Friday, April 1, 2011

Plugged Up Emotions

One day I was reading a book called Addiction to Perfection by Marion Woodman and I came across this passage:
Our bodies have become so rigid and so plugged with unexpressed emotion that there is no room in them for creativity.  If you doubt this, think of how many toilet dreams you have - plugged toilets, overflowing toilets, toilets you can't get to, toilets in the middle of the living room, toilets with outrageous contents.

I remember thinking how ridiculous that was and then I thought , "wait a minute I have had several 'toilet' dreams over the past few weeks."  The more I thought about it, I remembered more of these types of dreams.  I had many dreams of overflowing toilets, but more often than not, it was clogged toilets.  A few days later I had a dream that I needed to throw up and ran to the bathroom where there was an incredibly small toilet and in the dream I thought how there would be no way this little toilet could handle what I felt coming up from inside of me.

I have learned to pay attention to my dreams over the last few years.  And, in particular, I know that when I dream about clogged and overflowing toilets, I have some emotions inside me that want out.  I try to pay attention to the dreams that I remember when I wake up in the morning.  I will write them down and as I write I can usually determine what the dream meant.  Sometimes I may have to check out a dream dictionary like if I'm not sure.  I had one dream that truly altered me, it was life changing and devastating at the same time.  I would like to share this dream some day, but I'm not ready yet.

Not too long after figuring out what dreaming about overflowing and clogged toilets means, I had another dream that started with a clogged toilet.  It was in the middle of a store and as I looked around, at the back of the store against the back wall was a row of white file storage boxes.  There were quite a number of them and they were all clean and white.  I knew the boxes were mine and so I started taking them out to my car which is when I woke up.  That dream bothered me for weeks.  I knew the boxes in the dream meant something, but I just couldn't figure it out.

Weeks later before a Craniosacral Therapy appointment, I said a prayer asking for guidance on what the boxes meant.  While I was at the appointment, the therapist was asking me some questions and as I answered she said, "you are so disconnected from your emotions, it's like your emotions are all boxed up."  I knew in that instant that it was my emotions I had in those boxes.  I think I've mentioned before that I have always had a problem with blocking my emotions, well, I wasn't just blocking them over the years, I was completely "boxing" them up so they couldn't be seen, heard or felt.

I told the therapist about the dream and that I now knew what the "boxes" were thanks to her intuition.  She wondered if I could pretend to open the boxes and look inside.  I couldn't do it, I was too afraid.  I was happy to imagine holding the clean, white boxes, but there was no way I was going to open them, not even just pretending.
I haven't had a toilet dream for awhile and I have since created a physical version of the boxes that you can see in this picture.  They are made out of cardstock and made from the "scrapbook in a box" pattern.  I've done a little work in them and that was very hard.  I created collages on some of the back pages and wrote how I felt as a child including all my fears and insecurities on the opposite pages. 

One day I will create more collages about how I took those fears and insecurities and carried them on into my adulthood.  My goal is to finish the boxes with how I have helped myself move past all these problems.  Until then, I just take little peeks here and there.  I had to laugh the other day as I was telling my therapist that I had my "boxes" in a safe place, in another box.  We really did laugh, my boxed up emotions are in a box.  Unplugging my emotions and letting them be out and free is definitely hard for me, but laughing at myself is a good step.

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