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Exploring the dream life of First Nations children from recovering alcoholic homes Atleo, Geraldine V. 1996

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EXPLORING THE DREAM LIFE OF FIRST NATIONS CHILDREN FROM RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC HOMES by GERALDINE V. ATLEO B.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Counselling Psychology) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July 1996 © Geraldine V. Atleo, 1996 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of CpH^S€l jUr- l fr rVyrflctLQ&V The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date 3 ~ u u - / |Ca , n ^ t , DE-6 (2/88) 1 1 ABSTRACT In studying the dreams of F i r s t Nations children, I honoured Native culture through gaining knowledge to plan fo r future generations and by acknowledging dreams, I hoped to revive the Native b e l i e f that empowerment and guidance could be obtained from dreams. The l i t e r a t u r e on children's dreams and the experiences of children of a l c o h o l i c s was minimal. In t h i s q u a l i t a t i v e exploratory study, I analyzed the dreams of a Native boy and g i r l s between the ages of 9 and 13. The c h i l d participants were from home environments where the mother was recovering from alcoholism. I examined the dreamer's perceptions i n the dreams c o l l e c t e d and the re s u l t s indicated that dreams did not reveal d i r e c t evidence of alcohol, or F i r s t Nations themes. The dreams however did expose other issues that the children were dealing with, which were sometimes connected to alcoholism. Some of these concerns were: domestic violence, neglect, and abuse. Along with these grave issues, the children also dealt with less serious concerns i n t h e i r dreams, such as quarrels with friends. The children's r e s i l i e n c y varied, i n d i v i d u a l l y , according to t h e i r dream perceptions of themselves, and others. The findings suggest that c o l l e c t i n g a serie s of dreams could enable a counsellor to gain information about the c h i l d ' s s i t u a t i o n that the c h i l d may not otherwise convey. This assessment from dreams can a s s i s t i n planning interventions for the c h i l d and family. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i Acknowledgements v i i Dedication v i i i Chapter One: Introduction.. 1 Background of the Problem Eff e c t s of Parental Alcoholism on childr e n 1 Statement of the Problem 4 Research Question 6 Delimitations 6 Assumptions and Limitations 7 Significance of Study 8 Chapter Two: Review of the Literature 11 Dreams and F i r s t Nations Culture 11 Dream Literature on Children 14 Children of Alcoholic Reviews 17 Family Environment 19 Depression 20 Child Abuse 21 Cognition 22 Behaviour 23 Resiliency 25 Coper's and Non-coper's 27 Factors to be Considered i n Children of Alcoholic Reviews 28 i v Chapter Three: Methodology 31 Introduction 31 Def i n i t i o n s Alcoholism 31 Dream Report 32 Description of Data Col l e c t i o n Referral of Children 33 Obtaining Consent 33 Description of Sample 34 Procedures with the Children 36 Interviewing Process 37 Experiences of the Interview Process 37 Journal Recording 39 My Experience i n Col l e c t i n g Data 39 Children's Experience of P a r t i c i p a t i n g i n This Study 40 Data Analysis 40 The Use of Import Analysis to Derive the Child's Perceptions From the Dream 41 R e l i a b i l i t y 43 V a l i d i t y 44 Dream Presentation 45 Chapter Four: Results 47 9 Year Old Boy 47 Dreams, Comments and Perceptions..... 47-77 V Dreamer's Perceptions and Prominent Features 77 13 Year Old G i r l 87 Dreams, Comments and Perceptions 87-102 Dreamer's Perceptions and Prominent Features 102 12 Year Old G i r l 109 Dreams, Comments and Perceptions 109-121 Dreamer's Perceptions and Prominent Features 122 13 Year Old G i r l 126 Dreams, Comments and Perceptions 126-131 Dreamer's Perceptions and Prominent Features 131 11 Year Old G i r l 136 Dreams, Comments and Perceptions 136-144 Dreamer's Perceptions and Prominent Features 144 Overall Results 148 Bri e f Comment of Dreams Collected 148 F i r s t Nations Themes 148 Alcohol Themes 149 Dream Perceptions 149 Perceptions of Adults 149 Actions i n Dreams 150 The Effectiveness of Children's Actions i n Their Dreams 151 Pleasantness and Unpleasantness of Dreams 151 Children's Issues Revealed In Dreams 152 Pessimistic Outlook Depicted i n Dreams 153 v i Other Prominent Features Dealing with Real L i f e Situations and Concerns 153 Bizarre Content 154 At a Different Time Than the Present 156 Feelings 156 S i m i l a r i t y Between Children 157 Summary 157 Chapter Five: Discussion 160 Br i e f Summary of Results 160 Comparison of Results to Literature 160 Limitations of Study 167 Strengths of This Study 167 Recommendations For Future Research 168 Implications For Counselling 170 Conclusion 173 References 175 Appendices Appendix A: Faraday's (1974) Recommendations for Keeping a Dream Diary 180 Appendix B: Parent and Child Consent Form 181 Appendix C: Posting to Recruit Volunteers 183 Appendix D: Guideline Questions for Terminating with Participant 184 Appendix E: Summary of Findings to Parents 185 v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to give my sincere thanks to my advisor, Dr. John Al l a n , for his guidance, support and encouragement to complete my thesis. I also express gratitude to my two other committee members. I thank Dr. Rod McCormick f o r h i s a v a i l a b i l i t y , reassurances and his confidence i n me. I c r e d i t and appreciate Dr. Larry Cochran fo r d i r e c t i n g me, with h i s expertise, i n the analysis of the immense amount of dream data I c o l l e c t e d . I would also l i k e to recognize the long hours of work my dear f r i e n d and colleague, Karla Dye-Toffoli, put into e d i t i n g my work and ensuring I was being objective. I also thank her for her generous suggestions. Furthermore, I thank my good f r i e n d K e l l y Brown for taking time to support and ed i t f o r me. As well, I thank Stephen Douglas f o r h i s knowledge i n import analysis and ensuring I was formulating the imports c o r r e c t l y . F i n a l l y , I express my gratitude to Terry F a r r e l l , Bernice Albert and Dylan Whitewing fo r t h e i r 'Eagle-eye' e d i t i n g . I am indebted to the brave and honest c h i l d r e n f o r allowing me into t h e i r l i v e s , for a period of time, to share t h e i r dreams, which are an intimate and private part of themselves. I also recognize the children's courageous parents f o r being trustworthy to grant me permission to learn from t h e i r children's dreams. Last, but not least, I thank my loving and caring family for t h e i r years of support i n my education. I would not be successful without them. I have also received f i n a n c i a l support from the Prevention and Health promotion Branch, Ministry of Health and Ministry Responsible for Seniors. The views expressed i n t h i s a r t i c l e are not necessarily those of the Ministry of Health and Ministry Responsible for Seniors. V l l l DEDICATION This work i s dedicated to the F i r s t Nations c h i l d r e n of the world. They are the strength i n our future. 1 CHAPTER 1: Introduction My research question i s , "What do children's dreams reveal when they l i v e with a recovering a l c o h o l i c parent?" I am further interested i n whether F i r s t Nations c u l t u r a l aspects occur i n these children's dreams. In my l i t e r a t u r e review, there are no studies that combine these i n t e r e s t s . My research design integrates these t o p i c s . I look f o r the appearance of F i r s t Nations themes i n these children's dreams, as well as any themes of alcohol. I present the children's perceptions conveyed i n t h e i r dreams. Background of the Problem E f f e c t s of Parental Alcoholism On Children In a c r i t i c a l review on children of a l c o h o l i c s Tharinger and Koranek (1988) c i t e Black (1981) who estimates that 15 m i l l i o n school-aged children are affected by family alcoholism; and Hect (1975) states that alcoholism a f f e c t s 1 i n 4 or 5 fam i l i e s . I do not know the means by which they a t t a i n these figures, but alcoholism i n families i s pervasive. Amongst the F i r s t Nations population, overconsumption of alcohol i s a concern. In a recent survey conducted by S t a t i s t i c s Canada (1993), of the number of people i n Canada who i d e n t i f y as North American Indian over the age of 15, 73% l i v i n g on reserves and 56% l i v i n g o f f reserves f e e l that alcohol abuse i s the second highest problem facing aboriginal people. The f i r s t concern i s unemployment. In t h i r d and fourth place, respectively, are 2 drug abuse and family violence. Alcohol i n the Native community needs to be addressed. This study looks at t h i s issue from the perspective of the c h i l d . There are few studies conducted with a minority sample of c h i l d r e n of alcoholics (Woodside, 1988). May (1994) pays attention to alcohol abuse among 'American Indians'. In h i s a r t i c l e , he seeks to debunk the stereotype of F i r s t Nations people as an al c o h o l i c society. He determines from f a c t s , the complexity of alcoholism i n the Native community. For example, the myth that there i s a higher prevalence of drinking among Natives i s f a l s e , because there i s d i v e r s i t y i n and between t r i b a l groups. Some reserves declare themselves alcohol free. Also, middle aged Natives have a lower drinking rate than other groups, of the same age, i n the United States. Although May deals with a 'minority' sample, he does not look at the eff e c t s of parental alcoholism on children. Dick, Manson, and Beals (1993) have studied Native American adolescents and t h e i r drinking patterns. More attention i s needed i n the area of parental drinking and i t s e f f e c t s on children under the age of 13. Regarding Native children's psychological health, Yates (1988) reports that they have a higher rate of emotional disorders than the Anglo population i n the United States. Children's emotional well being needs to be studied, e s p e c i a l l y children who are dealing with an a l c o h o l i c parent. 3 I t i s not easy for a c h i l d to grow up i n an a l c o h o l i c home. Woodside (1988) states the following: (a) the al c o h o l i c i s so primary i n the home that the c h i l d f e e l s rejected and unloved, (b) the c h i l d witnesses f i g h t i n g , (c) the rul e s change depending on the a l c o h o l i c parents' state, (d) the c h i l d f e e l s i s o l a t e d from peers, and betrayed when a promise i s broken, (e) the c h i l d may not know what i s r e a l i f h i s or her parents have delusions i n t h e i r intoxicated state, he or she does not have the environment and r o l e model for what i s normal, (f) and because alcoholism i s not acknowledged the c h i l d does not reach out for help and keeps h i s or her emotions blocked inside. Children also s u f f e r from abuse, neglect, parental discord, and divorce (von Knorring, 1991). Factors contributing to how a c h i l d copes are: the maintenance of family tasks, the communication of family members, and support from f r i e n d s — t h e s e may ease the impact of parental alcoholism on children (Murray, 1989). Bennett, Wolin, and Reiss (1988) f i n d that maintaining family r i t u a l s such as, eating together, and celebrating holidays a s s i s t s the children to manage t h e i r behaviour and to cope emotionally, while l i v i n g i n an a l c o h o l i c home. In my l i t e r a t u r e search on the e f f e c t s of parental drinking on children, I f i n d few studies r e l a t i n g the e f f e c t s of parental alcohol abuse on young children. Most of the l i t e r a t u r e deals with the ef f e c t s of growing up i n a home with alc o h o l i c s i n r e t r o s p e c t — t h a t i s , adult c h i l d r e n 4 of a l c o h o l i c s . Due to the large amount of l i t e r a t u r e covering adult children of alcoholics, we know that there are "Long-Term Psychosocial Effects on Childhood Exposure to Parental Problem Drinking" (Greenfield, Swartz, Landerman, & George, 1993). In t h e i r study, they f i n d that adult c h i l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s are more l i k e l y to have p s y c h i a t r i c symptoms and unstable marriages. In focusing my study on the e f f e c t s of parental over consumption of alcohol on elementary school-age children, I aim to a s s i s t these c h i l d r e n while they are young and not wait u n t i l they become adults. Statement of the Problem Researching the effects of parental alcoholism on ch i l d r e n i s multifaceted. One way to obtain raw data d i r e c t l y from the source i s to examine the dreams of ch i l d r e n who reside with a recovering a l c o h o l i c parent. The purpose of t h i s i s to study the i n t e r n a l perspective of childre n who l i v e i n al c o h o l i c homes. Studying the dreams of these childr e n i s a way to maintain a phenomenological perspective of children's experience l i v i n g i n an a l c o h o l i c home. Children i n an al c o h o l i c environment are found to cope d i f f e r e n t l y , and some children cope more d e l e t e r i o u s l y than others (Werner, 1986). Beaudet (1990, 1991) provides grounds for f i n d i n g possible coping styles i n the dream l i f e of ch i l d r e n . The dream l i f e may or may not reveal differences i n the children's coping. I f there are no 5 differences, then I w i l l see what the data t e l l s me about these childr e n i n alco h o l i c homes because dreams are found to incorporate recent l i f e events (Davidson & Kelsey, 1987). I may be able to see the events occurring i n an a l c o h o l i c home when t h i s i s often kept i n secrecy. Children's dreams also "tend to be so d i r e c t and undisguised" (Spiegel, 1994, p. 385) and therefore, truth t e l l i n g . Dream data w i l l give us a view of the children's inner thoughts and perceptions about how they view the world. H a l l (1966) advocates t h i s from h i s research. S p e c i f i c a l l y , dreams reveal how we see: ourselves, others, the world, our impulses and our c o n f l i c t s . These children's dreams may give us an i n d i c a t i o n of how they are dealing with t h e i r home l i f e and parent(s) past drinking. In analyzing the dream reports, I w i l l see i f themes of alcohol appear. Additionally, I w i l l pay attention to F i r s t Nations culture, by studying Native children's dreams to see i f there are any c u l t u r a l themes appearing i n them. This i s possible because there has been an increase i n the general population for learning about F i r s t Nations c u l t u r a l practices, such as the sweat lodge, pow wow, smudging ceremony, and t a l k i n g c i r c l e . This i n t e r e s t creates an atmosphere i n which children may notice and p a r t i c i p a t e . According to the anthropological studies c i t e d i n D'Andrade (1961), the 'culture pattern dream' disintegrated when F i r s t Nations people were assimilated into Western p r a c t i c e s . Perhaps, there may be a return of Native c u l t u r a l themes i n 6 the dreams of Native children. I would l i k e to see i f there i s a presence or absence of Native themes, symbols, and ceremonies depicted i n t h e i r dreams. Research Question I w i l l examine the dreams of f i r s t Nations c h i l d r e n l i v i n g with a recovering a l c o h o l i c parent. Studying children's dream l i f e i s one way to a t t a i n information on the i n t e r n a l aspects of what i s experienced by them. What do dreams reveal about Native children of recovering a l c o h o l i c parent(s)? Are there any depiction of alcohol themes? Are there any Native themes i n these children's dreams? I f there are any Native themes does t h i s a s s i s t them to cope? Delimitations This i s an exploratory research study to understand the dreams of children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s . The q u a l i t a t i v e nature of the study and small sample s i z e l i m i t s g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y . The aim of q u a l i t a t i v e research i s to increase understanding and not to generalize, so an exploratory study i s appropriate for t h i s goal. P r a c t i c a l considerations l i m i t my sample to F i r s t Nations people i n the lower mainland of Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia. The par t i c i p a n t s w i l l be volunteers where there i s one parent i n the home that has already acknowledged alcohol to be a problem. The participants w i l l be very select, because at leas t one parent i n the home i s attempting recovery from alcoholism. Data w i l l also not be co l l e c t e d on ch i l d r e n 7 younger than 9 years. Therefore, younger children's experiences i n a l c o h o l i c homes w i l l not be studied. The data c o l l e c t i o n period w i l l be short, so as not to lose the i n t e r e s t of children recording t h e i r dreams. The c o l l e c t i o n of s e r i a l dreams w i l l occur over a four week period. This w i l l measure, at one point i n time, the dream l i f e of c h i l d r e n i n a home where there has been parental problem drinking. In studying dreams, the dreamer can also lose some of the dream content. Faraday (1974) finds that when subjects are woken and give dream reports i n the middle of the night, more information i s retained. I f the dreamer waits u n t i l morning to record the dream, up to 50% of the recorded information i s l o s t . Assumptions and Limitations G a r f i e l d (1974) believes that "the extensive use of dreams [ l i k e aboriginal cultures] i s an attempt by the dreamer to deal with his problems. I believe that the proper use of dreams produces and increases s e l f - r e l i a n c e " (p. 72) . L i t e r a t u r e advocates using dream l i f e to a s s i s t i n our personal l i f e (e.g. Beaudet, 1990, 1991; Cushway & Sewell, 1992; Edward, 1987). Other researchers believe that dreams are meaningless (e.g., Hobson & McCarlesy c i t e d i n Winson, 1990). I believe that dreams are multifaceted and have many functions. No one theory on the function of dreams has been accepted as the answer of why we dream. I w i l l operate from the perspective that dreams are important to us f o r our 8 human functioning. In t h i s study, I believe we can only understand another persons' dreams as much as a dreamer can convey her experience of the dream verbally, or i n written or pic t u r e form. This can a f f e c t internal v a l i d i t y . Yet, as Beaudet (1990) points out that confabulation may not be a problem because "A c h i l d confabulates spontaneously, making up and adding b i t s and pieces, and even episodes to the dream i t s e l f ; and whether the laboratory or a c l i n i c a l method i s used, the c h i l d ' s nature and mind remain what they are" (Beaudet, 1990, p. 6). Possible confounds could be abuse which might include: neglect, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Yet, the q u a l i t a t i v e nature of t h i s study includes these factors, since some children of alcoholics are also abused i n these ways. Significance of Study Children are often overlooked and undervalued. There are not many supports for children, but several f o r adults. In paying attention to children, I w i l l be increasing the much needed data base i n psychological l i t e r a t u r e on children, children of alcoholics, children's dreams, and F i r s t Nations children. Due to the many children l i v i n g i n a l c o h o l i c homes, researching children to see how they i n t e r n a l l y cope i n t h e i r dreams i s important. The dream data w i l l reveal the inner l i f e , thoughts, 9 and f e e l i n g s of children that may not be detected through t h e i r behaviour and external l i f e . The environment of c h i l d r e n l i v i n g with an a l c o h o l i c parent has multiple influences that mediate the e f f e c t on children, f o r example: degree of support, socio-economic status, family s i z e , c h i l d ' s age at onset of parental drinking and parental health, mental and s o c i a l concerns (West & Prinz, 1987). Through dreams these factors amongst others are included i n studying the c h i l d ' s world, from within, because a c h i l d creates h i s or her own images and a l l that i s i n a c h i l d ' s environment influences what a c h i l d sees, how he or she thinks and f e e l s . Dreams provide a perspective that has not been researched with children of a l c o h o l i c s . West and Prinz (1987) did a comprehensive review on childr e n of a l c o h o l i c s and suggest a need to study the i n d i v i d u a l differences i n these children and to pay attention to the s p e c i f i c factors that help children's r e s i l i e n c y . Dreams are individual to each c h i l d and are very personal, yet data may also provide a group s i m i l a r i t y . As dreams are used i n Native culture to gain knowledge, t h i s study may help me to revive t h i s concept and be a stepping stone to f i n d a way to use dreams to heal ourselves. Furthermore, t h i s research would further substantiate the l i t e r a t u r e that reveals dreams d i f f e r between d i f f e r e n t psychological populations (e.g., Kimmins, 1937) and that dreams are a r e f l e c t i o n of our attempt at problem-solving and adjusting to our l i f e s i t u a t i o n , and are framed by our context. 11 CHAPTER 2: Literature Review Dreams and F i r s t Nations Culture " A l l American Indian t r i b e s assigned s p e c i a l importance to dreams i n t h e i r l i v e s " (Garfield, 1974, p. 59). In Kilborne's (1990) l i t e r a t u r e review of F i r s t Nations dreams, he noticed that American Indian dreamers took action from t h e i r dreams. Taking t h i s action from dreams has researchers b e l i e v i n g that much of Native Culture has been derived from dreams because F i r s t Nations people a c t i v e l y consulted dreams to obtain: songs, dances, healing knowledge and techniques (Garfield, 1974; Krippner, 1990). A l t e r n a t i v e l y , Devereux (1957) postulates that learning from dream material i s a 'secondary elaboration' from knowledge gained i n waking l i f e . Radin (1936), an anthropologist c i t e d i n D'Andrade (1961), reports that F i r s t Nations people used to incubate dreams to obtain knowledge. This lessened when they were exposed to western culture and t h e i r dreams dealt more with personal problems. King (1943), also c i t e d i n D'Andrade (1961), found that there was a combination of Native and Western elements i n the dream of an aboriginal man. In studying F i r s t Nations dreams, I hope to rejuvenate the use of dreams for s e l f empowerment. G a r f i e l d (1974) proposes to learn from 'American Indian dreamers' and outlines the following: 1. Regard your dreams as important i n your l i f e and 12 you w i l l receive and remember valuable dreams. 2. You can reward yourself for dreaming, as the Indians' society rewarded them. 3. You can provide yourself with encouragement to dream. 4. Your dreams w i l l become more relevant to your waking l i f e as you value and use them. 5. You can induce elaborate d e t a i l , [and] very s p e c i f i c elements, i n your dreams. 6. The more dream friends you have, the better. 7. The more your dream friends serve you, the better. 8. Treasure any of your dream songs. 9. Peaceful, unpressured surroundings w i l l help you r e c a l l your dreams, and you w i l l dream more. 10. Give your dream symbols waking form. 11. Dreaming can develop s k i l l s of independence. 12. Dreaming can develop s k i l l s of problem solving. 13. Successful problem solving i n dreams c a r r i e s over into waking l i f e . (p. 77-78) G a r f i e l d has d e f i n i t e l y summarized how we can p r o f i t from dreams. To benefit from dreams we need to r e c a l l them. In a recent study, Levine (1991) finds that I s r a e l i c h i l d r e n r e c a l l e d fewer dreams because they did not think dreams were important and showed a lack of inter e s t i n them compared to two other cultures. Her comparison of c o n f l i c t u a l dream images i n three d i f f e r e n t cultures reveals c u l t u r a l l y 13 determined coping strategies. When we pay attention to our dreams they can become a valuable source f o r a s s i s t i n g us to deal with our concerns. Krippner (1990) notes that among "several Native American t r i b e s , i n i t i a t o r y dreams contain such birds and animals as bears, deer, eagles, and owls" (p. 187). The dream creature who becomes the shaman's power animal, or totem, t y p i c a l l y enables the dreamer to incorporate i t s wisdom and to begin shamanic t r a i n i n g . To r e l a t e t h i s to children i n homes of a l c o h o l i c parents, i t may be possible for children, i n t h e i r dreams, to use animal figures to gain personal strength and empowerment. This may be true even i f i t i s a f e a r f u l character, such as the case represented by C a r r o l l (1988). She worked with an alcohol dependent woman who was tr y i n g to batt l e her addiction. In a dream, the woman feared a serpent. C a r r o l l had her get to know the experience of the serpent, and befriend the 'monster' (addiction). After t h i s , she has been able to remain sober. Also, the Iroquois have dream f e s t i v a l s that encourage children to ascertain t h e i r guiding s p i r i t s (Krippner, 1990). The children t e l l the dream to an adult dream interpreter, who determines the c h i l d ' s guardian s p i r i t . We may be able to adopt t h i s t r a d i t i o n and tran s f e r i t into counselling with children and empower them with t h e i r dream images. Eggan (1952), an anthropologist, also purports the importance of dreams for revealing an ind i v i d u a l ' s 14 personality and h i s or her c u l t u r a l context. She proposes analysing the content of dreams to further understand the person's context/culture and to see how dream elements appear together, or not, to get an idea of the evolving i n d i v i d u a l i n t h e i r c u l t u r a l context. In t h i s l i g h t , studying F i r s t Nations children's dreams, might reveal how they are coping (personality) i n t h e i r a l c o h o l i c home environment (context/culture). In Kilborne's (1990) look at h i s t o r i c a l use of dreams, including Native peoples' dreams, he concludes that "dreams are equally necessary i n the formation of concepts and experiences of both s e l f and society" (p. 202). If t h i s i s so, then i t i s important to understand the dreams of children of a l c o h o l i c s . Furthermore, Kilborne believes that "Dreams bear the marks of the dreamer's personality: his or her age, gender, s o c i a l c l a s s , education, p r i o r i t i e s , and l i f e s t y l e " (p. 203) . Therefore, dreams would reveal children i n t h e i r l i v i n g s i t u a t i o n . Dream Literature on Children The l i t e r a t u r e on children's dreams i s not as extensive as the attention paid to adult dreamers. As well, most theories are derived from dreams of adults. In the dream l i t e r a t u r e on children, dreams r e f l e c t "meaningful s i t u a t i o n a l experiences as well as the usual developmental tasks f o r the c h i l d " (Catalano, 1984, p. 284). Catalano (1984) further hypothesizes that the dreams of emotionally 15 disturbed children w i l l r e f l e c t differences i n the manifest and latent themes, as well as t h e i r l e v e l of ego development. Catalano (1984) reports that other researchers: Green (1971) and Foulkes (1967) conclude from t h e i r studies that environmental s t i m u l i and c u l t u r a l differences are r e f l e c t e d i n dreams. Albon and Mack (1980) state that developmental stress, and s i t u a t i o n a l or environmental trauma, reveals i t s e l f i n the manifest content of children's dreams. This i s regardless of whether or not they have an emotional disturbance. Regarding the function of dreams, Catalano (1984) notes that the l i t e r a t u r e on dreams describes them as adaptive and problem solving. Albon and Mack (1980) also view the dream as an attempt to f i n d possible solutions, or new viewpoints on sit u a t i o n s i n one's l i f e . Furthermore, Catalano (1984) believes that dreams help to structure our i n t e r n a l and external experiences. Based on his experience and observations i n the l i t e r a t u r e , Catalano (1984) determines that dreams can r e f l e c t how a c h i l d copes with h i s c o n f l i c t s and to evaluate the therapeutic process. Beaudet (1990, 1991) coll e c t e d 100 dreams from 15 children, over an 11 week period, i n a school. The children were 5 and 6 years old. She discovered that 45 of the 100 dreams had the c h i l d i n an encounter with a monster. In her data c o l l e c t i o n , a pattern emerged of how, over time, the chil d r e n dealt with the monster i n t h e i r dreams. Three ways 16 of approaching the monster were discovered. The approaches are: combat, taming and engulfment. This study provides a basis for me to p o t e n t i a l l y detect how children i n a l c o h o l i c homes cope i n t h e i r dreams. This finding (along with the data revealing that children cope d i f f e r e n t l y i n a l c o h o l i c homes) and the b e l i e f i n the function of dreams as r e f l e c t i n g one's development, experiences, as well as being adaptive and problem solving, give reason f o r a tenta t i v e hypothesis that children's dreams may r e f l e c t differences i n how they cope i n a home with a l c o h o l i c parent(s). We can learn to control our dreams. This i s c a l l e d l u c i d dreaming (LaBerge & Rheingold, 1990). This may help the c h i l d to reconstruct h i s or her outlook on t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . Roberts (1985) advocates t h i s perspective. Her approach to reconstructing our view on l i f e events can change through use of dream interpretation and mutual story t e l l i n g . She provides a case study for each. Another study by Winget and Kapp (1972) (cited i n G a r f i e l d , 1974) conclude that the content of dreams of pregnant mothers "function [as] an attempt to master i n fantasy an anticipated stress i n waking l i f e " (p. 74). In t h i s l i g h t , children l i v i n g i n homes with an alc o h o l i c parent may use t h e i r dreams to a s s i s t them i n coping with t h e i r home l i f e s i t u a t i o n . I f there are differences i n the dream l i f e of children of al c o h o l i c s and i f some dreams have p o s i t i v e strategies, then we can use the q u a l i t i e s of these dreams to teach other 17 c h i l d r e n to use the found coping dream patterns. Children of Alcoholic Reviews El-Guebaly and Offord (1977) did a comprehensive review of the l i t e r a t u r e on children of alcoh o l i c s covering 25 years p r i o r to 1977. They found few studies on grade school children. Some of t h e i r conclusions are: alcoholism and c h i l d battery can not be causally linked, but i t i s possible that these two arise from common factors. They f i n d that separating out factors such as family disorganization, and emotional disturbances i n children i s needed to determine the cause of outcomes. Variables contributing to a d i f f i c u l t environment could be: sensory deprivation, parental separation or re j e c t i o n , and low q u a l i t y parent-child r e l a t i o n s h i p s . In t h e i r review, they conclude that hyperactivity i n childhood i s related to alcoholism, as well as sociopathy and hysteria i n adulthood. They ascertain that further studies need to be conducted to separate the e f f e c t s of hyperactivity with a n t i s o c i a l personality. They also conclude that children of alcoholics r i s k developing emotional disturbances, e s p e c i a l l y a n t i s o c i a l behaviour. The following reports West and Prinz's review (1987) which encompasses 1975 to 1985. Hyperactivity i n chi l d r e n of al c o h o l i c s i s found, but the findings are confounded with pre-natal exposure to alcohol, and gender of the a l c o h o l i c parent. Also, elevated rates of attention d e f i c i t disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD) have been found i n children of 18 a l c o h o l i c s and could be attributed to heredity or pre-natal exposure to alcohol. School performance of chil d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s i s found to be affected moderately. Further studies are required to weed out confounding factors l i k e environmental stressors and pre-natal exposure to alcohol, which may e f f e c t schooling. A few studies have been conducted on interpersonal functioning of young ch i l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s and further investigation with a l o n g i t u d i n a l study i s needed to c l a r i f y that a c h i l d ' s s o c i a l s k i l l s improves when they get older. Some studies have looked at the health of children of alcoholics and not enough has been done to conclude that health status i s a symptom for c h i l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s . As well, other family stressors may influence health status of children. Their i n v e s t i g a t i o n also reveals that children of alcoholics are prone to developing anxiety-depressive symptoms, low self-esteem, and perceive a lack of control on t h e i r environment. Ext e r n a l i z i n g problems, such as conduct problems, inattention and poor academic performance are associated with children of a l c o h o l i c s . I n t e r n a l i z i n g problems, such as depression and anxiety are also found i n common with childre n of a l c o h o l i c s . Child abuse has been found to occur to chil d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s . However, the strength of the l i n k has not been agreed upon and future studies require more stringent controls for matching competing varia b l e s . West and Prinz believe a l c o h o l i c families to be highly 19 variable i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and outcomes and t h i s a f f e c t s c h i l d r e n d i f f e r e n t l y . West and Prinz also f i n d that there i s overlap between the children of a l c o h o l i c s and those who do not have a l c o h o l i c parents. They conclude that alcoholism a f f e c t s family l i f e , and children suffer from a greater number of symptoms, but not a l l children are prone to impairing psychological e f f e c t s . In Tharinger and Koranek (1988) they report the following research on the effects of parental alcoholism on children: (a) Not a l l children of a l c o h o l i c s are affected the same way (Kammeier, 1971; M i l l e r & Jang, 1977; Werner, 1986). (b) There are many variables that influence adjustment, such as the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the c h i l d , a l c o h o l i c and non-alcoholic parent, family functioning, chronic and acute stressors, influence of the environment and culture, (c) In school, children of a l c o h o l i c s : underachieve and overachieve, have emotional, interpersonal and behavioral problems and have an increased p o t e n t i a l for alcohol abuse. Family Environment Reich, Earls, and Powell (1988) compare the home environments of children of alcoholics and c h i l d r e n of non-a l c o h o l i c s . They use a questionnaire and interview approach with childr e n and parents. Their data reveal that the c h i l d r e n from a l c o h o l i c homes: view the parents as poor r o l e models, there i s greater parent-child c o n f l i c t , and low 20 parent-child interaction, children report greater marital c o n f l i c t , and report more physical and emotional abuse, and exposure to drinking. Rubio-Stipec, Bird, Canino, Bravo and A l e g r i a (1991) examine the family environment i n studying the r e l a t i o n s h i p between parental alcoholism and c h i l d adjustment i n a Puerto Rican community. Standardized interview and measurements are used. Their r e s u l t s reveal that i t i s d i f f i c u l t to separate parental alcoholism from an unfavourable family environment and i t ' s e f f e c t on childhood psychopathology. According to the C h i l d Behaviour Checklist (CBCL, Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1983), children of a l c o h o l i c parents have poor family environments and low le v e l s of adaptive functioning compared to c h i l d r e n of non-alcoholics. They f i n d a strong r e l a t i o n between parental alcoholism and i n t e r n a l i z e d symptoms, as well as, depression, somatic complaints, and thought disorders i n children. When a c h i l d reported symptoms, the l i n k of behaviour problems and parental alcoholism i s stronger than when the parents or p s y c h i a t r i s t s reported the symptoms of the c h i l d . Depression Rolf, Johnson, I s r a e l , Baldwin, and Chandra (1988) acknowledge the gap i n studies on a f f e c t i v e concerns with c h i l d r e n of alcoholics and note the emphasis of studies on behavioral e f f e c t s of children of a l c o h o l i c s . Their sample consists of ninety-eight children between the ages of 6 and 21 18 who are from homes of recovering a l c o h o l i c s . Mothers f i l l e d out questionnaires on t h e i r children's functioning and the children f i l l e d out t h e i r own s e l f - r e p o r t of t h e i r emotions. Mother's ratings for the children of a l c o h o l i c s showed more depressive a f f e c t . The children of a l c o h o l i c s also reported more depressive a f f e c t than the c h i l d r e n of non-alcoholics. Welner and Rice (1988) use a sample of parents with an a f f e c t i v e disorder and t h e i r school-aged c h i l d r e n compared to a group of parents and children from the same community. Standardized tests were given to the children, parents and teachers. These reports were c o l l e c t i v e l y used to i d e n t i f y symptoms i n the children. In t h i s sample, c h i l d depression i s r e l a t e d to having an al c o h o l i c father and a mother diagnosed with depression. I t i s also found that c h i l d r e n with an a l c o h o l i c mother, and parents who divorced, have conduct disorder. C h i l d Abuse Yama, Tovey, Fogas, and Teegarden (1992) assess whether sexual abuse and alcoholism are s i m i l a r i n terms of psychopathology, and perception of family environment. They further assess whether there i s an i n t e r a c t i o n between the two. The subjects consisted of volunteer u n i v e r s i t y students. Questionnaires on depression, anxiety and family environment were given. The questionnaire revealed that students who suffered childhood sexual abuse and parental 22 alcoholism showed higher l e v e l s of depression, and anxiety. Regarding the family environment, children who suffered childhood sexual abuse and had a l c o h o l i c parents saw t h e i r family as having less cohesion, greater c o n f l i c t , and less emphasis on moral and r e l i g i o u s matters. There was no s i g n i f i c a n t differences found for p a r t i c i p a n t s with childhood sexual abuse or parental alcoholism. Both c h i l d r e n who were sexually abused and children who grew up i n an a l c o h o l i c home had s i m i l a r l y dysfunctional perceptions of t h e i r home environment. This i s a retrospective study and i s prone to d i s t o r t e d r e c a l l . Cognition Johnson and Rolf (1988) compare the cognitive functioning of children from recovering a l c o h o l i c s and non-a l c o h o l i c f a m i l i e s . They f i n d no s i g n i f i c a n t differences, but differences are found between the mothers' perceptions and the c h i l d ' s own perception of h i s or her academic performance. They state that p r i o r research has found differences i n cognitive a b i l i t y of children from a l c o h o l i c homes compared to children of non-alcoholics when the study was conducted with children whose parent(s) a c t i v e l y abused alcohol. In the review of Murray (1989) some subjects are low on cognitive s k i l l s , but t h i s i s not conclusive due to l i m i t e d instrumentation, von Knorring (1991) also finds children's school performance to be affected. In Connolly, Sasswell, Stewart, S i l v a and O'Brien's (1993) review, they 23 c i t e research that reveals children of a l c o h o l i c s have: poor school performance (Hyphantis, Koutras, Liakos & Marselos, 1991); reduced general cognitive functioning and lower verbal performance ( G a b r i e l l i & Mednick, 1983; Knop, Teasdale, Schulsinger, & Goodwin 1985; Werner, 1986). Behaviour Connolly, Sasswell, Stewart, S i l v a and O'Brien (1993) conduct a longitudinal study where data was c o l l e c t e d when the children were age 9 and 13. Since Offord Boyle & Racine (1989) found that reports of behaviour d i f f e r e d depending on who was reporting behaviour (teachers, parents or c h i l d r e n themselves), Connolly et a l . (1993) separated teacher's and parent's reports i n analysing t h e i r data. They c i t e findings from p r i o r research that reveals children from a l c o h o l i c homes experience: less communication with parents, teachers, and peers; greater detachment from family members (Black, Buck & Wilder-Padilla 1986); and a n t i s o c i a l and aggressive tendencies at home and i n school (Chafetz, Blane & H i l l , 1971; Fine, Yudin, Holmes, Heinemann 1976). The r e s u l t s of the Connolly et a l . (1993) study reveal that more problem behaviours at age 9 are reported by teachers, and more problem behaviours are reported by the parents with children at age 3. Additionally, "Poorer family r e l a t i o n s h i p s , lower verbal and reading p r o f i c i e n c y and being male were also associated with high l e v e l s of behaviour problems" (p. 1383). They used the Rutter C h i l d 24 Scale A and B (Rutter, Tizard, Whitmore, 1970) and the Revised Behaviour Checklist (Quay & Peterson, 1983) to determine behavioral reports, the Family environment scale (Moos & Moos, 1981) to determine the family atmosphere, the Revised Weschler verbal and performance IQ scales (Weschler, 1974) for assessing verbal performance, and the Burt Word Recognition Scale (Scottish Council for research i n Education, 1976) to evaluate reading p r o f i c i e n c y . In t h e i r data they detect that 9 year old's with severe parental alcohol drinking are polarised between coping well or poorly i n terms of t h e i r behaviour at school. Another study by Dawson (1992) notes the l i t e r a t u r e that indicates children of alcoholics have behaviour problems. In her study, she attempts to account f o r the p r i o r methodological concerns (e.g., small nonrepresentative samples). S p e c i f i c a l l y , she takes into consideration other fact o r s that may e f f e c t children's behaviour from homes where parent(s) have an alcohol problem. She uses a survey design and looks at separate factors of how the gender of the a l c o h o l i c parent affected the behaviour of t h e i r c h i l d r e n . The measure she uses for behavioral problems i s a l i s t of 32 indicators from Z i l l (1985) e.g., c l i n g i n g to adults, demanding attention, and misbehaving. Internal consistency was .85 for the 5-11 year old's and .89 f o r the 12 to 17 year old's. Results of the study reveals that "The odds of being i n the top 10th percentile of the behavioral 25 problem d i s t r i b u t i o n were increased by a factor of 1.66 with an a l c o h o l i c father and by a factor of 2.19 with an a l c o h o l i c mother" (p. 333). Some children with conduct disorder and h y p e r a c t i v i t y are also found to have parents who are a l c o h o l i c (von Knorring, 1991). Furthermore, the r i s k to c h i l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s include: substance abuse, delinquency, c r i m i n a l i t y , truancy and dropping out of school (von Knorring, 1991). Somatic complaints occur i n c h i l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s (von Knorring, 1991). The l i t e r a t u r e reveals that some children, whose parent's are a l c o h o l i c , have behaviour problems. Re s i l i e n c y Werner (1985) conducted a longitudinal study i n Kauai, Hawaii. Children were followed from the age of 1 to 18. Forty-one percent had serious coping problems that caused problems at home, i n school, at work, or i n the community. The r i s k for developing serious learning and behaviour problems was higher for children of a l c o h o l i c parents than for t h e i r peers i n the same b i r t h cohort whose parents were not a l c o h o l i c s . F i f t y - n i n e percent of the c h i l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s had not developed any problems by age of 18. These are r e s i l i e n t children who did well i n school, at work, and i n t h e i r s o c i a l l i f e , and who had r e a l i s t i c future goals and expectations. Reich, Earls, and Powell (1988) address r e s i l i e n c y i n 26 c h i l d r e n of alco h o l i c s and f i n d that the following factors work preventatively against the c h i l d having a p s y c h i a t r i c disorder: no parent-child c o n f l i c t , no exposure to parental drinking, and p o s i t i v e parent-child i n t e r a c t i o n s . Woodside (1988) reports many studies that show children are affected by parental drinking. She also, acknowledges that not a l l c h i l d r e n of alco h o l i c s become alcoholics themselves, nor develop emotional, physical or psychological disorders. Also, the c h i l d ' s coping patterns may a s s i s t i n how he or she i s affected by parental drinking (Woodside, 1988) . Seilhamer, Jacob, and Dunn (1993) also support that not a l l c h i l d r e n of alcoholics are affected the same way. In t h e i r study, they look at eight families with an a l c o h o l i c father. They measure the father's alcohol consumption, d a i l y , for 85 days with the use of a log. The mother and chil d r e n are given symptom and s a t i s f a c t i o n questionnaires. Their findings indicate that the c h i l d ' s s a t i s f a c t i o n i s correlated with the father's drinking l e v e l , and the rel a t i o n s h i p s within families change when a parent drinks. The e f f e c t of the parent drinking i s p o s i t i v e , negative or neutral depending on the family dynamics. Regarding the p o s i t i v e e f f e c t s of the father drinking, the researchers believe Steinglass's 'adaptive consequences' model i s supported. That i s , " i f father i s perceived as more pleasant when intoxicated, family interactions may well support continued consumption" (p. 194-5). The children who are 27 affected more negatively, appear to have a father who drinks most i n the early evening. Since there are children who develop overt problems and childr e n who are seen as ' r e s i l i e n t , ' t h i s i s an i n d i c a t o r that the e f f e c t of parental overdrinking on children's behaviour, school performance, health and emotional state i s a complex issue. Murray (1989) highlights an important point from Wilson and Orford's 1978 study that s o c i a l adaptation of c h i l d r e n of alcoholics varies as each c h i l d reacts d i f f e r e n t l y to experiences. Their reactions vary with t h e i r age and amount of time they were exposed to parental alcoholism. Researching children's dreams may give us some further insight into how children cope and deal with parental drinking. The data i s derived from t h e i r inner w o r l d — a most important aspect of who they are. Coper's and Non-coper's Zimrin (1986) p r o f i l e s coping versus noncoping childr e n of various types of abuse as part of a l o n g i t u d i n a l study. She uses Lazarus' model of stress and coping. This model purports that what we experience as stress, depends on how we view the s i t u a t i o n , what information we perceive from other's reactions, and our assessment of our own c a p a b i l i t y to deal with the s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n . The experimental group of abused children i n Zimrin's study, i s matched with a control group. Data i s c o l l e c t e d through observation, interviews and psychological t e s t i n g . She finds that the 28 surviving personality of the abused c h i l d believes that (a) he or she could control his or her destiny (versus f a t a l i s m and submission), (b) has a high self-image, (c) has good cognitive performance, (d) has presence of hope i n fantasy, (e) displays b e l l i g e r e n t behaviour, (f) shows no s e l f -destructive behaviour, and (g) has support of an adult, or has r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for a dependant, such as a pet or younger s i b l i n g . The non-surviving group has d i f f i c u l t y i n expressing emotion, i n establishing r e l a t i o n s h i p s and high aggression. These found aspects of abused childre n could also be found i n children of a l c o h o l i c s . Factors to be Considered i n Children of A l c o h o l i c Research Factors needing attention when studying c h i l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s are: controlled studies paying attention to age, sex, education, socioeconomic class, and amount of family disorganization; clear d e f i n i t i o n s of alcoholism and other vari a b l e s ; description of sample sele c t i o n ; and attention to female children of alcoholics (El-Guebaly & Offord, 1977). Since poverty, alcoholism and a n t i s o c i a l behaviour occur together, there i s a need to control for these factors ( E l -Guebaly & Offord, 1977). Studies have been done on chil d r e n without separating the younger children from adolescents, sex-differences have been ignored, as have gender differences between the a l c o h o l i c parent and c h i l d (West & Prinz, 1987). The other family stressors that may occur with parental alcoholism are: divorce, c o n f l i c t , parental 29 psychopathology, drug abuse, parental c r i m i n a l i t y , poverty, physical abuse and neglect, and p e r i n a t a l b i r t h complications (West & Prinz, 1987). Rolf et a l . (1988) suggest that more longitudinal studies and more samples of childr e n from alcoholics need to be conducted to begin knowing causes, rather that just correlated findings. Also, attention needs to be paid to the c h i l d ' s developmental l e v e l , and the heterogeneity of children of a l c o h o l i c s (Rolf et a l . , 1988). Woodside (1988) suggests that further research needs to be done on the feelings, and family dynamics i n an a l c o h o l i c home. Most research has been conducted using alcoholics who are i n treatment, when a majority of a l c o h o l i c s do not receive treatment. Therefore, these samples are non-representative (von Knorring, 1991; West and Prinz, 1987; Woodside, 1988). Woodside (1988) also suggests that the differences, as well as the s i m i l a r i t i e s be addressed between a l c o h o l i c and non-alcoholic f a m i l i e s . In these investigations, biology, physiology, chemistry, personality and psychological factors and t h e i r interactions need to be studied. The length of time the c h i l d i s exposed to parental alcoholism i s another factor to be studied (von Knorring, 1991). Murray (1989) advocates f o r the following factors to be is o l a t e d and studied: parental psychopathology, parental c r i m i n a l i t y , marital discord, disrupted family routine, lack of parental guidance, modelling maladaptive coping behaviour, severity of parental 30 alcoholism, sex of parent and inte r a c t i o n of genders between parent and c h i l d . The term c h i l d psychopathology i s used i n the l i t e r a t u r e and i s not c l e a r l y defined. I t seems i t i s a broad term to encompass a number of disorders, e.g., attention d e f i c i t disorder, and conduct disorder. I f e e l the term needs to be c l e a r l y defined to be able to make comparisons between studies. Furthermore, comparison groups with an i l l parent have been used, but t h i s may not be a matched group. Some studies on children of a l c o h o l i c s have combined young children with adolescents, which does not acknowledge the age differences, or t h e i r development and cognitive a b i l i t i e s . I f i n d i n the l i t e r a t u r e on chi l d r e n of al c o h o l i c s , the research i s varied and i t takes years to es t a b l i s h firm, conclusive findings. The l i t e r a t u r e i s often c i t e s studies done i n the 60's 70's and 80's. Also, e f f e c t s of alcoholism on children i s the lea s t studied and continuing to research t h i s area w i l l contribute to the data. Researching children of alcoh o l i c s i s a complex issue. A q u a l i t a t i v e study can include many variables and studying dreams involves the c h i l d ' s perspective from t h e i r i n t e r n a l l i f e . 31 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY Introduction This q u a l i t a t i v e study's design i s exploratory and des c r i p t i v e . The sample population includes c h i l d r e n between the ages of 9 and 13, who have a parent that has acknowledged drinking excessively and has decided to abstain from drinking alcohol. The sample i s from an urban F i r s t Nations population. I t i s my goal i s to a s s i s t F i r s t Nations communities i n t h e i r healing process. I have chosen dreams to obtain the inter n a l experiences of children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s because, based on the l i t e r a t u r e , I believe dreams can reveal our perceptions and feelings about s i t u a t i o n s . Dreams are also an in t e g r a l part of Native culture. Native culture has u t i l i z e d dreams to obtain knowledge and to problem solve l i f e s i tuations (Garfield, 1974) . In analysing the data q u a l i t a t i v e l y , I adopt a phenomenological view i n order to understand children's experience from t h e i r perspectives. Definitions Alcoholism "Alcoholism has been defined f u n c t i o n a l l y as an i l l n e s s characterized by loss of control over drinking that r e s u l t s i n serious problems i n any one of the following areas: job, school, or f i n a n c i a l a f f a i r s ; relationships with family and friends; or physical health (WHO, 1951 i n Deutsch, 1982)" (Tharinger & Koranek, 1988, p. 167). 32 My o r i g i n a l intent was to examine the dreams of ch i l d r e n l i v i n g with a parent who i s drinking alcohol to the point where the non-drinking partner reaches out f o r help ( i . e . , to an agency). This includes partners who, themselves, drank alcohol heavily and quit. Therefore, a c h i l d would have two al c o h o l i c parents. I was not able to obtain a sample of children with a p r a c t i s i n g a l c o h o l i c parent. This sample of children comes from homes where one parent i s i d e n t i f i e d as an al c o h o l i c i n recovery and has ceased drinking. Generally, i t takes p r a c t i s i n g a l c o h o l i c s many years i n the recovery process to reach a stage where they can decide to remain abstinent. Therefore, t h i s sample of childr e n w i l l have l i v e d i n an environment where the parent was consuming alcohol for a long period of time. Dream Report Dreams are translated from v i s u a l images into written descriptions. This process i s c a l l e d a dream report. I t i s necessary to obtain a t r a n s l a t i o n of the dream from v i s u a l (asleep) to verbal or written (awake) form, because i t i s not possible for others to observe the v i s u a l images seen by the dreamer (Winget & Kramer, 1979). Dreams that are r e c a l l e d , are d i f f e r e n t from dreams that are not r e c a l l e d (Hall, 1966). The Navajo's (Krippner, 1990) believe that remembered dreams are s i g n i f i c a n t . I adopt t h i s b e l i e f i n t h i s study. 33 Description of Data C o l l e c t i o n Referral of Children I presented t h i s research inquiry to the program co-ordinator of a Native alcohol and drug agency i n order to obtain permission to r e c r u i t children from a l c o h o l i c homes. We discussed how to r e c r u i t appropriate c h i l d p a r t i c i p a n t s and agreed on an acceptable method. I placed a poster on a b u l l e t i n board i n t h e i r o f f i c e (see Appendix C). There were no i n q u i r i e s from t h i s posting. In the c h i l d counselling department, the supervisor allowed me to meet with c h i l d counsellors and present my research to them. I asked for t h e i r assistance i n obtaining suitable c h i l d p a r t i c i p a n t s and they referred a l l f i v e p articipants of t h i s study. I knew four of the f i v e participants from working at the agency during the summer. This increased the c h i l d ' s comfort l e v e l with me during the interviews. Obtaining Consent The counsellor who was either already working with the c h i l d , or was beginning counselling with the c h i l d , spoke to the c h i l d about t h i s study. This counsellor also asked the parents i f I could c a l l and t a l k to them about t h e i r c h i l d p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the study. I was given the parents numbers to c a l l to set up meetings to review consent forms (see Appendix B), to discuss t h i s study, and to answer any questions they had. After these meetings and the signing of the consent forms, I arranged to interview the c h i l d . 34 At t h i s time, I sat with the c h i l d and explained that we a l l have several dreams a night. I t o l d them that sometimes we can remember our dreams and that we can also teach ourselves to remember them with prac t i c e . I sai d they could t e l l themselves to remember t h e i r dreams. I t o l d them to wake up slowly to see i f dream memories came to mind. I instructed them to record t h e i r dream memories i n the journal I provided for them. These instructions are from Faraday's (1974) recommendations for dream r e c a l l (see Appendix A). Description of Sample Children between the ages of 9 and 13 compose the sample, because "at ages 7-9, the f i r s t increase i n dream-report frequency i s noted (Foulkes, H o l l i f i e l d , S u l l i v a n , Bradley & Terry, 1990, p. 449). Furthermore, Foulkes, H o l l i f i e l d , Bradley, Terry and Sullivan (1991) report that children's dreams lack self-representation before age 8. Foulkes (1990), states that older children's dreams have the following c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : story p l o t , movement, an active self-character, more human characters, greater interactions amongst characters, emotion, and descriptions of s i t u a t i o n s that imply a f e e l i n g . Also, "latency aged childre n respond most d e s c r i p t i v e l y and elaborately with a structured r e c a l l format" (Catalano, 1984, p. 282). Therefore, working with older children between the ages of 9 and 13 provides r i c h e r data to analyze. 35 There are a t o t a l of f i v e participants who are a l l F i r s t Nations. A l l the children i n the sample were on a wait l i s t f o r counselling or were receiving counselling at a F i r s t Nations agency for addictions i n Vancouver. The children's mothers are the parent i n sobriety. The mothers of 4 of the 5 participants have common law spouses that are not the par t i c i p a n t s b i o l o g i c a l fathers. I am uncertain whether the boy's mother's common law i s h i s stepfather or b i o l o g i c a l father. Of the common laws, two had been sober 15 to 23 years longer than the mothers, one had qui t drinking the same time as the mother and one "was never a drinker". I do not know about the l a s t spouses drinking h i s t o r y . Four of the participants attend an elementary school i n Vancouver. Only one participant goes to school i n Burnaby. There are four female grade seven students. At the time of the interviews, these g i r l s were 11, 12, and two were 13 years old. The boy i n t h i s study was 9 years old. I was not able to obtain any other male participants. The pa r t i c i p a n t s were a l l the oldest children l i v i n g i n the home. The 9 year old boy and one 13 year old g i r l both have older female s i b l i n g s i n t h e i r early twenties who do not l i v e at home. Each of the children remembered between 4 and 19 dreams. The boy re c a l l e d the most dreams. When I started with him, he said he did not remember many dreams. Later, he said he was able to r e c a l l his dreams because he followed my inst r u c t i o n s for remembering dreams (see Appendix A). The 36 t o t a l number of dreams I coll e c t e d was 49. Procedures with the Children I n i t i a l l y , I asked the f i r s t two children, who started the study, i f they wanted me to c a l l them every day, or i f they wanted to c a l l me when they had a dream. They both chose to c a l l me when they had a dream. This d i d not work, as one l o s t my number, and they both forgot to c a l l me. A f t e r not receiving any c a l l s the f i r s t two weeks, I c a l l e d them and decided that I would c a l l them every day. I interviewed these two participants for about 6 weeks, due to my not receiving any c a l l s for the f i r s t two weeks of the study. I was able to interview the g i r l who l o s t my number days a f t e r her dream because she wrote her dream down on paper. I c a l l e d a l l the participants i n the morning, before they went to school, and i f they remembered a dream, I would interview them afte r school that same day. The t h i r d p a r t i c i p a n t started a week afte r the f i r s t two. I interviewed the f i r s t three participants concurrently and started interviewing the l a s t two participants during the l a s t week of the sessions with the f i r s t three c h i l d r e n . I c o l l e c t e d the data over approximately 2 months. I interviewed the children i n a quiet spot at t h e i r homes. The interview was conducted p r i v a t e l y out of respect fo r the childre n and to help them f e e l comfortable sharing t h e i r dreams. I n i t i a l l y , the tape recorder was a novelty to the children, and some f e l t a l i t t l e uncomfortable. When 37 they started t e l l i n g me t h e i r dream, they soon forgot about the recorder. In subsequent interviews, the p a r t i c i p a n t s were comfortable sharing t h e i r dreams and having them recorded. At the end of the data c o l l e c t i o n , I gave each of the children $50 for p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n my study. Interviewing Process To obtain the dream reports, I used non-leading, c l a r i f y i n g questions i n order to lessen the demand c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of children saying what a researcher wants to hear. I also l e t the children know that i t was okay i f they d i d not have a dream, because i t i s natural f o r people not to remember every dream. I t o l d them that sometimes people remember more than one dream a night. I also asked the childr e n to describe t h e i r emotions i n t h e i r dreams, as well as those they f e l t upon awakening. In the f i r s t few interviews, I asked the dreamers to describe t h e i r dreams and to t e l l me as much as they remembered. Later, the interviews became routine. I would ask i f they were ready to s t a r t and I would turn on the tape recorder. They would s t a r t to t e l l me t h e i r dream immediately. Experiences of the Interview Process. The 12 year old g i r l would t e l l me a part of her dream, then become s i l e n t . I would prompt her with, "And then what happened?" and she would continue t e l l i n g me the r e s t of her dream. I f what she related was unclear, I asked questions to 38 c l a r i f y . I also paraphrased the children's words to check what they stated. When the children did not f i n i s h t h e i r sentences, I asked questions. For example, the 12 year old g i r l said, "and there was a boat that goes by and and pushed him [dreamer's kitten] a l l the way to the other side". I responded, "Oh, so did the boat kind of save him? (c h i l d ' s head nods) He got to the other side of the shore? (child's head nods) And then what happened a f t e r that?". This example also i l l u s t r a t e s that I i n i t i a l l y responded with my own in t e r p r e t a t i o n of the dream event. In subsequent interviews, I lessened my interpretative questions i n order not to impose my ideas on the c h i l d , which could a f f e c t t h e i r responses. I t was not easy to follow the dream reports of one 13 year old g i r l , so I asked questions to c l a r i f y . For example, I said, "And when you got out [of the box] you had the top h a l f of your body?" Her response was, "Yeah, the middle part of my body was gone". For further c l a r i f i c a t i o n , I asked, "So your arms and your head were there and your legs were there, but not your stomach area?". In contrast to t h i s 13 year old g i r l , the only boy c l e a r l y related h i s dreams from beginning to end. I asked him very few c l a r i f y i n g questions because i t was easy to understand what he was t a l k i n g about. At the beginning of my f i r s t interviews, I asked questions to obtain more information than was volunteered. For example, I asked for a description of a box, and "Do you 39 know why you had to go i n the box?", and "Did you know the man that was doing the magic t r i c k ? 1 1 . I stopped asking these de s c r i p t i o n questions to l e t them t e l l me what they thought was important i n t h e i r dreams. Journal Recording. I provided a l l the c h i l d r e n with journals, that were half line d and half blank, to write down t h e i r dreams. They were given the option of adding a drawing of t h e i r dream i n t h e i r journals. A l l the c h i l d r e n decorated t h e i r journals. Some of the children recorded t h e i r dreams i n t h e i r journals. Sometimes the journal would be misplaced, and they recorded t h e i r dreams on a piece of paper. Most of the time the children did not use t h e i r journals. They would t e l l me t h e i r dreams from memory. None of the p a r t i c i p a n t s forgot t h e i r dreams. Their memory was s u f f i c i e n t f o r t e l l i n g t h e i r dreams on the same day. If a c h i l d forgot to t e l l me a portion of t h e i r dream, she or he would t e l l me at the next interview. My experience i n C o l l e c t i n g Data I was curious and interested i n the children's dreams and I enjoyed l i s t e n i n g and comprehending t h e i r dream perspectives. I f e l t comfortable going into t h e i r homes. I enjoyed speaking with the parents and the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' s i b l i n g s . Through the interview process, I was able to learn about the children's home environment. As time went on, the childre n and I became comfortable with each other and the interview process. 40 Children's Experience of P a r t i c i p a t i n g i n This Study To terminate t h i s study with the children I asked them cl o s i n g questions (see Appendix D). Three of the four g i r l s thought i t was good to t a l k and t e l l somebody about t h e i r dreams. The boy also thought t a l k i n g was good and the other g i r l thought i t was "ok". The boy and two of the g i r l s said that, i n future, they would draw or write about t h e i r dreams i n t h e i r journals. One g i r l said that she was unsure i f she would continue to record her dreams, and the other s a i d she had no further plans to do anything with her dreams. The incidents of dream r e c a l l increased for two c h i l d r e n . For two other children, t h e i r dream r e c a l l remained the same. I am not sure how the f i f t h person's dream r e c a l l was affected. One of the 13 year old g i r l s s a i d that p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the study was one of the few things that she has completed i n her l i f e . She f e l t proud of he r s e l f for completing the study and she knew her mother would also be proud of her. Data Analysis I take a phenomenological approach to data an a l y s i s . I allow the data to speak for i t s e l f and for the dreams to t e l l of the experiences of these children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s . I examined the manifest dream content of the reports. The manifest content i s exactly how the dream i s portrayed with no interpretation of the underlying meaning 41 of the dream. In other words, the dream images speak for themselves. I was as non-intrusive upon the data as possible. I attempted not to impose interpretations upon the data. When there were possible interpretations of t h e i r dreams, I used background information from the c h i l d ' s l i f e and information from the l i t e r a t u r e to ensure that I kept the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n as close as possible to the c h i l d ' s perspective. The Use of Import Analysis to Derive the Child's Perceptions From the Dreams For each dream, I derived a set of perception statements using Arnold's (1962) method of deriving imports as a guideline. An import i s the meaning or s i g n i f i c a n c e of a story (Arnold, 1962). E s s e n t i a l l y , t h i s i s r e -writing the key b e l i e f s of a story i n one sentence. A s e r i e s of imports derived from the c o l l e c t e d dreams reveals the children's view of the world, t h e i r b e l i e f s , or t h e i r s c r i p t s of what happens to them and others (Arnold, 1962). The following guidelines originate from Arnold (1962): 1. In forming an import, the goal i s not to i n t e r p r e t , but to capture what the story i s a c t u a l l y saying, which can be a conviction that applies to the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s l i f e . 2. An import cannot be such a general statement that i t can apply to anyone. I t i s also not a summary. I t must be s p e c i f i c enough to portray the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s 42 perceptions. 3. The investigator can use some of the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s actual words and phrases. 4. No additional information i s added. For example, t h i s i s one of the dreams i n my sample: "My brother was with me and he picked the skateboard up and then he went down the h i l l and I didn't know he went a l l the way down. When I seen him I was already at the portable and when I got home that day, I got i n trouble. They t o l d me, 'always make sure [your brother] stays with yah'." The perception I derived from t h i s i s : even when i t i s too l a t e to stop your brother, you are responsible for him and get i n trouble for h i s actions. I found that there was often more than one perception statement i n each dream. Arnold's formula r e s u l t s i n one import f o r one story and requires that there be a beginning, middle and an end to the story, and must include the thoughts and feelings of the people involved without conversation i n the story. Dreams are more elusive. Sometimes they are missing parts, such as an outcome, what leads up to a s i t u a t i o n , and feel i n g s . A d d i t i o n a l l y , dreams can switch scenes and have more than one story. Since I am applying t h i s method to dreams, not to s t o r i e s , I c a l l my statements perceptions instead of imports. I use her method of obtaining imports as a t o o l to a s s i s t me i n deriving meaning from dreams, and her import guidelines to formulate 43 the perceptions of the dreamer. I discovered i n my analysis that I could obtain from 1 to 8 perceptions f o r each dream. In story sequence analysis, Arnold uses 20 p i c t u r e cards (Thematic Apperception Test, TAT) for twenty imports. Arnold devised a motivation index to compare i n d i v i d u a l s ' t o t a l scores from 10 to 20 imports. To use the index, 10 to 20 s t o r i e s are required. The number of imports i s also important f o r ensuring r e l i a b i l i t y and consistency i n forming an accurate summary of the indiv i d u a l s motivation for achievement. Therefore, only two of my p a r t i c i p a n t s are e l i g i b l e for comparison. I w i l l not be using the scoring index. R e l i a b i l i t y R e l i a b i l i t y refers to "the consistency of the researcher's i n t e r a c t i v e s t y l e , data recording, data analysis and interpretation of participant meanings from the data" (Schumacher & McMillan, 1993). To increase r e l i a b i l i t y of the research design, I consistently used non-leading questions i n interviews. The procedures are also outlined i n d e t a i l to enable another researcher to r e p l i c a t e and r e l i a b l y conduct a s i m i l a r study. I analyzed a l l the dream reports using the same method of deriving perceptions from the dreams. The phenomenological form of deriving perceptions and transcribing dream reports allows the data to reveal r e s u l t s with minimal interpretation, t h i s reduces bias. The aforementioned methods address external 44 r e l i a b i l i t y , which provides detailed information f o r other researchers to understand and be able to r e p l i c a t e the study. Internal r e l i a b i l i t y of data c o l l e c t i o n i s to ensure the degree of agreement between the researcher's comprehension of the partic i p a n t s ' view and the pa r t i c i p a n t s ' perspective. I tape recorded interviews and transcribed the dream reports to assure data was presented from the children's viewpoint. I c l a r i f i e d any confusion I had i n understanding the participants. I noted features that were prominent, but not common to a l l the children's dreams. V a l i d i t y Internal v a l i d i t y ensures that conclusions derived from the data r e f l e c t r e a l i t y , or the pa r t i c i p a n t s ' intended perceptions. By approaching t h i s study without a preconceived agenda, I minimized researcher bias. In other words, there were no expectations that would influence the r e s u l t s . To increase int e r n a l v a l i d i t y , I c o l l e c t e d a serie s of dreams for each c h i l d , so that the conclusions f o r each c h i l d could be substantiated by t h e i r other dream reports. I also self-monitored during data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis. This means I attempted to be aware of my biases and to continue to ask myself i f I was being objective with the data. For example, I would ask myself, "What does t h i s scene, or action, or character mean to me? What might i t mean to someone else?" I gave a sample of the perceptions I 45 derived to another individual to have him assess whether they matched the data from the dreams. As well, I asked two other master's l e v e l researchers to review the perceptions and conclusions I derived from the children's dream reports to v e r i f y that I accurately concluded what the dream data revealed. One person reviewed the boy's r e s u l t s , and the other person reviewed a l l the children's r e s u l t s , as well as the o v e r a l l conclusions. I also questioned my conclusions to ensure that they r e f l e c t e d what the dreams expressed. Furthermore, i n analyzing the data, I attempted to r e t a i n the meaning of the participants language by using t h e i r words. External v a l i d i t y i s the degree to which the knowledge obtained from the study can be applied and understood i n the f i e l d . The sample of participants and procedures i s f u l l y described to inform readers what population the r e s u l t s could be applicable to and v a l i d for i n other research findings. As well, the use of an established form of analysis increases understanding of the r e s u l t s f o r other researchers. The findings are also discussed and compared to p r i o r research findings. The r e s u l t s of t h i s study corroborate some p r i o r research on children of a l c o h o l i c s . Dream Presentation In the r e s u l t s section, I present each c h i l d ' s dreams i n d i v i d u a l l y , creating a series of dreams fo r each of the f i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s . The dreams are transcribed verbatim from 46 taped interviews. The children's dreams are presented without c l a r i f y i n g questions and dialogue that occurred between myself and the participants. In some instances, c h i l d r e n added information to t h e i r dream at the end of the interview, or at the following interview. Therefore, the dream report i s written i n chronological order. The o r i g i n a l dreams are data i n themselves and allow one to view where the comments, interpretations, and perceptions have arisen. The comments, interpretations and perceptions w i l l follow a f t e r I present the dream. At the end of the d e s c r i p t i o n of the ser i e s of dreams, I present the o v e r a l l findings for the 5 p a r t i c i p a n t s . 47 CHAPTER 4: Results The t o t a l number of dreams I c o l l e c t e d was 49. The range of dreams each c h i l d remembered i n a consecutive four week period i s between 4 and 19. Each c h i l d varied i n d i v i d u a l l y i n the number of dreams they r e c a l l e d . I present each c h i l d ' s series of dreams. Then I provide comments, interpretations and perceptions for each dream. I provide a summary of the dreamer's perceptions following each c h i l d ' s series of dreams. I describe a l l f i v e p a r t i c i p a n t ' s dream perceptions at the end of discussing the s e r i e s of dreams for each c h i l d . I begin with the c h i l d that remembered the most dreams. 