Letting go of Your Child
Please can you help me I have a grown up son who will be 22 this year we are very close he lives with his lovely girlfriend and her two daughters he is working and has a good wee life at the moment . I don’t really see him as much now because of his work but we still close and am very proud of him. Then last night I had a really bad nightmare about him in the nightmare he was showing me that he could jump from roof to roof of building’s I told him to stop but he didn’t and while jumping from the 2nd building to the 3rd on a corner he missed and fell then I was screaming one of my sisters was with me the doctors told me he was dead on arrival I had to phone my mum and was screaming down the phone that my son had died this dream has really shook me up and frightened me badly could you please help me and tell me what this dream means please . Also I am getting remarried next year and my son and partner get on really well . I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible please thank you yours sincerely emma
Dear Emma – I can feel that you love your son very much and I see it is your love for him that is preparing you to do the next step in letting go of him.
For a mother letting go of her son is a process which involves many steps on many levels.
The first step you managed to do; “I don’t really see him as much now”.
The next step as I see it expressed in your dream is to accept that he will be less close to you emotionally, which is reflected by him standing on the roof; he does not need your emotional protection anymore and he is ready to take the jump.
You perceive this jump as him falling – during our development or growth we also ‘fall’ from our mother’s womb when ripe – and dying; it symbolises the end of the relationship with him as you have known it so far for he will become more independent and you are aware that this is a natural growth process that you cannot stop.
Do understand that he is not jumping/pulling away because he does not love you anymore. A son needs to emotionally separate from his mother (as does a mother from her son) so that he can grow into the man he needs to be.
What this looks like and feels like to him is often very different from what it looks like and feels like to you, his mother.
You feel the loss of the son – of the relationship with him – you’ve known. You feel the loss at such a deep level that it hurts more than you thought it ever could. And you now have to figure out a different way to relate to him — one that may feel more distant, but may be more respectful of where he is in his life. Anna
Example: Hi! I’m new. Been reading up on my dreams every now and then. I am totally floored by what I believe the interpretation to be of last nights dream. I do not dream much. Or don’t remember my dreams much I should say.
I have 18 year old triplets. I am married for the third time. My son is in a relationship for the first time and it’s very scary to see how emotionally dependent he is on this young lady. He will go to any extreme to see her. Lying and manipulating. This lead to a fight last night. Hurtful words. He told me he didn’t want a relationship w me anymore. I was devastated, but remained calm. My kids are wonderful. They do not drink, party, etc. they are very involved in their youth group. My daughters have been ranked first and second in their class, my son, 16th. I have never experienced this hurt.
The trees seem to be symbolizing something I’ve built and a displacement? I do dream of my dog, that was 19 when I had to put him to sleep. He was also my “baby”. He is in my dreams occasionally. The trees were falling. Not on us, but near us. They were big. Crushing. I woke up sad. Scared. Robinm
Robinm – Your children are only a part of you. As I said in something I wrote, “Sometimes we have the strangely naive attitude that this is a new being who has entered the world. But what is there new in nature? Can we say, if we plant an acorn, that the oak tree growing is new? Well, yes. The body and leaves of the tree will be unique. But millions of years in the lives of other trees are involved in the growth of this particular oak. It cannot, it hasn’t, simply emerged from itself. Whatever way we explain birth, the baby carries with it the influences of an immense number of men and women who lived, struggled, loved, in the past.
But boys are more expressive of their drive to become independent from you, although it is often achieved by them switching their dependence from you to another person. Girls are often more quiet, but if they are healthy will strive for their own independence.
I have lived a long life with four boys and a girl as my family. So I have experienced a complete cut off by all my children, which has changed into a wonderful family feeling. One son told me that I was a heap of shit and would never have anything it do with me. Fortunately I had remembered the awful things I had done to my mother, and saw it as him growing up. Now he rings me up regularly and talks with complete man to man feelings, and is so full of vigour.
Another friend whose daughter had nothing to do with him and totally cut off from him, was certain it was forever and was in great – unnecessary pain - and I told him it was often a part of growing up. A few years later he phoned me to say his daughter was again a loving person for him
Many of us seem to forget how we became independent and the tricks we play. We often have to feel our parents are hateful or awful to get the courage to make break the tremendous emotional bond we had with mum. And mother’s and father’s should respect this and be patient. Letting them free means they are free to fly back to you as an adult, or training adult. That is what parent hood is about.
The trees may also be those around you that you see failing to live up to your own expectations. So do not put out fear to your children because they will feel they are not capable to face life.
Your children, even adventurous boys, are a blessing, so tell them or show them so.
See also Individuation