Dental Fear

Dental Fear

It wasn’t until coming out into the world about my childhood did I learn and understand that my totally illogical fear of the dentist is actually quite common amongst people that were abused as children. I found this fascinating because I didn’t understand that there would be a link at all, even though my own irrational fear does trigger many of the things from childhood, I never saw that there was a correlation between the two.

I found that I wasn’t the only one with this fear. I know dental fear isn’t just in those that have been abused, it is a common fear in general, but what I found about the link between child sexual abuse and dental fear made a lot of sense to me and explained why I have it.

I stare now at the letter that has come from my dentist, just a copy that is referring me to the hospital for sedation. I’m only having a rebuild on a back tooth that I smashed a couple of months ago, nothing major.  But there is no way I can get in the dental chair for work to be done. In fact just to have it looked at, I couldn’t lie back, he had to view it with me mostly sat upright and my other half in the room.

I asked him to please not use any instruments in my mouth, not even the mirror. I was shaking and my breathing was going, all he was doing was looking into my mouth to assess the damage I had done to this tooth. “It’s easy to fix,” he told me.

Easy? Not at all, just sitting in that chair wasn’t easy. He said he could fix it there and then, I asked if instead he could remove all my teeth. And yes I really did ask, because I hate this fear, I look after my teeth so much to save myself the trauma of the dentist, that I thought if I just had them removed, the only thing I’ll ever have to endure is having a cast of my mouth taken. He said no. At 36 years old, he said by the time I reached my 60’s my gums would have receded so much that not even dentures would hold and he wasn’t about to start removing teeth that were healthy.

Of course I understood what he was saying, and told him he couldn’t fix my tooth. I saw my other half sigh. But I just couldn’t bring myself to say yes. I asked to be sedated.

So now I have this letter that states severe needle fear, which is funny because it isn’t. Needles don’t bother me, the ex-drug abuser in me laughed. I am not afraid of needles at all.

But what the dentist does cause:

  • Having to lie back while a dentist examines my mouth (usually a man)
  • Having to trust a person of authority.
  • The anticipation of pain
  • Feeling smothered
  • Instruments in my mouth as well as fingers
  • Lack of control (which goes back to the authority figure having control)
  • Hands over my mouth and nose
  • Fear of not being able to breathe or swallow
  • Fear of gagging
  • Worried about the dentist getting annoyed
  • Feeling restrained.

It seems that many dental procedures remind me and others like me of abusive experiences.

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Inside

I really hate when it feels like I am crying on the inside and no one can see. I don’t even know why it’s there, it’s been a couple of days now, even an attempt at self-harming yesterday didn’t change it. In fact half way through self-harming I stopped because it felt pointless in that moment. cryinginside

I sit outside today on my decking and watch my granddaughter. She sits in the sun with her teddy bear, waves at me and blows me a kiss. Then she decides to get up, race over to me and in that way toddlers have, shout Par-par as she runs, because of course she hasn’t learnt to say Granddad. And even with those little arms around my neck, and the chocolate face against mine, inside it feels like I am alone. Maybe it is because I am writing Teddy 3.5, maybe it is just because of other things. I am not sure. I do know I hate when I feel this way and why I am writing this here, just to get it out.

Maybe it will pass later, I hope so, until then, if I am quiet this is why. The world feels like it’s moving and I have stopped. I’m caught in something waiting to catch up. Maybe tomorrow I can stop feeling like I’m looking in from the outside.

P.s I will remember to buy a damn light bulb today.

It’s just a stupid light bulb.

It’s just a stupid light bulb.

Strange topic for a blog post I know, but that’s what’s troubling me at the moment. A stupid light bulb. The one in the hallway blew out two nights ago and once again I have forgotten to replace it. The night arrives and darkness falls and suddenly the door to my lounge becomes like the door to a prison cell.

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Probably a strange concept to those that aren’t afraid, not that I am afraid of the dark, that doesn’t bother me at all, it’s the vision the dark gives me. The mental flashbacks that get triggered by a light not working. It makes me so frustrated with myself, it doesn’t matter how often I tell myself he isn’t real, he can’t come any more. He does not exist, the child inside does not want to listen.

I lie on the sofa at night trying to sleep and all I can feel is the anticipation of his hands in my hair yanking my head back, his nails digging into my arms, or his teeth in my skin and everything else that follows. All because I forgot to change a stupid light bulb.

I can’t even go out there, not even to go to my kitchen to grab a drink or to my bathroom. It’s like being a child once again. Even sleeping alone at night is a task, all I want to do is sit up and check that he isn’t here, but no amount of checking reassures me, because what if this time when I close my eyes, he comes. I feel like I’m an adult with a child’s logic sometimes when it is like this.

Once the night comes down, I know, no one will hear me scream and no one will come to help.

Just Today

 

I got myself up today with my heart heavy in my chest for many reasons. The most important one today though has to be that it is the anniversary of my Nan’s passing. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t think about her, or miss her deeply. If I close my eyes when it is quiet I can hear her voice saying my name. I can recall her perfume and the way she laughed.I_Miss_you-I_miss_U (2)

13 Years have gone by so fast, but it feels like it was just yesterday. I walked in the hospital that morning and the nurse caught me before I got to your bed. I knew right then that you were gone, but I asked her not to say it to me. I didn’t want to hear the words from her. Even sitting here writing this to you and I feel myself fall apart. I guess what I want to say is that I miss you so much. I wish you were still here. I wish you got to see all the things I missed sharing with you. But I am grateful for the 24 years I got to have you in my life.  You were my favourite person, probably always will be. Without you I don’t think I’d have survived.

I miss you badly.