Friday, December 5, 2008

One of My Recurring Childhood Dreams


It was always the same, this dream. I am a little girl sitting in a kitchen chair. And I notice I have small hole in my arm. It is not bleeding, but I notice a small bone poking out. I touch it and it slides right out of my arm and into my hand. I look at it carefully enough to notice that there is no blood, no meat clings to it. And when I look back at the hole I notice that there is another bone poking out. And so I begin the deboning of myself. In the end I become a blob of boneless flesh. Now I know I'm in trouble. I open my mouth to call for help and my teeth crumble and fall from my mouth. And then I know I am helpless.

I had this dream for several years. Probably from the age of seven to maybe ten or eleven. It is always the same. Exactly the same. No variation at all. Never. Years later when I told my therapist about this dream I didn't like the interpretation. She believed it was a sexual dream about what my daddy did to me. I would say, "But I was alone." She would say, "What does the hole symbolize? What does the bone symbolize?" I would cry. Now I turn it into something of mine. I claim it's power. I give it a bit of form and wonder what you see? What is the hole? What is the bone? Why do the teeth crumble and fall?

There is a small hole in my arm
I pull the bones out one by one
Until I am empty, my fingers limp and
Useless, I open my mouth to call for help
My teeth crumble and fall from my mouth
My head a shapeless blob and now I know
At last that I am helpless, and you will never love me


From the dictionary of dream symbolism
Bones

To see bones in your dream, suggests the discovery of your personal, family, or cultural secrets. It is also symbolic of your underlying strengths that you have not yet recognized. Consider the symbolism of getting to the "bare bones" or the significance of "having a bone to pick with someone."


To dream that your teeth is lose, signifies failures and bad news.

To see a hole in the ground, denotes hidden aspects of your activities. On the other hand, it may mean that you are feeling hollow or empty inside. This dream may be an awakening for you in that you need to get out and expose your self to new interests and activities.

To dream that you fall into a hole, signifies a pitfall in a situation in your life or that you are stuck in a hole. Perhaps, you have dug yourself into a hole and can not get out of it.





Thank you Ghost.

32 comments:

Gail said...

Hi Utah-

Very powerful dream imagery. I am no dream expert although I have dabble in them due to my own dreams.

As I read and re-read your dream the same thought kept coming to mind, and that thought was 'imploding'. I felt as if you were imploding from the inside out one bone at a time and teeth as well until you were of no form, much like a building that is imploded.
This, in regards to abuse makes sense to me.

Love,
Gail
peace.....

Randal Graves said...

I've never had a recurring dream, or if I have, I don't remember. Instead of seeing weakness, think of picking up a bone and smashing the hell out of something, or someone.

Utah Savage said...

Very sensitive analysis Gail. I think that pretty much describes my feeling from that time and the way those dreams came so often and with such specific detail and feeling. I was as detached from it as it is possible for a child to be. Until the end. And then I would awaken with such sorrow and guilt. As if in imploding my self, I was doing something very bad.

Gail said...

Hi Again-
I feel bad that you felt you were doing something bad. Surviving abuse as a child, demands much creativity. Dreams are just that, creative.

The image of being without form, well, made you impenetrable.

Rough stuff, I know.

LOve, Gail
peace.....

Utah Savage said...

Now in old age my dreams are always good. I travel to Italy and visit my lover and see my friends, we travel together, I travel alone. But when I dream now there is no terror, no loss, no fear.

Ghost Dansing said...

the imagery of the dream reminded me of this video...... desert

the unspeakable is sometimes reflected in non-verbal dream imagination......

Sylvia K said...

It breaks my heart to read of the abuse you suffered. And you were such a beautiful child. Since I never dream anything that I can remember, I don't know whether to be glad or sad. I know I have few memories of my childhood, never wanted them, for whatever reason.

linda said...

it never fails that when I read your posts about your life, I end up on the floor breathless...sometimes I don't read your posts , if I feel vulnerable or weak as I cannot focus after from the reeling away...dizzy, eyes blinded with tears...

so there you have one...a comment instead of an email, dear woman, on the shared pain of sexual abuse...

