Dream of being left behind

One of the worst feelings in the world is the feeling of being left behind. Maybe the people you were with consciously left you behind, or you fell between the cracks. Maybe nobody was paying attention. For whatever reason, they left you.

Can you imagine the confusion, sense of helplessness, and possibly even anger? No wonder a dream of being left behind or waking up from dreams of abandonment can be quite troubling. On a physical level, it’s not as bad as a dream about someone trying to kill you with a knife or a dream about being shot.

But the emotional impact is the same. You may not suffer physical harm in your dream, but the emotional hurt is as bad.

General interpretation and symbolism of dreams of abandonment

Generally, when you dream of being left behind, the dream meaning involves those who are very close to you. Whether they are friends, family members, or partners does not matter. After all, it is only those we trust and are completely intimate with who can truly hurt us.

In most cases, these are the people we allow to get close to us. It’s as if we have our guard down, and we are not as defensive around them. They’re in a perfect position to know something about us that can unsettle us.

They also are in the perfect place to get close enough to stick a knife in our back.

This is what makes a dream of being left behind or being abandoned so emotionally traumatizing. It can burn. Worse yet, it can poison your future relationships and your views about other potential partners. It can also cause you to develop difficulty in trusting others.

A dream involving abandonment issues and their meaning

One of the most common traumas someone may deal with from they were a kid is the abandonment issue.

Maybe your parents split up, or for whatever reason, one parent had to take a job far away. Similarly, your parents might have broken up because your father or mother was unfaithful, and you were caught in the emotional crossfire.

There are all sorts of conflicts involved, and it’s easy for kids to blame themselves for a broken home. Others think that since it happened when they were a child, they can put up a brave front.

But these traumatic events can warp your relationships and your ability to trust. If you’re not careful, this loss can negatively affect you. You may even pass these traumas to your children.

Naturally, these motifs can crop up when we’re at our most vulnerable: when we’re dreaming.

Trust issues

Having a recurring dream about being left behind can have different interpretations. One is that your subconscious is sending you a reminder that you need to confront your trust issues. Don’t assume that because people come and go means that there’s something wrong with you.

Most times, the reason your parents broke up or are emotionally distant from each other has little to do with you. So stop carrying the load for them.

Think of it like this: the more you hang onto that charged bundle of emotions, the less likely you’d be able to live out your fullest potential.

Please remember that living means being hurt. That’s part of living. Life can be rough.

There are people out there who you cannot trust. Sadly, you cannot tell just by looking at them. Maybe they’re even smooth and know the right words to say at the right time to get under your defenses.

But the fact is that you would have to keep trusting. You might get heartbroken, but you will learn, and that’s what life is all about. Eventually, you will experience the best of what this world has to offer.

Unfortunately, a part of us doesn’t even want to try when we see conflicts in our homes.

The idea is fear will protect us from being hurt. Sadly, the only thing fear is good at is preventing us from truly living. If you’re so afraid of the downside of living, say goodbye to ever seeing the high points of it.

You will be stuck in this place of mediocre emotional limbo. Everything is “barely good” enough.


This type of dream can have different meanings. Still, it’s a message that you have to speak up.

Maybe you’re feeling overlooked. This doesn’t always have to involve your parents fighting or some strong emotion. It can simply involve your friends or coworkers making a decision, and you’re the last person to know.

The reason for this is you rarely speak up. By the time they make up their minds or the alpha of the pack decides on the direction, you can be counted on to rubber-stamp the decision.

Maybe you do this because you feel that you have better things to take care of. But often, humans go along to get along. They’re so afraid of sticking out like a sore thumb and suffering people’s disapproval that they trick themselves into believing that a decision made by somebody else is the best course of action.

Be aware that you’re doing this. This is why your subconscious is sending you this dream symbol as a warning.

Now, it may benefit you, but there are consequences. Just be aware of what you’re doing. It might do you well. Maybe it’s the best coping mechanism you can think of. Fine.

But don’t be the one to feel betrayed, ripped off, fooled, or deceived when you decide to go in another direction in the future. You can’t go back and say, “You tricked me.” No, you weren’t. You were going along.


It’s important to be more mindful of the habits you’ve developed regarding how you deal with those around you. Maybe you’re feeling that you’re just another face in the crowd and everybody shines a spotlight on the “leader” of the group. Maybe it’s the best-looking girl or the most ambitious guy.

