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What Triggers Dreams About Being Attacked?

By: Libby Pelham BA - Updated: 9 Jun 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
What Triggers Dreams About Being Attacked?

Q.

Can you explain what triggers dreams/nightmares about being attacked (and also mess and clutter)?

I am 78 yrs old and have had recurring dreams such as these for over 20 years and am now seeking some clarification.

(IW, 13 February 2009)

A.

Dreaming of being attacked is actually quite common. In some cases, people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder or some other type of anxiety ailment due to an actual physical attack may dream of being attacked as their psyche still tries to deal with the incident.

More than likely though, a dream of being attacked is generally triggered by the suppression or fear of something going on in your life. While in your dream, you may be attacked by any number of things – a man, a monster, or a wild animal – but, what is actually attacking you is some disturbing area in your life that you may not notice or may think you have under control during waking hours. When we don’t openly acknowledge our fears, they show up in our dreams, where our minds are much freer and open to feelings.

Look at all aspects of your life and try to pinpoint the area of stress. You say you have had this dream off and on for 20 years. Go back 20 years and see what was going on in your life. Did you retire when you were 58? If you did, was it of your own free will or were you forced to due to an illness? Or, had you ever worked outside the home? Maybe you felt guilty and less than useful being a homemaker. It may be that at 58, you were re-examining your youth and realized you missed out on something – getting married, having children, having a career.

And, it may be that at 58, you began to realize that your body was getting older and time was no longer on your side. Many of us think when we are young that we will never get old, but in your forties and fifties, you really begin to notice physical and mental changes and realize that age is creeping up on you.

If the anxiety that goes with aging is not dealt with, but only suppressed, what is “attacking” you in your dreams is the fear of getting older and eventually death. The dreams of clutter and mess could be that you feel if you died today, there would be areas that would be left in chaos, where it is something physical like the clutter in your home or mental like having a will or telling people you love them.

If that is the case, you may want to seek counseling. Twenty years is a long time to have reoccurring dreams and it may take a professional to help you deal with the issues. If you cannot afford counseling, talk to family and friends about this anxiety and try to come to terms with it. Meditate on seeking peace with this problem each night before you go to sleep. Recognize the anxiety, but concentrate on not allowing it to creep into your dreams anymore.

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Lexi - 29-May-19 @ 3:13 PM
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Keke - 6-May-19 @ 6:34 AM
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Shell - 23-Mar-19 @ 7:54 AM
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Hen - 20-Mar-19 @ 3:20 AM
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Mel - 27-Feb-19 @ 10:28 PM
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Lew - 16-Feb-19 @ 6:06 AM
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Witchbaby - 22-Jan-19 @ 11:20 AM
I have been having this nightmare for 2 weeks every night,Im in a apt by myself an in bed to go to sleep an a man with all black clothes on with a black hat he attacks me everytime I fight back hes to strong an when I finally wake up my whole body feels like I'm beat up I'm in alot of pain alot of times I wake up then go back to sleep it continues its very scary I don't know wut it means I'm very scared an worried I don't want to b by myself everyone in my family I tell they say its just a dream wont happen in real life.plez to me wut it means
Teens - 25-Oct-18 @ 3:04 AM
Hi I just had a variation of the same dream 3 times back to back. The first 2 times where I think I wake up the dream stops. I don't become fully conscious until the 3rd time. 1st time: The dream occurs in a white mans house and the person threatens me to clean water up that was thrown on me. I along with 2 white girls he threatens to kill. All 3 of us manage to take him down. When he throws water on me He tells me clean it up and calls me a name. The phone rings and the person threatens me as well. After the phine call is when we attack. I wake up. 2nd time: back in the house the man isn't there yet and my sister, Dom, and Shawn are trying to show me how to attack him. I learn how to wipe something on th e skins and light it causing it burn open by testing it out on Shawn. The guy returns with a a white person holding a gun similar to an AK-47 I end up crawling on the ground outside and I maybe hear an attack/explosion. I wake up. 3rd time: back at the house waiting for the guy to return and this time my line sisters show up gearing up to help me. This time I'm crawling on the ground, the guy and others white ppl are there with machine guns. I'm crawling on the ground then I'm heading back inside successfully defeating the ppl. And my line sisters are sharing with me who all will be staying with me. I wake up. I go to the restroom to try and calm my nerves. As soon as i get back in bed the vision of the white guy with black hair, sky blue top with black cargo shorts is all that I can see. I begin to cry.
Bubbles - 19-Sep-18 @ 7:28 AM
Nita - Your Question:
I am going through a messy divorce where my ex had an affair(still with her) and he assaulted me so badly I spend 3 weeks in hospitalI dreamed that my sister and were in the kitchen when I heard someone in a room elsewhere in a house, It was dark and when I got there I was sure I saw something, my sister did not believe me and followed me to the room, but on the way there I kept telling myself to look for a weapon in case there is trouble. Before I could warn her that a light was on the that room I turned around and a man all dresses in black attached me, I actually woke up from my own screams.please explain

