Dream of the Month (December 2009)
- Title: Breaking Into My Locker
- Date of the Dream: 2009 (mailed Sunday, 29 November 2009)
- Dream: I am in the corridors of my high school and I need to get something from my locker. In the dream, I don't go to high school anymore, its just that I left something there I now need. But I cannot unlock my locker, so I break into it. I tear it completely apart, which is surprisingly easy to do. There is very little left in there, it is mostly empty, but I do find the item I need. It’s something small and ordinary--perhaps a pencil sharpener or an eraser, some mundane tool. I also discover that the problem with the lock is that the key broke off inside the lock, jamming it. I feel relieved about this; it means that it wasn't my fault that I couldn't open the locker. I retrieve the broken key piece from the inside and fix the lock. I am tempted to leave the locker all torn apart, but I reflect that the difference between vandalism and fixing something is that if you are fixing it, you put it back together in the end. So I put the locker back together, but I didn't trust it much anymore. Anybody could take it apart like I did; it’s just that mostly they don't think to try. But I didn't think I would put anything valuable in there anymore, and anyway, I wasn't in high school, so there was no reason to keep things there.
- Significant life event: I had Thanksgiving with my family
- Personal concerns/issues: I have been working with a therapist on strengthening my personal boundries. My relationship with my family of origin is tense and I don't look forward to the big obligatiory holiday get togeathers. But this time, I felt that I had actually gotten someplace on having stronger personal boundaries. I was able to turn away gracefully from a religious discussion of the sort that would have sucked me in previously, and would have been painful to have.
- Associations: It seems like an empowering kind of dream. Empowering and yet respectful at the same time. I took this thing apart, got the thing I left behind and still needed, and put it back together, and decided it was time to be done with that part of my life. It just wasn't a safe place. This dream was a good confirmation of my inner progress.
- Category: None Apply
- Pen Name: grown-up
Dr. Holloway's Comments:
Striking Characteristics: The locker dreams are among the classic “back in school” themes common in North America. They typically reflect the dreamer’s authority to reclaim aspects of the self that were put on hold in the past.
This dream differs from the typical theme in which you cannot remember the combination to a locker and feel, too humiliated to ask for help with the problem. In this plot, we see the dreamer is resourceful and insightful. She understands the nature of the difficulty and is very aware that she has already outgrown this type of frustration. She is well able to break through old barriers to get hold of “her own stuff.” What she takes hold of is “ordinary,” suggesting that the whole point of her breakthrough is access: becoming her own gatekeeper, her own advocate. She has the power to sort out the territory of her personality and psyche, determining here own boundaries and her personal domain. Ultimately, she concludes there is no reason to place aspects of herself in a space she has outgrown; it makes more sense to have everything where she can use it. She is reacting to a trigger by “putting things back together” integration, rather than fragmentation, (the frequent response of adolescence). This is a profile in wholeness, perhaps hard-won, but utterly real, nonetheless.