Sunday, May 25, 2014

A religious dream

A woman in her early sixties complained that she was recently having a lot of intense senseless dreams. When asked for an example gave the following, labeling it as a religious dream.

We are in some religious place - strange since we never go to Church or anything like that - and a man comes and says don't worry, you will be alright. Larry, my husband, is with me. I knew wherever we are going we will be going there together.

Patient recently has been under lot of stress. A number of her close relatives are dying, her daughter is in throes of bitter divorce and is having numerous medical problems, she feels completely overwhelmed and sometimes feels she should just give it all up. Based upon that knowledge, without asking for associations, which usually she is not keen on giving anyway, I hazarded a guess and made the following construction:
"Is it an assurance that if you die you will go to heaven and since Larry would be  with you, you need not fear such a fate?"
It is technically not correct to interpret without first asking for associations unless, as once in a blue moon happens, one can see through the structure of the dream at a single glance.
 "You are right. Because the man who was telling me that I will be alright was no other than Jesus Christ himself. And lately death and dying is lot on my mind. Larry's brother suddenly died of heart attack you know. "
"Why does Larry come in to the dream?"
"Because if I am going down he is coming with me. I am not going anywhere alone.  If I die he better die too. He will be completely lost here without me anyway. We have been together for fifty years."
At that point she recalled another dream which confirmed the accuracy of the interpretation of the first.

"Every now and then I dream this. We are at a street which ends at a beautiful house. The house has two floors and a basement. It is abandoned and ready to be occupied. It has beautiful furniture on both floors. The basement has three shelves where my children's toys, trucks, dolls and games, everything connected with their childhood, is stored."

The dream was another version of the assurance that there is no need to fear death so much. It is not going to be end of your existence. The road symbolized her life trajectory, the end of which had an abandoned house just waiting for her to walk in to and continue living with her husband and all the precious memories of her children. The two floors symbolized herself and her husband, the three shelves her two children and her only grandchild.
Patient's illness is due to extreme fear of death. She often wakes out of her sleep in panic, fearing the end of life.

1 comment: