Jungian Individuation III – The Few, The Proud and The Brave
Introduction – This dream is about growing through complex PTSD and taking credit for fighting through many difficult situations in life. Having never been given credit or recognition for the heroic efforts I made by others who stole the credit – I realize I did earn these honors and have stopped doubting myself – and I am taking the credit back – because I know I did these things.
Beginning – Stage one of dream goes back to younger age.
There is a tough juvenile who is accused by authorities of committing some crimes – stealing -the kid is making up crimes he did not commit – talking about a robbery he committed when he was 9 years old. It seemed to be what they wanted to hear – like he was going to be guilty anyway.
A Poser In My Mind
Then he had also posed as a Marine and was exposed as just being a fake Marine. A story he had made up to appear tough – but he was caught in this pretense. He had to report to this military place where he would be stripped of this honor. He is walking to this place, rolling some kid of a large circular stone – shaped like a large disk about the size of an automobile tire. I am accompanying in the form of the dream ego – observing everything.
We get to this old military base, probably from the 1800’s – Mexican War era building with white stucco walls and an old iron gate – we are admitted. We pass several slots or shafts, one for each type of hero. The guards show us down a corridor where the shaft is for Marines to enter – we must climb into the shafts, they are about 4 to 5 feet above the ground – and we slide through. When the pseudo Marine climbs up I notice he has tattoos and is muscular – he was really tough. I slide right behind him.
Sacred or Hallowed Ground
We come out into a garden type cemetery where there are monuments to various heroes. It is sacred ground – I got the feeling that my father might be buried in this place. But unlike a military cemetery – the monuments are placed randomly, not in rows like Arlington where my father is buried.
Even though he was not a real Marine he had been assigned to a fighting unit – the guys in his unit are disappointed that he will no longer be with them – they had looked up to him. They all went to an amusement park to escape the pain or bad feelings from the separation from their comrade/friend that is being ejected. I can see them in my mind as they are going down a steep roller coaster with ‘longest drop in the world’ – one soldier is about to get sick from fall. I recognize another one, Rick, an old customer of mine.
Apparently, they did not care that he was unofficial, they judged him on his character and he had been courageous, brave, loyal and was admired as a leader.
The Killing Fields
Then the guards lead us to some battlefield that is covered with the dead from a battle between Russian and German troops – the Russians had been mowed down in waves and I explain to a group there what the Russians went through in WWII fighting the Germans.
The Trials – Splitting Personalities
Then we (the pseudo Marine and dream-ego) were placed in some type of cage for punishment – a group of 24 Russian military personnel watch from a window viewing into the cage. (Judgment)
The Marine character then breaks down or morphs into 9 different animal characters. One is extremely evil and has control over or at least is greatly feared by the others.
One of these creatures is a black or dark character – sort of a ‘Darth Vader’, ominous presence. He leaves the cage and is walking around the battlefield – not sure of what he is going to do. He has a lot of destructive power at his fingertips. He starts to walk around a circular pool of water. One of the other creatures, a small dog innocently begins to follow him around the pond – the dark character suddenly turns around to unleash his wrath on the dog. I see what is taking place and I move from being a passive observer and put myself in between the evil dark one and the dog. I signal the evil one that I do not want him to bother the dog. I seemed to be somewhat surprised that I could gain control of the destructive force, but at the same time appeared to be very sure or confident in my actions.
(NYC – street vendor vs. taxi drivers)
Further Splitting of Dark Force
Then the destructive force starts to morph into different forms. I am not scared but seem to realize that I am in for some type of battle or struggle. The first two forms are mechanical in nature and they radiate some type of evil of destructive force or power.
Suddenly, the first appeared close to me – it was a mechanical scarecrow whose objective is to destroy me. I realize I must destroy it quickly. I have a ray gun and keep its flow of destructive force concentrated on the body of the scarecrow – its exterior is very hard and resistant to my ray gun, but I keep the stream of the ray focused on its chest – the scare crow starts excreting from its head, so I know it is reaching its end.
Bullet Proof Case Protecting Negative Energy Force
But, it suddenly morphs into another mechanical object. It was like a bullet proof, very thick piece of clear plastic, shaped like the nose of a modern jet-fighter plane with a small hole at the tip of the nose. Inside was a bright ball of light – a light purple color. This had to be extinguished with powerful water guns; the jets are aimed directly at the small hole. Once again, this force put up massive amounts of resistance against our weapons – now I had two other people helping me – my brother and another long-term friend, Bill. This force is not fighting back, but it is putting up great resistance to stay lit – it is the nucleus of the destructive force. The joint in my thumb was beginning to ache because I had to suppress the trigger of the water gun for such an extend period. I check on my companions and they had stopped firing. I asked them if they were out of ammunition and they said “no” they had stopped because they could not take the pain anymore – but I refuse to give in and kept my trigger suppressed despite the pain. I let them know I had no intention to give into the pain and would keep firing until the purple light had been extinguished.
Evil Russian Agent
But, then the scene changed again. The scene changed to a control room where there is a single evil Russian agent – he apparently is in charge of my destruction. There is only a small peep hole to see out of the room. I am now a sniper and have a rifle with a scope. I wait for this Russian agent to look out of the hole. When he does, I get two quick shots off, one goes through the center of his forehead and as he spins the other goes through temple to temple. He stands stunned for a moment and I wonder if I missed. He has his hands trying to plug the wounds. Then he removed a hand from his temple and the blood gushes out and he begins to slump. He was finally finished.
Then the Marine character is back and it was he that had done the shooting. Dream ego is back to observer role. We are walking back down the corridor we had originally entered to leave, unescorted. We come to the final door we must pass through and it is some type of security door with many slots – I am afraid we will not be able to get through – only heroes can go through and we do not have validation. But, then the Marine heads to a wide panel on the side and just pushes it open and walks through, no hassle. I am wondering if it will work for me, I was afraid it wouldn’t, but it opens right up and I move right through.
(still doubt self – never officially recognized)
(Test at IBM)
Free at Last
We are on the outside and we are free. We didn’t play by the rules and we had won. The Marine had his uniform buttons unbuttoned – non-conforming and we walked away from that place. We were both feeling proud that we had been brave, determined and victorious over the evil force.
Psychoanalytic Dream Interpretation of The Few, The Proud and the Brave
The beginning of the dream goes back to my youth where I always seemed to be accused of things I was not really guilty or had no devious intent. (Litany of crimes against the state) Always accused to purposely ignoring things I was told to do – this was in the 1950’s and 60s before attention deficit was widely known about or treated. I forgot things all the time, therefore was always accused of being willfully disobedient. Now, I am 64 and take Adderall. I have been taking this and similar drugs since I was 50 when it was diagnosed as one of the problems. The drugs help a lot, but still have tremendous organizational problems.
I was the top salesman for the company for many years, but boss would continually criticize me and penalize me even though I bought in enough business for him to hire a secretary just to take care of me. He thought his penal codes would change me.
A Poser in My Mind
My father was a combat veteran of WWII and I grew up watching every one of the WWII movies they ever made. When I was young, I idolized my father for being part of this great feat and my father had taken a fairly active role in combat taking part of four major campaigns including ‘The Battle of the Bulge’. I had always imagined I would be a soldier when I grew up and picked a military high school to attend when I was 13. Vietnam was just heating up at this time, and being in a military institution I was indoctrinated to be pro-war, plus I got a full dose of anti-communism at home from my veteran father.
However, by the time I graduated from high school, the country was being torn apart with the anti-war movement; the Secretary of Defense had resigned over moral issues, and as I attended college, I got a totally different picture of the situation. It was pretty confusing to have been taught to view things one way for so long, and then have everything flipped around. But, the fantasy of being a soldier stayed in my head, my family had served in the U.S. Army since the Civil War.
I was drafted into the Army and was told to report to Fort Holabird in Baltimore, but about three weeks after I received the draft noticed, they sent me another notice and told me not to report because they had decided to wind things down in Vietnam.
