Saturday, November 24, 2007

Breathe Deeply This Magic Elixir

Early last week I had one of those dreams that seem to be passing me messages. The kind I know I need to listen to:

I had 2 kids and an ex-husband. The ex-husband was violent. He drove by the kids and I and then he began chasing us. After a long, terrifying chase we got away.

We went home. It was supposed to be safe, but I worried the ex would find us. The doorbell rang. I was sure it would be him.

I told my husband not to answer the door, but he did anyways. It was my brother. He too was violent. He was also mentally ill. He had schizophrenia.

My husband invited him in. He needed a place to stay. I was scared.I didn't think it was safe to have him in the house.

I opened the door to the basement and I pushed my brother into the darkness. The basement was terrifying. I locked the door behind me.

After a few hours I got up because I knew my brother would be scared. My husband gave me an elixir. "Place two drops in your hair and it will put him to sleep", my husband explained. I was worried I would breathe some in. Just before I went downstairs I placed two drops in my hair. When I reached him he got up and came to hug me.

As he hugged me he smelled my hair. He loved the smell and breathed in deeper; as he did he began to slip into a deep sleep.

I felt so sad that I had to drug him to feel safe, but it worked. I did feel safe and I fell asleep as soon as I crawled into bed.
  1. First I have no exhusband and no kids. My pdoc pointed out that a very close friend of mine has 2 kids and a husband so evil he would stalk her if she ever left him...(well the "evil" part was my word).
  2. I am my brother. I'm mentally ill and sadly I feel I have a huge and uncontrollable capacity for rage when severely ill and I am really afraid I may have a capacity for violence in that state.
  3. I especially have violent and obsessive suicidal thoughts in this state. Therfore the violent men may represent those suicidal thoughts.
  4. I think him having schizophrenia represents me having an mental illness that is clearly an illness and accepted by mainstream people as an illness (vs. depression often being seen as a lack of strength of character, or as my fault, or its change within my grasp).
  5. Maybe I am the brother because my Dad was full of rage and anger and sometimes violence. I see that trait as masculine. I hate and fear that side of myself.
  6. Pushing my brother into the basement = my fall into my scariest depression...angry, agitated, violent suicidal thoughts...and there is no escape when I am there...the door is locked.
  7. The locking of the door may also represent locking out my mental illness (the female me feels safer when the door's locked).
  8. "I felt so sad that I had to drug him..." = my sadness about needing medication to help me and about being mentally ill in the first place.
  9. However, on some level "the elixir" represents my desire for a drug that will calm me, allow me to sleep and to feel safe.
  10. "Place two drops in your hair and it will put him to sleep"...reminds me of the magic potion in the old fairytales Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The 12 Dancing Princesses etc. In these tales each falls into a deep "deathlike" sleep. I find it interesting that I am both the one afraid I will fall asleep (i.e. afraid of death) and the one transferring the "death" elixir to myself (i.e committing suicide). This whole transferring of the elixir represents my ambivalence about suicide.
  11. The metaphorical me (the mentally ill brother) loved me and reaches out to hug me. It is poignant that I am killing my loving self. Interesting that such a loving gesture comes from one I perceive to be so violent. I guess all that violence goes when you die...but all the goodness goes when you die too.
  12. The metaphorical me loved the smell of me...I love the idea of death setting me free.
  13. Also, he breathed that death in deeply. He really did want to die. Do I?

1 comment:

jcat said...

What a horrible dream! I don't really go much for dream interpretation, more the fact that you have nightmares than what the content is.

But the first image that struck me is the one of putting your brother in the basement. Hiding the mentally ill bit from the world. It's kind of what one does with depression - hide it away from view, even though you know it's still in the house....

I know that if the magic elixir was on offer - and that breathing it would be accepted by others - I'd be snorting it down like it was pure cocaine. I often wonder why, in a world that is so chronically over-populated, suicide is still not regarded as a people-friendly act. I wish it was.