This frequently represents yourself when you were a baby, or at least, your feelings when young. Many dreams including a doll show it being savagely beaten or injured. In this case it could show you how hurt you felt in your own childhood, or perhaps it means you are angry and need a target that will not hit back. Occasionally, in a woman’s dream it could mean you want to be cared for like a precious doll.
Many ‘doll’ dreams are, as the example, using the doll as a target for violence. This may refer to how the dreamer felt as a child when smacked or attacked emotionally – like a helpless doll.
Example: ‘She continues to attack him and to my horror and feeling of helplessness, his head comes off. But the neck is made of some sort of material with a string hanging off it, and I realise it is a doll’s head.’ Mr R. H.
Many dolls are used to express a desire to have a baby.
Dolls can also express the way we feel about the past, or represent different people – Mum and Dad, brother or sister. We use them to act out or experience things we might not be able to do in daily life. Using a doll in the dream frees us from any guilt we might feel if we really expressed our real feelings.
Example: And then last night, I dreamt that I had really long hair, which I have had, but now it is shoulder length; and then I went to put it in a braid because it was all in the way, and easily tangled. Instead I cut it all off, unevenly… I looked like a bald Barbie doll, varying lengths of pieces sticking every which way, and a shiny bald spot on the front. But I wasn’t upset, just a bit confused why I cut it off, because I liked it long.
In the above dream the person had recently gone through a massive transformation and the dream shows her uncertainty of how she sees or feels about herself.
Sometime a desire to return to wonderful days of childhood or a part of you that needs to be brought to life.
Example: In answer to this rather truculent question the patient flared up. “You fool, how do you think I can give it to myself? Can I go back and make my parents rich? Can I take back the doll my sister stole; can I go to school without those awful holes in my dresses—ashamed, ashamed of everything I had and was? Oh, God, oh, God, it’s frozen in time, like a fly buried in amber, and nothing can ever change it. As long as I live that little girl will go on wearing her coat to hide her dresses. As long as I live that hateful woman will always be turning away, cold and disapproving. Nothing can save that girl, nothing!”—and now she ‘was sobbing quietly for the past she could not change.
The rupture between the patient’s ideal of herself and the facts that shattered it was eventually healed, but her dilemma points up a fact that all of us face. Reality can seldom be bent to our dreams for ourselves, either the reasonable ones or the unreasonable ones that could never possibly be achieved. Our hopes are too big for it. Every life bears its residue of unfulfilled dreams, and every parent looks to his children to satisfy them.
Example: I noticed a large rag doll on the floor. I seemed to know the doll belonged to Joan, and was unconsciously used as a substitute for her deep longing for a son. I held out my hand to the doll, with love, and it came alive and crawled to me. It came to me as a lonely child might come into ones arms hungering for love. I held it close to me, and Joan came over and I held her too. Then all barriers seemed to melt, and everything disappeared from view. All that existed was I as a united being and consciousness. It was, I think, beautiful. I used the word think, because I find it difficult to describe the experience. We melted into each other beyond the sense of being separated by the surface of ones skin If one literally entered during sexual intercourse, and melted together like drops of water uniting, this is how it would be.
Useful questions and hints:
In my dream what feelings are there connected with the doll?
In what way is the doll being handled or used.
What does the condition of the doll express?