Wednesday, 26 September 2007


This was my dream on Monday night, i.e. after a day spent at an Art Therapy workshop-event-taster-type of thing:

I was being tormented by someone who was bullying me: it was causing me much pain, fear and resentment. It was also greatly inconvenient (not that you hear many victims of bullying coming out with such a complaint I'm sure...."Stop Bullying Now! It's Inconvenient!") because it was the day before a wedding, and I was to be Best Man. I was trying to out the finishing touches to the speech I'd prepared, and I'd also been asked to do an extra piece because someone was unable to make it to the wedding.

I was happy to do this (despite my fear of public speaking). However when I tried to work on the text of the speech, my tormentor would suddenly appear and start dragging me away and beating the crap out of me. I was scared, he seemed to have power over me, yet somehow - though it wasn't clear in the dream, the implication was that it was through sheer persistence - I managed to get the speeches sufficiently prepared.

It seems the bully didn't want me to be at the wedding. He made threats that there would be more torment if I was there and if I made these speeches. These threats made me feel weak, but I knew I couldn't miss the wedding.

On the day of the wedding, the bully was there, glowering at me, his eyes communicating yet more implicit threats should I dare to speak. I was painfully aware of this and yet enjoying the throng and the sense of occasion, and speak I did.

The speech seemed to give me power: my tormentor hadn't stopped me, despite his threats.

Soon after, he came over and started to cause more trouble with me, hissing words of pure malevolence and threatening more pain. I took a step back and told him loudly to stop: lots of the other wedding guests were all around and they noticed this. In front of them all I confronted him and let everyone know all the efforts he had been making to cause me pain. He began to deny it and shrink away, but I persisted, categorically running through all the things he had done to make life difficult for me. He seemed to be visibly weakening, and I continued to denounce him. It carried on for minutes: by the finish he had no power to reply.

I even got a round of applause from all the other guests.

Funny what an Art Therapy taster-session-workshop-event-type thing can cause your subconscious to tell you, loud and clear, innit?


anticant said...

Sounds to me like a classic case for Gestalt two-chair work. This "bully" is clearly an element in your psyche which needs separating out and confronting. I'd be fascinated to facilitate this if I were nearer! But you can do it on your own - have a go, and report back please.

trousers said...

I just knew you'd be on this one anti! Gimme a bit more guidance please, and I'll see what I can do.

Merkin said...

When I was teaching 'comm skills' I frequently had to work with people who had a 'fear of public speaking'.
Easily sorted - same as stage fright.
A CBT approach is one you would be at home with and both Pixie and myself would be well able to assist you in it.
However, I don't think it is necessary as your previous work and training have given you the tools you need.
Funnily enough, have to give a big speech at my gig at the weekend - will let you know the result.

anticant said...

Place two similar chairs or other suitable things to sit on opposite each other. Sit on one of them, be your usual self, and visualize your 'interlocutor' - in this case the bully.

Take some time to get in touch with what he looks like, how you experience him, and what 'vibes' he is projecting at you. Then begin a dialogue stating your own feelings as clearly as possible. It could be "You make me feel.....Why are you doing this to me? Who asked you to interfere in my life? I don't like you" etc etc.

When you've articulated all you want to, change chairs. Become the bully. Get in touch with how HE feels, and how he regards Trousers. [Angrily? Scornfully? Pityingly? etc. etc.] When fully in touch with all that, verbalise it, talking back to Trousers in the way that feels right [Perhaps dismissively; maybe helpfully - unlikely at first!]

When all that has come out and you feel ready, change chairs again and become Trousers. Respond to what the bully has said to you. When you've said all you want, change back and be the bully again. Respond to Trousers.

Keep up the dialogue until you have reached some sort of satisfying resolution - which may take more than one session. The physical changing of chairs and speaking aloud are important, to separate out the two aspects of yourself who are engaging in the dialogue. If you are honest and thorough about it - observe the different tones of voice, for instance - you will get a good deal of enlightenment.

I strongly recommend "The Now Red Book of Gestalt" by my own trainer, Gaie Houston, which you can get from Amazon.

trousers said...

Thanks anti. It won't be tonight, I'm too sleepy already, but I'll keep you informed.

Ario said...

I think Anticant is right. I also think this bully sounds remarkably like "the sensible voice" in my head barking me orders to do this and that and stay out of trouble, blah, blah, blah.

Go and kick the shit out him again tonight, Trousers. Then go and live your dreams tomorrow.

That was almost deep. Time for bed before I get too carried away.

lavenderblue said...

Been there in Real Life for a few months.
Over and done with,now and forever.
think Arctic Monkeys and Scumbags....
and listen only to Anticant...the rest do not have any right to reply...........
Apart of course from Ario and ms Melancholy x

DJ Kirkby said...

Very interesting and empowering dream!

lavenderblue said...

Maybe..a trouser Survival Kit would be good..............
It is the weekend almost..a suggestion........saturday morning.....early rise and a shower, a coffee and a walk in the nearest park.
The air is so Spicy you walk along the wind will whip your cheeks into a healthy glow, you will maybe enjoy the changing colours of the trees, the squirrels..till, that is the wind makes your eyes stream.
Then, head for the nearest Caff.
A Proper Caff.
Ketchup bottles on the tables, heart attack breakfast.
A read of a paper left on a seat ( oh,go on, you know we all do ).
And so on to the nearest shopping centre for your goodies.
Treat yourself.
Get to a bookstore with a Cafe and, as it is now that time of day, a coffee and a big cake.
And when you get home, flop.
And then.....make a 'happy Trouser' list.
Things that make you happy on one sheet.
Things that fuck you up on the other.

Pour a beer.
Put music on.
DELETE all the mothas on your 'fuck-me-up' list.
And mean it.

Vow to wear your 'hairdresser's receptionist' smile for all the baddies at work.
Now get a take away, or a ready meal and SMILE.
You WIN, baby xx

trousers said...

merkin, I don't think the public speaking fear is the issue, it's more about what that represents (though that's clearer to me than it will be to you given my quite brief summary of the dream). But you're right, I have the tools and I've used them.

CBT - but I'm already at work and being productive (hope you get the joke)!

anticant, thanks for that. This may well be a case of better (a little) late than never but as promised I shall let you know!

ario - pithily put, and thanks for saying so!

lav, I hope all have the right to reply here, with respect - and, for all concerned, as long as it IS with respect. I really appreciate your description of such a Saturday , it's an ideal guide! Thank you for that. I'm glad to report it's not such a long way from many of mine. Except for the list, which is something I know I could make use of. I think the dream that this post was about has really pinpointed a lot of what's going on for me though, thankfully.

dj, spot on!

Oh, and a question to anyone who can answer it (obviously) - how can I do bold type in my comments, to highlight the names as I reply to them?

Ario said...

I just came across this today:

Hope that helps, I still have to work it out...

I used to use Frank's place, as you know, but that has vanished up the internet's black hole it appears.

Ario said...

Ugh. Didn't fit in the comment box. Let's try it for

Did that work or is everybody laughing?

Ario said...


(Yes, I cheated with that one).

trousers said...

Thanks ario - the first one did work anyway with a quick copy-and-paste, but I like the neater second (successful) attempt. I'll see what I can do with them :)

trousers said...

Hmmm - but will I ever get it to work though...

Ario said...

mind if I practice?

I cheated with the hyperlink in the second one by using my wordpress account.


Anyway. Hope you are okay and all that. :)

trousers said...

Not quite getting the hang of it then, ario? :)