Sunday, February 15, 2015


The Dream: I am in someone's house; it's either a rental or a home exchange. We are thinking about staying there for a while. There is a small washer and dryer in the garage. I point it out to Clark; it reminds me of the set my mother got me when I lived in an apartment. I start thinking about how good she was to me, and feel that I didn't do enough for her as she aged and became infirm. I am filled with regret, and my eyes fill with tears.

I hear another washer/dryer going, and I realize there's a much larger set in the kitchen. We go there, and I am struck by how wide the counters are. They are marble, in golden ocher tones. The lady showing us the house seems to empathize with my sadness.

Interpretation: At first I thought this was a straightforward dream about my feeling bad that I was not a good daughter, that I hadn't given back enough to my mother who was so good and so giving.

And I'm sure there's some truth to that. But there is another truth as well. I had the dream shortly after I had seen a manipulative mother in action. Of course the dream might be pointing out the contrast between my mother and this other mother—but at the same time it caused me to notice some parallels; for example, both mothers had a core of helplessness that required others to step up and take care of them. My resistance to helping my mother might have come from my fear that her need could never be satisfied, but could only suck me into an abyss from which I could not escape. I'm sure my mother had no conscious wish to limit me—quite the contrary—but there was a subtext that I found suffocating. That doesn't excuse me for not getting over it, but it does explain the resigned tone of many of us, when, even as adults, we say, “Yes, mother . . . . “


Emily said...

Whenever I have a dream about a washing machine, or in which I am taking a shower, I know I am being cleansed. These dreams come after I've had an interaction with a "toxic" person. My psyche needs to cleanse the emotional turmoil that resulted from this interaction. There is also "twinning" of two washer/dryer combinations - something coming into consciousness perhaps, or a calling to pay attention to this image. There's also the contrast of inner/outer - going into the house from the garage, going from a smaller cleansing area to a larger cleansing. The marble may be something to play with as well - my associations are of an exotic material to "coldness". Fun dream to work - thanks for posting it! The drawing is symbolic as well!

Carla Young said...

Thanks, Emily. Picking up on your idea of cleansing, maybe "marble" refers to the material often used in bathrooms. It's more likely we'd find it there than on a kitchen counter. Other things marble evokes for me are tombstones and the inability to think rationally, as in "She's lost her marbles."

Emily said...

Great metaphor!

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