In Bodymagining, Dreamwork by veronicaLeave a Comment

Series of dreams of a young woman, 28 years old, after beginning a new diet to lose weight.  The full series came after the first week of dieting.


Day 1:  I am driving to my high school, Angelina Jolie is with me in the car.  I am upset because my boyfriend left me the car without telling me that it had no breaks.  I drive down the ramp of the parking lot with extreme caution, literally it had no breaks. It is a very stressful situation.  I go with Angelina to the canteen and ask her if she would like some croissants, she says no.  I buy coffee for $2.50.

Day 2:  I am with a girlfriend lying in bed.  My boyfriend lies at our feet.  My friend says, ‘why do you keep trusting your boyfriend when he always lies and doesn’t tell you his secrets.’

Day 3:  I am with my parents and Mat, a model friend, slim and muscular.  My boyfriend arrives.  I don’t want them to meet.

Day 4:  I am in NY, 23rd Street, at the Flatiron Building.  I am going upstairs to the top of the building.  The building is decorated in 40’s-50’s vintage style.  An Italian woman, in her 60’s, comes to greet me.  I see old pictures of those times in the halls.  I don’t stop, I want to get to the top of the building.

Day 5:  I meet a woman who runs a charity for the deaf and blind.  She shows me a deck of cards decorated with crabs.  I notice they are not crabs but lobsters.

Day 6:  I must perform a choreography lying down.  I have to wave rhythmically my arms and legs with scissor-like movements, like a butterfly.

Body diamond

The symbols that relate the series to the body are in this case:

  • the presence of Angelina Jolie – a tall woman, extremely thin;
  • the boyfriend, a man interested in nutrition and who loves to exercise; and
  • the Flatiron building, formerly known as the Fuller building.  Flatiron can be understood as a plank of iron, flat, thin, while Fuller would be the comparative adverb of ‘full’.

(That the building had a previous name was not known beforehand by both the dreamer and the therapist.)

With these elements it is possible to form an image that shows “how the body doesn’t want the diet.”

  1. The series begins with Angelina Jolie in a car with no breaks, the dreamer as driver, going down a slope/ramp.  In the same dream, Jolie clearly states that she doesn’t want to eat.  The diet, which started that day, would seem too sharp and without control.   Only coffee has value, and coffee has no caloric value.  The dreamer is upset because the boyfriend didn’t tell her about the breaks.
  2. In the next dream the dreamer and her girlfriend are not only ‘lying in bed’, that is, in a receptive position, but the boyfriend is at their feet, in the farthest place from the head/ consciousness.  The boyfriend “always lies and hides”, and the young woman follows passively his counsel.  Here we learn that the boyfriend “lies and hides”, as in the former dream he had “hidden and lied by omission” about the car having no breaks.
  3. Although Angelina Jolie could have given us a hint, we could not reduce the symbol to her thinness from the first dream.  Angelina Jolie stands today for many other values and is a notorious figure in the field of the dreamer.
  4. In the second dream we can observe the attitude of the dreamer toward her boyfriend in context of the content.  The boyfriend symbolizes a variety of  the dreamer’s relationships with the masculine that cannot be reduced immediately to only one.  But if we add the image of Angelina Jolie, this brings up the question if there has been any change in the diet, and it puts in perspective the series of dreams that end with the attempt to make-psyche through the exercises executed by the dreamer.  The dreamer informs us that yes, there has been a dramatic change in the diet.
  5. The third dream shows the pairs of opposites, on one side the boyfriend – hefty brawny, and on the other the model friend, slim and muscular.  The dreamer doesn’t want them to meet.  This shows them in tension.
  6. In the next dream tension has increased.  The building/body, that previously was known as Fuller (more full), is now known as Flat Iron, iron plank.  The dream also shows that the dreamer wants to get to the top of the building, that is, the ‘top-floor/level’… the highest level of being a ‘flat iron’.  Until this moment it would seem that there is ambivalence, but not a clear expression of what the body wants in itself.  The ambivalence is of the dreamer who does not have a clear inner image of how she wants her body.
  7. The next dream shows how the body feels, trapped as a blind and deaf person inside, who cannot communicate with the outer world, who does not see nor hear, its only possibility to communicate is through the cards the director offers.  These cards have lobsters at the back.  Lobsters are mollusks that live at the bottom of the sea and walk with a backward movement, like crabs, showing how the wish to become a ‘Flat Iron’ is a regressive movement for the body.
  8. The last dream calls in the need to quickly/swiftly make-psyche, to become more conscious of the content, the first attempt being the choreography which is performed during the dream.

Borboleta… a small borbo..  A skipper or skipper butterfly is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae. They are named after their quick, darting flight habits. There are more than 3500 recognized species of skippers and they occur worldwide, but with the greatest diversity in the Neotropical regions of Central and South America.

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