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Dear Stranded:

Your dream indicates a sense of frustration in your relationship with your father, and that you wish to improve this situation. Your dream suggests that you are uncertain how to proceed in accomplishing this goal, however. You want to go home - this is your desire to improve your relationship - but you don’t have enough money for the ticket - you do not possess the means to get where you want to go. It is significant that your father didn’t refuse to pay your ticket; in the dream he simply isn’t aware that you need one. This suggests that you feel your father isn’t resistant to your and his relationship developing; he just is not aware of your feelings and needs. The ending of the dream indicates a fear that your relationship with your father will never be close, and that you will remain separated, which leaves you feeling alone.

In the real world, your father very well may not be aware of your feelings and may assume that you are busy in your own life, with your new partner. Your father also may be busy and distracted himself and you may wish you had more of his attention and support. Also, as a young woman, venturing out on your own, while exciting and necessary, is fraught with the genuine peril of making mistakes. Often in this becoming adult process we long for the days when our parents made decisions for us, even if we rebelled against their guidelines or disagreed with them. Your desire to return home may represent a longing for the security of this past, but as the stationmaster symbolizes, you can’t take that train.

The individuation process requires us all - eventually - to break away from our parents to discover who we are - what values and desires are important to us and will determine our lives. Recognizing the limits and frailties, even, of our parents is an important part of the individuation process. In the final analysis, our parents are very much like us. Doing as best as we are able to live our lives and juggle the myriad demands and complexities which life places upon us. Soon enough you will be taking care of them, as they move into their older years, rather than them taking care of you! How’s that for a transition heading your way? I’m happy to hear your relationship with your father is improving. If you are patient and care, I am sure it will continue to grow.

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