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I have PTSD.  I frequently have dreams that involve packing.  My therapist says dreaming of packing is a typical PTSD dream and that the progress I make in the dreams reflects the progress I'm making with my treatment.  Basically, the worse the situation is in the dream, the worse I'm doing, and the better the dream is, the better I'm doing.  She says I'll know I'm better when I have a dream that involves me getting everything packed up, with helpful helpers, and a nice, clean, shiny, working truck - basically, an easy move.  Reading about other people's dreams is basically the most boring thing in the world, right above hearing about other people's dreams, but I want to chart my progress, so here are my packing dreams as I remember them, from oldest to newest.  These dreams are much more frightening than they seem - they still make me wake up, shaky, panicky, with my heart racing, and I can never get back to sleep after them.

I'm stuffing phone books into a backpack.  I don't know why, but the sense of urgency is intense and I just can't make them all fit.  I think I'm moving out of someone's basement.  Phone books seems to be the only things I own.

I'm packing our apartment.  My primary SO is there but keeps interfering.  I'm angry at him and panicking.

I'm packing my many thousands of books.  Chris-in-the-morning, a character for the TV show Northern Exposure, is there.  He's supposed to be helping but he's not.  He keeps trying to get me to sell all my books for $10,000.  I don't want to.

I'm frantically trying to pack my house as quickly as possible, because a flood is coming.  I have 4 helpers, who are super heroes.  I don't remember who 2 of them are, but one is Superman (except he wears a kilt) and one is some kind of speedy fast guy.  I'm trying to get everyone organized so we can pack quickly.  The fast guy is supposed to run the boxes out to the truck.  But they won't focus and just keep wandering around and basically not helping.  I keep reaching under Superman's kilt and fondling him. 

I'm falsely accused of a crime, shooting a child, when, in fact, I was trying to protect the child from people who are shooting at her.  I run from the law for 20 or so years, every time they get close, I frantically pack my stuff into my back pack and take off again.  I always have to leave stuff behind because it won't fit or I don't have time.  Finally, I go back to the child who I was protecting, who is now an adult, and get her to tell the truth about what happened.

My father witnessed something criminal.  Our whole family had to hid from the criminals in a cheap, roach ridden hotel room.  I keep packing up my books because we have to change rooms several times.

I'm running to somewhere, running away from my family.  I've packed everything successfully, but I couldn't find the right train. People kept looking in my bags and making fun of me. Someone got sick and I called him an ambulance.  The train was supposed to leave at 10:30 every day, but I can never make it to the train station before 1:30 because of all the delays.

My primary and I are moving to baton rouge.  We decide to get married, to please my primary's mother.  His mother in the dream is a real-life friend of ours.   There were dozens of coffins in the church on our wedding day but in the dream, this didn't seem unusual.  There was some problem with the wedding rings, they didn't match up, and I couldn't wear the engagement ring and wedding ring on the same finger, so I had to wear it on my right hand.  It was huge, a big ruby surrounded by diamonds.  I'm very angry that my primary bought me a ring with diamonds, knowing how I feel about them, but I forgive him.  In the wedding ceremony, all women present, not just me, are wearing wedding dresses.  A friend of my primary is there.  In the dream (as well as in real life) he cheats on his girlfriends constantly.  I want to write him a note telling him to stop but I can't find any blank paper, all the paper I can find is fliers announcing our wedding.  I finally find a piece of paper and tell the friend to stop cheating, that he should try being polyamorous, and that I love him despite him being an asshole and that I have faith he can be a better person.  The note makes him cry. 

We need to get a moving truck to go to Baton Rouge.  I try to rent from some friends, hoping they will give us a good deal.  I expect the truck to cost about $2000.  My primary's mother is going to pay for it.  It turns out to be $4000 but she says she'll still pay for it.   My primary goes to find friends to help us pack while I go to get the truck.  Things keep getting in my way to prevent me from getting to the truck place.  First, there is a dog pretending to be a skunk.  I try to avoid him so I don't get sprayed.  Then there is a man with a bunch of pet rabbits, and I want to play with and take care of the rabbits.  Then there is a bus parked.  It's not going anywhere, but there are lots of people I know on it.  I tell them I am married and all anyone wants to do is see the ring.  I finally manage to avoid the obstacles and get to the truck rental place.

I left home for college.  My parents told my brother he could have all my books. I went home and was going to pack up my books to take w/ me.  We had a huge fight about it. I tried to pick out the books i really wanted. My primary was there, sometimes helpful, not too much, he was supposed to take the books I wanted out to the pick-up truck we were driving but he kept telling me the books I wanted were bad.  There were also lots of silver charms, like from charm bracelets, and I went through and picked out all the bunny charms.  My brother and I kept fighting over the books, he wanted them all, so I knocked him out (possibly using magic)  put books I wanted in the truck and speed away.    We quickly had to change trucks, buy or rent a new one, so no one would find us.

