Hi Paula It means you've had an upsetting dream. But you already knew that. The purpose of dreams, as far as we understand them, is to process the vast amount of information that comes in through your senses each day whilst you're awake. On this basis the "meaning" of our dreams is simply that we are making sense of information which previously didn't have a "meaning", for us, because it hadn't been processed so as to fit into our mental maps of the world (all your existing beliefs, ideas, values, etc.). Given this purpose, there will always be something in each dream, though we may not remember it, which ties the dream to recent "real life" events. However most of the things which appear in our dreams may have nothing to do with what has been happening in our life just before the dream occurs. Things can appear in a dream that have been part of the dreamer's memories as far back as they first started forming memories - or anytime in between then and now. Nor do the things in your dreams have to be obviously related to each other. Like I said, dreaming, including nightmares, is a process of finding/making meaning, and the brain can draw from anywhere in its huge store of memories in order to carry out that process. By the way, there is nothing random about this process, but your subconscious mind can come up with connections that your conscious mind would never dream of (!), which is why dreams often seem pretty weird. It is also important to remember that periods of REM sleep (which is when we dream) usually last for around 20-30 minutes, yet the descriptions most people give of their dreams would fill only a fraction of that time. What you DON'T remember could easily be as important, if not MORE important than the little bit you still retain when you wake up. So when, if ever, you happen to notice yourself having what seems like a weird dream in future you can literally rest assured that everything is OK. Your brain is actually doing, with great skill, one of the many jobs it was designed to do.