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CUTV Radio Interview and The Freight Elevator Dream

Doug Llewelyn on CUTV Radio in New York City recently interviewed me.

Since we only had a half hour and wanting to be sure I’d get in everything, I pasted everything I wanted to cover, right across my desk!

The interesting thing about this is how once I picked up the phone and the interview started I never even once looked down at all my notes!! Well, so much for preparation. I guess after 45 years of doing dream analysis, the responses just come falling out of me.

When I lecture for the Counseling Students every year at Concordia University, I often refer to a series of Freight Elevator Dreams I had when I was 21 and in Freudian analysis. The dreams were all different, but at some point I was always in a freight elevator alone.

In response to Doug’s inquiry as to where my interest in dream analysis began, I used my Freight Elevator Dreams as one of the first I analyzed that really illustrated to me how we problem solve in our dreams.

I explained that at the time I was working through having made a decision to have my daughter, Tina, who was born with Down Syndrome institutionalized.

I associated the huge space and emptiness in the dreams with “not feeling my control”, the shakiness of a freight elevator floor being a metaphor for my not “feeling my ground” at that time in my life.

I closed with saying it was that shakiness that led me to figuratively bring people in the elevator with me. The dream’s solution led me to change some critical decisions I had made concerning Tina.

A few days ago, I listened to the interview. At this place in the show I am referring to, I heard a kind of “humpf” or something from Doug that sounded skeptical. Thinking back now, I was aware we had a limited amount of time, and I moved right along to address other dreams examples and information I wanted to give.

Now, I admit I’m known in the family and amongst friends as Mrs. Afterthought, and in keeping with same, and definitely for the sake of my wish for you to understand the value of dream images and how they problem solve, the following is an expansion on that image, which because of my concern for our time limit on the radio, I failed to clarify at that time.

The following is only one small example of proof how and why we choose certain images and associations being as unique to each of us as our fingerprint.

Only twenty-one at the time, my feelings associated with having placed my infant daughter in an institution, but that my husband and I didn’t even know where she was living, fit perfectly with the very large empty space and unsteadiness of a freight elevator floor.

Here’s why.

My late dad owned a chain of department stores across Eastern Canada and Newfoundland. His warehouse shipped to the stores from Montreal, where the Head Office was. When I was a little girl, I often spent Saturday afternoons at his warehouse. We used to go up to his office in a freight elevator.

I was a little girl and being inside the elevator had a certain unnerving-ness. I was a bit overwhelmed, yet I felt safe and protected because my dad was with me, whereas in my dreams after having my daughter Tina, I’m in the elevator alone. So the same sense of feeling unnerved is present, which accurately reflects the way I was feeling after having completely given up my daughter. The dream image of the elevator simultaneously serves two purposes.

A) It captures how I felt overwhelmed, both as a young child in the huge elevator, and as a 21 year-old having given up my child.


B) The memory triggers the solution to the dream, which was to figuratively bring people into the elevator, in particular to invite my father into the elevator, as he was when I was a child.

It was after I had analyzed the recurring image of a freight elevator and what it represented to me that spawned me going to my parents to ask them to come with me to visit Tina. Not knowing where my daughter was and who was looking after her wasn’t going to work for me. I wanted to know where Tina was, and have ongoing visits with her.

I asked my parents to support my decision to make Tina a part of my life whether she lived in my house or not. In fact, they were so happy to support my decision to bring Tina into my life and were forever after active participants and supporters in the decisions I made all through Tina’s life until two years ago she passed away at 42. To this day, them all gone now, I still appreciate so much my parents’ involvement and support.

As you can see, my Freight Elevator Dreams spawned a complete and absolute turn around in how my life had looked at the time, and how it turned out in the end. If you want to know more, please DO JOIN ME for a Full Day Workshop at New York Open Center on Sunday, October 28, 2018.

I would love to meet you! You can register here: