Handle with care - Lucinda Jacob

I had a freaky nightmare this morning. I didn’t write it down right away, so I’m sure I’ve forgotten most of the details, but I still want to record what I can of it. The picture above doesn’t fit exactly, but it’s a close as I could find.

I’m in the house I grew up in, the one I always return to in my dreams. My mother is here too and she’s old. I realize I’m dreaming and tell her she shouldn’t keep coming back here (in dreams) because we sold this house and someone else lives here now. Maybe she gets angry at me then, because I think this is when she starts to change. She seems like she’s a demon or possessed by a demon. She lunges at me, showing her teeth, and I see metal wires like needles coming out of each of her fingertips almost like fingernails.

I feel mixed feelings toward her. She’s a monster that’s trying to kill me, so I want to fight her and destroy her – but she’s also my mother and a poor old women, so I don’t want to hurt her. I think this isn’t the real her, she must be possessed by some kind of demon. I go outside, leaving her inside the house. I see a neighbor’s house next door. Another old lady with short grey hair lives here and comes outside. I talk with her for a moment. She seems nice.

My monster mother comes outside then and attacks the other woman like she wants to eat her. I fight my monster mother and kill her. Then the other woman begins to look like a demon. I think the demon has jumped into her now and it is my real enemy, not the old woman. I try saying the Lord’s Prayer (which I often use in dreams when I’m trying to fight a demon), but this doesn’t seem to do any good. I try saying the rosary too, but that doesn’t do anything either.

I run from the demon, which I feel even when it’s not visible in the body of another person. At one point I view it as a red snake twisting and flying through the air. When I’m crossing a city street that is at a crossroads, I think I can call on Legba to help me fight the demon instead of relying on Christian prayers. A couple other women join with me in reciting the prayer I make up. They might be black and wearing brightly colored African headdress, but I hear them more than see them. We’re all running from the demon as we keep repeating this prayer:

Papa Legba, protect me.
Papa Legba, keep me safe from harm.
Papa Legba, send this creature back to Hell.

We repeat this over and over until the demon seems to go away for a moment. Then it seems to jump into me. I keep saying this prayer until it leaves me and disappears completely. The other women and I are on a downtown city street somewhere. I wake after this.

Notes & Interpretation:

The silver wires coming from my mother’s fingertips were the image that stayed strongest with me. This probably refers to the times she grabbed my arm and sunk her nails into it when I was trying to look after her.

Not being her normal self, but seeming like a demon refers to her bad behavior, which I had told a coworker about on Friday. Long before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she still showed spiteful, vindictive behavior at times toward me and my siblings. I told a coworker how after I’d hurt Mom’s feelings one day (probably when she asked me why her children hated her and I told her why), she came to my job with a letter she’d written intended to make me cry at work. She had written that my father would be ashamed of me, etc…. The letter had her desired effect of making me cry, at which point I saw her smile. (Shortly after this I told her she wasn’t allowed to come to my workplace anymore because of increased security after 9/11.)

Wires coming from her fingers may also symbolize her emotional and psychic connection to me. Luckily, this connection seems to be much weakened since she’s been in a care home, then a convalescent home. I suspect her spirit may still travel back to the dream-plane version of our house when she sleeps, but she doesn’t seem to affect me when I’m awake.

The other old lady doesn’t seem like anyone I know. Maybe she represents the effect I suspect my Mom may have on her roommates. I think Mom is a subconscious psychic vampire who can drain energy from the people around her, and thus make her roommate’s health get worse while she maintains her own health. I can’t prove this theory, because I can’t ask if her roommates seem to get worse without soundly like a nutcase myself. I still believe this idea, though, so it could get into my dream.

Viewing my mother as a monster in my dreams isn’t a new thing for me. When I was in high school, I dreamt of her being a witch who was chasing me and trying to stop me from flying. I once dreamt of cutting off her head with an ax when she was harassing me. Even a couple months ago, I dreamt of her driving into a pool full of zombies, then having the zombies grab at me while I dived in to try to save her.

I’ve got a grief-counseling session scheduled for Monday after work. I think I should go see Mom first today and give her a couple stuffed animals I bought for her, but I wanted to record this nightmare about my feelings toward her first.

I thought it was cool that I prayed to Legba in this dream when I wanted help fighting the demon. My little shrine to the deity archetype I call The Guardian of Crossroads includes offerings to Legba and it’s one of the few deity shrines I kept up after losing my old home. (I’m an eclectic polytheist witch, so I evoke various deities as they seem appropriate for me. “Papa Legba” is the term voodooists use when referring to or calling upon this loa.  American voodooists don’t view the loa as deities, btw, but more like saints who rank below God the creator.) Legba is not generally viewed as a protective spirit, but since he is in charge of the borders and gateways between realms, I thought it was appropriate to call on him to send back this entity that I viewed as a demon in this dream.