XIAN JING: I’m from the province of Hunan and I came here 7 or 8 years ago to find work. My parents brought me here from my hometown and when they left I felt very lonely. I always dream of them. When I feel upset or when someone treats me bad, I feel very lonely and helpless.
    Sometimes I dream that I stumble and fall, then I start crying in my dream and when I wake up I always think of my family. One night I dreamed that I went back home to see my parents. There are five rooms in our house. I called my mum many times but no one answered. Then I called my dad but still nobody answered. So I went inside to look for them. I searched every room of the house but there was nobody there. I got very upset and started crying. I couldn’t understand why my mum and dad had left me alone. I wondered where they were and why I couldn’t find them. I thought: “Why don’t they come and comfort me when I feel bad?” Then I heard myself crying in my dream and I woke up.
    I tend to be passive and rather negative about things. I’m not a self-confident person and I often feel incompetent. When there’s something I cannot do, I even feel self-contempt. In my job, I need others to tell me what to do; I don’t have a positive attitude. Sometimes I feel very tired at work, and at home as well. My husband is from a very different region than I am; our hometowns are far away from each other. I don’t get along very well with his family. So I often feel that I don’t have anyone I can trust. I think my dreams are related to this. Sometimes I miss my parents very much and want to talk to them, but my dad has left me forever. That’s why I often have nightmares.
    When I lived with my parents in my hometown, I never felt lonely. But when they brought me here and then left me, I felt like a boat without a rudder. I can’t find myself; I can’t find a direction for my life. I feel very lonely and helpless. Nobody can help me; I have no one to talk to. I used not to think like that. When I lived with my parents and didn’t feel the pressures of life, I was not so negative and passive. But now I feel self-contempt almost all the time. This probably comes from my family. I think my parents didn’t believe I had any particular talent, so I don’t like to show off and I don’t have a positive attitude about my life and future. I’m passive about everything.