Monday, August 12, 2019

Trapped in amber: a very weird dream

(From my journal, August 10/19)

I had the weirdest dream about Sternthal (ed. note: a doctor I went to for years, who used to dismiss, demean and bully me). I don’t usually remember dreams, but this one was so strange. I was fiddling around with an amber necklace with huge stones in it, golf-ball-sized, and very ornate. I was taking it apart for the purposes of re-stringing it in different designs, and huge rocklike beads were suddenly loose in a sort of rock pile, along with a lot of smaller ones. But then I found myself standing in some sort of mysterious lineup of people. 

When I got to the front, I could see that Sternthal was sitting there by himself on an elevated chair, not saying anything. I didn’t know what the other people were doing there, but when it got to be my turn I presented him with an exact duplicate of the original necklace, only it was much smaller for some reason. He took it and I don’t think said anything, but just stared at me with big creepy unblinking eyes. Didn’t say thank you or acknowledge me or the gift, as if it went without saying, it was only his due, and it was about time I delivered on it. Even that I should be grateful for the rare and (of course) undeserved chance of being able to do this. Then I moved on, and that was the end of it.

I DO have a lot of amber jewelry, because years ago I went through an amber phase (amber was wildly popular then), and I DO often dismember jewelry, particularly necklaces, to make doll jewelry. It hasn’t been worn in years and years and is just sitting there. But the Sternthal thing is weird. Lining up seems like people paying some sort of weird homage, or presenting him with something, but I couldn’t tell. Except for staring at me with huge dark creepy unblinking eyes out of The Fly, he didn’t even acknowledge me or what I gave him. 

He was obviously the most important person in the room, and all the others were just whack jobs or nut bars or whatever-it-is you call chronic mental patients nowadays. They're just people who go around shooting up shopping malls and schools for no reason. (Their huge gun collections have nothing to do with it.) They were paying obeisance, because that was what they were supposed to do – in fact, it went without saying, you just “did that”. It was not a choice on anyone’s part, but neither was it something they did not want. They simply had no will, and “did that” because they “did that”. They had been erased.

I couldn’t see the others really, never saw any faces but just identical bodies, though I was aware they were there and moving. I thought of futuristic movies like 1984 and Metropolis, but that comparison may have come after I woke up. People trudging mindlessly forward in a line. He looked like a cult leader that you had to go up to and pay homage to, and in fact you were supposed to think (if you thought at all) that you were very fortunate to be able to do so. It was a bit like coming up to the front at a fundamentalist church to be "saved". I also thought of Scientology for some reason. Strange. 

I just had the thought that it’s interesting I gave him jewelry, which seems personal because in the past I had worn it many times, but I gave him a DUPLICATE of the original necklace which was much smaller and would be worth less. Big amber beads were “a thing” then, ugly as they seem now. So while I gave him the necklace, I still had it, and a more valuable version of it to boot. 

If you want to dig deeper, well, the amber necklace (which looked like something out of The Flintstones, though some of the beads were much smaller) has connotations of being “trapped in amber” and thus frozen in time. The faceless people lining up with no will is pretty obvious, and extremely creepy. But I did not have totally negative feelings, and felt sort of – what? Again, the feeling I should feel privileged to be able to be in this lineup and present him with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Giving him a duplicate without the larger stones was weird. I used to prize amber jewelry, but have lost interest in it and never wear it, or any other jewelry, especially not rings since my hands became such a ruin. But it used to interest me a lot, and I spent a small fortune on it. It was worth something to me. (Was I handing him a version of myself that I no longer wanted or needed? Now there's a thought.)

What it means isn't exactly clear, but it seems loaded with symbolism. Though I no longer see that destructive doctor, I felt trapped in the relationship for over twelve years, and in fact was told by multiple sources that he was the best in the business, I was extremely lucky to be able to see him, he had a waiting list a mile long, and there was no other option for me anyway because of the nature of my illness. I should be grateful to have all that understanding from someone so competent. I can't erase my history, which I long to erase so very often, but just try to go forward without an amber noose around my neck.

Monday Morning Insight. I just remembered something so appropriate, it's almost funny. My subconscious having me on? My relatively-new family doctor, who is the only doctor I have ever had with whom I feel listened to, is named Amber. Amber Jarvie. It's just too strange to NOT be true.