New Mama Musings

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Subconscious Never Sleeps

A few nights ago I dreamed that my husband was supposed to meet me at a family gathering on Christmas Day but never showed. My feeling (in the dream) was that he was intentionally ignoring me.

In real life my husband is very considerate of my feelings and would never play on my abandonment issues. He's learned to always kiss me goodbye in the morning before leaving for work, even if I'm sound asleep.

Then last night I dreamed I was back in high school (you know this can't be good) and my two best friends at the time finished up senior year early. They didn't return to school after spring break and never bothered to contact me. They just left.

Unlike my husband, these two women did hurt me in real life. In the ten-odd years since then I've come to believe that their actions had more to do with them than with me. But the trajectory of those relationships nevertheless helped shape who I am today.

I've heard that pregnancy and childbirth can sometimes cause unresolved issues to bubble to the surface. I don't know if it's the stress on one's body, the surging hormones, or the impending life change, but maybe it's true.

My friend Andrea told me about a tribe of people who have a ritual surrounding when a couple want to start a family. The man and woman come to the tribal leaders and tell them they wish to have a baby. The leaders then send them off, separately, to stay at the family homes they grew up in to work through their issues and resolve any lingering problems they may have.

The idea is that once they shed themselves of past hurts the man and woman can begin raising a child free of any baggage. (Though I'm pretty sure they don't use the word baggage in their culture.)

Maybe dreams are a way for the subconscious to force those of us in "civilized society" to deal with things from the past. I know that I have a fear of being left out, left alone and left behind, and my dreams sometimes reflect that. I guess I need to do some thinking about why I feel this way and what to do about it.

Either that or I'll have to see about slipping that pesky subconscious a mickey so it finally takes a break.


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