Dream about losing my aluminum-foil false self.


I started taking the natural hormonal supplement melatonin to help control my SAD symptoms.   I wrote about that in this post.   One thing taking melatonin has done is give me very vivid and strange dreams  (I know all dreams are strange, but the ones I’m having are stranger than usual and I’m remembering more of them.

Most of the dreams I haven’t bothered to write down, and I can’t remember them anymore.  But one in particular, which I had a couple of nights ago seemed important and relevant enough to my recovery that, half-asleep, I scribbled it down in a noteback I’ve been keeping next to my bed.  The feeling of the dream (which was unpleasant and frustrating–though not really nightmarish) is almost lost to me now, but the details are still clear.

I was traveling by myself to some kind of camp in the wilderness–like a summer camp, only for adults.   I would be staying there for several months to several years.  It was in a region I was completely unfamiliar with, and I knew I had to arrive there before it began to get dark so I could find my way.

When I arrived in the town bordering the wilderness area where the camp was located, I suddenly realized I had forgotten to bring my makeup, my hairbrush, my hair straightener, any good looking clothing–basically, anything that made me “look good.”  i was hundreds or thousands of miles from home and could not go back to get these things.

Frantic, I searched up and down all the streets of the town I was in  for a store that sold these things.   I still had my makeup on for the day, but knew that once it washed or wore off, I would feel that shame of “nakedness,” of looking my worst.   It was growing dark, and every store I stopped in told me they did not sell such items.  The people were very friendly and pleasant, but no one could help, or knew of anywhere I could buy such items.   I remember feeling panicked and very frustrated.

When I woke up, I realized almost immediately what this meant.   The cosmetic items represent my “aluminum foil false self”–the thin narcissistic defense layer I’ve developed over time to protect myself from the ravages of my underlying BPD and C-PTSD.   It’s a thin layer and easily torn, since it was developed pretty late in life, and it could just be narcissistic “fleas” but it’s caused me a lot of problems since it’s a barrier to real connection with both my own emotions and meaningful, deep relationships with others.   It’s mostly caused me to avoid other people and situations that make me feel to vulnerable, because of fear I will be hated or shamed for being my real, vulnerable self (which I’m constantly fully conscious of).

The mysterious camp represents where I’m going in my life–a place of learning and adventure, and a place where I also have no idea what is going to happen.  The store owners in the area didn’t sell the things I desired because those things (narcissistic defenses) would hinder and hold me back during my “camping experience.”   These things were not necessary but it scared me that i would have to enter this camp “naked”–as my real, genuine self,  not dolled up to “look” better than I actually do or hide behind a kind of mask.


6 thoughts on “Dream about losing my aluminum-foil false self.

  1. I guess it’s possible that you have a narcissistic layer or “fleas” (which I thought was hysterical) but don’t we all? At least to some extent, I think that we all have that outer face that we show to the world, and hide behind, so no one else gets what might be going on inside us.

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    1. “Fleas” is a funny term for it, isn’t it? LOL! I agree all of have a false self to some extent, but in a non-narcissist, it’s just called a social self and keeps us from just saying and doing whatever we want in a social situation. But most people don’t delude themselves into thinking it’s who they actually are — they KNOW it’s a social (fake) self and it disappears when they are with themselves or people they are more familiar or comfortable with. In a narcissist, it’s there all the time and they rarely if ever show who they really are because they don’t even really know who they are.
      I think those of us with narcissistic parents have picked up a lot of narcissistic defenses (fleas), and codependency is part of that. It’s why so many of us keep getting involved with narcissists over and over, unconsciously trying to make things with our NPD parent finally “work.” Of course, it won’t work.

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      1. I have a huge pile of codependent bullshit that I’ve been trying to wade through for years. I’ve been trying for awhile now to determine if my mother has NPD. And it wouldn’t surprise me. Her upbringing was horrible (when it suits her) and sometimes she is the biggest bitch ever. But sometimes she’s great and I’m always super cautious when she is. Never know when it’s going to turn the other way.

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        1. That’s crazymaking, especially when you don’t know if they will be a total bitch or sweet as pie. My mother was pretty much always a huge bitch to me (except, strangely, when my chldren were born, she actually became a nice person and very helpful to me, go figure!) But my father, a borderline – covert narcissist, I could never, ever predict. He also drank heavily and was an alcoholic, so a lot of his unpredictable behavior was due to that. Sometimes he could be the sweetest dad in the world, really loving, other times he was abusive and scared me to death. I never could tell how things would be with him. And yet, I always believed that he did love me, while I never believed my mother ever really did.

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    1. I always do too. It’s very difficult to always have to walk on eggshells and try to antpicate the way someone else –especially someone bigger and stronger than you — is going to act from one minute to the next , trying to guess if you will be rewarded or punished, sometimes for the same infraction.

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