Bev also began to understand that the three witches only appeared in her dreams. In waking life, she’d only see witches in fairytale pictures or in the recently released movie called Wizard of Oz. She never interacted with any scary looking witches in the waking state. By then, she understood that people only dressed up to look like witches for Halloween. Her parents told her, “All the dream characters, including the witches, exist as images in your mind. You’ve made them look like the scariest characters you could imagine at this young age. It’s your dream!” Bev had just turned six years old, and to her, they sure seemed real and separate from her in the dream.
In the coming months, before Bev went to sleep at night, she started wondering, “Why don’t I remember that witches only appear in dreams, and that if I see them, I must be dreaming? Why can’t I remember that my true self lies safely in bed while all this happens?” Little by little she began to change how she responded to the nightmare. At one point, she asked the witches, “Please, spare me until tomorrow night’s dream.” This seemed to work. She’d wake up feeling better, but knew that she’d have to face them again another night.
One night, the summer after she turned seven, she woke up in the middle of the night. She realized that if she knew that she was dreaming right when she spoke to the witches, then her true self could not get hurt because it remained safe in a bed that did not exist in the dream. However, only her dream body, or the image of her true self, could talk to the witches. She felt empowered and excited to fall back asleep.
Sure enough, she began to dream that she ran through her house, fell down the stairs, and lay on her back. The scary witches hovered over her. However, this time, she didn’t ask to get spared until tomorrow night’s dream. She looked at the witches straight on and said, “Okay, take me now. Let’s get this over with!” They still looked terrifying, but she now had the confidence of her true self, which seemed to be looking through the eyes of her dream body.
Bev felt willing to experience more pain because she knew that her true self could not get hurt. It lay safely in bed. Bev did not know at this time that she was merely playing out the drama of the “fall” when she got hurt at eighteen months old. At that young age, she couldn’t handle such strong emotions. Now, she had matured enough to deal with them. She finally felt willing to surrender to the experience and resist it no longer. Amazingly, the witches did nothing. They flew away and she never had this nightmare again in her sleep. She woke up elated, feeling powerful, strong, and invincible!