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Alpine Guinea Pig and Sexless Child,
I'm Either a Great Mom or a Terrible Mom

Dreamed 2006/8/19 by "Veronica Franco"
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I'm high in the Cascades, in British Columbia. It's summer: beautiful meadows with alpine flowers, little lakes, some trees (near but not above the treeline). A good place. I'm lying down, hiding in the alpine grass and rocks, petting a tiny wild deer, like a cross between a prehistoric deer and a large guinea pig. It keeps coming back for more pets. I get to feel its nose which is dry and brown.

Now I am in a nearby house, an almost fairytale place below the high meadows, at the edge of a lake in the woods. I'm trying to care for all the animals here. I've forgotten to feed and water Mortimer, my pet pig, who's out in a field. The baby bird-things in the kitchen, up on a high shelf or the rafters, keep distracting me--they escape and fly outside but fall into the field. I think "This is my chance to get Mortimer into the safe fenced yard to feed and water him." But a giant, menacing white-pink boar, who is violent and sexually abhorrent, threatens Mortimer's rescue. And I can't find the two baby birds.

The house is somehow not mine. Soon it all turns into a story, a story I'm telling/living in the dream. In it, a sexless child escapes from its mothers in the house across the meadow. It wants to be with us. It's all a big misunderstanding--the mothers think the child is in danger, but it's safe; just rejecting them. The child hides in the trees on the other side of the house with the other people/children. The mothers walk away, looking frustrated. Disgusted? Will they call the police way down at the foot of the mountain? I'm frustrated--I KNOW the whole thing is just a misunderstanding, and it's in the past. Just a story.

I'm in the house with my friend Big and the kids. Selene calls on the phone. We're all waiting to go somewhere. I'm glad to be talking with Selene. She talks with Big too.

I tell Selene some of the daily activities listed on the Burning Man program, like Pancakes and Soft Rock, Vodka Snorting, and Midday Heavy Metal. Funny. Who thinks this stuff up?

Now I'm in a store, but it's closing and I can't get a shopping bag. The woman at the checkout is condescending and won't tell me where to find the proper bag. I keep pulling out wrong, specific bags. She is no help, but does tell me "Costco now has a hotel," and I think, "What a good place for G. to stay while on business!"

In the store I see a fundamentalist woman, the kind who wears the bun cap and long skirts, with her grown daughter who looks rebellious--still in fundamentalist clothing, but all jazzed up with lurex and glitter.

Not a sexless child.




So many caregivers--and all frustrated! Are they over-protective? The animals escaping, the runaway child, and the fundamentalist's daughter all suggest that.

But the strongest language you use is about that boar. He sounds like anger and sex both running wild. He could be taken two ways. Maybe he endangers Mortimer and the bird-things. Or he may block you from recapturing them because (like the sexless child) they don't want to be penned in so much. So the boar might embody and act out their frustration; he may even act horny and disgusting deliberately, to repel you. Without confronting him it's hard to know if this it's his nature or a tactic.

The one totally wild creature in the dream is weird but friendly. That suggests that letting the animals run wild might work out okay. Like cutting loose at Burning Man.

--Chris Wayan


Given my daughter's and my histories, it makes sense about all the over-protection, the sexless child, the sexually abhorrent pig. Fears about my child going off to Burning Man. But also...

I have a serious, debilitating problem with nightmares. I have severe PTSD. Almost all of my dreams are nightmares; even if the content doesn't sound nightmarish, I am often struggling fighting fleeing, etc., so that when I wake, I am loaded with adrenaline, exhausted, shaking. I've begun taking medication for my DREAMS, for crying out loud. I know it sounds weird. It's an alpha blocker the V.A. uses to treat combat vets with high blood pressure. Vets who were taking it reported that their nightmares were diminishing. It works a while for me, then it doesn't.



I too have early-morning recurring nightmares that medication suppresses. I wake sweating from nightmares, usually about falling. What sent me to the doctor was that I wake from these dreams with low fever and achy joints, too. These fever-dreams started after I went to Burning Man! Med tests showed something attacking my liver and spleen--not HIV or hepatitis or anything identifiable, just some mystery bug. I've been calling it Black Rock Virus, though I can't be sure it's viral and when I looked back in my journals I found flu-like illnesses that sound like it going a decade back... just recurring rarely, so I never caught on it was the same bug. So I didn't catch it at Burning Man--the stress of the trip just caused a flare-up so big I finally got tested. Whatever my "BRV" really is, it too triggers early-morning nightmares--when I'm stressed out or run-down.

I find their contents do have meaning and can be worked with, but they only fade out if I ALSO fight them physically. No doctor's prescription has helped; I've had to develop my own regimen:

  1. Daily, I take immune system builders like vitamins C, A&D; zinc, fermented foods like yogurt, miso and sauerkraut or kim chee; and herbs like silymarin (milk thistle), ginseng, astragalus, and St John's Wort (while famed as an antidepressant it has immune-boosting properties too)
  2. Also daily, I rotate a group of other anti-virals and antiparasitics, taking one or more of: goldenseal, garlic, echinacea (not too often!), wormwood/artemisia, bay leaf, cat's claw, yellow dock, bayberry, lemon grass, etc. I can't do hot peppers or I'd add those here...
  3. Any day I feel slight fever or aches: low doses of aspirin all day plus other anti-inflammatories and antipyretics like feverfew, turmeric/curries and olive oil.
  4. I enforce strict rules about food, exercise, and sleep. Low to moderate exercise (too much triggers an attack--worse than no exercise!); avoid solvents and plastics; no junk food, and in my case that includes a pretty long list of things I react to, including wheat oats and barley. Eight hours or more of sleep, and if that means I bore my wild & crazy friends, too bad. If I treat myself right, I'm asymptomatic. If I'm run-down, I risk a flare-up.
Recurrent nightmares can have BOTH a physical and psychological cause. Veronica's covering the medical side with stronger stuff than I am, so besides all the above, I have a NONmedical prescription to add:

Try the psychological front again. Just before sleep, ask to meet both that nightmare pig and the friendly deer-hamster thing again, in the same dream. They seem like the extreme ends of the spectrum. Two kinds of wildness, one friendly, one scary. Demand that the pig tell you what he really wants!

But when facing down nightmares, it's good to have a friend along--and my gut says that alpine critter also has way more to it than meets the eye.

--Chris Wayan

LISTS AND LINKS: mountain dreams - weird dream creatures - deer - pigs - gender issues - Shadow figures - freedom and captivity - parenting - feral kids - repression, oppression, suppression - fundamentalists and fanatics - healing from abuse - nightmares - recurring dreams - nutrition - drugs and medicines

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