This blog is for all those who are interested in learning about the deeper roots of human behavior. Things are often not as they appear. Our behavior is often driven by motives that are hidden from our conscious mind. The site is primarily to help mental health professionals learn about clinical issues which appear something else on simple questioning and superficial evaluation but on in depth evaluation show to have completely different meanings. I will post clinical vignettes and the insights gained from analyzing patients’ complaints and symptoms. Dreams, of course, will be given a special place.
Comments on articles from psychiatric and psychoanalytic journals and newspapers, internet posts, using psychoanalytic method will be another feature.
Your comments and disagreements are welcome.
I may as well start with a dream that a woman patient brought to the therapy session a few days ago.
It was dreamt by a patient who is struggling with the issue of whether to or not to get divorced from her husband.
A woman is riding on a bike. A little boy is on her side. The bike is like in the sky. Maybe it is on a wall like sometimes one sees in people’s garages. The front of the bicycle is facing downwards, which is rather odd. The rider and the bicycle are as if nestled between a neon sign of a facade of a store. I am afraid that she will fall from the height. And to my horror what I fear begins to happen. She starts falling down. But I notice with relief that her fall is getting broken with her bicycle bouncing down a series of cars whose tops are bright violet and blue.
What is the meaning of the dream?
The method of dream analysis requires that each element of the dream be taken separately and associations to it carefully examined.
A woman is riding on a bike. A little boy is on her side.
She rejected my conjecture that the woman was herself and the boy her son.
Instead, she said, they reminded her of a woman who was her roommate long time back when she was a student. and after some reluctance brought following two associations to this part.
Long time back she was roommate of a pretty single girl who had a young daughter.
My sister is divorced and has a daughter who is in college.
The bike is in the sky
That reminded her of her own precarious condition. She is terrified of being divorced and living on her own with a child. Her son, who is a minor.
The front of the bicycle is facing downwards, which is rather odd.
She had the following to say about this. She loved riding the bicycle as a child. Facing downwards was contrary to how things should be.
The rider and the bicycle are as if nestled between a neon sign of a facade of a store.
She has a boutique which makes a small profit. The neon sign on the facade was taken from there. She added that her courage to think of divorce came from relying upon her store to keep her busy and productive.
And to my horror what I fear begins to happen. She starts falling down.
This she associated with her fear that if she goes riding on her own, without her husband, she will fall. There was double allusion here. One fall was that she will financially not make on her own and everything will fall apart. But there was a second meaning. Without her husband to restrain her, she will have a moral fall, and she will be tempted to go out on the streets and may do immoral sexual acts with strange men.
She is highly moral person who in her waking life will not even think of having sex with anybody but her husband. Yet, she is highly sexual person as well, and does not trust her ability to not get seduced if she is living all by herself.
her bicycle bouncing down a series of cars whose tops are bright violet and blue.
The bright violet and blue brought up two associations. First had to do with her trying out violet and blue tops that afternoon in a store and resolving to wear bright clothes and not try to hide her body. She had also admired her beautiful body in the mirror while trying out those clothes and had told herself that if she gets divorced somebody will surely want to make love to such a beautiful person. Though she had immediately suppressed the thought as depraved and being unfaithful to her husband.
Her falling down from the sky was allusion to this moral depravity.
The blue and violet tops were also taken from the new bedsheet she had put upon her bed that evening and had noticed the brightness of the colors just before falling asleep, next to her husband.
The bouncing reminded her of her wish that her husband make love to her. She is still sexually attached to him, despite the fact that they do not get along and have not made love to each other in a long time.
So the bouncing was allusion to sexual activity in which she was taking the masculine role with a bicycle and striking his organ – the bright violet and blue cars – with her organ – the bicycle, an allusion to clitoris, which she considered inferior to his and also as morally depraved for using it in a masculine fashion.
Hence the sexual act in which there was a role reversal where she was identifying with her husband and making love to herself – the image of herself in the mirror dressed in blue and violet tops – was being condemned in the dream with anxiety of falling down from her high standards – falling down from the sky.