Dream Interpretation 10/17/18

A dream dictionary is very much like a normal dictionary.  It will offer you individual meanings of the elements therein, but the way those elements are combined can tell innumerable stories.  It is up to the dreamer to dig deeper as they piece together the prose.

Dream

I was hiding from a man who was going to kill me. I don’t know why, I just know my life depended on staying hidden. I was in a large antique/furniture store, crouched behind a couch. The man had a German Shepard with him, and this dog knew me. The dog loved me and was very happy to see me, so he went right to me. The man was preoccupied and hadn’t noticed the dog had found me yet.
The dog was greeting me, bouncing from paw to paw, making happy puppy sounds. I feared the noise would draw my killer straight to me, and the dog didn’t understand I needed him to leave me alone. I made the unfortunate choice to suffocate the dog to death to stay alive.

Interpretation

Several years ago, I had read about women in Uganda who had to suffocate their babies to avoid being found, tortured and killed. They saw this as a more merciful death for their child, because if they were found, both mother and child would be molested and mutilated. If they suffocated the crying baby, at least it would die in loving arms and the other women would survive. This was the immediate thought that crossed my mind in reference to this dream, though I have never felt such strong bonds with any dog.
Death in dreams hardly ever refers to actual death. It generally refers to a change, or closing of a chapter to open a new one. The fact that I was so fearful of this archetype that I would sacrifice one who loves and trusts me is a bit disturbing.
There are many ways to die, but this dream chose to show me a human male killer. It was someone I didn’t know, someone who was preoccupied with the business of killing others first, but the dog was definitely a connection between us. His dog loved me.
Serial killers have a different interpretation in dreams than killers with a single quarry. Serial killers suggest fear and insecurity, whereas killers signify being cut off from an emotion.
Antiques represent traditions, wisdom, and inherited personal characteristics. They were my only protection from death. That’s interesting considering the death archetype symbolizes change. I was literally hiding from change within tradition.
The most significant symbol in my dream was the German Shepard. Few dog breeds have their own special meaning, most represent intuition, loyalty, generosity, protection, and fidelity. The German Shepard’s specific symbolism is protective instinct and attentiveness to a situation. The nature of the interaction with this symbol provides deeper meaning.
Initially, the dog is very happy to see me. “To see a happily barking dog in your dream symbolizes pleasures and social activity. You are being accepted into some circle.” Since this situation will bring death (change), I try to stop it. It seems that in any other instance, I would welcome this social activity, but this time is different.
Death of a dog nearly always means the end of a friendship; interpretation just depends on the nature and extent of the death. I was ending it to avoid death (change). Since we determined that the breed had specific meaning, we can apply that protectiveness to the friend in question. There is possibly someone protecting me who I am trying to stop in order to avoid change, and I would go as far as to terminate the relationship (with my bare hands) to do so.
Let’s put everything together.
I’m hiding from change within tradition, but a protective friend within my social circle is trying hard to bring change to my life. I am so opposed to this change that I would go so far as to snuff out the friendship personally.
It’s strange, because I feel like I’m usually the person who is ready for change. I know I can be kind of a homebody, and I don’t desire travel as much anymore, because I’m uncomfortable leaving my home and cats to be tended by someone else. Perhaps that is the old way I’m railing against changing. An aspect of the dream that I didn’t have the presence of mind to change in the dream was using the dog against my killer. Surely this symbol of protection who loved me would not have allowed the killer to hurt me. I was not comfortable leaving my protection to untested loyalty, so it wasn’t even a consideration.

Final Thoughts

I have not been away from my home for more than a day in several years, because I feel uneasy specifically with leaving my cats in the care of someone else. I don’t trust that my apartment won’t spring an inspection while I’m gone, and they’ve been known to leave the door wide open while doing so. I would be absolutely devastated if anything happened to my cats while I was gone, and I don’t trust boarding them at a vet ever since I read about the cat that was euthanized by mistake while her owner was traveling. I know that I have friends and family I could trust, but I don’t want to burden them with the care of my cats.
How far am I willing to push against this change? If the choice came between trusting a friend to look out for me, or personally ending a friendship, could I set my fears aside. That’s a pretty big step for someone who needs to feel control over possibilities and outcomes.
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Welcome Back!

