Friday, April 20, 2012

A dream of mourning, revenge and finding a way towards forgiveness and loving again

A young man whose marriage came to an end because of the discovery that his wife, whom he loved dearly, was having an affair with a close friend of his, and who was filled with rage over this betrayal and could not even think of ever reconciling with her, or forgiving his former friend, and detested even their sights, dreamt the following.

I am driving on the road towards my friend's house. The same friend who betrayed me. I am in my  Ford Taurus. I cross the familiar roads but as I approach his house I say to myself do you really want to do this and I turn around my car. All the while there is a mailbox in the background popping in and out of the dream. 

The dream occurred  a few months after the marriage ended, when he was quite lonely.  Almost all his evenings and nights were consumed in his taking care of their only child, who was staying with him and who is still a toddler. He felt guilty about leaving the child and going out on dates for it would be tantamount to betraying his son - behind which was hidden the guilt over betraying his ex-wife to whom  in his unconscious he was till bonded - and then the infidelity had embittered him towards women which acted as a powerful hindrance towards finding fresh outlets for his libido.

Patient expressed surprise as to why he would want to go to the house of the man who stood up in his wedding, was one of his closest friends since they were knee-high, and who then stabbed him in the back. But then provided the answer himself by saying that it was his habit to go there for years. "That is where all the friends hung around, socialized, played cards, partied etc. We all grew up together. And now that I am cut off from them, for I tend to avoid most of them because of painful associations, when I did get free time it would have been but natural for my mind to travel that way. But since the very idea of those two provokes rage in me during waking hours, the wish to go there could creep up in my consciousness only in my sleep and as a dream.

"Perhaps deep down in my heart I do not hate my wife and that bastard as much as I would like to believe. For she is a beautiful woman. I loved her very much.  At least loved the beautiful outside of her. For her heart is evil. Nobody but an evil person could betray somebody who was as  much in love with her as I was. She was a virgin when I met her.  I was her first love and we got married. Granted she was much younger than me but I gave her all I could and she took it. But she never quite reciprocated my love. She is a cold woman. My whole trust in humans has been broken by what she did. She should have called it quits and then gone out with somebody. But I guess she would never have had the courage to break up unless she knew there was somebody out there waiting for her for she began to date me when she was just 18 and had known no one else before me."

"Why does the dream show you driving the Ford Taurus?"

"That is an interesting question. It used to be my car. I bought it from my ex-wife's grandmother. Then when I got the company car it became her's."

"Does the Taurus symbolize your ex-wife?"

"I guess so. Our happiest memories are associated with it. So  now that it belongs to her and I was the one driving it perhaps it means that we are still together and I have possession over her. Which in a million years I don't want. Or perhaps who knows I want it somewhere deep down. For she is beautiful. You have no idea doctor how beautiful she is. She looks like she just stepped out of a fashion magazine."

"Why does the mailbox keep popping in and out of the dream?

"My son and I just moved out of the house where we lived to an apartment. After she left me I stayed at the house with our child. Now the court has finalized the terms of separation giving the house to her and I had to find a place elsewhere. Before moving I gave my forwarding address to the post office in which by mistake I checked the box that said family instead of self. So for a few days the mail addressed to her came to my mailbox."

 "So in the dream not only are you wishing to visit your friend but also hoping that she gets delivered to you by some fluke the way her mail did."

"That is so strange. But if I could be driving to the friend who I can't stand then it is quite possible I am wishing for her who I hate to be arriving by mail as well. But why would I do such an asinine thing? Something I would not ever do in reality."

"That is why we dream. Things we would never do during the day because of various objections by the higher faculties of the mind, in the dream the wish can easily lay them aside and see its fulfillment. Your hatred for your ex-wife and your former friend has completely been ignored by the dreamwork in order to fulfill the wish to be back with them."

"But why in the world would I put aside my hatred for them in the dream?"

"The motive of revenge should never be underestimated. You might be hypocritically returning to your friend to get even with him. And though the desire for your ex-wife may be the main force behind the dream there could be a secondary motive to get even with her which the manifest content of the dream gives no hint of. And then let us not forget the love has to finally triumph over the hatred in order for you to resume your life. At present you are so consumed by hatred that you cannot stand any of your friends and even the idea of going out with women. But that hatred has to be discharged and come to an end in order for you start loving again and enjoying friendships and for that to happen you have to forgive your ex-wife and your former friend. And you are not willing to do it without getting some revenge."

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