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.

 

The Little Boy and the Violent Man

Dream: 29/1/2017

I’m with an incredibly controlling, abusive man who gets me to do what he wants through threats and violence. I’m terrified of him and I conform, but I’m always looking for ways to escape. At some point, I find my way out into a room with a big piano. I drop the backpack I’m carrying and start banging on the piano keys, trying to attract attention. I hope someone will come. The violent man comes into the room. He’s prepared to be nice and he tries to sweet talk me. I can feel the fear getting the better of me. I’m terrified of him, but I would rather die than go back to the gilded cage. Suddenly, a little boy appears and demands to know why I haven’t treated his backpack better. I try to calm him, hoping the violent man won’t find out that the little boy gave me the backpack. The boy is really upset. He keeps talking about how he’s been really good to me. For some reason, I fly into a rage at his words and start screaming, “That’s not what you’re mad about!” The boy is just like the violent man. He’s super manipulative. He points out the positive things he does for me, thinking that will somehow make me forget all about the abuse. I’m disgusted that the boy and the man are the same. Suddenly, we are surrounded by women. They seem to come from everywhere. I feel relieved. I can’t get away from the man or the boy on my own. The women were attracted by the noise. Someone came. I wake up.

Thoughts/Meaning

I dreamed this after asking my divine self to show me why the ‘grass is always greener’ idea keeps coming up for me around careers (i.e. why when I just get going with something I always decide it’s not right and I don’t actually want it). It’s like a part of me want to go along with things in order to stay safe [the terrified woman at the beginning], but there’s another part of me that knows its not right and that I have to follow my own path [the woman who wants to escape]. So I always end up conflicted, pulled in two entirely different directions and never able to move forward. I think the abusive, controlling man represents how I view society (i.e. patriarchal and threatening). I feel pressured to conform in order to survive and yet I have an intense need to rebel at the same time. There’s no winning. I don’t know if there is a solution, but the dream seems to suggest that connecting with women and my own feminine nature is part of finding my way out of the conflict.

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