Nurse Nursing

Healing, fears of health, desire to be nursed or cared for, compassion for others. Desire to be loved as a child. The nurse is sometimes used as a figure of fear too, someone who will punish. For some people the nurse is a very sexually attractive person, and so links with sexual needs or desire.  

But if you work as a nurse, then your dream is more likely to be about your relationship with your nursing.

Florence Nightingale with her concept of nursing, and all the women and men nurses who gave and give us so much, all of these figures stand over us and are part of our unconscious experience here in our daily life.

“A young nurse said that she was almost ready to leave nursing. She said that she faced death nearly every day; babies died, children, teenagers, mature individuals, and the elderly all died – everywhere she felt overwhelmed by the emotions of experiencing it all.

The nurses experience was one I recalled easily. She said that her difficulty about death was resolved by the running meditation and she was ready to continue nursing with enthusiasm. I cannot remember her exact words, but it was about the essence of being a nurse. For nursing was not simply handing out medicines or dealing with wounds, nursing was to be a companion during the journey of life from birth to death. As a nurse we walk with the mystery of Life all the time, through the dark moments and light, and our companionship in that long walk give enormous amounts to the others making that journey. That young nurse was ready to continue walking with others making the journey.

It reminded me of when I was nursing on a geriatric ward. A bedridden patient, a lovely old man who had no relatives to visit him, called me and asked to sit and hold his hand. I sat for some time with his hand in mine, but the sister in charge of that ward was like a sergeant major and insisted we kept moving. I explained that to the patient and left him. That night he died.”

Nursing a baby: Caring for ones own infant needs which still exist in ones adult life; giving care and love to someone who is relating to you in a baby way; wanting a baby, or needing to express the depth of your own ability to give and love.

 Example: I was in a hospital. A nurse passing by looked at my baby son and then suddenly looked again and said, “Did you know there is something wrong with your baby?” I told her I didn’t. She said she would prefer not to tell me, and to ask the sister. I knew this was because what she had seen was a serious illness.

Example: I was in a hospital. Doctors and nurses were about. I was led to realise my lungs were filling up with mucous or phlegm. The doctor said to me it wouldn’t affect me in a short term, but if I kept on smoking I would feel the effect badly in later life. The dream was so vivid I decided then and there to give up smoking.

Example: There were a lot of children, mostly girls, who had no parents and were trained for nursing from an early age. One of the girls came to me as I lay in a chair. She wanted a cuddle. I held her for a while. Then a boy came for a cuddle. I said to one of them, perhaps the boy, “There are plenty of mums about (meaning the nurses), but you want a daddy don’t you?” I held him with my strength. One of the children asked me if my nurse friend had got a man yet. I considered for a while, then said no, she hadn’t, as I realised I was not her “man”, only a friend.  Alec.

Alec was a married man with children. His wife had been a nurse. When Alec explored his dream he described what he experienced as follows.

It was clear early on that the nurses represented my wife as she had worked as a nurse, but the rest of the dream was still beyond me. But as I imagined myself as the young boy I knew this was me. I didn’t like seeing that part of me. I had kept it covered up with pride over the years, but it was there and I was at first ashamed to see this childlike, dependent, emotionally hurt part of myself. It was because I related to my wife in this dependent, childlike way that the dream showed me holding him. My father had never really been a man for me and the child me was desperately in need of knowing that strength.

The boy’s question was a turning point for me. In fact my wife didn’t have a ‘man’ yet, because I was still moving toward real manhood. But suddenly I felt what the little girl in the dream meant. I said to my wife, “You’re the little girl in the dream. Do you see? Every time I get back to my warm sexual feelings I’m a little boy again, because I haven’t really grown up sexually yet, and that scares you. Whenever my weak side shows, you feel really threatened so you attack that part of me. It’s because you need a strong daddy because your father never provided it, and every time I show my weakness it triggers the little girl in you whose daddy was weak. He never grew up, so you never had a strong man for a father. That’s why you married me. Okay, I am strong enough now to be your strong daddy like I am in the dream.”

There was more to the problem though. Why did my wife’s little girl trigger my withdrawn little boy? I entered into this. I remembered how, when we had separate beds, I had often wanted to masturbate but had stopped in case my wife heard. I realised how much I wanted to hide my masturbation from her. At the same time I realised how I easily stood before her naked and with an erection, so what was this problem over masturbation? Of course, it was mother again. My mother had given me hell over masturbation as the disapproving mother, and when my wife got into her “downing” role I saw her as the disapproving manhood killing mother again, and was deeply repulsed by her. I am not going to be killed again by/mother/wife, so I will cut off from her and will give my manhood to women who do not kill me.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Is this a desire to be nursed or cared for?

Does this represent a healing activity, or concern for my health?

If I am a nurse, is this about my relationship with my own nursing skills?

Who have I cared for, or who has cared for me?

See Being the Person or thingCharacters and People in DreamsMagical Dream MachineQuestions

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved