Nightmare and then a Rumination


I had a really disturbing dream which, among other things, involved a physical fight with my father (let me note that, although my father and I have our share of arguments and disagreements, we have a basically good relationship…I am an adult…23). Anyway, I eventually woke up from this dream/nightmare, but I continued ruminating on this whole thing and what would I do in such a situation while I was still laying down in bed.

Now I worry though that did I commit a mortal sin (through thinking hateful/violent thoughts and dishonoring of father) or was I just thinking over a bad dream and what I would do. Things that tend to make me say ‘no’ are:

  1. I had just woken from this nightmare, so I may not have been in full control of thoughts (once I got out of bed, I was less thinking about the dream itself and what I would do if that happened in reality than more I was concerned about the mortal sin issue)
  2. I was not intending to act out on these thoughts, more considering what would happen if this kind of thing really occurred (which I really don’t see happening…like I said, my disagreements with my father stay in the verbal mode)
  3. It seems like it would be very difficult to have full consent on this issue since the dream/nightmare (subconscious and sleeping mind) was the initial issue that caused me to start thinking/ruminating when I woke up

But I am concerned because I worry I dwelled on this issue and one of the thoughts that crossed my mind involved me shooting at my father. A part of me thinks I am being Scrupulous, but a part of me still worries, especially since I am planning on taking Communion today at Daily Mass (obviously, if I think I am in a state of mortal sin, I won’t do so).

I hope no one thinks I am crazy or anything, but since I was young, I have sometimes extremely vivid and–in a sometimes almost surrealistic sense–life-like , yet very weird/disturbing sometimes, dreams and they obviously cause distress and it is hard to forget about them when I wake up sometimes.

EDIT: Obviously, I intend to pray about (asking for forgiveness for inappropriate thoughts) and I will probably say an Act of Contrition before Daily Mass this evening

EDIT 2: Would anyone agree that it seems like it would be difficult to have that kind of a dream and NOT ruminate on it after one woke up?


My dear friend

If you have so much doubt it’s likely not a sin here. For your peace of mind if in doubt grab your priest before mass and confess it- in so far as I may be guilty. For your peace of mind , to commit a mortal sin you must intend to commit the mortal sin. It can be hard to discern but perhaps that will help you.

God bless you:):thumbsup:


Jungian theory tells us that part of maturing into adulthood and taking one’s independence involves fantasies about killing your same-sex parent.

This is perfectly normal. It signifies that your relationship with your father is changing from a child-parent relationship to an adult-adult relationship. The killing fantasies are your psyche’s way of dealing with the fact that you are now responsible for yourself - your father is no longer taking that role (that is, his role as “father” is being “killed” and you are “replacing the father” with personal responsibility for yourself).

It is just your suconscious mind’s way of telling you that you now have a new kind of relationship with him. :slight_smile:

Don’t obsess on them - just realize what they are - messages from the subconscious mind.


Here is the thing: I just went to Confession yesterday and the Priests, because of my Scrupulous issues, are sort of “rationing” Confession for me. Basically, a week from yesterday (Thursday), I’ll go to Confession again.

But I worry that my doubt is just me trying to fool my conscience and make excuses or something. Do any of my reasons for not thinking it is a mortal sin sound too contrived?

For number 2, I’ll add that, I also rationalized that the only way these thoughts could become action would be if this situation occurred (kind of an ‘If A happened, then what would I do’ or I don’t know).


But the actual “killing” part crossed my mind as I was thinking after I woke up. Again, this was not a thought I planned to carry out, it was either:

A) Rumination (but could it have entered “delectatio morosa”)
B) Kind of an ‘If/then’ situation or something


It is not a sin at all. It is a message from your subconscious mind about the new direction of your relationship with your father. See my previous post.


I did not see your post until after my first response. Sorry. I did respond though. Still, it disturbs me to have these thoughts cross my mind.


It’s still the same thing, whether you are awake or asleep - it was a fantasy coming up from your subconscious mind. You didn’t have complete control over it. Don’t worry about it.


My dear friend
If you have scruples and based on what you say you have not sinned. Here is a link to a long debate we had on scruples you may like
An old thread about scuples may interest some. I don’t recommend following doctors on this unless you have their opinions supported b y an orthodox priest.

Hi all
We had a long debate about scrupulosity on here nearly 3 years ago. it was not about OCD. If any have scruples then check this link I copied a lot of material from a very good book on scruples and others made great contributions and we debated the whole question in great length.
If you have scruples you need all the help you can get.

God bless you:thumbsup::slight_smile:


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