Therefore, in the dream, I am this pseudo marine who had been posing as a marine, I am never playing the part a real Marine in the dream, just accused of posing after the fact. Marines are recognized as being tough, and I was, in fact, very tough in life – I fought against tremendous odds and survived. When I started to work in sales for the company I worked for 22 years, I was the only outside salesman the company had. Our main competitor had more than 100 salesmen at the time, and I managed to start selling more systems than the company ever had before. We had no marketing department and the company did not even have any sales literature. I had to find the accounts by door-to-door cold calls. I was getting so many good leads that my boss, the company president, started stealing the leads from me and the coward did not have the guts to make any cold calls himself.
The company grew from having two accounts when I started to over 200 accounts in four years. By 1985 we had 10 salesmen when the company president really screwed things up, I was the only one out of the ten to survive the disaster. And, I saved the company from being shut down by the IRS with one large sale I had worked on for two years. Later, the boss would claim he made the sale and stole half of the commission by deceptive means.
These are only a couple examples of the of the insanity I had to deal with over a 22-year period. So, I fought my way through some very difficult situations.
Sacred or Hallowed Ground
My father is buried at Arlington. Did not really mourn my father’s death, but that 21-gun salute choked me up a bit. Severe case of PTSD – full of rage and alcoholic – never bonded.
The Amusement Park
The guys that went to the amusement park, I believe represent my customers and others I worked with that respected me. I even recognized one of them, Rick, a customer from New Jersey. He was a pretty tough guy himself, he could handle himself in situations. Many of my customers had a lot of respect for me and were loyal to me as opposed to my company. When a legal problem developed because my company really screwed some things up at Rick’s account, I stood up for the customer against my own company and threatened to testify on the customer’s behalf if the company did not make things right. Obviously, this did not help relations go any smoother with the company management and things were already tenuous. But, I had power because so many customers were loyal to me and I could sell in hard times.
“the Longest Drop in the World” represents my fall from grace – from being a respected member of the community to being fired from a job and simultaneously having my wife cheat on me publicly. I had never been fired before and the main reason for being fired was that I knew too much. I was innocent of all charges
Defiant – Calling Bruce, a Cock Sucker (is it worth mentioning) involuntary – it just popped out of my mouth, a gut level reaction – when he breached my contract on the way out the door to sign a $250,000 deal. He said he was changing the commission structure immediately. Demoted as National Sales Manager, but I still did the same job, just no title.
Toward the latter part of my career, I survived three corporate merger/takeovers. In one, 50% of the company employees were let go the day of the takeover after ‘verbal’ commitments were made to keep everybody.
My new ‘handler’ took me on a boat ride the first day of the takeover when half of the employees were fired so that I did not have to witness the slaughter. This might be the reference to the amusement park – removing witnesses so they do not feel the impact of the direct pain inflicted.
The Killing Fields – Explanation
We come to the battle field where massive amounts of dead Russian soldiers have been mowed down in a battle against the German. Emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually I had been drained from 22 years of working in this insane environment. The Russians were forced to pay a horrendous price in defeating the Germans, but they did prevail yet were drained when it was all over. They put up a courageous fight, and in places like Stalingrad they made the Germans pay dearly for every inch of ground. The internal struggle within my company was much worse than dealing with the competition – it was a constant battle the last ten years there. Some of the things the president did, when I think about them stir up a rage – I would find it easy to take a baseball bat to him and really work him over. I can’t imagine feeling any remorse for committing such an act.
(Reminds me of “Lost Victories” by Field Marshal von Manstien – all the accounts lost that should have been won – also walking away from all of the victories, nothing was really gained in the end – it was all for naught – because if inept and corrupt leadership – Own team captain was fouling me so he could have a better chance of looking like the ‘hero’. Twice he was so rude to prospects visiting our facility the they immediately purchased other products, they wanted nothing to do with Bruce Adamson, the company president.
He once bragged to another employee how he had cheated me out of my sales commission.
