Archive for September 15th, 2010

I have shared before that I often struggle with what to tell and what not to tell another person about the things I “know” (intuit) about her history because of my own. I have been healing from child abuse for seven years now, and I have been active online interacting with other child abuse survivors this entire time. I have the child abuse victim equivalent of “gay-dar” … I often just “know” that someone is a fellow child abuse survivor because I recognize the red flags.

I recently had the honor of being part of helping a longtime friend come to terms with her own history. I have “known” for years that she is a fellow child abuse survivor, but she was not yet awake to her own truths. A couple of years ago, I did share my suspicions with her as part of an intense conversation, but at that time she was not yet ready to face her history.

We had another long and intense conversation recently that moved into disturbing dreams. I am particularly gifted in dream interpretation for child abuse survivors because of having worked through my own dreams and well as being well-versed in the symbolism that is common among child abuse survivors’ dreams. She shared the details of a few dreams that really rocked her, and I had absolutely no question what they meant.

One dream in particular haunted her, but she did not know why. As she shared the details with me, I knew that it was about the perceived “death” of her inner child and her grief over the loss. The dream also carried a lot of positive elements of her amazing strength to have survived deep trauma. As she sobbed about the “death” in her dream, I kept asking her if she knew who it was that had died, and she finally said no. I told her that it was her inner child and explained the symbolism of her dream.

After she calmed down, she said that she has shared that particular dream with multiple professionals (I believe she meant counselors and/or therapists). She would see the understanding in their faces, but they all refused to interpret the dream for her. They said she would understand when she was ready.

That got me questioning whether it was my place to interpret the dream for her or not. I generally listen to my intuition in these situations, as I did here, and follow what it tells me to do. It did not occur to me not to interpret the dream, especially since it was causing her such anguish. However, because of my dream interpretation, she is pretty much now forced to face her truth. To what degree is it my responsibility to let her face her demons when she is ready? Clearly these professionals did not believe it was their place to interpret the dreams for her. I simply could not let her continue in anguish and believe falsehoods about herself because of not understanding these dreams.

In this case, it was a close personal friend that I have known for years. When people share dreams with me (or in a group) casually, I generally don’t interpret the dreams for them unless asked. However, I do often shudder that people have no idea how much of their private selves they are revealing with others when they share their dreams.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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