9 Year Old Boy This participant was the only boy i n my sample. He was the oldest c h i l d l i v i n g at home. He has three younger brothers. His younger brothers were 5, 4 and 3 years old. There was an 18 year old s i s t e r that did not l i v e at home. At the time of data c o l l e c t i o n , h i s mother had been sober f o r 4 months. Her partner had been sober f o r 23 years. Sometimes he referred to his dad by h i s nickname. Therefore, I am not sure i f i t i s h i s b i o l o g i c a l father or h i s stepfather. This boy thought that dreams were fun to think about and to t e l l people. Dream 1: Tuesday October 19. 1995 Me, my friends, my dad and my gym teacher were at Trout Lake Park. The kids were running around, while my dad and the gym teacher watched the kids. I was running away [separate from the other children] gonna go and I see a snake and I was gonna go pick i t up, but instead 48 i t almost b i t me. So, I started running and i t was following me and i t almost b i t me. Then I turned around and i t was gone and then i t was behind me again. [I f e l t ] scared. Then I kicked i t . [I f e l t ] happy. Then i t went somewhere else and then I followed i t . [I f e l t ] happy. The snake ran on and on. [It was] weird. A f t e r that we were getting ready to leave and so I ran back and then l e f t . Then we met t h i s g i r l and then they dropped us o f f and then I forgot something i n the van. They picked somebody up. When we came back i t [his coat and homework] was gone. I went home and t o l d my mom and dad. They said that tomorrow I would be grounded. When I went back, I found them on the rocks and saw them. I brought i t to school and forgot to bring i t home. I t o l d them [his parents] I forgot and then I ran back and then I got them [homework and coat] and went to the school program [to] play games with some of my friends. We went home. Then the next morning when we walked to school we started playing at the playground. We had the l i t t l e playground instead of the big one [because they were constructing a door for wheelchair access]. But usually we always play a game l i k e they have to go back and f o r t h on the monkey bars 10 times and then the next person and the next person. When they a l l d i d i t , we see which team did i t the fastest. Then we went back to cl a s s and we did work and then when i t was 2 o'clock we went outside to play C a l i f o r n i a Kick b a l l . One of my friends kicked [the b a l l ] over the fence. So when me and my f r i e n d ran and jumped over the fence, but my f r i e n d got i t before me (small laugh). My f r i e n d i s scared of dogs 'cause he used to have to look a f t e r a b u l l dog. Then he thought there was a guard dog, but there wasn't. We were y e l l i n g there's no dog there. So, he was going slower than normally 'cause he thought there was one, but he ran anyways. And that's i t . Comments When I asked him how he f e l t before he woke up h i s response was curious. He responded that i t was weird about him and the snake. This scenario occured at the beginning of the dream he recounted. This makes me wonder i f t h i s i s the end of the dream. The following dream events reported sound l i k e a description of the day's events. A couple of times, i n t h i s interview, I inquired i f the events he was 49 describing were i n the dream. He responded yes each time. I w i l l take Beaudet's (1990) stance on confabulation i n dream reports. This stance involves accepting the a d d i t i o n a l information to the actual dream, because i t i s derived i n the c h i l d ' s mind and to him i t i s part of the dream. Perceptions I derived three perceptions from three segments of the dream. F i r s t , the snake scene, then forgetting h i s homework and coat, and f i n a l l y , the fear of a dog. An ad d i t i o n a l perception was derived from a s p e c i f i c point i n the dream. 1. When something attacks you, you cannot always see i t . However, you can defend yourself and get the upper hand, and i t may lead you somewhere inter e s t i n g . 2. You get punished for leaving your things behind, and even though you forget them more than once you can return and get them. You can recover what you l o s t . 3. Sometimes your thoughts are not accurate and you can be too scared to hear your friends t e l l you what i s true. 4. You do not always get there f i r s t , or win. Dream 2: Monday October 23. 1995 We were playing u n t i l we heard the sirens. We [him and hi s friends] ran down to watch. I seen t h i s grey mustang. This middle aged guy l i v e d there and came into the [grey] car. Then there was t h i s p o l i c e car, dark blue p o l i c e car. Then the police car started chasing a f t e r him. He crashed into some parked cars and then he backed up and then the po l i c e woman got out of the car because he stopped. The guy that they were chasing backed up and h i t the police woman. Then he took o f f . [The p o l i c e man] was following him and he c a l l e d f o r back up. The pol i c e was r i d i n g around to see i f [he was] hiding some where. They almost found him, but i t was a d i f f e r e n t kinda car. I t was a mustang [too], but 50 a d i f f e r e n t colour. [He went down 5th to S st r e e t because he saw the p o l i c e ] . So when he got to S Street, he turned back and then came up here [the s t r e e t he l i v e d on] and the po l i c e caught him 'cause he was l i k e hiding on t h i s block here. He seen the guy come up to him and p u l l over. He went i n front of him and there was t h i s other car that was i n the parking l o t [that] pulled out [and] trapped the guy t r y i n g to get away. Then there was one [police car] down at the end of the block. They [the police] l e f t . [It f e l t ] good 'cause me and my friends ran toward i t [police chace] to watch i t . So, we ran back up and played on the swings and the monkey bars. Then we were getting bored. We played tag. Then we had to go i n for dinner. [I f e l t ] good when I woke up. Comments He mentioned that the day before t h i s dream he saw p o l i c e i n hi s neighbourhood. The pol i c e were going to people's houses. There was no reason given i n the dream as to why the po l i c e were chasing the guy i n the Mustang. As i n l i f e , he did not know why the pol i c e were i n h i s neighbourhood. There i s also no mention of what happened to the p o l i c e woman that was hurt i n hi s dream. The guy being chased i n the dream did not go very f a r to get away. I f the p o l i c e represented h i s parents or adults i n hi s l i f e and the guy being chased represented him, then the p o l i c e chase p a r a l l e l s a young c h i l d who cannot go very f a r on h i s own i f he wants to get away. Perceptions 1. When things are sim i l a r you can be close to catching the r e a l thing (re: d i f f e r e n t colour c a r ) . 2. An exc i t i n g event can happen while you are playing. When i t i s over, you continue what you were doing. 51 3. I f you get bored playing, you play something else. 4. Eventually the police catch the guy running and hiding, i n the meantime someone gets hurt. Dream 3: Tuesday October 24, 1995 I was walking to school, when I got up the s t a i r s [at school] I seen t h i s car and I thought i t was umm ac t u a l l y I saw t h i s skateboard instead and my brother was with me and he picked the skateboard up and then he went down the h i l l and I didn't know he went a l l the way down [the h i l l ] . When I seen him I was already at the portable and when I got home that day, I got i n trouble. They t o l d me, "always make sure [your brother] stays with yah." I went to my room, I stayed there for a l i t t l e while. Then I went downstairs for dinner. Then I had to go to bed and my brother f e l l asleep downstairs. After I f e l l asleep my brother came back up. He got i n trouble, my brother, 'cause he was noisy, I got i n trouble because he was noisy. He wasn't supposed to be ta l k i n g . Then we got i n trouble, then we f e l l asleep. The next morning my brother brought up vitamins. They brought up vitamin C. That's a l l I remember. [I f e l t ] half and half good and bad [about dream]. Actually i t was just bad. [I f e l t ] sad because we got i n trouble. Comments The dreamer was t o l d by his parents that he was responsible for h i s brother and his brothers' actions. In the f i r s t instance, when his brother got on the skateboard, there was no mention of h i s brother getting into trouble. He got i n trouble for his brothers' behaviour when he d i d not stop what he did. In the second incident, the dreamer and his brother both got i n trouble because h i s brother was noisy. On the other hand, he could have blamed h i s brother for them getting into trouble. He might have been t a l k i n g j u s t as much as his brother. The next morning, h i s brothers brought up vitamins. Symbolically, i t could represent 52 nourishing the dreamer for taking the slack. Perceptions 1. Even when i t i s too late to stop your brother, you are responsible for him and get i n trouble for h i s actions. 2. When you are responsible, you get i n trouble even i f i t i s not your f a u l t . This makes you sad. Dream 4: Wednesday October 25. 1995 I was older l i k e when I was about 18. I think. This was i n my dream, I seen my dad break into cars and I thought when I grow up I ' l l do that instead. When I broke into a car I thought I wouldn't go to j a i l , but I did. I went to j a i l , stayed over night. [I f e l t ] mad that I had to go to j a i l . [I f e l t ] sad [too]. I t was a l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n g i n j a i l . I t ' s l i k e school, they get lunch, except they don't get dinner. You have to stay i n t h i s place. You have to s i t there or do something l i k e play around or anything ' t i l lunch or whatever. It ' s weird that they have the t o i l e t s without no room [no w a l l s ] . [The t o i l e t ] was i n the corner. I didn't do i t again, but then I did i t the day a f t e r that. I kept on breaking into cars [until] I was about 25 I stopped doing i t . I started i t for about two more days and I stopped again and I stayed at the house and watched the kids, my cousins. [I f e l t ] happy that I stayed at the house instead of breaking into cars. I was playing outside watching the kids and playing games with them. Then I seen a f i r e and we ran up to i t and one of the kids ran and we were playing something newspapers and burning them and putting them by the cans. There were garbage cans and there was garbage i n i t . [This] went i n flames and people were going to t h e i r houses and getting buckets of water and pouring i t on [the f i r e ] . [When I woke up, I f e l t ] good cause i t [dream] was over with 'cause i f i t was r e a l then I would be older r i g h t now and my mom and S [mom's common law] would be older. Comments The dreamer wanted to follow h i s dad's footsteps. He learned through experience that j a i l was a consequence for breaking into cars. However, he has not learned h i s lesson because he went out, a few days l a t e r , and s t o l e cars again. 53 His dream could have been a message forewarning him. For years, i n the dream, he had a continuing cycle of s t e a l i n g cars and then he quit t h i s action. This sounds l i k e the addictive cycle that occurs when a person i s attempting to qui t drinking. He or she stops drinking for a while and then s t a r t s drinking again. I t was int e r e s t i n g that h i s conception of j a i l was l i k e school: you get lunch, but not dinner and you can play. He was glad when he woke up to f i n d out i t was a dream and that he did not a c t u a l l y s t e a l cars and go to j a i l . R e s ponsibility was also r e f l e c t e d i n t h i s dream. For example, he f e l t good about staying home to watch the chil d r e n instead of stealing cars. However, when he was home his cousins and he were playing with f i r e . I wonder i f they caused the f i r e . He does not yet have a responsible mind. He i s s t i l l a c h i l d with too much r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Although, i t was a plus when the community came together to put the f i r e out. Perhaps h i s dream was a process for learning what i s r i g h t and wrong. Sometimes i n the interviews, t h i s young boy t o l d me about h i s l i f e . For example, i n t h i s interview he said that he could not go to a Halloween party because the family could not afford a t a x i and the t a x i did not f i t the whole family. I f they went, h i s dad would take the bus. Perceptions 1. You follow your father's footsteps and learn through 54 experience that i t i s wrong. The consequences do not stop you from doing what i s wrong. 2. You are happy to stay out of trouble and take care of kids. However, you play with f i r e and others put i t out. Dream 5: Thursday October 26. 1995 He says h i s dream was about what happened at h i s school the p r i o r week. Someone attempts to lure a c h i l d with them and the c h i l d does not go with the person. I was walking by the school and then t h i s guy came and [he] was going to give me candy. I walk up to him. He gave me the candy. Then he takes me into h i s van. Then he takes me somewhere and he dropped me o f f at the corner store. Actually, [he dropped me o f f ] at h i s house. He l e f t and he locked the doors. [I f e l t ] sad. Then I seen him leave to come back to the school, a c t u a l l y I heard his van 'cause I l e f t a magic pen [ i n the van]. I t had a speaker on the back to record. I t r i e d opening i t [the door], but I can't so I went out the window. I didn't know which way to go to the school. I just started walking one way, i t was the r i g h t way. I didn't know so [I] kept on walking. Then I seen the skytrain, so I went on the skytrain. I went to C [ s t a t i o n ] . I got o f f and caught the bus. By the time I got to school, school was over. [I f e l t ] a l i t t l e b i t happy [during the dream]. [When I woke up, I f e l t ] good. Comments In t h i s dream, the dreamer was t r u s t i n g and showed no resistance to being taken away. He used a t o o l to a s s i s t h i s escape—a magic pen that monitored what the kidnapper was doing. He showed, i n t h i s dream, that he t r i e d a l t e r n a t i v e solutions to solve a problem. F i r s t , he t r i e d to get out the door. When t h i s action did not work, he escaped through a window. When he returned on his own, he decided to go one way even though he was unsure. This way took him to f a m i l i a r grounds and from there he knew how to get back to school. 55 When he got there, school was over. Perceptions 1. When someone you entrusted betrays you, you r e l y on yourself and any other devices to help you escape. 2. Your dream t e l l s you that you cannot t r u s t a stranger, even i f he offers you candy. 3. You can escape when you are a prisoner. 4. Trust your i n t u i t i o n . Dream 6: Friday October 27. 1995 I t started on a dark rainy night, Halloween. We were playing around firecrackers. One of my friends came and he brought some firecrackers and some fireworks too. We went and put them i n the sandbox. There was l o t s . We shot them o f f and they were h i t t i n g some houses. So, we put them behind the g i r l s and then i t went past the tree and past the building and out to the road. We ran away 'cause i t h i t a car with an alarm on i t . We ran to a centre [in his neighbourhood]. We went to the gym and played u n t i l we had to go home. We went home, we had to have dinner. We had dinner then we went to bed. We woke up the next morning [and] we went to school. A f t e r school we [him and his friends] met each other at the same place. We brought a bunch of games and we started playing with one. We were holding [the fireworks]. We dropped them. We forgot we dropped them 'cause we kept on running u n t i l we got across the street to that centre. We were looking i n our pockets and we found out that we were missing fireworks. So we ran back and looked for them, and we found them a l l . We went back playing. Then afte r we came back home and had dinner and went to bed. When we woke up [we] went to school. [After school] we met at a d i f f e r e n t spot, but they a l l didn't show up. [I thought] that they were s t i l l at school. They weren't, they went back i n the other spot. [I f e l t ] sad. Then I l i t my s t u f f [fireworks] and i t went through the tree and i t [fireworks] blew up. When I went home, I went to my friends house. I said, "How come you guys weren't there?", "How come YOU weren't there?" that's what they said. 'Cause they we forgot to t e l l them I forgot to t e l l them we were going to meet i n a d i f f e r e n t spot. [When I woke up, I f e l t ] happy 'cause there was no more fireworks. I f I did my mom would be mad. She doesn't want us playing with them. Anyway they're i l l e g a l . 56 Comments In t h i s dream, the dreamer was playing with fireworks, which he knew he should not do. He took action to move when the fireworks h i t objects which were not okay to h i t . When rel o c a t i o n did not work, he ran away and quit f o r the day. The dreamer continued playing with fireworks the next day, even though he knew they were dangerous. He took r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f or the misunderstanding between him and h i s fri e n d s . He asked his friends what happened and he resolved why they did not show up. Even though h i s friends d i d not show up, he continued t h e i r plans without them. Perceptions 1. When something i s not working out, do something else and take a break u n t i l the next day. 2. You can get into trouble se t t i n g o f f fireworks. 3. You can f i n d what you lose by retra c i n g your steps. 4. I f your friends do not show up, you carry on. 5. You can do i n your dreams what you cannot do i n l i f e . Dream 7: November 1. 1995 I was r e a l l y l i k e running around i n the portable. I went home I thought i t was 10 o'clock or 11. There was t h i s guy behind me following me and my brother. So he kept on following us everywhere. We went i n the centre and we went to the gym. He s t i l l followed us. Then we went back to school. He was gone, but he was s t i l l following us. [I f e l t ] worried. I t o l d the p r i n c i p a l . The p r i n c i p a l phoned the po l i c e . They were looking f o r him, but they couldn't f i n d him 'cause he dressed up d i f f e r e n t . We went back home [and] played. We had some cake 'cause i t was somebody's party. We had cake, then we went to a park and played. My brother got stung by bees 'cause we didn't help him down. [I f e l t ] sad that 57 my brother got stung. Then we l e f t and we went fo r more ju i c e and pop and food. Then we went back and we found out there was a bee nest there that's why. Two of them, so we figured not to go there. But other people went so we weren't going near that park again. [When I woke up, I f e l t ] happy because i t was a l l over with and i t wasn't true. Comments He a c t i v e l y attempted to lose the man who was following him and his brother. He asked f o r help and received i t . This scenario remained unresolved because we no longer hear of t h i s man. The man was not caught. Possibly, the dreamer allowed i t to be out of his control, f o r he asked adults to help him. I n i t i a l l y , he t r i e d to deal with the man following him on his own. However, t h i s s i t u a t i o n should be an adult r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . The dreamer f e l t responsible for h i s brother getting stung by bees because he did not help h i s brother down. Here, he took r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for an event that was out of hi s c o n t r o l . This was over r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . He learned to stay away from the tree with the bees nest because he knew he could get hurt. Perceptions 1. You cannot always catch the bad guy. 2. When you are i n danger, i f you cannot deal with i t yourself, seek help from adults, then you can relax and enjoy at a party. 3. You are responsible to protect your younger brother. Dream 8: Thursday November 2. 1995 I was out playing around here [points to the s t r e e t 58 outside]. We [him and his friends] were running around and s t u f f behind trees and everything. Then we got bored so we went somewhere and we went to the store to get some candy for us. Then we came back and ate gum. We went out for Halloween. When we got back we had more candy. Then we went back out again, but i n a d i f f e r e n t area. We got more candy. By the time we got home, a l l the candy was gone. We l e f t i t outside and someone took i t . We went back to the store and bought some more candy. We went to t h i s complex and got candy. We went home and put them i n the house. When we l e f t to get more candy we locked i t away t h i s time. We went out f o r more candy u n t i l the bag was f u l l . When two bags were f u l l we always dump them into another bag f o r us to share i t . Then we played. We had a candy f i g h t . A f t e r we had some candies and watched a video. We went back outside to play. We didn't know i f there was any school. So, we were lat e . We had to go to school and i t was recess time [by] the time we got there. We went back home for lunch and we went back to school and we played for awhile ' t i l the b e l l rang and we went i n and did work. When the 3 o'clock b e l l rang we came back down here and we checked the house and the candy was gone again. We forgot to lock the windows, the kitchen window. [I f e l t sad that the candy was gone again.] We stayed home and watched more videos. We woke up again and watched videos ' t i l school started and then we went to school and we seen t h i s guy with a whole bunch of bags of candy. We thought he took i t . We ran to him and asked for our candies back. [He said] they were h i s kids candies, his kids got them. [I f e l t ] mad that they kept on taking the candy. Comments The dreamer's goal was to c o l l e c t and keep as much candy as he could. When the candy was stolen the f i r s t time, he learned to do something d i f f e r e n t to secure the candy. I t appeared that he took r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the candy being taken a second time, because he said he forgot to lock the windows. He took further action to prevent the candy from being stolen and approached a suspect. He accepted the man's answer that i t was h i s own kids' candy. This scenario remained unresolved, because he did not know who kept taking 59 hi s candies. He remained mad that the candy was stolen. In t h i s dream, t h i s boy's use of words r e f l e c t e d that he was unaware of where to be. For example, he d i d not know that there was school that day. This explains why he was la t e for school. In t h i s dream I wonder i f school meant work to the dreamer. Perceptions 1. You take action to prevent something of yours from being stolen and attempt to get i t back, but you are not able to regain what you l o s t . This makes you mad. Dream 9: Saturday November 4. 1995 I t started on a day l i k e t h i s , a rainy day. We were playing outside u n t i l i t was school time. We had to go to school and do some work. When school was over, we went to the other school, the care program. Then i t was home time. Well we went home, well we didn't go str a i g h t home. We played at the gym. I t was l i k e a running tournament. There was a l o t of running. One of the kids won a prize and then the one that was more uh cheering. Uh I um and I uh and I won i t . I t was ju s t a chocolate bar, [but i t was] fun. After that we went home and i t was 8 o'clock by then and we go, "oh no we were supposed to be home at 5:30." So, then we run home and we t e l l them why we were [ l a t e ] . We t o l d them the tru t h that we were um at the centre thing at the gym. Then she send and then they send us to the room, our room. The next morning we went back to school. There's the school program for breakfast and then we l e f t f or school, but I didn't go i n class r i g h t when the b e l l rang. I went to the centre to see i f there was anything happening before the school. They said yeah i t was for the older kids from grade 4 and up. So I went ok. And then we l e f t to go and I l e f t to go to the classroom. By the time I got there, I was l a t e . I go to the o f f i c e and sign i n 'cause that's what we usually have to do when we're l a t e . After that school was over and we went back to the school program. We were on our way home, but we did the same thing again [at the gym], except we stayed longer, oh yeah that's a l l I remember. 60 Comments He had d i f f i c u l t y saying that he won a p r i z e . When he did say he won a prize, he said i t was just a chocolate bar. In t h i s dream, he was side tracked e a s i l y . He d i d not go s t r a i g h t home. Instead, he went to the gym to play. He also d i d not go to class r i g h t away. He went to see what was happening i n the gym and arrived to class l a t e . Perhaps, he wanted to go where he f e l t good despite the consequences. He said the next day he did the same thing, even though he knew he was supposed to be home by a certa i n time. The consequence of being sent to his room did not deter him. He did not seem to learn af t e r the f i r s t time. In a p r i o r dream, t h i s was displayed when he stol e cars, and went to j a i l , but continued to s t e a l a few days l a t e r . Perceptions 1. Even when you know you are supposed to be somewhere by a c e r t a i n time, you get side tracked and would rather play and be l a t e . 2. Even though you t e l l the truth and explain why you are l a t e , you s t i l l have to face the consequences ( i . e . , go to your room). Dream 10: Sunday November 4. 1995 I t started on a rainy day and me and my brothers were walking around and playing. Then we heard thunder and we ran to the house and we were inside and we were watching the lightning. [I f e l t ] a l i t t l e b i t happy [to watch]. When we seen our mom and dad outside we could go outside. When our mom got scared we, she brought us i n and we we started, my brothers started crying 'cause we couldn't go outside and watch the thunder. They were crying so my mom and dad went back outside again. We 61 went outside and t h i s time we stayed outside 'cause we list e n e d . I t started to thunder and we went back inside. We watched out the window instead. When the l a s t one came i t [thunder] was r e a l l y big l i k e a big one. I t didn't stop u n t i l l i k e 7 at night. We were watching out the window and i t stopped. We went outside and played ' t i l dinner time. When dinner was over, we had to go to bed. We had to go downstairs and get dressed f o r school. When we were dressed, we went to school and by the time we got back home, I had homework and my brother did. We were playing ' t i l we had to do our homework. The next day we came home from school, we forgot to bring our homework home. We t o l d our mom we forgot our homework at school. She said, ok. We just um supposed to bring i t tomorrow. So we did and then we did i t at home. When we were done, we were playing around. We go to bed again and when we woke up we thought there was school but there wasn't 'cause i t was Saturday. So, we came back home. There was no school. We looked on the calender and i t ' s Saturday and we go, "oh." We go outside u n t i l the school bus comes and gets us. By the time i t came we were already inside and i t was la t e so then i t was lunch time. We got home and the bus was late again getting us home. After that we ran home 'cause we were racing each other. L came i n second, H came i n t h i r d and D came i n fourth. [He i s r e f e r r i n g to his brothers. D i s the second oldest. Dreamer neglected to say that he came i n f i r s t . I asked him and he said yes.] We went i n for dinner and we went back to bed. That was a l l . [I f e l t ] good when I woke up 'cause the thunder wasn't r e a l l y true. I f i t was I'd be uh sad or happy. The boring part was when we couldn't go play. Comments In t h i s dream, he had homework and then the next day he forgot h i s homework. He was honest with h i s mom about for g e t t i n g h i s homework and his mother accepted t h i s . He thought there was school and there was none. He was l a t e for school and missed the bus because he was inside the house when the bus came. He also said that the bus got him home l a t e . He neglected to say that he came f i r s t i n a race with hi s brothers. I t appeared d i f f i c u l t for him say good things 62 about himself. Perceptions 1. Whether you can watch thunder outside depends on your parents, how your mom f e e l s , how your brothers f e e l , and whether you l i s t e n . This takes time to sort out. Therefore, you may go i n and out a number of times. 2. You do not always want to do your r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , but you do them. 3. You play u n t i l you have to do something l i k e : eat dinner, go to school, do homework, go to bed or watch a thunder storm. 4. Sometimes i t i s not what you think i t i s (He thought there was school, but there was no school because i t was Saturday). Dream 11: Monday November 6. 1995 We were running outside and doing s t u f f l i k e playing tag, l i k e hide and seek. We had to go inside. We had our dinner. We had to wait for our d r i v e r to pick us up for Sunday school for a meeting. When we got home we had to go to bed, but before we went to bed we got something to drink. We woke up the next morning and we went to school. When we got home, my mom and dad weren't home. So, we went out to a friends house and started playing. We went outside and played and we went back home to check out i f they were home, but they weren't. We seen the window open so I go through the window and open i t . When I got i t , I unlocked the door for my brothers to get i n . We watched tv and we listen[ed] to music too. Then we had some candy and came upstairs and played with cars. We had our windows open 'cause we were so hot. We always have to have the windows shut, but i n day time we don't. When we opened the windows we were looking outside and we seen our mom and dad on t h e i r way home. So, we went downstairs and go outside. I t wasn't my mom i t was somebody else. So, we went back inside, locked the door and watched tv. We j u s t sat there and waited 'cause usually they always c a l l at t h e i r uh friends house. They c a l l a r e l a t i v e of 63 ours 'cause usually she takes us into her house [to babysit]. [I f e l t ] happy about the dream. [When I woke up, I f e l t ] okay. Comments He did not express feelings about the absence of h i s parents. I t may have been a common s i t u a t i o n f o r him. I t did not appear that he saw anything wrong with h i s parents not being there to care for him. As well, when he went to check whether h i s parents were on t h e i r way home, he stated that i t was not his mother. He neglected to include h i s father i n the picture. This might have indicated that he had a stronger bond with h i s mother than with h i s father. Furthermore, he thought he saw his parents. This i s l i k e wishing f o r them to be there. His use of words provided a sense that he f e l t obligated to do what he was t o l d to without having a choice i n the matter. Perceptions 1. Your parents are not home. You occupy yourself, take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for your younger s i b l i n g s , and wait. 2. Things are not always what you think they are. (This i s i n reference to when he thought he saw h i s parents on t h e i r way home). Dream 12: Tuesday November 7, 1995 I t started on a snowy night. The next morning we didn't know there was snow. We went outside and played and we didn't know there was school. There was school, but there wasn't. So we went to school and we go and we t r y to go inside, but the doors are locked. We played out at the school l i k e making snowmans and angels. Afte r we got bored we started to go home and then we came down 64 here to play i n the snow. The sun was slowly s t a r t i n g to come out and some of the snow was melting. There's a snow shovel, they're l i k e pushing them [snow], I went, "oh God." We went outside [and] i t was a l l wet [snow melted]. We went to school, we went to play on the monkey bars. When we got bored, we went home and played at a d i f f e r e n t park. We came back home. I t was dinner time 'cause i t was usually at 6 o'clock i s our dinner time. I had a watch. I looked at i t , our watch and we were an hour l a t e . When we got home dinner was a l l gone. Well there was some for the boys, but not me. [It was good] 'cause they made me dinner, Kraft dinner. Mom [did]. They were having beans. I don't l i k e eating i t [smashed peas], but I eat half of i t 'cause my mom made me. When I ate half of i t , I got to play outside. That's when our cousins were over. When they went home, we were s t i l l playing outside. We brought our bikes outside to r i d e . We put our bikes i n , then we went inside to stay 'cause they sent us inside to play instead. When i t was bedtime we went to bed. Afte r bed time, we woke up again. We had to get dressed f o r school. When we were dressed we headed o f f to school. My brother set o f f a car alarm. [A friend's] mom came up to t a l k to us and then a f t e r she talked to us, we went to the portable. We were l a t e . We went to school and did some work. I brought homework home and my brother had to bring some colouring home. When we got home we had to do our, I had to do my homework. [My brother] had to do his colouring. If I did i t [homework] i t would take me a long time [because] I don't l i k e homework. The second reason why i s because I always have my shows I l i k e , l i k e , 'Home Improvement'. I had to bring i t [homework] to school and show the teacher. She gave me more home work. I t was a SUBditute. [When I woke up, I f e l t ] good 'cause I didn't have NO HOMEwork. [I also f e l t ] good [when] I was at gym, but I forgot to say that part. Comments The young boy mentioned, i n the following interview, that the part i n his dream about homework was r e a l . He used the words 'had to' a l o t i n t h i s dream. He was l a t e getting home and l a t e for school the next morning. His lateness was also r e f l e c t e d i n p r i o r dreams. This may occur i n his l i f e . Some people are c h r o n i c a l l y 65 l a t e . In t h i s dream, he t r i e d to get into the school. When he could not get i n , because the door was locked, he played. This s i t u a t i o n p a r a l l e l s when he was locked out of the house, when his parents were not home. He occupied himself by playing. Perceptions 1. Things happen even when you do not think they w i l l . Such as: snow, school, and more homework. 2. When you are late you may miss dinner and a l l the food may be gone. However, you can make more. 3. Do as you are t o l d and then you can do what you want, which i s play. 4. Kids are t o l d to play. 5. When you do not l i k e doing something i t takes a long time, e s p e c i a l l y when you want to do something else ( l i k e watch tel e v i s i o n ) The rule i s : do your work before l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s . 6. When you are bored change your place of a c t i v i t y . 7. Even when you do a l l your work, you receive more work. 8. You t r y to follow the rules, but sometimes you cannot; sometimes you forget and sometimes there i s too much to do, so you do not follow the rules, and then you have more to do. Dream 13: Wednesday November 8. 1995 I t started on a sunny day. We were playing outside and 66 playing soccer at school. When the b e l l rang f o r us to go i n we went i n and did our work. Then i t was lunch time, so we went to lunch. We went to the gym to play v o l l e y b a l l . A f t e r v o l l e y b a l l was over we went to our classes again and did our work. After school was over we had to go home, but I didn't 'cause I had to go to the school program. After that we went home and we watched a video. We go upstairs a f t e r the video was over and we went back downstairs for dinner. We saw what i t was and there was r i c e with Kraft dinner and chicken noodle soup. After that we brushed our teeth and we watched another video. After the video was over we ju s t played upstairs u n t i l i t was bedtime. We went to bed, but we were s t i l l playing. When we were fi n i s h e d playing we had to go to bed two hours early. I was the only one that stays up usually and we watched dracula. Then I went to bed and I woke up again i n the morning. My brothers were s t i l l sleepy. I thought i t was a school day, but i t wasn't. I t was Saturday. So, I got ready anyways. I got ready to go to Kid Street. When Kid Street was over we came back home and started playing outside. We played hide and go seek, tag, tv tag. [When I woke up, I f e l t ] good 'cause there was nothing bad happening. Comments This dream sounded l i k e he was describing a routine day. However, he started his dream by saying i t was sunny instead of being rainy or snowy. In dream 12, "the sun was slowly s t a r t i n g to come out." Perceptions 1. When you are getting ready f o r one thing and i t does not happen, there i s something else to get ready f o r . 