Helpless Frustration

How could a dream about going to a costume party frustrate my psychoanalyst? Was I going to regret bringing it to the session? Around half of the session was over before I recounted it. Then there was silence, an unusual kind of silence for us, which seemed to say that something was wrong. She asked me what I felt in the dream. I didn’t know, which made me anxious, and I uttered many sentences that I’m sure were without meaning. Seated behind the couch, Sarah said the dream seemed flat, which must’ve been when I panicked, although I was unaware of being frightened. She was criticizing me, wasn’t she? I also thought the dream seemed flat and said so. Fear was now in control of me. I was helpless, and when I find myself in this state of mind, I often talk without stopping, filling the air with anxious tension. In the dream I was standing in a room, silent, looking at a friend who was dressed up in a costume. A woman stood near us, and when I glanced at her, she didn’t seem interested in my presence. My so-called friend, who in reality I haven’t seen in nearly thirty years, didn’t appear interested in my presence either. Unfortunately, during the session, I wasn’t aware that both of them were ignoring me. Perhaps I was afraid that knowing this would overwhelm me. In any case, as the hour continued, both Sarah and I seemed to think that the dream was a dud. Yet it wasn’t, and isn’t. The moment I left her office, I knew what I’d felt in the dream: I was frustrated about being there. Maybe both my psychoanalyst and I had been frustrated, or maybe just me.

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