Friday 25 March 2016

A Recurring Nightmare: Post #3

Suki, a young Japanese-American doctor, has been experiencing a recurring nightmare ever since she was a child. She grew up speaking Japanese in her home and attending American schools in English. During her summers, she would return to Japan and attend school there in Japanese.

Her dream is about being chased by a monster. Scroll down and look at my last two posts, to read how she and I came to the following re-statement of her dream.

Suki’s nightmare restated
There is a part of me that is going from one place inside myself to another. I’m in a part of me that is a safe place, where I won’t be threatened by my other traffic. I’m in the area inside of me where I live. It’s light. It’s the active time inside myself, I’m out in the open and it feels safe. But suddenly I become aware that there is part of me present that wants to destroy me. It’s a threat. It’s evil. It’s scary. I go to a place in me that I hope is a safe haven, but it’s probably not, even though it’s on a higher level. I’m trying to find the best place in me to hide. I call to my higher power for help, but it’s useless.

Exploring the meaning
Typical of dreams restated in this way, what emerges is a cryptic narrative that has dominant themes running all through it. In Suki’s case there is the sense of being in a place within herself that ought to be safe, but which is invaded by something dangerous, something that she feels wants to destroy her.

There is only one place to go to find out what this might be about, and that is to Suki herself. Yet as it turned out, Suki at first had trouble making a connection between this dream and anything in her life. She is a delightful, well-balanced young doctor with a satisfying social circle. Her career is promising and every outward sign suggests smooth sailing.

When a temporary stumbling block of this kind presents itself, I usually revisit the conversations I’ve already shared with the dreamer. Often the clues are right there. In Suki’s case, our talks had centered about her growing up as a Japanese girl in America. I asked her to elaborate.

Suki describes growing up in the US
“Actually, at times it was kind of confusing. I spoke Japanese at home with my parents, and that was OK. But then I’d go to American schools where I learned to think, act and talk like Americans. I thought that would help me fit in, but I never really looked like the other American kids. Then I’d go to Japan in the summer where I looked right, but all my gestures, speech patterns and priorities were wrong for them.”

Do you think that might be enough to manifest a recurring monster in a young girl’s life? Tune in tomorrow for more of Suki’s thoughts on this topic.

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