Big Tex, thank you for your astute analysis. You?re right, there are several issues that surfaced in my nightmare. I was working all last night so I had plenty of time to think, and this is what I came up with (sorry it?s so long, people):
There is actually a literal language barrier between my father and I. English is a second language to me, but the one I?m most fluent in. My father never picked it up, and we often have trouble communicating. Strangely, it is rarely my father who pressures me about not going to meetings, it is more often my mom. However, I sense she is more likely to be swayed away from it than my father. For example, she?s interested in yoga as an exercise and acupuncture as an alternative medicine, while my dad thinks they are demonic and evil. I understand the hold that the JW religion has on them, I?ve been working on healing myself from it for a couple years now. I want to help my family break away, but just don?t know how, especially when we can?t communicate clearly, and although I don?t think they would shun me if they knew how I felt, I want to spare them the stress and pain I know they would feel at the thought of me being destroyed in Armageddon.
Now, my sexuality. I am without a doubt very sexually frustrated. A combination of factors has made it difficult for me to be comfortable with men I don?t know. (Though I'm comfortable with women, I'm not physically attracted to them.) I experienced a lot of sexual harassment in middle school, and it trained me to give off a very cold vibe in self-defense. Also, I wasn?t allowed to date when I lived at home (even brothers, who my parents didn?t trust to be faithful and who I wasn?t interested in anyway), and I feared what my parents would do if I disobeyed them. I then went to a women?s college to appease my mother. Right now, I am so occupied with work and school that even if I did know how to ?date,? I don?t have the time. As a result, I am 23 years old, yet I?ve never been past a third date, and I?m still a virgin. In this age of hyper sexuality, this is at times a downward tug on my self-esteem. I?m not afraid of sex itself, and do really want to experience it, I just can?t get any. And masturbation is a poor substitute. In my dream, I got the sense that the father figure just assumed that I was sexually active, and was using that to condemn me. I?ve often been made to feel guilty for things I didn?t have anything to do with.
As for my body image, it is actually something I am coming to terms with. I?m not significantly overweight, and have actually lost 25 pounds in the last year and a half. However, my father has in the past made teasing comments about my weight, which did hurt. It seemed to me, in the dream, that it was my his last resort as a way to hurt me. I?m really not sure why I dreamed that he wanted to hurt me, as we get along fairly well now, maybe cause we don?t see as much of each other.
I think I have a good sense of what my issues are, I just don?t know how to resolve them. Again, sorry for the length of this, but it helps me to articulate it in this way, and maybe others here can understand what I?m going through better than my friends can. I don?t get much good advice from them as I don?t think they really understand where I?m coming from.