“Insects and Spiders in Bed. My Pregnant Wife & Me.” A Dream Interpretation.

Dear Satya:

portland-psychotherapy-dreamsQ: I went to bed with my newly pregnant wife. I was lying with her as I felt something on my right shoulder. When I turn on my phone light I noticed it was a daddy longleg and try killing it. As I freak out thinking of what else may be in bed, I decide to check under where I was lying and notice three other spiders. One was a wolf spider and two were unknown with multiple humps resembling eggs on each back. They were black and gray, large and extremely creepy (unlike a daddy longleg). . . We got out of bed and hit the lights. I shook myself down and brushed my body off and had her help. I then took off my clothes, which I notice still had random insects on them. I went back to the bed and saw that the side I was sleeping on was full of insects coming from the ground to the blanket and into bed. There were 4 large centipedes that crawled into the bed.

The sheet I was laying on in my dream is the wool blanket we use at the fire station where I work. It’s one I always refuse to use as I think its disgusting because people always sleep with it and never wash it.

Where my wife lay, there were no insects of any kind and she had nothing on her when we got out of bed. She stated in my dream that whoever we got the bed from was the issue. I argued saying it’s not the bed but another source of course, and that we needed to have it dealt with and to call an exterminator.

A: Thank you for sharing this dream, and congratulations on your coming baby! You shared this dream with me after finding the interpretation I did of a Spiders-In-Bed dream two years ago. As this is a very common dream, I’m glad to explore the images more deeply here. You will know from my first interpretation that spiders are very often referencing the Mother Complex in dreams. When they show up in dreams related to beds, I pay particular attention because it suggests that your mother is — symbolically speaking — in bed with you. In this case, I would venture that your relationship to your mother is somehow (probably unpleasantly) infecting your relationship with your wife. Having said all that, however, you also note specifically the Daddy Longleg several times, suggesting that your father is also involved here. The first questions you might reflect deeply on (not with your knee-jerk feelings): How are your relationships with your parents influencing you now and on the dawn of becoming a father, how are you feeling? What are your fears?

Your first instinct when you see the Daddy Longleg in the dream is to kill it. This is a red flag to me in regards to how you are living your conscious life, and something I would encourage you to explore. Everyone knows that Daddy Longlegs are harmless spiders. Why do you want to kill it? As a general rule, one’s reaction to other living things in dreams is very telling of one’s conscious relationship to lesser conscious aspects of themselves. Again, I’m curious: are you attempting to deny your feelings related to your father or your feelings related to becoming a father yourself?

When I explored a little more about the Daddy Longleg, I discovered that they are the only spider with a penis, mating directly through penetration (arachnologists, please correct me here if needed!). Again, this specific image points us to questions of procreation. Then, shortly following the Daddy Longleg’s appearance in the dream, other spiders appear — a highly dangerous Wolf Spider for one — and you see humps resembling eggs. Eggs: another image highly suggestive of procreation and new beginnings. Three spiders with eggs on their backs, one spider with a penis. 3+1 = 4, 3 feminine spiders plus 1 masculine spider… very curious, archetypal symbolism here, as the feminine and masculine are interwoven… 3 tends to be a number indicative of the masculine while 4 is a number suggesting feminine wholeness. (Typically, the 3+1 arrangement is the opposite combination; think of the Trinity + the Holy Mother, for instance.) Perhaps this is more complex archetypal symbolism for another time…

As a symbol, the Bed in dreams very often points to the “marriage bed”, a phrase suggesting the very beginnings of a union. Similarly, you can note that a synonym for “Bed” is “Foundation.” The bed is the foundation of the relationship much like a flower bed, the place from which plants and weeds alike can grow. This image is reflected in the way in which you see the insects coming up from the ground. So, in addition to questions of fatherhood, this dream seems to really be directing your attention to the foundation of your marriage. From the way this dream unfolds, I would say you are unconsciously bringing some stuff into your marriage that you need to take a hard look at. The mess in the bed is on your side.

