“You learned to run from what you feel, and that’s why you have nightmares. To deny is to invite madness. To accept is to control.” ― Megan Chance, The Spiritualist
I have a wonderful friend who is continuously inviting me to one kind of introspective workshop or another, and she wants me to join her Dream Group, which is led by a Jungian Psychologist. I explained to my friend that I don’t have dreams. I said that the group would be frozen in trying to analyze why I NEVER dream at all.
That night, I had a dream. Earlier in the day, I had written a post about how I like to hop into my old Honda Element and strike out on excursions and how I make stops that turn my excursions into my journey. Later I admitted to my friend that I didn’t dream. All through the night, I dreamed that I was driving around and around aimlessly, trying to get to an exclusive school where I formerly taught in Mississippi, but I kept missing the small, easy-to-miss sign that would have gotten me there. I loopred around and around and around, trying to reach my destination. Bottom line: I did dream, or was that a nightmare?
I don’t believe that I need a Jungian psychologist to understand what I dreamed that night. Thirteen years ago, my house in Mississippi burned to the ground, and one of my children convinced me to leave the place where I had lived almost all of my life to move to the Jersey Shore. At that time, she lived an hour away from where I was moving, and I believed that the idea was that I would be moving closer to a familial connection. In reality, that child moved away, and I became stuck in New Jersey–1,000 miles away from home.
While I was in Mississippi, I taught for a while at a very good private school in Jackson, Mississippi, and in many ways, that was one of the times in my life that I felt most successful and most integrated. I was married and because I was teaching in this school, my children were able to attend it. My ex-husband had left a profession that he felt was not what he wanted to do and had begun medical school, something that he had always wanted to do. For a few years, I believed that life was actually going to be a Happily-Ever-After affair. That didn’t happen, but the key to understanding my nightmarish dream is that while I was teaching at this school, I believed that my life was going to end as a fairy tale.
Shortly after I left that job, things began to fall apart. Medical school did not meet all of my ex-husband’s expectations and because he did not become as happy as I had hoped that he would, the cloud began to settle again. I began to have conflict with the principal, and because my children did not have the finances to “keep up” with the other students in the school, I quit that job and my family moved out to a rural suburb of Jackson, Mississippi, and my children began school in a rural, public school. That wasn’t ideal either.
The house where we moved was on a farm that we didn’t have enough money to maintain and soon, my ex-husband left. I was forced to give up my farm, which is now valued at a small fortune, and I moved into a small house that burned to the ground. Is this story exhausting? Certainly, it is, but reading this tale is not nearly as bad as living it was.When I moved to New Jersey, I was already exhausted and whipped.
Wounded and lost, I moved to New Jersey after my house burned, and quite honestly, for the past several years, I have been struggling to find my way. No doubt,in many ways I do feel that I need to get back to previous place, but if you will remember, the place that I am trying to reach in my dream is a delusion. It is a mirage that I see in a desert road. I am not trying to reach a place where I was actually happy. I am trying to reach a place where I only fooled myself into believing that I was happy.
I am homesick for a place I am not sure even exists, and my dream was about trying to reach that place that doesn’t even exist. The nightmare, however, would no doubt begin the moment that I arrived.
©Jacki Kellum July 15, 2016