photo courtesy of chazzcreations.com
The dreamer sitting in front of me is a young man who looks as if life has been an ordeal for him. Yet through the apparent hardness and defensiveness, he also seems to be looking for something more positive to identify with. He has come to me with his girlfriend, and I get the impression that she’s the one who has encouraged this meeting. He gets right down to business, not even explaining his opening comment which could be understood in any number of ways.
A young man’s dream
I have three mothers. I’m with my mother outdoors on some kind of a path near water—almost like a touristy nature center in the Everglades. There’s water all around us, and we climb a rise—like a little hill—only it has really steep sides. I think to myself, “I can throw my mother to the alligators down there.” I get really upset with myself for even thinking something like that. But then, that’s exactly what I do. I push her into this pool full of alligators. I have no emotion; I just do it. That’s when I wake up and I'm really ashamed that I had that thought, let alone actually pushed her in.
How to proceed with this dream?
My first wish is to get some clarification about the “three mothers.” His announcement about three mothers is followed immediately by the statement, “I’m with my mother…” The second remark implies only one mother, and I'm curious to know why there is a sudden shift in the narrative. I'm almost ready to ask him about this, but then I think better of it. Sometimes knowing less is a good thing.
The more I know, the more it invites my own biases and world views to influence whatever I might say to him. Does he have a biological mother in a Lesbian relationship, plus a stepmother now married to his father? Has his father been married three times with all the women still alive? Is there polygamy involved? And how do I, personally, feel about any of these possible scenarios, especially seeing the distress that the young man seems to be in? Will my desire to be supportive conflict with my need—and responsibility—to stay as neutral as possible?
Ultimately, I decide that it's better if I don’t ask for clarification. I will simply go through the dream interpretation process with him, and if there should be an explanation during his talking, then fine.
The next question on my mind is whether this dream is going to be an admonition—telling him that he needs to change in some way—or a statement of encouragement. All the characters and symbols in his dream—alligators, mothers, hills that get climbed—are aspects of the dreamer himself. It could be that throwing a mother into a pit of alligators is not such a terrible thing. We’ll just have to go through the interpretation process and find out.
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