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    Thread: Living in a church, swimming in the sun, and feeling ignored

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      Mar 2019

      Living in a church, swimming in the sun, and feeling ignored

      This post is absurdly long—embarrassingly long and probably TMI. But it was such a vivid dream and it feels significant, so I put a lot of (okay, way too much) time into recording and thinking about it. I would be really interested in what you all think... if you can manage to make it to the end!

      Note: The words and phrases in [brackets] are recurring themes in my dreams. None of the names or places are real except St. Louis since I thought that might be useful for interpretation. I’ve included notes at the end to provide some real life context.

      The Dream:

      I lived alone in a huge, amazing old apartment above a gigantic old church surrounded by highrises, somewhere in St. Louis. I think I was generally content with my life. The building was extremely old in what seemed like a medieval style of architecture, and I’m almost positive it was no longer used as a church, or anything for that matter. Mostly made of very dark [wood]. Very high ceilings. Not a lot of light at all in the common areas; I don’t remember seeing a single window. The actual apartments were along exterior walls with many large windows. [The building was not in good condition at all] but still awesome because of the architecture, scale, etc. I never saw the exterior, the actual chapel, or anything else on the lower level.

      My apartment had a large, open living room area with a small, dark kitchen in a back corner. I saw one room with an open door; an unmade full or queen bed was close to the door. Between the bed and the exterior wall was what looked like a twin bed right next to the larger one, also with messy covers, and slightly lower. Another room, perhaps without a door, had a chaise lounge or small sofa, also with messy covers on it. I wondered which I treated as my bed versus a place for guests to sleep. I sensed that I may have chosen the open area so guests could have the nicer room.

      I had lived there for months, if not years, but somehow just learned that Otto was the owner of the building, so technically my landlord, which surprised me.

      I also realized for the first time that the highrises around my building [could see right into my windows]. I could easily see those people, so they could definitely see me. [What had they seen during my time living there?] [I even had a large window in my bathroom that could be seen from] Otto’s apartment, because [it faced sideways as if the room jutted out from the building, creating two extra walls for windows]. I realized this while wearing just my pale pink and white bra (which I look great in) and jeans, so I quickly climbed and reached up to pull a shade down. This caught the attention of some guys hanging out in Otto’s place, including Simon, so although I was a little embarrassed, I also tried to look the best I could. I got the shade down but was disappointed to see that it didn’t even cover the whole window.

      Later, when I was in my living room near the windows, a seemingly endless line of people starting coming through the bathroom door, into and across my living room, as if on a tour. I was horrified that strangers were seeing everything. Some started to break out of the line to look around near the kitchen. I raised my voice to forcefully announce that everyone had to leave. Apparently Otto had been allowing these tours without my knowledge, which, naturally, upset me. I did not notice a tour guide/leader.

      I followed the tour line down a large hallway to see that I had access to an absolutely huge indoor [pool]. I had known about it but forgotten and had never used it during my time living there. There was beautiful old tile on the floor of the whole room. I decided that I’d make a routine to start using the pool regularly.

      On the tour [I saw that there were many hallways and other rooms that I was really excited to be able to explore and have access to]. It seemed like Otto and I were the only two tenants, so I also loved the idea of being able to take my time exploring without running into other people.

      I eventually found myself hanging out in Otto’s apartment which was sunny and a pleasant atmosphere. He had windows open with music playing loud. I wanted to do the same in my apartment and asked if the music didn’t bother neighbors in the nearby buildings. He said it didn’t but I was skeptical. I decided that I would do it anyway.

      My mom and sister, Reese, came to visit and we were hanging out in my apartment. I defended the city at one point, saying I really liked it. The apartment level was directly above the chapel level, but seemed unnaturally high, as if on the 10th floor of a high rise. So I had a good view of the city from my window. After defending St. Louis, I looked out the window to see that it didn’t look particularly appealing: miles of boring low buildings, grey skies. I could see some red brick buildings and reminded myself that part of what I love about St. Louis is the many historic (usually brick) houses and buildings. That made me feel better about living there.

      Otto joined us in my apartment. Mom seemed to really like Otto. [Otto seemed interested in Reese. I was interested in Otto. I wasn’t positive that Reese was interested in Otto, but it seemed more likely than not. This was a very familiar and disappointing scenario for me. My heart sank.]