A guy friend, who I am sleeping with,  is helping me move out of my grandmother's house, his ex is there is there, she's wearing her hair in weird braids.  the three of us go to a concert.  after the concert, his ex cuts off most of her braids so she has these weird little pony tales all over her head.  I'm say or think that it looks like she let a rat cut her hair.  She had some weird idea that she shouldn't cut her hair until after the concert

At my grandmothers house, I'm packing.  The guy and his ex aren't helping, they are outside the window, mostly making out.  i send my little brother to go look but tell him not to tell anyone i sent him.  The ex sees him and accuses me of sending him, but he tells her i didn't.  the three of us have some confrontation, either i or the ex make him choose between us.  he "chooses" me but i get the feeling it's only 'cause he's mad at his ex.  she does something in my bedroom - leaves a cup of spit, and i think she hides some pot so I'll get arrested, and runs off.  I'm still angry and jealous of her and my guy friend.  i get my ex boyfriend  to come.  we use his station wagon to move my stuff.  i hope to make my guy friend jealous but he's indifferent

we get me moved into a frat (i want to stay w/ my aunt but that doesn't work out, i offer to feed her animals in exchange for board but she thinks it's too far away from my school) and i find out there is a girl my guy friend likes, an Indian girl.  she's being kicked out of school/her place to live 'cause her people assume she had sex, but she didn't.  she and my guy friend flirt constantly, we go to help her pack for her move away from school.  when she finds my guy friend and i are involved (i make sure she finds out by groping him in front of her) she loses interest in him, she says my friendship is more important

I lived in NYC and couldn't drive.  I was moving to Texas for some reason.  My mother wouldn't help me find an apartment there.   I'm staying in my childhood home.  The town had grown a lot - across the street were several huge apartment buildings but they were all full and it took years of being on a waiting list to get an apartment there.   I bought a truck - there was something about getting a free basketball with the purchase of the truck.  The truck had some kind of safety feature that was supposed to be plastic or metal but was Styrofoam.  I'm walking all over our yard in Texas, looking for cassette tapes that were sprinkled all over the yard.  I decide to go back to NYC.  I go around our house picking up the stuff from my childhood that I didn't want the last time I left.  I pack up all my stuff in a garbage bag and a suitcase. The stuff won't all fit so I give up on most of it.   My mom says she'll ship the rest in a box.   I take what does fit and Nibbler's pet carrier with me on the plane. 

I'm in some kind of hospital.  I think I work there.  There's a guy who's been accused of raping 3 or 4 women, but he's innocent.  I can't remember why I know this and no one else does, but I prove his innocence before this mob kills him.  This makes them angry at me.  I'm now hiding from everyone in this hospital.  There's a room w/ jewels and I'm filling my pockets with them so I have money to run with, but they fall out or rip holes in my pockets.   Then the mob thinks I'm dead and I'm still hiding and going from room to room and I can't get out.

I'm in high school?  My mother is there, burning stuff? (in real life, she thought burning my stuff was a great punishment)  I go to class, take test on statistics, "fail" with a 32% but get best grade in class.  My best friend, who thought statistics was her best class, gets a 21% which is low enough to get her kicked out of the class.  I'm trying to go home, but can't fit all my school stuff into my backpack, it keeps ripping open and i have to buy new ones.  There's a guy I like who keeps getting mad at me because the drawings I do are too detailed.  Then I find out he's actually just angry that I have a boyfriend.  He runs away before I can tell him I'm poly.

I think I've finally had the good packing dream!!!!

I've already moved away from "home" and am living with my boyfriend.  We go back to my parent's house to get the rest of my stuff.  We find it all, stuff it all in garbage bags, throw it on a truck, and get the hell out.  No problems. :) 

2 dreams.  Basically, I had the dream once, fell back to sleep, and had the same dream but with different details, colors and stuff.  In both, I was living w/ my current real-life live in boyfriend and we were moving.  My real-life secondary boyfriend was helping us, but he brought along another girlfriend and I was jealous and angry.  We couldn't get our stuff packed up and un-packed.  The apartments we were moving into kept getting worse and worse - like, every trip we made in with a box, the place had gotten smaller and crappier.  Also, we kept getting more cats.  We wanted 2, but more kept coming in.  I didn't know what to do with the extras.  I considered taking them to a shelter but since I work at shelters felt I couldn't so I started throwing them out the window.