about one's ears
To or into complete collapse, defeat, or ruin; to the destruction of a person's plans, hopes, or happiness.
They planned to have factories all over the world but the war brought their plans down about their ears.
John hoped to go to college and become a great scientist some day, but when his father died he had to get a job, and John's dreams came crashing around his ears.
Compare: ON ONE'S HEAD.