Transcript (Resolving a Dream --Incest Memory)

Membrane of Silence -- A Descent to the Fire


In the mid 1980s, while directing the San Francisco Dream House, I led groups and offered individual sessions using a method I developed during the 1970s that I called Dream Reentry Healing.  It is now referred to as The Inner Image Method.  I offered free sessions in exchange for the permission to videotape the sessions which I would use in documenting the process and for future training sessions.  The following dialogue is the transcript of the first such exchange.


Membrane of Silence -- A Descent to the Fire

            Linda (name changed) volunteered to explore a dream image that had bothered her since the Christmas holidays.  Linda was a practicing therapist and friend of one of my roommates at the Dream House.  The following dialogue is a transcript of the session..  Linda continued to work on the issues arising from the session with her ongoing support group and regular therapy following the taped session.

The Transcript

Fred:  Hi Linda, I'm happy to have you here today. I understand you have a

dream you would like to work on today.


Linda:  Well, there's an image in a dream that I had about a month ago that I don't understand. I wanted to ask you some questions and we could talk about it.

F:  Okay.

L:  It was a yellow metal chute much larger than a funnel. It was a chute large enough for a lot of people to be in and be sliding down.

F:  M Hmm


L.  I was in it and some of my family members were in it. some people I don't know.  It went from a street level to an underground level or a below the surface level.  We weren't having any fun going from the street level to this place.  When we got down there, everybody was crowded around the end of it which was covered with a clear piece of plastic that was like riveted to the end and we couldn't get out.


F:  M Hmm


L:  And at that point I saw myself in with those people and I realized that I was now watching the dream going on because I was on the other side of this clear piece of plastic.


F:  The other side from where you were?


L. From where I was, and everybody else and I was also on the other side watching.  I noticed Linda isn’t excited in there.  Everybody else is scratching and excited about getting out and Linda isn’t excited.  I wonder why she’s not


     [Note: Check video for missing text     ]


some members of my family that I don’t see very often.


F:  So you saw some members of your family?


L:  During Christmas, and I saw them with me in the chute.


F:  So they were with you in the chute?


L:  M Hmm


F: Okay.  What is a chute?


L:  I just am really puzzled. To me it's, a chute is some way to get from one place to another,or get an object from one place to another. Since it was big enough    for people, it didn’t seem like, similar to a laundry chute.  It wasn’t like a slippery   slide.   As I said, it wasn’t a fun thing we were doing.  We were just transporting       ourselves from one place to another.  We weren’t falling, we were sliding.


F:  Is there some place, or way in your life where you're with those people and you're moving from one place to another, and it's not real fun.

L:  Yeah. I just happened to remember an automobile accident that I was in with my family. We were contained in a metal vehicle and couldn't get out of it. We     were up-side-down and trying to get of the glass.

F:  What color was the car?


L:  Green.  The chute was yellow.

F:  The same people that were in the dream?

L:  Hmmm.  Everybody in my family was in the chute, yeah.  And everybody in my family was in the automobile accident.


F:  Ah Hah. And when was the automobile accident?


L:  I was nine.


F:  What’s your feeling in this dream?


L:  I don't know about answering that.  I know that I was happy when I finished the dream. What I want to tell you is that my feeling about the automobile accident was -- it didn't matter to me if I got out, and it mattered to everybody else that they got out.  I was in that car.  The windows were broken.  The car was up-side-down, and we were in a creek bed.  There was water around us but. somehow I was detached from what was happening in all the scrambling that was going on. The same feeling then is what I had in the dream.


F:  Okay.  It’s when you are nine years old.


L:  M Hmm.


F:  What was a common theme or issue around Christmas that you were feeling            at nine?  Or why would I be dreaming about the same feelings now that I had then?

L:  I think that automobile accident was a very major event in my life.  It caused neck injuries that have hounded me ever since and they keep getting repeated with other accidents, you know, more neck injuries.  At Christmas time I saw my Dad. I hadn't seen him for two-years.  I have issues with him about telling him how I feel about things, about talking about feelings.  This dream happened a few days after I had seen him.

Uhh, I'm getting it.  Here it comes.  He said in the automobile accident "Don't you dare cry."  And that's what this is about, being detached, and not feeling, and not talking about feelings.  So, apparently in that chute, somehow, seeing him again reminded me that I'm not supposed to feel.  And, so I was in the chute and everybody else was anxious to get out, but I wasn't, because I wasn't supposed to have those feelings.


F:  Ahhh.


L:  And it’s strange to me that I observed myself this time.



F:  Okay.


L:  I’m on the other side and watching this happen and …..


