I’m outside skiing with a group. The rest of the group leaves, and I remain by myself. I’m sad to be alone. I look for a good path where I can ski, and I see lots of other people skiing. The track is all broken up.
My family used to go skiing a lot when I was a young teenager, I tell Ron. In a way, it was very positive – family oriented, healthy, outdoorsy. In another way, it was a problem. My father was extremely competitive, and he’d instruct us relentlessly on the best skiing techniques. He wanted us to compete in races, which my brother and sister did, but I didn’t. I was not physically talented. But in addition, I resented being constantly criticized for my skiing technique, so automatically did not want to do well.
Ron comments that what strikes him about the dream is how I never seem to connect with anyone – the loneliness of it. The people I know ski away, and I don’t interact with the new people that come along – it’s as if they don’t see me.
I did feel abandoned as a teenager. It was as if I never could measure up to my family’s expectations, so they ignored me. I remember being almost silent during that time.
Ron comments that my father’s criticism would have re-activated my trauma. I’d never thought of that. It makes sense in a way – I was pretty much crushed by his demands. That would explain why it was so extra hurtful – it would have nudged the awful trauma feelings that I’d buried deep inside.
I have a mixed history with exercise. Because it’s something my family strongly believed in, I got a lot of exposure to exercise as a child. My father turned everything into a drama about how good you were at it, which was discouraging for me.
I’d gone to an interview a few days before the session. I felt it went very badly, and told Ron I blew it because I was so anxious. I tell how the recruiter prepped my very extensively for it, which I think just made me more nervous. He was trying to help, but I hear things that could be helpful as criticism. So it seemed like a cycle – feedback becomes criticism in my mind, leading to huge anxiety. It seemed related to this dream for me.
Now of course, it’s turned out I didn’t blow the interview, as they’ve offered me a contract.
Still, the feelings I had about it were very real.