I recently read an article called "Talk of Tigers/The Tiger Unveiled" and watched a video about his dream about tigers that was written by Dan L. Hays at his blog Thoughts Along The Road to Healing. I ask that you watch the video first. You will find it at the following link:
After you have watched the video, then go to the following link to read Dan's article about the dream:
Then come back here and finish reading my article. I will wait on you to return. Be sure to read the comments at the end of Dan's article and video.
Why is reading about Dan's Tiger dream so important to me? Because I have my own Tiger dream which started having sometime after my 7th birthday. How do I know how old I was? Because the house that is in my dream was the house that my grandmother lived in when I was 7 years old. She only lived there for a part of that one year.
Before I go any further, I want to tell you my Tiger dream. I have briefly mentioned it in a few of my past articles. Here it is:
I am about 7 years old and I am alone in my grandmother's house. No one else is around. I am frightened. There is a huge golden and black striped tiger walking around outside the house. As he walks completely around the house, I follow him from door to window to window watching him. He is talking to me as we both walk. He says in this really deep voice, "I am going to eat you." He keeps talking and telling me this over and over again as he walks around the house looking for a way to get inside. I make sure that each door and each window is closed and locked. I am so afraid. I don't know how long the dream goes on before I wake up terrified. I don't go back to sleep for a very long time afterwards.
I dreamed this dream quit often over the years of my childhood and young adulthood. I can't tell you when I had this dream last. It was sometimes after I started the 12-Step programs of Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics. It was always the same, never changing any of the elements of the dream. I was always terrified, even as an adult when I had this dream. I was always around 7 years old in the dream.
I know that for me to always be 7 in the dream that some kind of developmental stage stopped for me at that age. I don't know why that year is so important for me. I have always known that something monumental happened that year without knowing what it was. As I said in my comment to Dan's article, I can still see the dream in my mind so clearly after all of these years.
I never could figure out what the tiger stood for in my dream. When Dan said that his Tiger represented his rage that was buried way below the surface and was even hidden from him, I felt chills going through me. I recognised that as a truth for me as well. Dan said that the Tiger (his rage) was dangerous to him and anyone who got close to him. My rage was very much like that when I was in denial of its existence. I would suppress my rage as long as I could. Do you know how much of my energy was wasted suppressing that rage? Because of it, I was so tired all of the time for many, many years. As a young child, I knew what bone-weary tired felt like.
Dan said that his legacy of rage came from his father. I think that my dream took place in my grandmother's house because family was probably where my legacy of rage came from. My grandmother was a quiet person. My mother was in denial of all of her feelings. As a teenager, I figured out that my mother and grandmother were quietly angry with one another. I never knew why. If I had asked either one, they would have denied it. Do you know how destructive silent rage can be? I suspect that the anger had something to do with my grandfather. He died when I was 2 years old. My mother was the baby of the family and extremely spoiled and protected by her daddy. I wonder if the anger between my grandmother and mother was possibly jealousy because of that attention that my mother got from her father. All 3 are dead now so I have no one to ask about it.
The denied rage could also have come down from my grandfather and his parents. When my grandfather was just a baby, his mother left him and his father and ran off. My great-grandfather was so angry that he would never tell my grandfather his mother's name. He grew up never knowing anything about his mother or her family. When my grandfather would ask about her, his father would not answer. He refused to talk about her at all. When my grandfather was 10 years old, his father died and left him to be raised by neighbors who took him in. Since he died when I was 2 years old, I don't know if my grandfather carried the rage of his father forward into the next generation or not.
Just like alcoholism, which is rampant in my dad's family background, rage was be passed down the generations. My dad's grandfather was well known for being a mean S.O.B. He wasn't nice to his wives or children. His first wife died shortly after childbirth and he wanted to bury the baby girl with her. He apparently didn't think much of girls. A neighbor took the baby girl and raised her. His second wife divorced him and got a restraining order against him in the early 1900's. She kept the 5 children that they had together. My great-grandmother was his 3rd wife. She left him after he tried to poison her several times. When my great-grandmother died in the 1920's, both of their sons went to live with their dad. He was well-known for beating his animals also. Would you say that he probably had a rage problem too?
I know that I suppressed my own rage for many years, denying its existence in every way possible. I stuffed my feelings with food and still do to a smaller degree. I refused to acknowledge its existence. If you asked me, I would have said that I wasn't angry. Good little girls, respectful of their parents and all adults, didn't get angry, much less feel rage. My dad was a rageaholic. I knew what it looked like. I didn't want to feel that way too. It hurt too much. I didn't like my dad when he was raging. He was very abusive when he was raging. I didn't want to see myself as that way, capable of hurting myself and others that same way that my dad did.
As I have said before, I was like a pressure cooker who occasionally blew my safety valve when the stream became too great from stuffing the rage. When I was raging, like my dad, I felt no compassion for anyone. I took no prisoners. Fear was the monster that fueled my rage. Fear was also what kept me from facing my rage. I thought that anger and rage were the same thing and always very dangerous. My dad's rages were always dangerous. Rage always came with the threat of violence. For many years, I was afraid that if I let my rage out that I might kill someone with its intensity.
Except for in my dreams, I have never been afraid of Tigers. To me they are the most beautiful creature that God ever created. Have you ever seen a color more beautiful that they golden orange color of Tigers? Have you ever seen a creature more powerful and majestic than a Tiger? A Tiger reminds me of how powerful I can be as a creation of God. A Tiger bows down to no man. A Tiger is a victim to no one.
A Tiger, to me, represents the strength that I needed to overcome the effects of incest on my life. I have pictures and a small stuffed Tiger to remind me of the beauty and power of Tigers. As Dan said, Tigers spend most of their lives alone. I can relate to that also in that I have felt alone for much of my life, separated from others because of the lack of trust and fear of abandonment that I lived with for so many years because of the incest.
Thank you, Dan Hays, for your video and article on your Tiger dream. Dan and I have had a few conversations about the uncanny similarities between us that have come out from his sharing his Tiger dream. I look forward to reading more of Dan's blog articles and future discussions. I look forward to reading Dan's book The Tiger Unveiled when he finishes writing and getting it published.
Dan also has a Radio show called "Minute to Freedom" with Dan Hays that you can find at the following link:
I haven't listened to any of the radio programs yet, but I am excited to hear them soon. Now I am off to read some more of Dan's blog articles. I hope that you will join me. Have a glorious day of exploring your world.