F:  Okay, so be the person observing, on the other side.


L:  (Clears throat and leans back.)


F:  Just seeing the situation through the plastic and all these people are stuck in the chute, right.


L:  M hmm.


F:  And you're trying to get from one place to another.  That's really unpleasant.  And everybody else is scrambling, but you're not.  You're not supposed to feel.


L:  Yeah.


F:  Okay.


L:  So, that’s what I watched.


F:  You are observing that now, okay?


L:  That I'm feeling like "Yes, you are supposed to feel. Why does it hurt to watch that?


F:  Okay, so the person who is watching is feeling something.

L:  I did.  And now I remember that when I watched and when I was observing it, observing that I wasn’t feeling, as an observer I was hurting for me.

F:  Okay.

L:  Not feeling.

F:  Okay, and where are you hurting?

L:  Here in my stomach, just a tight knot.

F:  Take a journey down to that tight knot.  What do you see?

L:  Hmmm

F:  What do you experience there?


L:  That I want to breath.  I want to get my air.  I feel choked.

F:  Okay, you feel choked.

L:  Yeah.  I feel I’m being squeezed and denied, choked off.

F:  Okay, go into that feeling.  Is there any particular thing you can see there?  You’re choked and denied and squeezed up.

L:  Ah hmmm.  It feels like rage.

F:  Okay, is there a color?

L:  Yeah.   It’s red.

F:  What’s the shape of that color?

L:  Uhm, it would be like waves, violent waves, coming and moving, surging.

F:  Okay, what material is it made of?

L:  Mmm, it’s liquid.

F:  Like water, or….?.

L:  Like red water.  Yeah, it’s like red water, crashing like hard waves crashing.

F:  So, you see those hard waves, red waves.

L:  Yeah.

F:  And what’s the setting?


L:  I guess it would be a volcano and there would be an eruption of a volcano, and uh,  a brilliant firey sky and uh, and these waves would be as a result of the volcano and all the disruption.


F:  Okay, and you feel that volcano down inside.


L:  Yeah.


F:  It’s erupted, or it’s ready to erupt.  And it’s real painful.


L:  M Hmm.


F:  Okay, can you be with that?


L:  I want to put a lid on it.


F:..What happens when you put a lid on it?


L:  I burn up inside.


F:  Ohhh. Okay.


L:  (sighs)


F:  So that doesn’t work huh?


L:  No. It doesn’t work, but that’s been, that’s what I do.


F:  Okay, so it doesn’t work, but that’s what you do.


L:  Yeah.


F:  What other alternatives do you have?   What would you prefer to do?


L:  Well, I think of a volcano having little fissures, you know.  I'd like to figure out a way for a little bit of the lava to erupt here and a little more there, and sort of try it out, but not really erupt.  I'm afraid I'd lose it if I did. Then I would ...


F:  Okay.


L:  I’m afraid I wouldn’t find my way back.


F:  So, you’d be afraid that if it erupted, you might not be able to find your way back.


L:  Yeah.


F:  Where would you like to find your way back to?


L:  The control I think I have.  (laughing)


F:  Where’s that control live in your body?


L:  I think it’s in my head.


F:  Okay, let’s take a journey up to that control center.  What do you see there?


L:  Oh, machines and buttons and dials and knobs and tapes and programs. I have this key in a key-ring and the key makes all these things work and I'm in control with it.


F:  So, you’ve got the key-ring and you’re  in control of it.  Are you there now?


L:  Yeah.


F:  And how old are you in the picture?  Present age?


L:  No, I’m about twenty-two, hmmm.


F:  And what are you wearing?


L:  A black and white dress.


F:  Is that an outfit you are familiar with?


L:  Mmm hmmm.


F:  When did you wear that dress?


L:  When I was in Korea.


F:  And what were you doing in Korea?


L:  I was working for the Army.


F:  Ah hah, and what was life like there?


L:  It was my life over there.  I was in charge, and I was doing what I wanted to do.


F:  You were doing what you wanted to do.


L:  Mmm Hmmm


F:  How does that feel?


L:  Very good.


F:  What stands between that person who's in control and is doing life as she really wants to, and feels good about it, and has the key -- up in her head, and down here in her gut where there's this volcano is ready to erupt.  Take a journey between those places and let's see what's in between them.

L:  It's here, and going between control and enjoyment of being in charge and erupting and letting go is a door, or ahh -- it's something I can see through, but it's solid.

F:  Okay.

L:  And it goes across my windpipe.

F:  Ahh hah.

L:  So that getting over it, getting air through it, is nearly impossible.  It makes me feel like I only breath this deep.

