No one ever said being a parent is easy. There’s floods and tsunamis all over the place in parenting! These dreams of mine date back to 2011, during a trip to The Netherlands, where I was speaking at an IASD Dream Conference.
I remember feeling plastered flat against the window. The wave moves back. We are okay, yet still plastered… (No. I don’t drink. So stop thinking that was a play on words.) In the reflection of the window, I see a massive wave building up behind us. I am caught between taking a deep breath to prepare for it and calling out to Andy to help us!
Yesterday morning I dreamed I am standing beside Marlee and Sophie (my 2 granddaughters), who are both laying on lawn chairs in the back yard on Circle Road. Someone has left the hose in the pool on (must be all night) because the yard is sopping wet and about a foot of water in some places. Rocco the gardener is leaning over the pool on the other side with some kind of long pole. Water has swelled up even behind the fence. The pool is completely overflowing true, but it has also risen above the fence from the outside of the fence, like on the neighbor’s side and is about to spill over into our garden in a huge wave!
I’m very scared for the kids, who are just lying there relaxing! So I tell Marlee to stand up. I am not as worried about her because she knows how to swim, but I am worried about Sophie because I am thinking how fast a child drowning can happen. And will she know what I mean when I say take a deep breath and hold it? These are the fast thoughts that are going through my mind as I reach forward to grab her out of the chair.
She is lying on the chair with her arms stretched up and high behind her head, sprawled there, but her hands are clenched around the weaved chair-back and as I reach to lift her up, I actually have to pull her out of that chair!
As I do so, I remember feeling worried I am going to dislocate her shoulder in the process, but I do pry her off that chair and into my arms. I’m satisfied she is now my height, but knowing that water is about to spill over on all of us, wondering what’s going to happen with her and will she be able to hold on for the few seconds until I am able to swim us up to air.
Interestingly, the day before I had the tsunami dream, a client asked me to look at one of her recent dreams. She had a tsunami dream. And she even had the image of an elder, protective character “pulling her along”, similar to how I have to literally pull Sophie out of her chair. Well, at least now we know how the initial symbols arrived in my dream.
When I told Andy about this information, he said, “Oh! So that’s why you had the dream.” But I explained, “Yeah. That’s how I got my imagery, but this is my OWN tsunami!”
It occurs to me I had given the dreamer my projections about HER dream. Maybe I should look at that. I went back to read it. It says, “If this was my dream…I might have it during a time when I am feeling some pressure rising. What is very very important to me in this dream is how you are staying above the water and if in my dream I am holding hands with the protective, fatherly aspect of my personality, I would not feel concerned, even if that part of me has to literally drag me along away from my pressure and the “swell” of my work and/or responsibilities. The point here is the protective part of the psyche is keeping you above water even while things around are submerging…”
Over breakfast I am racking my head thinking. But I am not feeling my pressure rising about anything! I’m on vacation! So even Mrs. Dream Analyst is very often confused by her dreams. I decided to sit on it for the day, in hopes something will come to me.
We took a day trip to Brugges and it was so funny to run into Richard, a dear friend of mine, who I know through IASD (the International Association for the Study of Dreams) and who I had just attended the conference at Rolduc with. Purely by chance (NOT), we found him walking around in a museum and ended up spending the day together. Over lunch I brought up my dream and when I said that another dreamer asked me for my analysis of her tsunami dream, Richard responded, “No, but this is YOUR tsunami dream!”
You can imagine the look on mine and Andy’s faces hearing Richard respond in the identical way I had at breakfast. Funny.
There’s Richard. I’m so totally focused on the drowning waves in my dream and where does he go? He goes for the most obscure part of the dreams and asks me about the neighbor! Andy says, “Well that threw a wrench in it!” I could not stop laughing at the truth of that!
Well, I said, “The neighbors were people I imagined we would be friendly with. The husband and I went to the same high school. His name was very familiar to me. But they split up and the wife turned out to be a really unfriendly person.”
I am searching my mind now for someone in my recent experience is someone who I thought I’d like but hasn’t turned out to be nice in my opinion and whom I don’t like.
I’ve got it.
One of my 4 lovely daughters had a new boyfriend recently, who I really thought I’d like, but after seeing some behavior that caught my attention, I have decided I don’t like him. The thing is when your kids are adults you “supposedly” can’t/shouldn’t/don’t express any opinions about their friends because a) it’s none of your business b) they’d be angry and anyways chances are won’t heed your advice and c) because it is supposedly a bad idea.
Since the incidents of which have now been several where I am truly perplexed that she continues on with this new relationship, the pressure has been slowly building for me to say something. This experience of waiting and wanting and holding back is PERFECTLY expressed by the image of a tsunami! It’s perfect. There’s a major pull-back…a waiting…and then a rush of a huge wave. And that is also precisely how it happened, too.
I threw out all those rules that fall to the wayside and seem to me absolutely ridiculous when push comes to shove and you are watching an accident waiting to happen. I spoke! The best part is I am not sorry I spoke. Listen. That’s the kind of parent I am. If I have something to say, I say it. If you don’t agree? That’s fine. I am not sorry for being this kind of parent either. So speaking my feelings like I did is captured in the spilling over of the second dream, and the way I grab Sophie and pull her out of the chair she’s hanging on to, lifting her so her “head” is “at my level”. LOL.
When trying to speak to yourself about one of your children, your unconscious mind can use any one of your children, your grandchildren, someone you look after, someone who reminds you of that child, etc. So my granddaughters in the dream can represent any of my kids. In fact, the issue is concerning my youngest daughter and so explains how in the dream it is Sophie, my youngest granddaughter who I am worried about saving. The metaphor matches precisely.
And did you notice how in the tsunami dream the two of us are slapped up against the glass? It’s a metaphor. Being forced to “look in”; to reflect. And how about the aspect of my being able to see the wave reflected in the glass? It’s a double entendre. Forced to look forward but reflecting back at the same time.
My solution is simple. Take the picture of the dream out into waking life “as if” it is really happening. If I was standing in the yard and saw a huge wave about to hit my grandchildren, one of whom can’t swim, would I stand there doing nothing?
No. I wouldn’t. I would reach forward and grab her, even though she is hanging on trying to stay lying down (which she is doing in waking life too, btw. Lying down, taking rude treatment). I would make every effort to try and save her.
I see something I don’t like. I tried to hold my opinion back as long as I could, but just couldn’t anymore. It had to spill over. I’m glad it did. Now I’ve said what needed to be said and whatever happens now IS her business.
No one ever said being a parent is easy. There’s floods and tsunamis all over the place in parenting.