To bring this into very practical language, I would say the following: you are clearly chewing deeply on what it means to be a father right now, consciously or unconsciously. I would venture a guess too that you’ve been moody and overwhelmed. Again, the fact that your side of the bed is covered in insects and that your wife’s side is clean seems to be telling you to be honest about your side of things. Your side is dirty, that’s undeniable. This makes me wonder if you’ve been blaming your wife for things lately, maybe that you two have been fighting a bit, and through your dream, your unconscious is correcting your conscious belief about who’s right and wrong in the marriage. Notice the way you disagree with your wife in the dream: she states, “whoever we got the bed from was the issue.” She’s pointing here to the root of the problem and perhaps is suggesting that your parental influences are infecting your marriage. Again, look at the image of the marriage bed here. Symbolically, your bed, your foundation, came from your parents. You can’t just call an exterminator to kill the problem. Just like killing the Daddy Longleg didn’t make the spiders go away, calling the exterminator to deal with the bed is just pure denial. It’s not going to work. In the dream world, death is just a precursor for resurrection.

You state it clearly, your wife is helping you clean up. Take a good look at that image. I imagine her supporting you to sort through your past and your fears and your feelings. In the process, you’ve been removing clothing, an image suggesting the removal of false layers, of the personas in which we all walk around the world. Good for you. This is a strong symbol in many fairy tales, and shows up in dreams regularly as well. True transformation often comes with the removal of skins or clothes. Accept her help.

Finally, I’ll offer that your association to the wool blanket from work makes me wonder if you’re not bringing work home with you, in particular, other people’s stresses. You’re disgusted by this blanket and yet in the dream it is part of the foundation on which you are sleeping with your wife. How much of your work life is infecting your relationship with your wife?

There is a lot here for you to face, dear Dreamer. You can make a choice, gently but directly look at these issues I raise and whatever else occurs to you while you explore this dream further. Or… try to just kill it, call the exterminator, argue about the roots of things, and live in denial. I would suggest that these insects, your moods and frustrations, your upset words will continue to infest your life and marriage if you don’t deal with the foundation of things. But, as always, the choice is up to you.

Have you had a dream like this? Leave a comment and share!

Satya is a psychotherapist in private practice in Portland, Oregon specializing in dream work, the quarter-life crisis, and work with individuals in their 20s and 30s. www.QuarterLifeCounselor.com

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8 comments

  1. Karen

    In review of the associations presented for this dream I could easily imagine a man that is torn about his role that he should take as a husband, father, and provider.
    It could be that he is pulled to concentrate on being a provider (the blanket from work as well as other sites symbolize spiders to fortunes) as his father (the first spider to appear) was. (but he didn’t like that role because the blanket from his work is negative in his dream)

    Since the spiders become overwhelming it may be he is either overwhelmed about providing or that the demands of his work are making him question his role as a parent or husband (the daddy long leg and the bed). His wife in contrast is coping (no spiders on her side) (likely related to her up bringing (since she shares the bed thus foundation) in addition trying to relieve him (removing his clothes to decrease spiders) of his bonds with his ideas of a father (the daddy long leg) and husband’s ( the bed) role that have stemmed from his up bringing ( spiders coming from the ground)
    Just an idea.

  2. satyabyock

    Response to me from the Dreamer:

    I read your interpretation and was immediately shocked with everything I read. It was practically spot on with all you wrote. The time and effort you put into your response and even reaching out means more than you know. It was great to read. A true eye opener which I feel helped me become who I am today. Though a lot was going on in my life was known, sometimes it takes a third person to allow you to move forward.

    I did bring work home with me…I work a 24 hour shift and see a lot. It’s very hard too separate the two due to lack of sleep and emotions.

    I was a little scared of being a father but not because of me solely but due to the relationship and our disagreements at the time. We have an amazing life together but certain things were going on in our lives that made me question if it would all be okay.

    My parents are close to us but yes at the time I was bothered with issues surrounding them. They had talked of moving, my sister lives with them and so does her daughter and I think it worried me how much time our child would have with them as they’ve had a granddaughter living with them for quite some time and had been babysitting for that same period of time. I didn’t think our child would see them and spend as much time as our niece was able.

    Yes I did have some personal issues that made me feel I wouldn’t be up to par for being a father. I always wanted a girl bc boys in my family tend to be difficult. I was also worried because I was not really strong with knowledge when it came to sports and that concerned me. I also am very critical and because of this I am my worst enemy…

    I have worked hard with becoming close to my son. I talk to her belly all the time and we interact throughout the day. Even with my work schedule I try my darndest to pick up the slack around here due to my wife’s inability to do everything she used to. The most important change of all was me recognizing that there is nothing to fear. Everything will work itself out and we are EXTREMELY blessed.

    Thanks again for you’re interpretation. It was very considerate of you.

