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.

 

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Escape from the Attic

Dream 29/1/2017

I’m trapped in the attic of a house. I can’t find a way out. I feel like my mom’s side of the family (especially my twin cousins) has been here before. I manage to find my mom and ask her how to get out. She says there is a way, but it hasn’t been used in years. She says there’s a secret corridor, but it’s old and dusty and likely to be very scary. I don’t care. I’ll try it. I need to get out. I wake up before I get to the tunnel.

Drowning in Toxic Memories

Dream Series: 6/1/2017

Dream 1:

A man takes me to the site of what appears to be some kind of chemical spill. There’s two lakes right next to each other and they’re covered in a weird white foam. The air is filled with dandelion fluff and a strange milky white substance that sticks to my hands and face like spiderwebs. I’m not sure what to do about it, but I know it’s toxic to stay there.

Dream 2:

I’m in the ocean. I live there. I really want to see Hawaii. I hitch a ride with a bunch of whales, careful that they don’t notice me. I’m on the run. When we get to Hawaii, I make a dash for the shore. The whales come after me. They’re vicious. I barely make it to the shore. I start to run up a some steps into the jungle. As I do, I notice I’m breathing. I’m breathing AIR! It feels so different but really good. I feel liberated. At the top of the stairs, I see a baby tiger. He’s playing. Then he sees me and scrambles to get away. I try to tell him I’m not dangerous, but he won’t listen. He runs to the end of the cliff and jumps off with a little growl. I run up the cliff, afraid to find out what happened to him. Turns out there is an amazing waterfall slide right there. The cub is playing at the bottom in the sand. His dad comes up behind me. He’s a tiger, but he’s also human. He claps me on the shoulder. His son is jumping up and down, “Did you see it, dad? Did you see it?” The tiger man laughs. “It’s just like camp dad,” the cub says. “Only better!” The cub wants his dad to try the waterslide. Hid dad jumps down and I can see his leg is bigger than the slide tuber. There is no way he can use it. I get a strange sense of foreboding and hear the words, “Later I would learn a local tip about putting apple cider vinegar in the water and to notify the local police about any intended water use from the imprisonment.” Then I wake up.

Thoughts/Meaning

I read somewhere that dandelion fluff represents childhood. To me, these dreams are about being overwhelmed by my memories of childhood trauma. In the first one, I’m caught in a web and the air is so thick with dandelion fluff that I can barely breathe. I know that being immersed in old childhood pain is toxic, but I don’t know how to get out. In the second one, I’m literally immersed in my emotions [I live in the ocean], but I don’t notice how heavy they are until something changes [I get out of the water and breathe air]. Then it’s obvious that I’m not meant to be living in old wounds. It’s time to let go. To turn to the strong, happy child [the tiger cub] instead of the wounded one. It’s time to remember that sometimes my family was supportive and kind, that even the darkness there were moments of joy. It wasn’t all bad. But adult me has trouble with this [the tiger dad gets stuck in the waterslide] and resists opening up to new ways of seeing things. I’m keeping myself in prison, which is the final message.

 

 

On the Jungle Path

Dream 3/1/2017

Jessica, my younger sister, and I are both on an adventure in Europe, living out of cars. We park in a field but she doesn’t want me next to her so I park across the field. Somehow there are fences between us and I feel very disturbed. I don’t remember there being fences when we first arrived. I can’t see Jessica anymore. I look around. Out in the corner of the field there is a way past the fences. I go through the opening, but it doesn’t take me back to the field. I end up on something called the Jungle Path. I suspect I’m in New Orleans. The jungle path is a series of shops that are connected by a pathway of symbols within interlocking hexagons. When I walk on them, the hexagons light up. I find it exciting until I hear a scream. A shopkeeper is getting robbed. I hide behind a sculpture. The robbers shoot the shopkeeper and leave. I run to him, ask him if he wants me to call 911. He doesn’t have a phone. I tell him I’ll find one and go call an ambulance. He nods. I go, but no one seems to have a phone. Finally, I find a store with a phone, but I can’t remember the address of the shop where I left the man. I’m about to give up, but I don’t. I walk back until I can see the number.  The man is lying in front of #5 on the jungle path. I go back, call the ambulance, and tell them where to find him. When I step out of the shop, I run smack into my parents. Their arms are linked and they’re very drunk. They want me to go with them, but I tell them I have to look after my car. Dad snaps his finger and my car starts rolling down the street. There’s no driver inside. I go running after it, but it’s going too fast for me. Finally it crashes into a garage. The entire left side is dented, but otherwise the car is fine. I get in and park it somewhere safe. Then I go to check on my parents. I don’t find them, but when I’m walking on the jungle path, I realize that if I pause on a hexagon long enough things start to happen. I step on a tiger symbol and the energy of the tiger surrounds me. I am suddenly able to do amazing things! I can climb walls and make massive jumps. I’m really excited about my new abilities when I wake up.

