When Dreams Talk…You Really Ought to Listen

Posted on May 1, 2012

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This is a bit overwhelming and difficult to explain. I’m not quite sure how to phrase the sentences which are to follow but I’ll do my best. The best place at which to start is the beginning, isn’t it?

I saw a somewhat complex dream a few nights ago. Among various other scenes and scenarios presented in the dream, one was this:

I was in a movie hall with people I did not want to be there with. I knew they had  supernatural powers of some kind and I wanted to escape. I plotted silently: I would lock myself in a stall in the restroom, call the cops, tell them I’m about to be kidnapped. I walked up to take a look at the movies displayed at each counter. The first was a book by Nabokov. As I looked at it, I remembered that in a previous dream I had been told that Nabokov had written a book on me. That book was now this movie. This is the movie I want to watch, I thought to myself. I don’t care which one they want to see, I’m going to go into this one.

When I woke up, I was not sure if Nabokov was a writer in real life or if my mind had fabricated that. The name sounded as if it could be real but I realised  that that thought was more a desire for it to be so, so that there might actually be something tangible there. I restrained myself and did not look up the name. That might seem like a strange thing to do, but, you see, I have always been very fascinated with dreams. I’ve always believed that they mean something, are telling me something, warning me about something, etc. In short, all I mean is that to me they were always more than just random images conjured up by my mind while I sleep.

To help you understand why the dream ended up having such an impact on me, I must share a part of my life that I have kept hidden for a long time. This is a mere summary and says absolutely nothing of the magnitude of its horror.

I was molested at the age of 12 by a man in a position of trust, power, and authority in my life. He was more than three times my age at the time. It happened repeatedly for a period of time I do not remember. I did not know how to deal with it, so every feeling associated with the trauma was buried.

The rage I did not realise and did not release surfaced in the form of self-harm (cutting my legs, thighs), bulimia, irrational outbursts of intense anger, hypersensitivity, etc. However, I was not aware that these were side-effects of the sexual abuse. It is only now, after 18 years, that I’m starting to be able to face the reality of the situation, confront my abuser, and attempting to find a new lease on life.

It was the bulimia which pushed me over the edge and urged me to seek some help for it. I have since consulted a therapist who is most wonderful and is helping me along the path of healing, self-discovery, and spiritual (unassociated with religion in any and every way) empowerment. I was extremely lucky to have found her for she is a dream therapist.

I did not look up Nabokov or his works because I wanted the details of my dream, when narrated to her, to be untainted by any discoveries I might make.

As you might know, Vladimir Nabokov was a Russian writer. I have never read any of his writings. And I did not know which of those was being referred to in the dream. All it said was that it was a book by Nabokov, a book that, I had been told earlier, had been written about me.

With the amount of information we take in every single day and, at the same time, taking into account how much I love to read, it is within the realm of possibility that I, at some point in my life, came across this name. Perhaps my subconscious or my unconscious mind held on to it and released it now, into my dream, for some reason. I found today that the name of one of his novels is very familiar because it is very well-known. Whether I knew that it was he who had written it or not, I cannot say. However, I can tell you with utmost certainty that I do not believe I was acquainted in the least with the premise of any of his writings.

Would it be presumptuous of me to consider the dream a message from within urging me to figure out which of his books is going to be an important read for me?

One of Nabokov’s most notable as well as most controversial novels is Lolita. It is, I discovered today, about a middle-aged man obsessed with a 12-year old girl. I think I’ll start with this one.