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Five Hounds, Five Defenses

Dreamed 2015/9/18 by Wayan


I'm reading Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel. Not a graphic novel, but a deep psychological study drawn as comics. Bechdel's brilliant but distant & unreliable parents made her mistrust love; she learned to love ideas not people. Bechdel still can't relax and be herself even on her analyists's couch; she acts compliant to keep conditional love.

A painful book for me. My parents weren't reliable, I live in my head, loving ideas and art but not people. People let you down.


I transcribe my dreamjournal from early 1983. Sensitized by Bechdel, I see it's largely self-therapy using dreams and books as prosthetics, since I couldn't afford a therapist. I worked hard at it, and did get better--but did I complete that work?


I walk up the hill to rehearse with our band, the Krelkins. Make some rough recordings, tests for our first CD. Fatal flaws in every take, but that's no surprise--they're complex original songs, fiendishly difficult. We knew they'd need many takes. Long haul!


Five agents from five bureaus hound me, out to silence me for my five crimes. Cops and spies, FBI and CIA, American and foreign.

Curiously, inside those trenchcoats and slouch hats are actual hounds--well, hounds and other big tough cartoon critters working as secret agents, cops and private eyes. I'm trapped in funny-animal noir!

Five funny-animal detectives stalk me. Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.

One good thing about my five hounds: they and their agencies don't co-operate at all! On the other hand, they don't get in each others' way as much as I'd hope, either. So I pretty much have five separate struggles and five separate defenses, one for each:

  1. The hound of pain & inflammation: I fight this hound with exercise and turmeric; during attacks, add low doses of acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen.
  2. The hound of recurring fever, clumsiness and brainfog: I fight this hound with antibiotic herbs--cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) and Chinese wormwood (Artemisia annua).
  3. The hound of allergies: I fight this hound with exercise, Siberian ginseng (Eleuthera sp), milk thistle (silymarin), diet (gluten triggers attacks) and avoidance (solvents, pollens, animals). These help longterm, but for acute attacks I need to research allergy meds.
  4. The hound of emotional caution, from unreliable parenting that taught me others won't meet my needs, only books ideas & art will: I fight this hound by facing that I'm lonely, horny and ambitious, then taking emotional risks--openly seeking fun, friends, love & respect.
  5. The hound of subclinical autism (Asperger syndrome): I fight this hound by not trying to pass for human! Learn what works socially and emotionally for me. Ignore conventional wisdom; I'm too different for much of it to work.
This is complex dream advice! How to remember it all? I start ritualistically chanting "five bureaus, five agents, five crimes, five struggles, five defenses"--noting, amused, that even the chant is fivefold. Count them off on my fingers and chant it again, staring at my hand Castaneda style... and wake.

Remembering, barely, all five. Ha!


Dear reader, ignore the details of MY case, or Bechdel's--my point is that your dreams can spell out your issues plainly. No therapist needed! All you really need are the time & attention it takes to undo your family's & society's brainwashing, so you can spot your hounds. Once you've torn the blindfold off, this is how explicit dreams can get!

DAY: books inspiring dreams - Bechdel, Alison - therapy - dreamwork - The Krelkins (band)
DREAM: animal people - hounds & wolves - hunted! - nightmares - self-interpreting dreams - life-paths - health advice in dreams - therapy - pencil dream art
AFTER: shamanism - oops! - sabotage - mind over matter (let's crash a computer!) - Dickinson dreams - transcendent dreams - perseverance

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