Last night I had a dream that seemed to carry on throughout the entire night. I dreamed that for some reason I was in prison, except that it seemed more like some kind of hospital or institution. I was innocent however I felt that I had little chance of proving it. It kept going through my mind that since every criminal claims innocence, no one would believe me… maybe I should just stay in the prison.
Some of us were hanging out in the hallway and I noticed that one of the doors leading to the outside was open. It was night time. A guy told me that if I crouched down, we could crawl out of there without being seen by the surveillance cameras. So we did, and we were outside! I kept thinking that my escape was justified because I didn’t do the crime that I was being accused of, but I felt slightly guilty about leaving without permission. My heart was racing as I expected to hear the alarms being sounded but I heard nothing. Next thing I knew we were stowing away on a cargo train. (just like in the movies) I text messaged someone using coded messages about being “out” and all the while was aware of the fear of getting caught by my communications being traced. It was cold and I was tired and the train ride was really long. My traveling companion disappeared.
Eventually I was off the train and in a motel room with a laptop and a television. No one was looking for me and there was nothing on the news about my escape. No one seemed to care and as the dream went on, (and now it is a few days later) I started to feel safer about having escaped but at the same time I felt kind of mystified that no one was looking for me and the rest of the dream was about wondering why the heck no one cared, even though I was innocent and even though I had not done the crime I was imprisoned for and I was getting weary, wondering when I would finally make it “home”. *
When I first woke up this morning, I thought this dream was pretty funny, but as I was telling my husband about it, I realized that it was actually really significant and it painted a picture of my past and of my journey to emotional healing.
Deep down I thought that I had been falsely accused but yet I was filled with guilt and shame, so I lived in the prison that they made for me. There was an open door, but I did not think that I had a right to use it, because no one would ever believe my innocence. Even I questioned it. When I made my escape into the scary blackness of night, I was surprised it was successful. I had the feeling over and over again that it was so much easier than I thought it would be.
Throughout the dream, I kept waiting to be caught, and to be proven wrong and then put back into the prison. I was sure that they would track me down and put me back in “my place”. As the dream went on, I started wondering why no one came looking for me. And I felt sad that no one cared that I had escaped. I felt really abandoned and alone. It was so great to be free, but there was something really sad about it too. There was a kind of “now what” feeling as though escape was only part of the healing journey, and I have found that to be true to my recovery as well.
It has been very difficult for me to accept that my mother did not pursue a relationship with me when she realized that I was serious about not living in the extremely dysfunctional mother daughter relationship that we had for so many years. I was so sure that she would want to journey to the other side of broken with me. I was so sure that finally, now that I understood what happened to me AND eventually I understood also what happened to her, that I would be “worth it.” I would be worth her effort. But it didn’t’ happen that way. One of my biggest fears was that if I stood up to her that she would walk away, proving that I was unlovable. But in reality her walking away did not prove that I was unlovable. What it proved was about HER. It was not about me.
This dream represented an analogy of the past. ~I was trapped in prison. ~The hospital or institutional feeling was about feeling all my life like I was CRAZY. ~The door being open represented that I had a choice. ~The night represented that it was scary, dark, with unknown and unforeseeable things ahead of me. ~The cell phone texting represented my fear of getting caught and being proven “wrong” again and having to go back to the crazy and the prison. ~The train ride was long = the journey to wholeness and recovery ~my travel companion disappeared was about having help getting started but ultimately I had to do the work on my own. ~Being bored in the hotel room with mixed feelings about NOT being pursued; my mother just walked away. ~The feeling of okay now what, was exactly how it was. Fairly early in recovery I had to find my “now what” and learn to live in this new life of clarity and freedom.
~Possibly the most significant part of this dream was when I found myself weary and wondering when I would finally make it home. This was not about getting to a “building”, but rather about getting home to ME. This was about finding myself, or rather returning to myself and the peace, comfort and wholeness that I have found in doing that. ~Eventually getting back on my lap top unconcerned about who found out OR if I got “caught” represented that I did find myself, and now my work with others and my blog and how I talk openly about my past and about my journey to the other side of broken.
Please share your thoughts about how this post resonated with you.
There is freedom on the other side of broken….
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