employer has unfairly taken these things from her in that this towing not only occurred when she was working, but occurred when she was working overtime. The darkness in the dream appears to not only reflect the overall darkness in her life due to this employment, but also appears to reflect the feelings of anger, loss of control, and isolation which stem from this negative work environment. This is clearly evidenced when the dreamer moves from her place of work—where she is alone and in the dark—to the “beautiful, green, grassy area” that is on her way home. All things green in a dream—any trees, foliage, plants, grass, and etc.—are classic symbols for life and/or growth in that most living and growing things in nature are green in color. As a result, the fact that the dreamer rediscovers this greenery on her way to her home is extremely significant—because it represents how she rediscovers life after leaving the workplace. This appears to be an extremely important message being sent to the dreamer—an attempt to communicate that her place of employment is depriving her of a meaningful personal life and causing her to feel overworked, angry, isolated, and robbed of autonomy/control in life.

Over time, negative feelings like these are rarely harmless—and the subconscious mind will work overtime to alert the dreamer to what is not mentally, emotionally, or physically healthy. The fact that the dreamer was disturbed by this dream long after its conclusion just further supports its significance—and in order to feel fully alive and in control again, she will need to make some changes with respect to her employment and/or work environment.

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