Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No Compensation

An elderly relative, Aunt Peggy, has dementia and must go to a nursing home.  Making the arrangements and clearing out her house was left to my husband Clark and me. I had this dream in the middle of that difficult chore.

The Dream: Aunt Peggy’s house is almost empty, but not quite. There are a few pieces of paper lying about and one piece of furniture, a bed. As I stand near it, a cat rubs against my legs. I wonder how it got in, and if it is making the room smelly. I want Aunt Peggy’s washer and dryer, both so new they are still in their boxes. I think that having these will make up for all the disruption she has caused.

Aunt Peggy appears. She has been pronounced cured and let out of the care facility. She has decided to hook up her new washer and dryer. She and some installers unbox the pieces and work on hooking up the water. I wonder what she must think about her house having been cleared out. She seems rational and capable.
I leave. As I get in my car she comes out, trying to detain me. I decide to be pleasant but firm. “I have to go, sweetie,” I say. I drive away and come to a maze-like structure. It’s white and looks something like a parking garage. I negotiate twists and turns around commercial vehicles that are loading and unloading. I am looking for the on-ramp to the freeway, which resembles a roller coaster.

The first four sentences reflect what Aunt Peggy’s life had come to: as her dementia progressed she tossed junk mail all over her house, and her life centered on a filthy bed in a smelly room. The dream hints at a solution: the washer and dryer, machines that clean things. Although I want to be compensated for the work I’ve put in clearing out my aunt’s house, some part of me wishes just as strongly that her condition might be reversed and that she would become capable of installing these marvelous cleaning machines herself, as she is in the dream.

Once I leave my aunt’s house the dream brings me back to the confused reality of the situation (the maze). I’m a stuck where I am (the parking garage).  I twist and turn to get around the on-going business (the commercial vehicles). I wish to be liberated from my responsibility (I’m looking for the freeway), but I also know there will be ups and downs and I’m not going to have a smooth ride (it will be more like a roller coaster).


Tzivia said...

Great blog! I love the way you've taken Jung's idea of the Red Book into the cyber-age!

Carla Young said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Tzivia!

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