The Dream: I hear a very young child, 2 to 3 years old, screaming in a bathroom. I fear she is being molested. I bang on the door, saying I will call the cops. I push the door open. She is standing next to the bathtub, fully clothed. There is a man with her. I leave them, and make no report. Then I wonder if I've been remiss: I should have checked her for evidence of whether or not she had been molested.
Interpretation: This dream was very disturbing; the child was screaming in terror. It seemed she was not being harmed, but I didn't take any action to make sure this was the case. The dream was triggered by a snippet of a television show I'd watched the night before on PBS about a Chinese woman who had been raped and then abandoned by her family. I remember thinking how typical it is to blame the woman for her own misfortune. In a book I'm reading, Trollope's Vicar of Bullhampton, a young woman is ostracized for “prostitution.” It seems to me, the reader, that she was either seduced and abandoned or raped.
The child's scream is the scream of womankind at the injustice of centuries of abuse. Her youth emphasizes her innocence. The water of the bathtub represents the water of the Unconscious, where these terrors lie submerged. I turn away, just as society turns away, from what is clearly wrong, but inconvenient to acknowledge and difficult to deal with.