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