Afraid To Be Feminine 

Dream: Undated, sometime in late-2014

I’m starting at a new school. I meet a guy called Barbi (a character from Under the Dome), who seems super cool. There’s a young girl I’m also interested in, but she’s skittish. Something happens and Barbi ends up in a courtyard surrounded by men in face masks. I know they can’t hurt us, but some of the other boys at school seem agitated. When we break it up, Barbi grabs one of the masked men and yells “I know this isn’t you. Why don’t you go to the place and have sex?” Then he turns and pours water all over me. I splutter and ask why he did that. He says “I want them to think I peed on you.” I flip out and try to punch him. It doesn’t hurt him and he laughs at me, which makes me even angrier. I run away and see that the little girl I was interested in has turned into a cat. She turns back into a little girl and we stare at each other. After a while, she changes again. I’m petting her when Barbi comes and finds me. I don’t make it to class that day because Barbi and I sit around talking. We want to buy an artist colony. Barbi already has tons of resumes, so he thinks it’s possible. At some point, I have to go to the bathroom, but the whole school only has urinals. I peed through my underwear trying to use a urinal and I want to get changed. Jess brings me a bag of clothes, but they all belong to Jamie and they’re super manly. I choose a dress in the end, although I wear tights with it because I’m afraid it’s see-through. I can’t find Barbi so I decide to go to an aquarium, but I can’t get the price right. Eventually, I use my credit card to pay. The ticket guy says, “You have a monthly limit on that. You might want to call them.” I go to the aquarium, but it’s only when I’m leaving that I realize I didn’t go on any of the crazy rides. I’m not upset though because they all look super dangerous. Dad picks me up. Barbi is in the car with him. As we’re driving home, we stop on a bridge. I look out onto the water and see a ship like Titanic cresting a wave. It rolls on its side and then flips over. I think, “Oh that’s bad…”, and then I realize it’s a chain reaction. The ship hits another ship which hits another ship. It happens so fast, one of them hits the bridge and dad hits the gas. We make it off the bridge before it collapses. I look left and see the ground is beginning to flood. “This is going to be the worst ecological disaster in history,” I say. The harbour is full of shipwrecks now. We drive the rest of the way home in silence. I’m holding Barbi’s hand. I ask him where he lives so we can drop him off. He gets quiet. My dad says, “I’ll drop him off at his mother-in-law’s house.” I ask Barbi if he’s married. He nods. You can tell he doesn’t want me to know. I can tell there are major problems with his marriage. I tell him there must be a story and he nods. I feel like this won’t kill our relationship, but it is definitely a major roadblock to it. 

Thoughts/Meaning

I didn’t write anything at the time. The only lead I have is the asking (#4) that I wrote the night I had this dream. In that context, I think the dream is all about my hidden, unconscious issues with sexuality, relationships, and aliveness. Barbi represents my ideal man. In Under the Dome, he’s smart and sexy and mysterious. He’s also incredibly skilled, and he looks out for other people (i.e. he’s a good guy as defined by American culture). But I’m aware that things aren’t that simple. Even good guys have dark sides [the men in masks] and can be possessive  [wants people to think he peed on me, like marking territory]. In the dream, Barbi acknowledges that sex is a way to calm down his dark side (a very Freudian belief) and I find out the same thing. I run away because I’m angry and end up petting my pussy [the cat]. Once we reconcile, I feel good, but I can’t shake the idea that I’m the man in the relationship [there are no ladies bathrooms and someone brings me manly clothes]. I feel that way a lot in relationships actually! To counterbalance that, I try to be feminine [put on a dress], but I’m uncomfortable with being a woman [wear tights to cover up my body]. The aquarium represents my emotional view of womanhood. I want to show it off but it has to be contained and non-threatening  [I don’t go on the dangerous rides]. Only you can’t keep it contained. I run across it all the time [the bridge], but normally I block it out. I avoid it. Why? Because I’m afraid that if I stop and look, it will swallow me up and destroy me [sinking the Titanic]. I feel like this because so much of my world view is predicated on how I view my feminine self [chain reaction with the ships]. And that is of course tied in with how society sees the feminine. I’m worried I won’t be able to survive in the world without these beliefs [it’s the worst ecological disaster in history]. In the end, it’s clear I don’t value my femininity very highly since I’m willing to stay with Barbi even though he’s married. Or maybe I’m just afraid of the vulnerability that being feminine and sexual brings.

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