Interpretations of Dreams, Part II

I had another nightmare involving the therapist last night. I’ve had this dream before, which seemed notable, so I typed it up to bring into session today. I will put it here so you don’t have to jump back to the old post:

It took place in my early teen years. I was at some campus of sorts. A hospital complex, maybe? My family members had appointments at other clinics and I knew I wanted to go to therapy, so I somehow convinced my parents to drop my off at the building with the therapist so I could see her.

I was young. She was herself. But she somehow didn’t know anything about my abuse. I told her I wanted to tell her something important.

****TRIGGER WARNING****

“My parents are having sex.”

“Okay. That’s something adults do sometimes. Does that bother you?”

“Yes. I hate it.”

“What about it bothers you?”

“That they’re having sex….”

“Do you think they shouldn’t be? Is something about them having sex upsetting to you?”

“Yes”

“Do you want to talk more about that.”

“They’re having sex…with me.”

****END TRIGGER****

Then the dream gets crazy and difficult to remember. I know she jumped into action and the session ended up going over time, so my entire fucking family (including peripheral cousins and friends of family) came into her office building to get me. They were super hyped up and agitated that they’d been waiting in the car for me for 30 minutes or so. They we absolutely enraged that I had the audacity to not be standing outside at the exact moment they wanted me to be there.

I looked at the therapist with desperation. “Please save me”, I thought. She tried to engage with my parents in some manner and they both got very hostile. My mother got up in her face and started screaming that she had no right to interfere with family business.

I started inching myself closer to the therapist and sorta hid myself behind her. I was quietly begging her to not make me go back home with them.

“I can try to get another place for you to stay, but I don’t have somewhere available right now.”

“Can’t I stay here?! Please don’t make me go back there!”

“I’m so sorry, no, you can’t. There’s nothing I can do. You can’t stay here.”

I was devastated. I took a deep breath and stepped in line with my family, ready to march back to hell. I looked back at the therapist and she looked so lost and helpless. She kept saying she was sorry, but I felt so enraged and betrayed. I’d told her my secret. I’d told her what they were doing to me and she did nothing. NOTHING. She just sent me back to them.

She said two things stood out to her right away. Then she very briefly noted that I only ever refer to her as “the therapist” and asked if that represents the idea that she is replaceable and ultimately a stand-in, playing a part. I took a deep breath and said, “Oh boy. That’s a whole other conversation of its own.” She kinda paused for a second, but then she said, “Okay” and let it go. For now. Then we focused on the nightmare.

Her first observation was that she does feel like there’s always an underlying reminder of how much she doesn’t know about my past. She said, “I do know about your abuse in general, but I get the sense there this is so much I don’t know yet. And perhaps that’s something you’ll share over time, but I know for now that we’ve only scraped the surface of what happened to you.”

Then she said that the end of the nightmare session really stood out to her. She feels like this dream is such a great parallel for what happens in real life when time is running out. She explained that she often feels like I struggle with feeling as though I have to end session only to be left alone with my family. Not literally, of course, but in a metaphorical sense.

She said she sees how hard it is for me to unpack all of these really terrible, traumatic details about my family dynamics and then ultimately have to leave the therapeutic space to battle all those feelings and thoughts on my own. So, in that way, she feels like the end of session triggers feelings of abandonment and invisibility because I am being left to fend for myself in a world that can feel very scary and overwhelming to me due to my trauma. She further explained that although she doesn’t imagine I want to literally stay in her office (as I did in the dream), she does understand how I may want to stay in the space we create because it can sometimes feel safer and more validating than the “real world”.

Which is all true (of course) and very good insight, but for some reason it was also incredibly difficult for me to listen to her reflections on this dream. I felt so ashamed and so utterly young. I both wanted to shrink into nothingness and cling to her every word at the exact same time.

(For more dream analysis, check out this post)

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Interpretations of Dreams, Part II

  1. Rachel says:

    Busted! I love that she called you out! LOL.
    Hmm, interesting.. For about a month now I have been wondering if your reasons for not giving your therapist a pseudonym are the same reasons my new therapist doesn’t have one. I look forward to hearing how that conversation goes 😀
    And I am so sorry you had that dream again. Freaky and terrifying. Unnerving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Haha, yep she sure did. I need to think more about this, but it’s mostly about attachment, I think. I don’t want to call her by a name or refer to her as “MY” therapist because that raises the stakes too damn high.

      Like

  2. alicewithptsd says:

    I remember once when bea called me out on stalling the end of sessions…not wanting to leave the safety of the space we create, as your therapist was saying about your dream, parallelling real life. I felt embaressed, too, and shut down, refusing to talk or say anything and left quickly. It was awful. She was right, i didnt want to leave the space we create, because it is this safe, validating enviroment unlike any other i have experienced. I also wanted to cling to what she was saying, and hide at the same time, and i felt like such a child, all because i felt like she must really be seeing me to get that i did not want to leave. Anyway, i just wanted you to know you werent the only one who had felt like this at times. And i hope you dont have these nightmares anymore. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Alice. It really helps me feel less alone (and less weird). I totally agree – I DON’T want to leave that space because everything outside of it is so much scarier. And although I know, logically, that I don’t need to be ashamed of that, I still feel tremendous shame and guilt about it. Almost as if I don’t have the right to want that safety.

      Like

      • alicewithptsd says:

        I’m really glad it made you feel less weird. And I’m glad you wrote this post; it’s really made me think about things. Like you, I have the feeling like I don’t deserve that safety. It’s like I don’t have the right to ask another person to provide that for me, and the fact that I am asking (even if I am not asking in words) is very shameful to me. It’s also scary because the fact that Bea is aware of it means she can reject me, and in my mind she will because I have no right to the safety and care she provides. Ugh. I also am realizing that in my mind she must see me as a broken crazy childish person because I need her, and because I want to stay in her office and put off leaving. Which is also shameful. Needing her, needing anyone is shameful to me. Why? I don’t know. I just feel like I must, I have to appear very grown up, adult, functioning and in control to everyone around me. And needing Bea, as well as not wanting to leave her office does not feel adult or functioning. Ugh. And, like you, logically I know Bea doesn’t think anything bad, and I’m allowed to need her and it’s ok to want to stay in the safety of her office, it’s hard, well impossible really, to believe it on the feeling level. I don’t know. Anyway. Those are the thoughts that have gone running through my head.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andi says:

        Yes. I really relate so much to everything you said. I don’t have any answers, but it’s a relief to know I’m not alone in this. I hope we both can figure out how to accept and feel worthy of care and attention ❤

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s