I remember one therapist of the many I had before I found my current amazing one would pull out this dime-store version of a dream analysis book and we would go over my dreams each week. Most of it I thought was idiotic, or too simplified, like using your daily horoscope. It can be fun and make you think a bit, but should not be taken as medical advice.
If you are healthy and sleeping correctly that you should not remember your dreams. Well many abuse survivors have messed up sleep cycles, I think, and often have nightmares replaying the abuse every night as part of the PTSD benefits package. Sometimes I could remember multiple dreams vividly from each night. Some I actually awoke screaming and sweating. I can still remember some of the Zoloft dreams right now from years ago by just closing my eyes, as they were so intense and shocking, not necessarily scary or replaying abuse, just intense. I still have somewhat vivid dreams, but not every night, and no nightmares for years now. Yay!
My dreams are typically like watching a movie, they have a beginning, middle and an end, though I usually wake up before the end obviously. But like most movies, I think I know where it was headed.
Last night though, I dreamed that it was morning and I was all dressed in a super nice white business suit (nicer than anything I own or have even tried on) and was taking my kids to school. Well it was a new school and I had some trouble finding it, and had to keep circling around the highway exits. And then I had some trouble knowing where to park. Then I finally follow a crowd of parents and get the kids in school. But as I return to my car (it was a minivan when I went into school, but was now a sweet corvette – GO GO Gadget cool car!) I see that the archway I had passed though was crumbled down to the ground, making a sort of cavernous tunnel I needed to navigate and at times crawl through on my belly. I was worried about being late to work, so I just kept pushing and digging myself to get myself forward. I finally emerge on the other side of the rubble, all sweaty and muddy, popped a few buttons on my blouse, some leaves in my hair, holes in my stocking, lost a shoe, but I feel so proud for getting myself through so I just stand there a minute and look back at my path and grin. And then I notice, right next to the difficult path I had chosen, there was a completely clear one that the other parents were walking easily through and chatting carelessly with each other. I didn’t see that path when I started mine, I didn’t know I had a choice.
The dream went on and on, but that part really stands out to me and I don’t think anyone needs a book or a therapist to gain the symbolic meanings in there. I love my brain, that it can create these movies for me in such vivid detail and teach me a lesson about myself too. What amazing creatures we are.