Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dream displaying a woman's complex ambivalence towards men

A woman in her thirties, divorced, living alone, recently having given up an abusive relationship with a Mexican American, who is unemployed, associates with criminal elements, way below her in intellect, upbringing and social class, and who is currently being pursued by a man who belongs to her social and ethnic background, who has a regular job, and towards whom she has been unable to respond because she develops paralyzing fear at the prospect of going to his house dreamt the following.

I must add before I tell the dream that the man who is pursuing her has been going overboard with his wooing. Despite his having met her only recently he texts her all the time and has been cooking candlelight dinners for her, which she invariably gets out of at the last minute on some excuse. The day of the dream she had received yet another text message from him, inviting her for yet another dinner that evening. A couple of hours before the invitation time she fell asleep and dreamt

 that I finally made it to K's house. But I see a woman there sitting with a baby on the edge of his couch. I put on my usual nice act. "You have such a pretty baby." Which is kind of fake of course. And all the while I am wondering if this is K's baby or not. 
Then I walk out to the porch. I fumble through my keys for none of them are quite fitting the lock, opening of which will get me out of there. I feel great anxiety that I will never get out of there.   Then he comes from behind and holds me. I notice in the mirror which is present in front of us the thick and exceedingly blue mascara on my eyes. I notice that he is wearing a white shirt.

The main wish behind the dream was crystal clear even to the patient. "Though I have been blowing him off deep down I want to be with him. It is so sweet of  him to cook me dinners like that, especially since I am too afraid to ask him to my house let alone cook for him. Whenever I have to be with him I get butterflies in my stomach. You know how fearful I am of strangers and of leaving my house. I have this terrible fear that I will get lost on my way to his house out of confusion. Even now the directions to his house are jumbled up in my head. So when he texted me again today, for we had ceased communicating for a while and I had begun to feel that he has moved on to someone else, my hopes for finding happiness with him was rekindled and I felt relaxed and fell asleep in the afternoon and saw myself already at his house."

"Yes, it is dream of impatience. What you are looking forward to, the dream is showing it as  already happening. Interestingly in the dream your fear of him and your agoraphobia are both nullified by the strength of the wish to be with him. In dream you are able to do what you cannot in real life.  Is it the fear of sex which underlies your anxiety of strangers and leaving the familiar surroundings of your house?"

"No. He puts no pressure upon me in that respect. He has never approached me with that intention. He just sees something in me that makes him feel that we will be happy together. He can see my avoidance of him is not a rejection but a mental problem on my part. But I must say there is something about his voice that disturbs me. It  is similar to my father's, and I think he will turn out to be as controlling as my father."

"Why do the woman, who is sitting on the edge of the couch, and that baby come in to the dream?"

The associations were somewhat indistinct but the conjuring of the woman and child was another obstacle in her path to K. The dream had blocked out the affect of fear and anxiety and had placed her in his house, but the inhibitions had now created the obstacle in a new form. 'He is still not available to me because perhaps he now belongs to some other woman and even has a child with her.' However, "the wish" was asserting itself too and was creating the doubt that may be the woman has no claim over him and the boy is not his. Her fake praise of the child was to placate the woman in case she really was his girl friend and may view her as there to steal K away from her.

When this interpretation was made the patient agreed with it but added,  "That woman may be my rival but she is also myself. For she looks fat and wears glasses. And you know how in last few months I have gained so much weight. I should be wearing glasses, which I don't. But if I were to put on my glasses I would look like that fat lady."

So the woman and the child were representing not only rivals for her wish for K but also showing her wish for being living with K and having a child by him as already fulfilled.

She could up with no association as to why the the porch comes in the dream. Neither she has porch nor K. She could think of nobody from the past or present who had a porch like that.

"From where is the blue eye mascara taken from? Why such an emphasis upon it when you were telling the dream?" She had expressed quite a bit of astonishment about the intense blue mascara while narrating the dream.

"Yes, it was some blue colored mascara. It came right across my eyes." She took her hands over her eyes and made a motion across as if to show that the mascara was plastered from one end to the other like an eye mask. "Only a drag queen would lay the mascara as thick as that. It was so blue. Unbelievably blue."

But she could give no associations to that blue. And neither could she give any association to the white shirt. However, when I told her that white usually represents death and the white shirt -like white shroud - could be representing the fear of his dying, she immediately recalled that quite a few people, including her father, had died recently. Life recently has been preoccupation with death.

And as if to confirm the correctness of the interpretation she added that she now knows where the blue color came from. Her new phone when it receives instant messages shows the other party's message in blue while her own messages are in white. That morning when she saw his message it was in the background of that blue, and it had instantly filled her with the anticipatory joy of  meeting him, even before she read what was in the text.

And then she remembered, "Oh my God, that blue represents not just the joy of meeting him but his blue eyes as well. He has the brightest blue eyes. They look like the ocean. And they are plastered over my eyes, because I want them to be part of me."

"Is that the reason the association came that that mascara is making you look like a drag queen? If you  steal part of him, and add upon yourself, then you would be kind of drag queen."

"Perhaps that is the reason I am avoiding him. For I am afraid that I will kill him while stealing his blue eyes from him. And now I know too where that porch is taken from. It is from the house of that Mexican American ex-boyfriend of mine whom I finally told to get lost. He has a porch identical to the one in the dream."

"So you are running away from the blue eyed boy back to the Mexican, who is less threatening to you because he has far less intellect and social standing and there is nothing about him that would provoke your jealousy, and the impulse to kill him and steal his valuables."

"Yes, for I never have to worry stealing from that damn African-Mexican. It is just the other way round with him. It is him who is bumming from me all the time. He borrows and we both know I will never see a cent of it. I am attracted to these losers instead of finding the right guy and getting on with my life. I just cannot escape these wrong guys."

"And why is that?"

"Because I am to competitive. I am a volcano ready to erupt. If I want something I must have it. I could easily kill that man for his blue eyes. That is the reason I choose guys who are so broke and not just money wise but in their intelligence as well. For that way I will not be tempted to steal nothing from them. Even with them I debase myself and grovel at their feet so as to not let them know that I can kill them if they get too smart with me. But there is limit to my feeling inferior. If they push my button too far and won't back off, I can get really violent. I'll eat shit but I won't be choking over it."

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