2. L i f e i s predictable: my l i f e has a schedule of regular events. This part was added the next day. We were playing up here on the mattresses. We put the mattress down there [st a i r s ] to s l i d e down on, f o r us to go downstairs faste r . We went downstairs and watched tv. Then i t was dinner. We went outside f i r s t l i t t l e while cool off and we came back inside and i t started raining a storm. I t was windy and the r a i n was 67 r a i n i n g HARD. I had my window open to get cool cool a i r and get wet 'cause I'm always hot. Then we were playing upstairs u n t i l mom and dad said i t was time to go to bed. At 9 o'clock we a l l went to bed and I stayed up ' t i l 10 cause I f e l l asleep at 10. The next morning we woke up and my mom and dad were out already. [I f e l t ] scared. So, we get ourselves ready. Then I get myself ready and my brothers get dressed t h e i r s e l f too. Then we stayed home. I phoned the school and t o l d them we're gonna have to stay at school u n t i l my mom and dad gets home. [I c l a r i f i e d that he stayed home from school]. When they [parents] got home, school was over. A f t e r that we went to play outside. After that we had to go back inside 'cause i t started r a i n i n g again. A f t e r that we stayed inside for a while to watch tv, cartoons. After the cartoons were over, we watched something else. After that we went to school 'cause my mom and dad got back. We thought i t would be 3 o'clock by the time they got back, but i t wasn't. I t was 2 o'clock. We had to go to school u n t i l 3 o'clock. My brother came home with some homework and I did too. We d i d our homework, set the table, then we fi n i s h e d i t and we went back to school and dropped them [homework] o f f . My brother came with us too and they were playing at the school. After we l e f t , we had to get our pictures taken before we l e f t 'cause i t ' s our picture day. Af t e r that we had our pictures, we l e f t to go back home. When we got home, we seen mom, my mom and dad home. We sat down and watched tv. We went to the school the next morning. We played there u n t i l the clock b e l l rang. [I f e l t ] sort of happy and good when I woke up. Comments In the game with the mattresses t h i s boy and h i s brothers were innovative, creative and e f f i c i e n t . In t h i s dream, he expected to miss school because when he awoke h i s parents were not home and he and h i s brothers were waiting for them to return. These children appeared to be acting as adults waiting for t h e i r adult c h i l d r e n to return. This phenomenon i s termed r o l e reversal and appeared to be a common occurrence f o r the dreamer. He f e l t 'sort o f happy about the occurrences i n the dream. In t h i s dreamers' 68 view, h i s parents were not there. He may have f e l t h i s parents were not there p h y s i c a l l y or emotionally. His dream did not indicate that parents needed to be there for childre n to look aft e r them. I t was also peculiar that he omitted t h i s part of the dream i n the f i r s t interview, which was t o l d l i k e a description of a routine day. I believe that parents being absent from home should not occur r o u t i n e l y i n children's l i v e s . Perceptions 1. When your parents are not home, you stay and take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for yourself and your brothers and wait for them to return. As a re s u l t , you miss most of school and then you continue on as usual. Dream 14; Thursday November 9, 1995 We were playing on a rainy day l i k e t h i s . We were playing on the swings waiting for our dr i v e r [to] come pick us up on a Sunday cause we had Sunday school. He [bus driver] was late and Sunday school was over by then. He said there was no Sunday school today, but there was a gospel meeting. So, we went to that. When that was over, we came home and ate dinner and drank j u i c e . Then we went to bed. Then we had to go outside of course l i k e we always do and we played l i k e frozen tag and races we had and played baseball for a while and catch. Then we started playing f o o t b a l l . Then i t was our brothers birthday. We didn't know that so we played f o o t b a l l . We played with them. When going home we ju s t cleaned the place up, our house downstairs. [When I woke up, I f e l t ] good. Comments In t h i s dream, the theme of being l a t e occured again. I t appears to be expected that, as a r e s u l t of others, one w i l l be l a t e and miss out on where one i s supposed to be. This sense was derived from the dreamer's statement that the 69 bus d r i v e r was la t e picking him and his brothers up f o r Sunday school. But then, he was able to go to a Gospel meeting i n place of Sunday School. This sense of being l a t e was also r e f l e c t e d i n the p r i o r dream, where he expected to miss a l l of school, but he ended up being able to catch an hour of school. When t h i s boy was late he imagined missing the whole event, however he was able to attend a portion of the event, or a d i f f e r e n t event. Perceptions 1. When you are late for something, you can do something else instead. 2. Sometimes you forget your brother's birthday. 3. After a party you clean up. Dream 15: Friday November 10. interview November 11. 1995 We were playing on a sunny day and we were l i k e playing around the house. This was i n the morning. My brother went downstairs to get candy and then I went down cause I didn't know they were getting candy. So, then I got something l i k e a candy. More d i f f e r e n t kind, I forgot what i t was, but I had a chocolate bar, but i t wasn't r e a l l y a chocolate bar. I t was one of those bars with no, low f a t . We were playing around upst a i r s . We were pushing the bed down s t a i r s to s l i d e down instead of running walk down or walk up or run down or run up. After we put the beds back, we moved them around again. We were l i k e punching them. I was on one bed and l i f t i n g i t up with my legs and moving them around. Then we were moving each other the beds around, people on them, but they didn't f a l l o f f . We had l o t s of fun 'cause we went up to the PNE. We had some candy with us so we could eat them there instead of buying the food. We won l o t s of s t u f f . I won t h i s gun thing cause you're supposed to get everyone. After that we went on a r o l l e r coaster. My mom and dad with the boys and I went on the corkskrew. [When I woke up, I f e l t ] good. 70 Comments I noted, i n t h i s dream, that he was able to say that he won something. In p r i o r dreams, he was not able to do t h i s . In t h i s dream, money was probably a very r e a l f a c t to be conscious about. The dreamer and his family brought t h e i r own candy to the PNE. His physical strength was portrayed when he was moving and l i f t i n g the beds. I t was the second time i n h i s seri e s of dreams that he has done t h i s with the beds. He said he won a gun at the PNE, "'cause you're supposed to get everyone". I wondered who everyone was? He did not r e f e r to pointing a gun at an object. Therefore, t h i s sounded l i k e a 'Freudian s l i p ' . This may have r e f l e c t e d the anger inside for a l l his r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s as a young c h i l d and for h i s parents not being there. Whether t h i s was true i n l i f e , or existed emotionally for him, i t was a very r e a l experience for him. The anger has not reached consciousness because he did not know any d i f f e r e n t . This was the environment from which he learned. Perceptions 1. Sometimes you f i n d things out a f t e r the f a c t , and sometimes you get something d i f f e r e n t than other people. Dream 16; Saturday November 11. 1995 The date today i s November 11th, Remembrance day. I t started l i k e we were playing at gym yesterday. We were playing how horses run and a f i r s t person ran and then we, then the person who goes over the black l i n e . Then a l l the horses ran and when we touch you, you have to be a horse with them. So, I got caught when they c a l l e d my name, but you could run anywhere instead of staying 71 l i k e i n one spot. After that we were playing around u n t i l i t was our time to leave to our c l a s s . In the gym and the class, we played 'Magic Forest'. There's supposed to be two people i n the middle and i f they catch you, you're a tree and i t keeps on going. We played 'Great Wall of China' and 'Picket Fence'. We had gymnastics and we went to our class and had lunch. Then we went home afte r lunch 'cause i t was ha l f a day yesterday. Every Friday's half a day. We went to the portable then we had our snack at 3 o'clock. We went to read and we watched a video c a l l e d , 'Gordie the Talking Pig'. We came home and watched tv 'cause we had no VCR. We had to bring i t back to get money f o r food and milk. So, then we returned home and we went out. F i r s t we went to McDonald's and we a l l got happy meals, but my brothers didn't want t h e i r f r i e s 'cause they were f u l l . So, I ate them a l l and I got my own pop 'cause I got those large ones. We were going down the h i l l and we were inside for awhile. When we got there, i n s i d e . We seen a t r a i n [with] two engines going back and for t h . [When I woke up, I f e l t ] good. Comments I am unsure i f t h i s was an account from the p r i o r day's events. I was t o l d outside the taped interview that s e l l i n g the VCR to obtain money for food occurred i n r e a l l i f e , as well as i n his dream. He t o l d me t h i s dream on a Saturday and a couple of times, i n t h i s interview, he said "yesterday". I also c l a r i f i e d near the end of the interview i f what he was ta l k i n g about was i n his dream. He said, "yuh". I also v e r i f i e d i f he was t a l k i n g about h i s dream by asking how he f e l t when he woke up. Despite h i s v e r i f i c a t i o n that the events he t o l d me were i n the dream, i t i s possible that he d i d dream about the p r i o r day's events. The s e l l i n g of personal possessions to obtain money for food demonstrates that t h i s family does not always have enough money for food. They spent the money to go out for 72 dinner. One can stretch money further by buying groceries. Whether or not t h i s part actually happened i n l i f e was uncertain. Going to McDonald's could also j u s t be a r e f l e c t i o n of t h i s boy's wishes. Perceptions 1. Sometimes your dreams are l i k e a de s c r i p t i o n of a regular day. 2. You want to play and be happy and have enough food to eat. Dream 17; Sunday November 12. 1995 I thought I was i n l i k e , i n the dream I was at home by myself and my mom and dad were l i k e at home and that. They [mom and dad] were out shopping, but I didn't know where. I stayed home and watched cartoons, only I was there 'cause they l e f t the window open, but they didn't leave no key behind. I took one of those chairs and I went out and the window opened i t more. Went i n the window then unlocked the door and then put the chair back where i t was. I lock shut the door. I went i n and watched cartoons. After, when they got home I went out to help them bring the groceries i n . I read the thing and i t said, I knew i t was Superstore 'cause i t said, 'We Do Our Best'. When I went out to look, I went, "oh, you guys went to Superstore" and they go, "yah." So I go, "oh, so I thought you guys went somewhere else instead of there," but they did go there. Then I went somewhere else. I went outside and I was playing tag and baseball. After that we went to play soccer. Afte r soccer, we played baseball. After that we went to play C a l i f o r n i a Kick B a l l . After we put our s t u f f i n one corner and putting other s t u f f (glass) i n the other corner, l i k e we were putting s t u f f i n corners 'cause we'd get cut from them. After that we started playing. We rode our bikes 'cause when we got bored, we wanted to r i d e our bikes. We put our bikes back i n . Then we went i n for dinner. Then we went back out and we stayed out ' t i l 7. We got a candy before we went to bed and we had to go to bed. The next morning we woke up. Only me and my brothers were home. My mom and dad weren't home, but they l e f t a note behind and i t said where they were going. So, we just stayed home and we l e t them and we played outside for a while. After we came back inside we l e f t the tv on, but when we got back inside the tv 73 was o f f . The reason we seen i t off i s because our brother was inside. He's the one that l i k e s playing with the tv. Then we heard our mom and S [mom's partner] c a l l e d . So, we went with them. They got us l i k e toys and lego. We started playing with our new toys and lego and then they got home and seen [my youngest brother] playing with the cat. Then we went inside to play with them 'cause i t started r a i n i n g . When we went inside, I started building something, but I forget what i t was. I b u i l d i t , then my brothers' broke i t and they broke i t again. [I f e e l ] sad that my brothers kept breaking what I made. I put i t somewhere my brothers didn't know where i t was. I b u i l t a c a s t l e , then I b u i l t a spaceship. Then I made a f i r e truck and I made a park and an police station and a p o l i c e boat. My brother didn't know where i t was, so they were looking for the lego 'cause I used up a l l the lego f o r i t . [When my parent's weren't home, I f e l t ] sad. I think l i k e they went out f o r a while and they didn't want to come back home. [This thought makes me] mad. [When I woke up, I f e l t ] good 'cause i t wasn't true that my mom and dad wasn't home. Comments This dream was one of the few dreams where the dreamer was absolutely alone, without his brothers. After h i s parents came home and he helped them with the groceries, he asked them where they had been and then he went outside. He said, "I went somewhere e l s e , " as i f to get away from h i s parents. Did he harbour unrealized anger against h i s parents for not t e l l i n g him where they were and for not being there for him? After t h i s incident, he played hard. He was keeping r e a l busy, as i f to avoid dealing with the concept of not understanding why h i s parents were not there for him. As well, i n his understanding of why h i s parents were not there, he thought that they d i d not want to come back home. He inferred t h i s from t h e i r actions. In t h i s dream, he was f e e l i n g abandoned and unwanted by h i s parents. 74 Perceptions 1. When your parents are not home, you secure yourself and occupy yourself, and when they return you continue on. 2. You can f i n d out where they were by asking them questions from the clues on t h e i r bags. 3. You make an area safe before playing there. 4. When your parents are not home you accept i t , and they sometimes bring you g i f t s . 5. When your brothers destroy something that you make from Lego, you can prevent t h i s from continuing to happen by using up a l l the Lego and hiding i t from your brothers. Dream 18: Sunday November 12, 1995 It started off l i k e I was i n a we were i n I was i n Vancouver f i r s t and somebody from Kid Street came to pick us up 'cause we were going camping at Bible camp. We went to 0 Island, but the fer r y didn't be f o r along time 'cause we had to s i t there for a long time. So, u n t i l i t l e f t we [were] running around. These other kids were picking on t h i s other k i d and people were jus t running around. Me and my cousin were j u s t walking around to look at everything. Then these kids were from our old school. I used to go to before I came here and i t was some kids they were l i k e going into the places where i t said, 'Do not go i n , Only s t a f f go i n ' . They were s t i l l going i n and the s t a f f t o l d them not to and they were s t i l l going i n . So, me and my friends were jus t walking around s t i l l and we were ju s t checking the place out and there was people at the door to make sure we can't get out 'cause they don't want us to go out 'cause there's always people on the places, other people i n the places there. When we usually get out, they (staff) always have to chase us. When they get us, we have to do something. I forgot what i t was, but we had to do something. When they caught us we always had to do something. After that we did i t and then we have to do something else again. [This was] on the f e r r y going to 0 Island. It's r e a l l y c a l l e d H Island. I t ' s fun at 0 Island. We got lunch, breakfast, lunch, dinner and we got to do st u f f l i k e archery. [This i s ] where I went before, i t ' s just I dreamed about i t . We do archery, but sometimes i t goes over the place and we 75 have to go f i n d i t . If we can't f i n d i t , then we have to come back and we have to do four more. We d i d f i s h i n g , arts and c r a f t s and canoeing. We got to stay up ' t i l 10 at night. I brought a f l a s h l i g h t and one of those car l i g h t things. 'Cause i f one runs out we got another one to use. I brought 10 packs of b a t t e r i e s , but i t was for r e a l too. We always get something before we leave to our cabins. Every time we say ghost or something, t h i s k i d i n our cabin gets scared. A f t e r he's f i n i s h e d getting scared he always has to go to the washroom. We were catching snakes there too. I t ' s hard catching them you have to throw a rock on t h e i r head u n t i l they're laying r i g h t down on the ground. Five days l a t e r we got ready to go home. We had tuc, that's a candy. We had to pick our own candy two of them. So, I always pick chocolate bars or ju i c e or something. Oh yeah, we only [get] one candy and one j u i c e . [I fee l ] good [about dream]. Comments The dreamer said that, i n l i f e , there was a chapel at camp where they sang, yet, i n his dream, there was no chapel. When he said i n his dream, "there was people at the door to make sure we can't get out 'cause they don't want us to go out 'cause there's always people on the places, other people i n the places there", I had a sense that he f e l t trapped. Afte r he saw others doing what they were not supposed to, he did t h i s too. He went where the sign said not to enter, even though the s t a f f made him do something when he was caught. As i n dream 4 and 6, he d i d not learn from consequences. This i s ind i c a t i v e of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and to a lesser degree i t i s c a l l e d , F e t a l Alcohol E f f e c t (FAE). Shaywitz, Cohen, and Shaywitz (1980) f i n d that children with FAS have a short attention span, are very d i s t r a c t i b l e , and do not maintain what they learn. A 76 c h i l d has FAS when the mother drinks alcohol while pregnant. I di d not know whether or not his mother drank alcohol while she was pregnant with him. In the dream, t h i s boy was involved i n a l o t of a c t i v i t i e s . This dream showed that he knew what i t was l i k e f o r someone to be a f r a i d , and he has also learned from experience how to catch snakes. Perceptions 1. You check out an environment, and you see other kids doing what they are not supposed to do. You do the same thing and repeat the behaviour, even i f there are consequences. 2. I t i s good to have l o t s of batteries and a back up f l a s h l i g h t when you go camping. 3. Sometimes people get so scared that they have to go to the washroom. Dream 19: Monday November 13. 1995 I t started on a sunny day instead of the night time. We were playing outside and i t was on a rainy day. We were dressed up i n our costumes and I was Freddy Kruger. My friends were Ninja's. Then I went to bed and had a dream about Freddy Kruger. I woke up and I had to go to school. When I went to school, I did my work. Then i t was lunch time. After lunch we got to go home and we got to play, but I didn't go home 'cause we were at the school care program. After that was over we went home. Then I went to a centre on a Friday night. There's usually movie night. We were playing when we got home. We started playing upstairs. Then my brothers went to sleep. I got to go downstairs and watch a video with my mom and dad. Mom and S [mom's common law] I mean. We were watching 'Ninja Turtles Part I'. A f t e r that was over, I went to bed. After I woke up I went to the school care program and I ate some breakfast there. I went to school, I did my work. I got homework. Then I went to the school care program again. I did my 77 homework there. I went back to school, my teacher was s t i l l there. I gave him my homework back and I went to the school care program arid I went home. I had dinner and did my colouring. Then I went to bed. I woke up and my brothers were already at school. I was l a t e that's why. I ran to school, went to the o f f i c e , then went to my class and nobody was there 'cause they went on a f i e l d t r i p . That's what we're going to be doing on Friday. I stayed there i n somebody else's c l a s s . When they got back I went back to the other c l a s s and he was asking questions about i t . I didn't answer any of them 'cause I didn't see i t . So I just sat there and d i d some work. Then I went home. I went to bed, then I woke up i n the dream too. [When I woke up, I f e l t ] good. Comments There were f i v e days i n t h i s dream. There was a consequence for him when he was la t e . He said i n r e a l l i f e he was going on a school f i e l d t r i p . In the dream he missed out on the f i e l d t r i p and when the class returned he s t i l l could not p a r t i c i p a t e with his classmates. Therefore, he did other work. I t was often r e f l e c t e d i n h i s dreams that he was l a t e . In l i f e , perhaps he was concerned that h i s lateness would cause him to miss out on the scheduled f i e l d t r i p . I t was int e r e s t i n g , to me, that neither h i s parents, nor h i s brothers woke him up for school. Perceptions 1. When you are late you may miss out on p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n events and do something else. 2. Sometimes you are by yourself and l e f t behind by your brothers, and classmates. Dreamer's Perceptions and Prominent Features We learned from t h i s c h i l d ' s dreams about h i s d a i l y l i f e . In dream 13, i t seemed l i k e a routine day. In dream 9, 78 part of h i s routine was to have breakfast at the pre-school program and to go to an after school care program. He mentioned that he went to church and Bible camp, and there was movie night on Fridays. We also learned that when he was la t e for school, he needed to go to the o f f i c e to get a la t e s l i p . He also mentioned that some of h i s dreams dealt with r e a l l i f e occurrences. There were policemen i n h i s neighbourhood who went to peoples' homes the day before dream 2. This dream was about the pol i c e chasing a guy i n a Mustang. They caught him, but a pol i c e woman was hurt i n the process. Another example was that 6 days p r i o r to h i s 5th dream someone t r i e d to kidnap a c h i l d from h i s school. He dreamt that he was kidnapped. He managed to escape by using a monitoring device to elude his kidnapper and by using h i s i n t u i t i o n to get back to a fam i l i a r location. When I asked t h i s dreamer i f some elements i n his dreams occurred i n r e a l l i f e , he said the part about having homework i n h i s 12th dream was r e a l . On a more serious note, dream 16 revealed that i t was necessary to s e l l one's belongings to obtain money for food. He said t h i s actually happened i n h i s l i f e . Furthermore, h i s dreams displayed that he was kept very busy i n programs, before and after school, as well as on weekends. He may not have seen h i s parents as much as he would have l i k e d or would have needed. He had a d e f i n i t e perception that h i s parents were not 79 home. I had no v e r i f i c a t i o n i f t h i s occurred i n h i s actual l i f e . He did say i n his 17th dream that he was happy i t was not true that h i s parents were not home. His parents not being home may have been his experience while h i s mom was drinking. His parent(s) may not have been there p h y s i c a l l y , or emotionally. In dream 11, he thought he saw h i s parents a r r i v e home. This may be wishful thinking on hi s part. I t can be infer r e d that he wanted his parents to be av a i l a b l e f o r him and to take care of him. He also learned to occupy himself when hi s parents were not home. In dream 11, h i s brothers and he went to a friend's house to play. They also watched t e l e v i s i o n , listened to music and played while waiting f o r t h e i r parents to come back. In dream 17, he seemed to be dealing with where they were. In the f i r s t part of the dream, he knew where hi s parents were by the l a b e l on t h e i r bags. P r i o r to seeing the bags, he thought they were somewhere else. In the second part, h i s parents l e f t a note and he said, "so we just stayed home and we l e t them and we played outside for a while". I t was as i f he was an adult saying i t was okay for his parents to go out. This i s r o l e r e v e r s a l . For the parents second absence, i n t h i s dream, the dreamer did not question his parents about where they had been. His parents brought home Lego for him and h i s brothers. The toys may have distracted the dreamer from caring about h i s parents absence because when they arr i v e d home he ca r r i e d on playing. If t h i s was the intent, i t was 80 not okay f o r h i s parents to buy t h e i r children toys to make up for t h e i r absence. He also said, at the end of the interview, that he was mad because he thought h i s parents did not want to come home. In t h i s boy's dreams, h i s perception of the eff e c t s of parental absence not only resulted i n neglect, but emotional d i s t r e s s as well. In the dreams discussed above, the dreamer i s shown to take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for his brothers and to take charge when hi s parents are not home. In dream 3, he gets into trouble fo r not ensuring that his brother stays with him. In dream 13, he wakes up to f i n d his parents not home, so he c a l l s school to say he i s waiting for his parents to return. He stays home to look aft e r his younger s i b l i n g s . He i s too young to be caring for three younger brothers. This c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to look a f t e r himself was b e n e f i c i a l sometimes. For example, when he went with a kidnapper who offered him candy i n dream 5, he was able to escape on his own. He used a handy device and his i n t u i t i o n to a i d h i s escape. As mentioned above, he has had to care fo r himself and his brothers when his parents were not present. In his experience of parental absence he has learned to be s e l f - r e l i a n t and resourceful. This young boy had an adult r o l e of caring for himself and younger s i b l i n g s . When a young c h i l d has too many r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , i t i s obvious that he would f e e l confused and be la t e for school. The over r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t h i s dreamer 81 had kept him from school, as i n dream 13 when he stayed home to wait for his parents and to look a f t e r h i s brothers. In dream 10, he was unsure i f i t was a school day. He was too young to keep track of the days of the week and when he was supposed to go to school. He l i v e d with the uncertainty of not knowing i f h i s parents would be home, which created a f e e l i n g that he did not know what to expect. He was not old enough to make wise decisions. This was displayed i n dream 4. In t h i s dream, he was a 25 year old adult who cared for younger kids, yet he was l i g h t i n g f i r e s with the chi l d r e n he was looking a f t e r . In dream 19, he was alone. This was rare because he was usually with his brothers or fri e n d s . He required more parental presence and guidance. There was only one family event that occurred i n dream 14: they went to the P a c i f i c National Exhibition. I t also did not seem important to remember spe c i a l family occasions. This was i l l u s t r a t e d when he forgot about his brother's birthday. These factors further supported a lack of family cohesion and parental guidance, and an impoverished parent-child r e l a t i o n s h i p that was r e f l e c t e d i n his dreams. Some of the participant's dreams suggested that he inappropriately took the blame i n certa i n s i t u a t i o n s . For example, when he and his friends did not understand where they were to meet, he said, "I forgot to t e l l them we were going to meet i n a d i f f e r e n t spot". The following quote from dream 7 also indicates that he took onus for some events, 82 "My brother got stung by bees 'cause we didn't help him down". He seemed to f e e l responsible when the s i t u a t i o n was not within h i s control. In some of t h i s participant's dreams, he did not learn from consequences. In children with Fetal Alcohol E f f e c t (FAE) memory retention i s impaired. This outcome i s due to chil d r e n being exposed to alcohol while they were i n the mother's womb (Shaywitz et a l . , 1980). When the e f f e c t s are severe i t i s c a l l e d Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Not learning from consequences i s one r e s u l t of reduced memory retention. In dream 4, he saw himself as older and followed i n the footsteps of his father. He stole cars and d i d not r e a l i z e j a i l was a consequence for st e a l i n g . Despite going to j a i l , he started to s t e a l cars again a few days l a t e r . Furthermore, i n dream 18, when he went to 0. Island Bible Camp, he continued to go places where he was not allowed, even though the people who caught him implemented consequences. As well, i n dream 9, he was e a s i l y sidetracked and was la t e coming home, even though he knew what time he was supposed to be home. The next day he was sidetracked again and came home l a t e r than the day before. One dream r e f l e c t e d that he learned from a consequence. When h i s brother was stung by bees i n dream 7, he said, "we found out there was a bee nest there...so we figured not to go there...we weren't going near that park again." I t appeared that the dreamer learned from consequences when i t was 83 physical and pa i n f u l to the body. The dreamer's use of language suggested enmeshment with h i s brothers. He was often with his brothers i n h i s dreams. He r a r e l y used ' I ' . Enmeshment was suggested when he often used the pronoun 'we' and when he said 'we' before d i s t i n g u i s h i n g himself as separate. For example, i n dream 10 he said, "we we started, my brothers started crying 'cause we couldn't go outside and watch the thunder. They were crying..." This makes sense i f he was responsible f o r h i s brothers. Many times he also used the words 'have to' or 'had to' when he t o l d h i s dreams. From his words, I perceived that he had to do what he was t o l d without being given a choice. The f e e l i n g that he 'had to' i s most prominent i n dream 12. His cognitive development was r e f l e c t e d when he said, i n dream 2, that the police were close to catching the guy running away because they found the same type of car, but i t was a d i f f e r e n t colour. He did not comprehend that the p o l i c e were not close to catching the bad guy when they saw a d i f f e r e n t colour car. When something was not working, t h i s c h i l d t r i e d d i f f e r e n t ways to overcome the problem. In dream 6, he did t h i s when the fireworks kept banging into things. He relocated himself, yet the fireworks kept h i t t i n g things, so he stopped for the day. I wonder i f he knew when to qu i t because he said he was not allowed to play with fireworks, 84 yet he continued to play with them i n h i s dream. He took action, i n dream 8, to prevent his candies from being stolen and to get them back. He was mad that a l l h i s e f f o r t s did not provide him r e s u l t s . In dream 1, he forgot h i s belongings at the park. He went back the next day and ret r i e v e d h i s belongings, yet he forgot them at school. Some of h i s actions f a i l e d along the way. However, i n t h i s dream, he successfully took action to defend himself against the snake by turning the si t u a t i o n around and he followed the snake. He was able to turn the s i t u a t i o n around because he l o s t h i s fear of the snake. He thought i t was i n t e r e s t i n g to follow the snake because he wanted to see i f the snake would lead him to i t ' s home. In dream 17, he took action to prevent h i s brothers from breaking what he made from Lego. He also recovered something he had l o s t by re t r a c i n g h i s steps. This participant r e a l i z e d that one c a r r i e s on when people do not show up, such as when hi s friends f a i l e d to meet him i n dream 6, and when hi s parents were not home i n dream 13. He also changed a c t i v i t i e s when he was bored i n dream 12. He also knew that i f he was la t e for dinner and i t was a l l gone, more could be made. When he missed church because the bus driver was late, i n dream 14, there was another event that he could attend. There were solutions to problems i n t h i s boy's view of his world, even though a l l h i s attempts did not succeed. He conveyed that he had to do some things he d i d not 85 l i k e , such as h i s homework i n dream 12. After he d i d h i s homework, he was able to do what he wanted. Yet, i n dream 12, even though h i s homework was finished, he received more when he handed i t i n . In dream 10, he f i n i s h e d h i s homework before playing. He r e a l i z e d that sometimes the bad guy was caught and sometimes he was not. In dream 7, the guy who followed him and h i s brother was not caught, even though the dreamer asked for help. This s i t u a t i o n remained unsolved. In dream 1, the bad guy was caught by the police , which brought a res o l u t i o n . This boy mostly played i n his dreams. He played i n 17 of h i s 19 dreams. He played before and af t e r events. He played u n t i l he had to do something and while he waited. He played at the beginning and end of dreams. He played when he was t o l d to play. He also played af t e r f i n i s h i n g h i s homework. In dream 16, i t was obvious that a day f i l l e d with games was something to dream about. This c h i l d ' s dreams proclaimed that he was dealing with many issues. He was dealing with poverty, h i s parents not being home, r o l e reversal and a lack of a strong parent-c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p . As a re s u l t , he became s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t , i n some ways. He also took on too much r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . He was shown to be vulnerable and he did not always learn from consequences. He attempted to solve dilemmas i n h i s l i f e , which conveyed h i s r e s i l i e n c y . Sometimes he was successful 86 and sometimes he was not. If he was not successful, he t r i e d other solutions. 87 13 Year Old G i r l When I c o l l e c t e d t h i s g i r l ' s dreams, she had j u s t turned 13 years old. She was the oldest c h i l d and had a 5 year o ld s i s t e r . She l i v e d with her mother and her mother's boyfriend. Her mother and her mother's common law both had been sober for one year at the time of data c o l l e c t i o n . She said that her mother drank alcohol when she was between the ages of 1 and 6. Then her mother stopped drinking f o r a period of time and started again when she met her present common law. The present common law was neither c h i l d ' s b i o l o g i c a l father. During my data c o l l e c t i o n , I was t o l d that mom and her common law were going to have a baby. The dreamer t o l d me that she was excited about having a new s i b l i n g . However, when her younger s i s t e r was born, she said she was not sure how to react. She also t o l d me that she was abused by her younger s i s t e r ' s father for about 5 or 6 years. She did not specify how she was abused. Although from her dreams,.I had the sense that she was sexually abused, because harm often occurred to her body and i t was not respected. She remembered 12 dreams over a period of one month. She believed that dreams were another part of her mind. Dream 1: Monday October 2. 1995 I was i n some sort of circus and I had to go into t h i s box. I t was colo u r f u l and pictures of flowers everywhere on i t and i t [had] sort of some eyes, i n the middle of the box, looking at me. When I got i n , i t f e l t slimy and wet. [Inside the box] I was scared, I f e l t l i k e I was trapped. I was standing there c u t t i n g the person i n three s t r i p s . Then when I looked at the 88 thing a couple of times, i t was blank and then the l a s t time I saw, i t was me, my face. Then I looked over beside me (from i n the box) and there was a man and he was cutting. [I c l a r i f i e d , "So, you became the person i n the box, and then a man became who you were outside the box"]. The guy [was doing] one of those t r i c k s where you cut i n half and then you open i t and s t u f f . But, when I got out my legs were, the middle of my stomach was gone. So, I got r e a l l y scared. I f e l t l i k e I was getting dizzy. The box started laughing when I looked at my stomach, then I woke up. Comments Only negative incidents occurred i n t h i s dream. In l i f e , a magic t r i c k i s harmless. In her dream, the box she went into for the magic t r i c k was nice on the outside. When she got i n the box she f e l t scared and trapped. There was a sense of hopelessness when she said, "I had to go into t h i s box". She submitted to the t r i c k even though she was scared. As a r e s u l t , she was harmed because she did not assert that she d i d not want to do the magic t r i c k . She acquiesced despite her inner warning not to. Perceptions 1. Some things may be beautiful on the outside, but are deceiving. 2. Some t r i c k s played on you can be mean and p h y s i c a l l y h u r t f u l . 3. You may have your head on and your feet on the ground with nothing i n between. This makes you r e a l l y scared. 4. When you do something that you have to do, you f e e l scared, trapped and are helpless. 89 5. You cannot t r u s t yourself or others ( s p e c i f i c a l l y men?) to keep safe. When you get hurt, others laugh at you when you lose a part of yourself. Dream 2; Wednesday October 4, 1995 I was at a bus stop. I was waiting f o r a bus. I had some change for the bus i n my hand. I kept on waiting for the bus. I t didn't come. I looked across the stre e t and there was a l l my friends playing r i d i n g the bike [and] playing tag. I ran across the street, I think, then when I looked across the street I knew them and I looked back and nobody was there. There was j u s t a busy old street with a bus stop. I picture and then a few minutes I saw, I was r i d i n g the bike. Something was chasing a f t e r me, I was not chasing a f t e r me. I f e l t scared. I turned around and there was J . I think he asked me i f I wanted to go for a l i t t l e r i d e . I f e l t a l i t t l e happy because I have a crush on him. We were playing and was r i d i n g bikes on a bumpy, some bumpy mud. I don't know which way we turned, but we turned onto an a l l e y way. That's when I woke up. [When I woke up] I f e l t r e a l l y weird, I f e l t l i k e I wanted to go on except I couldn't. [She added at the end] I notice across the street there was two people walking by. [They] looked r e a l l y young, looked l i k e my mother. Comments She f e l t scared i n her f i r s t two dreams. A magic t r i c k i s supposed to be harmless, yet i n her f i r s t dream, the t r i c k was very harmful to her body. She expected something pleasant, but i t turned out h u r t f u l . In t h i s dream, she expected something awful f i r s t , but i t turned out pleasant. What happened i n these situations was the opposite of what she expected. Perceptions 1. When you wait and nothing happens, you go to where i t seems fun. 2. When you are chased, you f e e l very scared u n t i l you 90 see that i t i s a person you l i k e a l o t . You misjudged the s i t u a t i o n and you f e e l happy when i t i s not as awful as you expected. 3. You see your mother on the other side (across the street) looking young. 