Many people find that frustrations in their waking lives are suppressed on a constant basis. We become habituated to things that irritate, oppress or annoy us, even to things that seriously grind us down, particularly if they are factors in our life that we feel powerless to change. It's often easier, in the short term at least, to bury those conscious thoughts and just get through the day, rather than dwelling on the unseen realities.
Often though if we do this, we'll find our subconscious is unable to let go of the matter, and even if the waking and supposedly rational mind can put the feelings of oppression to one side, the message from our dreams reflect our true feelings , about the power imbalance in relationships we find ourselves in.
Remember though that dreams deal in metaphor and symbol. You are unlikely to dream about the put-downs you suffer from your superior at work, that is all too real and conscious. But as the resentment builds, pay attention to dreams that might include the following elements –
• Being physically small / in some kind of world of giants, where you feel insignificant
• Being unable to be heard or seen, as though you are a ghost that is invisible
• Being back at school and humiliated by a teacher or other powerful adult
• Witnessing wild animals fighting or competitiveness
• Witnessing or engaging sexual aggression or assault
• Being physically restrained, such as feeling unable to move, even to move out of danger, or else being tied or locked up
These are obviously a range of very different dream experiences, but the common thread is that they all represent scenarios about dominance and power. Some dreams of this nature might sound almost lighthearted and amusing if you recount them (although they are likely to be quite disturbing at the time, such as not being heard or recognized by those close to you), others can be extremely violent and frightening ( dreams about rape or other physical violation).
If you can identify a common theme regarding your role in this kind of dream, it can help you get to the root of how you feel about what is going on in your relationships and roles – whether professional activities, personal relationships, or in response to abstractions and circumstances (such as feeling like victim of the economic downturn). The best think you can do for your peace of mind is to acknowledge these feelings, particularly if you have been shelving them for lack of real option to make changes – once you realize how much they have ground you down, it's easier to think about tackling them and exploring your options, rather than pushing away those feelings until your own subconscious mind is feeling trapped, asserted and suppressed.
Often once we realize the amount and source of our true unhappiness, it's easier to open up alternatives, even if they had been too challenging to think about before … could you walk away from that oppressive job / marriage / mortgage, would the personal cost in fact be worthy, for the peace of mind it brings? Only you can answer that, but listening to your dreams, the messengers from your unconscious mind, is your first step.