I dreamed I was moving into a nursing-home with my mother. We were both getting old, and had various physical limitations, so it seemed like a sensible and natural arrangement.
To begin with, we shared a large room, sleeping together in a very wide bed. Her nearness did not disturb me at all, but we did not touch.
After a few days, she discovered an unoccupied room nearby, suggesting I might prefer it, as it would give me greater privacy. Accordingly, I went to see it.
The new room was very small, oddly-shaped, and quite claustrophobic. It was empty, and was being decorated. However, it was clearly mine for the taking, and I knew I could move in as soon as it was ready and furnished.
As I stood peering in, I found it impossible to decide whether I could tolerate its small size for the sake of the extra privacy.
And that was the end of the dream.
You may be wondering why I took the trouble to describe and post such an apparently unremarkable dream. However, what made this dream special, indeed, unique in my experience, was how comfortable I felt whilst living close to my mother.
There was no sense of needing to get away from her, and I felt fine whether she was present or not. This had never been the case at any point during her life-time. Being with her had always been extremely stressful, because of her intrusiveness, criticism, judgement, anger, and destructive rage. From my earliest childhood onwards, I had feared her presence, loathed her touching me, and hated the sound of her voice.
On reflection, then, this dream suggests that not just my conscious mind, but my unconscious, too, have at last become more comfortable with my abusive past at my mother’s hands.
However, I also note some elements of caution in the fact that we did not touch, and in the extreme smallness of the private room, which still needed a fair amount of work before being ready for me to move in.
Furthermore, my difficulty in deciding whether or not to take the room, suggests a continuing degree of ambivalence towards my mother, though I have made good progress in coming to terms with our relationship and its consequences over recent years. Perhaps the inner space where I can be “myself” still isn’t quite as extensive as I like to imagine!