Just lately I've been waking with a jump about 30 mins to an hour after going to sleep, in a panic that I haven't fed and/or watered my birds. It takes a few minutes to remember that I actually fed them and checked or changed their water immediately before going to bed, as I do every night.
Then I get this dream occasionally that I have forgotten to feed my rabbit.. In the dream I remember that it's actually been weeks since I fed it and I go out to it dreading what I'll find. From there it's always different. It is never dead. Sometimes it's almost dead but most often it is fine. Sometimes it has had babies, or there are other animals in the hutch with it. Sometimes it is loose in the garden.
I am always Home, as it was before I was 18. Sometimes I'm aware of my children in the dream (who certainly weren't around before I was 18!). I wake from this dream in a panic before I remember that my last rabbit died over 7 years ago (& not from being forgotten). This week our back door broke and I woke in the night worrying about the guinea pigs we haven't had since 1985!
The animals were my responsibility from about 9 years old until I left home & took them with me.
Can anyone shed any light on why this is disturbing me so much. It's driving me mad. (I would add that I have never actually forgotten to feed anything!)
Sounds like a fear that you're not up to the responsibilities of having living things (children) to care for. Particularly as it takes place in your childhood home, where other people were responsible for you.
Maybe it relates to your fears for the children when they do all eventually leave home? Sometimes not-so-good things may happen because you're not there (represented by the animals being almost dead), they may meet new people (animals playing in the garden with other animals) or they may settle down and have families of their own (the animals with babies).
The animals from your past represent your children when they were younger. In those days the children required far more practical care (being fed, changed etc). Now that you are realising that they need less in the practical sense you are panicking/worrying that you haven't done all that you need to do for them.