I walk on rose petals when I enter here, silent, knowing to discover something holy...and perhaps bleeding, bled out white on the floor terror......no apologies.

X

DCup said...

My first instinct is to want to protect that beautiful, vulnerable child in the picture. But we can't protect ourselves from dreams, can we?

I'm glad you've seized the imagery for your own use.

I used to have a recurring dream that involved an Osmond Brothers' concert I attended in 1972 or 73. It wasn't very graphic or scary - except for their white jumpsuits. Those were pretty frightening!

LeAnn said...

you've written so many really beautiful entries lately! I am falling behind in the things I'd like to say so I figure now I will catch as catch can.

I am no expert on dreams but what i thought of when I first read this dream was that your bones were a symbol for the armature you could have built your life on. being taken away, bone by bone. And I thought of your teeth both as weapons, being disarmed and as the prevention of further digestion. You can't very well feast at the table of life without teeth.
On Thursdays I meet with a group of women I like very much and we are doing a women's retreat. We listen to a cd from a series and then talk about it and the thoughts its brings up and how these things are applicable in our lives. The last segment was on taking your power back. And there was a section that was very meaningful to me about allowing yourself to know what you know. And not sanitizing your life experiences for the comfort of others, or for yourself. I think you have that down! And that is a powerful and honest thing about you.

Utah Savage said...

LeeAnn, You are one of the best writers around these parts. You are incredibly insightful and wise. Do you know that? Are you aware of your deep intelligence? It shines here whenever you comment, but you keep yourself pretty well hidden at home. This is not a pronouncement as much as an observation that you might be hiding your light under a bushel, or some such folksy wisdom.

Your editing help was astoundingly good.

I hope you enjoy your retreat. I used to do that kind of thing when I lived with my third husband.

SaoirseDaily2 said...

Dreams are so powerful. I have recurring dreams and I've tried to make sense of them. Probably never will. The video was interesting. Ghost always finds the most unusual videos and music that fit a topic. I will drink a Baileys to you my friend and wish for you happy dreams from now on.

BBC said...

To see bones in your dream, suggests the discovery of your personal, family, or cultural secrets.

So called experts explaining others dreams is bullshit.

Stella said...

I read your post about your childhood dream and Gail's astute comments. My keyboard fell mute. Utah, my dear, it goes without saying that you deserved so much better. May you always dream of Venice.

As usual, BBC's rudness and ignorance subsumes Sarah Palin's.

Is being an idiot like being high all the time?
Janeane Garofalo

Liberality said...

may your sense of helplessness that this dream symbolizes be a distant memory-a seed that dries up and is blown away.

Utah Savage said...

Oh how I love Janeane Garofalo!

Naj said...

that is one beautiful dream, in a poetic way ...

If I am to interpret the poem (i mean to connect to it, to that dream) I interpret it as self discovery; and pulling out the teeth feels like pulling out the "grudge" ... to become a blob feels like having become resilient; malleable; and people who are shapeless feel 'unloved' because they don't feel they can be identified correctly for what they are, for they feel they are unrecognized as a shapeless nothingness ...

Utah Savage said...

How nice to hear from you Naj. Poetic and smart and interesting as always.

Naj said...

:) I am always lurking on yoru site Utah!

by the way, it's amazing how you have not changed, This picture looks exactly like your avatar photo!

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

that girl looks wounded. this was difficult to read, thinking about a 7 year old having dreams of this magnitude. thinking this deeply is painful and almost too much energy for me. life's too short.

anita said...

Carl Jung wrote:

The art of interpreting dreams cannot be learnt from books. Methods and rules are good only when we can get along without them. Only the man who can do it anyway has real skill, only the man of understanding really understands."

("The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man" (1933). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. pg. 327)

Which leads me to say that whatever your dream meant or means, your shrink was highly irresponsible imposing HER specific interpretation of onto you. It's her job to HELP YOU TO DISCOVER those aspects of yourself that may or may not be buried in your dreamscape, NOT to convince you of the truth of her highly subjective interpretation, or, rather, opinion.

