In the dream, I’m a smoker, even though in real life I’m not. In the dream, I’m wearing a baggy jacket and have 1/2 dozen loose cigarette butts in each pocket but no full cigarette. I’m with a bunch of smokers and ask them for one and they all say they don’t have any. I say it’s okay, it doesn’t matter, I’m quitting anyways.
Then an ex-boyfriend arrives. In real life he’s an ex but in the dream I am still trying to salvage the relationship. I ask him if he wants to catch the ferry with me and go do something off the island. At first he disagrees but he concedes with my insistence and he even offers to pay.
I notice right away he starts taking photos with his phone which is a strange & uncharacteristic behaviour of his. He does it so much that he has no emotional connection or interaction with me at all as we wait in line for the ferry, board and start traveling. I see a huge piece of ice float down a river and point it out and he takes a photo and I hear him say, “This one is for you (meaning me)” and then he takes another one saying “And this second one is for you (meaning another woman)” and he sends the second pic to someone.
After seeing him do this 3 times I confront him with it. He doesn’t deny it. I say why didn’t he just tell me and we could have ended amicably. He said he couldn’t tell me. He didn’t want to hurt me.
So I tell him I’m not going on this trip with him and when the ferry stops I board a returning boat to go back home. He continues on.
I feel a mixture of sadness and relief.
When I get back, it’s too late to make it all the way home so I stay at an Air BnB which has a lot of others staying there too. Recollection of this part of the dream is foggy. It seems we were moving furniture around. There were a lot of people but I don’t recall more than that.
When you live with a psychopath they will only be thinking of themselves. They love the feeling of angering people and feed on it like a drug. That’s why they create conflict at every chance they get. If someone you share a home with doesn’t do their own dishes, or their own laundry, or help with meal prep and yet expects you to be contributing equally to things like bill-payments, you just might be dealing with a psychopath.
When you tell someone No, and then they wait a few days and ask again and you say No, and then they wait a few days and ask again and you say No once again, and then they wait a few days and ask again, as though it’s the first time they ever asked and your answer is still No, you might be dealing with a psychopath.
If the person you share a house with eats a lot everything but refuses to get a job and contribute to providing food for the family, you are probably dealing with a psychopath.
If the person you live with has done things which are offensive & crude during the week and then you try to ignore them so you can do things for the children on t he weekend and they “accidentally” touch you on your buttocks or breasts while you walk by, you are likely dealing with a sexually-perverted psychopath.
If you’re driving in a car and the person you are close to is talking in an aggressive tone, talking about self-centered things which are distracting and confusing you and then something happens on the road, like a stone hits the windshield causing a lot of damage, but the person doesn’t see how their negative behaviour distracted you and caused the situation to occur for damage to the car, and refuses to help pay for it, you may be dealing with a psychopath.
If the person you live with watches 12 hours of television, eats chips all day and then goes to bed, you might be dealing with a psychopath.
If the person you suspect is a psychopath has a group of close friends or family who they confide in regularly to convey their version of events (however inaccurate or illusionary they are) and if those close friends or family believe that person’s lies and fabrications without consulting you or judging the situation for themselves, and they collectively turn against you and target you at “the problem” then you might be dealing with a psychopath.
If a person you live with stands at a door, with their arms folded, staring at you until you respond to their unreasonable requests, you are likely dealing with a psychopath.
These are some examples of the kinds of traits you may find in a spouse who is a sociopath or psychopath. The key to identifying a psychopath is realizing that they are “in it” for the long haul. They play the long game. They play to the end. Knowing this you can adjust your actions accordingly and deal with their negative behaviours without allowing them to knock you down or knock you over. When you can flip every negative into a positive you’ll realize that no matter what they do they cannot take you out of your positive space.
Developing positive qualities, new capacities, strengths and skills allows you to keep moving forward no matter what you encounter on the way to achieve your positive vision for yourself and those you love.
Last week an inmate shared a dream with me. He’s given me permission to publish it here.
I was in jail and the exit here is different, there are two gates, you go in one set of gates and then it closes behind you and then the next one opens and you go out. But in my dream both gates were open and I was standing there and then this group of people dressed in black, with masked faces, carrying guns shows up and they tell us to come with them, that they are breaking us out. I get really suspicious and I think they are not “real” gangsters but they are advocates and they are not going to get away with what they are planning so I don’t trust them. “They are not real gangsters” I keep telling myself. So I go to the COs [Correction Officers] and try to tell them what’s going on and I start shouting at the other inmates that it’s a trap and don’t go with them. I feel like whoever goes with the advocates is going to get caught and get extra charges and I don’t want more charges so I’m not going and I don’t want other people to go either.
