For over twenty years I've had three reoccurring dreams that have haunted me. One dream is where I call 911 during an emergency and can't reach a dispatcher. The other dream is about all of my teeth falling out or being sharp, fragile and jagged. The third dream, that I can actually never remember even dreaming, has something to do with me dying a horrible death at the age of 36. I never seem to actually remember the death dream, but every once in a while I have a deep sense of dread and a feeling that I have dreamed about it. Most of the dreams stopped in my late 20s, although I had the 911 call dream again for the past two nights.
The dream about the 911 call began when I was in elementary school, not too long after the emergency number was established in our area. Sometimes I dreamed about men in the field next to my house who had robbed the local store and who were trying to kidnap me, but when I called 911 the phone rang and rang and no one answered. Or I would dream about calling 911 over a big fire down the street and the phone was constantly busy. On other occasions I dreamed that I called 911 when someone was breaking into my house, and I was placed on hold while I screamed in terror. I never was able to get a hold of a dispatcher in any of my dreams, and I never knew what happened with whatever emergency was happening. Last night I strangely had the dream again after not having it for many years.
I can't recollect when I first started dreaming about my teeth falling out or becoming jagged and pointy. I faintly remember having the dream in middle school and sporadically throughout high school. The dreams started frequently throughout college, and were frequent enough for me to visit a counselor. "Perhaps the dream symbolizes that you have no control over something in your life. Perhaps you are afraid of losing something that is special to you," the counselor suggested. I always suspected that it had something to do with me never having had a cavity in my life as well as dentists and people frequently commenting on how straight my teeth were. The teeth dreams ended abruptly about two years after I graduated from college. I always thought it was bizarre that five years after my dreams stopped that my father had gingivitis and most of his teeth fell out. Last night my dream consisted of me not being able to talk to the 911 dispatcher because my teeth were falling out.
The third dream, the one that I really never remember having but feel that I have had, started when I was in late elementary school and ended when I was almost thirty. I can actually never remember waking up and remembering having the dream; I've just always carried around a sense of dread, and sort of a memory like deja vu, of seeing my life flash before my eyes at the age of 36. Logically I assumed that I was having a memory of a dream that I had, but I could never pinpoint a time when I had the dream. In over five years I haven't had the sense of having the dream, although I carry around the dread of becoming 36 years old.
I've always wondered if my feeling of having the dream of dying signifies that I have actually had the dream, or if I am having a premonition of my death. My mother and aunt have always claimed that they can "sense things" that are going to happen, like when the time my mom wouldn't let me go to the movies because she had a "bad feeling" and we later found out that there was a drive-by shooting. Or the time that my aunt dreamed about my cousin's lost dog that was in a shelter on a street with a certain name, and the dog was found in a shelter on that street over 100 miles away from my cousin's house, and 600 miles away from my aunt. I've often wondered if it's just a coincidence or if they can really sense things.
When I was in high school, I started to think that I might possibly be able to sense things that were going to happen. It started when I used to sneak my boyfriend over to my house every once in a while and I would suddenly have a strange feeling that I needed to get him out of the house. All five times that it happened, my mother would abruptly show up after calling off sick from work. I always managed to barely escape getting caught with many things that I was doing because I always had a feeling at a certain time.
Over the years I have continued to have strange feelings or dreams. I can recall a time when I mentioned to my boyfriend that I felt a pending sense of dread for no reason, only later to find out that someone that I knew died around the time that I made that statement. I can immediately sense if a person is going to back stab or take advantage of a friend, and I'm typically correct about 90% of the time. I can go on and on with many examples, but when it all boils down to it I am still confused about whether I can sense something or whether it's all just a coincidence.
In my world there's a fine line between dreams, premonitions, coincidence and paranoia. About three years ago, when I was 33, I began to experience anxiety for the first time in my life to the point that I have had to temporarily take anxiety medication for a couple of weeks on two occasions. I wondered if the dream or feeling of dying at 36 was actually going to happen. Why else would the age of 36 be etched in my brain? Am I being paranoid, or am I having a premonition? Or am I just having a silly reoccurring dream that I really can't remember?
I will be turning 36 in a couple of weeks and I am experiencing anxiety about it. I'm at the point in my life where I am considering having a child, and I feel anxious about getting pregnant while I am 36 years old. What I haven't admitted to anyone, including my boyfriend, is that I have been at home alone for the past week organizing my house and have even thought about making a will, just in case it's not only paranoia that I am feeling and I suddenly fall over and pass away.
Another part of me feels that I am not going to die a tragic death, but that my life is going to completely change direction when I am 36. For the first time in my life, I am planning on having a child and getting pregnant when I am 36. I am contemplating whether or not I am in the right profession, or whether or not I should change careers or jobs-a consideration that I wouldn't even have thought about five years ago. Family is becoming more important to me, and I feel more in love and vulnerable with my boyfriend of almost 15 years. I am starting to purge toxic friends and people from my life. I am thinking of moving for the first time in my adult life and it's causing me a considerable amount of stress because I have always lived alone.
On Thursday I went to see a hypnotist, who suggested that perhaps I have always had a premonition that my life will change course at the age of 36. Perhaps my mind always secretly knew that I would want to have a child at the age of 36. Maybe my old life will die when I consciously decide to bring a child into this world-a feat that I thought I would never want or do because I was afraid that I would reinforce the cycle of abuse that I had faced as a child. Or maybe I have just subconsciously waited all of my life to make some serious changes in my life when I turn 36.
In order to curb the anxiety that I am feeling about turning 36, the hypnotist urged me to do something special to celebrate my upcoming birthday. She recommended that I mark the day as the first day of my new life, and celebrate it with something fun and positive to mark the day where I will become at peace with myself and my life. I am trying to reframe the day as the first day of my new life-the year where I will lose weight and be healthy, shake the anxiety and paranoia about becoming 36, and choose to have healthier relationships and work environments in my life.
It's really hard for me to shake the anxiety, but today I booked an appointment with a day long session at the spa to get a massage, body wrap, facial, and a mani/pedi. I also invited three of my closest friends who are supportive and bring absolutely no drama into my life to for a dinner birthday with my boyfriend and I. And, my boyfriend and I will spend a night at the beach the weekend after my birthday.
I'm really trying to be positive about my upcoming birthday. I'm really taking to heart the suggestion from the hypnotist that I choose to start my life anew on my 36th birthday, breaking bad habits that I have and changing what I really want to change in order to live a more full life. In the next upcoming days I am going to be reflecting and blogging on some of the steps and goals that I would like to set for myself, to change my mindset about turning 36. I am excited to start my new life=)