4. When you experience a pleasant event you want to continue t h i s experience, but you cannot. Dream 3: Thursday October 5, 1995 One dream, I don't know how, but I was around 28 and I was pregnant. I was standing, I think I was looking into a mirror. I could see t h i s and my stomach, I could see l i k e a big hole that I was able to see the baby. I was so t e r r i f i e d that I wanted to dream on. [To] dream i t , go back to the dream. I f e l l back to sleep, except t h i s time i t was a d i f f e r e n t dream. [I f e l t ] kind of scared, both happy and scared. Comments This was another dream where she was scared and where something h o r r i b l e happened. I t was i n t e r e s t i n g that she was t e r r i f i e d , but wanted to continue dreaming. Another theme that continued was missing a part of her body. In t h i s dream, she saw herself i n the future and older. To envision herself pregnant was scary. Perhaps t h i s was a p a r a l l e l to seeing her mom have a baby. She could be scared about a new s i b l i n g coming along, even though she said that she was excited about t h i s . Perceptions 1. When you see yourself pregnant i n the future, you are t e r r i f i e d that you see your baby through a hole i n your stomach. You wake up, but you want to dream on. 91 Dream 4; Thursday October 5. 1995 I think we were i n a restaurant and we ran into N e i l Patrick, [he's] a tv star. He was my mom's old boyfriend. I t was a long time ago. He wanted to go back to her except my mom said, "no, no." They were both old. He did t h i s kind of s p e l l on her. I don't know what kind of s p e l l he used, kind of words. He used words I couldn't make out. I t e l l him to leave my mom alone. He said that he can't. The f i r s t man she sees w i l l be dead. I went, "oh no, [uncle's] i n there." My mom she says, " i t ' s ok, i t ' s ok, nothing w i l l happen." My grandma and my uncle, my brothers twin brother, they don't look a l i k e , the twins. I t was a chant that whenever she sees a man, s h e ' l l k i l l him, the f i r s t man she sees, [mom k i l l e d her uncle]. Someone big, I mean a pointy s t i c k , r e a l pointy l i k e a knife. I saw he's dead. I screamed. I came running i n with [ N e i l ] , He says, "oh no I forgot about him." He thought that my uncle was boyfriend with my mom. We went to go barry [sic] him. Then we went into t h i s , we chucked the remains of him into a big heap, the body's a garbage. I don't remember the rest, a l l ' s I know i s that my mom she was old, she had white hair and she had a perm. I f e l t scared, I f e l t t e r r i f i e d . I woke up at s i x o'clock and I didn't want to go back to sleep. Comments She was t e r r i f i e d i n t h i s dream and did not want to go back to sleep. This was opposite of how she reacted i n the p r i o r dream. The theme of death i n t h i s dream may have made i t more frightening for her to f a l l asleep. At one point i n the dream she said, "my brothers twin brother." In l i f e she did not have a brother. I t seemed that she was t a l k i n g i n the voice of her mother. She may have i d e n t i f i e d and been enmeshed with her mother to a degree. When she said, "then we went into t h i s we we hucked the remains of him into a big heap, 'the body's a garbage'," I got the impression the body was not respected, was s o i l e d and belonged i n the garbage. This might be a r e s u l t of abuse 92 she received i n the past from her younger s i s t e r ' s father. She d i d not say i f i t was sexual or physical abuse. Perceptions 1. Mother's cannot guarantee that things w i l l be okay even though they reassure you of t h i s . 2. Children t r y to protect t h e i r parents. 3. Sometimes things do not work out the way you expect them too. 4. When you say no to someone, sometimes they do not accept i t . 5. When you do not get what you want, you do harm. 6. Others can have control over your actions. Dream 5; Sunday October 8. 1995 My dream was about my foster mother's granddaughter G. Her only granddaughter. We were going to church and I saw my foster family. There was t h i s g i r l about my age. I said," h i . " [She] reminded me about G. G was there. She had dark hair and she's i n the same grade. She said " h i , I remember you, but I don't remember when." I said, "when you were l i t t l e , I was always good at making you stop crying and making you laugh." I miss that. I t [also] f e l t kind of weird cause I was older and I wanted to see l i k e the younger G. [When I l i v e d with her] she was only a l i t t l e baby. A l l of a sudden i t changed. I f e l t kind of woozy l i k e I was going to f a l l . Instead of a church we were i n a c a s t l e . I was t r y i n g to help the king. He was dying. His daughter was G. I f e l t ok [about t h i s ] . I ' l l do i t , he needs help, so I did i t . I had to help f i n d the secret potion that's i n another kingdom, except he's r e a l l y mean. Like i f somebody from g's father's kings court [went on the mean kings court] he would be k i l l e d . I had to go a d i f f e r e n t way, except I kept on running into t h i s [mean] guy's court. He wouldn't l e t anybody from another kingdom come on h i s land. [When I bumped into G] i t ' s the same thing that would happen at the church. She knew me but she didn't know where she met me. [I f e l t ] hurt and kind of scared. Every time I ran into her, she would either be a princess or a poor person, or a f i e l d e r from the other kingdom. [A f i e l d e r i s one] 93 who chops the grain off the f i e l d . Every s i n g l e time I would run into her, something bad would always happen. The church disappeared, we both got thrown i n a dungeon, and the princess the kingdom caught f i r e . From the f i r e we escaped. From the dungeon we found a secret hiding spot to get out. The f i e l d was the l a s t time. [The] l a s t bad thing that happened i n the dream was I got shot and G got shot too, except i n the heart. We both died and that's when I woke up. I couldn't get the potion. I f e l t l i k e I was r e a l l y shot, but I was never going to wake up. Everything went black and I woke up. [When I woke up I f e l t ] scared and a bad stomach ache and I had to go to the washroom. I miss G. Comments This p a r t i c i p a n t imagined how things could be by seeing the fostermother's granddaughter, G, as an older person. The dreamer also r e f l e c t e d on the past, when she helped G to stop crying as a baby. She f e l t good about helping someone f e e l better. The dreamer also said that she wanted to see the younger G. She wanted to go back to having happy times with G. She also displayed a willingness to help others when she accepted finding the secret potion, even though her help was a cost to her safety. She continued her search despite encountering obstacles. In the end, the problem of fin d i n g the secret potion was l e f t unsolved. In her attempts to get the potion, the dreamer t r i e d to get around the mean man i n the other kingdom. In t h i s process she kept running into G and awful things happened. She escaped the f i r s t 3 bad encounters which showed that she could get out of bad situations. However, i n the end she died. In her dreams, she perceived that eventually she w i l l f a i l , despite having some successes along the way. 94 When the dream scenes changed suddenly, she f e l t that the change was for the worse. Perceptions 1. You want to save somebody and help them, because i t i s a matter of l i f e and death, even though you are i n danger gi v i n g your help. In the end you die, despite t r y i n g a number of ways to solve the problem. 2. You keep bumping into obstacles: some you overcome, but i n the end you do not p r e v a i l . 3. Although, you are able to make others f e e l good, the r e c i p i e n t may not remember t h i s . You continue to t r y to help people. 4. You miss past times when you were able to make people f e e l better (help them). Dream 6: Thursday October 12. 1995 I t was about a boy I l i k e . His name i s J . I have a crush on him. I t was a dream that we were both dating, l i k e going out places. We went out to a movie and dinner. There was t h i s g i r l . She was l i k e k i s s i n g him and s t u f f . I got so mad that we both broke up. When I was walking away, he said, "no, no, I don't want to break up. I don't want to break up." Then I t r i e d to go back to him except I couldn't. I turned around and h i t my head. There was some force holding me back. I t f e l t l i k e a clear piece of glass. When I woke up, I f e l t r e a l l y sad, l i k e I didn't want to break up. My dreams are going l i k e r e a l l y slow a few minutes, short [dreams]. Comments In her l i f e there was t h i s boy she l i k e d . In her dream they were dating and she envisioned him betraying her. Then she broke up with him because she was mad. When the boy said he d i d not want to break up with her, she l e t her angry f e e l i n g s dissolve and wanted to go back to him, despite what she saw him do. In the end, she f e l t r e a l l y sad to break up with him. Perceptions 1. When you are betrayed by a boyfriend you break up, even i f you are sad about i t and you do not want to. When you t r y to go back to him you are ph y s i c a l l y stopped. 2. You are w i l l i n g to change your decision i f someone you l i k e persuades you. Dream 7: Friday October 13. 1995 It was a dream about t h i s boy I r e a l l y hate. He always hurts me and my l i t t l e s i s t e r [in her r e a l l i f e ] . I was hurting him [in my dream]. I was singing t h i s song while I was hurting him. I sang t h i s i s my finger, t h i s i s my other finger, t h i s i s how I poke your eyes. Just l i k e that. This i s my hand t h i s i s how I push you down. Just l i k e that. This i s how I jump on [your stomach]. Just l i k e that. When I l e f t , I kicked d i r t on h i s face. I f e l t l i k e I wanted to stop, except I couldn't. [When I woke up] I f e l t kinda happy. Comments She was dealing with her anger i n t h i s dream. She was able to be angry and do harm to a boy she hated f o r hurting her i n r e a l l i f e . When she woke up, she said she f e l t good. I presume, i t f e l t good for her to f i g h t back. Perceptions 1. I can leave you i n the dust: you can not hurt me any more. 2. When you are angry at someone for hurting you, you can get s a t i s f a c t i o n by hurting him back i n your dreams. 3. When you hurt someone for hurting you, at a c e r t a i n 96 point you f e e l l i k e stopping, but you can not stop yourself. Dream 8: Saturday October 14. 1995 My dream was about my aunt. She came out of t h i s truck. I think she was drunk. I f e l t happy that I got to see her. She had something i n a c l o t h bag. I didn't know what. I asked her what i t i s . She took i t out and i t ' s almost the same cat as G [the k i t t e n that she owns i n l i f e ] . Then [the] ice cream [truck] came by. I wanted to buy something. My mom l e t me. I got a snow cone except, i t took a long time to eat a snow cone 'cause he was making i t . He got out of h i s i c e cream man s u i t [and] got i n more normal clothes. Then he ran away when I tasted i t . I [thought] something's wrong, except I didn't care. I f e l t scared and frightened having the ice cream poisoned with white powder. I started to get t i r e d and s t u f f . I f e l l asleep. That's when I woke up. Comments In t h i s dream, she was distracted from someone she missed and was lured toward something sweet and good. This was deceiving because she was poisoned. She d i d not care. She was helpless and passively accepted what was done to her. This was the only dream i n my sample of dreams that depicted an a l c o h o l i c incident d i r e c t l y . She was happy to see her aunt and commented that she thought her aunt was drunk. As I read the dream, I could see a p a r a l l e l to alcohol. The dreamer was poisoned. Alcohol i s also a poison to a body's system when one drinks large amounts. However, she did not care that she was poisoned. I t appeared she f e l t doomed to a bleak future. Perceptions 1. You are happy to see a loved one no matter what condition they are i n . 97 2. Your mom allows you to go get something you want without checking i t out f i r s t . 3. You are enticed by tasty t r e a t s . When you f i n d out they are deadly you do not care. 4. You have an i n t u i t i o n about danger, but you do not l i s t e n to i t . Dream 9: Wednesday October 18. 1995 My dream was about me and my mom. My mom ju s t had her baby and i t wasn't human. When I saw i t I got scared. When my mom had the baby she screamed and fain t e d . A l l ' s I know i s that i t has hair a l l over i t ' s body. Like fur a l l over i t and we waited a couple of months for the fur to go away and i t wouldn't. I t [fur] wasn't covering the face because the face you could see what i t looked l i k e . I t looked Egyptian l i k e . I t turned into years ' t i l the k i d turned nine, something l i k e that. I t . grew up fa s t . I t started eating people. I saw people's l e f t over body's i n his room. I t was getting so hungry that i t ate my mom. The l a s t person that I knew that i t ate i s my mom. I heard a scream i n my mom's room. There she was l y i n g dead. During the dream, [and when I woke up], I f e l t scared. Comments I asked her why she thought she had t h i s dream. She said, "maybe because I'm a l i t t l e b i t too excited about my mom having a baby." She also said, "[the] f i r s t time I found out my mom was pregnant with [her younger s i s t e r ] I d i d not know how to react because I never bothered her about her having a baby. This time I'm r e a l l y excited [because] whenever she gave me news, I kept on t a l k i n g , 'are you going to have a baby, are you gonna have a baby?'." She also s a i d that she was the most scared by the thought of her mother's death. Possibly, she feared the loss of her mom when the baby 98 was born. On the other hand, she said her mom drank when she was between the ages of 1 and 5. As a young c h i l d , she may have seen her mom passed out and thought her mom was dead. She may have developed a fear of losing people from t h i s experience. In a h i s t o r i c a l dream of hers, she was looking fo r her mom and found her mom bleeding and dead. Then she saw a man outside pointing a gun at her. In another h i s t o r i c a l dream, when she was 12 years old, she dreamed that her foster mother died and she did not believe t h i s could occur to a happy person. These h i s t o r i c a l dreams indicate that the fear of loss started early i n her l i f e . Perceptions 1. When something i s not what you expect i t to be, and i t i s scary, you wait for i t to get better. In the end i t gets worse. Dream 10: Friday October 20, 1995 A few days ago I just got over l i c e and I had a dream about that. Except the l i c e , the n i t s , they were bigger. The eggs they were l i k e t h i s big. There were jus t two. Each day they would eat a piece of my skin. A l l of i t . I'd lose consciousness. Then I'd wake up again. When I woke up I would look i n a mirror and blood was t r i c k l i n g down my face. The very l a s t day you could see my brain from above. A l l my ha i r was gone. I t was scary. I died. I saw a s i l v e r y tunnel and I wanted to stay except I couldn't. I was l i k e being forced to go up into that tunnel. When I was about 20 steps away, I got sucked i n r e a l f a s t . [When I woke up I f e l t ] happy and scared because the s i l v e r y tunnel takes you up to heaven and scared because I didn't want to die. Comments When I asked her why she thought she had t h i s dream, she said, "cause I've been getting l i c e a l o t . I t ' s my t h i r d 99 time ever since I started l i k e kindergarten." She has dreamed of her, her mother dying, and of her body being harmed. She said she did not want to die i n t h i s dream, yet she dreamed of dying. Since her body was abused i n the past, she might continue to f e e l that her body w i l l be harmed. I am not sure how to interpret her death. I usually view death as a rebi r t h i n g : a dying of an o l d s e l f , habit, or way of conducting oneself. I do not think t h i s applies here. I noticed i n her dreams, she perceived that the only way out of painful situations was through dying. She did not want to die, but she f e l t happy i n heaven. Her happiness i n heaven could have been a r e l i e f from the pa i n f u l experience she feels from l i v i n g . Perceptions 1. Sometimes things (lice) seem bigger than they are. 2. Something can attack your body, you have no control and you die. You are scared and have mixed fe e l i n g s because you do no want to die, but you are happy to go to heaven. Dream 11: Tuesday October 24. 1995 My dream was about Halloween. I was going t r i c k or tr e a t i n g [with] my mom [and s i s t e r ] . I don't know what other a pumpkin. My s i s t e r she was, I don't know what. I don't remember. While we were crossing the road, a l l of a sudden a car went i n front of us. Just then a car ran over my s i s t e r . Then blood flew everywhere, almost everywhere. I t ran over her hand. Cause she f e l l and her hand was [stretched out]. The car ran over her hand. She was screaming and screaming and screaming, "my hand, my hand, i t hurts, i t hurts." We [picked up her arm and i t ] flopped down. My mom, she was screaming i n the background. [Mom's common law] He picked her up. Mom she was screaming and screaming and screaming. Then a l l of a sudden she said she wasn't f e e l i n g too good and she couldn't. Then a l l of a sudden she started 100 panting. We asked her what was wrong. She says, "I'm having, i t f e e l s l i k e I'm having my baby." We took her [ s i s t e r ] to the Doctor. The doctor said, " I t ' s [ s i s t e r ' s hand] dead." They cut her dead hand o f f , then sewed the rest, the parts that are s t i l l there together. A l l of a sudden, when I looked around, I looked back at [my s i s t e r ] . I was big l i k e your s i z e , older. There was my s i s t e r around my age r i g h t now. Her hand, i t was a fake hand. She says, "I s t i l l remember t h i s . That day that my hand got ran over." We were i n the h o s p i t a l room. Somebody else was there. [There] was l i k e three other people there. When I woke up, I was sweating a l l over. I was crying, sad, scared, a l l the other t e r r i b l e s t u f f . Comments When I asked her why she had t h i s dream, she said, "I think because Halloween's coming up and I'm scared that something bad might happen. Because one year I couldn't go t r i c k or t r e a t i n g . My parents were drinking. I j u s t went to one door. They t o l d me I'm not going. Plus there's two ch i l d r e n that couldn't go [from mom's common law's work]. His boss's two children. Instead of taking them t r i c k or t r e a t i n g , they buy him candy because they are a f r a i d that people might s t i c k , you know, bad s t u f f i n the candy." She had a pessimistic outlook and expected awful things to happen. Suddenly things happened and were out of her c o n t r o l : (a) her s i s t e r f e l l and suddenly a car ran over her hand, (b) suddenly her s i s t e r was her age and the dreamer was an adult, (c) f i n a l l y , her mother was not f e e l i n g well and having a baby. Perceptions 1. Sometimes you go out for an evening with your 101 family, and a member of your family gets hurt. Your mom i s not able to help because she i s having trouble h e r s e l f . Other adults help (common law and doctor). As you watch a l l t h i s you f e e l t e r r i b l e , sad and scared. 2. You anticipate that bad things w i l l happen at Halloween and they do. 3. When you are hurt, you can ph y s i c a l l y f i x i t , but you w i l l not forget about i t . Dream 12; Wednesday October 25, 1995 I was in v i t e d to t h i s house. I was the seventh guest. When I got there nobody was there. The person sai d that I could l i v e here at the house. I stayed at the house. He came back. This man he came back. He says, "You can l i v e here" and I went, "ok." I was unpacking and s t u f f . There was t h i s f l o o r board that when you stepped on i t , i t went hollow. Underneath was t h i s book. I t was the book of the dead, the things that happened that people don't know what i t i s , s t u f f l i k e that. I t says that t h i s house i s cursed: one night anybody l i v e s there w i l l be dead i n the morning. When I looked i n the book I saw a picture of what i t looked l i k e when i t [a hurricane] s t a r t s . I was outside. I looked back, there was the same thing. I t was almost l i k e a hurricane. I looked back outside, I went, "oh no" except I opened the door and I started running out. I was scared. I saw t h i s tunnel i t ' s Metrotown. To t h i s place, any place you wanted to go. You don't have to pay. I jumped i n there, i n the tunnel I started s l i d i n g a l l the way down, down, down. I t was pit c h black. When I was at the end, I was at Metrotown mall. When I woke up, I was kinda r e l i e v e d that I got away from the hurricane and that nothing bad happened. Comments She thought she had t h i s dream because she read t h i s book c a l l e d , 'Welcome to the Dead House'. She said that these people "try to escape and they f i n a l l y do." She also said there i s t h i s CD Rom game ca l l e d , 'The Seventh Guest'. At f i r s t her dream was pleasant, she was i n v i t e d to a 102 house as a guest. Then something bad happened: i f she stayed overnight she would die. Before she could escape there was an obstacle of a hurricane to evade. She saw a tunnel that would take her anywhere. Metaphorically, she may have wanted to escape the h o r r i b l e feelings and experiences she had. She was r e l i e v e d that she escaped and nothing bad happened. In t h i s dream, she was more active and escaped death. This i s an important aspect. She did not accept death l i k e i n her p r i o r dreams. Her escape also came with being able to go anywhere she wanted without any debts. I t was free. I t was the second time she went through a tunnel and found r e l i e f from an awful experience. Although i n t h i s instance, she d i d not choose death. Perceptions 1. Once you r e a l i z e you have been deceived you can f i n d a way out of the s i t u a t i o n . 2. You want to go any place you want. 3. You f i n d out that where you are i n v i t e d to stay, your l i f e i s i n danger. However, you f l e e and escape. Dreamer's Perceptions and Prominent Features Three of t h i s participant's twelve dreams dealt with r e a l l i f e s i t u a t i o n s . In dream 7, she vented her anger p h y s i c a l l y at a boy, who was hurting her i n r e a l l i f e . This was a safer way of dealing with anger than a c t u a l l y carrying out physical actions. In dream 10, her r e a l concern about having head l i c e was magnified, as she died from t h e i r 103 b i t i n g her head and brain. Another r e a l l i f e concern she had was about going t r i c k or treating on Halloween. In the past, she r e c a l l e d only being able to t r i c k or t r e a t at one door, because her mom was drunk. Dream 11 had two c r i s e s that occurred when her and her family went t r i c k or t r e a t i n g . As a r e s u l t , they were not able to go t r i c k or t r e a t i n g . The dreams she had of r e a l l i f e situations dealt with her feel i n g s and fears. The theme of death was prominent for t h i s dreamer. She died i n two of her dreams. In dream 5, she was shot dead while she was t r y i n g to get the potion to help the king and, i n dream 10, she died from head l i c e . Furthermore, her mother was k i l l e d by the baby mom gave b i r t h to i n dream 9. Last, she dreamt of possible death i n the 12th dream c o l l e c t e d . However, she managed to escape death. This dreamer also t o l d me of two h i s t o r i c a l dreams that dealt with death. She had a repeating dream from the age of about 1 or 2 to age 5 and 1/2. She found her mother dead and when she looked out the window a man was pointing a gun at her. In t h i s dream, she was alone, abandoned and going to be k i l l e d , j u s t l i k e her mom. At age 11 or 12 she had a dream that her foster mother died. She could not understand t h i s and said, "no, no i t can't happen to her. She was so happy. She's the happiest, the happiest person i n the family." Death was the l a s t thing that happened i n the aforementioned dreams. A dream ending on a note of death makes the thought 104 of death more s a l i e n t i n our memory and unforgettable. This i s frightening. This p a r t i c i p a n t started to deal with death and loss at a very early age. She t o l d me that her mother drank when she was between the ages of 1 and 6. At such a young age, a c h i l d would not understand why mom did not move and respond when she was passed out. Therefore, a c h i l d could e a s i l y think that one's mother was dead. Furthermore, while mother was drinking she was not available to meet her c h i l d ' s needs. When t h i s occurs, the c h i l d loses a parent. Babies were another topic that was important to t h i s dreamer. During the time of dream c o l l e c t i o n , she was aware that her mother was pregnant. She had 4 dreams about t h i s issue. In dream 3, she dreamt of herself being pregnant and she was t e r r i f i e d upon seeing the baby through a hole i n her stomach. In dream 5, she dreamt of her foster mother's baby granddaughter, whom she remembered being able to make laugh. The granddaughter was the dreamer's age and did not r e c a l l the dreamer. She also said that when she bumped into the granddaughter something bad happened. In dream 9, mom gave b i r t h to a baby that was not human and i t ate people, including the dreamer's mom. In dream 11, her mother said she d i d not f e e l good and was going to have a baby. I t appeared from these dreams that the dreamer was frightened of mom having a baby and had a fear that the baby would take away mom's attention. Furthermore, i f G represented a baby, 105 the baby could be seen as an obstacle for the dreamer. She could have f e l t threatened, even though she said she was excited about her mother having a baby. The dreamer's concern was connected with her feelings of abandonment at an early age. This participant's dreams revealed that she viewed the world as mean and deceiving. Dream 1 presented t h i s view when she was i n a magic t r i c k . In the magic t r i c k her body was harmed by having her midsection cut out. The b e a u t i f u l o box she was i n , laughed at her when she r e a l i z e d what happened. In dream 4, a curse was put on her mother because mom would not return to a p r i o r boyfriend. Mom ended up k i l l i n g her own brother. In dream 9, her mother was k i l l e d by the inhuman baby to whom she gave b i r t h . In dream 11, her s i s t e r ' s hand was run over. These were a l l c r u e l s i t u a t i o n s occurring i n her dreams that were derived from the perspective of t h i s c h i l d ' s experience. In many of her dreams she wanted a scenario to go a ce r t a i n way, but she was unable to have any a f f e c t on the s i t u a t i o n . In dream 2, she said, "I f e l t l i k e I wanted to go on [dreaming] except I couldn't." She also f e l t t h i s way i n dream 3. In dream 3, she wanted to return to an unpleasant dream, whereas i n dream 2, she wanted to return to the good feeli n g s she had i n her dream. In dream 4, she was t r y i n g to protect her mother. However, the dreamer's attempt d i d not succeed. She could not stop her mother's ex-boyfriend from 106 putting a curse on her mother. In dream 5, she wanted to see her f r i e n d as a baby and go back to soothing her, rather than be with her i n the present. Also i n t h i s dream, she wanted to get the potion, but f a i l e d . In dream 6, she wanted to go back to her boyfriend, but could not. In dream 7, she wanted to stop beating up the boy, but she could not stop h e r s e l f . In dream 9, she waited for a new born i n the family to change, but there was no change and the s i t u a t i o n worsened. In dream 10, she was forced into a tunnel that took her to heaven, even though she wanted to stay. A l l these dreams suggested that she f e l t powerless over events i n her l i f e and sometimes even over her own actions. Harm was also done to her body i n a number of her dreams. Her stomach was cut out, which l e f t a hole, her head was b i t t e n u n t i l she died, and she was poisoned. She accepted harm done to her body and was w i l l i n g to endanger hers e l f to help others. The harm done to her body i n these dreams also r e f l e c t e d her past abuse. She did not learn to value herself because others (caregivers) have not provided t h i s for her i n the past. The dreamer revealed the perceptions she had of her mother and of t h e i r relationship. This c h i l d was dealing with feelings of childhood abandonment which was revealed i n her h i s t o r i c a l dreams. She also f e l t threatened by her mother's pregnancy. Role-reversal also occurred, i n dream 4, when she t r i e d to protect her mother by t e l l i n g mother's ex-107 boyfriend to leave her mother alone. Her mother was portrayed i n the dreams as unable to protect the dreamer. For example, mom could not help when t h i s c h i l d was poisoned. The mother was also unable to protect h e r s e l f from being eaten by her own baby. Mom was seen as e a s i l y overcome with panic when she was having a baby and when the younger s i s t e r was hurt. Mom was also e a s i l y swayed and co n t r o l l e d when the s p e l l was cast on her. In t h i s dreamer's eyes, her mother was c l e a r l y not able to care for the dreamer. In summary, a l l of her dreams had incidents that were h o r r i b l e . The dominant f e e l i n g she experienced i n her dreams was fear. A l o t of her fear revolved around death occurring to her, or her mother. Sometimes there was no reason f o r malice, such as when she was poisoned, and when the baby ate her mother. Solutions could not be found to problems and often death was an end r e s u l t . As well, when she took p o s i t i v e action to help someone (the king), she ended up endangering herself. She acted passively i n her dreams l e t t i n g things happen to her, such as being cut up i n a magic t r i c k . She saw l i f e as h o r r i b l e to her and her body. Her view of l i f e was pessimistic. Therefore, she sometimes misjudged situ a t i o n s . For example, when she was being chased and f e l t scared, then she r e a l i z e d t h i s s i t u a t i o n was not f e a r f u l because i t was actually a boy she l i k e d that who was chasing her. The l a s t dream provided some hope because she took action which gave r e s u l t s . This l a s t dream also demonstrated that she had a wish to go anywhere she wanted. She desired to abandon a l l of her h o r r i b l e experiences and scared f e e l i n g s . 109 12 Year Old G i r l This g i r l was the oldest i n her family. She had a brother one year younger and a s i s t e r i n Kindergarten. They l i v e d with t h e i r mother and t h e i r mother's common law. Mom was sober for 10 months at the time of data c o l l e c t i o n . I did not know about her partner's sobriety. During an interview for a dream, a concern for her mother's safety came up. The dreamer was concerned about mom being p h y s i c a l l y abused by her common law. The t o t a l number of dreams she r e c a l l e d was eight. She believed that dreams are good to experience, but she was unsure of whether or not dreams could help her. Dream 1; Saterdav September 16. 1995 I dreamt I went to the r i v e r . [Mom] was at home cooking supper. Me, my brother and s i s t e r , we went to play. Then [mom's common law] came with our [hers, her brothers' and her s i s t e r s ' ] cats. I brought my cat down to the water and he jumped out of my hands. He went into the water. I asked my brother to go and get him. But he [cat] was getting c a r r i e d down the r i v e r . Then I went i n the water, but i t was too cold f o r me. Then the cat was t r y i n g to swim t h i s way, but i t kept going that way, i t was coming t h i s way slowing. There was a boat that goes by and pushed him a l l the way to the other side. We never found him. There was a whole bunch of clouds behind us. The buildings were a l l b l u r r y and there was clouds i n front [of them]. Then I woke up on the f l o o r . I was crying. Then my s i s t e r came and brought up our cat. Comments She recently received a cat i n r e a l l i f e and she dreamt of l o s i n g i t . F i r s t , she asked her brother to get the cat. Then she attempted to get the cat herself. However, the water was too cold for her to endure. The cat t r i e d to swim 110 toward her, yet t h i s f a i l e d too. By chance, a boat saved the cat. However, the cat s t i l l ended up l o s t from her. The dreamer seemed to fear losing something important. Most l i k e l y t h i s was based upon a personal experience i n her l i f e . Perceptions 1. When your pet i s separated from you, you t r y various ways of r e t r i e v i n g him. However, a l l your attempts f a i l . Your pet can be saved by something else, but you s t i l l lose him. 2. Something of value to you can suddenly go away and never be retrieved. Dream 2: Monday September 25. 1995 I t was day. Me and t h i s l i t t l e g i r l were walking together. She had no head. I looked at her, but I could not see her face. I seen my s i s t e r ' s body walking with me. We saw four l i t t l e rabbits. [One was] white and brown, and one was black, a t o t a l l y white and one brown. We caught a l l of them. After playing with them we l e t them free. There were four l i t t l e tunnels, l i k e a crack, that the rabbits went into. She grabbed my hand. We were running and we h i t a l i t t l e hole, a l i t t l e d i t c h . The l i t t l e g i r l f e l l . [I] helped her up. After that we started laughing cause i t looked funny. She said, "did you see the way I f e l l ? " and kept on going up t h i s h i l l . She kept t a l k i n g , i t was echoing. We ran through t h i s tunnel. The [rabbit's] tunnels were small and ours was big. We ran a l l the way to t h i s busy road. We stopped and I said we have to go back. I didn't know where she was taking me, I j u s t thought we had to go back. I didn't want to go any further. We went back to Playland. We climbed t h i s h i l l . There was t h i s white thing going over and then we ran through chains. Then I l o s t her and she just vanished. I was looking for her. I went behind a wall. I f e l t sad [that I couldn't f i n d her]. Then my mom came over and asked me where I was, but I never answered. When I woke up I f e l t funny. Not so pushy, bossy, the way I am when I wake up. I f e l t good. [It f e l t ] good to see my s i s t e r . I l l Comments She wrote t h i s dream on a paper the p r i o r week. She l o s t my number and the interview did not occur r i g h t away. This was the second dream where she dealt with loss and was not able to recover the loss. Although, she displayed that she was a c t i v e l y attempting to recover her losses. I t was bizarre that she saw a faceless body walk with her whom looks l i k e her s i s t e r . I am not sure what t h i s meant. A head i s very important for many things: breathing, thinking, f e e l i n g , seeing, hearing, and eating. Without a head one i s dead. Also, a face i s key i n i d e n t i f y i n g who a person i s . Yet, she i d e n t i f i e d the body as belonging to her s i s t e r . The number four i s also s i g n i f i c a n t i n F i r s t Nations Culture. I t represents many things i n l i f e , such as the four d i r e c t i o n s , and the four phases of l i f e . In t h i s dream, there were four rabbits that went i n four separate tunnels. The g i r l s ran through t h e i r own tunnels, which took them to a busy road. The dreamer did not know where she was being led. Therefore, she listened to her i n s t i n c t and returned to f a m i l i a r t e r r i t o r y . Just before she broke through the chains, she wanted to go back. She did not want to go further and was a f r a i d . When she decided to turn back to f a m i l i a r t e r r i t o r y , she broke through the chains. In her dream, she might have been breaking through something that was holding her back, or 112 perhaps she was not be ready to go further to deal with something. At t h i s point, she found herself alone. The g i r l who took her on an adventure disappeared and the adventure was over when she returned to where she came from. The faceless g i r l may have been an inner guide to take her on a journey to learn to respect nature, to pick h e r s e l f up a f t e r she f a l l s , to t r u s t her i n t u i t i o n and to know that she can make i t on her own. Perceptions 1. You are walking with someone and when you are not sure who that person i s , you compare her to your s i b l i n g . 2. When you play with animals (nature) you do not keep them, you set them free. 3. When someone f a l l s , you help them up, and then you can laugh about i t . 4. When things get busy and unknown, turn back to what you know and stay safe. 5. People can vanish. You look f o r them, yet you cannot f i n d them. You are l e f t f e e l i n g sad. 6. When mom asks you where you were, you do not answer. 7. When you wake up from a dream, sometimes you f e e l d i f f e r e n t from how you usually f e e l . Dream 3: Tuesday October 10. 1995 I had a dream I walked to B. [high school]. I had another one I just remembered. I forgot there was professional day. [I went to a] playground [at a] park. Then I met a boy and that l i t t l e g i r l that I met. They were blurred out. One was l i k e my s i s t e r the other one was l i k e my brother. We went swimming. Down at the big pool. There's a square i n the middle. I t was brown. 