      [On a whim, I had gone on a warm, sunny ocean cruise vacation] the week prior with Julie/Victoria/some combination of the two. I used Julie’s name in talking about it, but I vaguely remember it being Victoria in reality. I think it was a good experience, but I’m having trouble remembering for sure. I tried to casually talk about the cruise with Mom, Reese, and Otto, but they barely paid attention to me, only feigning interest by asking me to repeat a couple things (without even bothering to look up from whatever they were doing), which felt insulting and somewhat humiliating.

      At one point Mom commented on how nice it was that Otto used to come into my apartment to play with my pet mice while I was away—I pictured white mice. I was shocked that Otto would enter without my knowledge, and surprised that Mom didn’t find that disturbing. Also confused because Reese had mice in the past, not me. So I wondered if she was mistaken, but she couldn’t have been since Reese didn’t have an apartment near Otto—plus, Otto was sitting right there and didn’t correct her.

      Dad entered the room and tried to make small talk by asking Otto a question, but it was in a stern tone of voice and his response was a little rude. I noticed that Otto was sitting down low, on a futon or something, and Dad was standing facing him, appearing very tall and intimidating. I was embarrassed for Otto and also embarrassed by Dad’s behavior.

      Next thing I know, [I’m on the water with Mom, Reese], and Otto and his friends that were at his apartment. It seemed like [ocean water] at first, a large lake at another point, and finally a flowing river with protruding rocks. We lounged on rafts, a small speedboat, and [a dock]. It was [a lovely sunny day]. [I wasn’t afraid to dive into and swim around in the water], and enjoyed doing so. I hoped Otto would be impressed but I don’t think he was. I tried to find opportunities to swim close to him—a last ditch effort to see if he’d show interest—but it was clear that [he wasn’t interested. He gravitated toward Reese instead.]

      So I gave up hope, feeling depressed and rejected, not just by Otto, but also by Mom and Reese who seemed so enamored by him. I became quieter and pulled away a bit. Eventually told them I’d be going back to my room for a while instead of joining them for dinner or some other activity. I knew they’d probably make me feel guilty or lame for doing so, but felt it was worth it to escape.

      At my apartment I reflected on it all. Otto was such a “nice guy,” which surely contributed to Mom’s positive impression. I wondered if I wasn’t enough of a “good girl” for him. I stood in front of my bathroom mirror thinking maybe it was my height. But maybe that was okay because I’d be more comfortable with a taller guy anyway. Still, [it was depressing to witness yet another guy I liked choose Reese over me. I didn’t seem to have a chance when she was around.]


      I am currently trying to rebound from a rough couple years. Have basically done a 180 during that time (in a negative way) and still in a place of transition. Not feeling optimistic about my progress. I have a good relationship with my mom, dad, sister, and [brother (who did not appear in the dream)]. I have a long-term partner that I love but the relationship is struggling.

      Otto has never been a significant person in my life. We were coworkers at a past job (that didn’t end well). We sometimes hung out in the same group of work friends but were never close. He was openly religious and had a reputation for being a really good guy, respectful, somewhat serious, but also very cool and liked by everyone. He was attractive and at one point I wondered if I could be romantically interested in him. I decided against it, mostly because he was religious. Simon worked with us as well and I also went back and forth for a while in deciding if I was romantically interested in him.

      Otto lived in Oklahoma City before I knew him. I went to high school in Oklahoma City. Also, Oklahoma City and St. Louis are closely linked in my mind for unrelated reasons.

      Julie was a good friend when I was in high school. We met on the swim team. She was blond (I’m brunette), petite (I’m quite tall), pretty, fun, and two grades older than me. Very outgoing and pretty wild—so wild that I often felt uncomfortable hanging out with her, nervous about what she’d talk me into doing with her. I haven’t traveled with her before. Victoria is a more recent friend, but we’ve mostly lost touch over the last couple years. She is also blond and pretty, but tall, serious, neurotic, and not a fun travel companion. I learned this on a long overseas vacation with her a few years ago. However, on this trip we did both really enjoy touring several extremely old, beautiful churches, sometimes on guided tours.

      Years before that, when I was single, I had considered moving to St. Louis and knew that I’d probably want to live downtown.

      Thoughts on any (or all!) of this?
      Last edited by thisway; 03-10-2019 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Typo
      Ic161 likes this.

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