Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Help! Need a dream analyst

Ok...I need some feedback. Seriously. Because this is driving me mad. I know it means SOMETHING because my subconscious is serving it up to me almost nightly. So, I am going to throw it on the blog table and see what my intrepid blog buddies come up with.

I have had several very vivid dreams almost nightly. And I am not one to remember dreams. Often, in the middle of the night when I get up for my nightly visit to the bathroom and check up on Liv, I will catch a wisp of a dream in my head just as it's flying away. I almost never remember anything the next day and it is really rare for me to remember a dream in totality.

Last week, I had my first vivid dream about an orange marmalade tabby cat. It was a large short haired cat. A female. I just seemed to know this in my dream....I also knew her name was Lady.

Now, I would never name a cat Lady. It's too...frou frou. I don't name cats Emma or Savannah or Penelope. I name them Ernest or Miss Tease or George. But...Lady? Nope. I would never pick that name. But, that is her name in my dreams.

In the first dream, I was in my current home but Liv was just a toddler. Whenever I do dream of Liv, she's almost ALWAYS a toddler, perhaps because my life was so vivid when she was that age and I was always dead tired, bone aching tired.

So, Liv the toddler and I were in my kitchen and baking something, not sure what. But this cat, Lady...was driving me nuts. She kept mewling to go outside and I knew that this was a bad idea as she is a house cat. And it was raining buckets outside. I decided to just let her out, figured that she could always slip under the outside stairs to stay dry.

Not sure what happened then, some stuff...but it is murky. The dream turned vivid again as I noticed Lady lying in the driveway. One of her arms was positioned in a sickening angle over her head and I realized that she had been hurt. I felt terrible, responsible. I should have never let this happen. I started to head out the door but then I saw an old neighbor of mine, Sven. He moved away several years ago to go to college on the west coast. He ran into some trouble and has never come back. We miss him terribly. In my dream, he was coming up the back steps holding Lady. He held the cat out to me and asked if I could fix her, that she seemed to be badly hurt.

End of dream. But,I woke up crying. Literally. Crying. I'm not sure if it was because I miss Sven so much and worry over what has happened to him or if it was that poor cat.

The next night, I had this odd dream that Lady was starring in a local high school play. She had a role as a talking cat and I was pretty impressed. She and I were sitting in my living room and I was talking to her. She didn't talk back (guess I'm not totally nutso yet) but she was listening and looking at me so seriously, as if listening. I was telling her that Bing hadn't gotten any grants or offers to travel this year, so would be staying home all summer long teaching a summer course at a local university (true) and that Liv would be home as well since her father is working in a dangerous area of the country and can't have Liv visit. So..we will all be home together all summer, something that hasn't happened in a few years. I didn't know how I felt about this. I was telling the cat that I had planned to have an affair over the summer (huh?) and now, well..I certainly could not.

That dream ended. And seriously, folks...I have NO plans to cheat on my spouse. Ever.

Well, I was kind of freaked out by these dreams, so I asked Bing if we could visit the Humane Society on Sunday to look for Lady. It says a LOT about Bing that she was good with it, even encouraged us to look for this cat. She is allergic to cats and so is Liv. I honestly have no idea what we would have done if we found Lady. But, of course, we didn't find her. We saw lots and lots of orange tabby cats but they were all males.

Then last night, I had another dream of Lady. This time she looked different. She was no longer a short haired cat but a long haired one,but still an orange marmalade cat. I knew it was Lady. She was hurt in some way, but I don't know how, I just seemed to know this. Worse...I knew that it was Bing who injured her. It had been an accident, but I was really, really ticked off that Bing wasn't more apologetic about it. I was sitting on the sofa in my living room, an old black sofa that I had in my first home. I got rid of it years ago. But, that is what I was sitting on. I was with my Da, who has been dead for over 40 years. He and I were petting the cat and she was sooooo happy, arching her back and purring loudly. He was scratching her ears and telling me exactly how to do it properly so she would enjoy it the most. Da looked up at me and said, "Maria, you know you have to find this cat. It won't be easy, but it must be done." I agreed, sighing. I was embarrassed in my dream because although he didn't say anything, I felt like he knew that Bing had been the one who hurt her. I didn't want to talk about this with my Da, felt as if I were being disrespectful to Bing. Like...betraying her. So, I didn't say anything. I just kept petting her.

