Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Symbolism of Spanking Dreams: Coming Home

I had the most vivid spanking dream the other night.

It began with me climbing a hill going up and up and up until I was so high that rivulets of fog streamed through the crevices of the brown mountain peaks. (Even though I was dreaming, my mind recognized the setting as California.)

Being California, the houses along the hill were of modern design and also very large. Finally, I reached the top of the hill which looked down upon the canyon below.

I saw the front of a house, one of mansion size, which I recognized as “my house” even though I’ve never lived in one that large. Then, all of a sudden, I was inside the house.

I may have been an adult before in the dream, but now I was a child around 11 years old. I wore a loose-fitting white dress, more like a nightgown but it was a dress not pajamas, and knelt in the corner.

A pretty lady, who in my dream was my Mom but didn’t look like my real-life mother, watched over me while holding a paddle. She held the paddle in a “school marm" grip: right hand holding the handle and left fingering the board.

She didn’t speak, but I recognized I would be spanked once my cornertime was done.

And, rather than fear, I felt the most wondrous sensation of blissful relaxation: peace, calm, wrapped in a blanket of love as enveloping as the long white dress that covered me.

But before I got spanked, I woke up :(

About a month ago, I had another spanking dream set in the mountains. Once again, I was around 11 years old, but this time the hills were Appalachian green.

Once again, I went up and up and up the hill, but this time the houses were smaller wood-framed ones, not mansions. Finally I reached the very top of the hill and saw a combination church/school made out of red brick and several stories high.

A bell rang signifying the end of school. A nun stood on the steps and exiting students wore plaid jumpers, so it was a Catholic girls’ school.

(I’m not Catholic, but I yearned as a teenager to go the Catholic high school near my neighborhood. I loved the look of the uniform plaid skirts and knee socks, but I think I was more attracted to being educated in an orderly environment instead of the pot smoker- and bully-infested suburban high school hell hole I attended as a public school student.)

But instead of leaving school for the day, I and a few other girls followed a nun up many steps to the building’s attic classroom. There we changed out of our jumpers into loose-fitting white dresses worn while serving detention.

Then we knelt in the corners of the room. The nun held a long ruler similar to the way the mother in my other dream gripped her paddle, right hand holding the bottom of the stick with left fingering the “spanking end.”

As in my other dream, the disciplinarian didn’t speak, but we students recognized spankings were coming once cornertime was done. Again a blissful feeling of peace and calm washed over me.

And, like the other dream, I woke up before I got spanked :(

OK, the symbolic meaning of the female disciplinarian is clear: a wish for maternal love. But why do both dreams begin by me climbing a huge hill and why do I wear a white dress?

Is my mind in dreams pondering heaven’s existence and my future there as an angel, a naughty sort who gets loving spankings from God?

Perhaps. But as I wrote this story, I recalled my earliest childhood memory.

It was the mid 1960s, I was either three or four years old. My mother, brother and I moved temporarily from Washington D.C. to live with relatives in West Virginia because my Mom couldn’t handle being alone while Dad was deployed in Vietnam.

(His assignment meant he spent the whole time in Saigon completely out of harm’s way, but still she was totally freaked out. Who could blame her?)

I remember our family, minus Dad, coming back home from church one Sunday. I wore a white dress. And, to get home, we drove up and up and up a hill, so different from the District’s flat streets that I was used to.

We arrived and I went inside the living room. “This is home now,” I said to myself. “This is where I live.”

That’s all I remember from that time.

“The child is father of the man,” William Wordsworth said, but who is mother to the girl?

I am.


  1. What a beautiful post, Claire. Personal, evocative, full of tender yearnings. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I found your blog when Bonnie mentioned it. You are a very good writer.