F:  Okay, so, let’s take a journey down to that membrane.

L:  Alright.

F:  That you can see through, but you can’t breathe through.  And you can go down there.?

L:  Sure, yeah, there.

F:  What’s happening there now?

L:  Well, I'm sitting on it, and I'm, I'm, I'm hunched up on it, and my, I can hear my heart beat, and it's very loud, and I'm uh, not sure I want to be there.  I think I'd rather be up where I have control.

F:  Ah, okay.  So what happens when you go up where you have control?

L:  Well, then I, then I don't need to deep breath and get over that phase.  I mean, It feels real uncomfortable to be sitting there trying to figure out what to do about this thing I can't get past.

F:  Okay, so, would you like to go there and deal with it?

L:  Well, I’m scared I’ll suffocate.

F:  Okay, what do you need in order to be there and not suffocate?

L:  I need to know that I can get my air somehow.

F:  Okay, how do that?

L:  Ahhh, I guess I’d tell you…

F:  In the picture.

L:  In the picture here?

F:  Mm Hmm

L:  I guess I'd uh make another exit.  I guess I would make an exit here somehow.  Make a door there or something.

F:  Okay, is there some way to do that?

L:  Well, I could just think I have one there, just create one.

F:  Okay, what happens when you do that?


L:  Well, then it would be aplace I know I could get out if I had to get out, but it's not getting to what I want to get to ...


F:  Oh, okay.


L:  It’s escaping.


F:  Okay, so that doesn’t work either.


L:  No, but it would get me air.


F:  Okay, so can you bring air in through there?


L:  Yeah, I can bring air in through there.

F:  An escape valve?

L:  Yeah, it is.

F:  Is there some place in your life where you can get some air?

L:  There is.

F:  Okay, and you can bring some air into that space.

L:  Mm hmm.

F:  So, with that air that you brought in, what’s happening at that threshold?

L:  Hmm, it’s softer.  It’s feeling softer underneath me, like it wants to give way.

F: . Okay.


L:  But I'm, well, that's interesting.  It's like that funnel. It's like I'm there and I sort of don't want to go out,and I'm okay with not going out because if I do then there's something else that has to be dealt with.


F:  Ah, okay.


L:  But this is softer because I have air.


F:  Okay.


L:  I know I’m okay.  I can descend to the fire.  (deep sigh)


F:  Okay, and what happens when you do that?  That person that’s doing that, how old is she?


[Process note:    This question is a key to the whole process.  ]


L:  I’d be, I’d be seven.


F:  Okay, I’d be seven.


L:  Yeah.


F:  You’re seven year old there.


L:  I don’t want to be, but I am.  I don’t want to be there, but that’s where I am.


F:  What’s happening at seven?


L:  My dad is putting his hands on my body.



F:  Okay.  So you're right there now.  Your dad's putting his hands on your body.  How are you feeling?  What do you want to do?


L:  I want to kill him.


F:  Okay, okay, what do you need in order to kill him?


L:  …..  I need, ….. (hesitating)


F:  So, be the seven year old now.  Go inside.  What are you feeling?


L:  Fear and rage.



F:  Okay, go to that place of fears and rage.  What do you see?


L:  I see fire.


F:  Okay, what would you like to do with the fire?


L:  Well, I’d like to spit it out.


F:  Okay, can you do that?


L:  Ahhhh, I don’t know.  (Taking a deep sighing breath)


F:  What do you need in order to feel safe enough to spit the fire out?


L:  I need to know that I’ll live, that I won’t be choked.


F:  What do you need in order to know that?


L:  Hmmm, I guess I don’t know what you mean.


F:  Okay, in the picture, you see the fire.


L:  Yeah.

F:  Where is it in your body?

L:  It's in my stomach.

F:  Okay, it's right there.

L:  Mm hmm.

F:  Okay. What would you like to do with it?

L:  I'd like to put it out.

F:  Put the fire out?

L:  Yeah. I'd like to put the fire out.  I'd like to get rid of it.

F:  Okay, but on the outside you'd like to kill your father.

L:  Yeah.

F:  You see those two things?


L:  Ahhhh.


F:  I want to put the fire out, and I want to kill my father.

L:  They seem to be the same to me.  Killing him would put the fire out.

F:  Killing him would put the fire out.  So what's the fire?


L:  It's erupting all the time, like a volcano, and it spits upward, uhm, it's like an eruption.  It just shoots up anger and rage and fire and heat.


F:  How would you like to use that fire in that scene as a seven year old?