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.

I Blow Up at George Clooney

Dream: 8/8/2016

I’m a child (10-11 years old). I’m working in some kind of lab. I love my boss, but he’s very secretive. One day, I go to work and find the entrance (which looks like a well) surrounded by men in black suits. Seeing that I’m going somewhere, they start to question me. I make up a story and lie through my teeth. I know my boss is in the lab, but I also know they can’t get him if I don’t say anything. Eventually, they leave me alone. I wait next to the entrance for hours, but my boss never comes out. I decide to go home. On the way home, a car picks me up. My boss is in the car, along with a team of people. Everyone is dressed in black. They’re going to unmask the criminals (George Clooney and Julia Roberts). Except, just as we’re on our way, the building next to us goes up in fiery flame. The car is rocked. I get out. It’s smoky. I go to a nearby door. There’s an elevator. I get in and go to level 5.  As soon as I hit the number, the elevator goes up so fast that I float for several seconds before landing on my feet. I walk out and I’m at an extravagant restaurant. I walk over to a waiter, who eyes me questioningly. I tell him I’d like to look around. He seems to understand my predicament and points to a nearby stairway. I go down and am in a room with beautiful porcelain hanging on all of the walls and sitting in the cabinets. The lights are soft. I go to look in a cabinet when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see George Clooney and Julia Roberts heading for dinner. I duck my head down, hoping they won’t recognize me. They swoosh past. I follow them. At the restaurant, I see my Aunt Debbie. She’s dressed up really fancy. She’s surprised to see me, but invites me to join her for dinner. I mistake Colin Wilson for her husband. My aunt steers me towards our real table. George Clooney is giving a speech. I can’t take it any more. I boil over and stand up, calling him a liar. Everyone looks at me waiting for proof. I start talking about an English newspaper article regarding his maid which he had buried. My evidence is flimsy and people start to get up and walk about. George Clooney smirks at me. I’m only a child after all, easily discredited. Later, I’m in a room surrounded by paper. I’m sitting with a jury from the department of justice, trying to convince them to let me look at their records. Like the others, they deny me, but I’m not deterred. I know I’m right!

Meaning/Thoughts

I think that George Clooney and Julia Roberts represent my parents. When I was a kid, I felt that they were hiding something vital. Later when I was a teenager, they revealed that my eldest sister was only a 1/2 sister and that we had another 1/2 sister who lived with her mother. I’ve often felt that all the secrets made our family dynamics really toxic. As a child, I protected my family. I lied to keep up appearance, like they taught me to. In the dream, I lied to the men to protect the lab. But secrets always have a way of catching up with people [the nearby building blows up]. Eventually I have to stand up for the truth [I call George Clooney a liar]. Only, I have no proof. I have only my memories, which no one believes. I feel like I’m on trial [the jury from the department of justice]. People know things, but they won’t reveal them [they won’t let me see the records]. Everyone is in denial about the family dynamics except me. I guess that’s because everyone else has something to gain from things staying the same.

An Ancestral Drama

Dream Series: 7/8/2016

Dream 1

Me and 3 people are part of a diving competition. We go to the pool to practice. I’m okay at it, but not great. My lady partner is great, but has horrible anxiety. My male partner just can’t dive. Our team is allowed to enter 2 people. When we get home, the family is talking about how it should be the two women. My anxious partner tries to convince me I should go with the man instead. I tell her I can’t. It took him 30 minutes just to do one dive. The judges won’t stand for that. I’m not worried about any of it. I’m not a great diver, but I’m also not worried about whether we win or lose. We all have dinner with the family. I get the feeling it really matters to them, but no one will tell me why. There’s a big family secret there.

