Electric Dreams

Dream Trek

Re-entry And Rabbits Versus The Nightmare

Linda Lane Magallón

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 Magallón, Linda Lane (1999 October). Dream Trek: Re-entry And Rabbits Versus The Nightmare. Column. Electric Dreams 6(10). Retrieved July 13, 2000 on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

One night when she was eleven, my daughter Teresa had a particularly scary nightmare. I helped her out, using a combination of two dreamwork techniques.

With Waking Dream Re-entry, Teresa first re-visualized the dream, as it was. Then she expanded it, as if she were adding chapters to a larger story. The Dream Character Interview involved "talking" to dream characters in her imagination. Afterwards, I asked Teresa to relate her version of the experience into a tape recorder. I transcribed these notes, which began with her dream:

"I'm watching 'The Sigorney Weaver Show,' like a sit-com on TV. Sigorney got married to the guy who survived with her from (the movie) 'Aliens.' He is still recovering from the shock and trauma. She has two sons plus the little girl who she saved in 'Aliens.'

"Sigorney leaves for work but her husband stays home and her kids go to school. She comes back a couple of seconds later with this guy in the car next to her. He has glasses, a black beard and a mustache. He looks like a professor type person. I know in my mind, without the TV even announcing it, that he is a psychiatrist who comes over every day to help her husband with his trauma. So she leaves the psychiatrist there. "But he isn't a psychiatrist, like their old one, and I start getting scared.

The TV picture gets larger and then I feel like I am inside of it. The psychiatrist begins walking around the upstairs, waiting for Sigorney's husband. He pulls on his face and it comes off. I know he is an alien and he wants to eat Sigorney's husband. I don't really see the alien because I turn away in the dream. I am too scared to see his ugly, scummy face.

"I wake up frightened and go to my parents' room and crawl into bed with my mom."

Teresa commented: "The house was like the one in the sit-com 'Valerie.' This short section was at the end of a longer dream - I can't remember the other parts but they were going on for a couple of hours.

"When I talked to my mom about this nightmare, she had me go back into the dream and discover a lot of things. She had me ask the alien his name and I said he was 'Mr. Gruesome.' She had me ask him what he likes to do. He likes to play chess and play 'Salad Bar.' I asked him what 'Salad Bar' was and he said, 'You take out salad bar ingredients from the refrigerator - like the ingredients you regularly see in a restaurant. Then you put them together and eat them.' He likes to play chess - by himself. "I asked him why he wanted to eat Sigorney's husband. He said because, in 'Aliens' Sigorney had killed off most of his people. He was one of the last survivors. The female who reproduced didn't get destroyed, she just got sent out into space. He was one of her additions after the battle.

"We asked him if he wanted a hug and he said, 'Yes.' Then his brother appeared. He had been searching for Mr. Gruesome in a space ship - sent out by his other brothers and sisters. His brother gave the alien a hug and took him back home to his mother.

"Then I thought about it and I asked myself, if he was an alien, why would he be eating salad: he's supposed to be a man-eating slime ball. Why would he want to play chess? He'd rather eat the board, probably. Why would he be doing these things if he was an alien? What *is* he, for real?

"My mom helped me think. We knew first that he was disguised as a psychiatrist. Maybe the alien was a disguise, too.

"The first thing that came to my mind was 'Peter Rabbit.' He had been in my dream earlier in the night. Then I thought about it and said, 'I'm right - Mr. Gruesome *is* a rabbit.' I don't know about the chess part, but rabbits eat salad. Now this wasn't in my dream, but I deciphered and found it out on my own."

After our dreamwork, Teresa's older brother Victor had come into the bedroom to iron his clothes for school. Teresa said, "I had a dream about an alien. Guess who the alien turned out to be?"

Vic's immediate reply was, "A rabbit."

"What?" I replied astonished, "Are you kidding?" I thought that perhaps he had overheard our conversation. But he hadn't. Instead, Vic asked me, "You know that dream about the wolf?" He was referring to one of his own nightmares from a couple of years before. "You told me to pretend that he was a rabbit and to tell him, 'GO EAT CARROTS!'" We all burst out laughing.