113 People were swimming around i t . We went and bought a hot dog. Then played basketball. I was having fun. Af t e r i t switched. I don't know, i t went blurry, picture. Me and my brother went r i d i n g around. (Last night we went there and i t was raining. We got l o s t yesterday.) [In her dream] We were going up these h i l l s on our bikes. I t seemed l i k e we were on a r o l l e r coaster. We were i n the dark and i t was r a i n i n g . We couldn't see the tracks. There was a bunch of leaves on the d i r t . I was scared. After that we went home. I f e l t f i n e . I don't want to t e l l t h i s part. I t ' s about my mom. Well, my mom got beat up. My brother dropped h i s bike. I brought my bike i n . My mom she looked, with a l l her make up on, nice. That's when I went to get my brother's bike, [mom's common law] came walking back and fo r t h . The next thing I saw she had a black eye and bruise on her cheek. She said, me and [her partner] are f i g h t i n g . She ran r i g h t out 'cause she heard the front door 'cause she thought i t was him. He broke i n and started running aft e r her. I t was a d i f f e r e n t house not t h i s house. I t was a old house we used to l i v e i n , i n R. I t was a white one and then she went to the next door neighbours. She sat down on a bench. There was a whole bunch of bushes i n front of her, but then he found her. He beat her up when me an my brother got h i s bike. He got caught by the po l i c e . The p o l i c e arrested him and my mom went home. I f e l t sooo mad. I woke up, I sat r i g h t up fa s t . [I f e l t ] scared. I went downstairs and go checked on my mom. [She was sleeping]. I f e l t nervous. I t was only 3 [am]. [I went back to sleep]. Well, I don't think i t was [mom's common law], but i t was a man. I don't want that dream to come back again. [I f e l t ] better when I woke up at 7:30 am. [I f e l t ] a l i t t l e b i t mad. I was mad at [mom's common law] i n my dream. On my way to school, I was g e t t i n ' mad. Once I hear that my mom and [her common law] are f i g h t i n g , I just want [him] to leave. Comments She met other kids who were about the same age as her brother and s i s t e r . I t was interesting that she did not dream about her s i b l i n g s d i r e c t l y . They were having fun, then the dream switched to r e l i v i n g a r e a l l i f e experience. I t was dark and i t was raining. Her and her brother could not see the pathway they were r i d i n g on. The r i d e f e l t as 114 scary as a r o l l e r coaster r i d e . She f e l t out of co n t r o l . This could be a metaphor for a path of her l i f e which i s rough and scary because she does not have l i g h t to see c l e a r l y . On the other hand, i t could be a r e f l e c t i o n of her experience of the bike ride she took with her brother when they were l o s t the night before. In t h i s dream, the participant expressed concern f o r her mother being beat up. The fear of her mother being beat up continued when she awoke, for she went downstairs to see i f her mother was a l r i g h t . At one point, the dreamer said maybe i t was not her mother's common law i n the dream who beat her mother up. Perhaps, she did not want to believe t h i s could happen and wished for i t not to be him. I f i t was him, she would have to face that i t could happen i n l i f e . She also said that when her mother and [mother's common law] were f i g h t i n g she wanted him to leave. Here, she acknowledged the danger he posed for her mom. She wanted him out of the picture. Since t h i s dream took place i n a house in which they used to l i v e , she may have witnessed abuse that occurred during the time she l i v e d there. Something may have happened recently to trigger the thought of mom being beaten by her boyfriend. Her mother and her mother's boyfriend might have had a verbal f i g h t the night before her dream. She d e f i n i t e l y had a concern for mother's safety i n l i f e . 115 Perceptions 1. You are having fun with friends. Things change suddenly. I t i s so dark you cannot see where you are going and i t f e e l s l i k e a r o l l e r coaster. This i s scary, but you make i t home. 2. Sometimes situations and people become blurry, and you are not clear about what i s happening, or who people are. 3. You cannot prevent your mom from being beat up, and you want him your mother's common law to go away. When the p o l i c e take him away you are s t i l l very angry. 4. When you dream of your mother getting hurt, you f e e l scared and need to check on her. You see that she i s a l r i g h t , but you s t i l l f e e l nervous. 5. You are having fun, then scared fee l i n g s come before you f i n d out that your mother was beaten. You f e e l mad f o r a long while a f t e r the incident. Dream 4: Friday October 13. 1995 I didn't know my cat was out free. He kept on meowing a l o t . [He was] beside me and I couldn't go to sleep that well. I was up ' t i l 2 or 3. Then I f e l l asleep. I heard that he [mom's boyfriend] went for h i s learners permit before I went to bed and I had a dream that he had i t . I had a dream about my mom bought a yellow car. [Mom's common law] was dri v i n g i t . My mom made her side l i k e i t w i l l go a l l f l a t , and a whole bunch of pillows there, l i k e a slant where she could lay down. I got to s i t i n the back. I t was so big. We were d r i v i n g around. We came back to the c i t y . We came down to the boarder. We came down t h i s h i l l . My dad, [mom's boyfriend] wasn't watching where he was going. He went down on a gravel road. We went around t h i s sharp corner where we saw a whole bunch of big waves coming i n . When we saw the waves, my mom was r i g h t at the window watching them. I was on t h i s side, [the opposite s i d e ] . I didn't 116 want to go look at the waves 'cause we were on the edge. But when I seen them [I] had fun. Then a f t e r that we went for a swim. We just l e f t our clothes on. We never come home and got our bathing s u i t s . I t was cl e a r water. Me, I jumped off the ledge. I wasn't interested i n going slow. When we got out, we came back r i g h t , we came up the h i l l . After we came up the h i l l , we got back i n the car and we drove a l l the ways what we saw before. We never went through the c i t y , we went around the c i t y . Then we came back down and there was a whole bunch of houses that looked the same. We passed a blue house that we used to l i v e i n , but we s t i l l do. We came to the back [of the house] i t was white. The front was blue. The back was white. I woke up. I didn't know where I was. Comments The common law was not watching the road, he was not being a responsible driver. They were d r i v i n g on the edge. He was not showing concern for the dreamer and her mother's well being and t h e i r safety. He was taking them to the edge. Mom was r i g h t there with him, but the dreamer stood back. She was i n the backseat. She was amazed at how big i t was, because she said, " i t was so big." The largeness of the back seat could have her f e e l i n g small and possibly overwhelmed. I t d i d not f e e l safe for her to see the huge waves. Therefore, she was a f r a i d for her safety. Although she r e a l i z e d a f t e r she saw the waves, that i t was not as bad as she expected. In fact i t was fun. At f i r s t she was a f r a i d of being on the edge. However, when they went for a spontaneous swim, she leaped o f f the ledge with excitement. Perhaps, she was no longer a f r a i d a f t e r she r e a l i z e d i t was fun to see the waves. Since the water was no longer something to fear, i t was r e f l e c t e d that 117 her v i s i o n was clear when she said the water was c l e a r . A f t e r t h e i r adventure, they returned home the way they came. When they returned home, there were no changes. The houses looked the same. Perhaps she was a f r a i d that nothing had changed i n the family. Furthermore, they returned to a house that they used to l i v e i n . This was a v i s i t a t i o n to her past and to how things were at that time. They also went around the c i t y . This could have been a metaphor fo r side stepping the actual problem. That might be why there were no changes when they returned home. For example, the common law was s t i l l unsafe, as she feared he would hurt mom (dream 3). In summary, af t e r a close encounter with unsafe d r i v i n g they made i t home. They returned to the way things were before they l e f t . Perceptions 1. When an adult i s driv i n g unsafely, you are i n danger and can go o f f the road and be harmed. 2. Sometimes adults do not know what they are doing, or what i s safe for themselves and others, e s p e c i a l l y those that they care f o r . 3. Some things might s t a r t out tense or scary, but turn out to be a l o t of fun. 4. You can do things spontaneously, that are not usually done (swim i n your clothes). 5. After an adventure you can return the way you came. 6. When you go through a scary and threatening event, 118 which i s then resolved, you s t i l l f e e l that everything i s the same and there are no changes. Dream 5: Monday October 16. 1995 I t was about a g i r l at school, C. I was washing my hands i n the bathroom. K was s i t t i n g on top of the sink. She (C) went by, she opened the door. She saw me. Then I was outside. She was t a l k i n g to everybody, and I went over. They a l l walked away from me. I got mad at C because [she] l e f t . I walked over, then I a c c i d e n t a l l y pushed her down. Then we were by the playground. I was standing around there, the rin g around the park at our school. I was playing. I got on the swings and then I got o f f the swings. Then a l l the g i r l s came and played on the swings when I l e f t . Comments In t h i s dream, she was l e f t out and avoided by her frien d s . She was mad at her frie n d for deserting her. The dream indicated that she did not know why her friends were avoiding her. This s i t u a t i o n could have conceivably occurred i n a c h i l d ' s l i f e at t h i s age. When she said she acci d e n t a l l y pushed her frie n d down, I believe she was denying her r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for pushing down her f r i e n d on purpose. Perceptions 1. I t seems l i k e a t y p i c a l day, then your friends see you and avoid you. You f e e l mad and your reaction i s to hurt back with physical actions, although you do not want to admit t h i s . 2. When your friends avoid you, you play alone. Dream 6: Monday October 16. 1995 I t was about my frie n d L. She's my best f r i e n d . Me and her were bike r i d i n g . Then we were bike r i d i n g down by Fraser River. She rode her bike down a puddle and she got me a l l wet. I got mad at her. I t o l d her not to do 119 that. She came and said sorry, but she came again and did i t . She came up to me and h i t , I h i t her, h i t her helmet on my bike and i t broke. She took her helmet o f f and h i t i t on the bike and she broke i t . I went over to her and pushed her down. On the back. Then I went and came home. Then I woke up. The next day everything happened a l l over again. What I had i n the dream everything happened again i n the whole dream. We done the same thing. [This happened in] l i f e and dream. [In l i f e ] i t happened the day before and also with C. I done something extra. In r e a l l i f e I pushed her s i s t e r A down. In the dream I didn't. But she, A, had no feet [in the dream]. [In l i f e I f e l t ] r e a l l y mad. [In my dream] I didn't have no feelings. [When I woke up] I was wondering i f i t happened i n r e a l l i f e or i n my dream. Comments She had t h i s dream the same night as dream 5. She also said that dream 5 and dream 6 occurred i n her l i f e the day before she had the dreams about them. She obviously d i d not have a good day. She was upset and mad with her fri e n d s . In her dreams she r e l i v e d these upsetting experiences. In dream 6, she dreamt the same scenario twice. In l i f e she pushed her friend's s i s t e r down, yet i n her dream, the s i s t e r had no feet to stand on. There i s no mobility without feet. This was another dream with missing body parts. I termed t h i s dream as having bizarre content because t h i s could not occur i n l i f e . At f i r s t , she said that she broke her friends helmet and then corrected herself and said that her f r i e n d broke her own helmet. She may not be taking r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r breaking her friends helmet. However, she did take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f or being p h y s i c a l l y aggressive with her f r i e n d . Her physical aggressiveness was not su r p r i s i n g 120 because she had witnessed violence and learned that violence i s the way to solve problems. She also used physical violence to solve her problem i n dream 5. Perceptions 1. You can ask your friends to stop doing something to you, but they may not l i s t e n to you and do i t again. This makes you angry. Then a physical a l t e r c a t i o n happens and you r e l i v e the experience. Dream 7: Tuesday October 24. 1995 I was sleeping i n my dream. My dream that I had inside my other dream, I had a dream about that guy from Abbotsford. I was f l o a t i n g around. [It was] fun. I saw myself walking. Then a man pulled over i n a yellow car. Then I said to myself, I was t a l k i n g to myself. I was wondering i f that guy was that guy i n the newspaper. Then I screamed and the cops came over and arrested him. [I was] scared. Then I got $2000. He was on the loose for a long time. I d r i f t e d back to my own body when I was sleeping l a s t night. I t seemed l i k e I was walking around my own bedroom and then I l a i d down. I didn't want to go to sleep. I stayed up f o r an hour [and] l a i d around. Then I had another dream. Comments The Abbotsford k i l l e r was i n the news at t h i s time, which influenced t h i s dream. I t was e n t h r a l l i n g that she was f l o a t i n g out of her body and observed herself and the s i t u a t i o n from a distance. As soon as she screamed, the p o l i c e were there. She was awarded money for helping to catch the bad guy, who was on the loose for a long time. In t h i s scenario she escaped danger. Perceptions 1. When you are i n danger, you move out of your body and watch yourself from a distance. 121 2. You could be i n danger from a k i l l e r on the loose. The p o l i c e come when you scream and they arrest him. You are rewarded for helping to catch the bad guy. Dream 8: Tuesday October 24. 1995 [It was] about the same man. My ear was an alarm system. Each time something bad would go wrong, my ear would go red and hot. I f there was somebody coming up to the door that we didn't know, my ear would go hot. That would t e l l us [mom and brother] l i k e go somewhere else [ l i k e the park] instead of staying home. I t would go back to normal, then we'd a l l f e e l better. I had no fe e l i n g s . [When I woke up I f e l t ] fun. Last night my ear went a l l red [before I went to bed]. I t happens usually. Comments She used a part of her body to a s s i s t her i n keeping her and her family safe. She was taking r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to ensure the family was safe. This r e s p o n s i b i l i t y was of necessity. Her body reacted to the oncoming danger. She was not consciously choosing to take the r o l e of protector of the family. To escape danger her family had to leave t h e i r home to get away from the danger. This would p a r a l l e l what happens with domestic violence. The mother and c h i l d r e n usually are the one's to leave the home to go to a safer place, such as a t r a n s i t i o n home. Perceptions 1. Your body can be used to t e l l you when danger i s near and prevent harm from happening to you and your family. You and your family then avoid danger by leaving the home. 2. When you and your family evade danger, your body returns to normal and you f e e l better. 122 Dreamer's Perceptions and Prominent Features The key issues t h i s dreamer was dealing with were domestic violence, fear of losing something important to her, being alone, having quarrels with friends and keeping her s e l f and her family safe, s p e c i f i c a l l y mom. She predominately expressed anger about these concerns. She also f e l t fear and sadness about some of these incidents. This c h i l d ' s dreams c e r t a i n l y dealt with her r e a l l i f e concerns. She had a dream about a bike r i d e that she and her brother went on when they got l o s t the evening before. She also had a dream about her mother's common law's d r i v i n g , because i n l i f e he had a driver's learning permit. Some of her dreams dealt with quarrels she had with her fri e n d s . She also dreamt of the Abbotsford k i l l e r who was i n the news media at the time. The dreams declared that the dreamer was a f r a i d to lose people or things that were important to her. In dream 1, she t r i e d various ways to retrieve her cat. She f i r s t asked f o r help, then she attempted to ret r i e v e the cat h e r s e l f . Her attempts f a i l e d and her cat was l o s t . In l i f e she ju s t received her cat, and she was already having a dream about l o s i n g i t . This perception was not opt i m i s t i c . She was also sad i n dream 2 when her friend vanished and she looked f o r her and could not f i n d her. Despite her attempts, she was not able to recover her losses. She had concern for her mother's safety. She was aware 123 that her mother was beat up i n the past. This thought made her angry and her anger remained when the p o l i c e took the common law away. She continued to be angry at mom's common law when she woke up. She wanted him to leave, when her parents fought, so her mom would not get hurt. She took the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of protecting her mother and her family. For example, i n dream 8, she attempted to prevent oncoming danger by using a part of her body to forewarn her and her family. She assumed the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of a l e r t i n g her family so they could go to a safe place. Her body reacted automatically, on i n s t i n c t , to protect herself and her family. I t was not a conscious choice. This r o l e of caretaker and protector was demonstrated i n her dream, but in l i f e she could not protect her mom from being abused. The dream allowed her to f e e l e f f e c t i v e , as she had some control to prevent harm being done to her and her family. In addition to having concern for her family's safety, she had a concern for her own safety. This was shown i n dreams 7 and 8 regarding the Abbotsford k i l l e r . In dream 7, she was out of her body and could see her s e l f . When she saw a man and r e a l i z e d i t was the Abbotsford k i l l e r , she screamed and the pol i c e came to arrest him. They rewarded her with money for a s s i s t i n g to capture the k i l l e r . In dream 4, she f e l t unsafe with mom's common law's d r i v i n g , even though no accident occurred. In dream 3, she also f e l t unsafe. She was r i d i n g on a dark path that f e l t as scary as 124 a r o l l e r coaster r i d e . However, she and her brother made i t through the ri d e and arrived home safely. When she f e l t unsafe she also listened to her i n t u i t i o n . For instance, i n dream 2, when she did not know where she was being led, she t o l d the l i t t l e g i r l that she wanted to go back. Also i n dream 2, when an accident happened that was not serious, she and the g i r l who f e l l were able to laugh about the incident. In a l l these situations her fear of being unsafe d i d not r e s u l t i n harm. However, her perception was that she was unsafe. In r e a l l i f e , the dreamer also dealt with c o n f l i c t s that she had with her friends. She resolved these s i t u a t i o n s by becoming angry and doing something physical to hurt them. These experiences are replayed i n her dreams. In dream 5, she was mad at her frie n d for ignoring her. She said she acci d e n t a l l y pushed her down. In dream 6, she asked her f r i e n d not to splash her, and when her f r i e n d did not l i s t e n , she pushed her down. She had learned that physical violence was a way to solve disputes. In summary, she dreamt of her r e a l l i f e concerns. She expected to lose things i n her l i f e and not recover them. She knew her mother was unsafe with her boyfriend and feared that her mother would be beaten by him. This l a s t perception appeared to be a viable threat i n r e a l i t y . Since she had witnessed her mother being harmed, she also expected harm to come to her. Although i n the end she was okay. She also made 125 attempts to overcome the harm i n her dreams. In her dreams, she had taken the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of protecting her family when i t was the parents r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . She was p h y s i c a l l y aggressive i n l i f e and r e l i v e d the physical a l t e r c a t i o n s she had with friends. Overall, i n her dreams, she saw some of her actions as e f f e c t i v e and some actions as i n e f f e c t i v e . 126 13 Year Old G i r l This c h i l d was the oldest s i b l i n g l i v i n g at home. At the time of dream c o l l e c t i o n , she turned 13. She had a 20 year o l d s i s t e r . She also had a younger s i s t e r that l i v e d at home. Mom l i v e d with her common law, whom she said never was a drinker. At the time of data c o l l e c t i o n , mom had been sober for almost 4 years. This dreamer r e c a l l e d 6 dreams. She f e l t l i k e her dreams took her to another world. She also thought dreams were fun because they f e l t r e a l to her. Dream 1; Tuesday October 17. 1995 Me and my friends were playing t h i s game tag. I t was l i k e at camp. They had to tag us and they were hiding beside, l i k e behind the trees. Then they sneak up to us and tag us. I f e l t l i k e i t was fun. A f t e r that there was t h i s rock and water. My friend's cousin, he was l i k e f a l l i n g i n there and he was l i k e crying. I was l i k e , "oh no." He said help me and a l l that. I was t r y i n g to help him. I pulled him. He got up and said thank you. [I f e l t ] better. Then I woke up and f e l t l i k e i t happened. Comments This dream r e f l e c t e d that she f e l t better when she could help people. Perceptions 1. Sometimes when you are playing and having fun, someone might get hurt and ask for help. You can help them and things turn out better. Dream 2: Tuesday October 17. 1995 I dreamed that I woke up with a bleeding nose. I got up and I f e l t my nose and dreaming there was blood on my hand. I got worried 'cause my nose was bleeding and that i t would get on the rug. 'Cause sometimes my mom gets mad that the rug gets stained. Then a f t e r I woke up, I had a runny nose. I f e l t happier 'cause i t wasn't bleeding. 127 Comments This dream indicated how much concern she had f o r upsetting her mother. She was a f r a i d of her mother's anger. Even when she was bleeding, she was more concerned about her mother's reaction than her own well being. Perceptions 1. Even when you cannot control what your body does, you worry about doing something that w i l l upset your mother. You f e e l happy when you r e a l i z e that you d i d not do something to get into trouble. Dream 3: Friday October 20. 1995 My f r i e n d l a s t week, she said that she's going to move. Then t h i s morning I dreamed about her. She was l i k e i n the hallway t a l k i n g to t h i s Native Counsellor. Her dad was t a l k i n g to her and you know how l i k e i f they move they have to get a transfer. I thought that she was doing that. Then I c a l l e d my other f r i e n d 'cause l i k e she missed her too. I said, "come here, there's D." Then I talked to her [D] and said h i and a l l that. I said, "how come you had to move and a l l that?". Then she had to go back up to where she l i v e d to I think i t ' s c a l l e d Port Hardy. [She said,] "Because I have to have school up there." Then she said, "I have to go and a l l that." I f e l t happy cause I seen my f r i e n d . Then I woke up. I f e l t happier cause I was t a l k i n g about her and a l l . [I fee l ] sad [about her moving away]. Comments It seemed that, i n t h i s dream, she was t r y i n g to work through lo s i n g a fr i e n d who was moving. In a sense, she was saying goodbye. In her dream, she was able to ask her f r i e n d why she was moving and she received an answer. As well, she f e l t happy to v i s i t her fr i e n d i n her dream. This dream i l l u s t r a t e d how children use dreams to heal t h e i r losses. This dream was the only one i n my sample that mentions a 128 F i r s t Nations person. Perceptions 1. When you are sad about a fr i e n d moving away, you are happy to see them i n your dream, and are able to ask them why they are going. You also receive an answer i n your dream. 2. When someone i s missing the same person you are, you help them have a chance to see the missed f r i e n d by pointing out that person when you see her. Dream 4: October 29-31. interview November 1. 1995 I had supper then I got so excited and I got dressed as f a s t as I can. Then I went to my friends. I was going to go with them t r i c k or treating. We were going to go with a l l our friends. Some of them didn't show up. We j u s t decided to go without them. We went t r i c k or t r e a t i n g and we seen t h i s guy with a scary mask. I t looked kinda hairy at the back. I t looked l i k e a g o r i l l a . I ran, then I woke up. [It f e l t l i k e a] weird dream. [I was] a l i t t l e b i t scared [when I woke up]. Comments She was getting ready for an e x c i t i n g evening with her fri e n d s . She could hardly wait for t h i s fun. Even though a l l her friends did not show up, t h i s did not s p o i l her fun. However, i t turned scary. She ran from t h i s g o r i l l a . I wonder whether t h i s g o r i l l a represented something she was a f r a i d of i n her l i f e . Child p s y c h i a t r i s t s believe that ea r l y trauma, as well as the natural c o n f l i c t s a l l childr e n experience i n t h e i r development contribute to nightmares (Albon & Mack, 1980; Hunt, 1989). This dream may be a natural developmental c o n f l i c t , or i t could have been a r e s u l t of an e a r l i e r trauma. 129 Perceptions 1. You are excited about going out with your fr i e n d s . If they do not a l l show up, you continue your plans. 2. When you are out there i n the world, there are some people that can scare you. When t h i s happens you run away. Dream 5; Wednesday November 8. 1995 It was l i k e we were going to a t r i p somewhere. Like to see our grandma up i n Grassy Plains or something. I seen t h i s baby my mom was holding l i k e i t was when me and my dad and my s i s t e r and me were l i k e going f o r a t r i p somewhere. My mom was holding onto the baby. She was holding i t l i k e on the door or something. Then she dropped her. Then I was getting a l i t t l e worried. I said, "mom uh you dropped the baby." [Mom says,] "oh I did. " I go, "yeah" and I said, "I can s t i l l see her." Then we stopped at a gas station. Then I said, "mom, l e t ' s go back and see i f she's s t i l l a l i v e " and [mom] said, "no." and I go and she goes, "no" and I go, "how come?" Then I was worried and a l l that. Then I woke up. I f e l t l i k e i t r e a l l y happened. Comments The dreamer was tentative with her words when she said that she was a l i t t l e b i t worried when her mother dropped the baby. One would worry much more than t h i s regarding t h i s s i t u a t i o n . A ro l e reversal occurred. The dreamer was worrying for her mom. She was taking a responsible adult r o l e . Her mother was not worried, despite the dreamer mentioning her concerns and questioning her mother's decision not to go back and get the dropped baby. Mom did not respond and was not taking on her r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s as a parent. Although the dreamer said that she was unaware of why she had t h i s dream, the mother's abandonment of the baby could be a r e f l e c t i o n of the dreamer's uncertainty of mom's 130 concern, protection and security for her. While mom was drinking i t would have been natural for t h i s c h i l d to f e e l abandoned by her mother. She may have f e l t t h i s way and i s continuing to deal with t h i s f e e l i n g even though mom has quit drinking. Mom was s t i l l not be there for t h i s c h i l d , even i n her sobriety. This dream also r e f l e c t e d her past, when her o r i g i n a l family was in t a c t . Naturally, she misses family events that included her b i o l o g i c a l father. Perceptions 1. You cannot control what your mother does, even when you ask. 2. You worry about things that your mom does not r e a l i z e she needs to be concerned about, such as caring for her children. Dream 6: Sunday November 12. 1995 I t was f i r s t day of school, of high school. Then l i k e I didn't know what to do. [I f e l t ] worried. Like I was going to go l i k e , I think i t took place at, what's that school called? I forget which high school. I'm looking for my f r i e n d 'cause she's going to go to that school too. For some reason she's wearing a costume. I go, "How come you're wearing a costume?" Then she goes, "I don't know, to win jellybeans." I seen everybody with a band a i d on and l i k e I think for some reason you had to have a cut to go to school or something. To check i t or something. Then I asked her, "What do I do?" cause I was being confused. I said, "how come you have a cut?" and she goes, "I don't know I just, then she goes I got to take the band aid and then she took i t o f f f o r me and then we went inside, i n to the nurses room. Then she took i t and then I woke up. [I f e l t ] weird cause I thought that i t was r e a l . " Comments This participant asked questions, i n her dreams, when 131 she needed to, and t r i e d to understand what was happening. At the beginning of t h i s dream, she was worried and unsure of what to do i n a new high school. She did not f i t i n because everyone was wearing a costume. She then wore a band ai d because everyone else was, but she did not know why. She reached out for help i n her confusion by seeking the assistance of her fri e n d . Her fr i e n d also d i d not know why they needed band aids, but her frie n d thought i t was to win jellybeans. In other words, the two were t r y i n g to be accepted by the crowd. This i s part of natural development at t h i s age. Perceptions 1. You are worried and confused and do not know what to do to f i t into a new environment ( l i k e a new school). Therefore, you look for a frie n d and ask for help. They may not know the answer to your question and t h e i r actions to help do not make sense. Dreamer's Perceptions and Prominent Features This dreamer experienced her dreams as r e a l . When she woke up she was not sure i f the experiences i n her dream r e a l l y happened. She said that 4 of the 5 dreams I c o l l e c t e d f e l t r e a l to her. Dream 1 and 2 could conceivably occur i n r e a l l i f e . Even though dream 5 and 6 were u n l i k e l y incidents to happen i n l i f e , she was s t i l l unsure i f i t was a dream. The dreams must have had a s i g n i f i c a n t impact f o r her to think that they were occurring i n r e a l l i f e . 132 In s c r u t i n i z i n g her dreams I have been able to learn about a part of her relationship with her mother. In dream 2, she was f e a r f u l of doing something that would make her mother angry. She dreamt of having a bleeding nose and woke up thinking her nose was actually bleeding. She was concerned about staining the rug because her mother would get mad. When she woke up and r e a l i z e d that her nose was not bleeding she was happy because she would not get into trouble. Another characterization of her r e l a t i o n s h i p with her mother occurred i n dream 5. Her mother dropped a baby g i r l out the window of a moving car. The dreamer was worried about t h i s and said to her mother, "Mom uh you dropped the baby" and mom responds, with surprise, "oh I d i d . " The dreamer said, "yes, I can s t i l l see her." The dreamer then requested mom to go back and get the baby. This had no influence on mom. Her mother did not respond to the dreamer's concerns and refused to go back to get the baby. This demonstrated that the dreamer was taking on a responsible adult r o l e of caring and being concerned for the baby. On the other hand, her mother was not concerned about the baby. The concern i s supposed to be mom's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . The dreams revealed that the mother and daughter sometimes reverse roles, and the dreamer was f e a r f u l of getting her mother mad. I have also observed that a l l of her dreams involved incidents that were not po s i t i v e . The following are 133 examples. In dream 1, a boy f e l l i n the water. In dream 2, she had a bleeding nose and was concerned about s t a i n i n g the rug and having her mother get mad at her. In dream 3, she l o s t a f r i e n d who was going to move away. In dream 4, a man i n a g o r i l l a mask scared her and her friends while they were t r i c k or tre a t i n g . They ran from him. In dream 5, a bizarre event occurred; her mother dropped a baby out the window of a moving car and d i d not stop. In dream 6, more bizarre content occurred. I t was her f i r s t day of high school and she was f e e l i n g confused and worried. She asked how to f i t i n and followed the crowd, even though she did not know why they did c e r t a i n things, l i k e wear band aids or costumes. The most frequent f e e l i n g she had i n dreams 1, 2, 5, and 6 was worry. Her world was a place to have l o t s to worry about. Despite her worry i n the dreams, there were some pleasant fee l i n g s . I also noticed that she experienced p o s i t i v e feelings at the beginning of her dream, but they changed to unpleasant feelings at the end. In dream 1, she f e l t l i k e she was having fun while playing tag with her frien d s . At the end of t h i s dream, she was worried because a boy f e l l i n the water. In dream 3, she was happy to t a l k to her f r i e n d who was moving. Yet, when she awoke from t h i s dream, she f e l t sad that her frie n d was moving. In her 5th dream, she was excited to go t r i c k or t r e a t i n g with her friends, but i t turned scary when a man i n a g o r i l l a mask 134 chased her and her friends. In the aforementioned dreams, her f e e l i n g s were i n i t i a l l y happy, but changed to worry, sadness, f r i g h t , or confusion. In some of these dreams, she took p o s i t i v e action. For example, i n dream 1, she helped the boy that f e l l i n the water. The action she took was successful. In Dream 3, she was happy that she was able to t a l k to her f r i e n d who was moving away. In t h i s dream she was a c t i v e l y dealing with the understanding and sadness of a fri e n d moving away. As well, she pointed out to another f r i e n d that the g i r l who was moving away was there, so that she also had a chance to t a l k to the g i r l moving away. In dream 4, her and her friends continued on with t h e i r plans even though a l l t h e i r friends did not show up. In dream 6, when she was worried and confused about f i t t i n g into a new environment, she found a f r i e n d to answer some of the questions she had about the f i r s t day of high school. She a c t i v e l y dealt with the problems encountered. In her dreams, there was no pronounced theme of F i r s t Nations culture. However, she did have a Native counsellor appear i n dream 3. He played a peripheral r o l e . Overall, she f e l t that some of her dreams were r e a l . Dream 3 and 6 dealt with her r e a l l i f e concerns. She displayed a role-reversal relationship with her mother and also feared making her mother angry. She also had a perspective to worry about things i n her l i f e . Despite her 135 worry she took some po s i t i v e actions i n her dreams that were e f f e c t i v e . 136 11 Year Old G i r l This c h i l d was the oldest l i v i n g i n her home. Her mother was pregnant. At the time of data c o l l e c t i o n , the mother had stopped drinking and doing drugs f o r 7 months. Her common law had been sober for 15 years. There were only four dreams co l l e c t e d from her over 5 weeks. This provided me with l i t t l e data and not as many conclusions could be drawn. This dreamer believed that dreams were 'neat' because they were messages from the creator, which gave a perspective of the future. Dream 1: September, interviewed October 2. 1995 We were i n a new school. There's a swimming pool and J (friend) and I were late for c l a s s . Then we go out. We went and took our change form. Then we were i n c l a s s . The teacher has the assignment on our desk and i t was h a l f done. So we could f i n i s h i t up and teacher said i f we wanted we could go outside or whatever. So we went to the park and then I seen my mom and P (common law) as we were walking. So I went running a f t e r the truck. My mom inside the new truck, no i t was my mom inside the new t r a i l e r and my dad was d r i v i n g the truck. So we went out running aft e r the t r a i l e r . I was kind of shocked to see her. I t was a happy surprise. Like a shocked fear i n the dream because she was at school. My mom stopped and she started y e l l i n g at me saying s t u f f l i k e um don't run after the car 'cause i f I stopped I would have bumped you or whatever. So, I got i n and i t was l i k e dead grass a l l over inside the t r a i l e r . I t was l i k e yellow. I t stunk almost l i k e a mouldy smell. When I got i n there was l i k e no steering wheel and there was no buttons or anything. She was just s i t t i n g there by the window. There's a window i n front and a window i n back and the doors on the side. I was s i t t i n g there and E and J and A, my friends, they were a l l s i t t i n g there against the window. I seen a l l these kids running toward the t r a i l e r . So me and J said, why don't we j u s t open the door and scare them. So we opened i t and went 'Boo' and then they a l l started screaming and running away. They were a l l boys and there was t h i s one k i d s i t t i n g and eating a sandwich. J looked and he went uh oh and he st a r t s running away. I woke up. [I f e l t ] weird. [I was] happy. 