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Attack Attacked Attacker

In looking at many dreams in which attack takes place, it is obvious that there are many degrees and forms of attack. So attack or being attacked can represent many things such as feeling attacked or threatened by ones own impulses such as anger or sexuality; feeling surreptitiously attacked by other people and their attitude to you or their remarks; a subtle sense of being attacked by age, or a serious attack by an illness – one speaks of an asthma or virus attack for instance, but also one may be attacked by a poison, or food if one is allergic to it; one might personally attack an issue or a project, and so a dream might depict one attacking something in this sense; confidence may be attacked; it is a common term in sport or business, and so may refer to attitude or energy. This aspect of attack may also refer to ones beliefs, or to other peoples, which may be attacked and threatened; attack is also sometimes a form of defence, so may suggest defensiveness about some issue or aspect of ones life. A positive side to attack is that we often feel attacked by an emerging new insight or positive personal change. We feel it as an attack because it threatens our old way of life, our habitual way of ding things and thinking about things.

It is important to define or be aware of ones response to threat or attack in a dream. Experiments in connection with dreams in which the person runs away from attack, or is very passive, show that if the dreamer visualises changing the situation and faces attackers, their dreams and even waking behaviour changes radically. Passivity in dream situations may depict the innate feeling that we are helpless in dealing with the feelings involved. This usually dates from past experience, perhaps in childhood, where in fact one did not have the strength or maturity to meet what was happening. See Life Changes.

Occasionally attack in dreams shows a desire to be attacked in order to live out forms of self punishment or sadism. In most such cases this desire arises out of a need to remember, and make fully conscious, punishment or sadism that has been practised on the dreamer.

Being attacked: This dream usually arises because in some way you are repressing, in conflict with, or frightened off your own emotions, sexuality or anger. Occasionally the fear is about ones own potential or expanded awareness.

Attacked by animal: Feeling under threat from external events or internal emotions, impulses or ideas; feeling a victim in relationship to others and self; taking a defensive attitude. The repression or fear here is in regard to your own natural urges. Sometimes our dreams put into animal form someone who we feel is expressing anger toward us.

Attacked by shadowy or frightening figure: Our childhood traumas and fears may take this guise in a dream. So in this case the attack is depicting our feelings of fear and pain surrounding those past issues. How we meet such an attack is important. If we run from it, the trauma may remain largely unconscious, and therefore capable of influencing our behaviour negatively. Better to explore it or change it. (For help doing this see Stand in Role under peerdream work.)

Attacked by animal: Introverting one’s own aggression or sexuality; fear of one’s own natural urges; anxiety about aggression in oneself or other people; feeling attacked by an external person.

Being the attacker: This is more positive, as you are not being passive and hurt in your dreams. But you are still in conflict with whatever it is your attacking. Considering that what you attack is probably a part of your own personality, it might be better to meet it in some way. Positive self expression; defending oneself against something one feels threatened by; attempt to destroy some urge or feeling in oneself or others. The word attack is also used in many ways, so might refer to an ‘attack’ of an illness, or ‘heart attack’. Can express the difference between feeling threatened by a work/relationship/sex problem, or feeling challenged by it in a way to stimulate creativity or research.

Bird attacking: Fear of ideas, ideals or opinions; verbal attack by others; fear of the Self – a view of things that may destroy ones present more limited views or opinions.

Sexual attack: This has many aspects, and can at times be a re-playing of previous sexual attacks, or an expression of fear concerning them. But we also create dreams of sexual attack when we are frightened of our own feelings and desires. Grof gives the interesting account of a woman who experienced many images of sexual attack. He says:-

…. whenever a boy friend initiated even the most innocent sexual approach, such as touching. embracing, or kissing, she was overwhelmed with terror. It seemed to her that when such a situation occurred, her lover was actually changing physically and assuming animal features. Repeatedly, she fled from these situations in a state of panic anxiety and never wanted to see her partner again. Episodes of this kind were repeatedly relived …. with details of the physical setting, as well as the physical sensations and emotions involved. From Realms of The Human Unconscious, by S. Grof. Published by Souvenir Press.

Someone else being attacked: Anger or aggression toward another; killing off an aspect of oneself represented by the person in the dream. If the person is someone you are in relationship with, it suggests an attempt, however short, to distance oneself from them emotionally. See: fight; War.

