Saturday, 23 May 2015

Childhood Lucid Dream with Recurrent Dream Theme

In a previous post (Dream 420 - click on the title link) that I used to have recurrent nightmares about the feral cats in my nan's back garden in Sheringham, despite the fact that as a child I used to always wish I could make them my pets and wasn't scared of them in real-life. They still live in the garden, in the bushes at the top (my nan lives near a forest area) and my nan feeds them. Some of them are born deformed - they have ears or tails missing and many of them are quite weak or sickly. I think that the entire time my nan has lived in that house she has been pestered by her own children and grandchildren to keep some of the cats in the house as proper pets, even though this was out of the question. I know my nan has taken some of the cats brought into the house by various children of the family to a local 'cat woman' to care for, rather than putting them back out into the wild to fend for themselves.

I had a dream - which I would describe as my first remembered 'natural' lucid dream when I was still living in my nan's house with my mum (I do still live in that house when not at university, but my mum moved out when I was 10 years old and I lived between her home with my stepdad and my nan's house for most of my childhood after that). I therefore can only state that this dream happened before I was 10 years old. I would also describe this dream as more of a 'nightmare' since the dream itself was terrifying and I woke up feeling very unsettled by it. I may have also been disturbed by the fact I became lucid in this dream and did not fully understand the experience. The impact this dream/nightmare had on me has been etched on my memory, making it a significant dream experience.

In the dream I was in my nan's garden and it was night - although I was able to see everything quite well - as if it were actually dusk. The garden was filled with feral cats - all prowling around the bushes and walking through the grass. 

I could see that there was a coat stand in the garden, with coats on it (in real-life my nan has a row of coat pegs in her hallway, not an actual coat stand - although one may have existed in the house when I was a small child). The coat stand was near the back of the brick shed. 

I felt really scared to be out in the garden at night with the cats - there was a sense of threat which I could not fully comprehend. The cats miaowing made me feel even more threatened and scared - I was trapped in the garden with them. 

I was then able to see over the (nearly 6 foot high) hedge into the next-door neighbour's garden - it seemed as if I was looking down on the scene, even though I was still standing on the ground. Instead of seeing their garden, I could see the interior of my nan's house - as if the walls had been cut away and I was able to look in, like through the front of a doll's house. The lights were on and the fire (an actual open fireplace) was blazing. It looked warm and cosy inside and I could see my mum, my nan and other family members sitting in the lounge talking to each other and continuing with normal life. I felt isolated from this domestic scene - as if I had been left out in the cold with the feral cats and forgotten about. I wasn't sure how I could get back inside the house - it seemed impossible. I then started questioning how I could see into the house in this way - from that angle and in that direction (the neighbour's garden) - I then realised I was dreaming - therefore the dream became a lucid dream, although I did not attempt to control it in any way - I woke up.

I have many childhood memories associated with cats. Apparently, when I was about 3 years old I was in the garden with my mum when I started crying. My mum assumed I had been stung by a bee, so tried to find out what had upset me so much. I pointed to 'Mickey' - a feral ginger tom cat who we regularly fed and played with and said: 'The cat's got a hole in his bum!' I didn't know all butts have buttholes - I was too young. My mum explained that everyone has a 'hole in their bum' and the cat wasn't hurt (I had thought the hole was a wound!) I was also given a grey kitten ('Tinky') when I was around the age of 5 years old - it was the most exciting thing in the world to be walking home from primary school with my mum, knowing there was a baby kitten waiting for me. However, my mum had to give Tinky away (to a local woman who wanted a cat) shortly afterwards because she discovered I was badly allergic to cats and they affected my childhood asthma (I no longer have asthma - it seems the coal dust from my nan's open fire aggravated the condition, as I 'grew out of' the symptoms as soon as the council switched the open fire for a gas heater - I also am no longer as allergic to cat fur as I was when a child). I never knew why Tinky had to leave until much later - and I think I actually blamed myself thinking he had left because of me. I also thought he might have run away and got lost. My mum told me that when I was at school, she found out Tinky's real (cat) mum was missing him so much that it was kinder for him to return to live with her and his kitten brothers and sisters. I was a child when I first learned that the word 'pussy' was a slang term for 'vagina' - and subconsciously, the dream symbol of cats - and the association with 'pussy' -  may be intrinsic to my identity as a female.

Of course, there are many interpretations which can be given to cat dreams - and I have written an article on interpreting cat dreams which you might like to read if you want to know about some possible ways of analysing these types of dreams. 

1 comment:

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