The Trials – Splitting Personalities
Then we (the Marine and dream ego) were placed in some type of cage for punishment – a group of 24 Russian military personnel watch from a window looking into the cage.
I was placed in a cubicle where the windows of the offices of the president and vice president overlooked – humiliation – trying to make it look like I was incompetent – but traveled a lot and often worked out of empty office.
Donald Kalsched in his book, “Trauma and the Soul” speaks of a part of a child’s spirit splitting off when they experience trauma. Defense mechanisms are set in place to protect this part of the disconnected human spirit, in hopes that one day the chance for the spirit to be reconnected with the mind and body will arise. But, he does not discuss multiple splits, if is what the 9 characters represent. But if it does, I sense it is like a spectrum where 1 and 9 are opposites and 5, the center represents the dream-ego, or true self versus the ego, what I try to present in waking life. The # 5 character encompasses or is comprised of the range of emotions all 9 characters are capable of.
The Darth character is # 9, an extremely destructive side. On one level – the scarecrow – this dark character wants to totally destroy those that I feel are enemies who want to harm me, at the same time, to hold this force in check – this destructive agency can also operate as a self-destructive defense mechanism – the evil Russian agent. Holding onto anger prevents me from being constructive, making it hard to concentrate at times or by having violent fantasies to release the pent-up rage. There is also an anti-social aspect making it very difficult to negotiate one’s way in life – which could also be viewed as self-destructive.
The innocent, playful puppy that starts to follow the dark side represents my innocent side. When the early trauma occurred, I was innocent, I had done nothing wrong, but was raged at. The puppy was white which often represents innocence. I could not make any sense of it and it happened repetitively making other people seem like objects ready to attack, therefore, a defensive posture seemed to make sense and, later, to be always prepared to counterattack.
Hostile – way that Steve Arcadi described me 40 some years ago.
Mirrors incident in NYC – (See Toward End of Interpretation)
But, I, as the dream-ego or number 5 personality, step-in and force the dark side to desist from its senseless rage. I feel like I now have control of the extreme end of the rage spectrum where I would uncontrollable lash out against others, and in this case, I see myself as the innocent puppy. But, I feel the rage that most people would feel at a person trying to hurt an innocent puppy. What I think is going on here is that self-knowledge is allowing me to cancel out the extreme ends of the spectrum –
The extremely destructive side and the childish innocence are being put aside or cancelled out. Neither position serve my self-survival or ability to be successful. Since they appear to operate in tandem – they must be cancelled out in tandem.
The other levels (2,3,4,6,7,8) are not really dealt with in this dream.
Number 9 Personality – Hostile
In group therapy forty years ago, one of the other members who I kind of looked up t as a big brother, described me as being ‘hostile’ and I liked that description at the time being in my early twenties.
Instead, the number 9 dark personality puts up a formidable last stand. First, it turns into the scarecrow figure that hard an extremely hard exterior which represents the difficult to penetrate defense mechanisms. Having had to live in such precarious environments, formidable defense mechanisms were required – now being removed from hostile environments I can now disarm, but the armor does not come off easily. It takes a lot of concentrated effort to drop the defense shields – merely recognizing their existence and realizing that they are self-destructive if not enough – simple logic does not apply. I assume the unconscious mind knows they were put there for very good reason, it takes time to build up both trust in other people and confidence in the self to begin to let go and begin to disarm.
Second Morphing of 9th character
When it appears that the scarecrow is going to implode as excrement begins to be emitted from its head, it suddenly morphs to the bullet proof casing. It is not attacking, but appears to be just trying to save itself, to remain incased for future use. It knows it is being defeated, therefore, assumes its ‘defensive’ position.
