All the Factors that Impact My Relationship

Dream: 29/2/2017

I’m with a guy. We live in the 1950s and we’ve been together a long time. We got together because we were both smart and we went to the same school. It seemed like a good match. Only, we’re not attracted to each other any more. He and I both like other people, but we can’t break up because society won’t let us. I constantly bring people over so that we can avoid each other’s company. We drink to drown our sorrows and numb ourselves to this life we created. Boy do we drink. When we’re drunk, we act on our base urges and let out some of the pent up energy. There are so many sexual advertisements around. We’re both completely frustrated. I was watching TV at a party when a black and white ad of a naked man and woman having sex around a giant coke bottle came on. The bottle was 3 times their size. The advertisement clearly meant for the coke bottle to look like a penis. We leave the party and head home together, but we have nothing to say to each other.

Thoughts/Meaning

There’s a lot of different threads to this dream. Clearly, I’m a little sexually frustrated. My partner got diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about a year ago and it has caused a dip in our sex life. Beyond that, there’s the obvious theme of sexual and subliminal advertising which is everywhere in western society. I’d also just finishing watching Century of the Self, which is an awesome documentary about how large corporations used Freud’s theory of unconscious drives to manipulate the American public into becoming passive consumers. Additionally, the relationship in the dream reminds me of my parents’ relationship. They keep themselves busy and avoid each other because they have nothing in common. I don’t want that for myself. Maybe that’s what the dream is trying to show me, that there are a lot of different factors that play into my relationships and I need to bring all of them into conscious awareness if I really want things to change.

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The Denial of Abuse

Dream: 28/2/2017

I have a sister, who I’m visiting. My sister is the perfect housewife. She’s wearing a cute dress, with done up hair and make-up. Her house is immaculate. In my mind, I keep thinking that she’s super conformist. We get to talking about shoes. I want to borrow some of hers. As I’m putting them on, I’m talking about mom. All of sudden, my sister starts snarling at me and tries to grab my throat, “That never happened! I fixed it! Don’t you say that! I fixed it!” That’s when I realize, my sister spends her whole life pretending that we had a perfect childhood because she can’t deal with it. I wake up, hitting at her to get off of me. In my mind, I’m yelling, “You can’t fix it! It happened!”

Thoughts/Meaning

I had this dream immediately after agreeing to help a friend of mine, who was in the middle of an emotionally intense lawsuit at that time. It felt like this dream was about experiencing things from her point of view (i.e. putting on the shoes in the dream = walking in her shoes). She feels stuck because of old childhood trauma, which she feels unable to move through because her family is in denial. That’s not an uncommon pattern. Abusive families often sweep things under the rug and deny the abuse ever happened. Their denial then forces the victim to question their own memories/experience, which degrades their confidence in themselves and ensures that they’ll stay quiet. This suites the family fine because it means nothing has to change. The abuser can keep on abusing and everyone else can maintain the status quo.  A lot of people end up cutting all ties with their family because this dynamic can literally be crazy making. Sometimes, enough memories and evidence surface that it becomes impossible for the family to remain in denial. At that stage, major changes can begin to take place. I think this dream was showing me that the best thing I can do for my friend is to support her in remaining true to herself and her feelings. In the end, no matter what happened in the past, the best thing she can do in the present is to love and believe in herself.

 

Negative Intentionality

Dream Series: 17/2/2017

Dream 1:

I’m watching Star (the main character from the TV show Star) do her thing. She’s preparing for a show and she’s nervous. Her show involves a table. I offer to help her move it and in the process, I break a glass. She looks at me and says I did it on purpose. I want to lie, but she’s right, I did. I want to perform and I’m jealous of her. A woman comes over and sees the situation. She knows exactly what’s going on. She tells me I can’t go to the party where Star is singing because of what I’ve done. She tells Star to go get ready. It’s some kind of Santa party.

Dream 2:

I’m with some friends. We’re standing at the beginning of a long tunnel. Suddenly, a bug flies into my face and falls down. I freak out and step on it by accident. I pick it up and it’s wings are broken. I decide to see if it will fly away. I leave the tunnel entrance and go next door where there’s a giant staircase that goes up and up and up. At the top, I try to release the bug, but it’s damaged. I wonder if I should kill it, put it out of its misery. Suddenly, it latches its legs around the middle finger of my right hand. I immediately clench my hand, expanding my finger and causing its legs to snap off. Now it’s really damaged! I put it down on the stairs and walk away. I feel guilty but I don’t want to be the one responsible for ending its life.

Thoughts/Meaning

I think these dreams are about taking responsibility for negative intentions that I have in my life. When things go wrong,  people like to say things like “Well, accidents happen.” But what if they don’t? What if there’s a negative intention behind some accidents? In the first dream, breaking the glass looks like an accident, but it’s not and everyone knows it. I want to rattle Star. I secretly hope she’ll perform poorly because I want to feel about myself.  In the second dream, I repeatedly injure the bug, but then I won’t do the merciful thing and end its life. It’s like I accept my negative intentions up to a certain point. Past that point, I stop them. The interesting thing is that when I think about negative intentions that I have towards people, I generally find it very easy to justify those intentions. Letting go of negative intentionality has been hard for me. I think because it stems from deep conditioning around seeing people as the Other (i.e. it’s us vs them). Still, I’m working on it. To be fair, even identifying that I have these negative intentions feels like a big step to me, like I’m willing to reclaim all of who I am, not just the parts that are pretty and nice.

