I was laying string down on the ground with little orange tags on them. The string was coming from a garage and being laid on a freshly paved road which went up a hill. There was supposed to be some type of event – but I wasn’t sure how it was to be conducted. There were orange traffic cones along the route. Then a team of people show up and set up their strings – I suddenly become aware there is some type of competition and go to the end of the line to talk to the managers of our team (comprised of people I got along with at my job). I was unaware of the objective and confused. Suddenly, the race begins and I realize I was at the opposite end from where the starting point was located to pull the string and one of the rules was that the tags had to hit this plywood garage wall to count in the scoring. The other team was in place at the starting point when the race began – but I was at the extreme opposite end when the objective was finally revealed to me – the management had never told me the objective, abut regardless I was going to be responsible for winning. I begin running toward the front to the starting point – knowing I didn’t have a chance. The following train of thoughts goes through my mind as I am running: I feel that the other team should start over since it was unfair – but knowing that this would not happen – because people just care about winning in life – they don’t want things to be fair because it reduces their chance of winning. I feel anger at the management for never having told me the objective – but knowing that they would deny not having instructed me – I knew that I would take the fall.
Psychoanalytic Dream Interpretation:
Behavior, like history, tends to repeat itself. Before I get to the dream, I am going to… present some background or personal history to give readers a better idea of the underlying behavior pattern that exist and why that is so. The pattern of this dream represents two scenarios from different time periods in my life. The first would be with my father – who kind of screwed up teaching his sons how to survive in life. The piano incident: when I was 5 my father was going to teach me how to play the piano one Sunday morning. Before we started he ask me why I wanted to learn how to play. I just wanted to, but I always heard my mother comment on how he made extra money on weekends so I answered the question with, “I want to make extra money like he did on weekends”. My father flew into an instant rage – he went completely ballistic – when I mentioned I wanted to play to make money –he was shouting that music was an “Art Form” and could not be equated with money. My mother had to drag him out of the house onto the porch to separate us where he continued yelling and screaming so that the whole neighborhood knew. I was five and at five one is not in touch with such altruistic motives – this incident instilled a negative association with performing in life in relationship to making money. The logic that playing music was for some higher altruistic purpose – which it may well be, probably became somewhat confused and I probably associated it with guilt of making money in general. I never touched the piano again. Also, I seemed to arouse his anger and rage when I became excited about winning at anything. I was playing cards with my brother in Wildwood, NJ on vacation. I became excited about winning at the card game ‘War’ and he went into another fit of rage and took the cards away from us while screaming at me. And my father wasn’t the only one, when I beat my Uncle at a game of chess when I was seven – he was 17 years older than me – he threw the chess pieces at me and left (the person who lost was supposed to pick up the pieces) he never played chess with me again – for my entire life.
I would feel remiss if I didn’t excuse my father’s behavior somewhat because not only of his own father’s rejection, but his war experiences twisted his view of how the world works – his truth or reality was distorted and then hardened (galvanized) in a furnace of hatred – the inferno that is war. He fought at the Battle of the Bulge and two other battles and walked through Buchenwald immediately after its liberation which was too much to handle for being a 19 year old kid. But when you are five you can’t rationalize or modulate your emotional responses, so the damage was done.
The 2nd scenario contains much of the dreams interpretation within it – as the dream symbols and metaphors relate directly to the employment experience.
The second scenario would be my experience at the computer company that I sold systems for 22 years – which is really the main source of the dreams material – but the aforementioned events laid the ground work, the track so to speak, for my behavioral difficulties that followed in my life. I assumed in a company, employees were supposed to play as a team, so that everyone would prosper. This confusion is the confusion represented in the dream by being in the wrong place at the beginning of the race and not understanding there was to be a competitive event when originally laying down the string. I assumed my boss, who was president of the company, was supposed to be my mentor – not my nemesis. He was always change the rules of the game if I was winning (probably represented by having to touch the plywood garage door with the orange tags – a rather peculiar test of skill. Also, the road went up hill – one of my co-workers once commented that if I began to win the boss would just tilt the playing field a little more in his favor – and the playing field in the dream was tilted. But he tried harder than the competition to defeat me – by himself, even though he was the President and owner he couldn’t really beat me on his own. After about ten years, the vice president’s son was bought into the company – and he quickly became the boss’s boy. Then the office manager who had been my friend for years turned on me when she wanted to be more than friends and I did not. Their combined negativity really slowed me down and started to impact my spirit – and even then I still held my ground. But it was like I didn’t know the rule – which was that everyone was out for themselves in this company – there was no fraternity of man or team spirit within the company. The president was twisted, a sociopath, – so this was how his company came to be a strange competition – ‘the race with string’. The co-worker who commented on the ‘tilting of the field’ used to compare it as a microcosm of Nazi Germany. Even though everyone could see that the president was twisted – some of the employees followed him anyway, because it was their way to get ahead – to win the race – especially for the office manager who saw it as a way to get even for my rejection of her. (Although, any relationship possibilities were totally imaginary on her part.)
In the dream, laying down the string map represent all the preparation I did before going on sales calls. I would map out all of my prospects using a Thomas Guide (Los Angeles) and phone book then just follow the string of prospect laid out on the map. No one showed me how to do this – the company had no resources for marketing, so it seemed a logical way to find prospects. As more salesmen joined the company, no one else did this kind of preparation, they just wanted to take over the territories I had already established. Metaphorically represented by the other teams late arrival after I had mapped out the course and they knew where the race would begin. The President of the company was more than ready to turn over what I had started despite rules he had made early on. It was no sweat off his back and it reduced my personal power which he feared or envied.