L:  I guess I'd like to use it as energy to strangle him, just to put my hands on his neck and just squeeze him.  (physically enacting the strangling with emotion)


F:  Okay, do it.


L:  Ohhhhh, stop doing that, don’t do this to me.


F:  Say it.


L:  Stop!  Stop it!  You’re hurting me.


F:  Really bring the fire up.


L:  (shouting) STOP IT!


F:  What’s happening when you do that?


L:  The fire’s in my throat.


F:  Okay bring it out through your throat.




F:  Breath it out.


L:  Stop this!  Stop!  Stop!


F:  Bring it all the way out, all the way from the firey depths.


L:  My face is going numb.


F:  Okay, bring the fire up.


L:  (breathing heavily)  You know, I just want to reason with him now, you know.


F:  Okay, okay, okay, what’s the scene?  What’s the picture?


L:  I want to just say, "How can you do this?  I'm your daughter.  I'm not your lover.  Let go of me.  Don't touch me.



F:  See him there?


L:  Yeah.


F:  What happens when you tell him that?


L:  He starts crying.


F:  What’s happening?


L:  I’m not able to talk to him about it now.  I see shame in his eyes when I look at him.


F:  What would you like to say to him?


L:  I’d like to say, ‘It’s okay.’


F:  What happens when you tell him that?


L:  He hugs me and he cries, and he says he’s sorry.


F:  What’s happening between you now?


L:  Between what?


F:  Between you and him, at this moment, in this picture?


L:  Ummm, I’m not at this, you know, remembering the seven year old right now.  Ummm.


F:  What’s the scene?



L:  My mother has died and I'm talking to him. uhh, and I'm telling him that I love him deeply.


F:  Okay.


L:  And uh….


F:  What do you need to tell him to be complete?


L:  I need to tell him that I'm sorry that uh, I need to say ‘Dad, I'm sorry that I kept this secret about how I feel for so long.


F:  Okay.


L:  ‘Dad, when I was nine and…’


F:  You don’t have to do it out loud.  You can say do it out loud or quietly.


L:  I need to tell him this one out loud because, this one... "When, when I was in the automobile accident with you, and you said to me and my sisters “Don't you dare cry?" I stopped feeling and I've had a lot of pain as a result.  When I finally realized that I stopped feeling, I decided I couldn't tell you about it, but I'm going to tell you about it because I'm not being true to myself if I feel without telling you. (long pause).


F:  What’s happening?


L:  The fire is gone and the rage that was here that I wanted to put my hands over my mouth about is gone.  My face is numb, and my heart stopped breaking.


F:  How old are you now?


L:  I’m whatever age I am when I tell him this.


F. How old is that?


L:  Pretty soon, I guess.  I’d like to tell him.


F:  You see the picture when you do that.  In your mind, see that picture.


L:  Yeah.


F:  See yourself saying what you need to say.


L:  Mmm hmm.


F:  And what’s his response?


L:  He’s going to ask for some time.


F:  You see that, you see him asking?


L:  Yeah.


F:  What do you want to say to that?


L:  It’s okay.


F:  It’s okay for him to have that time?


L:  Mm hmm.


F:  Now go back to the dream of the chute and your family and yourself, and what do you see?

L:  Everybody's out of the chute.  We're standing on the platform at the bottom of the chute and we're all just standing there talking to each other.  There was never, we never had trouble getting out.  We just came out of the chute.  There's no one torn up or upset or crying.  But I'm with the group.  I'm not watching.  I'm there.  I'm feeling good. (long pause).  Hmm. thank you. )

           REVIEW OF THE SESSION:  (first remarks were not recorded)

L: ……membrane.  And, it felt hard, you know, and you asked "How was that".  That's when I was there and I said I couldn't get my air.  Somehow, I felt you were giving me permission to leave if I wanted to and go do something else.  Let's go up to your control center and how was that, and I said,  "Well that's not going to get me anywhere."  So, you let me find out for myself if I really wanted to do the work, l was going to have to go back down there and face that, that fire and get myself through that membrane.

Then you asked me, you kept asking me to describe the space.  And then, whenever I would have to describe it. I would have to feel it. When I would have to feel it, then I would have to stay right there with what was going on.  I couldn't get away from it.  I kept wanting to pretend that this wasn't real and it would go away if I just told you some story and go off in some other direction.  I liked it that you didn't let me do that, and, or at least you led me into not wanting to do that thing I call quits.

It amazes me that the image that I had in the dream came to this, through the ah hahs that you led me, that I could see the connection between the nine-year-old, the automobile accident, trying to get out of the car, the feeling of not getting my air, It was great.

