I had a dream last night. It was a long dream…I was having a good night of deep sleep, but I woke up abruptly.
This was the part of the dream that I want to share: My father was driving a bus with me and my grandfather in it (my grandfather is deceased). He started down a gravel road that quickly became hilly. Then the road turned into a roller coaster track, and as we hit the first steep hill, I got out to push from behind. The first was not so bad and though the next hill was a steeper uphill grade I didn’t really think about what would come after it. But we got to the top to a little plateau, and I could see how steep the drop would be and that the next hill was not going to be any better. I suddenly was gripped with a fear, like sitting at the top of a cliff and facing a freefall, and there was no way that I could stop the bus from careening out of control.
I sobbed and begged my father to turn around, that I couldn’t do this. But he just seemed unaffected and kept saying, “we need to keep going.” My grandfather was clueless, but he’s dead, so what do you expect?
At some point I gave in, fine let’s do this then…and the dream changed. Suddenly, the bus was in this tunnel and the roller coaster track was being dismantled and a more gentle path was being constructed…although there was still the danger of some “foggy room” ahead. But not only was the path easier, but there were lots of people around as well.
There are some incredible layers in this, but the one that struck me the most was that I was pushing this bus that my dad was driving. My therapist said, last week, that he wondered if my core issue was about not being able to let myself have anything good. So I take everything that’s given to me, and somehow can’t let myself really have it. It struck me as such a negative thing, and after I left, I was thinking about how this really felt like what my dad does.
Somehow I had taken on my father’s bus…his subtler attitudes about his life and himself that make life a terrifying roller coaster ride. That it wasn’t really my decision to make…that I could give up that way of doing things, and the whole scene would be transformed into something manageable, where I had lot’s of help.
I know it’s not quite that easy…dreams are powerful, but they can’t replace the insidious thoughts that we’ve carried around our whole lives. But suddenly, just knowing where it comes from, and who to give it back to in my brain, frees me up to think about deserving the good things that come into my life.