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Exit Through the Dungeon

1982/5/23 automatic drawing by Wayan

In 1980s California, doctors faced with illness not easily diagnosed just told you it must be "mind-body illness" or "stress". It wasn't utter nonsense; my parents had primed me to take abuse in relationships, and I had for 3 years before I broke away, sick and exhausted. I did need to unlearn that vulnerability.

So I did encounter and psychodrama at Prometheus Center in Palo Alto diligently for several years. I did this automatic drawing as a sort of oracle, to see if psychodrama was helping. The result surprised me.

Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.
I think the little drooping phallic figure on the upper path is me as a lonely single, sexually ashamed--thanks, mom!

The butterfly was the logo of Inner Theater in Palo Alto, so that path means psychodrama. What does it lead to? Ugly caricatures of my parents, and prison bars. I think my unconscious is warning psychodrama was just reinforcing my parental programming.

The alternative seems to be to face a group of creatures--a stoic stone child, a sensual friendly catgirl, a worried uncomfortable woman, a nature-loving horny centaur. They're straight out of recent dreams; presumably, aspects of me I was having trouble acting out--trouble living.

Beyond them is a dark dungeon with a plank bridge over an abyss where monsters lurk. But a confident scout-girl seems willing to guide me, and that dark path leads out to the sun.

I think what the drawing was telling me was to do dreamwork--difficult and dark though it seemed--instead of psychodrama, where I was getting poor feedback and not much respect--reinforcing my parent's message that I was unworthy.

So I did. And dreamwork came through.



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