I dreamed I wore a dress to a training class for new lawyers learning to defend criminal defendants. No one noticed my garb. None of the other attorneys said anything, and I never felt “different” or out of place as a new public defender awaiting to argue his first case in Court.
But when I left the room and took a break, a supervisor removed the dress as he and others tried to run off with what they said was an “inappropriate” clothing for a man’s courtroom appearance.
I grabbed this man — a senior attorney with years of legal experience under his belt — and lashed out striking him, landing my fists across his smug face over and over and over again. I struck him three times with all the anger, frustration and madness my PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) would allow, hoping I could reach back to my days of combat when I would feel justified and even honorable to take another person’s life.
Who was he to try to dictate how I should live my way of life, practice in my profession, take my first steps into a world I had only read about but never learned to live in . . .
* * * * * * * *
I awoke in a cold sweat, not so much from the flashback involving the training I was given to fight in Vietnam — unfortunately, those are not rare — but from the ramifications that manifested in the dream, and that was, not caring what anyone thought of me upon wearing clothes of the opposite sex!
I was disturbed with what this dream may have tried to tell me. Was my masculinity being challenged? Were there secret, underlying desires to re-examine my sexual orientation? How could I ever deal with bringing this dream to the surface and airing it privately with a therapist or, more frighteningly, publically in an Internet post where anyone, anywhere, at any time could see it and question the meaning of my subconscious mind?
I needed to meditate. Deeply. Honestly. In as humble a posture as I could reach. And, as I tasted the “nothingness” of deep meditation, I forgave myself, as well as the attorney supervisor and the manipulative Trickster that help make this dream seem so real to me. I realized afterwards that the dream had nothing to do with dresses or proper or inappropriate appearance.
It had grown from an area of my psyche where the child in me experienced no restrictions, had never known what expectations were, or even recognized something language would call “thoughts.”
I reached back to a time in my life when the “mind” had no contact with me, except what the five senses telegraphed to me. Then, I lived only in the world of smell, taste, touch, sight and hearing. Every stimuli I encountered was new, and if I had somehow come in touch with it before, I had no Left Brain ability to label it, categorize it, and present any future possibilities of any additional contacts from my past experiences. I had no ability to retrieve or recall events, contacts, something called yesterday or even an hour ago.