“I am in my mother’s house when my old boyfriend, Steve, shows up. He’s come to warn me about something. He asks me the name of the woman from Greenpeace who treated me badly. I ask him if he means Jane, and he says yes, with tears in his eyes. He buys a fancy tandem bike for my mother and her boyfriend, but they already have their own bikes, so he decides to put that money towards a glass of vodka for the Queen instead. She is not really a queen of anything, just a woman who is a friend of ours. I see her walking away with a sense of freedom, but it also seems like a purchase of lesser value.”
The first thing we notice about this dream is that it takes place in Suzy’s mother’s house. Though this might seem like an insignificant detail, it contains the crux of the dream.
In every family, each member occupies a role that tends to play out in the world long after the apron strings have been cut. Some of us are the black sheep, some the responsible ones, some are the babies and, like Suzy, some are their mother’s little helpers. Though she grew up there, Suzy doesn’t even call it her own house since she was raised to be little more than a support person to her depressive mother.
The arrival of Steve is a call to remember and be warned. Suzy associated a great deal of sisterly love towards Steve, but though he was loyal and generous, she said the relationship was missing sexual fire. Exploring deeper, we discover that Suzy’s present relationship is experiencing a similar difficulty. The dream gives us a clue as to why.
The Jane character seems to be the source of real sadness. She works for Greenpeace, a “radically leftist organization that fights for the protection of the environment.” Jane represents Suzy’s outspoken, active nature – something she fears to lose in relationships, as she did with her mother.
But when asked about Greenpeace, Suzy also felt their campaigns “went too far sometimes.” As it turns out, Suzy’s efforts to protect her personal ‘environment’ come at the expense of intimacy and result in a loss of libido. It would seem that Suzy’s challenge is to find a balance between her need for independence and the ability to trust.
In its infinite wit, the dreammaker has Steve buying a tandem bike for Suzy’s mother and boyfriend. When asked about their relationship, Suzy described it as profoundly codependent. The tandem bike represents that codependency, (Suzy’s great fear), but also the ability to work cooperatively in relationship; alternating between leader and follower, supportive and supported. Especially given her role as support person to her mother, it’s no surprise that Suzy resists riding in the backseat.
In the end, the investment is pulled out of the tandem bike and put towards vodka for the Queen instead. In her struggle for autonomy, Suzy pulls away from relationship and aligns with her inner Queen, the monarch who rules well enough alone. Though there is freedom in this choice, there is also a nagging feeling that it one of lesser value.
Indeed, vodka will not quench the Queen’s thirst so much as make her blissfully unconscious. Maybe once Suzy can value the role of follower, she might find a more authentic sovereignty. After all, she isn’t the Queen of anything, just a woman who needs others as much as they need her.