And then I woke up. Of course, I nudged Bing and when she woke up, I told her the dream. Her first words were: "God, honey...it was a DREAM. PLEASE don't make me sleep in the guest room because you are mad about something I did in a dream!"

I told her not to be silly. She kissed me, solemnly apologized for hurting a cat in my dream and fell back asleep.

But, you know...I felt PISSED off at her. Like...HOW COULD YOU HURT LADY?

Silly ,I know. I even felt annoyed at her when I woke up this morning.

So...obviously...something sort of big is going on here and I'm not catching on since my subconscious feels the need to keep repeating the cat theme.

Any ideas, Sherlocks?

Because I already know how smart y'all are.

I did look it up in my dream dictionary and it said something about a cat representing female prowess, etc. I just don't think this applies.

Anyone want to knock me over with a brilliant idea?

And you know...sometimes it takes fresh eyes to see something that everyone else misses.

So..your mission, should you decide to accept it is...

Interpret that dream!

May the force be with you, and the odds be ever in your favor and um...just...



Anonymous said...

Wow. That DOES mean soemething but I don't know what. But... orange tabbies are almost always male. Like 99. Percent. I have owned several of them. So that just stands out to me. Also, they are typically very social and eccentric. Lots of personality. What a wild amalgam of significance. Esp w your da in there. You often seem to have issues around trusting bing. And that name lady seems important. And sven. Hmmm... female cat named lady is hurt and injured and female partner is responsible. And important males who are absent in your life due to death and addiction, struggle are the helpers. Hmmm....wow, maria. What a doozy!

jo.irish.rose said...

Maybe you are the "Lady" cat and you have been hurt by Bing some way and you have subconsciously blocked it because you are madly deeply in love and don't want to hurt her nor approach her. Just a thought, don't know what Da would have to do with it, but the recurring kitty dream seems the object of your mind. :o) xxxx

sybil law said...

I did a wuick search about cats in dreams, but it was all sort of generic and silly. I mean, "independent spirit" and blah blah.

Personally, in your line of work, I feel like, who the hell KNOWS what that cat might mean. It could mean SO many things - but it seems as though Lady is a source of comfort and very loved, regardless of the fact she was hurt. Maybe Lady represents a lot of the kids you'd love to save but ultimately don't have a lot of power to do so.

I don't know!
If I were you, I'd just keep mulling it over. Dreams are best interpreted by the person having them. Think of what's on your mind lately, what the cat might represent, etc.

Good luck!

Rose said...

Maria, I'm not sure I can interpret the dream for you, but I do know that an astrologer friend of mine told us that dreams will become much more vivid and real for most people in the next few years because one of the planets (Neptune, I believe) is transiting or doing whatever planets do when they influence us more than usual (can you tell I'm not an astrologer?) This may explain why your dreams are more vivid than usual and why you remember them more.

I think you have to figure out what Lady represents to YOU, not what some book says she represents. When I teach symbology to my intuition students, I always make sure they relate to the symbol themselves, because someone who hates cats is going to interpret a cat much differently than someone who loves cats. I do think it's interesting that when you dream of Liv, she's always a toddler --perhaps you still want to mother her the way you did when she was that age, and her becoming more independent as a teen is preying on your brain? Coupled with cat energy (which can also represent independence), maybe you are worried somehow about your own independence and wanting to maintain that, even when you are in a serious loving relationship with Bing. I'm just spitballing here. And maybe your Da's message isn't really about finding the cat in reality, but keeping your independent spirit and not allowing that to be damaged (like when the cat was hurt in your dream).