But there is a hole – a small opening that allows for its power to be extinguished
My brother and a friend are helping me to extinguish this force, we are all aiming our water guns to extinguish this negative energy. But they wear out, but I know I have this thing trapped now and am determined to extinguish the destructive purple light at it source. Just when it appears I am going to overcome it, it morphs again. This shows the resourcefulness of these defense mechanisms, they want to exist, it is not a conscious process. They have a life or ‘force’ of their own. They are so fearful of having to relive the humiliation and rejection felt in the past; not only the original trauma but the cumulative trauma of all the humiliation and rejection of the past. So, they don’t just fold their tents and go home – they are as every bit as determined to stay as the force which wants to eliminate them is determined to live. To thrive the dream ego is aware this light must be extinguished.
Resistance is strong, but desire to fight back is equally as strong to break free of destructive force. My defenses keep morphing into different forms – it may not be a realistic goal to actually eliminate some of these characteristics, but constantly chipping away at them will decrease there hold or effectiveness over time. The defense mechanisms are actually a part of a survival system built originally to protect me from what I considered to be hostile forces.
Just a night or two after this dream another dark character returns trying to show me who’s boss. – (Dream after this, Jesus Christ is trying to kill me! In class room from third grade.)
In the dream my brother and a friend are helping me, but they give up. This actually mirrors an event from 40 some years ago, during the campus unrest in the early 1970’s. The three of us were walking down the middle of a deserted street as tear gas and pepper gas hung in the air – there was a general curfew which we were ignoring and we walked into an ambush, I believe it was the National Guard. Suddenly, this huge guy in full riot gear: helmet, shield and very large riot stick, comes charging out at us from behind some bushes. I assumed we had no choice but to try to take him down because he was right on top of us – the three of us probably could have taken advantage of his charge and thrown him down. I turned toward the trooper to get ready, then checked to see if my brother and friend were ready, they were gone! I hit the fight response, they hit the flight response. And, now this trooper had only one target – fortunately, I knew the back allies well. I headed into this alley that was blacked out because of the curfew, I was aware that half way down the alley a brick wall of a building jutted out about 5 feet, but it was pitch black so I had my hand out to feel for the wall, I touched it and swerved around the structure. Again, fortunately for me, the trooper was unaware of the brick wall and I heard a crash and thud behind me, but did not turn around to look. At the time, I had a pocket full of speed because it was exam time and I had been out making the purchase before I met up with my brother and friend.
But putting up the fight against this self-destructive force is something that not many people are up for. Why, because it is very hard (‘The Road Less Traveled’ as Scott Peck would call it) – to take a really honest self-critical position for a very extended amount of time is an onerous task, and did I mention that it is very painful and lonely, but necessary if one must penetrate extremely formidable defense mechanisms. People die rather than face this; alcoholism, anorexia, drugs, lung cancer, suicide, strokes and heart attacks due to overeating and unresolved stress, etc. Unfortunately, there is only one way out, the ‘dark alley’ known as the unconscious. It appears to be a combination of determination and luck, as I had above, to make it through – because the defense mechanisms, also, have their ‘brain police’, vultures and monsters ready to pounce. Speaking of pouncing, we have the final morph.
The Evil Russian Agent
The self-destructive portion of the defense mechanism has been substantially weakened. Close to 7 or 8 years ago. I was suicidal – this portion of the unconscious seemed to have taken control of my spirit it had almost put my light out. However, through therapy, dream work, alcoholics anonymous meetings, working on my other addictions (food, i.e. sugar, etc.) and exercise I have gained the upper hand and have managed to put two bullets through the head of the force that controls the main or more extreme end of the self-destructive force within myself.
However, this force is not really dead – it is more like it is dormant and as long as I keep working on these issues and promoting behavior that is self-building and creative – exercise meetings, dream work, etc. I will keep this ‘Evil Russian agent’ character at bay.
A night or two after this dream the ‘evil force’ appeared in another dream as “Evil Jesus Christ”. The figure of Jesus Christ was at the door of my 3rd grade classroom in the Catholic school I attended. His objective was to kill me. It was a classic figure of Christ except that eyes and the area around his eyes were very dark or black. He was going to emit some type of death ray. My defense was on my foot – I had a pair of eyes on my foot that could also emit a death ray to fight back. But, I had trouble raising my leg to fire. Blankets were too heavy, I was in bed – I woke up try to raise my covers with my leg. The pain in my knees was so great that I awoke. (Knees really are in bad shape – heading in for knee replacement in a week. The pain was real.)
