Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What’s Making My Head Hurt?

The Dream:
I am in a large house. I hear my child crying out to me in distress. I don’t want to deal with her problem: I feel tired, but the insistence of her call provokes me to look for her. As I wander the hallways “in search of” I begin to feel distressed and worried, anxious to find her. A little panicky.

I find her in a room full of children, a primary school classroom. My child sits off to the left on a narrow table set at an oblique angle to the rest of the children, who sit quietly facing the front. She looks as I did at age seven, with blonde curly hair. There’s a big bandage across her head. She sees me, but does not acknowledge me. She wants no part of mother. I awaken as from a nightmare.

In the dream I have dark hair: I’ve become my mother. My child, with blonde hair (unlike my waking life daughter), is me. The well-behaved children who sit so quietly are passive receivers of instruction: cowed, proper, all alike, a nice row of good children. Something has whacked my (inner) child on the head, and she’s gained some independence, but at a cost. The adults who surround her are benign; she’s enjoying their attention as well as the empowerment that comes with rejecting her mother, who has arrived too late. Was age seven when I began to go my own way? To realize Mother can’t save me?

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