I don't know...try looking at it from these angles and see what you think.


Alice Kildaire said...

Maybe it's the grass. :-D

Or rather, the part of you that still enjoys such activities even though Bing doesn't approve and you are a responsible mom.

Ok, so maybe not all about weed-smoking Maria - but you know what I mean, those sides of you that perhaps you don't nurture.

Especially this latest dream, with your Da trying to show you how to best love that marmalade kitty.

Just a thought. It could just be that the universe wants you to save a poor kitty :-D

Fenstar de Luxe said...

I am going to come back to this when I'm not so busy at work (sshhhh!). Just wanted to let you know I've moved http://betweenthewires.wordpress.com/


Anonymous said...

Interesting dream and not necessarily surprising. I see in the dream a theme I seem to have noticed in many of your posts over the last year or so - an existential midlife crisis of sorts.

I think the cat is your mom. I was shocked when, in the third dream, your da appears, because that kind of confirmed my thinking for me. The tabby represents your mom (did she have auburn or red hair?) and its injury is the pain your mom felt over your sexuality and the fracture in your relationship. It is easy to see why Bing is connected to that. Liv is a toddler because I think she represents the other side of your sexuality, another possibility before Bing comes permanently into the picture. And being embarrassed to talk to your Da about the fact that Bing had been the one to hurt the cat (and by extension, you, too)? Again it makes sense in light of the story you have told about your life (your da has passed on, your relationship with your mother is rocky, then she shuns you because of your sexuality choices) and in the dream you can't talk to him about it because you are embarrassed. Again, totally understandable.

If you are interested to know more about the theme I have seen developing in your posts over the last year or so, here is my take: For many people, their sexuality is not a choice, but I believe you are one of the rare ones for whom it is. It is obvious from your posts that you are equally connected/attracted to men (and I would suggest even more to men) as you are to women, but you chose a woman for a partner, even though you knew your mother would be disappointed by that choice. I think your choice was as much about rebellion against your mother/her beliefs/the church and retaliation for the estrangement you felt from her after you da died as it was about finding a life partner. There are not many things a child can do to really get back at a parent, but I think you found the thing you knew would really allow you to do so. I think losing your da left you lost, confused, misunderstood, scared, alone, rejected and you expressed it as strongly as you knew how. In many of your posts you still exude rebellion. It can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. People living in rebellion are usually stubborn, don't necessarily learn from the things that happen in their life, and have a hard thing seeing things from another perspective.

And only knowing you from what you post, it is hard to know what part it plays in your standoffishness, pot-without-a-lid-ness. Is it true personality trait or is it part of a protective cocoon to keep the world as bay in order to not be hurt again? I think you recognize the things you have traded in order to live this life and make this statement. You hint around the edges of it without coming right out and saying it. That is the midlife crisis I think I sense. Everyone goes through them, but you have set of circumstances more intense than many, and I think you're mulling it over in the back of your psyche. It is poking its head out in your writing.

mmebenaut said...

Lady represents anyone who is hurt; Sven, Liv or you. Your Da knows that you can help, even yourself and that's what you should do. The short-haired cat was Sven; the long-haired cat is you, perhaps.
One must always help a Lady :)

Dreams are amazing things and I always think of them as a way of the subconscious sifting through things before chucking them in the bin.

I've had dreams that make me wake in tears or terror or sometimes in love!! The feeling lasts for a day but then disappears.

Happy Easter dearest friend. Hope the Bunny finds you. xx

Jennifer said...

Well, my belief is that dreams come from your own imagination - they are not messages from anyone else. Having said that, I do think that dreams come from a very profound part of your mind. They are often symbolic; they are metaphors and plays on words.

I have also heard that the only person you can be sure of recognizing in a dream is yourself, so I tend to agree that the cat in the dream is you or a part of you that has been hurt. Whoever hurt you is not necessarily Bing though. The Bing in your dream could also represent a different part of your Self...