137 Comments When she saw her mother, she had mixed emotions. I was curious about where the fear came from. In l i f e , she could fear her mom going back to drinking and drugging, although there was no d i r e c t evidence of t h i s i n the dream. In her dream she had an obvious emotional fear to see her mother, but at the same time she was happy to see her mother. The fear was connected to mom showing up at school. Any number of thoughts could have been running through her mind to create a f e e l i n g of fear when she unexpectedly saw her mother at school. The dreamer also had confused f e e l i n g s at the end of the dream. She said she f e l t weird, yet also happy. The element of fear was present i n her dream. The g i r l had a shocked fear to see her mother. The dreamer and her friends scared the boys that ran towards the t r a i l e r . They also ensured to scare away the l a s t boy who was s i t t i n g alone and eating h i s sandwich. There was bizarre content i n t h i s dream. There was dead grass i n the t r a i l e r and no steering wheel. There was also an incompleteness i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h i s dream, such as h a l f an assignment, being late for class and there was no steering wheel or control buttons i n the t r a i l e r . There was dead grass and no controls inside the t r a i l e r , yet i t looked new on the outside. I f t h i s was to symbolize her, then she may have looked a l r i g h t on the 138 outside, but inside she f e l t dead and out of con t r o l . Her mother and mother's common law disappeared from the dream. Mom i s depicted as s i t t i n g i n a mouldy t r a i l e r with no controls. I t could be that mother's drinking has deadened her inside and l e f t her with no control. I t was i n t e r e s t i n g that she depicted her mother and mother's common law as separate and i n d i f f e r e n t vehicles. The dreamer also only ran a f t e r her mother i n the t r a i l e r . Perhaps she was running a f t e r her mother because she was hungry to receive her attention. The dreamer and her friends remained consistent i n the dream. This might r e f l e c t the importance of peers at t h i s age. The other reason peers may have been prominent for her i s because she may have turned to her peers when mother was unavailable while drinking and doing drugs. In t h i s dream, mom i s shown to be concerned for her daughter's safety, but did t h i s by y e l l i n g . Her mother was frightened when she y e l l e d and the dreamer mirrored t h i s behaviour. She y e l l e d to frighten others away and maybe the dreamer was frightened herself. Perceptions 1. When you are late for school, you follow the f o r m a l i t i e s . 2. I f your work i s 1/2 done, you f i n i s h i t , then you can go out. 3. You are excited to see your mother and you run toward her. Your mother y e l l s at you and you are taught to: 139 control your excitement, 'think before you do', be c a r e f u l before you run into the street towards a moving v e h i c l e . 4. Inside things are old and dead with no controls. 5. You enjoy scaring boys away with friends. 6. I f you f e e l scared inside, scare others (boys away). 7. You do not encounter r e s t r i c t i o n s u n t i l you encounter your mom. After t h i s , you release by scaring the boys away. Dream 2: Monday October 2. 1995 We were at school. P and J (friends) were t a l k i n g about shoes and everything. So we went to a shoe store and we were looking at a l l these shoes and everything. This guy comes up to us and goes, I'm a dentist, What are you? I looked at him and then we just ran out the door. Then they (security) were chasing us for s t e a l i n g 'cause we ran out so f a s t . [I f e l t ] kind of unhappy [ i n the dream] when guy was chasing us. So we j u s t went back to school. They took us into some o f f i c e room. Our teacher gave us detention. Then A was i n a rush to come home. That's a l l I can remember. I woke up [I f e l t ] normal. Comments In t h i s dream I saw her wondering about her i d e n t i t y . She was confronted by a man who knew what he was and he asked her what she was. She ran away, which could indicate that she did not know what she was, and which also r e f l e c t e d that she was scared of herself. This i s based on the idea that everything i n a dream i s a representation of ourselves, because we created i t i n our minds. When they ran away they were thought to have stolen something from the store and are misunderstood for t h e i r actions. Her running away got her into trouble and they were 140 f a l s e l y accused. This raises how important i t i s to communicate. The dreamer did not defend herself by saying what a c t u a l l y happened. She received a detention, but was t h i s f o r s t e a l i n g or leaving the school grounds? L o g i c a l l y , i t seemed t h i s would be for leaving the school grounds. Perceptions 1. When you are interested i n something, you look f o r 2. When you leave the school grounds you get into trouble. This delays you, even i f you need to go somewhere else. 3. When you are asked who you are, and i f you do not know, you f e e l scared and run away. 4. In the world there are strangers that may scare you. 5. You could get accused of something you d i d not do. Dream 3: Wednesday October 11. 1995 Well l a s t night I had t h i s r e a l l y weird dream about some bank robbery. I had a whole bunch of money. I was bringing i t to the bank to put i t i n . You know when they take i t from you and put i t i n an account and they write down how much you put i n or whatever. I was going to give i t to a lady. She was pretty young about 19. Some lady came walking i n . She was going to rob the bank r i g h t . She looked l i k e she was i n between her 30's and her 20's. I f e l t l i k e frightened. So I stood there fo r awhile and then I looked at the lady and then she asked me i f I put my money into the bank and I said, yes. Then she said ok and then she t o l d the lady at the t i l l whatever she t o l d her to give her a l l the money that I give her. She said that I didn't give her anything. So she t o l d me to get down onto the ground. I l i k e lay down. She stood on my back and t o l d the lady at the t i l l that she was l y i n g and to give her the money. 141 Comments She was responsible with her money and wanted to save i t . When a robber came i n and asked her about her money, she was honest. The robber believed her and not the t i l l lady. Her money was stolen and she was laying f l a t on the ground not able to do anything. She did what she was t o l d to do out of fear. She assumed a passive r o l e and was powerless. There was no conclusion given to us about the outcome of the event. Perceptions 1. You can be betrayed by and entrusted person (bank t e l l e r ) . 2. When you go to secure your savings, someone can come and take what i s yours and people l i e . Dream 4: Monday October 16f 1995 Last night I had l i k e a nightmare and I have a f r i e n d named J. She was supposed to come back t h i s week, but she changed her mind and she's going to stay where she i s for another week. They brought her somewhere fo r s i x weeks for counselling and that to t r y and help her get through her problems and then when she gets home s h e ' l l decide i f she wants to l i v e with her mom or her dad. I've been having dreams that just t h i s one time, t h i s dream about her. That she came back with an a t t i t u d e . She was l i k e , I don't know, l i k e always r e a l l y misbehaving, 'cause usually she's always l i s t e n i n g and following directions and s t u f f l i k e that, but then she got i n trouble with her mom. She was going to run away from home and that because her mom favours her l i t t l e brother. That's why she went to t h i s place. When she was setting a f i r e l i k e i n t h i s garage place. There was t h i s l i k e a supervision a id and he f e l l down and h i t his head. He put h i s head on a piece of wood which was near the shed. I t was l i k e pressed r i g h t against the shed. She was l i g h t i n g a f i r e there. I was going, "don't do that, don't do that, you shouldn't be doing that." [I f e l t ] mad because she wouldn't l i s t e n . So he [the supervision aid] was going, 142 "oh just be careful kay, just be c a r e f u l " something l i k e that. So I pushed him over near t h i s other l i k e l i t t l e , no l i k e a shed, but i t was the shape of l i k e a l i t t l e house. Like a l i t t l e d o l l house. Well she l i t the f i r e inside and he was going, " i f you go i n there you don't l i g h t the f i r e okay." She went, "yup whatever." And she went inside and l i t a f i r e , there was a whole bunch of wood i n there. I t was a l l made out of wood. Then she came out and she was almost l i k e a d e v i l . She looked normal, but her eyes were l i k e r e a l l y red and her ears kinda went l i k e that (she pu l l e d the top of her ear up). There was some other guy there, I don't know who he was. He looked l i k e he was i n h i s 50's or 60's. She was going " t h i s i s my dad" and she goes "he's a d e v i l too, but didn't you know that." I go, "Yeah, I did" (she displayed a look on her face that she i s just playing along because she i s a f r a i d ) . [I f e l t ] I don't know scared 'cause l i k e everybody was look l i k e d e v i l s or something. Then her mom (friend's mom) comes up and goes (she lowers her voice to a whisper) "I don't know what's wrong with them, I r e a l l y don't know what's wrong with them." She's going l i k e that and then t h i s cat i t was a black cat. I t kept on coming towards me and t r y i n g to attack. So I kept on pushing i t away and then i t would come a f t e r me again and I'd push i t away. I went behind t h i s l i t t l e d o l l house thing, but there was l i k e a board there. [The supervision aid] was l i k e on the l e f t hand bottom corner and there was shelf thing and I was r i g h t behind the shelf on the r i g h t hand side. I was standing, I was s i t t i n g there going l i k e that. I was r e a l scared. I didn't want to hurt the cat, but then l i k e I could hardly move cause you know how you get when you're l i k e r e a l l y r e a l l y scared and you kind of get s t i f f . I didn't want to hurt the cat because I knew i f I hurt i t , then one of them (friend or her father) would probably get mad at me or something. Then I woke up. [I f e l t ] f i n e . Comments When I asked her why she thought she had the dream she said, "I was saying to my frie n d J, maybe i t ' s l i k e t e l l i n g me that she's going to come back with a d i f f e r e n t a t t i t u d e and not to expect other things." She also said her f r i e n d l i s t e n e d i n r e a l l i f e , but i n the dream she came back misbehaving. I wonder i f the dreamer i d e n t i f i e d with her 143 f r i e n d depicted i n the dream. The change i n her f r i e n d also progresses from good to bad. Normally, you would want a change i n the opposite d i r e c t i o n . She was aware of what was okay and not okay to do. She attempted to help guide her fri e n d . As well, she helped to protect the supervision aid who was hurt. This was a r o l e r e v e r s a l because the supervision aid, an adult at the school grounds, who was i n charge of ensuring children behave, was unable to assert h is authority. The dreamer was l e f t to attempt her assertion as a peer. No one was there to help her while she was i n t h i s f e a r f u l s i t u a t i o n . However, she di d attempt to a c t i v e l y guide her fr i e n d , but i t was i n e f f e c t i v e . She was also not able to t r u s t her f r i e n d who came back as a d e v i l . In the dream she also displayed being a f r a i d to defend hers e l f from the cat because she was a f r a i d of her f r i e n d and friend's father who might get mad at her. In her mind these ' d e v i l s ' had greater power and she submitted to them. She was so a f r a i d that she could not move. She f e l t powerless, paralysed and unable to defend h e r s e l f . Her f r i e n d also did not l i s t e n to her guidance. Perceptions 1. You do not know what to expect when your f r i e n d comes back, you are scared she might be d i f f e r e n t . 2. When you t e l l a f r i e n d not to do bad things, you f e e l mad when she does not l i s t e n . 144 3. Sometimes people are frightening when you do not know what i s wrong with them. 4. When you are attacked, you are so a f r a i d that you are frozen s t i f f . 5. You do not do something to get others mad, even when you need to defend yourself. 6. Help those who are hurt. Dreamer's Perceptions and Prominent Features In t h i s participant's dreams, adults y e l l e d and accused without j u s t i f i c a t i o n . One entrusted adult at a bank, betrayed her by ly i n g . Another adult wanted to take her money. An adult could not help her i n a f e a r f u l s i t u a t i o n . In dream 2, an adult stranger scared her and she ran away. These examples displayed that the dreamer experienced adults as untrustworthy and were not there to support and care for her. The dreamer may have developed these perceptions when mom was drinking. I f t h i s was true, her mother was experienced as untrustworthy and unavailable to the dreamer. The dreamer could also have learned t h i s from other adults i n her l i f e . Even though mom was i n recovery, the dreamer maintained her views of adults as being un r e l i a b l e and untrustworthy. Her dreams portrayed how she acted i n s i t u a t i o n s . One of her reactions was to run, such as when the secu r i t y guard from the store chased her and her friends. This running got her into trouble, because the security man thought that they 145 st o l e something from the store. She also submitted and did not stand up for herself. For instance, she l a i d on the ground when the bank robber ordered her. Furthermore, she di d not f e e l l i k e she could protect herself from the cat attacking her, for she feared upsetting her d e v i l i s h looking f r i e n d . She displayed a sense of powerlessness i n these dreams. In her l a s t dream, she t r i e d to be e f f e c t i v e by givin g her fr i e n d guidance, but i t did not work. Her dreams revealed that she f e l t she had no control i n the si t u a t i o n s she encountered. One way she may have dealt with t h i s i s by venting at others. For example, i n the f i r s t dream co l l e c t e d , she scared others a f t e r she was y e l l e d at by her mother. A theme of deceiving appearances occurred. In dream 1, the t r a i l e r was new on the outside, but old and mouldy on the inside, with no controls where her mother sat. In dream 2, the g i r l s appeared to be g u i l t y to the security guard, but t h i s was not true. In dream 3, you could expect to t r u s t a bank t e l l e r with your money, but she was betrayed by the t e l l e r . In dream 4, her fri e n d who was good, came back as a d e v i l . You would expect that a f t e r a f r i e n d came back from rec e i v i n g support she would be better. A part of t h i s dream also r e f l e c t e d that people were frightening when you d i d not know what was wrong with them. This occurred when the friend's mother came up to say, "I don't know what's wrong with them". She was r e f e r r i n g to the dreamer's f r i e n d and 146 the friend's father resembling d e v i l s . The dreamer's perception was that some things were not what they appeared to be on the outside: you f i n d out that things, people, and events i n the world are mean and deceiving. She f e l t fear i n every dream. In addition to her own experience of fear i n her dreams, she revealed i n dream one that she had fun scaring others, s p e c i f i c a l l y boys. Since she d i d not r e c a l l a l l of her dreams, she may have only remembered the f e a r f u l ones. Generally, f e a r f u l dreams are the most frequently remembered because the emotional impact of the dream wakes the dreamer up. I t i s when we awake that we can r e c a l l a dream. Therefore, the dreams she remembered may not provide the whole spectrum of her dream experience. However, i t i s the dreams that are spontaneously remembered that can have a conscious a f f e c t on the dreamer. Hunt (1989) believed that the question of how lab c o l l e c t i o n of dreams (which i s done by waking the participant up during d i f f e r e n t stages of sleep) a f f e c t s content i s not quite known. Some laboratory c o l l e c t e d dreams are mundane, yet nightmare su f f e r e r s do not always have nightmares i n the laboratory (Hall & Van de Castle c i t e d i n Hunt, 1989). Some of the dreams depicted her character. For example, when she was asked by the robber i f she deposited her money, she answered honestly. She also portrayed, i n dream 4, that she would help those who are hurt and those who are doing something they should not be doing. 147 Other perceptions i n these dreams were: (a) At school you f i n i s h your work, then you have a choice to do other things, (b) At school lateness i s not a problem, you ju s t follow the for m a l i t i e s , (c) Mom says that you are to control your excitement, or else you could get hurt, (d) You can go out and look for things you are interested i n , but not during school hours, for there are consequences when you return. I conclude from a l l her dreams that negative events are primary. In her dreams, she perceived that the world could be deceiving and what she thought was not necessarily true. Her dreams also seemed to reveal that she d i d not f e e l safe. The encounters she had were scary. She acted powerless and submissive i n her dream encounters. She also viewed adults as untrustworthy and unreliable. I t was i n t e r e s t i n g to note that her mother's sobriety was very short when I c o l l e c t e d her dreams. This c h i l d ' s dreams of a recovering a l c o h o l i c r e f l e c t e d that her experience was not very p o s i t i v e . 148 Overall Results In t h i s summary, I discussed whether these Native c h i l d r e n of recovering alcoholics dreamt about alcohol or had F i r s t Nations culture depicted i n t h e i r dreams. Then I reviewed these children's perceptions, which were derived from t h e i r dreams. I followed with a description of other prominent features i n the children's dreams. F i n a l l y , I summarized the findings. Brief Comment of Dreams Collected The more dreams the children r e c o l l e c t e d , the more information I gathered about them. I learned more about the children's l i f e without d i r e c t l y asking them. A higher number of dreams gathered from participants provides investigators with a more thorough depiction of ch i l d r e n who have an a l c o h o l i c parent. This increased the confidence of the findings. F i r s t Nations Themes F i r s t Nations c u l t u r a l themes were not prominent i n the dreams of these children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s . Only one c h i l d had a F i r s t Nations person present i n one of her dreams. This person, i n r e a l i t y , was a counsellor from her school. In the dreams collected, there were neither depictions of F i r s t Nations ceremonies, such as the smudge, nor representations of F i r s t Nations symbols, such as the eagle feather. 149 Alcohol Themes The theme of alcohol misuse was depicted i n only one of the 49 dreams coll e c t e d . However, t h i s element was not a key factor i n the dream. Her aunt got out of a truck drunk. The dreamer was happy to see her aunt, despite her aunt's intoxicated state. This same g i r l had another dream where she r e c a l l e d that, one year, her mother was drunk and only allowed her to t r i c k or treat at one house. I t was evident, from t h i s c h i l d ' s dreams, that she was affected by her mother's alcoholism. The other participants who were from a l c o h o l i c homes with parents i n recovery, did not have dreams with themes of alcohol. Dream Perceptions Children's dreams r e f l e c t t h e i r perceptions of the world and t h e i r experience because they are the creators of t h e i r dreams. These dreams revealed how these c h i l d r e n viewed l i f e , themselves i n situations and the issues and concerns with which they contend. Perceptions of Adults A l l of the participants had scenario's i n t h e i r dreams where they depicted adults as unreliable and untrustworthy. This was pronounced i n the 11 and 9 year old's dreams. The 9 year old dreamt of his parents being absent from home and being l e f t to care for himself and h i s brothers. The 11 year old g i r l had adults depicted i n her dreams who accused her without j u s t i f i c a t i o n , who l i e d and sto l e her money, and who 150 were not able to help her i n a frightening s i t u a t i o n . The 13 year old (with 6 dream reports) represented her mother as uncaring and unconcerned for the well being of a baby. Further, her mother was unresponsive to the dreamer's concerns for the baby. This dreamer also feared upsetting her mother. The other 13 year old dreamer portrayed her mother i n her dreams as unable to protect the dreamer, as being e a s i l y controlled by others, and as un r e l i a b l e , i n the sense that she feared losing her mother. The 12 year o ld dreamer characterized her mother's common law as untrustworthy and unreliable when he was d r i v i n g c a r e l e s s l y . She also did not c a l l upon the common law to rescue her cat that f e l l into the r i v e r . This dreamer had also taken i t upon herself to protect and keep her and her family safe. The children's perceptions of adults as unr e l i a b l e and untrustworthy could be based on t h e i r experiences when t h e i r parents were a c t i v e l y drinking, or they could be based on other experiences with adults. Actions i n Dreams The actions these participants took i n t h e i r dreams may have r e f l e c t e d how they were i n t h e i r waking l i f e . However, I cannot be sure that they did what t h e i r dreams revealed. In f a c t , some dreams are thought to be compensatory, or opposite of what happens i n l i f e (Jung, 1933, 1964) . Dreams can also be a way of problem-solving l i f e s i t u a t i o n s . Nonetheless, these dreams revealed children's perceptions 151 about whether or not they could take e f f e c t i v e action. The effectiveness of children's actions i n t h e i r dreams These children demonstrated that some of the actions they took i n t h e i r dreams to solve problems were e f f e c t i v e , while other attempts were hopeless. The 9 year o l d boy, the 12 year old g i r l , and the 13 year old g i r l (with 6 dream reports) a l l had dreams where they were both e f f e c t i v e and i n e f f e c t i v e at problem solving. The 11 year old g i r l and 13 year o ld g i r l (who had 12 dreams) depicted themselves, i n t h e i r dreams, as passive and f e e l i n g hopeless at being unable to protect themselves and a f f e c t t h e i r environment. Pleasantness and Unpleasantness of Dreams A l l of the g i r l s ' dreams contained primarily unhappy events. Their dreams were scary and dealt with c o n f l i c t s from both t h e i r past and present l i f e . This suggested that t h e i r view of the world was pessimistic. In comparison, the male pa r t i c i p a n t had a greater number of pleasant dreams, i n addition to h i s unpleasant ones. Therefore, based on the content of h i s dreams, his perception was that not everything that happened was h o r r i b l e . A l l of the children's dreams had elements of l i v i n g i n a f e a r f u l , unsafe world. The boy, the 12 year old g i r l and the 13 year o ld g i r l (with 12 dreams) were a l l able to escape danger i n one of t h e i r dreams. These children's dreams revealed t h e i r perspective of the world as an unhappy, scary and unsafe place. Some children experienced more happy events i n t h e i r dreams than 152 other children. Children's Issues Revealed i n Dreams A l l the participant's dreams revealed that they had issues and concerns to deal with i n t h e i r l i v e s . The issues and experiences of these f i v e children varied. The boy f e l t that h i s parents were not there for him and that he had too much r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . As well, i n his dreams, he d i d not learn from consequences. One of the g i r l s dreamt about her mother's pregnancy, fear of loss, abandonment, and harm done to her body, which I assumed was from her past abuse. She appeared to have a pessimistic outlook on l i f e . Another g i r l dreamt about domestic violence, keeping safe, loss of a pet, q u a r r e l l i n g with friends and being alone. A t h i r d female p a r t i c i p a n t was dealing, i n her dreams, with how her actions affected her mother, the loss of her f r i e n d i n r e a l i t y , and her worrisome outlook on l i f e events. The fourth g i r l f e l t , i n her dreams, that she could not r e l y on adults and f e l t powerless and i n e f f e c t i v e i n her actions. In her dreams, the world was frightening. The one boy and three of the g i r l s a l l had dreams that included some r o l e - r e v e r s a l , where the c h i l d was overly responsible and had i n s u f f i c i e n t parenting. As varied as these children's issues were, they a l l dealt with normal developmental c o n f l i c t s i n t h e i r dreams, such as q u a r r e l l i n g with peers. They also dealt with more serious issues, such as abuse and abandonment, which may or may not have been related to alcoholism. 153 Pessimistic Outlook Depicted i n Dreams In the above mentioned descriptions, domestic violence, abuse, abandonment, unavailable parents, i n a b i l i t y to r e l y on adults, r o l e - r e v e r s a l , and too much r e s p o n s i b i l i t y created an unsafe world for these children. These factors could contribute to t h e i r constructing a pe s s i m i s t i c outlook on l i f e . In fact, a l l of the dreamers experienced negative events i n t h e i r dreams. The 11 year old and 13 year old (with 12 dream reports) experienced more extreme and h o r r i b l e events than the other dreamers. As was demonstrated i n these children's dreams, a l l these experiences r e f l e c t e d how alcoholism i n a family could a f f e c t children. Alcoholism i n the family, along with i t ' s accompanying factors of abuse and neglect, created an environment with many disappointments. These issues did not provide a strong basis for developing hope i n the l i v e s of these c h i l d r e n of recovering a l c o h o l i c s . Other Prominent Features Dealing With Real L i f e Situations and Concerns Events i n these children's l i v e s existed i n a l l 5 of the p a r t i c i p a n t s dreams. The children t o l d me when t h e i r dreams rel a t e d to something i n t h e i r r e a l l i f e . As well, a l l 5 of the participants had dreams that involved a fear i n t h e i r l i f e . The fear was often resolved i n these dreams. One dreamer assisted i n the capture of the 'Abbotsford k i l l e r ' and the boy dreamer escaped a kidnapper. In some of the 154 dreams, there was no resolution to the c h i l d ' s fear. Some i l l u s t r a t i o n s of t h i s are: fear of huge head l i c e , because they were b i t i n g into the g i r l ' s head; fear that something awful would happen and i t did, so she could not go t r i c k or t r e a t i n g ; fear that a f r i e n d would come back d i f f e r e n t and she was depicted i n the dream as misbehaving and d e v i l i s h looking. These children also used dreams to cope with l i f e s i t u a t i o n s . For example, i n r e a l i t y , a boy was bothering one dreamer and her s i s t e r . In her dream, she sang a song while attacking the boy. Another g i r l had a dream about a f r i e n d who was a c t u a l l y moving away. In her dream, she asked her f r i e n d why she was moving. Another g i r l was coping, i n r e a l l i f e , with a f r i e n d returning from long-term counselling. She was a f r a i d that t h i s f r i e n d would act d i f f e r e n t and dreamt that t h i s happened. As well, the twelve year old g i r l had some dreams that dealt with r e a l l i f e a l t e r c a t i o n s she had with friends, her fear of the Abbotsford k i l l e r , her concern for her mother's safety and the loss of a pet. The male p a r t i c i p a n t had dreams to help him cope with h i s r e a l l i f e concerns of being kidnapped, missing a school f i e l d t r i p , and why the p o l i c e were i n h i s neighbourhood. Bizarre Content The dreams of emotionally disturbed adolescents were found to be more bizarre and disorganized, to have aggressive and v i o l e n t q u a l i t i e s , to be h o s t i l e and 155 confusing, and to include c o n f l i c t e d and tumultuous themes. These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s could also portray developmental delays (Catalano, 1990). I r e a l i z e d that the more disturbed the c h i l d the more bizarre the dream content would be. Bizarre content included situations i n the dream that were not r e a l i s t i c . Some examples were: a laughing box, a hole i n the stomach, everyone requiring a cut to go to school, an ear as an alarm system, missing a head or feet, dead grass i n a t r a i l e r with no steering wheel, and a f r i e n d who was a d e v i l . The g i r l who had been abused i n her past exhibited the most bizarre content. The amount of time a parent was sober did not appear to a f f e c t the bizarre content of dreams. The boy, who did not have bizarre images i n h i s dreams, had a mother who had been sober 4 months at the time of data c o l l e c t i o n . Whereas the g i r l who had the most biz a r r e content had both parents who were sober f o r 1 year. Bizarre images were portrayed i n the dreams of a l l 4 of my female pa r t i c i p a n t s . No bizarre notions were depicted i n the 9 year old boy's dreams. Although, bizarre dream content was not the leading theme for these children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s , i t was evident. In t h i s sample of children's dreams, I discovered that f e a r f u l situations coincided with bizarre content. For example, one g i r l was a f r a i d when she encountered a f r i e n d and her dad, who both looked l i k e d e v i l s . Another g i r l had her stomach cut out. One p a r t i c i p a n t ' s dream contained a scene of her mother dropping 156 a baby out of a window. F i n a l l y , one dreamer was f l o a t i n g outside of her body and saw the 'Abbotsford k i l l e r ' . Bizarre content was connected with being a f r a i d i n the dreams of a l l 4 of the female participants. Missing body parts was another bizarre element that occurred i n two of the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' dreams. Although bizarre content occurred i n the females' dreams, but not the males' dreams, I cannot conclude that bizarre content does not occur i n males' dreams. This i s due to the small sample s i z e . At A Different Time Than the Present Dreaming of the future was not present i n a l l the pa r t i c i p a n t s dreams, but i t was c e r t a i n l y f a s c i n a t i n g . This q u a l i t y existed i n the dreams of two children who remembered the most dreams. One boy and one g i r l saw themselves, or others, i n the future. The boy had one dream of himself i n the future. He was glad his dream was not true, because he broke into cars and went to j a i l . This dream seemed to forewarn him of what could happen i f he s t o l e cars. The g i r l had four dreams that contained future aspects. She dreamed that she, her mother, her s i s t e r and her foster mother's granddaughter were older. The boy's f u t u r i s t i c dreams acted as a forewarning not to s t e a l , whereas the g i r l ' s f u t u r i s t i c dreams, seemed to be projections of what i t could be l i k e for h erself and others i n the future. Feelings Four of the parti c i p a n t s ' dominant feel i n g s were 157 negative such as: fear, worry and anger. Two of the dreamers' predominant f e e l i n g was fear. Two other dreamers had an equal number of happy and unhappy emotions i n t h e i r dreams. One of these two children had equally good, happy and sad feelings i n her dreams. The other c h i l d had equally mad and fun fee l i n g s . A l l 5 participants experienced f e e l i n g scared i n some of t h e i r dreams. S i m i l a r i t y Between Children Two of the g i r l participants overlapped i n t h e i r dream perceptions. The 11 year old and 13 year old (with 12 dream reports) both f e l t scared, passive, powerless, and deceived. They both depicted h o r r i b l e events i n t h e i r dreams and had dream elements that portrayed l i f e as being mean. Last, they perceived adults as unreliable and untrustworthy, which was i n common with the rest of the participants. The other three p a r t i c i p a n t s had some dream c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n common. These three experienced role-reversal with t h e i r parents to a greater degree than the other two p a r t i c i p a n t s . These three dreamers also displayed taking e f f e c t i v e action i n t h e i r dreams. Summary In summary, more information was provided when there were more dreams coll e c t e d . I found there were no c l e a r depictions of F i r s t Nations culture, even though these ch i l d r e n were Native. There was only one representation of alcoholism i n one c h i l d ' s dream, even though a l l these 158 childre n l i v e d with a recovering a l c o h o l i c . In t h i s sample, the disturbing content i n these children's dreams coincided with the amount of trauma the children have experienced i n the past. A l l the children dreamt of r e a l l i f e concerns, as well as past and present experiences. The concerns that some of these children dreamt about are commonly linked to alcoholism, such as domestic violence and abuse. However, for domestic violence and abuse to occur alcoholism i s not a required element. I have also noted that the 13 year o l d g i r l , whose mother was sober f o r almost 4 years, d i d not have as many burdensome issues to deal with as the other ch i l d r e n . Despite the sobriety of t h e i r mothers, these ch i l d r e n were s t i l l dealing with family problems that may have occurred while t h e i r parents were drinking. Some of these problems, such as role-reversal, or unavailable parents, could be continuing i n the family. The e f f e c t s and some of the problems that co-exist with having an a l c o h o l i c parent were revealed i n these children's dreams. As a r e s u l t of these children's experiences i n t h e i r a l c o h o l i c f a m i l i e s , t h e i r dreams revealed that t h e i r outlook on l i f e and themselves was not very optimistic. Their view of the world was scary i n t h e i r dreams. These children d i d not always see t h e i r actions as being e f f e c t i v e . Despite the f a c t that these children shared the experience of having a recovering a l c o h o l i c mother, some of the dreamers viewed t h e i r l i f e as more opt i m i s t i c than the other participants, and f e l t that some of t h e i r actions were e f f e c t i v e . Furthermore, these ch i l d r e n d i f f e r e d i n t h e i r means of coping and t h e i r perceptions of themselves, others and the world. 160 CHAPTER 5: Discussion Brief Summary of Results This c o l l e c t i o n of dreams reveals what these c h i l d r e n are dealing with i n t h e i r l i v e s . Less serious concerns, such as doing homework, and more serious issues, such as one's parents not being home, occur i n the children's dreams. These F i r s t Nations children's dreams do not reveal content s p e c i f i c to t h e i r culture. Themes of alcohol are also not prominent, even though the mothers' of the p a r t i c i p a n t s are i n recovery. However, the dreams do suggest issues that could be related to alcoholism. Some of these issues are domestic violence, abuse, and abandonment. Comparison of Results to L i t e r a t u r e According to Foulkes' (1982) longitudinal studies, children's dreams become more pleasant from the ages of 11 to 14. The 13 year old g i r l , whose dreams contain themes of death, does not corroborate Foulkes' findings. The 12 year old g i r l who dreams of being concerned for her and her mother's physical safety also does not concur with Foulkes. The female participants, who are a l l i n t h i s age range, have unpleasant dreams. The younger boy also experiences unpleasant dreams. However, he has more pleasant dreams i n comparison to the g i r l s . F i r s t Nations themes do not appear i n these Native children's dreams, possibly because these childr e n do not pra c t i c e , or strongly i d e n t i f y with, F i r s t Nations b e l i e f s . 161 F i r s t Nations themes may also not be present because of the surroundings these children l i v e i n . The p a r t i c i p a n t s a l l l i v e i n the c i t y and attend school with childr e n from various cultures. However, one participant went to a school that i s highly populated with F i r s t Nations students, which o f f e r s an extensive curriculum of F i r s t Nations culture. Furthermore, even though the dreamer from t h i s school believes that dreams bring messages from the creator, there are no depictions of F i r s t Nations c u l t u r a l practices or b e l i e f s i n her dreams. This confirms D'Andrade's (1961) view that the ' c u l t u r a l pattern dream' does not r e f l e c t Native aspects when F i r s t Nations people became assimilated into the western world. The dream content does not suggest that these dreamer's are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from the general population, even thought they are Native. The issues and concerns these dreamers are dealing with i n t h e i r dreams are s i m i l a r to the dreams of others who are dealing with comparable issues. These parti c i p a n t s are from urban c i t y areas. The f a c t that many cultures reside i n urban areas and p a r t i c i p a t e i n the western culture could be the reason why there are no differences distinguishing these dreamer's as F i r s t Nations ch i l d r e n . Levine (1991) finds i n her study of c h i l d r e n from d i f f e r e n t cultures that the Bedouin children, who are more dependent on surviving i n nature than the I s r a e l i or I r i s h children, have more encounters with dream characters that 162 are nonhuman. Levine concludes that t h i s i s because they encounter animals more i n t h e i r l i v e s than the I s r a e l i or I r i s h children. Her study confirms that children dream what i s i n t h e i r c u l t u r a l environment. Alcohol themes may not have occurred i n these children's dreams because t h e i r parents are presently abstaining from alcohol. Even though alcohol i s not d i r e c t l y depicted i n these children's dreams, other issues that are found to occur i n al c o h o l i c families are appearing. The p a r t i c i p a n t who witnesses f i g h t i n g concurs with the l i t e r a t u r e on experiences of children of a l c o h o l i c s (Woodside, 1988). The c h i l d participants who s u f f e r from abuse, neglect and divorce concur with l i t e r a t u r e findings on childr e n of alcoholics (von Knorring, 1991). The l i t e r a t u r e also reveals that parental separation or r e j e c t i o n , and low quality parent-child r e l a t i o n s h i p s occur i n a l c o h o l i c families (El-Guebaly & Offord, 1977). A l l of the childr e n i n the sample are with t h e i r b i o l o g i c a l mothers, but not t h e i r b i o l o g i c a l fathers. As well, perceived r e j e c t i o n and low quality parent-child r e l a t i o n s h i p s are revealed i n some of the dreams c o l l e c t e d . Reich, Earls, and Powell (1988) purport that a l c o h o l i c parents are poor role-models, have increased parent-child c o n f l i c t s , and experience reduced parent-child i n t e r a c t i o n s . Poor role-modelling i s depicted i n the 9 year old boy's dream when he follows i n his dad's footsteps by s t e a l i n g 163 cars. Reduced parent-child interaction i s evident i n h i s dreams when he i s l e f t alone with h i s younger s i b l i n g s . He i s busy doing so many a c t i v i t i e s that he may not have as much parent-child interaction as he wants or needs. The l i t e r a t u r e also states that children of a l c o h o l i c s are prone to developing anxiety and depressive symptoms, low s e l f -esteem, and perceive a lack of control over t h e i r environment (West & Prinz, 1987). The 11 year o l d g i r l and 13 year old g i r l (with 12 dream reports) both perceive a lack of control over t h e i r environments i n t h e i r dreams. West and Prinz (1987) f i n d that abuse i s found i n chil d r e n of alcoholics, but the factors contributing to the l i n k are not yet known. Reich, Earls and Powell (1988) f i n d that c h i l d r e n of alcoholics report more physical and emotional abuse. The only c h i l d i n my sample that reports past abuse i s the 13 year old with 12 dreams. The dreams of these participants support some of the findings i n the l i t e r a t u r e on behaviour of chi l d r e n of al c o h o l i c s . The dream reports c o l l e c t e d support the l i t e r a t u r e that finds that children of al c o h o l i c s experience greater detachment from family members (Black, Buck & Wilder-Padilla, 1986). These participants do not have many dreams with family events i n them. As well, not a l l of the par t i c i p a n t s include a l l t h e i r family members i n t h e i r dreams. Aggressive tendencies are found i n chi l d r e n of al c o h o l i c s (Chafetz, Blane & H i l l , 1971; Fine, Yudin, 164 Holmes, Heinemann, 1976). The dreams of these Native ch i l d r e n of recovering alcoholics depict aggressive acts, such as being attacked, attacking others, and being forced to do something. Dawson (1992) finds that behavioral problems such as c l i n g i n g to adults, demanding attention, and misbehaving increase with an a l c o h o l i c mother. Despite these p a r t i c i p a n t s ' mothers being a l c o h o l i c , not a l l the dreamer's show that they have the behavioral problems mentioned by Dawson. The boy misbehaves when he l i g h t s f i r e c r a c k e r s , steals cars and goes where he knows he i s not allowed to. The only participant who acts aggressively i n l i f e and i n her dreams has also witnessed domestic violence i n her family. Criminality i s r e f l e c t e d i n the boy's dream when he steals cars. This supports von Knorring's (1991) study that children of alcoholics are at r i s k f o r delinquency, c r i m i n a l i t y , and truancy. Some of t h i s study's findings of the dreams of child r e n of recovering alcoholics do not r e f l e c t what i s i n the l i t e r a t u r e . These are: depression (Rolf, Johnson, I s r a e l , Baldwin & Chandra, 1988; Welner & Rice, 1988; inattention (West & Prinz, 1987); and substance abuse (von Knorring, 1991). Some studies reveal that learning i s affected by alcoholism i n the family ( i . e . , Connolly, Sasswell, Stewart, S i l v a & O'Brien's, 1993). The dreams of these p a r t i c i p a n t s do not r e f l e c t t h e i r school performance. Dreams are not able to expose a l l the experiences of children of a l c o h o l i c s . 