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. This is more to do with post-traumatic stress than any deeper meaning to your dream. You are obviously still mentally recovering from this episode, which understandably will take time.
AnalyseDreams - 3-Sep-18 @ 2:24 PM
I am going through a messy divorce where my ex had an affair(still with her) and he assaulted me so badly I spend 3 weeks in hospital I dreamed that my sister and were in the kitchen when I heard someone in a room elsewhere in a house, It was dark and when I got there I was sure I saw something, my sister did not believe me and followed me to the room, but on the way there I kept telling myself to look for a weapon in case there is trouble. Before I could warn her that a light was on the that room I turned around and a man all dresses in black attached me, I actually woke up from my own screams. please explain
Nita - 31-Aug-18 @ 9:41 AM
Hello I was just wondering if you’d be able to tell me what this dream means? A man knocked on the door late at night, everyone’s still up so probably around 10pm, he’s wearing a blue tracksuit and has a black eye, I just got home with a couple that I don’t know, a boy and girl that are clearly together. Mum gets up and opens it and he walks straight in and sort of shakes his arms out as if ready for a fight and no ones seems to bother so I stand up in a defensive way. He goes to hit me and pulls out a knife, I shout for the boy to do something and he stands up hits him once then sits back with his girlfriend. The man is now on his knees but pointing the knife at me and attempts to stab me again so I hit him with the closest things I can grab but nothing seems to deter him, he keeps trying to stab me and he’s slowly getting closer. As he goes to stab me again I wake up.
Elouise - 21-Aug-18 @ 5:49 AM
Over the course of the week, I’ve been having dreams of fighting the getting attacked by 2 of more people. Not the same reoccurring dream.. all different situations but it always ends with me fighting multiple random people.
RD - 19-Aug-18 @ 10:59 PM
Princess - Your Question:
Hello. I had a dream that my second to youngest (16) sister and big sister (25) were getting beat on by a man my sister was dating and the first night me (19) and my youngest sister (12) hid from the attacker. The next day all of us were packing to leave the house until it was safe to come back when in the process, I spotted three men at the door trying to break in. I asked my second to youngest (16) if that’s who the boy was and she said yes. So immediately me and my youngest run to the back to get bats and call the cops and as we’re running back my two sisters are already getting beat on. I handed them bats and we all started to beat them until they couldn’t move. And somehow The guy that my second to youngest sister was dating Who is also the attacker’s has a child that my big sister is holding. I’m not sure what a baby had to do with the dream but now I am holding the mans arms up asking my sister if she wants to kill him or wait for the cops and just in case he was to come back from jail and harm her she killed him then I woke up once the cops arrive. Me and my youngest sister didn’t get hurt during the two encounters with this man but my second to youngest and oldest sister did and I don’t understand why. Nor why a baby was in there can you explain?

