Friday, April 22, 2011

A recurring dream recurring no more

Here is Nina's great post on the frustrating fact that we are left to finish the job of raising ourselves, socially and emotionally, because our narcissistic parents were unable to.

It reminded me of the message of a dream that I've been having for almost a decade.

In it, I'm dismayed to find out that there's a high school course I forgot to attend and I actually never graduated. So, my college degree, my M. Phil., my work on my doctorate, it's all useless, all for nothing, all invalidated, because I never graduated from high school.

I used to wonder what I might have missed academically. But the message wasn't about that. It was couched in academic terms because, apparently, that's all I understood.

So, recently, I had the same dream, only now my mother somehow appeared in it. I approached her and we talked and agreed to go out together, shopping, to the movies, for a walk, things we never did. My father was looking and he was angry and wanted to stop us, inventing silly reasons why we shouldn't go, but we just laughed at him and went away.

It was then that I learned that it was all going to be fine with that course. I'd have to do some work, take a class, do some tests, but it was going to all work out. And I woke up, finally understanding what the dream had been trying to tell me for years! 

In my mother tongue, the word used for graduating from high school has at its root "mature". I'd never matured. I became independent, I got married and had kids, but I hadn't matured into a real adult. I needed to do more work to raise myself, socially and emotionally, otherwise nothing in my life was really going to work out. But it's going to be fine. I can do it and I will. At least that's what the dream said.


  1. PA - This post hit home for me, deep deep inside! I have the same dreams, that I've not been attending a class, that I've missed all the rehearsals for a play that's opening tonight. Thank you so much for sharing the insight that broke open the message inside these dreams. Wow!!!


  2. Isn't it amazing that we even have similar dreams? I'm so glad if my post helped :)

  3. But there are certainly differences. My recurring dream is about the normal emotional and social development that I missed. I used to think of emotions and relationships as kind of boring, and the high school course that I forgot about is always something easy that anyone can do, but that I find boring, in my dreams - geography most often. I know I can do it, and it's easy, but I don't feel like it, and I wonder how I can fit it in now with my kids and my job and my dissertation - there's a reason why I was meant to do it back when I was a kid. I hadn't developed emotionally because it was "boring" to me.

    You, on the other hand, are obviously an emotional, caring person. Your dreams involve an anxiety of a different sort. You're expected to perform well in something difficult without adequate preparation. Now, your parents obviously didn't adequately prepare you for adulthood, and that part of the dream is clear and has the same meaning as mine. But what is it that you find requires special talent and is difficult and necessitates preparation that you're expected to perform at now? Your mother always wanted you to excel in music and drama, but it wasn't necessarily your own inner desire. Could there be a connection? Do you feel like you're expected to perform something difficult - something you're not ready for because of your parents' shortcomings - but something you might not even want to do?

    I know I need to finish my "boring" geography course. I used to feel lost and bored when people started talking about feelings and relationships. Not so much any more. I'm slowly learning to be human.

    But you seem so human already. Do you have to perform at that play? Can you go on stage and say "Sorry, I'm actually not interested in this. Let's all go have a drink, shall we?" Or is this play something you want and need to do?

    Sorry for the intrusion and the length of this, but I've been obsessing for days.


I encourage comments!!!