Be mindful of what you’re feeling. If you think that you’re being stepped on, speak up. Be kind to yourself. Maybe you will open doors that can help you understand your needs better. Of course, you’re going to have to pay for this growth. Maybe you will start earning the disapproval that you’ve feared all this time.

But see the bigger picture. What do you stand to gain? A sense of control of your destiny, a sense of direction, and possibly, personal growth.

To dream of being left behind is triggered by current insecurities

Someone who has a dream of being left behind in different scenarios often get their sense of validation from other people. It’s become natural to them. They can’t see themselves through their own eyes. It has to always go through the lens of other people.

In their minds, those people are the only ones qualified to give them a sense of credibility and worth. What are you telling yourself when you believe this? What you’re saying to yourself is that you have nothing going for you.

You’re not pretty or handsome enough; you’re not smart enough. Your potential is mediocre. So you have to find a proxy or a medium of authority. It is their worth that gives you worth. Now, I’m asking you if it’s right to think about yourself like that. Is that the right way to frame your identity?

In fact, you know the answer. You’re not being kind to yourself.

If you’re feeling insecure because you’re afraid that somebody may change the way they look at you or hold you emotionally hostage, then you have serious problems. The problem is not what they’re doing or that they are bad.

That may be true. The bigger issue is you allow yourself to be in that position, but it doesn’t have to be this way. You have to confront your insecurities. What is it that you’re insecure about?

Concepts of self-worth

You have more than enough to live a worthy and dignified life if you’re educated, you have a job, and you wake up in good health every day. The problem is you’ve been reading too much into other people’s approval and their lives.

It’s as if you’re always waiting for them to post an update on TikTok or Facebook for your day to be complete. Start living your own life and experiencing your self-worth. Of course, it’s not going to happen without you going through the valley of insecurity, anxiety, fear, and a sense of helplessness.

These are the emotional stages that you need to go through today because you’ve been delaying them all this time. Usually, someone goes through these states when they are teenagers. And by the time they’re in their early 20s, they already have a good understanding of how they’re wired.

Maybe you’re like many of them. You’ve kicked the can down the road, swept things under the rug, and resigned yourself to living with an 800-pound elephant in the middle of your room. But that emotional and mental house of cards has to come crashing down.

A dream of being left behind can also indicate unresolved childhood trauma

In addition to trauma, another issue that can linger past childhood involves unmet needs. Too many fathers believe that they are providing for their children when they work 16-hour days and are gone most of the time.

In their minds, they think that they’re doing their job as long as they put food on the table and provide a roof over their children’s heads, and they move into a bigger house every four years. The issue is your children need more.

When they start their first year in school, and they’re feeling uncertain, they’d like you to be home to hug them and tell them that everything will be okay.

This is especially true for daughters. They go through a tough time during their teenage years, so they need strong male figures to let them know how men should treat them. Unsurprisingly many women have worries about adequacy when they were growing up because of emotionally absent fathers.

The fathers may have been physically present, but they couldn’t be hugged, and their words rang hollow. They couldn’t offer a warm embracing blanket to their daughters. Instead, they seemed distant.

Money is a lousy substitute for care, assurance, comfort, and encouragement. No wonder many of us have abandonment traumas. And the interesting thing was they feel abandoned even if their parents were physically present. Ironic, right?

Now, keep in mind that I’m describing this absent verbal abuse. What if your father was around but barely there, and each time you saw him, the only words that came out of him were, “Are you an idiot?” or “I’m disappointed in you” or “I expected better.”

Do you see how this pans out?

When you dream of being left behind in the context of family or authority figures, you may be grappling with this issue. The good news is if your parents are still alive, you can take baby steps to bridge the gap.

For example, a turning point for men is when they become fathers themselves. I can only speak for my situation when I was growing up in California; my father was always gone because he had several jobs.

The great house we lived in in the middle of a suburb was very expensive. My parents’ regular jobs couldn’t afford it, so they had to balance three or four jobs. It got so bad that my mom would give us a key at 6 in the morning, and we would go to sleep at 8 in the evening, and they’d come home at 9.

We never saw each other. I carried that sense of abandonment for a long time. But when I became a father, and I had to provide for my kid, I quickly realized the extent of sacrifice my parents had to give me a better life than theirs.

If you ask parents, their highest ambition is for their children to have better lives than they do. That’s why I’m busting my tail. But thanks to the internet, I can now take a remote job. My parents didn’t have that back then.

