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They are so vivid that they seem almost real, and I desperately want them to stop

Let me just get right into it. I have had a couple of recurring dreams about my father, and even one with my brothers. They are sex-related, and in them no one seems to mind. I wake up feeling quite disturbed and disgusted with myself that I even had these dreams. My dreams are quite vivid and I often believe they are real until I wake up. Just last night I had a dream about my father in which we were sexual. It ended with me realising that this was not OK and just wanting him to be my father again. I repeatedly asked him if we could just be like how we used to, before all of it, but to no avail – he did not reply. I really want these dreams to stop, so if you could tell me anything helpful, it would be greatly appreciated.

Relax. Our dreams are rarely what they appear to be, and the people who appear in our dreams may be known to us but they do not represent themselves. Rather, they are symbols for other entities – often aspects of ourselves. Ask yourself: “If in my dream my father or brother represents a part of me, which part would that be?” If, for example, he represents kindness and familiarity, then perhaps this is a dream about longing to experience those qualities, possibly in a partner. These are interesting dreams, and it would be worth seeking meanings. Keep a journal by your bed and write them down in detail as soon as you wake. Do not rely on generic symbols to interpret because each person has unique associations. There are many ways to interpret dreams, and a good dream-tender could help you do that.

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