The next thing I remember is waking up after it was all done.
They had managed to put the tooth back but had to remove part of my gums, as well as part of the inside of my lower lip.
This was the first of 3 or 4 truly terrifying dentist related experiences I had before hitting double digits. At the same time I began trying to cope with this trauma, I was being traumatized in other, unrelated ways.
I began having reoccurring nightmares (every single night) of my teeth falling out. I never got help for any of this and it continued to fester until my freshman year in college, at which point I finally broke and never went back to the dentist.
So we’re clear, I didn’t verbally express this fear of the dentist until later on. As for the other trauma, I only recently came forward.
Back then, counseling just wasn’t really something on our radar.
Whenever I experienced stress, my head would immediately react by reliving my past dental trauma. I know that sounds weird but it’s the truth.
Speaking only about the dental trauma at this point, I lived in fear and shame because I felt like a coward for not just going to the dentist. That only made things worse.
When it came to my own kids, I was never able to be part of taking them to the dentist until recently because I was unable to hide my fear and I didn’t want to spread that to my kids. Lizze and one of our Mom’s would take the kids.
I felt so much guilt for sending my kids to do something that scared them and that I was unable to do for myself.
Over the years, I’ve never had any problems with my teeth and almost obsessively took care of them.
Fast forward to 2018 and I turned 40 years old. I became so tired of living in fear and allowing that fear to control my life. I wanted my 40th year to mark a milestone change in my life. I had already lost 40 lbs and brought all my numbers back in very healthy ranges. I was managing my depression and generally feeling good about the future. The only thing hanging over my head was going back to the dentist.