This post is a continuation of We All Have Our Reasons.
Have I mentioned my reason for all the dental stuff? I feel like I probably have. I feel like I get stuck in these loops where I say too much about it and make people uncomfortable and they wonder why I don't just shut up and get over it... why I let an event that lasted something like 2 or 3 hours (if you don't count the years leading up to it) keep interfering with my life, now approximately 12 years later.
The dental stuff is my trigger. It's the shadow that hangs over my currently happy life. Even now, 12 years later I'll have a tooth just crumble or suddenly get a jaw infection that requires the nasty antibiotics to address because my teeth are riddled with tiny cracks that aren't noticeable in your average dental check-up. More than five times now I've had dentists say, Wow. It didn't look that bad as they peer into my mouth, at the X-rays, back into my mouth. Trying to salvage or extract crumbled teeth.
The endodontist was skeptical of my dentist's order. He wasn't sure yesterday's tooth needed the build-up and reinforcement she wrote down. It just didn't look that bad.
The teeth don't look that bad. I don't look so bad. Why all the fuss?
Because every little violence; the needles, the tools, the authoritarian causing pain... they all fade into flashes. Little jolts of being right back there. My heart in my throat. They don't stick to chronological order. One will be the disjointed shock of sitting on the back of the sofa. The slap to the face. Hitting the tile floor with him on top of me. That's one.
Then there's the one where he's sitting on me, holding me down with one arm. Across the neck? I don't remember. I remember the little bursts of light as my jaw came into percussive contact with the cold tile floor. The heel of his closed fist striking against my mouth. The realization he was holding dog feces in that closed fist and was trying to force me to eat it. Yes. That. That's the memory that grabs me and won't let go. That's when I acquired these unseen cracks. These time bombs. When my husband was trying to force feed me dog shit. That's the one that's so hard to tell people and yet I find myself telling and re-telling. The scar has been ripped open again. See?
Those closest to me have certainly heard it more than once and when I find myself stuck back in this loop, I wonder if they're tired of it, yet. If they're tired of me. If this is the time that I've become too much. Just too much to deal with. People are expected to heal and move on and every time I think I have, it's just a matter of time until I'm finding myself in the dentist chair explaining how, yes, I do brush 3 times a day. Yes, I floss. Waterpik and xylitol gum, even. No drugs. Really.
My mouth looks like that of a homeless meth addict because my husband tried to force-feed me dog shit.
There's so much shame. Partly because I can't just get over it. I'm embarrassed to be so stuck. Because there's nothing anyone can actually do about it.