The really interesting thing about this dream is that the dreamer has the belief that real gangsters could get him out of jail but advocates couldn’t. He even breaks “the code” of silence by going to the COs to alert them of the breach, meaning the advocates are not even worthy of his association or his support. This is a common belief in the world, where people have become accustomed to using power to get their own way and they don’t care who they hurt in the meantime. People can use a “gangster” attitude when they are trying to get what they want, even if they are white-collar leaders of a business or CEO of a corporation or principal of a school. The gangster attitude is about using powers of force and powers of numbers and powers of deception to get what they want which usually has something to do with getting large amounts of money, falsely presuming that money brings freedom in one way or another.
I find the metaphor of advocates here very intriguing. Advocates use many approaches to get the job done but essentially they are trying to go for change. They recognize an injustice and they plan some sort of method to get their change. Whether they try to achieve their aim by shooting down old out-dated models of education, rehabilitation, or social structures or try to achieve their goal by building up something new like building a new school or constructing a new court system or creating a new non-profit social enterprise.
The similarities between a group of anonymous activists and a group of masked gangsters are numerous. For one, they both have a collective vision of what they want to accomplish. Secondly, they are willing to take huge risks to strive for the goal they want. Thirdly, they accumulate power and momentum for their vision by attracting other like-minded people. Fourth, they are often willing to stop at nothing to actualize their goal.
The biggest difference, of course, is that gangsters are willing to completely ignore the law and advocates tend to try to change the law. Both groups are unhappy with the social structure, per say, and are willing to disregard it from one degree or another but the actions gangsters take tend to be quite illegal and even immoral, while the actions most advocates take tend to be more high-minded and within the bounds of commonly held moral or legal guidelines.
Why then would a dreamer trust gangsters more than advocates? What is the quality which is opening up within him? When he figures out the answer to this it will feel as though he is being released from jail, being released from an inner jail of fear.
The virtue and skill which advocates have which gangsters don’t have is Patience. Gangsters use power, authority and fear to control situations to get what they want quickly and with a lot of convenience, with guns or whatever. Advocates are usually patient in their approach and they may take a long time, months or years to achieve their goal. It’s not convenient but pays off in the long run.
This means the dreamer is working on developing Patience, doing things which take a long time to achieve, doing things which aren’t at all convenient but which get the job done without using fear or power to control others or situations. Patience is opening up to the dreamer now but because of past experiences when he tried to be patient with people and got hurt, he’s having trouble trusting the motives of people even when they have the same goal as him – getting out of jail.
Remember in a dream jail is a metaphor for being “trapped” in a condition of fear and being released from jail in a dream is a symbol for being released from an inner condition of fear. When the challenges are worked through, then a lot of positives can open up like Courage, Patience, and Determination.
In real life, when situations and opportunities for growth and change appear to the dreamer, he becomes afraid that he’s being trapped and so rather than go for the change he goes for protection, most likely because of experiences in childhood where it wasn’t safe to go for growth & change. In time, with a small bit of work on the issue daily then the dreamer will come to find he has a lot of Courage and Determination to see his plans through to the end.
The messages from nightmares can give us more information than any other kind of dream. That’s why they are my favourite to work with. The reveal the clues to unlock the doors to the greatest change and when the issue from the dream is resolved then the life of the individual can change to such a hugely positive degree as to no longer be even recognizable.
When a dream is frightening like a nightmare, it isn’t as bad as you may think. We need vampires and zombies and monsters. They give us valuable insight into our own process and help to head is in the right direction in our lives. You are not a bad person or really messed up because you have a nightmare even though the fear can stay with you for sometime after. A vampire has a message to give us just like any other symbol. They are not unlike snakes or sharks or other frightening phenomena. Why are they valuable? Why should we not just try to instantly forget them?
Human beings have two natures. We have a self-centered, materialistic, ego-driven animal aspect to our selves, and we have a higher nature that is full of positive qualities that we call our true self. The goal of life is to develop all…
Yesterday a post which was written last September in 2017 was published on this blog. For those unfamiliar with the language of metaphor used by dreams to communicate messages about transformation, the dream described in yesterday’s post may have seemed appalling, maybe even scandalous. The post is no longer visible on this website, but for those who did not have the chance to read it, in the 18 hours it was published, I’ll briefly describe that the dream had a scene of sexual abuse in it, with a mother sexually violating her daughter. Some might call that kind of dream a nightmare. These kinds of nightmarish dreams are one of my favourites to work with because they embody a high degree of fear & disgust. With daily attention and diligence, Fear & disgust can be transformed into Courage & Contentment.
