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The Takeover

Dreamed 2004/6/28 by Lee Olivier

I was in an airplane with a man and child. The man was mostly my father, but also my son-in-law Tim, with a touch of my first husband Jerry. The child was probably my grandson Ben, but possibly my son Joel or even my daughter Sue.

Together we were fighting a losing battle against an alien that was taking over our world. It was outside the plane, trying to get at us. The insidious power of the alien was growing and we were running out of time before it completely overwhelmed us. Both the man and I were trying to delay the inevitable, but we know on some level that we were going to lose.

The man was talking about a dichotomy he felt caught in: whether he should join us in the fight actively, or continue with what he was best at (something engineering-related). He was close to tears, feeling he should fight but wanting to go on contributing in the way he excelled, which was more indirect. I urged him to continue what he was doing, and not to feel bad that he wasn't actively fighting.

The progress of the alien outside toward complete and total takeover was visibly becoming more apparent. Somehow, the child knew the signs better than the adults, and was interpreting them for us, as if he'd been through it before in another place where the takeover was more advanced and he had come to assist us in our fight. There was something like an electronic sign with numbers in the sky that was an indication that the end was close, and the child was telling us what it meant.

I prepared to take a shower by putting two toothpaste-tube-size gobs of shampoo in my hair, and felt more vulnerable and off-guard than usual, and less prepared to fight. I was not yet under the shower water, so I could stop and redirect my attention. I wanted to continue my shower, but felt obliged to fight.


Perhaps if I had written and then studied the dream immediately on awakening, I'd have remembered more details, but I didn't like the helpless, hopeless feeling of the fight, and didn't want to stay in it. Only after I had finished in the bathroom did I realize that writing it down would be wise, so that's what I did.

The feeling was the same way I feel with my husband Jonathan now, like I'm being overwhelmed and taken over and losing myself, and my fight is automatic and necessary but hopeless. Rather than feeling total despair, I feel some despair but also rather relieved: if fighting is useless then I need to find another solution.

This situation of being caught up by the anxieties and fears of a stronger, more dominant power is killing me. I literally feel like I am fighting for my life. I no longer feel enraged, like I did last night, but I don't know the anwer either. I do feel somewhat depressed and despairing, and I'm beginning to suspect that these intense feelings are giving rise to the rashes I've been suffering. They definitely get worse when I'm that upset, and what was a mild form yesterday is quite severe now.

--Lee Olivier


This is a great example of a helpful dream that was nearly lost because the conscious mind found its emotional tone uncomfortable. Lee nearly dismissed the whole thing, yet the dream had not one but two urgent messages--it simultaneously diagnoses a medical condition and a marriage (indeed, links them). There even may be a triple diagnosis here--I suspect the dream is also explaining just why Lee let things drift as long as she did: the helpless feeling simply made her so uncomfortable she tried to ignore the whole thing, which of course just worsened the problem. The dream deliberately echoes that, yet concocts a situation so dire she can't ignore its warning when she wakes.

Lee told me in conversation that it took her a long time to face this dream, but least she did keep what she wrote. Months later she told it to a therapist and started working through the issues it raised. The dream triggered vital changes in her life, yet she came close to dismissing it.

Dreamwork isn't always fun. Just, sometimes, necessary.

--Chris Wayan

LISTS AND LINKS: diagnostic dreams - nightmares - aliens - self-defense - assertion and passivity - dream-kids - love - choices - therapy

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