So as I get more comfortable in my role as a father and see my kid grow up before my eyes, my respect for my old man grows by leaps and bounds. Now I can recognize the sheer love and sacrifice that it took for him to do what he did so he can provide for my brother and me.

Sadly, the only way we repaid him was through resentment, rebellion, and defiance. I can even remember trading punches with my old man when I was 19. It got so bad he kicked me out of the house, and my mom cried so hard I thought her eyes were going to fall off.

So I was very angry with my father. It was only resolved when I became a father myself.

Keep this in mind. Whatever issue you may have, they are locked within a time and space of your life’s progression on this planet.

Suppose you’re willing to open your mind and see situations from different perspectives and even step into your parent’s perspective or the individual you’re having an issue with. In that case, you might be able to see your conflict in a completely different light.


Seeing a dream symbol of being left behind can reflect doubt about your ability and skills. When others get this impression, they often find themselves doubling down.

It may seem awesome on the surface, but when you look at what you’re actually doing on a day-to-day basis, you’re probably doing what everybody else is doing: chasing your tail.

Think about it, if you were to boil down the things that you do in terms of results that move your company or business into profitability – how much of your activities produce that effect – it’s going to be a small fraction if you’re completely honest.

Unsurprisingly, eight hours of work translates to half an hour of real productivity in a typical American workplace. Crazy, right? It’s not surprising because many confuse being busy with actual work.

You’re in danger of doing this because you’re using it as a coping mechanism to deal with your self-doubt.

Here’s a tip: if you have serious doubts about your abilities and skills, the solution is not to walk away and pretend to be busy. The solution is not to screw around in social media and fool yourself into thinking that you’re doing some sort of marketing.

The better approach is to confront your difficulties head-on. Are you having a hard time writing? Then write some more. Do you have an issue talking to clients on the phone trying to get them to sign on the dotted line? Then make some more calls.

The solution to challenges is not to run away but to stare it in the eyes and keep hitting it until you connect the dots. Failures and disappointment are the tickets that your waking life gives you to afford the best that life offers.

You’re paying your dues. Don’t expect to hit a home run the first time you swing that bat; that’s not going to happen. Your self-doubt is only an indication of your impatience with your ability to learn. So turn that around. Stop wallowing in doubt and start focusing on doing.

Ultimately, real confidence can only arise from competence. Your confidence is not going to mature and develop solid roots if you get only participation trophies. It’s as if you will get respect just for showing up.

It will be shallow. And guess what, life is rough, so you better be tough and base your waking life on real work and accomplishment.


The dream meaning of abandonment can also reflect profound fears, insecurity, anxiety about your relationships. Maybe you have a friend, and you think they’re taking you for granted, or you’re called the second-tier friend.

They have their private circle, and they call you only when they have nothing else to do or when somebody else is occupied. You resent this, but part of you plays along because you’ll take what you can get.

You have to understand that your emotions lie in how you view your relationships. You don’t have to be front and center. You don’t have to be the center of other people’s loyalties. As long as you understand the proper context of your relationship, then you’ll be okay.

Often, disappointment happens when our expectations are unrealistic or badly set. Neither of those situations is good. Allow yourself to look at things for what they are. You have many shallow, second-tier, and third-tier friends, then fine. Make more.

If you want to have deeper relationships with those around you, go on a long journey with them, like starting a business together. Face a challenge together. Those are time-proven methods of turning acquaintances or casual friendships into solid friendships because you go through challenges together.

Both of you put yourself in a situation where you’re forced to lead each other after learning more about each other’s weaknesses and strengths.


Experiencing a dream about abandonment can be a dream symbol of guilt.

Our ultimate friend, of course, is ourselves. You have to first be a friend to yourself before you can be a friend to everybody else. How can you respect those around you when you don’t even give yourself respect?

The conflict is when we get into relationships that we feel we are unworthy of or unprepared for, it’s easy to cut and run. The sense of abandonment that you feel reflects the feeling that you left many of those around you hanging.

Let’s be honest here, how many friendships have you had where someone counted on you, but you came up short? Now, this doesn’t mean that your friendships have gone off the rails. It can just mean that what was once a very strong, intimate bond is now a low-level friendship.

Maybe you call each other from time to time or invite each other to watch a game, but that’s it. Part of you is wondering what could’ve happened if you didn’t let your friend down. A lot of that is being expressed in the form of guilt.

The solution is straightforward. Forgive yourself because nobody’s perfect. Try to regain people’s trust if you want to reestablish the same level of trust and intimacy with your friends. Is it going to be easy? Of course not. Is it going to happen overnight? Probably not.

