Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst
Gerald Gifford {at Forum #1}

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My father

Hi Jerry, Trust you are well and enjoying life!

My dream: I am walking with my father (he died in 1979). We are walking at night in what appears to be winter. It was a long walk, the path was very straight with the only variance being snow/ice or a black surface. He was hard to see as it was night time, but I knew it was him. He talked, but I don't remember much what he said. Towards the end of our walk my son appears briefly and I think perhaps he is the subject of our talk. The landscape was very barren, no trees, no features really, just very dark. The feeling was one at first touching, for he has been gone so long, but later I got in touch with the fear I had of my Dad. He was a strict disciplinarian, not affectionate, negative in his comments to everyone including his 3 daughters. His alcoholism was very apparent to me. I was always uncomfortable around him, though he sometimes tried to create experiences that we could share- I was always on guard for his meanness.

As a person in recovery, I have always seen my mother's drinking and patterns as similar to mine, but not my fathers. So shadowy and such a long walk-from one end of the dream to the other. Also, of note, I describe my addiction as being very dark and recovery as a change in the light, a brighter, colorful world. Maybe I try to imagine him as being different then he was to ease the fear. Anyway, I would love to know any insights you gleam from this. Thanking you, Peggy

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 62

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} female

Re: My father

Hi Peggy,
I hope things are well with you also. Your dream is undoubtedly primary about the relationship with your father. Let's take a look at it and see what the images have to say.

Most likely the dream is reflecting on the 'cold' relationship you had with your father. The emotional conflicts you had with him are unresolved and as long a they remain that way the subject will be the topic in some of your dreams. How often 'he' appears depends on the severity of the relationship. It was purely psychological abuse then the emotional affects may not be as strong if there where physical abuse. But even the mental abuse has left an impression as well as has likely affected your life through the years. As adults we primarily become who we are due to our childhood experiences and influences. There was some good in him {he 'sometimes tried' to create experiences you could share} but his inner forces left him unable to be a good father. I dare say if you look at his childhood you will find he did not have a good childhood life as well. Most likely you are in recovery because of the foundations laid as a child. Like parents like child in so many ways.

The only part of the dream that seems to deal with experiences other than the relationship with your father is the part about your son. What is that relationship like. After the sentence where your son is mentioned the dream states, "The landscape was very barren, no trees, no features really, just very dark." Symbolically the word landscape can represent the human body and where you are in relationships in your life. A barren landscape could very well represent 'barren relationships'. Trees are symbol of growth. If you lacked the experiences of good parenting as a child there is a good chance as a parent you repeated that pattern. You could not grow properly as a person and perhaps this statement is saying the same thing about the relationship with your son. With additions {many of which begin because of an improper childhood-substituting what was lacking then with drugs, food, sex, other addictive behaviors} life is constantly 'dark'.

There is also another aspect to the dream. Your father used strict discipline to hide his own inner weaknesses. The dream may be pointing to your own masculine {animus} weaknesses, the archetypal father within you. Along with a weak mother, both physically and archetypal, there is little wonder you are in recovery. Again, this condition is due to childhood experiences. We are born with a slate of instructions on what life should provide. Not is not only during childhood but throughout life. At mid-life as well as the sunset years in life we have expectations that nature provides to ease the transitions during those periods of experience. I recently gave workshops at a festival attended primarily of people in their late teens and 20s and the one thing I told them they should remember to read about were Jung's archetypes. Knowing about the archetypes can prepare a person for what is to come in life and how to best prepare for that. But you don't have to be a teen to learn about them. The link I provided may help you understand more about the stage of life you are in {we are about the same age and both having a non relationship with the father which helped lead to additions}. I've conquered my demons and hopefully you are in the process of doing the same. These dreams are apart of the psyche's attempt to help resolve your emotional conflicts. That is the biggest step if there is to be a full recovery. Healing the relationships that never were. Your dad is gone, you can only heal your own inner wounds with that. in other relationships that need healing? It would be good therapy for all.


Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 63 Space Coast, Fla.