  3. Kat

    Thanks for doing this deeper analysis. I came here from the 1st article. So intrigued bc my dream had multiple spiders as well. I’ve had vivid spider dreams since childhood every couple of years. They show up in real life too, last time a daddy long leg in the shower, other little white spider came down from the ceiling just as I entered the shower. I read was they have something to do w writing? My dream was bizarre in that I was laying in my bed and a guy I never met before asked to come on my room and get something out the closet. I’m in a weird living situation where the leaser is letting is helping me out so on the dream I figured it was one of her friends so I obliged. He came in stepped on my bed, which is on the floor and then I looked over and saw a dark purple spider on my backpack. I was surprised and quickly got up and squeezed it but it didn’t really die. Then I look back in the bed where I was laying and there are at least 8-10 of the same spiders on the sheets, as if they were there when I was under the covers and I just didn’t feel them. I just started screaming over and over and then woke up.The bed is borrowed and I want to switch it bc paranoid it has some mites/criterrers. This dream didn’t help matters. Now flinching every time I feel a tickle in my bed. Also bc this is a temp living situation don’t know if this is a sign I should leave, a couple just moved in, actually it’s her old bed. At times I feel I should focus on writing/making art and just roll with this place bc it’s so hard to find a decent place in NY. Feeling indecisive so your insight would be most helpful. Thanks in advance, G’Nite

  4. Anonymous

    I just woke up from a dream where I was sitting on a couch with my sister(S) and my boyfriend(R) under a blanket. S is suddenly standing beside me saying there are spiders in all the blankets and her bed. i looked at the blanket on R and I were under and there was a brown hairy spider(looked like a wolf or recluse but about 3inches in diameter) crawling up my leg. I yelled for R to help me get it but he couldn’t see it so I smacked it and killed it. As I tried to get up from the blankets there was another that I used to blanket to smoosh. I had to help my sister check her bed and her blankets and then I had to check mine alone before we could go to sleep. What the heck does this mean? We have a narcissistic mother figure in our lives who we literally say is often spinning her webs. Could this dream about her and her manipulation of us?

    • satyabyock

      This image of the “spider in bed” never fails to astound me. It is an archetypal image that does not fail to astound and confuse us. I think your initial assessment of your dream is probably accurate, the narcissistic mother image and the web of manipulations. But that’s just the beginning. These dreams seem to arise in particular around relationships, at the beginning, ending, or a major point of difficulty/transformation. Of course, your boyfriend is present here, and he “can’t see it” — how does this strike you? What is he unable to see that you can see? How does this relate to your mother, the lingering “dark feminine” in you, and/or in your boyfriend? It’s likely he’s carrying around plenty of his own mother energy too that may be linking with yours. This is a rich conversation for you two to have to deepen your bond and keep you out of the spinnings webs of manipulation.

  5. Anonymous

    Last night I woke up about 2 hours after my boyfriend and I went to bed and saw a large spider crawling over my boyfriend. He was crawling across him and then he disappeared or crawled off the bed. I instantly jumped out of bed (still seeing the spider) and turned the light on and started screaming. My boyfriend jumped out of bed and came to me and I could hardly breathe – started hyperventilating almost. I also couldn’t see as I didn’t have my glasses. I put my glasses on and kept looking for this large spider which I was sure was still in the room. We checked everywhere and didn’t find anything. I was convinced even after 30 minutes that the spider was real and in the house.

  6. Averyy

    Ever since I was 15 ( I’m 20 now) I periodically have this dream in which I am just waking up, from wherever I’m sleeping and there is a spider in my bed, on me, or on the wall. theses spiders are sometimes tarantula sized and sometimes just a quarter sized ones. Sometimes they are alone and other times there’s millions of tiny ones. I then wake myself up from my dream and I cannot convince myself that it was not real. I will jump up turn on my light, have to strip myself and my bed completely down and shake out all of my blankets. By the time all that is said and done I am convinced that it was all a dream. Even then sometimes I still have to go sleep on the couch.

    • satyabyock

      A —

      Please consider the possibility that these spiders are your friends, or parts of you that you need to get to know. The spider image may pursue you until you engage with it directly. This is not “nonsense” and you are not in danger from these images, but they want your attention. Can you find a Jungian analyst in your area who will support you to engage these spiders through Active Imagination? Use those words if you can find someone. This could support you towards profound growth.

      Satya

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