Friday, September 6, 2013

A dream of getting bitten by a snake twice

A woman in her mid-thirties, twice divorced from two abusive marriages, and who despite a great need for love now lives a lonely existence dreamt the following:

Someone is drawing blood from my arm. A black snake with yellow underbelly hanging down from the ceiling bites me on my finger twice. The bites were sharply painful.

Since the patient is very shy and laconic in her descriptions, I knew there was more to the dream than what she was reporting, and if enough encouragement was given would bring up more details and on being coaxed recalled that:

She was sitting in a chair like one does in a clinical lab. Her arm was raised instead of being placed on the hand board, which is peculiar because arm is not kept in that position for blood drawing. The woman who was drawing the blood had short brown hair coming down to the neck.

The dream had occurred 3 weeks ago and the day's residues that had sparked the dream were not readily available. But, eventually, when it was suggested that the woman who was drawing the blood was perhaps she herself - for she has short brown hair which come down to the neck - she countered with, "No those hair are my aunt's. She, my mom and my grandmother came to visit me three weeks ago and the same night I had the dream. My aunt has short brown hair like that."

When asked as to why her aunt is drawing blood, the patient began talking about her grandmother. She declared that the grandmother is quite like her. She too has agoraphobia and like her (the patient) rarely leaves the house. In fact the patient was surprised that she had mustered the courage to ride along with her two daughters and come to the patient's house. She wondered whether behind the façade of aunt it was not her grandmother who was drawing the blood. 

"Why would it be so?"

"Because I look up to my grandmother. She is a feisty one, full of energy and wisdom. So if the blood drawing is happening to cure me, it would be my grandmother who I would want to be my healer."

"And what it is that she is curing you of?"

"You know I work in a dog boarding place. A big Labrador injured me quite badly on my shin. It is painful and has not been healing. Surprising no blood oozed out of the wound when it happened. If it had perhaps the wound would have healed faster. So I must have made my grandmother, behind the figure of my aunt, draw the blood to heal me. "

"Was it your shin pain that was being experienced as the snake bite?"

"Must be. The pain was throbbing in quality and the snake bite occurred in quick succession twice."

"But why did the experience of pain from the shin shifted on to the finger, and as a snake bite?"

"Because my grandmother must complain about everything and find reasons to be paranoid wherever she is. The minute she entered my house she started looking at my backyard where there is overgrown vegetation and started worrying about there being a snake on those lush creepers. So it was my grandmother's bringing up her fear of snakes that sparked the dream."

"Why the snake is black?"

"There is actually a snake that lives in that foliage. Though I have not seen it this year. In fact the foliage at my backyard is so lush and wild because I have stopped going out in to my yard out of fear of running in to that snake. I hate snakes. They give me the creeps. Though they eat bugs and critters which is good. For I hate those creepy things too. The snake in my backyard is black and identical to the dream snake. It does not have yellow underbelly though."

"Why the yellow underbelly?"

"Yellow underbelly means it is a poisonous snake."

"Why would you want to be bitten by a poisonous snake?"

"To be cured of the other pain. My life is full of pain, fibromyalgia, fatigue; in short I never feel good. So I must me introducing one poison in to my system to get rid of another. Kind of homeopathy doctrine. That must me the reason too for my hand being in that awkward position. Instead of getting my poison drawn out by my grandmother through the needle and syringe, I am opting for a cure through getting bitten by snake."

"Why twice?"

"Because I was married twice. Both were snakes. They both were abusive, made my life hell and gave me agoraphobia. They were good riddance, but I still crave for love. So when the pain from the shin injury was about to wake me up I must have started dreaming of finding a cure for it by finding a man, a wish that must have been counteracted by the memory as to how the cure would tantamount to being bitten by a snake."

We still did not quite make out as to why the dream chose her aunt and the figure of her mother and grandmother behind it to draw the blood. This conjecture was not confirmed but the three women are  the only people she relates with and avoids all others. So when the dog injury was disturbing her sleep, the dream was generated in order to find a cure for the pain and the injury. First her mind harked to the familiar figures of the three relatives and a composite  of the three was drawing her blood. But then the libidinal wish, finding the three women as inadequate objects for what she really needed, began contemplating relationship with a man [that would take away the pain]. However the traumatic experiences with the two ex-husband nixed that outlet as well - the cure would have been worse than the malady."

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