A few months ago I had a dream that rattled me a bit. It took me a while to get over it and feel comfortable posting it. Here it is:
I was at a house where I was going to meet my sisters and my mother. We were apparently going to vacation together. I had gotten there a day or so ahead of everyone, so I settled into one of the rooms. In this room there was a soaker tub, which is one of my favorite things. (Odd that it was inside a bedroom, but…)
I had gone out on the day that everyone else arrived, and when I came back, I went back to the room I had been using and found that the tub had been moved to another wall in the room and where it had been there was a shower with a very shallow tub.
“You moved the tub?” I said to Mother, incredulously.
“Yes,” she said. “I wanted a shower.”
“Is the tub even connected?”
“No. We don’t need it.”
I cry in wracking sobs! It feels like my insides have been turned inside out. Why doesn’t anyone care what I want?
I know I have to get out of there and be alone for a while. I leave and find myself driving along a street where I am swept into a set of driving tracks much like those on an automatic car wash. There is water rushing through the street. At first I am scared about my car being dragged along in all this water, but then realize it is a sort of amusement park ride. Next thing I know my car is being pulled up a ramp and I’m having a blast riding along and watching the attractions as I pass them by.
Now I’m back at the house, standing in my room. I notice my dressing table is gone. I look around and find it smashed. I address my mother again. “Why did you do this?” She shrugs and smirks, as if to say, “Because I wanted to, so what?”
Once again, I’m feeling heartbroken that nobody seems to care what I want.
What immediately comes to mind is that I’m going through a transition where I am leaving a job I have held for 5 plus years where I built a lot of structure around documentation and process and I know that when I walk out the door there’s a good chance some – or maybe much – of the work I’ve done will be tossed aside for something better. Of course this sort of thing happens all the time, but I’ve also been struggling lately with the feeling that my team doesn’t appreciate the work I’ve done. We always joke that this type of work is thankless, but to me it’s important, and it’s difficult to accept that others don’t feel that way.
Regarding my going off on my own and having a blast, I am leaving my job to do more artistic work, which I know I will enjoy immensely.
My mother being the antagonist in this dream is fitting. The other parallel to my life is my mother not being concerned about my feelings, and even taunting me with that sentiment at times. A particular scene comes to mind where I had traded something from my school lunchbox for a chocolate Jello pudding cup, something Mother never bought. I was so excited to have successfully negotiated the trade that I saved the pudding so I could savor it after school. Shortly after I returned home, I happened to be passing Mother’s bedroom and caught sight of her eating something in a familiar looking plastic cup. I stopped, aghast, and demanded, “Where did you get that?” “From your lunchbox,” she said, as she joyfully licked the spoon. I stood, frozen, knowing there was nothing I could say or do that would benefit me. Crestfallen, I turned and walked away.
Have you had experiences where you felt unappreciated and uncared for on the job or at home? Did it come up for you in a dream?