But I kept waiting to play as a team – trying to convince the others to subjugate their personal egos to the company cause. I enroll in an organization called ‘LifeSpring’ where the emphasis was working with others to create ‘more’ for everybody and tried to get the other people in the company to go through this training but it was for naught. I didn’t wake up to the fact that the situation was never going to change in the company – until too late!
To give a perfect real life example of how the management operated here is an event that actually occurred:
I had been working on a very large account called Pep Boys – I had called them many times and actually made it through all of their ranks and was on first name basis with the key decision maker – the Vice President of their data processing team. I had several conversations with him and had made many calls to get up to that level.
One day I went into the company and the president tells me that one of my customers in San Diego is unhappy and wants to see me down there the following Monday. I didn’t understand why the customer was so unhappy, but I schedule an appointment to go down for lunch with the account. Nothing big came up at lunch and I kind of wondered what all the making a ‘big deal’ of things was all about. When I made it back into the office in LA a couple of days later several of the other employees mentioned that Pep Boys had been in to visit. I immediately knew why I had been sent on a wild goose chase to San Diego. The office manager had intercepted the call from Pep Boys to me and fed it to the president of the company. Nothing ever became of the Pep Boys account – it was never mentioned to me by the management. I knew a lot about the account because I had worked with the account for years. This was not an isolated event and a good example of the team work that was regularly practiced in the company. They always knew where the race was going to begin because it was rigged. Therefore, they show up at the starting point in the dream knowing the objective.
The garage might be the fact that we were kind of a ‘fly by night’ company – working out of a ‘garage’ metaphor. For a few years I was the only salesman competing against a company that had over 100 salesmen – we were small time.
Part of the reason there was such bad blood between me and the president was that I had caught him cheating on commissions early on. I knew he was a liar and a thief. Therefore I didn’t believe much he said, particularly when he made promises of what he was going to do for everyone. The others did not believe what he was like because they were not in his direct line of fire which was the commission on sales and the ‘glory’ that came with a victory. This is an excellent example of how good this ‘sociopath’ was at lying – he convinced a new employee that he would get a certain bonus as the manager of the hardware maintenance department. A couple of years later, this manager comes into my office telling me he had just quit because the president had gone back on his work to him. Then he proceeds to tell me how the president had bragged to him three years over a beer about how he had cheated me out of some commission. Why did he think the president was going to keep his word with him when the president had bragged about cheating the top salesman? He kept a lot of people convinced until the end.
After 22 years I finally left the company. Six months after I left I received a call from one of the programmers that the president wanted to talk to me about coming back. He didn’t have the guts to call me himself. I never returned his call. My gut feeling of working for a large organized company proved to be right, I didn’t get the politics and back stabbing that went on there either. Eventually, I had a complete breakdown after a second divorce, but after a couple years of therapy and dream analysis – I am building a new life.
Trauma in one’s early years tends to set up patterns that we cling to later in life. To other people practicing self-destructive or ineffective behavior patterns (like addictions) appears obvious. But to the ‘one in the rut’ it seems like the only choice at the time – they cannot see options or their lives are spinning so fast – that taking an option would cause major disruption. Therefore, this pattern in the dream is trying to get through to my conscious mind that I have to do something about this ineffective behavior. I cannot continue running ‘The Race’ with current behavior techniques – they do not lead to winning. I have to change the way I interact with bosses or don’t have a boss and work for yourself. This is a big and scary change – but that is what I am trying to accomplish right now with this site.
I cannot continue thinking I have to or can change people – most corrupt people do not change – especially if they are winning by being corrupt. Also, I read an article a while ago about bullying. The article mentioned that bullies can tell or sense from signals that a person who has been traumatized gives off. They know who they can bully and get away with it. Traumatized people fall into this category of being easily bullied or taken advantage of.
I hope I didn’t go on too long, but I am trying to give readers an idea of how and why my mind works like it does because this is where the dreams come from. Hopefully, readers will be able to see how I go about putting logic to a dream and eventually be able to apply their dreams to their lives.
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Narcissistic personality disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others’ feelings. People affected by it often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success, or about their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them. The behavior typically begins by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of situations.
The cause of narcissistic personality disorder is unknown. It is a personality disorder classified within cluster B by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Diagnosis is by a healthcare professional interviewing the person in question. The condition needs to be differentiated from mania and substance use disorder.
Treatments have not been well studied. Therapy is often difficult as people with the disorder frequently do not consider themselves to have a problem.The personality was first described in 1925 by Robert Waelder while the current name for the condition came into use in 1968. About one percent of people are believed to be affected at some point in their life. It appears to occur more often in males than females and affects young people more than older people.
- = 4 Caligor, E; Levy, KN; Yeomans, FE (May 2015). “Narcissistic personality disorder: diagnostic and clinical challenges.”. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 172 (5): 415–22. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14060723. PMID 25930131.
- Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders : DSM-5 (5th ed.). Washington [etc.]: American Psychiatric Publishing. 2013. pp. 645, 669–72. ISBN 9780890425558.
- Sederer, Lloyd I. (2009). Blueprints psychiatry (5th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 29. ISBN 9780781782531.
- O’Donohue, William (2007). Personality disorders : toward the DSM-V. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications. p. 235. ISBN 9781412904223. Retrieved 17 July 2016.