Example: I had this dream at a time when there was a lot of talk and anxiety in newspapers and on television about nuclear war. In the dream a nuclear attack had been announced. I immediately thought of my children who are away in boarding school. I go out into the street to see if I can get to them, but realise it is hopeless. In the street everybody is walking about as if it were a holiday Sunday. I realised there was no time to get to my children so decided to join the people on the street. John C.

John had this dream at a time when there was a lot of media coverage about nuclear attack. It is therefore most likely dealing with his real fears about how he would deal with such an attack if it happened.

Example: Whilst suffering from nervous exhaustion three years ago. I had a recurring nightmare that left me feeling totally worthless and wretched. In it I underwent an indecent attack upon my person by my father. I was about four or five in the dream. It was not the attack in itself that left me with these feelings, but rather the look my mother gave me shortly afterwards – making me feel like a specimen in a jar. In the dream I sensed she had refused to be his wife fully, until he had got us into our own home again. I sense she is blaming me for not being able to continue with this threat, and that once more she will have to suffer my father’s attentions because of me. There is no one to help me so I decide to leave. I pack a small case, which I believe someone gets for me. In reality I did try to leave home at this age but got no further than the bus stop across the road. Maria.

Maria gives no indication of whether she was abused by her father, but the dream is certainly dealing with the sexual politics of her parents.

Example: Several men attacked me and were trying to drag me off somewhere against my will. As the dream progressed, or replayed, I began to realise that it only appeared like an attack because I was resisting the process. In fact the men wanted to show me something that was important to me. They were being quite gentle, but because of my resistance, it felt to me like an aggressive act. My thoughts about this are that this may represent the way I feel about events. Because of underlying anxiety, I feel events and changes, such as losing my job are very threatening and difficult to bear. In fact no harm has come from these events at all. The dream suggests that I am being led somewhere if only I would go along with things. Albie R.

Sometimes it is our response to the action that makes it appear like an attack. So it is worthwhile entering the dream again in imagination and exploring it – try Acting on your dream.

Useful Questions and Hints:

If I take the images away what are my feelings about the attack, and where am I meeting those feelings?

Is there any way I can change this dream? For help doing this see Carrying the Dream Forward.

What are the underlying issues here?



-Taylor 2014-10-31 16:35:13

Recently I’ve had a dream that my mom gave me a gun and told me to kill her friend in our own house. I don’t wish to harm her at all, though I don’t have a lot of respect for her as person. Having the gun was slightly exhilarating but having to kill her made me very nervous and I had severe anxiety. When I finally went through with it, I cried profusely because she’s a mother and I felt horrible. It wasn’t my voluntary intent to proceed with this, so why was I so willing at first? Why did I even dream of this to begin with?


-Robbie 2014-12-26 9:32:52

This morning I had a dream about my sister being attacked twice, in two different scenarios, but same situation (she was performing a dance act, she is a dancer) by an invisible presence (during the second attack I managed to shortly follow this presence as I saw his steps and marks that it left on some pillows), in both situations the attack had to do with the lights in the podium, in the first case the full rack of lights felt on her, nothing happen but she was scared and crying and she was saved by someone from the crowd who took her away from the podium, on the second case just 1 light felt away from the stage towards the public. The weird thing was that I saw the second situation first but I knew that this was something from the future that will happen shortly after.
yesterday night I was talking with my sister about her being sensitive, I was watching a documentary about the Indigo children and for how I see my sister I think she could be one, she doesn’t feel/visualize everything and don’t think she has a big connection with energies, but she is very strong and devoted to arts.
thank you for your help.


-Didi 2015-01-09 13:43:22

I always dream in a lot of detail is your dream interpretations for free?

Well anycase I always write down my dreams I had 3 quite weird attacking dreams in consecutave days all feelings differ while and afterwards so I would like to have someone interpret these weird dreams but am afraid of emotional conection thus I am not writing it here now.


-dieketseng mokoena 2015-01-23 20:09:59

I had a dream of which I was visiting my boyfriend’s home town (ex stays in the same street ),on my dream I saw his ex looking angry at me n wanted to attack me.I escaped but the next minute I was at her home with her sister who looked friendly n sat me down on a mat.I asked where my bf was but its like he went somewhere.The ex was outside the house,I was feeling otherwise on the dream :( what does it mean?


