Impulse Control -or- Paris Hilton in San Francisco

A dream Lauren Lawrence placed into her collection of dreams "Private Dreams of Public People" is one by Paris Hilton that provides a telling story.

Here is the dream; "When I was too young to drive I had this recurring dream where my sister and I took my parents' car in San Francisco. I was driving and we were going up and down all these huge hills, and all these little puppies were in the backseat and I was afraid that we would crash or hurt someone because I couldn't stop the car, and I was afraid that the police would come after us because I had no license."

Mr Hagen's Response; Joyriding with Paris Hilton -or- Don't Stop Me Now

Many of my own dreams are informed by what R.D. Laing called the "Politics of the Family". We are all born into a family, this is our fate. The organization of that family is historically and culturally variable. The family in the Western world the "nuclear family", has become a political institution that is responsible for the socialization of children. Freud had already pointed to the variety of social problems of the family system in his "Interpretation of Dreams". Most of us have a story about growing up in a family even a broken (divorced) one, a blended or a foster family. Often parents are unprepared for having children, because of poor family planning or lack of "resources" (money). Then there are the rich.  

In the dream, Paris by putting herself in the driver's seat of her parent's car and is driving as she understands (in the dream) against the law ("I had no license"). Essentially she is taking a joyride with her sister. The police can be seen as representative of her parents, or what Freud would call the "superego". What the dream really illustrates to us, is poor impulse control, "I couldn't stop the car."

We are all driven to grow up, we all want to be independent. If the family is the medium by which the socialization of children is behaviourally communicated, then what we appear to be witness to in this dream is the failed politics (read authority) of the family to convey the appropriate behavioural roles, rules and values. While the dream does speak of the paranoid fear of "hurting someone" and the fear of the being chased by the police, impulse control remains lacking. The poor impulse control behaviours in the dream point to what Fritz Redl and David Wineman called failed "Controls from Within". In "Children that Hate", Redl and Wineman discuss in depth the problems of the ego's impulse control. It occurs to me that from a popular culture perspective the dream may have an allusion to Queen's song, "Don't Stop Me Now."

The problems found in this "recurring dream", can be connected to Paris serving jail time for reckless driving in 2007. The Associated Press article ironically states; "A judge sentenced Paris Hilton to 45 days in county jail Friday for violating her probation, putting the brakes on the hotel heiress' famous high life."  


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.