But if you want it bad enough, you need to be more self-sacrificing by being there for them. They might give you another shot before you know it. But you need to get your house in order, so whatever trust they give you isn’t wasted.

What does dreaming of abandoning a spouse or partner mean?

This is very powerful symbolism.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to go through a divorce or you’re leaving your partner. Instead, a husband or a wife indicates formal commitment through love. This dream about abandoning a partner can be a symbol that you’re in a formal arrangement with others, such as in business or civic organizations.

Unfortunately, you’re not happy about it. Maybe you’re thinking that you’re the one who’s doing all the work or the public face of the group and are left to the wolves. Maybe you’re the one handling all the complaints or the public outrage about what your group is doing.

Part of you is feeling trapped in the arrangement and wants to cut and run. You don’t want to talk or explain your feelings; you just want to cut and run. Dreaming of abandoning your husband or wife means that you’re on the verge of doing something rash as far as your commitments go.

You might want to think twice about doing this. Sure, it might bring tremendous emotional relief in the short run, but your reputation is pretty much toast. Do you think they will give you another chance, especially when money, invested time, or something big is involved?

Do you think they’ll talk so that those who are thinking of investing their trust in you would be discouraged from doing so? Probably. So focus on your willingness to commit. Did you stretch yourself too thin?

Maybe you need to communicate better or even delegate. Perhaps you might want to renegotiate the job description so that the job doesn’t weigh on you so much. What’s obvious is you have a lot more options than you give yourself credit for.

Stop thinking of abandonment as your first option. It shouldn’t even be your last resort because there’s a lot at stake. You have to understand that your biggest asset is your name, and if you stain that, it will be very hard. You may even have to move far away and start fresh.

Dream interpretations of being abandoned by a family member

When a dream about abandonment or a dream of being left behind takes a specific form of an actual relationship with your loved ones, it can indicate conflicts about something in your past experiences. Maybe it was some misunderstanding that led people to distrust each other.

It can also mean unresolved feelings of resentment and inner conflict. Here’s the problem, you may be thinking that somebody in your family is to blame for how your waking life has turned out. Maybe you’re frustrated in a certain area, and you can’t move on.

Maybe you have many anxieties or fears about certain situations. Whatever your situation may be, you blame that person. Their top of mind. The longer you do this, the longer you drag out your sense of helplessness.

You have to be clear as to what you’re doing. When you convince yourself that a certain person or a group of people are the reasons why you have problems today, you’re telling yourself that they have the solution.

It’s only logical that if they caused the problem, only they can bring the healing. This, of course, has the comforting side effect of casting you as a victim. It’s easy to think you’ve suffered enough and let the people make the first move.

The problem is they’ve moved on. They have families, careers and are probably doing well, as you can see in your Facebook feed. And here you are, a prisoner of the past. The more you blame other people, the longer you make them responsible for you.

What’s wrong with that picture? You’re supposed to be responsible for your life. So this can manifest itself in terms of attachment issues. This can reflect the inability to let go of things, material possessions, feelings, and people.

The solution to your worries and frustrations cannot be found in the past that is long gone. You cannot reverse those facts. It also cannot be found in the future that is yet to happen.

You only have now, so take ownership. Forgive yourself. And most importantly, claim the power to respond according to who you want to be and the values you think you believe in. Start there because it’s obvious that if you can keep seeing yourself being left behind in your dream, then something’s not working.

The constant dream of being left behind is your subconscious telling you that it’s looking for something new. That dream of abandonment that you keep having is a symptom that your coping mechanisms in the here and now simply aren’t cutting it.

What does it mean to dream about abandoning your child?

When you dream that you’re abandoning your child, whether you have a child in real life or you don’t, it indicates your fear of losing your hopes and dreams. Everybody has a big goal in life. It’s not uncommon for us to call it “baby.”

But when we get caught up in the day-to-day struggles, it’s easy to give up on our dreams and settle. This is especially true for parents. Maybe you wanted to become a world-famous artist. Perhaps you were thinking of an awesome writing career.

Whatever your adolescent fantasies or success may be, it undergoes a radical readjustment when you become a parent. While it’s great to think about NBA greatness, there are more pressing concerns that you need to address as a father.

You need to put food on the table and ensure that your kids’ needs are taken care of. Many of us learn the first important truth of adulthood: we have to give up many of our dreams to mature.