Saving the Innocent Puppy = Incident in New York City
The saving the puppy scene mimics another real-life event where I put myself between several rather nasty characters and a weaker innocent person.
I was in New Your City outside a theater waiting to get into see the play “42nd Street” about 15 years ago. A homeless young man had approached me for money and I promised him some, but first he had to listen to my spiel on Alcoholics Anonymous. I basically told him my story on getting sober. While I am talking to him I decided to get a soft pretzel from a street vendor on the curb in front of the theater.
A ‘couple of Yellow Cabs’ pulled up and some very angry unsavory characters emerged – they were dark skinned (possible Pakistani), lightly built, but very tough looking. That had not been raised on ‘Easy Street”. They start making threats to the street vendor – actually threatening to kill him. The street vendor is a small weaker individual – my guess is from Central America. The exchange was over the fact that the cabbies did not want the vendor’s cart on the curb. The vendor did not speak English very well, but what I could make out was that is where he was told to be – either by his boss or some regulation. He was just a poor person without power trying to survive.
The cabbies did not care about what he was trying to say, I do not think they even tried to comprehend anything he had to say. The anger on their faces and flashing from their eyes had this poor vendor scared to death. These were some scary characters who looked like they would carry out their threats.
Then the lead cabby got right in the vendor’s face and said they would be back with guns next time. It appeared to be some type of continuing struggle with vendor carts reducing the cabbies access to the curb – and the vendor was stuck in the middle with his job threatened if he moved the cart and his life threatened if he didn’t move it.
I did not plan or think anything through, I just suddenly spoke up and told the cabbies that with all the witnesses around, it was pretty dangerous to be making such threats. Then I mentioned they were being rather foolish because their license plates and particularly the cab ‘medallion’ number were clearly displayed for all the witnesses to see. Cab medallion numbers are worth a lot of money in NYC and extremely hard to get – losing this would probably cost them their lives.
The lead thugs suddenly turned his attention and anger toward me. He had a lot of anger and hate in his eyes. Now he risked being put down in front of the other thugs as well as the vendor and everybody around. I felt like a gun slinger, I had no fear at this time – I was very confident that I could call his bluff because by losing his cab medallion would be cutting his own throat. I spoke calmly and logically and ignored his threats – then I took it to another level.
I played a power game on him. My daughter worked for the mayor of Los Angeles. I told the cab driver that I personally knew the Mayor of Los Angeles and that it would be no problem for the Mayor of Los Angeles to call the Mayor of New York and have his cab medallion number tracked down. Now I was dealing at a level way over the lead thug’s head – he probably had no idea how things worked at this level, but he knew I was talking about real power. He had no idea who I was, just a well-dressed guy in a suit attending the theater. His face changed from anger and hate into confusion and worry – he suddenly back down and ordered his thugs back into the cabs and took off.
The vendor thanked me for saving him and the homeless guy had his eyes wide open and said, “I have never seen anything like that in my life”. I felt very good about myself for having done that, and I was a bit surprised at my action. But just like in the dream, I felt no fear facing this dark force and felt in control of the situation, like I was in command here and could handle this situation – completely confident.
When I came out of the theater the homeless guy was waiting for me and offered to walk with me back to my hotel because there was safety in numbers between the theater on 42nd street and my hotel a few blocks away. The restaurant was still open when we got to the hotel and I invited the homeless guy to come in and get something to eat. As soon as he started to enter the restaurant the employees came forward to throw him out, but I said the he was with me, that I was buying him dinner and they seated us. I talked to the homeless kid about alcoholics anonymous and going to a meeting – this was NYC, I knew there were meetings all around. I never saw him again, I just hope something that happened that night made a change in his life.
(Not a Survivor, but a Warrior poster)
Modine sale, Triad software sale – started it, CCI catalog and FTC