Wednesday, November 24, 2010

These dreams move on.

Is it cloak 'n dagger?
Could it be spring or fall?
I walk without a cut,
through a stained glass wall.
Weaker in my eyesight,
the candle in my grip,
and words that have no form
are falling from my lips.


A few months ago I wrote a silly blog about a romantic dream I had.  In the comments I ended up discussing the snake dream that used to wake me often.  It started happening in my childhood.  In the dream I was always walking somewhere and would suddenly spot a coiled snake in range to strike.  Then I would start running but everywhere I went there would be more and more snakes.  I would run past them faster and faster, my speed making it harder to spot them on time to stop or turn before being bitten.

In the comments last time I mentioned that those dreams started to happen less often after I started transition and eventually ceased all together.

Last week I dreamed about snakes again for the first time in two years.  It started the same as ever.  I was walking along, this time through my parents' house, and happened upon a partially hidden snake at close range.  Normally my mind would have cast it as a threat and I would have began running and then my subconscious would have generated more snakes to terrorize me as I ran.  This time though something different happened.  My sleeping brain decided to cast it as a pet.  As I looked at the snake, I knew I was supposed to take care of it.   I was somewhat afraid of the snake, but I felt responsible for it.  As it crawled around the house, I had to keep the dogs from killing it,  keep it away from Kupo, my parrot, and try to protect it form people who might accidentally step on a creature of such short stature. 

Toward the end I rolled over the back part of its tail with an office chair and I was absolutely terrified that I might have hurt the snake and was doing my best to nurture and mend the poor thing.

I'm not big on dream interpretation but when you have a scary dream all of your life, then it quits happening, and  the object of your dream returns cast in a totally different light, it is hard for even a skeptic not to wonder if there is some meaning behind it.

Maybe the snake represents my gender issues, and while I was terrified and running, I am now trying to address those issues, to take care of it.  That is sort of like the snake I suppose.  Last time this was discussed in blog comments I looked up a meaning that suggested snakes are often guardians in dreams, locking away primal parts of your nature.  I am a woman and I kept that locked away and tried not to face it for years. Maybe the snakes in my previous dreams were guardians of that locked away portion of my nature, and now that I've accepted and begun to express my gender I don't need fearsome guardians to bar that door any more so my sleeping brain now casts the snake in a different light 

At any rate, I was terrified of those dreams as a child, and ran from the snakes several times a month well into adulthood.  Then as I started to come to terms with my gender issues the dreams stopped.  And now, on the cusp of presenting full time in my proper gender, the snake is back in my dreams but I'm not running.  I'm nurturing it.   That shift from fear to nurture is what makes it so intriguing to me.  

There have been lots of other shifts in my dreams too.  My own physical manifestation in dreams has always been very closely tied to reality.  I was always cast physically male, but not happy with it.  I never dreamed of an idealized me, but rather of the image that haunted me in the mirror daily in my waking life.  The same was true with my treatment in dreams by other people.  Much as in real life, I was generally treated as male.

When I started going part time, it changed a little.  Sometimes I would be cast in that role, and I would be wondering in my dreams if I was getting clocked and if I was about to get outed.  Sometimes there were moments in dreams when I would be talking to some imaginary dream person and they would realize my biological origins and their demeanor would change.  Just like in reality.  All the fears in my real life follow me into my dreams with a very direct representation with no symbolism really involved.

Now as my confidence builds, I'm generally socially accepted as a girl in my dreams, and the fears of being outed aren't there as often. I'm troubled by such thoughts less when I am encountering new people in reality, so I guess it makes sense that such fears have less impact on my dreams now.  

Since lots of things are represented directly in my dreams,  it seems logical that the snakes might actually represent snakes and noting more.  I have always been afraid of them.  But if so the sudden change in the snake's role in my dream doesn't make any sense.  I saw one in person toward the end of this summer and my heart was racing.   As I settled afterward I actually felt shaky, stiff, and a bit dizzy.  So the new dream definitely isn't based on a new bravery toward the concept of snakes.  :P

To me the whole thing feels like some sort of subconscious graduation.  LOL!


Two Auntees said...

We could analyze this until pigs fly, but if the snakes was the guardian, or the door to your feminine side, it could make sense that with your acceptance that you are female, that doorway, or snake has become easier for you to open.

Either way, it does make for good conversation.

Come over to the normal side of life.

Melissa said...

I always used to have dreams of being chased by some malevolent entity, that I couldn't shake. No matter how fast I ran, or what evasive action I would take, it would always be right on my heels, sometimes even touching me. Another disturbing dream was falling from a high place, where I would always wake up, just before I hit the ground. I think dreams like these are a metaphor for the frustrations we feel, in not being able to freely express ourselves in the gender we feel we truly are. It's only natural that your dream woud change, as you changed. SInce I retired and no longer have to go to work and fake it anymore, most of my nightmares have subsided as well.

Melissa XX

Kathleen said...

I used to have snake dreams, too. Once or twice a year I would wake up screaming in the middle of the night. Those dreams stopped after I started estrogen: the snake was no longer after me. Pretty clear to me: in my case the snake was my penis -- my own penis, not someone else's -- and when it stopped getting hard, it stopped being a threat.

ms.shandy said...

@Kathleen That's very interesting and very similar to my dreams. I don't think the snakes represent genitalia directly in mine though.

@Melissa Very well said. I believe that interpretation makes lots of sense. The dreams started to subside as soon as I started facing my problems and taking positive steps to resolve my problems. So the dreams probably were connected to frustration.

@Sarah I suppose it is neither here nor there, and the subconscious is very murky. The snakes nay not be a concrete, consistent representation of anything. I find it fun to speculate though.