Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What my bad dream house told me

"I dreamed that I was standing on the bank of the Nile, when seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the river and began feeding on the grass. Then seven other cows came up which were thin and bony. They were the poorest cows I have ever seen anywhere in Egypt. The thin cows ate up the fat ones, but no one would have known it because they looked just as bad as before. Then I woke up." -- Genesis 41: 17-22

Anyone familiar with the Old Testament knows what Joseph says in response to the King's dream: It's a metaphor about feast and famine.

We, like the ancient Egyptians, dream in metaphors, too.

In fact, it was a dream that allowed me to accept that I was finally on the right path to spiritual wellness.

To explain, I have to go back in time several years, to the first time the house appeared in my dream.

At first, it was my paternal grandmother's house. I dreamed I was playing in the upstairs of her old farmhouse when I discovered an attic door that led to a secret room. Although the items in the room were well-preserved, it terrified me to be there. At every turn, I expected something frightening to pop out.

Variations of that dream sporadically followed. Sometimes I would find a grand staircase leading me to new rooms inside the house. Always I would find something new. Always I would be frightened of what I might find.

As my sleep patterns deteriorated, my dreams grew darker. People in my dreams would warn me about approaching specters inside my "dream house," but I'd never be able to see them. I remember one particularly frightening dream where my grandmother -- who had been deceased for several years -- walked through one of the doors and scolded me for being in a place I didn't belong.  (Which, if memory serves me correct, was normal behavior for my paternal grandmother.)

After my doctor prescribed a sleeping pill, my dreams stopped. All of them. I enjoyed nothing but eight straight hours of the blissful inkiness the back of my eyelids provided.

It was nice. To say the least. The ability to sleep gave my brain an opportunity to rest and process the difficult events that were taking place in my life.

In that time, I did some research on dream interpretation and discovered those "bad house" dreams were probably my subconscious trying to warn me about issues my waking eyes couldn't see. 

Like I said earlier, dreams are often metaphoric. When you see a house in your dream, it is often a representation of your SELF. The unexplored rooms that I found so terrifying were aspects of my life that I wasn't willing to face because I found them troubling or too big to tackle on my own (e.g. my spouse's addiction/depression issues, my own weight issues).

Now imagine my trepidation when my doctor refused to refill my Ambien prescription after more than two years of taking it. Apparently, she thought it was time for me to put on my big-girl jammies and cut my dependence. (Actually, she told me to take Melatonin instead.)

I was scared to discontinue taking it. In a way, my use of sleeping pills nearly prevented me from seeing how much progress I had made in the healing process.

That was a discovery I made after only a few weeks of being off of all sleep-aid medications, when I once again dreamed of a house, a dream I wrote about in my journal the next morning.

Here's an excerpt:

"I had a dream about a house last night. Completely explored. No hauntings.

"I've undergone some amazing transformations and realizations lately. I've realized and consciously accepted aspects of myself with which I might not have been comfortable before.

"I can say now with certainty that I am acquainted with myself. I'm OK with who I am. I'm not afraid to be myself. It's OK for me to move forward in life. It's OK for me to heal. I am well.

"I am well.

"I am well.

"Funny thing is, I'm not sure what I was so afraid of. Isn't it strange? The monsters we create in our own minds?"
I love conversation. If you have something on your mind, feel free to Tweet at me, email me or leave a comment below. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Just remember...You will be well, too.


Kai Strand said...

Hi Kathryn,

I clicked over because of the cool picture. I love abandoned houses. Your dream story intrigues me. I dream every night, but rarely have bad dreams (thank goodness). Happy to hear you gained control over yours. Hopefully you will now experience endless entertainment like I do.

Nice to meet you.

Jill said...

Is that picture of the Unity House? It has been so many years since I have seen a picture of it.