Our dreams will sometimes take the questions and dilemmas we’re engaged in during the day and extrapolate on them. Consider all components of such dreams rather than dismissing them as mere rehashes of the day’s worries.
I met this new man and I’m trying to decide what I should tell him about my son, “Burt.” I loved dancing and playing with Burt, taking care of him, etc. Those were good memories. He's a grown man now and we are estranged, just FYI.
I dreamt that Burt and I were in the bargain basement of a department store. He was about 3-4 years of age. I had a harness and a leash on him. (I never used a harness on him when he was a child.) The leash became disengaged from the harness and like lightning, he was gone. (He never "took off" like that when he was little, not until he was in his teens!)
I cried; I looked; I asked for help; no one seemed to be concerned. I went home and called the police, then went back to the store and called the powers that be at the store. There were nondescript people around. I kept saying to the uninterested parties, “but he's only a little boy, a baby.”
It was really distressing and I was just trapped in the emotion.
By adulthood, all of us carry powerful feelings about the relationships in our lives, especially if those relationships ended differently from what we hoped or expected. Your budding relationship with a new man provides the perfect backdrop for a review of your relationship with your estranged son. Awake and asleep, you’re weighing how much to reveal to him and when.
First, your dream is replaying the emotions you felt as the events in your relationship with Burt unfolded. This puts you on notice that all those feelings are alive and well in you, in contrast to the selective “good memories” you mention, and the estrangement “just FYI.”
Also, your dream ignites the pain and guilt every parent feels when in that mode of replaying the past. Burt got away from you. “What went wrong? What could I have done differently?” Any parent can relate to that kind of circular, hurtful second guessing.
That the setting of your dream is a "bargain basement" suggests a thought that somehow Burt is discounted or devalued or perhaps that a “cut rate” is in play if you don’t tell the whole story. Don’t forget, your dream provides a dramatic illustration of the pain that is just below the surface for you. If you attempt to share only the rosy memories, you discount the full picture. Is it too soon to reveal so much of yourself to a new man?
The disinterested parties may represent the contrast between the heavy weight you place on the distress of estrangement and the level of concern and negative assessment you assume others will levy. Go easy on yourself, Dear Dreamer! Your self-judgment is harsh enough.
Sweet Dreams to You!
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