Dr. D wanted me to think about the dream from May 22, 2017 that we discussed in our session. I went back and highlighted words for us to discuss in our next session. This dream brought up quite a bit.

In the dream I got off an elevator and walked down the hallway to my apartment. As I did I saw a man leaving my apartment with a big box. He’d robbed me. He didn’t try to hide his face. He left the door open. The thief took my cat Mary Jane. He took every piece of art I have including off the walls. He took all the stamps I handmade and my tea collection. When I saw that all my art was gone I laid on the bed and cried. He stole my blankets and pillows and left the bed with just a red sheet. He took everything, and got away with it.

Dr. D asked what I think the dream means. I told him it’s exactly how I feel right now, robbed and at times powerless. The red sheets are interesting though. It’s a power color, primarily positive for me. Even when a person is stripped and knocked down it doesn’t mean they are without hope. However, in the dream, I was devastated and felt targeted. The man stole all my art. That hurt so badly. By stealing my art, he stole my voice. The theft felt personal. The brazen, unmasked robber took my comfort and security and he got away with it.  (cue mother issues).

Writing about victimization makes me wonder if I feel like a victim in my day-to-day life or powerless? Do I feel exposed, without security?

I don’t think I feel like a victim in my daily life. I feel powerless over my health at times which brings everything from discouragement to fear to exhaustion. Do I feel I exposed? Yes. Being a chronic health patient means every inch of my body has been probed and will continue to be probed. Feeling exposed means I no longer allow visitors to come into my room at will. Every other room is open to them without asking, but don’t come in my private space unless invited. Honestly, offering art online means I’ve exposed my inner workings in color, but I have control over how much I expose. About 75% of the time I feel my surroundings and relationships are secure.

Back to the dream. In the dream everything was stolen from me. I was a victim and I was devastated. I had nothing left to comfort me. The unknown man didn’t bother to hide his face because I didn’t matter and he knew there were no consequences for harming me. What a low blow taking my cat! Leaving my front door open left me exposed. He took my sketchbooks, thus erasing tangible evidence of my existence. If there are no sketchbooks then there’s no tangible record that I’ve processed using art, that I used my creative voice to heal wounds, to launch myself forward, to sooth myself, to mark when I’m bored. My sketchbooks contain original poems and handwritten journal entries. They’re full of everyday life. To have them taken felt like nullifying every word, every mark in them, nullifying me. I was robbed and stripped of tangible evidence of my existence.

I need visual proof that I exist, that I’ve processed things, that I’m alive. For several reasons, I need that reminder and proof.  To remove my sketchbooks and art was to bury me in silence and secrecy, to scratch out my existence.

In relation to grief of my brother, sister and mother, the dream could mean the same thing – feeling totally stripped of the things I need with no power to restore them to myself. I feel abandoned, alone, grieved and bare. Yet there is a spark in me that says I’m not done yet. Yes, I feel stripped and exhausted, but I’m not done.

May 24, 2017 – 8:00 am EST

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2 thoughts on “Dream: Stripped Bare. I’m not done.

  1. I have often tried to avoid the idea of victimhood. I think it’s because my ex-husband used to say things like, “oh, right, poor you, such a victim” in a terrible sarcastic tone. Of course, I’d get defensive and deny it.

    But sometimes it helps me to say, wait, I WAS a victim. I was robbed of protection, of childhood, of innocence, of safety. I was robbed of my self-confidence and ability to take risks. I was robbed of the ability to distinguish between safe and unsafe people. My painful experiences have increased because I was robbed. My mental health has suffered. My earning power has suffered. My professional opportunities have suffered. My chance at deep friendships have suffered. And it’s not x fair.

    You were robbed, as well. It’s a really big deal, to have suffered like you have. It makes sense to grieve it, to feel the pain of loss. And it makes sense that a dream about losing all these things that matter, that are who you are, this would be way to bring the depth of your grief to your consciousness.

    And yet–here’s to that red sheet, to the spark that’s still there. xxoo

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