-Bianca 2015-02-14 9:05:35

I had a dream last night about an old best friend of mine. The day before I had this dream,she put a letter in my mailbox saying she wanted to talk to me and had been thinking about it for a while now. Our friendship broke apart when her boyfriend and I slept together and went out for three months,but now they are dating again. In my dream her boyfriend and I were talking out the back of her their house and she came outside and just charged me. Her boyfriend (my ex),was holding me from behind,but in my dream felt like he was trying to protect me. She was swing a golf club at me and that’s when I said to her boyfriend(my ex) let me go I need to defend myself. As he let me go,she swung the club,I grabbed it and hit her in the head,as I went for another swing,I seen she was hurt enough,I dropped it and left with my dad and sister who seemed to be in the house. Can anyone tell me what the hell this means. I haven’t spoken to her,but I’ve been thinking about it,but after this dream,I’m thinking not to as it’s telling me I’m going to get in between them again,and I don’t want to do that at all. I just need some closure and I want to give her closure,but I’m not sure if I should????


    -Anna 2015-02-14 13:32:46

    Bianca :-)

    As I see it you are mixing your inner life with your outer life, which leads to some confusion inside you.

    As far as your outer life is concerned:
    Perhaps you believe that your old best friend puts all the blame on you for what happened?
    Did you ask her?
    Can you move beyond “the blame game” and so beyond the “attack and defend game” and learn from what has happened?

    About your inner life:
    Are you still in conflict with yourself about what happened?
    Do you blame yourself for losing your old best friend in your outer life?

    Can you imagine that both your old best friend and your ex are still a part of your inner life and that there is not even a way you can get rid of them in your inner life?
    For a better understanding please read this entry and know that this counts not only for the relationship with your ex, but also for the relationship with your old best friend:

    The dream showed you that in order to get the closure you need, you have to work your way through this conflict in your INNER life first.

    Good luck and happy Valentine with your INNER best friends !

    Anna :-)


-paige 2015-02-23 14:12:25

i had a dream i was working in a bar which was being attacked by three people which i recognise but not enough to know who they are. it was quite scary in which made me wake up thinking it had actually happened and when i drifted off again my lips were chapped and took a sip out of my wine for it to fill up with blood (the glass) which was pouring out my mouth


-angel 2015-03-05 10:47:46

In my dream I was sitting in a group of people I know and interact with daily on the floor. This includes a family I am currently with, along with my husband and daughter. I was looking at the children and they were coughing a little bit. I was telling their child Aaron to cover his mouth so nobody else can get sick. In real life he had a cold. In the circle I was holding him while he laid in my lap. I was looking at his hair and was asking someone for. The scissors … his mom says his wife will be the one to say whether he will have short hair and facial hair … I say ohh ok. Then she says no we still want you to cut his hair … I laugh and say something like y’all make me feel like supercut woman or something I cut a piece of his hair. Then out of no where his dad says you can’t even cut his hair right I do the dishes I cook I clean up I say no I do all that too! Then he gets all mad and pushes me then picks me up and throws me in the air I’m calling out to my husband but he is just sitting there and as I’m in the air my attacker runs over to push my side. I take my child and walk out of the room I was trying to figure out where exactly I was so I could call the police I lay her on the bed and was looking for a paper to tell me the address then he was playing some game on TV talking about you ever try honey that is so good I ignore him grab my daughter I was not leaving her in that room and called some people I knew to tell me and they told me I was in kendaya apartment 20 so I was going to call the police my brother kept being a distraction I told him leave me alone I’m trying to do something so he did and I was going to call but I instantly though of my daughter and was wondering where we would go without a place to be when the cops showed up .. I was wondering what this means my husband got the interpretation of adversary trying to overthrow me and I am being tested ..


-Jessica 2015-03-10 17:43:27

You see, I have been dreaming that my friends get hurt by my own mom. Do you have any idea what that means?


-Jenn 2015-03-24 14:13:42

I had a dream that my fiance,whom is a large man, ended up going to this 3 flat to do some kind of business and did not return. I go with at least 4 other people to check it out, which at least another disappears. I can hear screaming and a chainsaw faintly. It is disguised by a party. I can tell there is something not entirely human about these people but I cant place what they are. I ask to use the bathroom and briefly secretly explore real quick and find sheets of gauze with blood all over them. We are allowed to leave but I know we will be hunted soon. I leave and go “home” where I begin to collect knives to hide on my persons. I know that my fiance has fallen victim already. I try in the little time to prepare for battle. They come, i still do not know what they are or how to kill them. But I know I must or I too will die. They take us, me and a female friend, back in the meantime I slash one of their throats, wrists, and ankles to try to defeat them. We fight severaI this way. Almost in a buffy the vampire way and I think there is a part im missing maybe i should stab in the heart too. That may have been the missing part I was tryin to figure out. I thought of that after I woke up. Anyways im starting to do some damage so they bring in a guy who reminds me of The Highlander. I escape somehow then I wake up before it can be resolved. I tried to go back to sleep so I could try the heart thing but couldnt fall back asleep. I knew my time could be limited but I fought nonetheless. I dont know where to begin to look it up since I didnt know what I was dealing with outside of it was not human. Help I been having very vivid dreams lately but this one I havent a clue.


-Human 2015-04-14 4:07:50

I had a dream that I watched my mother get attacked outside of a Wal Mart and I didn’t do anything, and I didn’t even feel anything. I gave the middle finger, I’m guessing to the attackers (who were three large woman), then walked away after a while of watching and feeling nothing, in real life I love my mother so I’d be afraid but in the dream I didn’t care, I didn’t care she could die, I didn’t care if they’d have gone after me, I didn’t care at all, and when I woke up I was shocked and I felt like I’m a shitty person for dreaming of something like that, and also in real life I was scared, just not in the dream at all. WHY~?


    -Anna 2015-04-14 10:56:22

    Human – I reckon you have read this article and so you also came across this part:
    “Someone else being attacked: Anger or aggression toward another; killing off an aspect of oneself represented by the person in the dream. If the person is someone you are in relationship with, it suggests an attempt, however short, to distance oneself from them emotionally”.
    So could it be that you need to break free from your mother’s “emotional energy” in order to become more independent?
    Also when you walked away was there an intention to enter the Wal Mart?
    I ask because shopping often represents the possibilities in life, the decisions you can make, the variety of attitudes or activities you can choose from, or something you are searching for.
    Can you relate to this dream as a reflection of you starting to search for your own (sexual) identity and your mother has to “get out of your way” for that purpose?

    Anna :-)


-amie 2015-04-17 12:00:04

I keep having the same dream every night without fail, in my dream there’s a shadow that is always there where ever I go, I can never get away from it, and when it’s there nasty things happen, I get sexually abuse, physical abused, mental abused and worst of all tortured ripping my teeth out one by one and then starts from my toe nails and finger nails ripping them out to, I can’t tell you the rest as its disgusting, I wake up crying, shivering cold and start of breath, I want it to go away and don’t know how please help someone


-k 2015-05-08 1:09:30

my granddaughter was sexually assaulted at college. While we thought she was healing, and
has pretty much made it through several phases of the process, the dreams have recently started up again, this time with a twist. The first dream was of the attacker, then she had two subsequent nightmares, where we (her grandparents) were the attackers. Any ideas?


    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-05-08 10:56:39

    Dear k – I am sorry to hear what happened to your granddaughter and I understand this must be difficult for you too. I do hear your love and concern for her in your words.
    I wonder what the content was of the other dreams she dreamed and – more important – how she responded to the attacks in her dreams.
    A helpful question for you to ask her is if she was passive in the dreams she had before these attack dreams started up again.
    You can ask her if she is defending her boundaries in these last three attack dreams you mentioned, for that would mean she is making progress on her way towards healing.
    Please also read http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/active-passive/
    After a sexual assault boundaries can become an issue and perhaps she is exploring in her dreams how to deal with them?
    Perhaps she uses your presence in her last two attack dreams to explore how to deal with someone crossing her boundaries – an attack is a form of crossing a personal boundary – with people she feels safe with and loved by?
    A way to consciously explore how to set healthy and clear personal boundaries again in relationships is Power Dreaming.
    With this tool your granddaughter can enter her night-time dreams and explore, while awake, how to deal with the attack situations she meets in these dreams.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/
    Good Luck!
    Anna :-)


