Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Can't Hit Them When They're Down

The Dream: My friend Martha has let me know, without directly saying so, that she is very angry with her husband George who suffers from a debilitating disease. It's an anger too deep for words, and she expresses it by holding a baseball bat in one hand and tapping it against the other.

I'm in the house; my mother is with me, as are others. It's a party of sorts. I have a drink, and my mother makes a “joke” about not saying anything about my reaching for a drink for fear I'd whack her with a baseball bat.

Martha and George show up. Martha is seething at George. I tell her the comment my mother made, thinking it's a hilarious joke. Martha talks about anger toward the ill and helpless, pointing out that it is very difficult to express. At this point she is so angry at George that I wonder if she will leave him, and part of me would be happy to see her free of him and all the obligation that caring for him entails.

Interpretation: At first I thought this dream was about unexpressed anger toward my husband, but when I asked myself who in my life had been ill for a very long time—and who did I resent because I couldn't express this anger and frustration—I came up with a very different answer. I couldn't leave my ill mother or mother-in-law (be free of their needs and influence) while they lived, but the dream points out that it's okay to be relieved to be free from those obligations now.

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