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Viral Couch

October 17, 2014
 If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a psychiatrist, here’s your chance. Grab a notepad and prepare to diagnose. I lie before you on an imaginary couch, in need of a psychiatric evaluation. I’m being haunted by a recurring dream.


We dream every night, but until recently I seldom remembered mine, aside from occasional “water” dreams when I drink too many liquids late at night. Now, one dream returns constantly and is easy to recognize, in spite of slight variations.


For eight years I worked as a salesman in a mall jewelry store, and it would be false modesty to claim I wasn’t good at my job, so good that I was promoted to manager in spite of having no managerial experience.


Frankly, my skills weren’t in management. I wasn’t a good manager because I worried too much about being liked, but my chattiness and pleasant personality made me a natural salesman. It wasn’t long before I was one of the top salesmen in our company. High sales buffered me from my managerial shortcomings, and my disrespect for authority was kept in check because the store, part of a chain, was hundreds of miles from the home office. I was usually left alone to run things without interference.


Ours was a family owned company, and occasionally the owner and his squirrelly son would come to town. I got along great with them. I even painted the owner’s portrait and it still hangs in the corporate office.


For eight years things went well and I received big bonuses for my sales. Then a hotshot operations manager named Don Gott was lured from a rival company, and he disapproved of the lack of uniformity in how the store branches were run. He didn’t care that my sales were high; he set out to tell me how to run my store. I complied, and sales

plunged. Of course I was made to blame.


I hung on for a while, and got big laughs at a managers’ meeting when Gott told everyone he was mandating mandatory drug tests for everyone, which I informed him was against the law in Oregon, which it was at the time. Having nothing to hide, I assured him I’d pee in a jar, but only if he agreed to hold it. Shortly thereafter I left the company and started my illustration business.


This was twenty-three years ago, so why the recurring dream now?


I wake up in the jewelry store only it looks much different. Instead of being a modest mall operation, it’s a two story black marble palace (the color of the marble changes) with exquisite jewelry, not the mediocre baubles I sold on credit. I’m no longer the manager, but everyone knows who I am. Couples are waiting at the wedding counter for me to show them engagement rings. I notice that instead of my typical suit, I’m standing there in my underwear.


Horrified to discover I’m wearing not much more than tightie-whities, I dash to the door to make my escape, only to discover it’s snowing outside. In addition to my suit being AOL, I’m not wearing shoes. I wake up shivering.


I’ve tried to recreate this dream as accurately as possible. I don’t feel like I have unfinished business with my former employer, but my brain seems to be telling me otherwise. Don Gott never appears in my dreams, nor anyone else I recognize. I once read that dreams are the subconscious’ way of compensating for the conscious state, but I have no idea what I’m trying to compensate for. I was ready to leave and start my own company, had been planning to do so for months.


So, I’m reaching out to all Freud wannabes in the Blogosphere. Please help me! I need your advice, something better than always wear clean underwear to bed.


