The first part of this entry applies to both girls and boys but a separate section for girls is given here – Teenage Girls

Yourself at that age, so the attitudes and responses developed at that age. If you are younger than the dream youth it indicates your potential of growth and change; the part of you growing toward that age. See: Boy; Girl.

It is a time if quite enormous and often dramatic changes, for you are preparing to become a woman or man. This means you are starting to feel the urgent pressure of sexual desire and forming a way of dealing with it.

Adolescence is the time of your greatest sexual growth, and development of new ranges of emotion, intellect, and sensitivity. So any adolescent in your dream often points to yourself at that age, and the things you faced – or if you are not yet a teenager, then the things you feel about moving toward adolescence.

During adolescence we move from youth to becoming a mature adult. This means learning to become more independent of the work energy, the money and time given by parents. It means making your own decisions, moving toward learning how to survive live without your parents support and establishing yourself in the community and the world. Sometimes the break from parents is made by establishing a relationship with someone. However the shift needs a level of heroism in many ways, and if you succeed the difficulties change and deepen you.

This journey of becoming an individual is not only that of becoming a person, but also expanding the boundaries of what we can allow ourselves to experience as an ego. As we can see from an observation of our dreams, but mostly from an extensive exploration of their feeling content, our ego is conscious of only a small area of experience. The fundamental life processes in our being may be barely felt. In many contemporary women, the reproductive drive is talked about as something that has few connections with their personality. Few people have a living feeling contact with their early childhood; in fact many people doubt that such can exist. Because of these factors the ego can be said to exist as an encapsulated small area of consciousness, surrounded by huge areas of experience it is unaware of. These unconscious areas of their being direct their life to an extraordinary degree. Individuation means to emerge from unconscious dependence on this hidden side of self. It means to become functionally independent of the archetypes that dominate human life. In many ways it is similar to, and includes, becoming functionally independent of ones mother and father. See The Story of a Premature Baby

At such a time you may unconsciously use certain strategies to become independent. One is to become angry, defensive or down right obnoxious. What this does is to give strength to break away – even if it means feeling your parents are a heap of shit.

Another way is to become a mother’s boy and cling – but this doesn’t mean you become independent emotionally, but it might make you feel safe.

On one site about teenage behavior it list such things as:

Does your child often:

  • lose his temper
  • argue with adults
  • refuse to comply with rules and requests
  • deliberately annoy people
  • blame others for his mistakes and misbehavior

Or is your child often:

  • touchy and easily annoyed by others
  • angry and resentful
  • spiteful and vindictive

These are all ways to become yourself, after all, all your life you have had to be dependent on parents or carers. And it is quite something to emerge from it. But if you understand what happening it can become an easier journey.

The dream world of the adolescent shows very big shifts from that of the child. One of the major themes here is illustrated in this dream from Natalie, a thirteen year old:

I have this recurring nightmare. I see my mother standing by my bedroom door, blocking it as if I am being trapped and stopped from getting out. I often call to her, “Let me out Mum” but she just stands there staring with no expression on her face at all. I end up getting out of bed and switching my bedroom light on and then she disappears. Sometimes I will see her standing by my wardrobe. It seems as if she is always standing by a door and trying to trap me.

The dream shows how a teenager is trying to find a way out of her dependence on mother. The dependence is felt as if it is the power of the mother over the child, a sort of restrictive force. This theme of moving toward independence physically and psychologically is a huge step to take, and many dreams in this period explore how this can be achieved, and the various paths one could take to attain it.

Example: Back with my lover I felt, still young, inexperienced and a bit clumsy, but laughing and happy, the flow of pleasure to my lover, leading to a kiss. The deep internal pleasure of kissing gradually widened until it led to genital feeling. I realised so many things as this lovely gentle growth of feeling and flowing occurred. I realised that I and most teenagers have too much technical sex instruction, so it is portrayed as an erect penis entering the vagina.

But I was seeing it wasn’t like that at all. First of all came the gradual relationship with my lover and as that deepened it led to touching, being happy together and kissing. The kiss, oral pleasure, was our first area of loving with our mother through the breast. From that original centre of pleasure, it grows into anal and genital pleasure. This was what was happening. Then gently the body began to move. But there was still no erection. The movement was the forerunner of the inner pleasurable urge to thrust and penetrate. So there was a slow and internal growth through escalating feelings, and not an outwardly ordained set of movements that led to “sex”!

The following dream shows a particular facet of this. It is from Eric Fromm’s book on dreams, The Forgotten Language. The dreamer was a young man, an only child, who had been cosseted by over protective parents, and was finding it difficult to face life without their support.

He dreamed that he was about five or six years old and was faced by a river he must cross. He looked for a bridge but found none. He thought of swimming but then realized he could not swim. (In the waking state he actually could swim). He then sees a tall, dark man who indicates he will carry him across the river in his arms. He is greatly relieved and allows the stranger to pick him up and begin. But then he is seized with panic. He suddenly realizes that if he does not escape from this man he will die!

They are already in the river, he in the man’s arms, when he gathers his courage and makes a desperate leap into the river. He is sure he will drown but suddenly finds that he can swim and soon reaches the other side. The frightening man disappears.

Each of us is immersed in a ‘river’ of constant change. If you think about it you have been carried, pushed, impelled by this current as you were moved through babyhood, childhood, teenage and adulthood, and there are more stages of growth beyond adulthood. And as we passed through these changes we died to our old self in order to change to the new. It is the current of Life. This current then carries us on through old age and through the gates of death. All the time we are faced by decisions, and each decision directs us on a different path, helping to create our future. And this is a force of growth and change.

How do I leave home?

Dr. Fromm describes crossing the river as the need, and the difficulty, of moving from childhood toward adult independence. The man represents all the support he gets from parents and other people such as teachers and friends – excellent while he was a child, but something he must learn to do without if he is to develop his own innate strengths. When the dreamer takes the risk of daring the river, he finds he has the ability to survive.

In many teenage dreams a darker note arises as the emerging independence starts to make a dramatic break with parental authority and with the dependence upon the succouring received. Because the break is difficult it sometimes needs anger or a form of violence. This is not because the parents are necessarily holding on to the child, but because the need of the child is so strong, that to cut those ties a form of violence is used. We then find a dream such as the following:

I dreamed I dared not move from home as I had murdered my father and hid the body in the rubbish tip at the end of the garden.

If it is not murder, then the dreamer sees the parent or parents die. In either case, the child still faces life without them, and this seems to be the point of such dreams. In waking life there may at such times also be some anger or aggressiveness toward the parents – once again a means of making the break. After all, how could you move away if you were still tied emotionally? The next dream illustrates the quieter form of getting rid of a parent.

For the past year I have had recurring dreams about fairground rides. Occasionally members of my family, including my father have died on the rides. When I’m on the ride I’ve survived, but I can sense danger all around me. This dream is beginning to bother me. I am 15 years old.

Sexual development is of course of prime importance at this time.  So dreams explore the facets of this in a variety of ways.

Example: As I considered teenage I had a series of wonderful scenes occur. They were so lovely I laughed with pleasure. I felt the explosion of energy which occurs in adolescence, and I saw teenagers, running, dancing, loving, fighting, and exploring relationships. They were life exploding into the new, into experiment, into growth. If we held them back too firmly it would be like my stuck record, and my vision of the cosmos had shown me life never repeats itself, never stops. It always moves on, changes, dances.

Many things we face while young are never resolved, or remain as potentials, and are frequently confronted later in life. So the dream teenager can depict these unresolved issues or potential still to discover and work through them by keeping in touch with their dreams and attempting to understand them. 

Teenage girls experience these years similarly, but there are also marked differences.