Our Response:
I can only assume you have quite a bit of anger or resentment bubbling under the surface at the moment. It could be regarding an incident or happenings that are not connected to your dream or the people in your dream. It could be a school, college, job, family, friend or general situation. Or it may be that you are stressed and need a bit of a break or rest.
AnalyseDreams - 16-Aug-18 @ 11:29 AM
Hello. I had a dream that my second to youngest (16) sister and big sister (25) were getting beat on by a man my sister was dating and the first night me (19) and my youngest sister (12) hid from the attacker. The next day all of us were packing to leave the house until it was safe to come back when in the process, I spotted three men at the door trying to break in. I asked my second to youngest (16) if that’s who the boy was and she said yes. So immediately me and my youngest run to the back to get bats and call the cops and as we’re running back my two sisters are already getting beat on. I handed them bats and we all started to beat them until they couldn’t move. And somehow The guy that my second to youngest sister was dating Who is also the attacker’s has a child that my big sister is holding. I’m not sure what a baby had to do with the dream but now I am holding the mans arms up asking my sister if she wants to kill him or wait for the cops and just in case he was to come back from jail and harm her she killed him then I woke up once the cops arrive. Me and my youngest sister didn’t get hurt during the two encounters with this man but my second to youngest and oldest sister did and I don’t understand why. Nor why a baby was in there can you explain?
Princess - 15-Aug-18 @ 2:00 PM
Rastababy - Your Question:
Hi I just woke up with this horrible dream,In my dream I woke up with noise of my youngest son friends he's 10 and it was about 10.30pm with them jumping windows in out my house I called everyone in next thing had 1male and 1 female aswell in my living room I asked the kids what they were doing there so late the male man a forener that I never meet say was not my bussines and I reply but ye all in my house and he reply back they just came out movies and it was not my business again, I strart shouting yes it's my problem cause all this kids are here was about 15of them and the parents could be looking for them so if was not happy I say that the door go way,next thing the door opens it was one of my oldest son friend screaming I ran out I see a bunch of is friends been held by others with knives and I scream were was my son and I saw him been held by another with hammer some kids were bleading, one of them grabe me and my son said let it go she's my mum, soon the boy let me go I woke up and pray to rebuke my dream. I'm still shaking written this is 2.10 am now I'm frightened by this.Any meaning ?tank you

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear you have a horrible dream and I hope you have recovered. It may purely be that your life is a little chaotic currently, or it may just be a nightmare that has no specific meaning. The dreams that have symbolic meanings are usually the dreams that resonate deeply in some way long after the dream has ended, perhaps the next day or the day after. As the article states, it may also be because you have a level of stress and/or anxiety in your life.
AnalyseDreams - 10-Aug-18 @ 9:36 AM
Hi I just woke up with this horrible dream,In my dream I woke up with noise of my youngest son friends he's 10 and it was about 10.30pmwith them jumping windows in out my house I called everyone in next thing had 1male and 1 female aswell in my living room I asked the kids what they were doing there so late the male mana forener that i never meet say was not my bussines and i reply but ye all in my house and he reply back they just came out movies and it was not my business again, I strart shouting yes it's my problem cause all this kids are here was about 15of them and the parents could be looking for them so if was not happy I say that the door go way,next thing the door opens it was one of my oldest son friend screaming I ran out I see a bunch of is friends been held by others with knives and I scream were was my son and I saw him been held by another with hammer some kids were bleading, one of them grabe me and my son said let it go she's my mum,soon the boy let me go I woke up and pray to rebuke my dream. I'm still shaking written this is 2.10 am now I'm frightened by this..Any meaning ?tank you
Rastababy - 10-Aug-18 @ 2:10 AM
Me - Your Question:
I'm just wondering what my dream could have meant I had a dream I was at a party with all my family and my children an my abusive ex from nearly 7 years ago came in told everyone he had my kids an to get out and leave me there. Next thing be was attacking me beating me up felt like my bones where getting broken It felt so real I woke up shaking. I don't understand why after all this time I am having a nightmare about him he has been out mine and my children's lives for 6 years now an I have been with my current partner for 5 years. This dream really scared me and I'm not sure what it could mean. Please try an explain

Our Response:
The may be no reason for this dream other than something in your day-to-day life has triggered flashback to your past and it has come through in your dream.
AnalyseDreams - 30-Jul-18 @ 10:54 AM
FatheadBob - Your Question:
I worked a job I liked for 8 years. That was about 24 years ago. I was planning on leaving to move to LA but before I quit I got pissed about something and yelled at a coworker. (I have since been diagnosed as bipolar.) So I got fired just a week before I was going to give notice. I moved to LA, and quickly got a job working freelance, then a job for a company I where I wanted to work full-time. On the third day I was on an errand and was hit while riding my motorcycle. I had to leave LA and return back east, and though I was able to go back to school, I haven’t worked for any body else since. I did start a business but I struggled and decided I couldn’t handle it. Anyway, for the past few years I have had dreams of working at the kon I had before moving to LA. I relive the good parts and the bad parts. But the weird thing is I keep wondering if I punched in, or if I called in sick for the years I wasn’t there, or even for that day or recent days. Then I wonder why Im not getting paid. ( I was making pretty good money) It’s just really weird! Not sure what it means, I have a serious problem with time. I often feel like it’s just after my accident. Like time isn’t passing. So that period must have aggected me more than I thought. I had a helmet on but had a slight concussion. Any ideas?

