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Dream 01_200109

Dream of the Month (September 2001)
  1. Title: Wrestling An Alligator

  2. Date of the Dream: 8/27/2001 (mailed Monday, 27 August 2001)

  3. Dream: It was nighttime, and very dark. I was in a long skinny canoe, maybe 100 meters long, with a group of women. There was an alligator swimming around me, talking to me, threatening that it was going to get me. I lay down in the bottom of the boat, facing up, very frightened that the alligator was going to sink the canoe. It leapt over the boat once, but missed hitting it.

    The boat arrived and I was then in a big underwater house. All of the women swam in a single line underneath the water, each holding onto the woman's foot in front of them. I was at the end of the line. I was still frightened that the alligator was going to leap out and grab me. Then I was left in one of the rooms with two other women. The water was gone, and there were what looked like children's drawings etched in the ground, in bright colors (a stark contrast to the darkness everywhere).

    I had a broom and I was supposed to remove the etchings with it, which didn't work at all. I thought that there must be another reason I was in the room, and looked behind me, and saw the alligator. It leapt out at me and one of the other women grabbed it. I leapt on top and wrapped my legs around it, and put my hands at his jaw so he wouldn't bite me. It started complaining that I was hurting it, so I readjusted my grip on his mouth.

  4. Significant life event: I am struggling with what I'm going to do with my life, deciding whether to get out of the military or stay in.

  5. Personal concerns/issues: I had a conversation with my boyfriend beforehand about what I should do in the military, and was (am) generally pessimistic about he and I ever finding a good solution with our careers and still being together.

  6. Associations: "Wrestling an alligator" is a good analogy for how I'm feeling about these tough decisions in my life. I am trying to take control but feel pretty helpless.

  7. Pen Name: Diane

Dr. Holloway's Comments:

Identifying Characteristics: Traveling in a canoe often reflects the current elements in a life passage. Alligators often symbolize issues that have reached a stage that throws us into crisis-mode.

This dream illustrates a challenging environment, one plagued by narrow constraints, unexpected challenges and possibly the requirement to “go underground” with the emotional side of life. There is a delicate, unpredictable balance to traversing this terrain, and perhaps the narrow canoe reflects that precarious mixture of forces.

Although you do amazingly well given this set of pressures, the dream hints that the setting isn not supporting you in equal measure to the extent it challenges you. Although you react heroically to the alligator, there is an oddly subversive quality to the way it stalks you. This bait-and-switch feeling is underscored in the scene where you are expected to sweep away the brightly colored children's drawings. Bright colors represent strong, clear feelings, perhaps about children, family or creativity. Although you try to sweep this energy away, you are unable to do so.

The final scene suggests that you are being forced to struggle with an issue that literally takes every ounce of strength you have. do not expect it to get any easier; it is going to feel dramatic and epic no matter how you tackle it. Be cautious about getting “sold” an idea, or accepting anything less than your own truth about the situation or what you need. This “battle” probably won not make sense to you until a later time, so do not wait for everything to come clear before choosing your priorities.

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