F:   And the root of that in the seven year old.


L:  I didn't know that was going to come up, and I don't remember how that happened.  I don't know where we were that that happened.  I guess it was when we were getting ready to go down into the volcano and it got softer and I started getting closer and I described the fire and something about wanting to kill my dad or, anyway. It just happened that fast.  The image came so quickly.  At that point, I wasn't able to turn back, or stop.  I was already going for it, you know -- willing to search for that. And yet, I was feeling so hot.  I was really feeling like I was really in that fire,really burning.

The tears, the tears were hot.  My face was hot.  The tears, the liquid was really hot.

F:  Mm hmm

L:  You see, I joked with you about, ‘I’ll let that little fissure out.  Let’s just find one little place where I can let a little bit of the fire out.’

F:  It was important for you to be able to find that part of you that was in control and to know that was okay.

F:  It’s really important for me to make it safe, and for you to get whatever you need to get to the place that you need to go.

L:  Yeah, and there was a way that you connected my safety even in the danger.  There was a way out when I was on that membrane.  You helped me create that so that I could stay there, stay with the fear, and yet know that if I took that door to get the air to get out, that would be getting out.  So, when I said that, I realized that I didn't need that door.  I had my air.  It was almost like that door just went away, and I turned my back on it.  The image of having an escape hatch was gone.

Then, as the seven-year-old, I already had the safety of the twenty-two-year-old.  So, I knew that I was going to live through the seven-year -old scene because, in fact. I did live to the age twenty-two, and I am living now.  I'm not twenty-two.  I lived beyond that, so I could somehow say something to my dad,             because I didn't die then.

F:  It was real important to me, and this was my own, in a sense, pushing the issue, to encourage you to use the fire with your father.  I took some direction there.  You can use that fire in this situation.  That was probably the most direct that I got,really encouraging you to use that fire, not just spit it up, but to really direct it. That was a place where I intervened in some way.

L:  That seemed okay.  When you asked me to kill him, or to figure out how I could kill him, there was so much fear.  I couldn't imagine. I wanted to kill him, but I couldn't  imagine killing him until later, after I yelled at him.  Then, it seemed like it would be okay to choke him to death.

F:  Mm hmm.


L:  You know, and it's interesting that that image came up because it related to my choking myself off from saying what it is I want to say.  As soon as I said thatI saw that connection.  If I could choke off his pipes, I could choke off my own.


F:  Mm hmm.


L:  And to this day, when I get very nervous about saying something that I'm afraid is going to have a negative effect on me, my voice will bubble-up and choke.  Even before I start saying whatever it is that I'm going to say, my voice is just fine.  It just starts to choke.  It's a very old connection.


           [Note:  This launched a journey at this new level of her feelings.]


F:  Can you see a situation right now where you choke up in your current life, when your voice is coming up and you choke?


L:  (choking) When I talk about somebody dieing.


F:  Can you see a particular scene where you do that?


L:  Yeah.  I'm still grieving over a girl-friend who died.  She died losing her air.  She died of lung cancer.


F:  Okay.


L:  Whenever I start talking about that.


F:  You start choking up.

L:  I do.


F:  Okay


L:  I guess I don't feel like I deserve to live because I let her die.  If I had done something to get more oxygen to her, or whatever.  (choking).


F:  Go inside right now to where that choking lives.  What do you see?


L:  I see my air being cut off.


F:  What’s the picture?


L:  Somebody has turned off my oxygen.


F:  What do you want to do?


L:  Well, I want to live.  I want to turn it on.


F:  Okay, can you see how to do it?


L:  Yes, go over and do that.  (She reaches out and turns on an imaginary valve)


F:  So, do it.


L:  Mm hmm.  I just did.  I just turned it on.


F:  Okay, how do you feel about that responsibility?


L:  Well, for me, it’s my responsibility to keep the air going.  For her, I couldn’t have done anything.


F:  Can you see her?


L:  Mm hmm.


F:  Can you see yourself with her?


L:  Mm hmm.


F:  What’s the setting?


L:  She’s in my arms.  I’m holding her.


F:  Is she alive?  Is she dieing?


L:  She’s gasping for air. 


F. What do you want to tell her?


L:  I love her.


F:  What’s her response?


L:  Well, she dies.  I ask if I can go with her.  There are more things I want to tell her.


F:  So, before she dies, tell her the things you want to tell her.


L. (inaudible)  I just didn’t know that.


F:  Do you know now?


L:  Yeah.


F:  How’s your breathing?


L:  (smiling) Good.  Thanks.  How do you do that? (laughing).