Our Response:
I couldn't really interpret your dream from a 'dream' perspective, apart from to say you may in your day-to-day life have anxieties about this lapse of time or not being on time. Or that something is amiss with your thought processes and this concern is creeping in to your subconscious. I think this might be something you may wish to chat to your GP about in case you may have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. It's certainly worth getting yourself checked out if you recognise you may have an issue.
AnalyseDreams - 30-Jul-18 @ 10:08 AM
I worked a job I liked for 8 years. That was about 24 years ago. I was planning on leaving to move to LA but before I quit I got pissed about something and yelled at a coworker. (I have since been diagnosed as bipolar.) So I got fired just a week before I was going to give notice. I moved to LA, and quickly got a job working freelance, then a job for a company I where I wanted to work full-time. On the third day I was on an errand and was hit while riding my motorcycle. I had to leave LA and return back east, and though I was able to go back to school, I haven’t worked for any body else since. I did start a business but I struggled and decided I couldn’t handle it. Anyway, for the past few years I have had dreams of working at the kon I had before moving to LA. I relive the good parts and the bad parts. But the weird thing is I keep wondering if I punched in, or if I called in sick for the years I wasn’t there, or even for that day or recent days. Then I wonder why Im not getting paid. ( I was making pretty good money) It’s just really weird! Not sure what it means, I have a serious problem with time. I often feel like it’s just after my accident. Like time isn’t passing. So that period must have aggected me more than I thought. I had a helmet on but had a slight concussion. Any ideas?
FatheadBob - 28-Jul-18 @ 8:01 PM
I'm just wondering what my dream could have meant I had a dream I was at a party with all my family and my children an my abusive ex from nearly 7 years ago came in told everyone he had my kids an to get out and leave me there. Next thing be was attacking me beating me up felt like my bones where getting broken It felt so real I woke up shaking. I don't understand why after all this time I am having a nightmare about him he has been out mine and my children's lives for 6 years now an I have been with my current partner for 5 years. This dream really scared me and I'm not sure what it could mean. Please try an explain
Me - 28-Jul-18 @ 11:20 AM
Mike - Your Question:
Hello I just litterally had a dream where im laying down on my bed in my room just like right now and some man rushed into my room and was comin at me to grab me really fast and right before he grabbed or he did grabbed me I woke up to my own noise from screaming. My heart beat was at max like I just sprinted and my whole body was shaking. Man was tall with a bald head but I coundt see his face because lights were off but I saw him comin towards me. I've never been that scared in my life,now im sleeping with lights on. What this possibly can mean?

Our Response:
It may not mean anything. It may purely be a nightmare, they do happen.
AnalyseDreams - 27-Jul-18 @ 11:28 AM
Raven - Your Question:
I had a dream of a girl whom I recently broke up. In that dream we apologies to each other and then suddenly an unknown person begin to attack her by holding her head. Then I helped her and moved her away and after that she was somewhat happy. Now I am not sure what it means as it is very confusing to me as she has become so cold towards me lately.

Our Response:
Perhaps it is purely wishful thinking on your part (i.e you can play the knight in shining armour). However, the fact you moved away from her means you are conscious of whatever the situation your ex is happier where you keep your distance. Or you feel that your ex is a person that you have to keep your distance from. This could be seen as symbolic of you needing to step back and keep out of her life.
AnalyseDreams - 27-Jul-18 @ 11:19 AM
Hello I just litterally had a dream where im laying down on my bed in my room just like right now and some man rushed into my room and was comin at me to grab me really fast and right before he grabbed or he did grabbed me i woke up to my own noise from screaming. My heart beat was at max like i just sprinted and my whole body was shaking. Man was tall with a bald head but i coundt see his face because lights were off but i saw him comin towards me. I've never been that scared in my life,now im sleeping with lights on. What this possibly can mean?
Mike - 26-Jul-18 @ 10:34 AM
I had a dream of a girl whom I recently broke up. In that dream we apologies to each other and then suddenly an unknown person begin to attack her by holding her head. Then I helped her and moved her away and after that she was somewhat happy. Now I am not sure what it means as it is very confusing to me as she has become so cold towards me lately..
Raven - 26-Jul-18 @ 9:12 AM
Sally - Your Question:
I had this dream of my ex's partner sending guys to attack me and they injured me during that dream it's was abit confusing and they are not together why would she want to attack me.

