Dream: I walk into a room and a woman wants to show me something. She says that she is giving me a new ID. It is something I will be wearing on a permanent basis. I am not so sure about that idea. She also says, “I am not quite ready to give this to you. I am still working on it but you can take a look at it.” It is a small black case the size of an ID or a credit card. In it is a stack of cards and I pull them out. The one on top is a picture of a boy (about 5) whose legs are sticking straight up and his body is bent completely forward to his legs. It appears that he is being held that way. There are red marks in rows on the backs of his legs. I feel really scared and horrified. It feels like the boy has been tortured. The next picture is of a child (same age – not sure if it’s the same child) who is being held in some type of wooden device. His head is stuck sideways in an awkward position. This is much too scary for me to look at. I quickly put the pictures away and give them back to the woman.

This dream is touching on a deep place within me. Since beginning dreamwork, dreams have been pointing to some type of trauma around age 4 or 5. It has been a mystery. I grew up in a typical suburban household, the middle child of three. Although I remember feeling afraid during family arguments (I played the role of mediator), I have no memory of specific trauma. This dream helps to begin to unlock the mystery. There is a deep memory within me of a young boy being tortured. Perhaps it is from another lifetime. The anima wants to show it to me. By showing me the cards, she is helping the memory surface. She is doing so gently, letting me see as much as I am willing to look at. It is a very scary, painful place. It is part of my true identity. My permanent identity. As I write this, I can feel the energy of fear growing in my body.

In the session we talk about how difficult it is to face what is being shown to me. I get just a glimpse and that is enough. I want to turn away. I want to put the cards away. Forget about it. Hand them back to the woman.

We talk in a little more detail about what I saw when I looked at the cards. A boy (about 5) being held in an unnatural position, regularly spaced red marks on the backs of his legs. My sense that perhaps the red marks indicated restraint. Perhaps he was tied down, tortured in some way. The next card. Again, a boy being held in a seemingly torturous, unnatural way. This time his head turned to the side, held by a wooden block. I briefly look at the second card before quickly putting it away.

The dream is showing me a glimpse of some deeply held memories. The dream is also showing me my reaction. An automatic response of turning away. There is another dream that we talk about that shows this same kind of resistance.

Dream: There is a video playing on my iphone. I keep trying to turn it off but it won’t turn off.

The video is a memory that wants to be revealed to me. But I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I want the control to be able to turn it off. Turn away. My automatic reaction is to press the off button. But pressing the off button is not going to work for me any more. Not with this new ID.

These dreams are about trauma. But they are also about how I live my life. How I turn away. Rodger says that by turning away, I am missing the opportunity of feeling deeper in my life. Another recent dream suggests that I turn away from the pain of others as well. In the dream, I am a physical therapist. Joe Biden (animus) walks in with some pain. I do not ask him about the pain. I’m all about bragging that I get to work with Joe Biden. The dream is suggesting that perhaps this turning away pattern shows up in my job as a physical therapist. It is hard to look at this but I know it is true. I remember a time when I worked with a young child in her home. As I stretched her legs, she cried. She was in pain but I ignored it. I was so caught up with doing my job of stretching her that I dismissed her cries. Her Grandmother asked that I not return. At that time, I knew there was something wrong. There was a disconnect within me. It felt like an evil character flaw. But Rodger was quick to say that this is not a character flaw. It is the place that operates in me to keep me from feeling a deeper place.

My homework was to feel the gesture of putting the cards away, feel that turning away place and see where that comes up in my life. There was something satisfying about that gesture in the dream. To just put the cards away. Be done with that. The day after the session we left for a vacation on a sailboat in the Caribbean. It almost felt like the vacation itself was a way to turn away. Go live in this other world of beautiful clear water and colorful fish. It was a great way to escape from the terror that lives underneath my consciousness. The trip allowed me to put the cards away. Of course though, they are still there. The archetypes want me to see them. They want me to feel into a new ID. I know that with their help I will. It’s the ID of my soul.