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

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Re: My father

Jerry, Yes, yes, and yes. What you said makes so much sense! My relationship with my son has been and still is unsatisfactory for me. He possess many of the same aspects as my father. I recognized this long ago and never knew what to do about it. His drinking & drug use began as soon as he hit HS, maybe even the year before. It left me feeling soooo powerless. He is not affectionate and has been that way since age 4. He keeps everything inside and rules by not speaking. He's 27 now and only shared his feelings about me while slightly drunk just recently. I was always searching for ways TO connect with him in his childhood and I succeeded in someways that by being drunk he was able to share. I want to understand this repetition and I believe at this very minute I have a chance to move forward with how this animus is living me out, as my friend Carl Levinson used to put it.

So, it is in a sense of being watched, constantly, that I have dragged into my adult life. This stems from my father's behavior as watching us as kids and saying nothing. My son does this as well, though he never knew his Grandfather. I admit I am stymied by this behavior and by most of my son's behavior. I no longer wish nor believe I can have any affect on my son's life, but believe I can improve my life by confronting this animus in myself. I have had back "problems" for 35 years and again, for the 1st time in years, my back spasm has returned.

Do I just wait for this animus to show it's full face? I relaxed yesterday in response to my "back pain" and realized it was the most relaxed I've been in years. The economy & my recovery fears have fed this state of tension. So for an action to take I am going to relax physically as well in the afternoons. I began my SS this past month so I can "afford" to relax a bit.

I really like the video you linked-it showed me how tough this can be! Very for you grateful,Jerry.
Peggy

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 62

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} female

Re: My father

Peggy,
I appreciate your response But I am so sad to know what I saw in the dream is true. But considering everything it is only predictable things would be this way. Without proper parenting, at least from one parent, what chance does one have to live a progressive life? I know some say such thinking is hogwash but the emotional life begins with the second breath. The first breath is to start the physical body to functioning, the second starts the psychological self to function. The primary expectation at birth is of proper nourishment and security. You had neither and the results are all too often predictable. Like parents like children.

As for the animus. I can give some advice to what to do to develop a proper animus but there are others more qualified to do so. I suggest looking to Marion Woodman for answers. She is a Jungian psychologist who works primarily with women's addictions and the results from them. Here is a link to Amazon.com that lists her many books {many are available on CD audio book}. Click on each listing and read the editorial and customer's reviews. They will provide a good description of what each book is about specifically. Get the one {or more} that fits best with your life. Once you get started with her books I believe you will read a great many more she has written.
I have learned so much from her about the feminine psyche and also dreams. She works with dreams in her therapy. A sage in our time. Her latest work 'The Crown of Age' is a wonderful book about the psychology of growing old. I have it on audio book.
Here is the link to the list, Marion Woodman Books at Amazon.

Addiction to Perfection is one that I read years ago I found to be most insightful, even for a man. Here is the review:

Through case studies, dreams, and myths, Woodman, a Jungian analyst explores the hidden causes of compulsion in the lives of men and women. At the root of eating disorders, substance abuse, and other addictive and compulsive behaviors, Woodman sees a hunger for spiritual fulfillment. The need to experience a sacred connection to an energy greater than their own drives people to search for an illusory ideal of perfection. Through discussions of parenthood, creativity, and body image, this presentation shows that freedom from addiction can be found by discovering the wisdom and power of the feminine principle.

The only advice beyond reading Woodman, and concerning the animus, is to learn to discipline yourself. Without discipline you will never get past the first steps in any endeavor in life. The hero/heroine journey in mythology is self discovery and then the discipline of staying the path. Most 'fall off the wagon' fairly early because they don't try hard enough. If know what the problem is, the next thing to do is to cease what is causing it. Physical addictions are hard but with great effort can be done {too many have succeeded}. Psychological addictions, which are often at the root of physical addictions, can be even harder but Woodman will lead you through that process. It will be the discipline to follow through that determines the end result.

I hope this provides what you need. There are many paths offered in therapy for addictions but like everything else in life it is all psychological first and foremost. If you have other dreams you need help with, well that is where I have some expertise.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 63 Space Coast, Fla.

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Host Dream Forum

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