AND even IF it did turn out that the dream "meant" what she said it meant, and you were not ready to see it or feel it that way, then shame on her for forcing that on you.

I hope you're seeing a different shrink.

linda said...

to fellow mental patient who I wish had been in MY room-how fun is that? :)

I did the Meme, and it's just for YOU so enjoy it, you hear?

Pagan Sphinx said...

I agree with Naj. It is such powerful imagery. If you were a painter, you would have painted it well but you are a writer and have done something similarly creative in reposessing it as your own through writing.

Linda Sama said...

interesting, because I never remember my dreams. ever. I mean, I know I have them, but I never remember a thing, which might be a good thing.

the last I remembered my dreams was when I did my first 10 day silent vipassana meditation retreat....it was very traditional in the Goenka style (you can google that.)

for the first 6 nights I had the most intense, violent, sexual, abusive, horrific dreams in my life -- it was like living inside a Hironymous Bosh painting....I know that was all the shit and samsaras (google that too) coming out of my conscienceness. I was afraid to go to sleep at night.

and just when I thought I was the worst person in the world, when I thought I was going to run off to become a Buddhist nun, on the 7th day I was "reborn". a feral cat saved my sanity. and I was transformed. my Buddhist teacher said the cat saved me.

maybe I should write about it, would make a helluva story.

peace out.

PENolan said...

"I know at last that I am helpless and you will never love me." I know that feeling, and I also know that isolated place where your teeth fall out all the time. In my dreams I mostly look for toilets. That's how it is when you have to find a place for the shit . . .
Hang in there.

Freida Bee said...

I love to look at dreams in a Jungian sense and think BBC full of shit in that there is a collective language of symbology that we bring to our dreams, though the nuances of exactly what the symbols mean are quite personal.

I like to take hints at the key concepts and form my own dream language that my unconscious can use to communicate with me. That's why, if it's not too dogmatic as to be limiting, I think there is value in learning a glossary of terms as it were and giving your mind the tools to nudge you in directions you are consciously unaware of.


For me, the bones would have represented structure and the whole scenario would have represented my inability to trust that those who cared for me (and life itself) were able to give me the structure (and tools) you needed to move through life.

The tools were there, but perhaps I was assiting those that were responsible in some way (like not telling), as is so often the case in abuse, or felt responsible as though it was my own doing.

I think the truth of what it means could be different for each person, though, assuming we are all English, speaking westerners, the symbolic commonalities would be fairly widespread.

(Oh, I finally received the Marie Antoinette thing. Thank you, dear.)

Freida Bee said...

Also, I am so sorry that your striking beauty was such a creator of pain for you at times. It was and still is astonishing.

Utah Savage said...

Nobody ever feels sorry for the pretty well dressed kid. Never.

Mathman6293 said...

Emotional - Gut Wrenching - Inspiring

Utah Savage said...

Mathman, you're the sweetest man. Have you noticed how few men were able to comment on this post? I think this was very hard for men to process and speak to.

Mathman6293 said...

I didn't notice. But I know that I am not typical (I am being serious) there is some truth to Dcup and my non-standard roll reversal.

susan said...

I experienced an intense recurring dream throughout my early childhood where I was in a dark castle being chased by a darker mass down a spiral tower. Outside the tiny apertures all was dark but for broken and burning ground with more castles in the distance. I was too young to have seen a castle but I was born in the south of England right after the war so I've wondered about psychic residues a child might have experienced.

Linda mentioned one of her adult dream experiences doing a Vipassana retreat that reminded me of some of my Buddhist reading. For the Buddha, dreams opened a door into the ultimately empty and selfless nature of all realities. This emptying out of the self in turn made possible the liberating vision of Great Compassion, which sees all beings as sharing the same body and substance. Not that we can compare ourselves at all to the Awakend One but intense dreams are known to be part of the clearing process.

You definitely were a beautiful child but physicality changes moment by moment and our dreams remind us our time in concrete reality is short.