Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bowser in the Night

Dear Peregrin,

I had a nightmare once when I was little that was recurring, in it I fell asleep at the nintendo, wake up in the middle of the night and the t.v.'s showing ant wars, and I go downstairs for some water.I get to the kitchen and Bowser is next to the sink, so I start running, and he chases me around the little kitchen island. finally I run out the door and across the street to my house (the house with the nintendo was my grandparents, and we actually did live literally, across the street from each other. the driveways were directly opposite one another)so anyway, I run in the door, see my parents and a family friend standing at the doorway of my sisters room chatting (it's like 4 am in the dream) so I start yelling at them to save me, and they ignore me like I'm not there.so I run into my sisters room and hide under the bed, and bowser barges into the house, comes into my sisters room and stomps around looking for me

The Dude

Good morning, Dude.

Your dream seems similar to typical childhood abandonment dreams in many respects - being ignored by those we expect to comfort and love us is a type of abandonment. This is a common childhood fear. It has its roots in the realization that death is a reality, and from there we wonder what would happen to us if those people who take care of us were not there anymore.

Getting a drink of water ties into this theme, as well. Water is most often associated with spiritual or emotional issues. The child going for a drink of water is seeking - asking for - love and affection.

I'm assuming that Bowser is a family pet - a dog. Another common childhood fear - what if the safe and familiar becomes a threat? At some point, every kid manages to annoy an otherwise peaceful animal to the point that the animal snaps back, and the first time this happens is very traumatic. We usually get over it; some don't and end up with a lifelong phobia. For the rest of us, though, it only pops up in dreams.

After getting no help from authority figures, you look to your peers for help (running into your sisters room). There is some refuge in approval from people your own age, but you know that it's temporary at best.

I'm betting that falling asleep while playing Nintendo has happened to you more than once over the course of your childhood - both my kids have done this.

Game systems change, but the behavior stays constant. It's likely that you were reprimanded for this. To a young child, angry scolding can seem like a withdrawal of love - it's certainly a withdrawal of approval, and we often equate the two concepts. And that leads us back to the abandonment issue, which shows us the cause of this whole sequence.

The message: If you don't cut back on the video games, you will be in Big Trouble Mister.

Pleasant dreams,

Peregrin

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