Only one post last month!  I feel like such a slacker.  Actually, I don’t, because all the time I was away, I was working on a Caregiver Conference for the area.  That little project (which ended up with awful attendance) ate up most of my time.  I really don’t think, for all the work my company put into it, that we got any kind of helpful publicity.  There were maybe 5 people attending the thing that were not connected to the vendors, and two of those people were my family and already knew about us.  It was a rainy day, so I’ll just hope that’s what kept people away.

StressAnyway, it looks like we’re lined up to help again next year.  That was another terrible thing last month.  My work laptop got the FBI virus from some news site I was on, and I thought I was going to lose ALL the conference files (because of course I didn’t back them up).  It was after the conference, so I wouldn’t need to recreate them on a deadline, but the upside to doing it next year was that I’d have all the things ready.  I cried.  It had been such a source of stress in my life.  Communications with the head coordinator never went well.  I would need something to go further with my part, and I would contact her.  This may or may not end up with me getting the thing I was asking for, but almost certainly ended up with me getting a new request for some other thing.  We sort of got roped into it this year, because last year we weren’t even invited.  We’d attended the year before and were completely overlooked last year when they were inviting people to set up booths.  My boss wanted to be sure we went this year, but ended up on the planning committee, and they needed someone who could make flyers.  My boss returned from the meeting saying that she’d volunteered me for it, and that I could do this while I’m at work so I at least get paid for it.  The flyer would not be enough.  Before it was all over, I had done the flyer, the registration form, the pharmacy bag fillers, the conference schedule, the speaker bio page, and the powerpoint presentation, and was in charge of running the projector at the conference (after which, many of the fonts from my laptop were mysteriously missing).

I was extra cranky on the weekends if I didn’t get a day for myself.  Since the doctor put me on the mission to lose weight, my mom had been coming by once a week to walk with me in the park.  I understand that it’s important and having a schedule with another person keeps me accountable, so it wasn’t really a problem until this conference planning.  I’ve been increasingly unpleasant as the date drew near, to the point where one morning I practically made my mom cry because I needed quiet, alone time really badly.  Could have been PMS, because it was about that time, but I just could not handle people.  I’m so glad I’ve got at least 8 months before I have to think about the conference again.  And, yes, I backed up the files.

So last night I got to bed early.  Yeah 11:30pm is pretty early for me.  I normally nod off at 2am.  When I woke up, I saw that a friend had been unable to stay asleep, and according to my mother, another of her friends was also having sleep difficulties last night.  I was totally unprepared for the alarm this morning.  It caught me in the middle of a dream and I couldn’t understand why I was hearing music.  When I turned it off, I still had no idea why this little machine was making noise, or what 5:50 meant.  As usual, it meant that I had to get up and pick up my boyfriend from work, which I figured out after a few minutes of feeling completely out of place.  Sleep continues to be fascinating and strange, and I hope to pick this blog up where I left off.  Sorry to keep you waiting so long!

September 10th – World Suicide Prevention Day

This is for you.  Did you know that suicide is now responsible for more deaths than automobile accidents?  You’re more likely to lose someone to depression than drunk driving, and there are plenty of warning signs for depression.  We’re only starting to come into an age where depression is seen as a disease, and people begin to realize that sufferers aren’t just lazy and making their own bad situations.  To someone outside the situation, the solutions seem so simple.  You don’t have a job? Well keep looking until you find one, even if it’s flippin’ burgers.  You have a job, but you can’t pay your bills?  Get a second job, or look for a better one.  You’re lonely? Make an attempt to be sociable for a change instead of locking yourself up at home.  Can’t stand the things you’ve done? Can’t change the past, so start doing good things; good deeds for other people will make you feel better about yourself. Depression can suck the life out of you.  Telling someone with depression to just get a second job can be like asking someone who has just given everything they had to win a race that they’re only halfway done. Your simple suggestion doesn’t feel like constructive criticism or support.  It feels like rejection.  Another person just trying to fix the side effects with trite suggestions.  And on the other hand, if you try to suggest treatment for depression, the subject comes up about the cost of therapy and drugs, which seem like another great burden on an already tight situation.

