Mary Field’s Dream
November 11th, 1927
Professor Sigmund Freud,
Dear Professor Freud:
I am writing you because I have read a great many of your books and admire you immensely and also because I hope you can help me. In the event that you find yourself too busy to do so I hope that you can tell me who I can go to that will be able to overcome the difficulty.
My desired information is concerning dreams, or rather a dream. First I should like to know the meaning of the dream and secondly whether it will have any direct meaning or reference on my future. I must sound as if I wanted you to be a fortuneteller or the like but this is not so because I realize that a man of your fame certainly would be anything but. You see among your books I have read your views on dreams and I thought your might be able to help me. Now to go on with the dream and the series of events connected with it. I mention the events previously connected with the dream because if I remember your text on Dream Psychology rightly, you spoke many times of previous occurrences often times having a great deal of influence on dreams. Now for the basis of this letter.
But a short two months ago I met a young man who since has held a great fascination for me. Not being of age as yet, of course my parents tyrannize over me in many respects and one of them happens to be the choosing of my friends. Possible you may think me an ungrateful child but still it is only a few short months until I reach the age of independence. Perhaps also I ought to mention the fact that I am the only child of our family. In the case of this young gentleman there have been some very hard words spoken. The reason for this is that the young man in question is and Italian and of course is Catholic. My parents are through bred Americans and also are of the Protestant Religion and although they are not snobbish they feel that in going around with and Italian I am going around with some one who is not my equal. O course the religious part of it comes in pretty strong as neither father nor mother has a very strong love for the Catholic Religion. As for my self, it does not bother me at all for I feel that because a person happened to be born into a family of the Catholic or Jewish Religion is nothing against them. In fact if I want to marry either a Jewish or Catholic fellow you may rest assured that I shall do so. But how well I shall accept that religion is another question.
The fascination which this young man has for me has twice transported us into a forbidden paradise, it is also a fool’s paradise, leaving us forgetful of every day morals and conventions. Before I met the young man in question he had been going steady with a girl of his own station in life and was going steadily enough with her so that she was wearing his ring, but since he had practically given her up entirely and devoted his time to me. Those are the circumstances leading up to the dream. Now for the dream.
I saw myself sitting in a place that was unfamiliar to me still I seemed to be very much at home. It seemed to be a place poorly furnished so it could not have been home for our place is very beautifully furnished. My uncle, rather my mother’s brother, and my father were sitting on the front porch talking and as it was a very hot day I was seated inside by and open window fanning my self, and while I was dreaming as I sat there the door bell rang. Upon answering the ring I found the brother of my Italian friend, He was dressed very peculiarly wearing the modern civilian clothes of the average American, but with a large gaudy colored Mexican Sombrero on his head. We passed the time of day and for several minutes conversed politely on daily news topics of interest, the both of us standing up he on the porch and [me] in the house. He did not disclose the object of his visit until he was ready to depart when he handed me a letter saying that it was from his brother. As a parting remark he told me that he was coming into the city to see me next week and that probably there would be four or five other fellows along with him. To which I replied that I would be glad to see them. Upon that he left. In the meantime my father and uncle seemed to have disappeared when they went I have no recollection of, but when I answered the doorbell they were not upon the porch. The young man who called upon me lives in a small town not far from my summer home and that is why he told me he was coming into see me.
Well I opened the letter and I can still see the expression of horror, dismay, and despair which was shown on my face. The letter told me that this young Italian boy had been married on the afternoon of October 17th to a Miss Mildred Dowl. I cannot account for the girl’s name because it is not the name of the girl to whom he was formerly engaged or even her initials. The name I cannot account for as I have never known any one by the whole name given above or even the last name.
Well in my despair I happened to look down on a small table standing near me and saw a large brass paper knife with a sharp edge. Grabbing the thing up I struck myself a hard blow around the region of the heart (I must sound quite dramatic, but I assure that I was and am far from feeling that way). I remember the sensation distinctly of the knife passing into my body. The first was the somewhat like the eternal thrill and it passed into something more powerful, lasting and serious, which cannot possibly be explained. I distinctly remember dropping to the floor without the slightest cry or shudder. I see myself laying on the floor on my right side with my legs drawn up and my left hand outstretched and my right hand still clutching the paper knife. At this time I awoke and I was somewhat startled to find myself lying in the same position in bed as I was when I last saw myself lying on the floor presumably dead. Upon awakening I found the tears coursing down my face and it took me some little time before I could control myself. The next day I found myself thrown into the worst case of blues or dejection or whatever you want to call it and it was an impossibility to pull myself out of it. This comes back to me after I have been thinking about the dream and trying to find a solution of it myself.
This dream occurred during the early morning of the 18th of October. I hope that you will not think me bold for telling you the things I have and also for writing you and asking the favor that I have. If I have annoyed you with my troubles please dear Professor Freud forgive me I really did not intend to. Please believe when I say that. And also please won’t you help me for there seems to have been nothing on my mind but this confounded dream and as I am a stenographer it does not pay to have my mind occupied with anything other then business during business hours. I feel perhaps that just writing to you and waiting a reply will relieve the sense of something formidable hanging over me which was caused by the dream.
Awaiting your reply, I am thanking you now for whatever help you can be to me, and begging you to pardon me for bothering you with my troubles.