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Fear of Being in the Line of Fire


Dear Cynthia: I have had the same dream for many years now. I am in a war, always running away from the enemy, hiding and feeling the fear. Most of the time I get captured and try to get away. Sometimes I get shot at, and then I wake up frantically. There have been long periods of time when I do not have this dream, but it always comes back.

--GINA GRIDER, Santa Monica

Dear Reader: My feeling is that you experience this dream when you are at odds with someone. Being on different sides of an issue brings up the need for confrontation--a personal war. My guess is that you are not comfortable expressing these feelings and that the other person becomes "the enemy." He or she stirs up fear, and you would rather hide than deal with the person. But the person "captures" you. You can't avoid the situation. Being shot may mean that you have been wounded by the person's anger.

If this rings true, putting your feelings down in a journal and practicing confrontation by role-playing with a trusted friend can prepare you for future encounters.


Dear Cynthia: I have this recurring dream that I can't understand. I am in my car, and I can't seem to put my foot on the brake. My foot is not on the gas either, yet the car is in motion (sometimes fast, sometimes slow). I never dream of an accident, but my feet are jumbled up on the seat, and I just can't seem to make the car stop. I am hoping you can explain this to me.

--SUSANNE RESNICK, via Internet

Dear Reader: In dreams all vehicles can represent ourselves as we go through life. So here you are driving but not really in control of your life. It would seem that you can't stop what you are doing, that somehow you are ineffective. Something outside of your immediate control governs how fast or slow you proceed. Feet can represent your foundation, balance and what you stand for. Since yours are "jumbled up" and can't be used properly, perhaps your dream suggests that you take a stand and take back control.

Cynthia Richmond's column appears Tuesdays. To contact her, write to In Your Dreams, Southern California Living, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053; send a fax to (213) 237-0732; or e-mail her at in.your.dreams@worldnet. Please include your hometown and a daytime phone number. Letters should not exceed 100 words and cannot be returned. In Your Dreams should be read for entertainment purposes only.

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