Today’s request comes from Brenda Goldsberry, of Sacramento California. Brenda’s a single mom of twin boys, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. She’s a big fan of NASCAR and other spectator-sports and has traveled extensively. She’s also pretty involved in various charity organizations. And she likes Disturbed and Metallica, so she’s aces in my book already.
Brenda has a recurring dream of people without faces. As with Erin, my communication with Brenda has been pretty minimal, so I don’t have much to go on. I get the impresson that these dreams definitely freak her out – she hasn’t had one in a while, but she was worried about when the next one would come when we spoke on Twitter (she’s @Bre3ngold, btw). She’s also indicated that either the dreams themselves are a fear of hers, or that they symbolize an unnamed fear that she has.
I dug a bit through her Facebook profile to get a better feel for Brenda. This was helpful and to some degree confirmed my suspicions. I also did a bit of internet research about dreams of people without faces. There’s an interesting dream interpretation forum page here. I did not find anything else of substance that was pertinent to this discussion. The posts in the forum generally tend to suggest that dreaming about people without faces symbolizes the unknown, with which I’m inclined to agree. There’s also a post that suggests that people without faces in a dream symbolize disfigurement or “strangers”. I think this might bear some weight here as well.
My interpretation is that Brenda has a lack of “real” people in her life. She has lots of acquaintances, and even a group of “close friends”, but she’s not ridiculously close with any of them. Brenda’s a single mom, and that takes a lot of work. Having to raise two children by herself only serves to compound the issue. Her kids are her #1 priority; nothing comes before them. As such, she hasn’t really had the time or opportunity to fully develop relationships with people outside of the nucleus of her family.
As a mother, Brenda is understandably protective of her children. I get the impression that Brenda feels (or considers herself) very alone in the world. I saw a few other Goldsberrys in California on Brenda’s profile, but I’m not sure that they live particularly close by. I have a feeling that Brenda might be an only child, but that’s a hazy one and I could be wrong. The point is that Brenda considers herself the only benevolent thing between her children and the faceless world.
Brenda was young when she had her children and although she’s well-traveled, I think she’s always had a feeling of comfort and protection. I don’t know why Brenda is a single mom, but I’m guessing that her dreams started around the time that she became thus. I think Brenda was kind of forced into adulthood, and that these dreams are one of the means by which her subconscious dealt (or is dealing) with this. She had to grow up quick and accept a lot of things as true without the benefit of explanations or the time to figure them out.
Besides her protective nature toward her children, I think the other thing that’s leading to these dreams is the fact that she spends a lot of time with a lot of, well, strangers. Attending NASCAR events brings her into contact with a lot of people she doesn’t know, in an emotionally intense environment. And her charity work is for people she’s never met.
I think that these things are triggers for the dreams of faceless people. I think Brenda has these dreams after particularly intense experiences – even or especially the enjoyable ones. I don’t think Brenda is scared on the outside when she’s in these situations, but that this fear is manifested in her dreams after she’s successfully navigated these experiences. Other things that might trigger these dreams are when Brenda becomes overwhelmed with things to do and social obligations to meet. She gets claustrophobic after having to “keep up appearances” for an extended period with no real rest and time to regroup.
So that’s it. I think there are a couple of other threads involved as well, but I won’t get into them here.
As far as solution goes, I think Brenda’s best move is to confront these faceless people in her dreams – whether by consciously inviting them into her dreams before she falls asleep, or just by being prepared to confront them the next time she has such a dream. I think that if she stays unafraid of them in her dream, they won’t hurt her and she’ll have an opportunity to truly look at them. She’ll either see that they do have faces after all, in which case she’ll have a starting-point to figuring out what’s confounding her about the people in her life. Or, she’ll see that they truly don’t have faces, and are just strangers after all – and that strangers are nothing to be afraid of because they can’t hurt her. I know this sounds tautological – it is, but it’ll also work.
Brenda, if you want to be free of the faceless people in your dreams, you’ll need to start asking for explanations about things you’re unsure of. You’re flowing well through the new life-experiences you have, but there’s a disconnect when you’re unsure of what’s going on. Instead of skipping right past unfamiliar territory, take a minute to look around and ask for directions – ask “what plant is that?” “what does this do?” “how does this work?” “why did this happen” “how did you do that?”, instead of accepting things as truth and moving on. These are examples of questions you should be asking other people, sure, but you should also be asking yourself these questions. You’re making connections in the waking world that your subconscious can’t figure out what to do with while you’re dreaming. The faceless people are questions unanswered.