In my dream, there was a book, a lot like a Dr. Seuss book in its words and pictures, but it was about a young girl who was molested by some adult in authority, perhaps the school principal or something like that.
During some parts of the dream, it was like living the story instead of reading it in the book; I was some mid-level staff person at a large school event — part entertainment like a football game or dance, part emergency shelter like after a natural disaster. Sometimes I interacted with the girl or the adult, but sometimes I just saw both of them from a distance.
The whole thing had an appearance of innocence or at least good covering up, but a strong sinister undertone that provoked suspicion. As if it started with something like the adult nicely dancing with the girl at the school dance, and only later developed into something perverted.
By the end of the book, there’s a picture of the girl as a sexy bad girl, describing how she had become what she had to be to satisfy others, but you could tell she was lost and dead inside.
I think a lot of the dream is just rehashing and recombining images and ideas from the bits of the movie I saw. The Dr. Seuss imagery may come partly from the fact that I’ve got baby books in the house and partly from the fact that a child was a major character in the dream.
What resonates is the idea of the pretty surface hiding things that won’t be talked about, and the idea of adapting to others’ expectations by losing the self.
Joe often suggested that different characters in a dream reflect different aspects of the dreamer. It’s interesting to consider in what ways I may be like the girl and the adult, although not exactly alike in the particulars — one who is betrayed, whose boundaries have been violated, who finds it difficult to interpret when other people’s behavior is harmful and when it is innocent; and one who betrays, who plows through other people’s boundaries, who finds it difficult to interpret one’s own behavior.