Kill Killed Killing
Being killed: An interior or exterior influence which you feel is ‘killing’ – undermining, making ineffective, strangling, choking – ones self confidence, or sense of identity.
Killing oneself: In the example the dreamer has killed himself in some way and is becoming aware of it.
Example: It was something like a semi detached and sited on a slope. I was outdoors and I think felt or knew that we had just taken over this house. But I felt uneasy as if something from the past was linked with it.
Then I was at the back of the house, on the part sloping down from the back wall of the house. I noticed things covering what turned out to be a big hole dug against the back wall, deep into the soil. This was where I felt most ill at ease about the place. The hole had been covered with bits of board and other odd pieces of junk. I lifted these at the left of the hole and looked in. Sticking out from the side of the hole, about three feet down was the dead body of a young man. I could see the back of his skull had been smashed in. But although he had obviously been under the soil for some time, and had now been uncovered, the body was still in good condition, being slightly dried out or mummified.
I felt really guilty and connected with the body, as if I had been part of his murder, and was wondering frantically what I could do to hide or get rid of the body. Part of the problem was that pulling it out risked being seen with it.
In ‘being’ the body in the dream the man said, “But it wasn’t until I got into the role of the dead body that any depth of feelings emerged. Almost as soon as I was in the role of the dead body I began to think about and feel things connected with the way I had killed my sexuality as a teenager. Gradually these feelings deepened and I was describing my feeling hatred in regard to sexuality and how the masses were pulled along by their genitals into some sort of conformity and performance. I felt anger and loathing for what I felt at the time were the cattle human beings were. At the time I despised and hated them. I also felt repugnance at the way people talked about sex or appeared to enjoy it. It has to be understood that in that period in history in the UK, most of sex was depicted in terms of smut, dirt, animal desire, hidden pornography, or loveless fucking. I wept deeply, at times hardly able to breathe, with the pain of seeing what I had done to myself. I said sorry over and over. I saw that I need not have killed my love and sexuality, but could have expressed it in a tender and loving way.
Killing: Repressing or stopping some aspect of oneself – as when we kill our love for someone.
Killing parents: In the example below Audrey’s height shows her as a child. She is releasing anger about the attitudes and situations her father forced ‘down her throat’. To be free of the introverted restraints and ready made values gathered from our parents, at some time in our growth we may kill or bury them in our dreams. Although some people are shocked by such dreams, they are healthy signs of emerging independence. Old myths of killing the chief so the tribe can have a new leader, depict this process. When father or mother is ‘dead’ in our dream, we can inherit all the power gained from whatever was positive in the relationship. Also is is a lesson on standing on ourown feet alone.
Example: ‘My father was giving me and another woman some medicine. Something was being forced on us. I started to hit and punch him in the genitals and when he was facing the other way, in the backside. I seemed to be just the right height to do this and I had a very angry feeling that I wanted to hurt him as he had hurt me.’ Audrey V.
Sometimes a dream about our family is a literal statement in symbols, of what we sense is happening in the family.
Killing animals: This shows you killing urges or needs you have that are natural and instinctive. Mostly this is injurious to your wholeness, but occasionally needs to be done to deal with special life situations. The killing might also point to feelings of pain and conflict, as when we kill out something in us that is natural or even beautiful; like when we trained to be nice to everyone even though our instinctive reaction is to avoid them. The same applies to reasonable anger. See: family and relationships; animals.
Example: ‘When inside the house I dream of recurrently, I am terrified of someone, a man who is trying to find and kill me.’ Barbara T.
As a young woman Barbara discovered the dead body of her father he had shot himself in the house of her dream. Being killed here shows Barbara feeling overwhelmed by the feelings about her father – the man.
Example: ‘Some two weeks before my dear wife died of cancer of the oesophagus, at about three a.m. in the morning, she shot up in bed screaming ‘No. No! No!’ On questioning her she said her mother, who had died in November 1981, was trying to kill her.’ Gerry B.
In this unusual dream the wife feels the approach of death, depicted by her mother. As dreams suggest death is as much a new area of experience as adolescence was, it would have helped to meet the mother of this dream and find a more positive relationship as described in Processing Dreams. See: death.
Example: A big man, with several gunmen, came into the house at Woburn Walk, threatening to kill my father. I held them off by threatening the leader with the 410 shotgun held at his head. There was no definite conclusion one way or another at the end of the dream. I thought afterwards that there was a great deal of fear of persecution in the dream, and wondered what would happen if I let myself be persecuted, i.e. if I dropped the fear of threat.
Being threatened by gunman again. But this time there is no sense of fear. However the dream does not end conclusively. During a borderline state today, I saw that I (we?) had got to the “pockets” of trouble, and it was now being worked on.
Another interesting dream because the next day he dreamt: “That I had been having treatment for mental illness, but I didn’t know it. My wife somehow drew my attention to it, and I realised that there were great gaps in my memory, signifying the times I had been insane. I also thought that since the treatment I was worse, as I had several symptoms of a troublesome nature that I had not had previously. The dream left a very strong aftertaste.”
The pockets of trouble that were being met were in fact his previously unmet fears and trauma. So the threat of death by the gunmen was showing his fear of persecution, which he then was willing to face. This led to feeling that at times he had been completely unaware of his problems. That led to his troublesome symptoms that could now surface.
Idioms: dressed fit to kill; if looks could kill; kill a penalty; kill an elephant; kill for; kill me; kill off; kill ourselves laughing; kill the goose that lays the golden eggs; kill time; kill two birds (with one stone); time to kill; curiosity killed the cat; killer instinct; killing me; make a killing
Useful Questions and Hints:
Considering that each person dreamt of is usually and aspect of oneself, what was being killed?
Did you feel a connection with the death of feel guilty?
How did you react to the killing?