Food is My Coping Mechanism

Dream: 8/2/2017

I’m at some kind of camp. Only everyone here is really sad/angry/negative. I pick a sleeping bench and try to talk to some people. They all seem exactly the same. One of them says, “You’re going to suffer, you better get used to it.” I’m a little affronted. I ask several of them how they cope in this place. A girl points to one of the boys and says, “Sex.”. Another hands me a bottle of alcoholic cider and says, “Alcohol.” I wonder how I ended up in this place. One of the girls sees my face and laughs. “You’ll get used to it,” she says. Suddenly, the head of the camp comes into our room without knocking. He is giving around 50 people a tour. He doesn’t engage with us, but his helpers do. They’re really funny. One of them helps me fix a nearby fan and we laugh when it sprays me with water. After the tour is over and the visitors are gone, people start throwing all their stuff into bags. I don’t know what’s happening. Eventually, someone says, “grab your shit we’re going!” Going where? Why? No one answers me. We leave the bunk room and enter an amazing library. I enjoy looking at all the books, but then I start freaking out. I don’t know where we’re going. I don’t know what I might need. I run around looking for things. I’m starting to feel kind of crazy, when someone grabs me and shoves me into an RV. Inside there is a random girl I don’t know and the guy who’s mother runs the camp. The guy says that we had better eat. He shoves a massive plate of fruit in front of us. It has 5 bananas, plus multiple peaches and plums. I look at the guy confused. He tells me to eat because at camp food is not guaranteed. Sometimes they just won’t feed us. Other times the food might be incredible. The guy opened up a cooler filled with half rotten pasta as an example. I look at the fruit, which isn’t enough to keep me going by itself. The guy sees my face and takes pity. He pulls out a microwavable lasagna. “Alright,” he says pulling up at a beach. “You can have this but only because I know where you’re going.” I wonder what that means right before I wake up.


So this dream is clearly about my childhood and the coping mechanisms I developed. In the earlier part of the dream, I get shown how some people cope [suffer through it, have sex, use alcohol, etc…], but later in the dream I get shown how I cope [food]. I have such a weird relationship to food. When I was a kid we either starved (if mom was drunk and couldn’t be bothered to cook) or we ate really well. The bunk room in the camp represents my life as a kid. I wanted out [to pack up my shit and leave], but there was no where to go. My only escape was found in books [the library]. In them, I found evidence that life could be different and that my situation wasn’t normal. Eventually I escaped by growing up [got pulled onto the RV and driven away from camp]. But even as an adult, I’m still using old coping mechanisms. I still look at what’s healthy and think it’s not enough. I still eat breakfast sometimes and then think I should eat a second breakfast because there might not be any dinner later. I think the dream is trying to show me that my issues with losing weight go way deeper than just counting calories and eating healthy. There’s some childhood traumas that need to be unwound. Once that happens my relationship to food will change naturally.


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