I have two recurring dreams. The first started when I was quite young, maybe 5 years old. I dreamt it often for many years. It’s infrequent now, but it’s not gone.
I’m a kid in the back of Mom’s station wagon. Sometimes one or more of my sisters are with me. Sometimes I’m alone. I’m never strapped into my seat in any way. Yes, I’m old enough that no laws required this when I was little. Mom is driving, destination unknown. And then Mom is not driving. No one is. Mom has vanished. I start climbing over seats to get to the front to take the wheel, but I don’t really know what I’m doing so this goes poorly. Sometimes one of my sisters will try to drive. None of us are ever successful, but we never crash either. I always wake up while I’m still in the car.
When I was a little older, this dream evolved. It always starts the same. I’m in the moving station wagon, Mom disappears, and I try to drive. None of my sisters are ever with me anymore, but I am never alone in the car… because a tiger appears. Yes, a flesh-seeking, man-eating tiger. Roaring and hopping from seat to seat threatening to bite me, claw me, eat me up. I can never stop the car. And I can never get out. The tiger never gets me, but I am scared the whole time. And then I wake up.
I can only imagine this dream is a manifestation of my fear of abandonment. My parents were kind and loving. I certainly had no reason to develop this fear. Maybe I felt ignored because I had three sisters. In fact, I started having this dream a short time after my younger sister was born (my other two sisters are older). Maybe I subconsciously thought the baby replaced me so no one would take care of me anymore.
But none of this explains the tiger. What was that about? Was it a manifestation of my childhood love for Frosted Flakes?
Probably not Tony. The tiger in my dream is menacing, not gr-r-reat. It must be something else. My late father and I always had a tense relationship. (And the guilt I felt because of that when he died… oh, a topic for another time.) I wonder if the tiger represents my father. Not that Dad was menacing, but if I was in trouble, his deep booming voice sounded a little scary. Kind of like a roar.
I’m hoping someday I will have a dream of revelation and resolution that explains the tiger. But I’m guessing it will remain a mystery.
Recurring dream #2 started after I graduated college… but it’s time for bed now.
To be continued…
… sweet dreams.