This doesn’t mean the death of a life-long dream because as we mature and the years pass, you begin to be at peace with this, and your dreams start taking different shapes.

That’s how you know you’re changing. When you dream about abandoning your child, it does not mean you want to turn your back on your kid and become a deadbeat parent.

It usually means that your attitudes about your priorities have to be adjusted to line up with your present realities and obligations.

Dream Example #1

The dreams of abandonment are heartbreaking where we often end up crying. I had a vision a long time ago wherein I was left behind alone, separated from my family, and was sobbing loud enough to wake my mother up.

In this dream, my family planned to go on a trip to an island, so we had to board a train the next day. So we packed up all night, keeping all the essentials that came to our minds in a phased manner.

Even in the morning, when we got dressed and ready to leave, I kept on packing for a very long time. While my father was calling me to come down quickly, I was running around the house, picking up things like toothbrushes, shoes, and glasses, one at a time.

Somehow, after repeated in and out of the house, I left at last. The train had already started to move by the time we reached the station.

It was swarming with people trying to get on the train forcing us to separate into pairs while boarding the train.

I managed to hold on to my father but lost my brother and mother in the crowd. The train was gliding slowly when my father realized he had left one bag on the platform.

So he assured me that he would quickly get the bag and hop back on within seconds. Saying this, he got off the train. I waited for him to come back for a very long time, but he did not return.

I was miserable as many awful thoughts were running through my mind and there was not a single soul on my train.

As it was very dark inside, I stayed near the entrance hoping my father would show up. Slowly, I was losing my calm, and it was getting difficult to hold back my tears.

Finally, the train stopped at someplace that was not a station; there were no houses or people around, just trees and open fields.

I got down and started running across the windows, hoping to find them. Suddenly, the train started speeding up while I was still outside, calling out to my father, mother, and brother.

I tried to get on it, but it got too high for me to jump on. I made frivolous attempts to board the train and got exhausted during the process.

The train sped past before I could not get on. Now, I was all alone in that deserted area with just fields all around.

Whatever luggage I had was gone with the train. That was it. My patience washed away, and I burst out in tears, not knowing where I was or where my parents were.

I was shouting and calling out to my parents in that uninhabited area, all the while crying.

With time, the day was getting darker. I kept on crying louder and louder when my mother shook me and, thankfully, I was out of that dreadful dream.

It no more feels like much of a deal now, but the surge of emotions back then was frightening. Yet, I was delighted that such an incident never took place in real life.

Dream Example #2

It was a dark and gloomy afternoon, along with this is a feeling of frustration that I felt for my parents for not allowing me to watch my favorite movie.

Not being allowed to play with my cell phone made me furious that I burst into tears. I went inside my room, banged the door, and locked myself up.

I questioned why I had to be born in this family and did not find an answer. In my bitterness, I told myself that not seeing them is better.

I was stuck inside my room with all the emotions and hurt that I am feeling inside. The sky is crying with me as I fell into a deep sleep.

I smelled the scent of the freshly squeezed orange juice and heard my mom’s voice was calling me. Even though I was still angry at her, she still talked to me and told me to eat breakfast with them.

“You must be hungry because you have skipped your dinner,” she said. Mom told me that they will have a business trip and I will be alone for a while.

I was planning the things that I will do while they were away. They left after having breakfast. My parents left me with so many reminders and me nodding while the words are slipping from my left ear onto my right ear.

I heard a band playing as they left me. I turned on the television and placed the remote control beside me.

When I cannot find anything that excites me I shifted to my phone and play my favorite game. When I get tired of watching and playing, I invite my friends to play or watch with me.

I enjoyed all these things and instilling in my mind that this is the life that I wanted to live. I cannot remember the time when I felt this relieved.

I skipped meals and replaced rice with chips and candies. There were plastic and plates scattered everywhere that I cannot even lay my back on the sofa.

A few hours later, I felt an excruciating pain in my head and stomach. I said to myself, “Am I going to die with no one beside me?” I tried to call my parents, but they were out of my reach.

My friends could not come as well because their parents forbid them to visit me. The silence was deafening, I can only hear the whimpering that I made.

I felt all alone at that moment, everything was pitch-black, and I can only feel the agony of not having someone by my side to care for me.

I cried out and remembered how mom would limit my screen time watching movies and playing with my cell phone.

She would nag me about not eating and sleeping on time. I felt that no one is there for me to turn to. I heard voices that become louder and louder.

Mom is here, and everything was a dream. I hugged her tight and followed her downstairs to eat.

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