Our Response:
It may be some simple underlying feeling you have about your ex's partner and her general feelings towards you. Often feelings can become heightened during your dream state.
AnalyseDreams - 23-Jul-18 @ 2:36 PM
I had this dream of my ex's partner sending guys to attack me and they injured me during that dream it's was abit confusing and they are not together why would she want to attack me.
Sally - 21-Jul-18 @ 1:24 PM
Arm - Your Question:
I had a dream that I was in my current boyfriends house but my dad was living here with me instead. One of my ex’s brothers from 11 years ago was trying to break into the house and rang the doorbell. For some reason my dad knew we needed to hide so we went upstairs but somehow my ex’s brother came up a laundry shoot that was connected to the bathroom in the upstairs bedroom where I was actually sleeping in but in my dream my dad walked into the room and the brother tackeled my dad onto the ground and gave him a shot to sedate him. In my dream I stayed outside the door and saw this through the crack and began to call cops and then I woke up from the dream. What does this mean?

Our Response:
It seems in some way you feel threatened by elements of your past and your ex. It is a place that you do not wish to go back to. You see you father as a protector and your current boyfriend as where you want to be. You do not want the past to infringe on the present in any way.
AnalyseDreams - 17-Jul-18 @ 3:05 PM
I had a dream that I was in my current boyfriends house but my dad was living here with me instead. One of my ex’s brothers from 11 years ago was trying to break into the house and rang the doorbell. For some reason my dad knew we needed to hide so we went upstairs but somehow my ex’s brother came up a laundry shoot that was connected to the bathroom in the upstairs bedroom where I was actually sleeping in but in my dream my dad walked into the room and the brother tackeled my dad onto the ground and gave him a shot to sedate him. In my dream I stayed outside the door and saw this through the crack and began to call cops and then I woke up from the dream. What does this mean?
Arm - 17-Jul-18 @ 5:25 AM
Anne - Your Question:
So I had this dream last night that my mentally disabled son and I are walking through this apartment building when we come to an area where construction is obviously being done. I peek in one door that has been left open and it’s a kitchen with nicely arranged yet aged cabinets. I turn to notice my son isn’t with me and backtrack to find him. The next apartment is like the corner of a the hallway yet two walls are missing, one for a bathroom and one for a living room. I notice a guy on the sofa in the living room and my son is in the bathroom so I wait on the other side of an actual wall hoping my son comes back out the missing wall side. He finishes and walks into the living room where the guy jumps up saying he needs to finish getting the walls put up. My son bolts the opposite direction as I enter the living room apologizing and explaining that my son has disabilities and he mistook their bathroom as public therefore not meaning any harm. The man seems to understand and shows compassion so we head the way my son went to get him so we can leave. We enter the kitchen where a guy has a hammer and is striking my son on top of the head in slow motion yet my son is frozen against the counter with terror in his eyes. Me and the other guy try to tell the one attacking my son what is really happening yet he won’t stop hitting my son so I move forward to stop him. He then turns the hammer on my head. It doesn’t hurt me and it is in slow motion as the entire fight scene yet I’m fighting the slow motion to protect my son. With each hammer hit, I can only move slower then the hammer is gone and he’s putting his fingers in my mouth around my front teeth and I start trying to bite his finger landing a couple of successful blows with no effect to him at all. I pull his hair to yank his head back and he doesn’t move at all. Then I wake up. Usually I don’t remember dreams yet this one is vivid and clear. Two other people in the kitchen other than me, son, and the attacker that don’t move to help nor hinder. Living room guy was understanding of the situation yet the guy in the kitchen was calculated and such with his hits and where they landed. Top of my and son’s head and touching my lower front teeth of mouth. Never have seen any of the three men before in my waking life. Please help cause I’m really confused over this dream.

Our Response:
This must have been a very disturbing dream. There are two parts to it that have meaning. Firstly, the part where the apartment has no walls. This may mean there is either some lack of privacy in your son's life, or you feel you have no privacy due to your son's condition. A house is usually representative of your own mind. So, it seems perhaps there are people in your son's life have no real meaning and yet they are part of your son's life and you feel like either you are always intruding or they are. In other words, there is little privacy for him or you on occasions. The fact both your son and you were being hit may mean that you feel you are both being attacked from all sides and you feel powerless to protect your son. It seems this is a dream about privacy, intrusion and you feeling that you are fighting a losing battle in terms of your son and his welfare.
AnalyseDreams - 16-Jul-18 @ 11:43 AM
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