Even though the dream scenario was a metaphor and to the best of my knowledge did not depict things which happened in the real world, the reason I decided to publish it is to initiate a conversation through this venue around the complex issues of sexual abuse of children and the society of secrecy which surrounds it.
Coincidentally, there was a show on CBC yesterday which I listened to while driving to work. The show featured an author who was originally from South Africa, and moved to Canada with her family when she was 10. Her book talks about her experience of racism and also of having been sexually abused by someone close to her family. What I found so interesting about her telling of these stories is that she said even when she was sexually assaulted at the age of 7 she knew to keep it a secret. She knew to speak of it would bring shame to her and “mark her” as tainted or spoiled in some way. When she experienced a racist incident at 10 she knew she could turn to her family for help and support. Instinctively she knew the difference between these two types of attacks and way her reaching out for help would be perceived. In the program she described that her father, an outspoken revolutionary, taught her to “not own” the problems of the racist. If someone is ignorant and acts out of a racist mindset, they must be held accountable for their actions. In that way, you give them their problem and do not own it.
But for sexual assaults, it is not so easy to disown the violence. Even as a child she knew to keep it a secret, that the man would not be held responsible, even if she reached out for help and in that way, she sort of “owned” his assault. She owned the problem. It wasn’t hers to own, but she did, because what other options were available to her? None.
The dream I shared yesterday was about this issue. It was about an adult in a position of trust manipulating those in the environment so that she could get away with violating the dignity of someone who she perceived she had power over. When a person perpetrates sexual assault they are trying to go for Power, power over the recipient of the attack, power over those who watch but do nothing, power over the situation which they want to control with a vengeance.
Since the dream was a metaphor, and not about a real life situation, what it means is that the dreamer has someone in their life who is saying things and doing things which are as violent and abhorrent as sexual abuse. To solve the problem in the dream, the dreamer must begin to see themselves as capable of driving the situation forward, out of the power struggle. The sexual assault happened in a car in the dream so that is a metaphor for the solution to drive forward and out of the power struggle.
When I work with women who have experienced domestic violence and when I work with men who are in jail, I often see that the violence they’ve experienced or perpetuated has clouded their abilities to envision a positive future for themselves or others. Trauma has a way of doing this. The part of the brain responsible for responding quickly to threats is the small almond-shaped amegdala, which connects the temporal lobe of the brain and is responsible for fear & aggression. When someone experiences a high degree of fear, the amegdala is activated and a flight or fight or freeze response is triggered. One traumatic event is enough to rewire the brain’s fight or flight response but even more so when there is a pattern of abuse, such as with children growing up in abusive homes, or with women (and men) caught in domestically abusive patterns of behaviour in adulthood.
The work for someone who experienced abuse in childhood is to become conscious and “wake up” to the ways in which the abuse affected them and then change the negative emotions and patterns to more positive. It is more difficult work because many of the abuse scenarios may have happened before the age of 4 and are not a part of the individual’s conscious memories. This is why dreams can be very healing and therapeutic, because the dreams reveal the unconscious memories or fears which have been buried away for so many years.
Alternatively, if a person had not experienced abuse in childhood but had experienced it as an adult, their nightmares can be a direct result of that fear-filled experience and as they work through the metaphors they can process the negative emotions associated with the violence and they can take the lesson from the experience and develop themselves to be able to help others even more than before. The purpose of our lives is to continue to transform, to grow, to change, to evolve so that we can be ever-more capable of supporting and accompanying more and more people in their personal & collective evolution.
When the sexual abuse post was published yesterday there was not a lot of explanation about the metaphor so today I thought I would write more about it even though I am fully aware that our society is just at the very beginning of being able to speak of these atrocities with any degree of capacity. The “Me Too” movement has made great strides in this arena so in a small and trite way I’m addressing the issue of sexual abuse and the way it is handled by all parties through occasionally sharing violent dreams on this blog.
I have a very positive vision of the future where families are healthy and free of violence, where children are safe & protected and free from threats of all forms of abuse. When I write about things which are negative or difficult in nature, I do it to expose the Negative Truth. In this way, the lesson can be learned and more positive relationships can be developed. That is my aim. That is my intention. That is my goal. And that is the purpose of this blog.
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