Dreams I can’t forget

I have a dream that my teeth fall out. It’s a dream I have had multiple times in my life. I can never forget it. I can tell anyone anytime about the dream because it’s always the same. The circumstances change as my life changes, but the actual events are exactly the same every time.

I am usually under some stress in my life about deadlines or big decisions when I have the dream. It is usually terrifying, too–I mean, my teeth all fall out. How can that ever be okay.

It starts this way: I am talking to someone important in my life who I desperately want to impress. In fact, I’m thinking (in my dream) that I’m doing a good job of that until I have to turn away briefly from the conversation to spit out a tooth that’s come loose. It’s highly embarrassing, but it’s not a front tooth, so I can turn to the side, spit it out and then smoothly resume the conversation.

Next I’m talking to another important person in my life, a boss, a teacher, a colleague–someone, again, whom I am sure I have to impress. THIS time I have to turn around mid-sentence, “Excuse me just a moment,” and I have to spit out several teeth. Now it’s about front teeth as well as molars and I have to adjust my speech because I’m missing key obstacles upon which to place my tongue to keep from lisping, so I have to talk more slowly and measure everything I say.

Finally I’m talking to the MOST important person in my life (at the time) and all my teeth start to come loose and I turn around and every tooth in my head has to be spit out into my cupped hands as I turn away from that person. Yuck. It’s so disgusting–even just writing it down now is harrowing in some ways.

BUT there’s no pain at all. None. I feel nothing when the teeth come loose and I have to expell them. No blood, no pain. It’s almost as if the teeth are just a nuisance to my ongoing conversation rather than something traumatic.

A friend who had a dream interpretation book said the dream was about my fear of having no control over events in my life. I totally buy that. It makes such sense. I think it has a lot to do with my fear of dentists, too.

I bet I have this dream about once a year. It never comes at the same time each year, but come it does. And it’s always such a familiar dream that I sort of have that meta-dream moment when I think: “Oh, I’m having that dream about losing all my teeth again. I really hate this dream. But it will be over soon, and I’ll wake up and I’ll have all my teeth.” I wonder why it’s a recurring dream though. You’d think my subconscious could come up with some better, more creative ways to manifest my worries than this same old sorry dream about teeth.

I think one of the things it’s done for me is made me obsessed with teeth–I worry constantly about chipping my teeth or cavities or damage, root canals, fillings and so on. I buy new toothbrushes constantly and try new toothpastes, and don’t even get me started on floss. Buying and using the right floss is an art form.

I wonder that this dream has stayed with me through all these years… and that I can recall it so clearly. I wish I had another dream that was so clear to me: about flying or heroic endeavor. But no, the dream I cannot forget is about losing all my teeth in the most embarrassing situations possible. Great.

I’m so sorry now I started down this path, but I only have two minutes left on the clock for writing, so I’m stuck. I suppose my teeth will get loose soon, and I’ll start losing them, one at first, then a couple more, then everything. Sigh.