Dream 2

I’m married to my cousin, Rachel. She’s pregnant, but it’s not mine. Her lover is at the family party and she keeps going to him. I sit with her mother, who disapproves. I tell her that I’ll divorce Rachel or I’ll get an annulment as soon as she asks. Her mother wants to say something, but the couple are right behind her and she stops. I’m confused on why Rachel married me in the first place. The entire family is talking about how her lover treats her right by putting her on a pedestal and doing all the work. Her mom says that Rachel does 1/5 less than she used to. I’m not at all embarrassed or sad. My family can think what they like. What Rachel does has nothing to do with me. She doesn’t speak to me at all any more.

Note: I had this dream after receiving and sleeping with my yoni egg.

Thoughts/Meaning

This dream series is all about ancestral patterns and family secrets, particularly around gender issues and relationships. I think the second dream is about an ancestral drama.  Maybe one of my ancestors fell pregnant and married someone else for security? My family has very strict, traditional views about relationships. Whoever she was, she wouldn’t have been treated very well if she followed her heart.

These dreams bring up a whole bunch of ingrained beliefs that need to be brought into the light and questioned. Like for example, what does it mean to be in a relationship? To be faithful? To have children? What does marriage mean to me? Do I value it or would I shatter it if I felt betrayed or uncertain of my partner’s feelings? These are all questions that every adult has to answer at one point or another, but I think it’s harder to do that when you know your family will disapprove unless you “toe the party line”. Still, it has to be done. This is my life and I have to live it according to what I believe not what I’ve been told to believe.

 

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.

Family Secrets

Dream 3/7/2016

I’m standing with mom on the grass outside of an airport. We’re waiting for someone. My grandfather, my aunt, and one of my cousins [mom’s family] walks past. Mom says, “There goes the principal.” I go grab them. We’ve brought a van,  but there’s not that much room. The van is full of pillows, some with blood on them. We stuff the pillows up against the windows in order to fit all the people in. Mom’s entire family (except for my uncle) is there. The passengers can’t see anything. We drive.

Thoughts/Meaning

Written at the time of the dream — My glasses broke the day I had this dream. I think it’s about a pattern no one is willing to see. I’ve thought a lot recently about why I attract emotionally unavailable men. Why I fear a deep, loving relationship. Yesterday, when I was sitting in a cafe, I kept thinking about my ancestors and how I’m cut off from them. I sometimes feel like my family has their hands around my throat. Don’t speak. Don’t tell. I wonder if grandpa sexually abused my mother or my uncle or both. He was always handsy with us when we would visit. It matches a dream I had 2 years ago, where I was asking my angel what my issue with my mother and authority was. He said “Do you really want to know?” I said, “Yes.” We were standing over the ocean. He took my hand and pulled me down, down, down, until he lit something so the water was illuminated. In the light, I could see a child being abused. I couldn’t look. I woke up. Later, I did a family constellation around this dream (which I had 2-3 time). The constellation dealt with boundaries with my mother. Well actually, with her lack of them. I wonder now if that was only one layer of the story. A week ago, I looked at my heart chakra and it was covered in black tar. My inner child was swimming in it, getting covered in tar. She was terrified. I cleared it out. Yesterday I was self-conscious, worse than I’ve ever been. I wasn’t able to enjoy anything. I kept worrying about what people thought.

What I think now — The dream clearly references a family pattern from my mother’s side [one member of each generation is present]. I know there was physical abuse in her childhood [represented by the blood] and I know that the family kept it a secret [placing the pillows so that no one can see into the van]. I think the dream was trying to show me that I’m affected by the pattern too [I’m in the van and I can’t see out]. All I can say is, it stops with me. I won’t pass this pattern on to my children.

I go see Rachel

Dream: Undated

I dream about my cousin, Rachel. She has two kids. We get them into bed and go to the grocery store. She asks me about guides. I tell her to come over and I’ll give her some books. She flatly refuses. After that, no matter what I say, she just wants to get back to her kids.

Thoughts/Meaning

I think I actually met her in the dream state…

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