Monday, November 05, 2007

Dreams and Vulnerability

About ten years ago I had a dream about a man I know who was attempting to help me during a medical crisis. In the dream, I kept refusing his help until it was too late to help me.

For years that dream has stuck to me. Bothered me. Never quite understanding the full content of the dream. Even now, I don't fully understand all the nuances of that dream. But somehow, today, some of the dream has clarified in my mind.

Dreams, I believe are the windows to our mind. Our deepest thoughts and desires manifest in dreams. Freudian analysis terms our dreams as wish fulfillment. Even our worst dreams are a form of some type of wish fulfillment--even if it is a simple desire to change some negative outcome in our lives.

Many years ago, I worked as a therapist in a methadone clinic. I saw a variety of people who did not take very good care of themselves. I ended up coming down with the flu. No, I don't mean a very bad cold, I am talking about the flu. The type where you can wind up in the hospital. The type where your life can be in danger type of flu.

One of my more serious symptoms was that I had a fever of 103F for a few days. I was also somewhat disoriented. I could barely, just barely get out of bed. Forget trying to meander to the kitchen to get something to drink.

Even though I was somewhat disoriented, I knew I was in trouble. It was time to ask for help. So, I called my then boyfriend to pick up some OTC medication for me and check in on me. I was even thinking of that it just might be a good idea to go to the hospital but knew that in my condition, driving would have been a bad idea and I might end up in the morgue rather then the emergency room if I drove. That is also assuming I could even make it out to my car.

So, the boyfriend comes over, gives me the meds, checks my temperature and is amazed how high it is and tells me that he has to leave because he does not want to stick around and catch the flu. Doesn't bother to again call or check in on me until 5 or so days later. By then, my fever broke and I was very slowly getting better.

That incident I feel has shaped a certain attitude in me. I became somewhat reluctant to ask and accept help from people when I need it. Today, I realize how it manifested itself in the dream.

I felt that it was better to refuse help than need help and be denied. It was better not to be vulnerable in the first place.


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