Sunset Star 7 by Brian Sapere

 

“School” Dreams and Nightmares

 

"School" Dreams and Nightmares

 

whncht says on Gentle Souls' Revolution blog:
May 1, 2014 at 8:41 am

 

After almost 30 years, I still have dreams where I am somewhere and the “school” is having a meeting nearby.  I have the fear that they are going to see me and somehow drag me back in.  I have found that the dreams lessen in frequency and intensity over the years, but for many years they were intense.

 

The Gentle Souls Revolution says:
May 1, 2014

I have only had a few dreams about “school”, but I’ve often heard others talk about their dreams.  Wow, 30 years is a long haul!  How long was your tenure?

 

whncht says:
May 1, 2014

 

It was about 4 years.  I was in art school at the Museum School in Boston.  I was probably the only “mid level” student who was not self-supporting.  We renovated a loft North of Cambridge and all of us who worked on it were invited to Montana.  I left from there about 1986.

 

Rhylance says:
May 7, 2014

 

Great ongoing work on this blog, thank you so much.

 

As I’ve said in other comments, I was in the NY branch of school for nearly 8 years.  I left about 5 years ago.  I still have dreams from time to time, and they are very similar to those described.  Not so much nightmares as low-grade anxiety dreams.  Often I find myself in a class and realizing, “wait, I don’t have to be here,” and then finding a way to leave.  I kind of like them to tell you the truth.  It’s like a reminder that I’m free…

 

whncht says
May 7, 2014

 

I also have those types of dreams, where I’m in a group meeting and realize I don’t have to be there anymore.  I seem to have more of those, with the passage of time, than the ones where I am somewhere and see the group and feel a need to get away before they see me and drag me back in!  I suppose that’s progress!

 

Some of the people I knew in Boston “graduated” to the NY group.  I’m careful not to mention any names here.  One time in the ’80s, we took a bus trip to Washington to see a play based on Oedipus with gospel singers.  We stopped in NY and had a meeting with the NY group at the time.

 

The Gentle Souls Revolution says:
May 8, 2014
 
 
Hi Rhylance
 
 
Good to hear from you!
 
 
Thanks for reading the blog and I’m so glad you continue to find it helpful!
 
 
I’m really struck by the number of people who talk about their post-”school” dreams.  I think it illustrates some real psychological damage — a “school”-related post traumatic stress disorder — connected to the fear that the institution will hijack your life, again.
 
 
I’m really glad you said this though: ” … I kind of like them to tell you the truth.  It’s like a reminder that I’m free… ”
 
 
For me, every “school”-free day reminds me that I am free. Honestly, I have never been happier, even with the anger I feel towards the institution and its manipulative, sinister and self-serving practices.
 
 
On that note, I believe that my anger is healthy — ironically “school” sometimes brought up the idea of “wrath at that which is odious” — but always treated us plebs as though we weren’t evolved enough to understand; little wonder that “school” wouldn’t want its proletariat to feel wrath at the odious.
 
 
A few months ago, I had a private exchange with someone who was trying to make the point that those of us who are “complaining” about “school” and blaming the institution and its teachers for wrong-doing, probably “aren’t very happy”.  My experience has been exactly the opposite.  The more I allow for my legitimate anger, the more I free my voice and authentic feeling, the happier and stronger I feel and the more present I can be to each and every new day in my life and how I am free to embrace the gift within every day.
 
 
Thanks again for reading and sharing your happiness in your “school”-free life.  I invite others to share the benefits of leaving “school” on this blog.

 

Rebel with a Cause says:
May 21, 2014

 

OK, I will put in my 2 cents about dreams. I have them quite a bit and I left 10 years ago.

 

I remember a dream that I had shortly after I left “school” – people were doing work on my house and they were digging in the basement and creating basement after basement, digging down down down.  FM was digging on the bottom level – way down deep.  I remember waking up and thinking that it was a metaphor for how they buried themselves so deep into my unconsciousness, and I wondered what I would have to do to get them out, finally, once and for all.

 

Usually, however, my dreams are about being with people who I knew and always being worried that Sharon or Robert might show up and get angry that I was there, throw me out, etc.  In other words, doing what I wanted to do and worrying that they might show up and I would have to fade away before they saw me.  They never have actually caught me.  I take that as a good sign.

 

The Gentle Souls Revolution says:
May 21, 2014

 

Hello Rebel,

 

In response to …
“I take that as a good sign.”

 

As well you should! Congratulations on your 10-year emancipation anniversary and I raise a glass to your “school”-free life.

 

Rebel with a Cause says:
May 24, 2014

 

I had one of those dreams last night: I was at CR (Country Retreat) and participating in all of the activities EXCEPT for the meetings.  The meetings, usually held twice a day for 3-4 hours were when you talked about the distorted “ideas” and where you confessed your sins and where you asked for that special “school” brand of “help” which was most frequently not helpful, but designed to increase your reliance on school and alienate you from the rest of the people in your life.

 

I remarked to someone in the dream that I only participated in the “good” parts.  Well, the truth is that some degree of hardship does help to cement friendships and community.  These “good” parts, I can only help to remember now also included being woken up at 4 am to wash rocks in the dark, working throughout the night without sleep, standing for hours in a kitchen preparing 3 meals a day for 50 people, working construction projects 14 or more hours a day, doing repetitive tasks that permanently hurt my hands, back and shoulders – all this while being screamed at to work faster and being told that I was the scum of the earth.  I have to conclude that something in us loves punishment.

 

Lest we forget…

 

At the end of the dream, I realized that R was about to show up and I had to make a mad dash out of there to avoid him and save my skin.

 

In some ways, I still feel like I’m on that mad dash out of there…

 

The Gentle Souls Revolution says:
May 25, 2014

 

“In some ways, I still feel like I’m on that mad dash out of there…”

 

I believe that the only way we “school” survivors can dispel that feeling – the feeling that the institution still somehow has power over us is to reveal it, discuss it, write about it, express it through some venue — break the rules; break your silence; stop harboring a secret that eats away at you and only bolsters them.  So thank you for writing and sharing and I hope you will continue to use this blog as an avenue to tell your story.  I hope your telling will also serve as an invitation to others.