If you are a teenage girl, you will be experiencing the changes brought about by puberty. Looking at your dreams can help you understand these changes as you develop from a child into a woman. The physical and emotional issues which are part of adolescence will often emerge in your dreams.

There are three major themes you may notice in your dreams. One of the most important is the emergence of your sexual abilities as a woman. In all warm blooded animals sex is not just the urge to join two bodies genitally. It also involves desires to attract and bond to a mate; the urge to have a child, and the strength to care for and protect your children. Your dreams are a safe place where you practice or unfold these emerging facets of yourself. Dreams allow you to work out any difficulties in letting these qualities flower. It is quite normal to worry that you may not be attractive enough to attract a partner, or that if you do you may not know what to do. So you will probably dream of a boy you find attractive, and enjoy the pleasure of touching and loving. You will also encounter the fears or pains standing in the way of such a meeting.

At this level of your development you are in a huge flood of hormones that drive you toward enormous desires for a man. It is actually the sex instinct, but you might not recognise it as that. It may probably be felt as a tremendous attraction to a star singer or actor – sometimes a desire to improve your appearance – it could even show as ambition to achieve something to become a mature person. Sometimes it is even a firm sense that you do not want anything to do with a man. It can express in many ways, but it is your life energy, and is diverted or directed according to you inner world – the world of your beliefs, convictions, educational ideas, your programming from parents and society. See Programmed

The courtship and mating behaviours in reproduction and the sexual drive that urges you toward the opposite sex or toward mating in some way, is often accepted in its naked power, to find a mate and to have sex in order to procreate. Unfortunately most of us have no real awareness of how we are instinctive creatures and so are driven largely by ‘nature’ in us. After all we are mammals, for us as we evolved as humans, had lived in the state for millions of years, where we never had to make decisions but were directed by our instincts. And being conscious and able to look back upon oneself and ask, “What am I?” – We were suddenly naked of this background of support given by instincts and felt exposed and unprotected.

Most people explain it by the idea of romance and soul mates, and so often end up deeply hurt. Other instinctive drives are the desire to have standing and recognition in one’s social group; the drive for dominance – or the resulting depression or sickness if no recognition or place in the group is found. This is most likely an influence form the reptilian brain we all have that is a basic prompt. It developed about 200 million years ago and is still an underpinning part of what influences your behaviour today. See Animals in your Brain

Your dreams can guide you as you flower into the unique woman you potentially already are. No matter what you look like, no matter what your skin colour, you have an innate beauty. As you look around you, you may recognise the beauty in everyone, and realise that no one is too fat or thin, too ugly or too beautiful, too white or too dark, too wrinkly or too spotty to love and be loved. As the secret processes of life are transforming you into a woman, you may realise that being female is something you share with women of every race throughout history – yet YOU are unique.

Example: I dreamt of being with a woman who was desperately seeking a man. I was also with my own female companion. I believe the woman had been suddenly dropped by her man, and I and my partner were close and with her.

Still in the semi-awake state I tried ‘being’ the woman, and had a very clear response. I experienced being her, but was also me with experience of seeing into myself in some degree. I saw that the woman, like most of us, was a female creature whose instinctive drive was to find a mate. But she was not aware of this as an instinctive drive but as a personal feeling. As such she had become, like many women and men, lost in a huge web of personal ideas about whether they were attractive, sexy, with many complications about love, gender mixed with childhood unconscious traumas and the heartbreak all that brings. See Being the Person or Thing

Being pregnant

In some dreams you may also experience being pregnant, and even having a baby. These are very positive signs that you are meeting your physical and emotional changes well.

Example: I’m 14 and had a dream of having a baby boy. I don’t know who my husband was. I am sitting in a house with no roof and all my family come to see my baby and said it was special. It was night time. When I looked into the sky there were 3 moons. Two of them were shaped like a lady with a baby in her arms. Sam – Teletext.

Sam’s dream shows a great sense of beauty and ease about her ability to have a baby.


Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved