Every so often, I take a break from cannabis. I recognize that I use it as an escape, and take advantage of the fact that I can be a very high functioning stoner. So when I want to shift gears, I reach out to a friend to hold me accountable. I did exactly that to start April and after a couple weeks of staring at the ceiling until 4am, I was finally starting to sleep well again. And with good sleep, I had my first dream in months. And a weird one it was…
I’ve been reading some Carl Jung and after having read and reread his writings on dream analysis, I couldn’t help but take a crack at what was a very interesting dream. As with most dreams, I’m not quite sure where it started or ended, but there were certainly some moments that were quite clear. I couldn’t help but share them with that same friend who was holding me accountable for going cannabis free. Here’s my text message to him:
“Finally had a dream last night.. first proper dream in a long time. Got shot 6 times helping stop a bank robbery.. then got a questionable doctor on commercial drive (a street I used to live by in my early 20s) to help patch me up.. then helped stop a serial killer after she tried her roofie bs on me. And somehow the Russians were involved. Putin was very impressed that I did all this with these bullet woulds lol”
Here’s my best recollection of the details:
The bank in my dream was the bank that my dad used growing up. I’ve actually been in there a few times over the last couple years and they’ve remodeled it.. but in my dream, it was the older layout. I can’t remember too many details about how things went down but something to the effect of armed bank robbers and me having an opportunity to stop them. I’m calm and rational enough to know that when someone just wants the money, it’s in everyone’s best interest to just give them the money and let them be on their way. In this instance, it was more violent, and I felt that had I not stepped in, others would have been hurt. I remember getting shot a couple times while trying to disarm one or two of them and then diving behind a piece of furniture for cover. The robbers then shot through the furniture and I was hit a few more times. I think they either ran away at that point or the police arrived, I’m not clear on that part.
I remember still having my wits about me and thinking none of my vitals were damaged. I also remember thinking it absolutely sucked to have that many bullets in me, but that I was in good shape all things considered. I collected myself, got up, and did my best to walk it off. Knowing that I needed medical attention, I walked across the street to some sort of pharmacy or doctors office for medical attention. From that point on, I was aware of the damage my body had taken, but I was back to being functional.
For whatever reason, the dream shifted at this point. There was a woman of some sort, short and stout if I remember correctly. She had some type of drug which she had attempted to use on me, the kind that would’ve left me completely vulnerable to whatever it was that she was trying to do. I’m not entirely sure, but I think that she was able to get that drug into my system. Somehow I was able to resist the effects just enough to maintain my awareness. This is when I realized that she was a Hannibal Lecter type and that my life was in danger. Remembering my training, I was able to escape the situation.
I must have gone to the authorities because the next part of the dream was a weeks long pursuit of this person alongside law enforcement. She was a full-blown serial killer who was leaving mementos behind after each kill. It was something to the effect of her drugging them, killing them, and leaving some crafts made from their bones behind. I don’t think I was leading the task force which was pursuing her but I was very much involved. I’d like to think that we caught her, but I can’t remember that part of the dream at this point.
The last part of the dream took place in my old room at the house I grew up in. Someone else was there with me and it was either Vladimir Putin or someone well connected to him. I was being commended for my work in capturing(?) the serial killer and was told that it was extremely impressive considering the bullet wounds I still had. I appreciated the compliment.
And now, let’s try to unpack this:
I often ask myself how I would react in situations where my life was at risk. Would I remain calm under pressure? Would I have the courage to act? Would I be selfish or selfless? I think the scene in the bank was looking to explore that experience. I’m not sure what to make of what happened though. It’s nice to know that in my dream, I was who I thought I was, but I still don’t know how that would translate to reality. I’m also slowly wrapping my head around having a hero complex. I’ve been fascinated with super heroes since I was a little kid. I learned values which resonated with me deeply, like integrity, perseverance, and sacrifice. I don’t think this hero complex drives me to be the center of attention or anything like that, but I do think it’s shaped my idea of the standard of person I want to be.
I remember being shot 6 times specifically. Part of it is because 50 cent got shot 9 times and I was a little bummed out that I wasn’t able to exceed that number. I think this shines light on my deeply rooted competitive drive, but also my drive to overcome. The bigger the obstacle, the more motivated I am to rise above it. I saw that I was able to take 6 bullets and ‘walk it off’, so I was left with some minor disappointment that I wasn’t shot a few more times. I know, I’m weird.
Something this does illuminate for me though is my sense of invincibility. Starting in my early 20s, as I continued to rise above the challenges I faced, I started to feel more and more like an unstoppable force of nature. I remember confiding in a few friends about this as it wasn’t something I was entirely comfortable with. I was concerned about why it was happening, and what parts of myself I was giving up to get there. I no longer have those concerns, just an awareness of who I am. Like a super sayain, every time I was literally and metaphorically beat half to death, I came back stronger. And stronger. And stronger. Eventually, I realized that the universe was running out of challenges which I was not able to overcome. These days, I’ll joke and say that I’ll be invincible until I’m not. It highlights someone who has learned to move through life without fear, but with a simple understanding that my life is not permanent. When my time comes, I’ll cease to exist. Until then, I’ll continue to move forward with the confidence of someone who can’t be stopped.
I think the visit to the doctor’s office to treat the bullet wounds was somewhat of an homage to Todd Orr. That badass survived two bear attacks in the same day, with significant damage to his head and arm, and still managed to walk it off and drive himself to the hospital. I’d like to think that I would have that same toughness and presence of mind but that’s some next level shit and it’s unlikely I’ll ever be tested to that degree.
The next part, with regards to the serial killer, I think it’s combining two elements which I think about often. The first is the roofie and rape culture which I hear about so often but have never really seen or experienced personally. I dated two girls who told me about times where they basically came to during sex with a guy they had met earlier that night, with no recollection on how they arrived there. With the increased awareness and hyper-sensitivity about it today, it’s something which does cross my mind from time to time. In this dream, a similar tactic was being used, except by a woman who was also killing her targets. Perhaps this was an effort of putting myself in their shoes. The second element seemed to be a function of justice and adventure. Every so often, I think about the world going to shit and having to navigate some kind of post-apocalyptic landscape while surviving and protecting those around me. Sometimes that seems like it would be a much more meaningful and fulfilling existence than spending a life behind a screen. This dream was not post-apocalyptic, but it did fill that void of a justice filled adventure.
The final element of the dream, engaging with the Russians, is most likely a reflection of two things. First, the sheer amount of hours I’ve put into understanding Russia’s role in American politics. I told a friend last week that trying to keep up to date and wrap my head around all the elements in play is like trying to drink from a fire hose. I’m often on Reddit and while some of the reads from subs like r/The_Mueller are easy and mostly informative, reading through r/The_Donald or watching Fox News in search of valid counter-points can be extremely wearing. This is a remarkably important inflection point in history though, and I can’t help but think that being able to understand what’s happening as it happens will provide me with a much deeper understanding of our world as this moment becomes a moment in history. That doesn’t really explain why I felt good about getting a compliment from Vladimir Putin though. In reality, I think he’s one of the most toxic influences on global democracy and prosperity. His greatest accomplishment will likely be poking holes in the American democracy and in American culture, forcing us to face these hard truths of who we are and how we conduct ourselves. All that said, Putin represents all Russians about as well as Trump represents all Americans. Russia produces some tough bastards. Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the first people that comes to mind. Individuals like him are born different.. raised different.. and it’s through a tough life that these individuals become remarkably strong and resilient people. As much as I’m not a fan of Putin, I have a great deal of respect for the collective toughness of the Russian people. To be complemented by them on my toughness was a compliment of the highest level and validated a quality which I value greatly.
Finally, something I just realized is that it’s been years and years since I’ve had a nightmare. I used to have a recurring dream/nightmare where I was fighting a monster which I couldn’t identify. One which I couldn’t attack. One which I couldn’t run from. It was always some version of the same experience, trying everything that I could with nothing working. I don’t know if this corresponded with another life event, but eventually, I had that same dream where I was able to overcome. I was focused, went straight at it, struck it with everything I had, and cracked it open. A bright light beamed out from inside and it was vanquished. That was the last time I faced something in the dream world that I didn’t see as a challenge I was able to overcome. I’m realizing that while this was a dream for me, for others, it could’ve been a nightmare. Perspective, I suppose.
Well. That was interesting… if anyone with a background in dream analysis ever comes across this, feel free to pick it apart.