Crusader Army Finds a Fortress

Emotional Impasse – dream reflects a recurrent theme in many of my dreams caused by having difficulty of letting go of anger stemming from and extremely bad work environment with a narcissistic employer.

– 5/30/13

Dream Interpretation |200px-Gustave_dore_crusades_bohemond_alone_mounts_the_rampart_of_antioch

Crusaders in Precarious Environment

I am leading a rather large crusading army – we have long spears or pikes. Mostly cavalry and we are in a desert type environment as the sun is setting. The army is moving out in the open and I have a feeling of impending doom– I sense that there is a large enemy force in the area that is closing in on us.

Dream Interpretation |220px-SiegeofAntioch

Seeking Shelter from the Storm

Then we come across an old abandoned fortress which is large enough to hold the army. A friend of mine, John S. is one of my commanders and he agrees with me that we can withstand a siege in this fort – it is safe enough.

The Underground Canal

There is a large underground water supply flowing in a stone canal built under the castle/fortress. We go down the stone stairway which leads to the canal. The dream is in black and white with mostly dark gray figures. However, once we are underground – there is this bright blue light that runs in a continuous line at about eye level on the other side of the canal for as far as we can see. We begin to follow this light which continues for quite a while.

An Emotional Impasse – Fear and Anger

I begin to fear that the enemy might have poisoned the water supply. We continue to move underground through the somewhat large stone built cavern – then we come to a break in the blue line and another passage with a very wide opening – there is a red glow coming from this opening – I have a fear that the enemy is there and I can make out a tall slender figure. (shape of old boss) – I do not know if they are there in force or just a few of them – I am not in a frightful fear, but more of a concern and awareness of the enemy’s presence.

Psychoanalytic Dream Interpretation: of Emotional Impasse

Feeling of Impending Envelopment

The army represents… myself and my fear that I always have to be prepared for an attack ( a slight paranoia) – based on the fact that I have been attacked or bullied many times. The fortress represents the defense mechanism I use to provide myself with a feeling of safety. So, I kind of disengage from the world to prevent myself from being attacked by hiding behind the walls I put up. The emotional impasse prevents me from relating or engaging with the world.

The Army is armed with spears and pikes – defenses are at the ready to strike back instantly when an attack is perceived. These weapons possibly represent the sharp words or insults that can roll off my tongue in an instant when I feel under attack.

Dream Interpretation |180px-Ávila_24-8-2002

The Old Abandoned Fortress

I had made my way out into the world years ago and was successful as a salesman in the computer industry. However, after a series of setbacks had a mental breakdown. After some recovery, I have ventured out into the world again, this time trying a totally different alternative. Building this website and planning to make a new career working with dreams and teaching others how to interpret them. Needless to say, I have run into my fair share of new obstacles. So, perhaps this is the cause of the feeling of needing to seek shelter again.

The fortress is old an abandoned, because, before my sales career, I made extensive use of defense mechanisms due to being raised in an alcoholic environment. But, I had broken somewhat free for over 25 years through therapy and sobriety. But, now, I feel and urge to return to the safety of these walls. So, the fortress is old and abandoned, because it is the fortress I originally sought shelter in but had left 25 years before. I am familiar with type of emotional impasse.

The Blue Line of Life

The underground water supply is the unconscious which is giving me life – allowing me to survive by constantly supplying me with new information (collective unconscious, therapy, books, family, AA meetings, etc.). Fearing the water supply is poisoned is perhaps knowing the effect that trauma has played in my life – I realize these events had a negative impact on the way I think and decisions I make – basically the way I live my life has been adversely affected.

Water, usually, represents the emotional aspect of my life. The water is flowing in the canal which is a good sign, however, past the intersection of the tunnel with the red glow the water supply seemed to dissipate or my focus is taken off of it so that I am no longer aware of it. The anger and rage consume all of the positive emotion and creativity.

Emotional Impasse Dream Interpretation |200px-El_Jadida_cistern Emotions Dream Interpretation |200px-Basilica_Cistern,_Constantinople

The Red Glow of Anger and Rage

The blue line is life – my life, and there is a break in the line. The red glow is anger – the holding onto the injustices that I have had to face and my plans for revenge. These forces are self-destructive – they destroy the creativity and happiness that could exist if I were to just let go of these grudges. But now I am becoming aware of the way this ‘holding onto’ the past is hurting or destroying my life. I am aware that I have to let them go – they only hurt me because I will most likely never carry out the acts of revenge I plan and fantasize about. The fantasies supply some sort of satisfaction and a false belief that I will be able to even the score – a reckoning – rather than moving ahead in life. This ‘holding on’ behavior creates impasses or blocks that hold me back in life – in some immature state not allowing me to grow or experience many aspects of life.

The Self-Destructive Quality of the Emotional Impasse

Part of my personality attacks another part – the anti-libidinal side feels the pain or humiliation of the past injustices when something occurs to trigger or re-experience the pain which in turn cause these events to come to mind. The reaction is an internal intense aggression – which is to attack or destroy the offending person mentally in a fantasy. This creates a constant battle in my mind – and part of a split personality (anti-libidinal) attacks the ego (self). This is ongoing and impedes my progress, hence, an emotional impasse, and the ability to be happy in life. Due to the state of the world – I don’t think I am alone here, seems like emotional impasses are quite common..

Copyright@LearnDreams 9/29/12

Defense Mechanisms as defined by Wikipedia

A defence mechanism is an unconscious psychological mechanism that reduces anxiety arising from unacceptable or potentially harmful stimuli.[1] Sigmund Freud was one of the first proponents of this construct.[2]

Defence mechanisms may result in healthy or unhealthy consequences depending on the circumstances and frequency with which the mechanism is used.[3] In psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms (German: defense mechanisms) are psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind[4] to manipulate, deny, or distort reality in order to defend against feelings of anxiety and unacceptable impulses and to maintain one’s self-schema.[5] These processes that manipulate, deny, or distort reality may include the following: repression, or the burying of a painful feeling or thought from one’s awareness even though it may resurface in a symbolic form;[3] identification, incorporating an object or thought into oneself;[6] and rationalization, the justification of one’s behaviour and motivations by substituting “good” acceptable reasons for the actual motivations.[3][7] In psychoanalytic theory, repression is considered as the basis for other defence mechanisms.[3]

Healthy persons normally use different defences throughout life. An ego defence mechanism becomes pathological only when its persistent use leads to maladaptive behaviour such that the physical or mental health of the individual is adversely affected. Among the purposes of ego defence mechanisms is to protect the mind/self/ego from anxiety and/or social sanctions and/or to provide a refuge from a situation with which one cannot currently cope.[8]


  1. Schacter, Daniel L. (2011). Psychology Second Edition. 41 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010: Worth Publishers. pp. 482–483. ISBN 978-1-4292-3719-2.
  2. Jump up^ “Freud Theories and Concepts (Topics) AROPA. 2013. Retrieved on 05 October 2013
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Utah Psych. “Defense Mechanisms” 2010. Retrieved on 05 October 2013.
  4. Jump up^ Defense Mechanisms at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  5. Jump up^ “archive of: What is a self-schema?”. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  6. Jump up^ Chalquist, Craig. “A Glossary of Freudian Terms” 2001. Retrieved on 05 October 2013.
  7. Jump up^ Contributor: GeorgeT. “Top 7 Psychological Defense Mechanisms”. Listverse. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  8. Jump up^ “defence mechanisms — Britannica Online Encyclopedia”. Retrieved 2008-03-11.