It was July 2008 when I got the very last email from my dad.  He had been struggling with his studies and with work ever since his dad died the previous November.  If I had kept in touch with his ex-girlfriend (who he was still living with) we both would have known he was using us to get him through his college courses, and might have realized how severe the situation was.  He wrote me one more email to tell me that he was lonely, because she had time for everyone but him, and that he was almost out of money and couldn’t pay his truck payments.  They’d be repossessing the truck soon and he needed to move out as soon as possible because he wouldn’t be able to haul his horse trailer without a truck, and where could he go with a horse?  At the time, I had no idea he was getting medication again.  I thought he was still taking classes and wondered what had happened to the last job.  I suggested he sell the horse and trailer and use that money to find a place closer to school, and maybe a job within walking distance.  I also recommended he find a church he liked, because church had always been very important to him.  I couldn’t offer him more than a spot on the floor beside my bed, a package of ramen made from a single-cup water heater, and cold showers.  There were other people in the family that were well-off who would have taken him in, but not without making him feel utterly worthless.  It was bad enough when I took some time off from college and still wasn’t married at 22, and if your job doesn’t pay twice minimum wage, just don’t even mention you have one.  I can understand why he wouldn’t want to go to them, but god help anyone who needs ME.

He had sent the email at night, and I didn’t see it until the next morning, but apparently enough time had passed that he thought I was ignoring him and downed a whole bottle of sleeping pills.  He felt so awful from it that he begged his ex to take him to the hospital, and spent most of that time sleeping off what was still in his system, so I didn’t call him.  When he woke up, he signed himself out of the hospital AMA, and because his ex was working a 14-hour shift in preparation for her upcoming family reunion vacation, she had to leave work to take him home and then get right back.  He said he was okay and just wanted to sleep, so she trusted him and left him there alone.

In the middle of the night, my phone rang.  It was the sheriff calling to tell me that my father had passed away.  It was hard to know how I felt.  Not really surprise, because part of me expected that to happen, but on the other hand, I didn’t believe it, because it was not within his character.  I would not have thought this was something he would finish, because my uncle has done the sleeping pills thing many times when he just wanted somebody to fix things.  My dad had always been able to fix his own problems.  I asked the sheriff how it happened.  “He took his life with a firearm.”

The seriousness of intent in using a gun was undeniable.  He’d meant to die the first time, and wasn’t going to wait around in a hospital.  He had something to finish and this time he had to succeed.

I was 25.  My parents had been divorced for 10 years, and it always broke my mother’s heart that I didn’t have a closer relationship with him like she did with her dad.  I’d gotten used to his coming back and leaving again that first year.  I’d gotten used to his periods of depression where he’d move back to town in a trailer and go back to his old job for a few months, then patch things up with his girlfriend and walk out on his job again to go back to her.  That’s just the way things would go for him, so when my mom would ask if we’d talked lately and I’d coldly say I hadn’t heard from him in months, she couldn’t help crying.

The signs were there, y’know, the depression, the clues in the email about loneliness.  I, like so many others, ignored the loneliness and tried to fix the side effects.  Doled out the same suck-it-up advice that I would have expected if I’d written that email.  I might have expected worse, like “Tough break! You knew you couldn’t afford a horse.  Sell it and keep looking for work.  How many applications have you filled out since you lost your last job?  You should have been out there the same day looking for work.  And put on a smile.  Nobody is going to want to hire you if you show up looking depressed.  Maybe you’ll just do without a vehicle for a while.  And you really need to move out of your ex-girlfriend’s house.  She wants to get on with her life, and that’s really hard to do with you still living there.  Of course she’s got time for everyone but you, you’re split up and she’s got her own family to tend.”

Am I starting to sound like every heartless argument you’ve seen on facebook?  Because I didn’t even say those things, and my father killed himself.  Can you imagine what people feel like when someone actually does say those things?  Sure, it’s true, but it’s not helpful.  The person is not going to suddenly see how they’ve been making simple mistakes and start putting their life back together logically.

So the next time someone comes to you, not asking advice for what they should do to fix a messed up situation, but TELLING you they have a messed up situation, consider how recently your local paper reported a drunk driving death.  Evaluate the emotion behind the plea and handle with care.  You might be the last resort.
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