165 Tharinger and Koranek (1988), and Werner (1985) report that not a l l children of alcoholics are affected s i m i l a r l y . Some of these children are more r e s i l i e n t than others. The c h i l d ' s coping s t y l e e f fects how the c h i l d deals with parental alcoholism. Zimrin (1986) believes that how ch i l d r e n view s t r e s s f u l situations, other's reactions to t h e i r behaviour, and children's b e l i e f s about t h e i r a b i l i t y to deal with situations a l l a f f e c t t h e i r r e s i l i e n c y . She finds that r e s i l i e n t children who cope with abuse believe they have control i n t h e i r l i v e s . Therefore, they have high self-images, good cognitive performances, presence of hope i n t h e i r fantasies, bel l i g e r e n t behaviour, no s e l f -destructive behaviours, support of adults, and have r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for a younger s i b l i n g . The childr e n who are not r e s i l i e n t i n coping with abuse have d i f f i c u l t y expressing emotions and establishing r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and are highly aggressive. Both the 11 year old g i r l and the 13 year old g i r l (who had 12 dreams) do not believe they have control i n t h e i r l i v e s . Only the 13 year old g i r l displays hope, i n her l a s t dream, when she escapes death and an oncoming hurricane. The 13 year old g i r l also dreams of harm to her body, which i s sel f - d e s t r u c t i v e . The 11 year old g i r l does not f e e l she has the support of adults because they betray her and are untrustworthy. These two g i r l s may be more at r i s k for not being able to cope as e f f e c t i v e l y as the r e s i l i e n t children who have the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s 166 mentioned by Zimrin. The 12 year old pa r t i c i p a n t has d i f f i c u l t y with her peer relationships and i s p h y s i c a l l y aggressive. This i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of no n - r e s i l i e n t children. However, she also expresses hope i n her dreams when she escapes the Abbotsford k i l l e r . The 13 year o l d g i r l (who has 6 dreams) displays a degree of control i n her dreams, when she helps a boy, a c t i v e l y seeks support from friends, and discusses the issue of her f r i e n d moving away. At other times she has no control i n her dreams, such as when her requests to her mother have no e f f e c t ( i . e . , her mother does not return to get the dropped baby). Based on Zimrin's findings, I would say t h i s pa r t i c i p a n t ' s dreams have r e s i l i e n t q u a l i t i e s to overcome the experience of being the c h i l d of an alc o h o l i c . The 9 year old boy i s quite active i n h i s dreams. He makes several attempts and t r i e s d i f f e r e n t approaches to solving problems. He also has r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f or a younger s i b l i n g , who goes to school with him. However, i t appears from his dreams that when h i s parents are not home he has too much r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , as he cares f o r 3 younger s i b l i n g s . He also displays s e l f -destructive behaviour when he steals cars. Nonetheless, he i s not highly aggressive i n his dreams. According to Zimrin's outlined c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of r e s i l i e n c y , h i s dreams suggest that he i s leaning towards the r e s i l i e n t personality. These participants dreams indicate varying degrees of r e s i l i e n c y i n dealing with a l c o h o l i c parents. 167 Parental alcoholism a f f e c t s each c h i l d d i f f e r e n t l y . There are many other factors that a s s i s t or hinder children's r e s i l i e n c y , as outlined on page 25-26. Limitations of Study This study i s conducted with few children. The c o l l e c t e d dreams r e f l e c t a small sample of the experiences of c h i l d r e n l i v i n g with a recovering a l c o h o l i c parent. The sample includes four 11 to 13 year old g i r l s and one 9 nine year old boy. Differences between male and female dreams have been noted. Foulkes (1982) finds that boys and g i r l s , between the ages of 11 and 13, each dream more of t h e i r own gender. Due to a small sample size and a disproportionate gender representation, i t i s not possible to determine with confidence, gender differences. As well, t h i s sample i s a s e l e c t group, representing only the F i r s t Nations culture, which l i m i t s g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y . The length of time the mother was abusing alcohol i s not known. Furthermore, the b i o l o g i c a l father's h i s t o r y with alcohol i s unknown. These factors impact the e f f e c t s of parental alcoholism on children (von Knorring, 1991). Therefore, these children's dreams would be affected by t h e i r parents drinking history because dreams r e f l e c t our experiences. The Strengths of This Study In t h i s study, attention i s paid to separating younger children from adolescents due to t h e i r developmental 168 differences. In p r i o r research t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s not made (West & Prinz, 1987). The q u a l i t a t i v e nature of t h i s research h o l i s t i c a l l y incorporates variables that coincide with alcoholism. These variables include: divorce, domestic violence, drug abuse, poverty, and abuse. The o v e r a l l experience of children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s i s p a r t i a l l y revealed i n t h e i r dreams. Some family dynamics and f e e l i n g s are revealed i n these participant's dreams and provide information on children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s . For example, the participant's experience with t h e i r parents and friends i s revealed i n t h e i r dreams, as well as how much control they believe they have i n t h e i r l i v e s . This study also addresses what the l i t e r a t u r e omits. This research deals with the limited information on children's dreams, young children's experience of a l c o h o l i c parents, and represents a F i r s t Nations c h i l d population. Furthermore, t h i s dream data provides further insight into children's experiences of l i v i n g with an al c o h o l i c parent. This information i s important because children's dreams reveal what i s occurring i n t h e i r homes, which they may not otherwise t a l k about. Recommendations For Future Research I t would be both interesting and informative to conduct another study on the dreams of F i r s t Nations c h i l d r e n from recovering a l c o h o l i c homes, using a larger sample s i z e , and c o l l e c t i n g dreams over a shorter time period. This would 169 provide a greater number of experiences, which would make r e s u l t s more generalizable. I also recommend that a study be conducted examining the dreams of children from homes with a parent who i s a p r a c t i s i n g a l c o h o l i c . The dreams, according to t h i s study, would reveal what the dreamers are dealing with i n t h e i r l i v e s and at home. Since the children's dreams i n t h i s study did not reveal that they were from the F i r s t Nations culture, a study of children's dreams l i v i n g on a reserve might reveal some c u l t u r a l differences. I t would also be b e n e f i c i a l to r e p l i c a t e t h i s study with younger children to see what t h e i r dreams reveal of t h e i r experiences l i v i n g with an al c o h o l i c parent. Once these preliminary studies are done, further studies can be conducted to f a c i l i t a t e r e s i l i e n c y of ch i l d r e n of alcoholics, by using F i r s t Nations c u l t u r a l elements. The use of F i r s t Nations symbols or b e l i e f s can be taught to integrate into children's dream imagery. This process i s c a l l e d l u c i d dreaming. Lucid dreaming means learning to control one's dreams (LaBerge & Rheingold, 1990). For example, children could be asked to i d e n t i f y with an animal, such as a bear. They could u t i l i z e the bear symbol to empower them with enough strength to deal with a s i t u a t i o n i n t h e i r l i v e s . A study such as t h i s would t e l l t herapists i f t h i s approach i s b e n e f i c i a l i n a s s i s t i n g c h i l d r e n of alcoholics to cope. This information would be valuable for use i n the counselling of F i r s t Nations 170 children. Furthermore, using dreams brings back the Native h i s t o r i c a l use of taking action from dreams (Kilborne, 1990) . Implications For Counselling The findings reveal that dreams are a valuable source of information about the experiences of chi l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s . The issues and concerns children have i n t h e i r l i v e s are exposed i n t h e i r dreams. Once therapists know what a c h i l d i s dealing with i n t h e i r l i f e , they can better address the c h i l d ' s needs. I did not inquire about the c h i l d ' s l i f e , except to ascertain that they were l i v i n g with a parent who i s a recovering a l c o h o l i c . The dreams reveal some of t h e i r concerns such as, poverty, parental absence, and domestic violence. Their dreams are a t o o l to obtain information these children may not otherwise convey to a counsellor. Dreams also depict more elusive d e t a i l s about these children's l i v e s that they might not understand. Role-re v e r s a l i s one example. The c h i l d takes on the adult's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Without the dream, the c h i l d may not be able to r e l a t e t h i s to a counsellor because the c h i l d may not r e a l i z e what i s happening i n the family. For example, a c h i l d s u f f e r i n g from abuse may not r e a l i z e i t i s wrong u n t i l he discusses the abuse with someone who can inform him that i t i s not a l r i g h t and he needs help. One dream may expose a c h i l d ' s issue, but a s e r i e s of c o l l e c t e d dreams further confirms the c h i l d ' s experiences. 171 Gathering data about the c h i l d ' s l i f e through dreams i s also b e n e f i c i a l because no one t a l k s about, or admits, that there i s a problem with alcohol before recovery happens i n f a m i l i e s . There i s also no acknowledgement of other problems that sometimes aris e with alcoholism, for instance, physical, sexual,or emotional abuse. The use of dreams to assess what the c h i l d i s dealing with i n her l i f e could enable interventions and counselling with the c h i l d and family to begin e a r l i e r . The use of dreams i s productive not only f o r gaining knowledge about the e f f e c t s of parental alcoholism, but also for other problems that a r i s e i n f a m i l i e s . Dreams portray c o n f l i c t s that a r i s e i n a c h i l d ' s day, for example, quarrels with a f r i e n d . Through dreams, chi l d r e n also process t h e i r fears that a r i s e from r e a l l i f e dangers such as kidnappers and k i l l e r s on the loose. The dream can be an assessment t o o l to provoke discussion about any concerns that a r i s e i n children's l i v e s . A study by Morrison (1990) c o l l e c t e d dreams from recovering a l c o h o l i c s . He finds that recovery from alcoholism can be followed i n dreams, which he c a l l s 'Dream Mapping i n Chemical Dependency.' There are f i v e stages: Pandora's Box, Dragon Fight, Rebirth, Descent and Return. When abstinence begins, dreams are predominantly at the stage of pandora's box and involve themes of a l i e n a t i o n , violence, mutilation, bizarre sexuality and persecution. The 172 next stage involves confronting and f i g h t i n g fear, and t h i s i s termed Dragon Fight. This stage consists of accepting one's denial of the problem and acknowledging the addiction. The themes that occur at t h i s stage are: b a t t l e s , struggle for control of s e l f , and relinquishing the v i c t i m r o l e . In Rebirth stage, an addict might f e e l cured, but she i s s t i l l i n the recovery process. Dreams, at t h i s stage, might be of new l i v i n g spaces, posi t i v e movement, acceptance, s p i r i t u a l presence, rescue, ownership and p o s i t i v e s e l f -i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . The next stage e n t a i l s Descent. The dreamer f e e l s that he w i l l relapse into the addiction, but he i s stronger and maintains his hope of recovery. The dreams i n t h i s stage consist of f e e l i n g cognitive dissonance and g u i l t . F i n a l l y , the Return stage i s where the addict has more control of himself. The dreams i n t h i s phase r e f l e c t forward movement, ownership, discoveries, new and p o s i t i v e behaviours, a sense of wholeness, feelings of well-being and awareness of growth. I f stages could be s i m i l a r l y mapped i n childre n who l i v e with an al c o h o l i c parent, they could be used i n the counselling process. A study to see i f t h i s i s true would be b e n e f i c i a l . I t would be i n t e r e s t i n g to see i f the c h i l d ' s stages of healing, i n t h e i r dreams, coincide with t h e i r parents recovery. Morrison (1990) finds that to obtain the stages of the recovery process, the c o l l e c t i o n of dreams needs to be between 90 and 180 days. A l l of the children who participated i n the study 1 7 3 enjoyed being able to t e l l someone t h e i r dreams. I t was important for them to have someone l i s t e n and be interested i n them. This i s supportive i n i t s e l f . Conclusion This study confirms the l i t e r a t u r e that children's dreams r e f l e c t t h e i r l i v e s and the stresses that they face d a i l y (e.g., Albon SE Mack, 1 9 8 0 ) . The dreams also reveal s p e c i f i c issues and concerns that these children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s are dealing with, such as abandonment, abuse, domestic violence, and r o l e - r e v e r s a l . There are no indic a t o r s i n these children's dreams to suggest they are from F i r s t Nations culture. As well, there are no strong themes of parental alcoholism present i n the dreams of these ch i l d r e n of recovering alcoholics. The c h i l d ' s perceptions, which are revealed i n t h e i r dreams, r e f l e c t f e e l i n g unsafe, powerless, pessimistic, passive, worried, and scared. Despite these perceptions, some children are also able to experience some happy feelings and events i n t h e i r dreams. Furthermore, some children also have some successes i n the actions they take i n t h e i r dreams. This study provides i n s i g h t into the l i f e experiences of children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s without d i r e c t l y asking and probing f o r information. Dreams can provide a means to discover and discuss family issues that require intervention. Further, t h i s study confirms Catalano's ( 1 9 8 4 ) finding that dreams r e f l e c t how a c h i l d copes with t h e i r c o n f l i c t s . He also 174 suggests using dreams to evaluate the therapeutic process. I conclude that t h i s research reveals that dreams can a s s i s t counsellors i n assessing the needs of children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s . 175 References Albon, S. L., & Mack, J. E. (1980). Children's dreams reconsidered. Psychoanalytic Study of the Chi l d . 35.179-217. Alexander, I. E. (1988). Personality, psychological assessment, and psychobiography. Journal of Personality. 56(1), 265-294. Arnold, M. B. (1962). Story sequence analysis. New York: Columbia University Press. Beaudet, D. (1990). Encountering the monster. New York: Continuum Publishing Co. Beaudet, D. (1991). Encountering the monster i n children's dreams: combat, taming, and engulfment. Quadrant. 24(1), 65-73. Bennett, L. A., Wolin, S. J., & Reiss, D. (1988). Deliberate family process: a strategy for protecting c h i l d r e n of al c o h o l i c s . B r i t i s h Journal of Addiction. 83(7), 821-829. Carlson (1986). After analysis: a study of transference dreams following treatment. Journal of Consulting and C l i n i c a l Psychology. 54(2). 246-252. C a r r o l l , D. D. (1988). Power animals and a l l i e s . In R. Heinze (Ed.), Proceeding of the F i f t h International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing (pp. 345-356). Berkeley, C a l i f o r n i a : Independent Scholars of Asia, Inc. Catalano, S. J. (1984). Children's dream: t h e i r meaning and use i n c l i n i c a l p ractice. Child and Adolescent S o c i a l Work Journal. 1(4). 280-289. Catalano, S. J . (1990). Children's dreams i n c l i n i c a l p r a c t i c e . New York: Plenum Press. Connolly, G. M., Sasswell, S., Stewart, J., S i l v a , P. A., & O'Brien, M. K. (1993). The e f f e c t of parents' alcohol problems on children's behaviour as reported by parents and by teachers. Addiction. 88(10), 1383-1390. Cushway, D. & Sewell, R. (1992). Counselling with dreams and nightmares. Newbury Park, C a l i f o r n i a : SAGE Publications Inc. D'Andrade, R. G. (1961). Anthropological studies of dreams. In F. Hsu (Ed.), Psychological anthropology (pp. 176 296-332). Homewood, IL.: Dorsey Press. Davidson, J . A., & Kelsey, B.D. (1987). Incorporation of recent events i n dreams. Perceptual and Motor S k i l l s . 65(1), 114. Dawson, D. A. (1992). The e f f e c t of parental alcohol dependence on perceived children's behaviour. Journal of Substance Abuse. 4. 329-240. Devereux, G. (1957). Dream learning and i n d i v i d u a l r i t u a l differences i n mohave shamanism. American Anthropologist. 59. 1036-1045. Dick, R. W., Manson, S. M., & Beals, J . (1993). Alcohol use among male and female native american adolescents: patterns and correlates of student drinking i n a boarding school. Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 54(2). 172-177. Eggan, D. (1952). The manifest content of dreams: a challenge to s o c i a l science. American Anthropologist. 54. 469-485. El-guebaly, N., & Offord, D. R. (1977). The o f f s p r i n g of a l c o h o l i c s : a c r i t i c a l review. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 134(4). 357-365. Faraday, A. (1974). The dream game: an auth o r i t a t i v e , step-bv-step guide on how to rememberf understand, and p r o f i t from your dreams. New York: Harper and Row. Foulkes, D. (1982). Children's dreams: lon g i t u d i n a l studies. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Foulkes, D. (1990). Dreaming and consciousness. The European Journal of Cognitive Psychology. 2(1). 39-55. Foulkes, D., H o l l i f i e l d , M., Bradley, L, Terry, R., & S u l l i v a n , B. (1991). Waking self-understanding, rem-dream s e l f representation, and cognitive a b i l i t y v a riables at ages 5-8. Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. 1(1), 41-51. Foulkes, D., H o l l i f i e l d , M., Sullivan, B., Bradley, L., & Terry, r. (1990). REM dreaming and cognitive s k i l l s at ages 5-8: a cross-sectional study. International Journal of Behavioral Development. 13(4), 447-465. Ga r f i e l d , P. (1974). Creative dreaming. New York: Ballantine Books. Greenfield, S.F., Swartz, M. S., Landerman, L. R., fie 177 George, L. K. (1993). Long-term psychosocial e f f e c t s of childhood exposure to parental problem drinking. American Journal of Psychiatry. 150(4). 608-613. H a l l , C. (1966). Meaning of dreams. New York: McGraw-H i l l . Hunt, H. T. (1989). The m u l t i p l i c i t y of dreams: meaning, imagination, and consciousness. London: Yale University Press. Johnson, J . L., & Rolf, J. E. (1988). Cognitive functioning i n children from a l c o h o l i c and non-alcoholic f a m i l i e s . B r i t i s h Journal of Addiction. 83(7). 849-857. Jung, C. G. (1933). Modern man i s search of a soul. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Javanovich Publishers. Jung, C. G. (1964). Approaching the unconscious. In C. G. Jung (Ed.), Man and his symbols, (pp. 1-94). London: Aldus Books. Kilborne, B. (1990). Ancient and native peoples' dreams. In S. Krippner, (Ed.), Dreamtime and dreamwork: decoding the language of the night (pp. 194-214). New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putman Books. Kimmins, C. W. (1937). Children's dreams: an unexplored land. London, Great B r i t a i n : Unwin brothers Ltd. Krippner, S. (1988). The use of dreams by t r i b a l shamans. In R. Heinze (Ed.), Proceedings of the F i f t h International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and alternate Modes of Healing (pp. 294-310). Berkeley, C a l i f o r n i a : Independent Scholars of Asia, Inc. Krippner, S. (1990). T r i b a l shamans and t h e i r t r a v e l s i n dreamtime. In S. Krippner (Ed.), Dreamtime and Dreamwork: Decoding the Language of the Night (pp. 185-193). New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putman Books. LaBerge, S., & Rheingold, H. (1990). Exploring the world of l u c i d dreaming. New York: Ballantine Books. Levine, J. B. (1991). The r o l e of culture i n the representation of c o n f l i c t i n dreams: a comparison of Bedouin, I r i s h and I s r a e l i children. Journal of Cross-C u l t u r a l Psychology. 22(4). 472-490. May, P. A. (1994). The epidemiology of alcohol abuse among american indians: the mythical and r e a l properties. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 18(2), 121-178 143. Morrison, R. A. (1990). Dream mapping i n chemical dependency recovery. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. 7(3), 113-120. Murray, J . B. (1989). Psychologists and c h i l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c parents. Psychological Reports. 64(3). 859-579. Reich, W., Earls, F., & Powell (1988). A comparison of the home and s o c i a l environments of children of a l c o h o l i c and non-alcoholic parents. B r i t i s h Journal of Addiction. 83(7), 831-839. Roberts, M. K. (1985). Worlds and world reconstruction. Advances i n Descriptive Psychology. 4. 17-53. Rolf, J . E., Johnson, J. L., I s r a e l , E., Baldwin J . , & Chandra, A. (1988). Depressive a f f e c t i n school-aged ch i l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s . B r i t i s h Journal of Addiction. 83(7) , 841-848. Rubio-Stipec, M., Bird, H., Canino, G., Bravo, M., & A l e g r i a , M. (1991). Children of a l c o h o l i c parents i n the community. Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 52(1), 78-88. Schumacher, S. J., & McMillan, J. H. (1993). Research i n education: a conceptual introduction (3rd ed.). New York: HarperCollins College Publishers. Seilhamer, R. A., Jacob, T., & Dunn, N. J . (1993). The impact of alcohol consumption of parent-child r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n f a milies of a l c o h o l i c s . Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 54(2), 189-198. Shaywitz, S. E., Cohen, D. J. & Shaywitz, P. A. (1980). Behaviour and learning d i f f i c u l t i e s i n children of normal i n t e l l i g e n c e born to alc o h o l i c mothers. The Journal of P e d i a t r i c s . 196(6). 978-982. Spiegel, S. (1994). An alternative to dream int e r p r e t a t i o n with children. Contemporary Psychoanalysis. 30(2), 385-395. S t a t i s t i c s Canada (1993). Language, t r a d i t i o n , health, l i f e s t y l e and s o c i a l issues: 1991 aboriginal peoples survey (No. 89-533). Ottawa, Ontario: Author. Tharinger, D. J., & Koranek, M. E. (1988). Children of a l c o h o l i c s — a t r i s k and unserved; a review of research and service roles for school psychologists. School Psychology Review. 17(1). 166-191. 179 von Knorring, A. L. (1991). Annotation: c h i l d r e n of a l c o h o l i c s . Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and A l l i e d D i s c i p l i n e s . 32(3). 411-421. Welner, Z., & Rice, J. (1988). School-aged c h i l d r e n of depressed parents: a b l i n d and controlled study. Journal of A f f e c t i v e Disorders. 15(3). 291-302. Werner, E.E. (1986). R e s i l i e n t o f f s p r i n g of a l c o h o l i c s : a l ongitudinal study from b i r t h to age 18. Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 47(1). 34-40. West, M. 0., & Prinz, R. (1988). Parental alcoholism and childhood psychopathology. Annual Progress i n c h i l d Psychiatry and Development. 278-314. Winget, C , & Kramer, M. (1979). Dimensions of dreams. Ga i n e s v i l l e , F l o r i d a : University Presses of F l o r i d a . Winson, J. (1990, November). The meaning of dreams. S c i e n t i f i c American. 86-96. Woodside, M. (1988). Research on children of a l c o h o l i c s : past and future. B r i t i s h Journal of Addiction. 83 (7), 785-792. Yama, M. F., Tovey, S. L., Fogas, B. S., & Teegarden, L. A., (1992). Joint consequences of parental alcoholism and childhood sexual abuse, and t h e i r p a r t i a l mediation by family environment. Violence and Victims. 7(4). 313-325. Yates, A. (1988). Current status and future d i r e c t i o n s of research on the american indian c h i l d . Annual Progress i n C h i l d Psychiatry and Development. 315-331. Young, R. A., Friesen, J. D., & Borycki, B. (1994). Narrative structure and parental influence i n career development. Journal of Adolescence. 17. 173-191. Zimrin, H. (1986). A p r o f i l e of s u r v i v a l . C h i l d Abuse and Neglect. 10. 339-349. 180 Appendix A Faraday's (1974) Recommendations for Keeping a Dream Diary Keep your book and pen beside your bed. Date your recording paper i n advance. a) Before going to bed relax and t e l l yourself you w i l l remember your dreams. b) Repeat the following more than once: "I w i l l wake up with a dream i n mind i n the morning, and I w i l l write i t down r i g h t away." c) F a l l asleep remembering these words you repeated to yourself. a) Wake up slowly, l i e there and allow your dream memory to come to you. b) As you remember what happened i n your dream you w i l l remember more. Write down your dream as soon as you wake up while you are i n bed. a) Write down the feelings you had i n the dream. b) How did you f e e l when you woke up? 181 Appendix B Parent and Child Consent Form This l e t t e r of consent was typed on a University of B r i t i s h Columbia l e t t e r head* Dear , This i s a l e t t e r to provide you with information f o r consenting to pa r t i c i p a t e i n my research on children's dreams. The t i t l e of my project i s c a l l e d , "Exploring the Dream L i f e of F i r s t Nations Children From Alcohol Dependency Homes." This research i s conducted by myself, Geraldine Atleo under the supervision of Dr. John A l l a n . He and I can be reached at the Department of Counselling Psychology (822-5259). I am of F i r s t Nations descent from the Tsimshian and Nuu-Chah-Nulth t r i b e s . I am conducting t h i s research as part of my Master's degree for counselling psychology at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. The purpose of t h i s investigations i s to examine from the perspective of the c h i l d through his or her dreams t h e i r experience of l i v i n g with a parent who i s alc o h o l i c . I am also doing t h i s research as a personal interest to a s s i s t Native c h i l d r e n and revive the use of dreams because i t i s an important part of Native culture that can be a healing t o o l . With your permission and your c h i l d ' s consent, your c h i l d w i l l be a participant i n the study. Your c h i l d w i l l be given a book to j o t down some words about t h e i r dreams when he or she wakes up i n the morning. On that same day I w i l l interview your c h i l d to have him or her t e l l me the story of t h e i r dream. This interview w i l l take place at your home. This w i l l be audio taped so that I may transcribe the dream for data c o l l e c t i o n . The tapes w i l l be destroyed a f t e r completion of the study. The tapes w i l l also be number coded to keep the i d e n t i t y and c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y of the p a r t i c i p a n t (your c h i l d ) . I w i l l ask your c h i l d to p a r t i c i p a t e over a four week period. Interviews w i l l take place only when your c h i l d remembers a dream and the interview w i l l l a s t approximately a half hour. When the four week period i s over for c o l l e c t i n g dreams, I w i l l give your c h i l d $50 f o r p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n my project. I w i l l also provide you a summary of my finding a f t e r I analyze the dream data. 1 of 2 182 your c h i l d has a r i g h t to refuse to p a r t i c i p a t e and withdraw from the study at any time. Your ch i l d ' s involvement i s completely voluntary. Before sta r t i n g , and throughout the study, I w i l l be happy to meet with you and your c h i l d to answer any questions. Please c i r c l e below whether you give consent for your c h i l d to pa r t i c i p a t e or not, then sign and date your decision. Thank-you. Sincerely, Geraldine Atleo, Researcher I have read and understand the above and I give consent/I do not give consent for my c h i l d , to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s research. Date Guardian signature (child's name) have had the above explained to me and I understand and I agree to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s study. Date Child's signature Tear o f f and give to researcher when you have received you copy. Furthermore, we have received a copy of the consent form. Date Guardian signature 2 of 2 183 Appendix C Posting to Recruit Volunteers This Posting was on a University of B r i t i s h Columbia Letter Head. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Hi, my name i s Geraldine Atleo, I am doing a Master of Arts i n Counselling Psychology at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. As part of my degree, I am researching children's dreams. The t i t l e of my research i s c a l l e d , "exploring the Dream L i f e of F i r s t Nations Children From Alcohol Dependency Homes.11 I have an i n t e r e s t i n F i r s t Nations culture and the healing power of dreams. I am of Nuu-Chah-Nulth and Tsimshian descent. I am looking for children who remember t h e i r dreams and childr e n between the ages of 9 and 12. Also, i f you have a partner who has an alcohol dependency or you believe him or her to consume alcohol too much, I would be interested i n hearing your c h i l d ' s dreams. Your c h i l d w i l l be asked to t e l l me about h i s or her dream. This would be audio taped and transcribed i n order to observe patterns i n these children's dreams. C o n f i d e n t i a l i t y w i l l be kept and the audiotapes w i l l be number coded. I w i l l be c o l l e c t i n g your chil d ' s dream reports over a four week period and I w i l l arrange to interview your c h i l d , by phone, on the day he or she had the dream. At the end of the four week period, I w i l l give your c h i l d $50 for p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n my project. I w i l l also provide you with a summary of the r e s u l t s I f i n d when I am finished my data analysis of the dreams c o l l e c t e d . If your c h i l d i s F i r s t nations and you are interested i n a s s i s t i n g me to learn about children's dreams, please leave your name and number for me with the department of counselling psychology at 822-5259. My adviser i s Dr. John A l l a n . I w i l l return your c a l l . Thank-you for your i n t e r e s t . IF YOU HAVE AN ALCOHOLIC PARTNER YOU HAVE A CHILD BETWEEN THE AGES OF 9 AND 12 YOUR CHILD REMEMBERS HIS DREAMS AND YOU ARE OF FIRST NATIONS DESCENT PLEASE CALL 822-5259 AND LEAVE A MESSAGE FOR GERALDINE ATLEO $50 WILL BE GIVEN FOR PARTICIPATING IN MY STUDY 184 Appendix D Guideline Questions for Terminating with Participant 1. What did i t f e e l l i k e to share your dreams? 2. Did p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s study a f f e c t you i n any way? a) Do you remember your dreams more or less? 3. Did p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s study a f f e c t your family? 4. What do you think of dreams? 5. What w i l l you do with your dreams af t e r t h i s study? 185 Appendix E Summary of Findings to Parents This l e t t e r to parents was typed on a University Of B r i t i s h Columbia Letter head. Dear Parents, This l e t t e r i s to inform you of the r e s u l t s of the study your c h i l d participated i n c a l l e d , "Exploring the Dream L i f e of F i r s t Nations Children From Recovering A l c o h o l i c Homes." F i r s t I would l i k e to thank you f o r allowing me to come into your home to interview your c h i l d , and learn from your c h i l d ' s dreams. I am g r a t e f u l to your c h i l d f or sharing her dreams with me over a 4 week period. In my study I had a t o t a l of 5 children between the ages of 9 and 13. There was 1 boy and 4 g i r l s . The children remembered between 4 and 19 dreams over a four week period. I analyzed t h e i r dreams i n d i v i d u a l l y , and then d i d a summary of each c h i l d ' s series of dreams. F i n a l l y , I did an o v e r a l l comparison of a l l 5 children's dreams. My r e s u l t s are des c r i p t i v e of what the children's dreams reveal. The dreams of each c h i l d varied, and there were only a few s i m i l a r i t i e s between children. The children's dreams showed t h e i r perceptions of t h e i r experiences and how they viewed themselves and others. The dreams of these children did not reveal predominant themes of alcohol. The dreams also did not reveal that these ch i l d r e n were of F i r s t Nations descent. There were no Native c u l t u r a l themes present i n t h e i r dreams. These children's dreams indicated t h e i r d a i l y concerns, such as q u a r r e l l i n g with friends. Their dreams showed the concerns and fears they had when an event was mentioned i n the media, and when they were forewarned to be ca r e f u l . The children's personal worries were also evident i n t h e i r dreams, such as los i n g a pet, or a fr i e n d . More seriously, t h e i r dreams conveyed other issues that sometimes coincide with alcoholism, such as abuse, domestic violence, and parental absence. Not a l l of the children had these experiences. Nonetheless, these childre n were processing t h e i r experiences i n t h e i r dreams. Despite these grave concerns, some of the children's dreams indicated some very p o s i t i v e action taken by the chi l d r e n i n t h e i r dreams. They took several d i f f e r e n t approaches to problem solving. Some of the children's dreams displayed them f e e l i n g empowered and having hope i n t h e i r dreams. At other times, the children did not see themselves as being able to a f f e c t t h e i r environment. 186 This was an exploratory study. A much larger study would need to be conducted to f i n d s i m i l a r i t i e s between the dreams of children of recovering a l c o h o l i c s . In summary, I do believe that the use of dreams can a s s i s t counsellors to determine the c h i l d ' s needs and to address the c h i l d ' s concerns. I t i s unfortunate that the dreams d i d not reveal any F i r s t Nations themes. Perhaps, future research can determine a way to use Native culture to a s s i s t c h i l d r e n to use t h e i r dreams as a healing t o o l . I f you have any questions, please f e e l free to leave a message for me at the Department of Counselling Psychology (822-5259), and I w i l l return your c a l l to answer any questions. I w i l l be on holiday i n August and September. Thank you again for your p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n my research study. Sincerely, Geraldine Atleo 

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