Hidden in the Water

Dream Series: 26/12/2016

Dream 1:

I’m on a beach at the base of a cliff. I’m with a bunch of people. Suddenly the waves start getting bigger and bigger. I run towards them, realizing the only way to survive is go through them. I dive into the base of a wave and dolphin my way to the top. My lungs burn and I’m not sure I’m going to make it, but I do. Then the wave is carrying me. I flip onto my back so that I can breathe. I’m expecting the wave to pull me over the edge and into the churn but it never does. I worry about the people on the shore, but the waves never even get near them.

Dream 2:

I’m with my dad. We go home and find that the house is flooded. We go upstairs and there is sand coming through the light fixtures. One of them has water pouring through as well. I walk around the bannister, which is square and goes around the room following the walls. I see my cousins. They’re sleeping, but they’re underwater. I’m afraid they’ll drown. I try to wake them up but dad stops me, saying it’s only 4 in the morning. I see them gently rise to the surface, take a breath and then subside again. One of them looks at me, floats up out of the water and goes right past me into the bedroom. Dad is looking for mom. I know she’s under the water too. Dad says she’s prostituting herself and I wake up.

Thoughts/Meaning

Water usually means something subconscious. Something is underwater, hidden. In the first dream, I’m willing to face whatever it is, but the danger I fear turns out not to be real. I’m pretty sure the second dream represents the pattern of sexual abuse that’s associated with my family. We keep it all hidden, but it’s there [the girls surface only when they need to in order to survive]. The truth is we’re all drowning in the secrets, the lies, the shame, and the blame.

Maybe the combination of dreams is trying to show me that I should just face these aspects of my family and deal with them head on. It’s only when we deal with the fear that we realize there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place.

Worried About Mom’s Opinion

Dream: 22/11/2016

I won an award, a big one to do with school. The event is tonight, and I know I need to go home and get ready. I’m leaving campus (at the Auckland Domain) so I call an Uber. It drives right past me. The driver calls, and I try to explain where I am. He can’t seem to understand. I end up having to walk. When I finally get home (to my childhood home on Oak Knoll), I have only 15 minutes before I have to turn around and leave again. I jump in the shower. Mom has picked out the shampoo and conditioner. I know I don’t have time to blow dry my hair and that she’ll be pissed, but there’s nothing to be done. I get out of the shower and start to look for something to wear. For some reason, there is luggage everywhere! There are lots of lots of hiking packs. I know what I want isn’t in the packs, but I can’t stop fussing with them. Finally, I decide to go back to the bedroom. I go into my underwear drawer, looking for a bra, but every one I grab is completely f*d up. Sitting in the drawer are all these weird wooden masks with gold dots on them. They make me feel really pissed off. I go looking for some socks, knowing I want to wear black ones.  I can’t find anything but the nude socks that mom likes. I’m really angry now. I’m already 1/2 hour late to the event. I go into my sisters’ closet. They have a bunch of colorful maxi dresses with designs. I decide on a blue one, hoping it won’t make me look fat.  I take it back to my bedroom. I hear the speakers calling out the names of the awardees. I realize that because I’ve been so worries about mom and what she’ll think, I’ve missed the whole thing. I wake up.

Thoughts/Meaning

Definitely need to stop worrying so much about what my family thinks/wants and start living for me. I’m missing out on life because there’s a part of me that still wants to win their approval.

Behind the Attraction

Dream: 13/9/2016

I’m back in high school, sitting in the bleachers. My eldest sister introduces me to a guy that she likes, then goes off with her friends to perform. The guy and I start talking. He’s blond and rather old. His face is craggy. He wears a baseball cap. Something about him is magnetic. I can tell he’s slept with my sister but he doesn’t actually like her. I have to do a medical school thing. Before I go, I tell the guy that Jamie’s British friend who he’s been oggling is not available. He looks at me, surprised that I can read him. I can tell that he likes me. He tells me to go do my thing and then come find him. I notice that he’s incredibly tall. I go to the open area nearby where the medical teachers are getting people to look into microscopes (periscopes?). They’re made for tall people, and I have to stand on my tippy toes to see through the lens. When I look, I see nothing but a girl on the other side of the field. I yawn. This class will be boring. I ask the teacher when the lecture will be and she looks at me blankly. “Just follow me…” she says. I shake my head. I go over to another teacher.  “It’s so….dear, I don’t know…” Now I’m annoyed. I want to go back and see the guy! Finally, I run into a teacher who asks me if I’m hormonal. I say, “No, I’m just stressed because I want to do good in this class.” I’m walking with her. She walks down some metal stairs and starts reciting a riddle and about wheat and nuts. We go to the bottom and I say chaff because I think that’s a what a bundle of wheat is called. She smiles and claps her hands and says, “You’ll do fine!” She tells me where the lecture will be held and when. I leave her. I run back to the quad, but I run into a lot of blocks. There are people blocking the stairs. There are scores of people trying to get through the gate. Twice people think I’m someone else. I notice that if it’s a guy, I’m immediately excited. I’ve been starved for male attention and affection. Eventually, I find him. He smiles at me. We walk to an area that’s quieter. It’s so easy to talk to him! And he likes me! Upon a bridge in the distance, we see 4 giant dobermans walking along. The bridge is super high and they’re so big that they block the cars. I point at them. The guy nods, then looks at me and pulls me into his arms. “Do you have a boyfriend?” He asks. My hands are on his lower stomach, which is slightly distended in a lump. I push away. “Yes,” I say. “You’re being stupid,” he says, “being with someone like that.” He tells me how James can’t give me what I want, etc… I realize how ugly this man actually is. I wake up.

Note: I had this dream after spending lots of time rubbing my abdomen and wondering why I sometimes look and walk like I’m pregnant.

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