My Mrs. C has dreams all the time and elates them to me. I always tell her "You what that means of course don't you?" "No" "Obviously you need to have sex." She no longer tells me of her dreams.
By: cranky on October 17, 2014
Sorry but I lost my license for diagnosing dreams. Other than you have some issue that needs a resolution since the dream is reoccurring.
By: Tabor on October 17, 2014
Your request is like no other but we shall attempt to delve into it further by peeling back the layers to the obvious and not so obvious. Let me shake my magic 8 ball and see what comes up... hahaha... just kidding. Even though the players aren't present, it is the lasting feelings that preoccupies your mind. First... your high sales was a major accomplishment. The fact that Gott belittled your achievements had nothing really to do with you. He convinced the owners that there were areas for improvement and they bought in to the idea. Naturally his perceived attack on you was an insult and no wonder. You were one of the aces that any company would want on their team. The dream takes you to a place where your performance was reflected by your surroundings and clientele wanting to be waited on by YOU. You lack of clothing and being chilled is your response to the d-bag.
By: Daniel LaFrance on October 17, 2014
I am with Daniel!
By: John on October 17, 2014
sounds like you are wrestling with the idea of being successful (large, marble building, high-end jewelry, customers lined up to see only you) and feeling exposed to be a fraud or not good enough (underwear, ill-prepared for weather). and it probably has nothing to do with that particular job, just a situation in your life.
By: TexWisGirl on October 17, 2014
I think that you are having this dream because your feet are sticking out of the bedcovers....try wearing socks to bed. That's all I can figure out.
By: Kathe W. on October 17, 2014
Let me give you my diagnosis: I have absolutely NO idea!!
By: fishducky on October 17, 2014
Some good interpretations here! I don't have one of my own, but I'm sorry to say that I started laughing when you got to the part about underwear :)
By: The Bug on October 17, 2014
I thought I'd read over the comments before typing, and I think that Tex is right on the money. Or we just think alike. ;) I suspect you're considering or approaching a change of some sort in your life (or are questioning your ability for a new responsibility or recent accomplishment) and your memory of this particular time paints it with a similar stroke for you.
By: Hilary on October 17, 2014
what they said...........
By: Oma Linda on October 17, 2014
I'm pretty skeptical about dream meanings and causes. Yes , if we are stressed we get recurring dreams. Being without clothes is a very common dream.
By: red on October 17, 2014
I thought I'd read over the comments before typing, and I think that Tex is right on the money. Or we just think alike. ;) I suspect you're considering or approaching a change of some sort in your life (or are questioning your ability for a new responsibility or recent accomplishment) and your memory of this particular time paints it with a similar stroke for you.
By: Hilary on October 17, 2014
Not being a dream expert, all i can say is i think you deserved the marble palace because you had such high sales, and Mr. Gott treated you like trash which made you feel exposed or denigrated.
By: mimi on October 17, 2014
Some good analysis here in the comments and I'll let you pick out which suits your situation, however I am leaning towards Kathe's logic.
By: Akansas Patti on October 17, 2014
I'm clueless. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized my childhood dreams about bugs crawling on me were the result of my severe eczema. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on October 17, 2014
I have no idea either, but it was fun reading all the comments and theories about this recurring dream!
By: Pixel Peeper on October 17, 2014
I won't begin to analyze your dream. But I WILL heartily recommend "The Dream Dictionary: An A to Z Guide to Understanding Your Unconscious Mind," by Tony Crisp. I wore out one paperback, and ordered another. I think you can even get if for Kindle. Some books seem like they're making it up, like horoscopes. But this one has always been pretty accurate for me.
By: Val on October 17, 2014
I have a similar recurring dream. I used to work at a dental office. It was boring and the pay sucked---I couldn't wait to get out of there when I was in my twenties. I STILL have dreams that I'm forced to go back to work thereâ¦and like you, I find myself standing at the desk in my underwear and a roomful of patients waiting for me to sign them in! My other recurring dream is also dental related---I dream that all my teeth are falling out. What the heck does THAT mean???
By: Marcia @ Menopausal Mother on October 17, 2014
The obnoxious new manager was trying to put you out in the cold, and humiliate you, despite your success in building up a small outlet into a thriving/palatial unit. And I love the quip about peeing into a jar only if you hold it!
By: Bryan Jones on October 18, 2014
I think you're there in your underwear so that when the condescending Mr. Gott drops in for a quickie inspection you'll already have a hard start on dropping your tidies and telling him to kiss it. And you're barefoot so you won't chicken out and run outside in the snow. That, or you need to lay off spicy foods too close to bedtime. ;)
By: scott park on October 18, 2014
A great post, Stephen, thank you. It made me laugh, but I'm sorry I have absolutely no idea how to analyse your dream. It sounds more along the lines of a recurring nightmare! Fun to talk about afterwards but not whilst it's happening :)
By: Sharon Bradshaw on October 18, 2014
Has someone judged you harshly, or pressured you lately? This past summer I was doing some media interviews and public speaking, and I began having the same performance-anxiety dreams I had decades ago when work was giving me fits.
By: Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma on October 18, 2014
I think many of us have dreams where we're in a public place in our undies or birthday suit. I'm pretty sure it means you're feeling insecure or unconfident about something. I'm not sure the jewelry store setting has anything to do with it.
By: Lexa Cain on October 18, 2014
I like Cranky's comment. I think your dream involves the need for more sex. That is, your dream means I need more sex. Plus, it's a continuous playing out of the dramatic shift from a very successful, powerful position you created for yourself, to one of humility. Perhaps you're afraid that now- with things going well in your life, as they did with the jewelry store - someone or something will mess things up in a big way.
By: Robyn Engel on October 18, 2014
Well, if it's Freud you want, then it's gotta be about sex, right? But honestly, I don't know any more than anyone else, except dreaming about former jobs is probably not all that unusual.. I know I have dreams about my former job at my former company ... and I left there 12 years ago. I find it really annoying -- I'm done with that place! -- and I wish they would go away.
By: tom sightings on October 19, 2014
Lessee, I agree with Tex, but I also hasten to add, have you been eating anything odd for dinner lately? Just a thought. Cat
By: Cat on October 19, 2014
I think your wife is stealing the covers and you are cold, but not enough to wake your self conscious feels vulnerable and that makes you dream of the last time you felt that way. Or maybe you just need to buy some warmer jammies, and lay off the soda pop before bedtime. (I have no idea, but I had to come up with something!) .
By: Coloring Outside the Lines on October 20, 2014
There will come a time when we will all be stripped of everything we have wanted to cover ourselves with. This does not have to be a time of horror, though. My bill will be in the mail. Speaking of horrifying, I recently had a dream(?) that chilled me to the bone. For it involving me having to pee really bad, but I was too comfort in the bed to want to get up to go. The pressure finally overcame my comfort, and I sat up on the side of the bed to go in my jug, which saves me from having to expend a lot of energy that I do not have to spare. As I went, i could hear a steady stream hitting the side of the jug, but the pressure on my bladder was not lessening. It was just before attempting to squeeze some more out that I woke up to realize that I was actually still in bed. Yeah, that was a close one.
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on October 20, 2014
I'm sure my neighbors heard me cracking up out loud when you described the encounter with Don Gott--what a name! A story that is as great as The Blues Brothers! Glad you left that place to create incredible art!
By: Michael Manning on October 22, 2014
I enjoyed your story about the past job and the idiot Don Gott. (How I wish I had the opportunity and whit to say what you said about the pee.) But, well, I have to admit, my eyes always roll to the back of my head when someone relates a dream to me. So, I don't think I'll be of ANY help... On second thought, maybe it's simply about the fact that you need to get up and pee.
By: Mitchell is Moving on October 22, 2014

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