Body Image Issues

Dream 18/7/2016

I’m at my father’s birthday party. There is a man there that I find extremely attractive. I’d be happy if he even talked to me. I’m helping prepare everything and I feel really good. Then I walk up to dad to say happy birthday. The attractive man is standing there. He smiles and says, “Hi Miss Howe. Are you pregnant? How’s the baby?” My dad jumps up and says, “Yes, she is!” He doesn’t want the man to realize that no, I’m just fat. I feel angry and humiliated. I turn to the guy and say, “No, I’m not pregnant.” Then I turn to my dad and say, “And don’t lie to people to save face about me being fat. Tell anyone else I’m pregnant and I’ll kill you myself.” He sits down in a glass booth. I can tell he’s upset. I don’t care. When the guy spoke to me, I was on my way to get a glass of water. It’s in my hand. I throw it into the sink and it shatters. My sisters eye me questioningly. I start walking back to the house, thinking I will play video games and hide. Then I think, fuck this. I decide to go to the beach instead. I walk down a path and am there in minutes. Before the beach, there is a river with a dock and a row a trees. A man is taking a group of children for a swim up the river. It is shallow and they are having a great time. I get in and start swimming with them. No one says anything. Eventually they make their way to the beach. I get out and go with them. I stare at the trees. They glitch like they aren’t real. I can see a pattern of 6 dots in the shape of a pyramid on the trunk of one of the trees. I go back to playing with the kids. The guy in charge of the them is really cool. A little girl says something to me and I wake up.

Thoughts/Meaning

This is definitely a dream about body image issues and shame. When I was younger, my mother made me feel that I was never pretty enough. I wasn’t thin enough. My hair was never straight enough. I never dressed correctly. She believed that women’s value came from being beautiful, and since I wasn’t a great beauty according to her standards, I didn’t have value. It’s strange, but in her world (and I suspect many women’s worlds) the ultimate approval a woman can receive is a man’s attention, his sexual favor. In the dream, I feel excited that there is an eligible man present, but it all turns to dust when my body size becomes the focus. I feel ashamed for being who I am, having the body I have. Then I feel enraged. I let the rage out [I yell at dad and break a glass], but afterwards I feel lost. These ideas are so ingrained in everyone present that I don’t know how to deal with the situation. So I leave the party and I regress back into being a child. Except I’m no longer a child, I’m an adult.  Although playing the child might comfort me, it’s not real [the trees glitch]. At some point, I have to learn to confront people and their beliefs, how to set and maintain my boundaries without losing my temper. It’s time to grow up.

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