An Unconventional Drive

Dream Journal

The dream:
The particulars of the first part of the dream are hazy in my memory…almost like they aren’t actually part of the dream that has my interest. In fact, I may have actually had two unrelated dreams, one right after the other. Regardless, this is what I remember:
I was at M’s house for one of our occasional friend dates. It was her daughter T’s birthday, so I had brought a present wrapped in silver, reflective wrapping paper. In the dream, I discovered that T had a younger brother with the same birthday, so I drew a line down the middle of the box and wrote her name on one side and his on the other to indicate that the gift was for both of them. Meanwhile M was on the phone talking to someone else. …and there was something about a frozen entree of mac and cheese that I had brought for M.
Then, I was watching the Mythbusters do a special on the Grand Canyon that involved zip lining from one side to the other. They weren’t harnessed in the traditional way, but were connected to the line only with elaborate helmets so that their hands and the rest of their bodies were unencumbered.
And then I was driving alone through the Grand Canyon. My compact car had large windows and a sun roof, and if I leaned back a bit, the view was quite stunning and larger than life. There was a way to operate the car–which had surreptitiously changed into a giant Tahoe-type vehicle without my noticing–from the very back. The rear of the vehicle offered even better views, so I decided to continue the trek from there despite the fact that maneuvering became significantly more difficult. I drove on, from the back, for some time with no problem, but then things got tricky. I lost control of my car–but somehow I was suddenly unsuccessfully operating two vehicles going opposite directions with the same controls. I was able to slow both down and safely park albeit haphazardly positioned. And all at once, I was again back to just the one vehicle. I couldn’t actually turn off the car, though. I was holding down a brake button from my spot in the back, but the key to turn off the ignition was at the front. I was trying to decide whether it was safe to let go of the brake in order to rush to the front and turn off the car, but then two police officers strolled over and the brake/ignition problem sorted itself out and was no longer an issue. I raised my hands so that the police would be able to see that I didn’t have a weapon, and caught a nonverbal exchange between the two. The dark-skinned officer on the left raised his eyebrows in a mocking “can-you-believe-this-lady?” expression. The fair-skinned officer on the right shrugged as if to say “you get all types out here.” Then he indicated that I should open the hatch, and I obliged. He started to write out a ticket, but then went around front to investigate something, leaving his pad behind. I was able to see that the fine for illegally operating a motor vehicle from the rear was about $90. I felt relieved at the low cost, but knew there would likely be additional fines. Then I woke up.

My thoughts on the dream:
I think it’s interesting how something crazy can happen in a dream, but how I don’t realize how ludicrous it is until I wake up. The car changing in type and in quantity didn’t even warrant a questioning thought in my dream. It was merely inconvenient when the one car became two. It was stressful to operate the two vehicles simultaneously, and I felt concern about how much my ticket would be, but the negative emotions in the dream were extremely muted, almost like it was someone else’s life rather than my own.
In my mental/emotional economy, a vehicle in a dream represents a person’s life. I find it interesting that in my dream I was running the show from the back seat. It’s like my subconscious is telling me that I’m doing things the hard way. I may need to make a difficult decision if I’m going to put a stop to the way I’m doing things, though. (Should I let go of the brake to reach the ignition?) If it were an issue of passivity, I think I would have been the passenger. But what of the changes to the vehicle? First compact, then large. First clipping along in a specific direction, then losing control and haphazardly moving in opposing and arbitrary directions. If I continue this way, my subconscious is advising that I’ll get into trouble (police) and that it’ll cost me (ticket).
As for the first part of the dream, the only thing that sticks out to me is the feeling of giving more in a relationship than the other party. I come bearing gifts (and a random frozen meal), and my friend won’t even get off the phone to talk to me.
The Mythbusters part is perplexing. They were suspended from their heads….which to me is a reference to being overly cerebral about things… Other than that, though, I’ve got nothing. I think someone just tightroped across the Grand Canyon, though, so maybe that’s where I came up with that.

Themes/Analysis:
Feelings of being unimportant and undervalued.
Concern about being too cerebral.
Major life changes (new job? potential move to Spokane?)
The desire to take in the beauty around me.
Losing control and being pulled in different directions.
Trying too hard – doing things the hard way and not being able to turn the hard parts off.
The emotional cost of losing control.
Feeling judged.

Physical Manifestation of an Emotional Paralysis

Dream Journal

The dream:
I was at work (my current work, not the new job) in the reception chair. Everything was normal…but then I grew catatonic while the people around me continued with their regular activities. As I sat in the chair, my body grew stiff, my body leaning backward: back straight, limbs outstretched, mouth gaping. My eyes were open, but I was not able to see. My hearing, however, was perfect. People around me casually commented on my vegetative state, but didn’t act concerned. I woke up from the dream at one point, but then sank back into sleep and the dream continued.

My thoughts on the dream:
It was strange to be surrounded by people, yet separate. Although I was keenly aware of my surroundings despite my lack of sight, I was also terribly alone. Still, I was not anxious or panicked by my inability to move, but rather fascinated by the experience. It felt like an intellectual experiment, albeit involuntary. I wondered somewhat disappointedly at my coworkers’ lack of concern….but I wasn’t very concerned about it either. I was more curious about how I would get my work done than anything else.

Themes/Analysis:
Feelings of helplessness and paralyzation.
Lack of emotional connection to people around me — Academic interest in and over-analyzation of experiences rather than emotional interaction.
Feelings of not being valued except by what I contribute.
Finally, I think this stems from the fact that I am worried that although my last day on the job is Monday, no one will actually miss me.

My Illogical Feelings and My Excessive Use of Ellipses

Brokenness, Musings, Work

So much has happened in the past few months. So many times I have thought that I should write about this or that. Visiting my mom… Spending time with my sister and brother… Interviewing at the nonprofit and the disappointment of not being awarded the job… Interviewing at the real estate firm and the joy of being offered (and accepting) the position… The strange dream that seemed so profound, but oh so confusing at the same time… My birthday and the perplexing cocktail of disappointment and happiness that surround all my recent birthdays…

So many things I could have written about, but the moments all seemed to slip by. My life is slipping by.

And now here I am, finally writing, and I don’t know where to start. All I know is that I feel sad. Lonely. …and I don’t know why. I have been shown so much love recently, so my feelings are not justified. And yet, it IS how I feel. I want to analyze my feelings away, but I can’t because there’s no logic behind it all. It just is this way… I just feel this way… I just am this way… Without explanation. And why am I finally writing now when I should have written all those other times when I actually had something to say?

(Aside: I like to analyze my feelings when I’m low because, I think, I’m more comfortable in my cerebral mode than in my feelings. I may have already blogged about this. It’s been so long, and I just don’t remember.)

So there you go. I’m sad. For no apparent reason. (Yes, I know. “Feelings are not right or wrong; they just are.”)

The Depths

Dream Journal

The dream:
I was scuba diving with a couple of professional diver guides. We were exploring shipwrecks, and at every site there was a dead body pinned down among the wreckage. I never saw the faces, only their legs, and aside from the stillness, nothing appeared amiss. After a time, we surfaced at a dock in order to unload a few unnecessary items to a colleague who was waiting for the divers. We were about to go under again and I woke up.

My thoughts on the dream:
I have always viewed water (especially deep water) as a representation of my subconscious or inner emotional state. In my dream, I was navigating the depths with two guides, but I was more like a silent observer; I followed them as they explored, but I didn’t really participate. Everywhere we went, there was death but I was afraid to take a deep look at the faces. I preferred to lurk behind and only see its periphery. I think the divers may represent my counselors, those who are skilled in diving deep into people’s inner pain.

Themes/Analysis:
Exploration of my inner emotional turmoil, but fear of looking at the face of death. It’s possible that there is treasure in the depths, but fear of death makes me hesitant to really delve into the dark places.
A need to unload unnecessary emotional baggage.

Nighttime Musings

Dream Journal

The dream:
J and CJ were at a thrift store. I was to join them after having collected a few items to purge from our home. I brought the small box of donations into the shop for the go-ahead from J as I didn’t want to accidentally donate something he wanted to keep. He didn’t really look at what I was trying to show him, and I was vying for his attention in vain.

Me: Oh, I think I grabbed some of your Lego by mistake.
J: *silence*
Me: Wait, no, it’s just a Lego-themed game for your old Game Boy.”

I finally got his attention, and he indicated that he didn’t want anything that I had brought. But then he pulled out some essential oil that I had accidentally put in the box, and began putting it on CJ’s back. I was concerned about the potency of the oil (oregano); I didn’t want CJ to have some sort of skin reaction.

My thoughts on the dream:
The predominant feeling was that of frustration. J would not pay attention to me, even though I had his best interests at heart – I didn’t want to get rid of something he wanted to keep. I think CJ’s appearance in my dream was just because J was at his house last night watching the game. Why was J putting the oils on his back? Not sure. It wasn’t a sexual type thing, although my waking mind feels uncomfortable at the thought. It was more of a goofing off type thing, like he was taking something that I was trying to show him – something valuable to me (I didn’t want to donate it) – and then sharing it with someone else rather than interacting with me.

Themes/Analysis:
Feelings of neglect and frustration in my marriage
A desire to simplify my life
Looking out for the well-being of others, but not being appreciated

The Man in My Dreams

Relationships

A few years ago I had a sucker punch of a dream.  I was in my kitchen with C having a conversation while I stirred something on the stove.  J was in the adjacent room with C’s wife having a dialogue of their own.  When I turned back from tending the food I was cooking, C was just inches away, looking down at me with a very vulnerable expression of desire.  Very slowly, he leaned down and kissed me gently, slowly, tenderly, sweetly.  And yet it was a kiss promising something more.  And in my dream, I kissed him back as J stood 20 feet away.

I woke up with a start.  I had just dreamed about a married man, and me, a married woman!  I had never thought of C that way until that moment.  And I was left with my own yearning.  For C, yes, but mostly for the feeling of being wanted.  I don’t remember the last time that J expressed that kind of desire.  It’s humiliating to admit it, but I can’t recall the last time J made love to me.  Not since 2011, that’s for sure.  It’s almost surreal to realize that for the entirety of 2012, my husband didn’t reach for me.

I have a lot of jumbled feelings.  C really does move something in me that I don’t feel for J.  J doesn’t want me.  I must be undesirable.  What man would want me, much less C.  Besides, he’s married.  And oh yes, so am I.  I recognized that the feelings I was experiencing for the man in my dreams could become a real problem.  I had to tell J about it.  And I did.

“Babe, I need you to understand that I am having some very real temptations.  Please.  I need you to have sex with me.  Soon.  And with some regularity, because I desperately don’t want to betray you.”

No dice.  No passion.

“Babe?  I have something to ask you, and I want you to know that whatever your answer is, we’re in this together.  We’ll work through this.  Okay?  Ready?  Alright, here goes: Are you gay?  *pause*  No?  Not gay?  Are you SURE?”

Oh.  Then it must be me.  It’s true.  I’m undesirable as a woman.  My own husband doesn’t want to bed me.

And what about my confusing feelings for C?  I knew it was a bigger problem than I had realized before when I asked myself what I would do if he really did express sexual desire for me.  Would I say no to save my marriage?  Possibly not.  Would I say no to protect his children from the pain I felt when my own dad had an affair?  Oh dear, probably not even then.  Would I say no because I love my God and want to honor the moral code He gave His people?  To my shame, I couldn’t conclusively decide either way.  The only thing, at that moment, that would keep me from giving myself to him (aside from the fact that he probably has no desire for me and would almost assuredly never ask such a thing), is that that he is a pastor of my church – the church I love – and I simply could not be the one to cause such a scandal.

Oh dear, this IS a problem, I realized.

I came clean (again) to J.  Luckily, the event that caused me to spend a lot of time with C passed, and I found that the less time I spent with him, the less sexual tension I felt around him.

Now that I’m not in the middle of a mind/body tug-of-war, I can better analyze how I felt and why.  I realize now, that the sex bit really is only part of it.  I mean, he’s not smashingly handsome, though he does have his own charm.  He’s not very tall (so he wouldn’t have to lean down to kiss me – funny how dreams aren’t so very accurate in some things).  He’s got rather large canines.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s not ugly.  No.  He is attractive in his own way…  His grin is infectious.  And the tattoos that peek out from under his shirt sleeves drive me a little crazy because I want to see what other mysteries his body holds hidden underneath those clothes…  But really, it’s his mind that does me in.  His charisma.  His intelligence.  The way he laughs so very frequently.  The way he makes ME laugh so frequently.  The way he uses big words that I understand and J doesn’t.  The way his face seems to light up when I say “Hey C?”  The way he makes me feel important.

That man is poison to me.  As horrible as it is that my dad betrayed mom and me….  In a way, I’m thankful.  Because I know that the danger is there.  No one is immune.  Anyone can fall.  And because I am able to recognize – in advance – that C is dangerous to me…  Because of THAT, I am able to guard my thoughts, my actions.

There is power in secrets.  By telling J of the dangers C poses to me (to us) without even being aware of his magnetism, there is a degree of safety.  There is a freedom in telling the truth.

Alas, I wish there was a “getting laid” in telling the truth.