Anyway ... I don't pretend any great expertise. Just some reading and an interest!

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who was in a dream interpretation group for a while and she said that she learned that EVERYTHING in your dreams is a part of you. So, what does Lady the cat represent of YOU? Are you hurt in some way? All those questions you ask, ask them about yourself. It may help you gain some insight into the dream and yourself.

On the other hand, sometimes a cat is just a cat. ;-)


Anonymous said...

I have a friend who was in a dream interpretation group for a while and she said that she learned that EVERYTHING in your dreams is a part of you. So, what does Lady the cat represent of YOU? Are you hurt in some way? All those questions you ask, ask them about yourself. It may help you gain some insight into the dream and yourself.

On the other hand, sometimes a cat is just a cat. ;-)


Anonymous said...

Wow, what anonymous said at 8:53 pm. I have no idea if any of it is true or not but somebody put a lot of thought into that one. I found the part about rebellion very interesting because I think I spent much of my life rebelling against my parents. Instead of choosing what I wanted, I chose what they would not want.

As for me, I'm not so good at dream interpretation. My analyst would say that the cat is the feminine side of you, as cats are feminine and yours is called Lady. From what I understand about Jungian psychology, all of the people in our dreams are aspects of ourselves. What part of you is calling out for attention? What part feels injured, hurt, uncared for?

Anonymous said...

Have you had recent changes in medications? Especially the ones you take at or around bedtime? Meds are notorious for causing weird, distressing dreams, even if you have been on them for a while. Just a thought that it may not be something subconscious at all...

Anonymous said...

This is ZC. I always post as anon bec I don't have an email that is not linked to my real name and I don't want certain peope in my past to find my personal comments via seach tools. Anyway, wow... anon had some powerful things to say. Others, too. I do sometimes feel, like anon, that u r somehow more drawn to men but in the end make your long term relas with women, for whatever reasons. I am drawn to men, too, and actually live my damn life with men, but sometimes question the wisdom of that! ;-) anyway... I think it shows so much courage and willingness to look within for you to share your writing - and your dreams - with us. Whatever your desires for self protection, you seem willing to be truly "seen" by bing... and loved, as well... both of which take courage to do... and you are willing to be seen by your readers, as well. I sure as heck would like to get some quick answers on my own life. I am actually quite good at insight. Less good at action. Carry on. Zc

Maria said...

Well, now. Boy howdy. Thanks to all for their input and you've given me so much to think about, especially you...anon.

I don't know if I agree with the cat as mother theme. It doesn't sit well with me or perhaps it is because I can't stand to think that she could still be so representative in my dreams.

I do think there is absolutely a mid life crisis going on. I am not going gently into that good night and I mourn the loss of all the power that came from being a young, good looking woman. Age is not kind to women in our world. And the odd thing is that I never realized that I held that power really....until it was gone.

As far as sexuality goes, I really do believe that this is not a choice for me. I am attracted to both men and women and the truth is that when I was dating men, I tended to be more drawn to women and when with a woman, tended to be more drawn to men. I think sometimes that I merely want what I don't have. Spoiled brat is me and all that.

But, I love it that you all seemed to walk around in my skin so well, it is truly a luxury to be known that well, especially through my blog. Because, honestly? It is probably the ONLY place in my life where I am fearlessly honest and it is all because I am pretty anonymous. I am more me here than I am in my outside life. But, I have hidden behind a pen (or in this case, a keyboard) all my life. Words stick in my throat when I try to say them out loud, but they flow easily on my blog.

Thanks to you all for your comments. WOW.

Anonymous said...

From Anon 8:53

Another reason I think Lady represents your mom is because of the third dream. You and your da are petting her and she is so happy and purring and your da is instructing on how to properly make her happy.... and of course, you know what that is.

