Inside Holden Caulfield’s Head

This morning, I dreamed I was Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a very vivid dreamer – and, believe me, I really felt as though I was in Holden’s head. It wasn’t a pleasant place to be.

My dream didn’t follow the book’s storyline: the New York it was set in was a stylized, almost timeless city, with features from today as well as yesteryear; the series of experiences I had as Holden were different, though as in the book there was a general spiralling out of control; and unfortunately I woke up before someone came to ‘rescue’ me from myself. In fact, I was left feeling very depressed. It was as though the feeling was “sticky” and clung on after the dream was over. I hate that.

I remember one scene from my dream particularly vividly. I was sitting at a dinner with a bunch of men, and someone who was Holden’s grandfather was hosting the lunch, and sitting almost opposite me. (There is no grandfather mentioned in the book; this was a product of my imagining mind.) I had a glass and a half of red wine with my meal, and almost instantly became very intoxicated. I started to behave quite badly, in the end stumbling up from the table and lurching over to the maitre d’s desk and grabbing a fistful of money from the till, shoving it down my front but deliberately leaving a $100 note showing. I asked the maitre d’ to give me another table, which he did (right down the back of the restaurant), where I promptly proceeded to pass out.

There were other scenes; my Holden trying to get a friend to purchase something, time in Central Park, the view of a school – but this image stuck with me, maybe because of the shame attached to becoming so intoxicated in public.

Anyway, what I hated most was waking up feeling depressed. I hate that! Just yesterday I was thinking how my mental health has been ‘moving forwards’. Thankfully, writing this dream down has been cathartic, has drained it of its power. I’m shaking off the shackles of waking up in feeling yucky. I think today’s going to be OK.

And, you know what? Holden wasn’t able to save himself from himself: he needed his little sister to help him find his way back ‘home’, so to speak. But this morning, I’ve been able to find my own way back to feeling OK again.

Yeah, I’m quietly proud of that πŸ™‚


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13 responses to “Inside Holden Caulfield’s Head

  1. The scene with you stuffing all the money down your top had me giggling. πŸ˜‰ Congrats to you for finding a way to rob the dream of its power!


  2. happilydpressed

    I loved this book. Maybe I’ll read it again thanks to you. It’s nice to have fun dreams, and it’s great that you’re pushing yourself (:


  3. I have the same issue with dreams. They can be very very vivid and leave me waking up the same. :/ The worst part of it is that “vivid dreams” is the symptom of almost all depression medication, too. Ugh…

    You’re doing the right thing by writing about it though. When I don’t talk about my dreams to my SO, I stay depressed all day. It can help to just.. get them out there in the open, unpack them a little bit. The subconscious is a messed up thing sometimes…


    • Yes … the good old subconscious! I’m actually drafting a post about it right now. Such a powerful, unknown force …


      • It is… and dreams seem to be a manifestation of that subconscious partially coming into the front of the mind. My therapist helped me see a bit of that just this week, but… goodness! There can be a lot to un-wravel when it comes to what dreams are communicating. :/ Goes too deep, into things we don’t even realize we’re thinking about.

        Look forward to the post! I hope writing helped get past that initial funk… Waking up depressed is hard to overcome, I know….


      • It’s been an up-and-down day, more down than up, I’m afraid. Saw my therapist and dug deep, which was hard, but then went and visited my friend who’s an inpatient at the moment, which inspired the post I’ve just put up. She, her roommate and I were pissing ourselves, making up psych-related TV show names! Not bad for a woman who’d had a dose of ECT and a dose of Seroquel within the last few hours, another woman reeling from her therapy session, and the third more or less on the level … I hope it brings a smile to other peoples’ faces. Or maybe you just had to be there …


      • Nah, I think the list is hilarious. πŸ˜› And I’m not a huge TV show person.

        Sounds like an intense day though. Therapy, AND visiting a friend inpatienting. It’s good you had some laughs together, but I’m sure it wasn’t the best situation to hang out in either.

        Just thinking of your day makes my head go into a “confused processing cycle.” Hehe. Take good care of yourself and give yourself time to process those digging hard sessions and life situations. πŸ™‚ .


      • Thanks! You’re right, it was a HUGE day, and then – when I was just trying to take a nap – I was offered a place in a day programme I’d been interested in for a while. Lots to process. I’ll sleep well tonight.


  4. Pingback: H: Hidden | In & Out, Up & Down: Dysthymia Bree's Musings On Mental Health and Psychiatric Wards

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