Shabbat afternoon is traditionally a time for napping. The Arizal says it’s a good thing and I will happily take a nap anytime. I love napping. It’s my favorite sport, so I nap from 2 to 4pm each Shabbat. This Shabbat I had a curious dream.
I was being held in a detention center with many young people ages 20 to 25 (more or less). We each had a sleeping area with a dresser and some shelves for our personal belongings. I was told that my time was up and I was free to go. I could have stood up and walked right out the front doors of the detention center.
But I didn’t.
I chose to try to collect my belongings. I decided that it would do no harm for me to stay there one more night if I tried to pack up my few things. I was kneeling on the floor in front of my shelves and trying to get things, but other inmates (young women) were hanging around and stealing from me. I never saw them or caught them in the act, but as I would turn to the right, they would steal something of mine from the left. As I would turn to the left, they would steal something of mine from the right. A few girls went into my sleeping area and I knew they were planning to steal from me. “So what?”, I thought to myself. “I have absolutely nothing of value. Let them go through my stuff.” So I didn’t even get up from the area I was working on, trying to pack it.
The girls left my room and I went to fetch my purple backpack, the one that is precious to me in real life because it has my bloodstains all over it (another story). I looked in the knapsack and it was completely empty. The girls had stolen every last thing, even stuff that I had considered to be without any value, like pens and notebook paper. Totally empty purple knapsack. Sigh. Oh well. I returned to kneeling by the shelf area and a girl joined me to my right, again stealing everything each time I turned my head. I never caught her in the act but my possessions were gone and I was empty-handed still.
Lastly, I stood up to clear the top of the dresser. There was a tray of lovely, vintage perfume bottles, something I used to like to collect. They did not belong to me. I spent a lot of time picking up each small bottle and looking at the pictures of flowers on each label. I was very interested in a vintage orange-citrusy perfume bottle and I considered taking it since that was apparently the societal norm in the detention center as everyone else had stolen from me. I set the bottle down and did not steal it. Next, there was a whole row of those white jewelry armoires that open to conceal many drawers of shiny trinkets. I got excited wondering what treasures would be in them. I was eager to admire the jewelry, but I wasn’t going to steal that either. Then it occurred to me that when I leave the detention center in the morning, I will still be empty-handed and I accomplished nothing by volunteering to stay an extra night in prison when I didn’t have to. Silly girl.
Then I woke up.
So what does it mean? It can have many meanings, actually. This dream definitely qualifies as “multi-layered” but I’m going with this one: In 18 days, I am facing my narcissist ex-husband in court to get my financial share of our marital home. Also, I have about 80 boxes of stuff in the basement and attic of that house. I thought I could sort it out before I left for Israel, but it was too much for me to handle. I was completely overwhelmed and made zero progress on the boxes. So I just left. Ran, actually. Ran away to my new life with joy.
To me, the dream means that I will probably get nothing. I may end up with a completely empty knapsack and lose all my possessions, my family heirlooms, my photographs, my lace tablecloths, my 80 boxes of stuff. I may leave court empty-handed.
But I will still win my freedom.
Remember, usually the most important part of any dream message is how it makes you feel. What are the emotions you experienced while you were inside the dream? In my case, I felt peace and acceptance. I was not upset that the girls stole all my possessions and I felt no grief whatsoever. I reasoned that “stuff can be replaced” and it was more important that I was free.
In real life, I stayed in that detention center of a narcissistic marriage for many extra years and I am still volunteering to serve extra time because I have boxes in the house. (It was free storage.) When I get to court and have to face him for the first time in over 3 years, I must remember that I am willing to let it all slip away. Only my complete freedom and severance of all ties to the narcissist is important to me. The connections must cease.
If it turns out that I leave court empty-handed but free, “Gamzu l’tovah”. This too is for the good.
“If the doors were opened…” is copyright © 2014 by 18mitzvot. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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