Bugs in waking life are creepy creatures. As a rule we don’t like them, and they make us feel uncomfortable and squeamish. Accordingly, whenever we dream of bugs—whether we are trying to step delicately around them, or if they are crawling disturbingly on our bodies—we want to ask ourselves the literal question: What’s bugging me?
In your case, because you pull the bugs from behind your right ear, you may have heard something recently that you found especially disturbing. Also, because centipedes hold a strong association to death (they are the bugs that dig in the earth and eat rotting flesh) death may be on your mind. Has anyone you know suffered a health problem, or died recently?
This dream has a social aspect that lets us know you are not the only one affected by this negative force or development. You see a group of people who get their faces blown off, and violent images of blood (symbol of emotional pain) abound. Violence in dreams, however, does not portend literal, physical violence. Instead, violence is a metaphor for emotional injury. Do you know a group of people who have suffered an emotional loss?
Dreams reflect thoughts, feelings, and awarenesses that have recently been on our minds—usually the day or two immediately preceding the dream. I encourage you to think back to recent events to identify the situation or conversation that disturbed you. A creepy feeling has “crawled under your skin”—and it definitely is “bugging you.”
Dear Dream Doctor—
When I first had this dream I immediately attributed its disturbing imagery to the events of 9/11. I lost a friend in the attacks, so I assumed the dream was a reflection of my feelings about my friend. But the dream occurred many weeks later, which made me feel that it must be about something else. The dream was so violent and frightening, however, I couldn’t imagine what it represented.
When you say to look at the events preceding the dream by 2 days or so, I’m lead to conclude that troubles at work probably are the cause. I have experienced several devastating personal losses at work, such as a murder, an unexpected death, 2 late-pregnancy miscarriages and two accidents, including one with a fatality. I am the focale point for these types of losses at work, as I am responsible for making the “business” arrangements—donations, collections, cards, flowers, fruit baskets, etc. I have also been dealing with several other personal issues in addition to my loss on 9/11. These include the deaths of a friend’s two much beloved pets, and a mental health crisis with another friend. At about the time I had this dream, two co-workers experienced sudden, and in one case, violent deaths in their families. All of this loss definitely starting “bugging” me, and was causing extensive emotional pain, on top of what I was already dealing with due to 9/11.
It’s very disturbing to me that my troubles at work could lead to such a violent dream. When I lost my friend on 9/11, I had nightmares for several weeks—but nothing as graphic as this one.
I am a person who has much empathy for those around me; I really do feel their pain and sorrow very deeply. It is very difficult to sort out my emotions about my personal losses from those of others. Clearly I’ve been dealing with more than anyone’s “fair share” in the past several months. And I take my job very seriously—probably too seriously. This leads to much anguish on my part because my job is such a large part of who I am as an individual.
I suppose I should seek professional counseling to deal with all these losses, but I’m not sure anyone can help, except time.
Hi Anonymous -
I am sorry to learn of so much misfortune in one location. Your empathy and guidance is highly valued by your friends and co-workers. As you work to care for others suffering from loss, however, remember to take time for yourself. You need to be in great shape—to continue to pass on your healing strength to friends, lovers, and associates.