Sunday, January 18, 2015

Can I Live with Mother?

The Dream: I am with my aunt and my mother. They tell me that Mother is coming to live with me. I realize they've mentioned this once before, and that I had failed to respond, hoping the request would go away. This time there's no ducking it. I am annoyed that they've told me rather than asked me, and I envision myself as the old maid daughter living with her mother. I feel that her close proximity is a threat to my autonomy. In the dream my mother is youngish and attractive, and I'm a young single woman.

I can't see how to say no, or get out of it, and I wonder what sort of sex life I'll have. Will she accept my adult sexuality or will I never be able to spend the night with anyone? I say to her, “You can stay with me, but you can't be too bossy.” She looks surprised that anyone would think she's bossy.

She says, “We can move into Grandma's neighborhood. It will be nice and inexpensive.” My heart lifts at this idea. Grandma's neighborhood has become arty and trendy. I think I'll enjoy the area and meet interesting people. Suddenly I'm excited about the thought of a move.

Interpretation: The dream was inspired by a piece that Helen Hwang wrote about her relationships with her mother and grandmother. She had been closer to her paternal grandmother than to her mother, and at a point in her life she realized she needed to connect with her mother. In the dream I become happier and stronger when I connect with my maternal ancestor, my mother's mother. The dream is a step in my working out my own autonomy. In the dream I confront who I am as an adult with my now internalized “mother.” Can I live with what I've inherited from my ancestors and still be myself? The dream tells me that I can: I learn that I can be in the place I want to be even with Mother in my life. She has been integrated into my psyche to the point that we both want the same things; I unconsciously realize that at this point in my life she does live with me, even if not physically, and I'm getting the two of us in sync.

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