-Nzgirl 2015-05-12 19:38:42

I need to get this dream off my chest. My dream: I was standing in what looked like the hallway of the house I live in with my partner and a friend I think we were saying goodnight after a night out I headed to bed (which in my house would be my son’s room) my partner didn’t follow which made me feel uneasy and that something was wrong. I immediately hear a scuffle and the muffled scream of my friend and run into the next room (my room in real life) My partner was on top of her on the ground strangling her from behind in a headlock type position with his hand over her mouth. I intervI end but he was very reluctant to let her go I pried them apart and started attacking my partner with blows to the face. At this point I was so angry I got him up and pushed him into the bathroom across the hall where his friend was and I was yelling at him and telling him to confess what he had done at this point my partners naked??? I then flicked through random moment on a dark beach light by the moon in discussion with the friend that was in the bathroom discussions and thoughts of how angry I was and betrayed Thinking if I should turn him in to the police I was trying to find away to justify not leaving my partner but it broke my heart thinking we would be no longer everything in my head said run a mile.(I woke with these thoughts and still trying to think how i would make it work between us. Whole time all of this was happening I have no clue where he is but I feel he’s near and would have flashe’s of anger and me attacking him. Still on the beach My partner’s friend asked for a kiss. I thought about it and turned him down I was still very loyal to my man I dropped to my knees and felt he may no longer be mine while his friend joked about it saying “he’s not yours anymore is he?” We returned to the house (no longer ressembling my house) and his friend went to the dining room and started eating. I poked my head in the lounge to find my partner asleep on a matress in the lounge under a red silky sheet. I did not go to him I stayed in the dining room where I told his friend he was home I felt relieved??? The end


-Heather 2015-05-20 0:00:35

I woke up to the 2nd worst nightmare ever!!!! Me and my fiancé was at the park not far passed my house and someone tried to shoot me I drove around the track at the park trying to get to him then all of a sudden My course changed to some where’s much farther away n on my way there my brakes went out, not to mention I couldn’t drive on a main road until I realized I needed to get to my fiancé I used the emergency brake and barely stopped before falling off a cliff. Then I put the emergency brake down and started to go back on the road toward him again.I really have mixed emotions about this dream please help.


    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-05-20 10:58:03

    Dear Heather – You wrote “.I really have mixed emotions about this dream please help”, which I will take as a starting point.
    If we take away the images and events occurring in a dream and simply look to see what feelings or emotions are evident, the dream is often more understandable than if we try to interpret the symbols. Feelings in dreams are nearly always undistorted. We therefore do not need to interpret them, simply to recognise them and see if we can recognise where they occur in waking life.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/emotions-and-mood-in-dreams/
    The way I see your dream is that it provides you with three opportunities towards inner growth, and you have not found the right approach yet to allow for it.
    Being shot can indicate penetration, the breaking through your barriers of old patterns of thinking and feeling, to allow something more into your life. It may be painful but growing or being enlarged is often like that.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/personal-growth/
    You also wrote “I couldn’t drive on a main road”.
    The main road is a direction in life taken by many others and so perhaps also by your fiancé, so it can indicates what everyone else does, the norm, or the established.
    You were challenged to take another road, which may be about choosing for a new personal direction and it is at that point where you got afraid and the fear is somehow related to your fiancé.
    Please also read http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/fear-is-another-word-for-hope/
    Your brakes not working in a dream might also suggest high anxiety or losing control of a situation or events, thus may indicate a fear of taking chances or initiating things in case they get ‘out of hand’.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/individuation/
    Going over a cliff is another opportunity to grow; it is like being on the edge of change. It can also indicate taking a risk or a barrier, and so being confronted by fear and how you deal with your fears.
    I feel it will be helpful to use “Power Dreaming” to explore this dream for yourself; perhaps you can explore if you can allow for inner growth first and then return to your fiancé?
    In many cases if you are at the top of the cliff it shows great space beyond where you stand. Some dreamers find this threatening, and for others it is an opportunity to fly or in some way relate to the vastness of the universe – their inner life. In this sense it represents the unknown, the possibilities of your life and how you relate to them. So it shows how you respond to or relate to the hugeness of your unconscious inner life.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/
    Good Luck!
    Anna :-)


-Being attacked and I CAN scream 2015-06-29 13:23:39

I dreamt I was in a building, can’t remember the purpose of my meeting but it was informal, like a couple of people working on a collaboration of some sort, and I went to use a public restroom and walked past a man to enter, didn’t think anything of it but when I got to the stall, I was having trouble locking the door then saw a sign with directions to do something 55 times. I finally got it and then the guy appeared and was reaching over the door with a weapon in his hand trying to, I think stab me, but I couldn’t figure out what the weapon was, it didn’t really look like a knife. I wanted to scream and was afraid nothing would come out so I thought to myself you HAVE to.scream, you HAVE TO, and I woke myself up dream screaming. I was really relieved that for the first time in a long time, I actually had a sound come out! My first thought, though, was “why am I dreaming about being attacked?” Was the significance of the dream the ability to scream or was it the attacker? Or both? Would love am interpretation.


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