And why does Sven show up? While his choices are different than yours, I think you are hurt by his complete cutting off of contact, as you were by your mom's. Except now you are the adult and like your mom, no amount of pleading or efforts on your part has changed the situation with Sven. Sven bringing the hurt Lady to you is your recognition of the deep hurt you did indeed cause your mom.

teeveezed said...

Maybe they were just dreams about a cat.

Maria said...

Sighing...sorry...I am not going to believe that my subconscious is kicking the shit out of me because I hurt my mother. She died very wealthy, with three other daughters who were terrified of displeasing her and the last time I saw her (as she was dying of cancer), she was in a snit because I didn't hit my knees and beg for forgiveness for embarrassing her in front of a town. I don't think that I have unresolved feelings of guilt for "hurting" my mother. She certainly had no guilt over disinheriting me and ordering me out of her life.

I understand psychology and while I can entertain other theories, I think that particular one might be more about what you want it to be for me than what it is really is.

I honestly have no guilt for disappointing my mother.

And no cat dreams for the last couple of days, so maybe I am done with it. The thing is...I MISS Lady. I just wish I could have figured this one out.

Raven said...

Thought you'd like this, Maria:


Though it's a crab, not a cat.

HARPER said...

i've been having super vivid dreams of late as well...and i rarely remember my dreams (you should check out my most recent blog post for a real doozey of a dream) i wish i was super dream savvy but have nothing else significant to add to what everyone else has already said...
i always put dreams i can't reconcile on the back burner for a bit. Then revisit them and find that with time i have a fresh perspective and can see is possible meaning more clearly...?

Maria said...

I DID think that was really thought provoking, Raven. I'm not big on dream analyzing, I once wrote a parody of Jungian dream interpretation for a medical journal and I tend to think that dreams are usually a way to understand something that is happening in one's life. I do buy the theory that the cat is probably me and I've thought about that a lot. But...very interesting, yes?

Last night, Bing dreamed that Hitler had been reincarnated and was taking over the U.S and we were fleeing to Canada. "I was so fucking pissed off that I had to move to an even colder climate than the prairie!" she lamented.

And my dream last night? That the walking dead wasn't just a television show but a reality. I had zombies on my lawn, pawing at all my bird feeders. I was peeking out the window at them, TERRIFIED that one would look up and see me. I kept hearing this tapping noise and worried that it would draw more zombies, so I went in search of the sound. It was Bing, hammering on something in our living room. She wasn't taking my zombie fears too seriously, kept telling me to "chill" (she must have been on her way to Canada by then in her dream...) And then I looked over at the fireplace and saw a man's legs coming down it. I was furious and screamed at Bing, "I TOLD you the zombies were coming!"

Poor Bing. I get mad at her a lot in my dreams and then carry it over when I awaken. But...wow...zombies and Hitler? I wonder if it was that salad we had we had for dinner???

Kate said...

Normally, I try not to think too hard about my dreams, because often they are just garbage. This time, though, I agree with mmebenault: the cat represents your pain and helplessness in certain situations.

Anonymous said...


you don't have to publish this one if you don't want. i do think anon has an agenda with the lady as mom thing. not sure what but... i don't know... just too interested in being the "authority" versus respectful feedback. ultimately, we are all the authorities of our lives and we are all in the "don't know," as well.

my bf also gets very angry in his dreams sometimes... i have laerned taht if he is talking in his sleep, just stay quiet! if i respond, answer a question, etc. he can then get very angry with me! i feel helpless. hey! that's your DREAM! i did nothing over here!

today is last day of spring break for me and the girl. well, not real last day - we have the weekend - but it sorta feels like last day.

i really am a vacation hound grasshopper. sad but true. never for lack of stuff to do when i have free time.

i'm with bing - i already hate cold climes and already live in a cold enuf damn clime for me (sf) - don't want anything colder!

(various folks have proposed canada to me when things get too crazy here to which i always respond, no, AUSTRALIA! recommend that one to bing. i'll bet she'll like it!)