August 09, 2010


Set-Back Subsiding? An Update

Thank you, sweet bloggy friends, for your support on my last post. Wow! That was a rough one. I was basically out of commission entirely for about three days, then another couple of days were needed to get back more completely to myself. It was the most dissociated I've been for quite a while. The good news is that I didn't run away or act out in any bizarre, alienating ways, freaking out family and friends around me. What I did instead is just hunker down and lay low for a while. I slept a lot and I attempted a lot of comforting. Today was the first day when it felt like the comforting was actually getting through.

It's ironic because I was just talking to my T about getting back to weekly therapy appointments so that we can work on the "Annual Fall Freak-out" issues. I was hoping--with a lot of work--that I'd get by relatively unscathed this year, starting when the kids go back to school. This dentist freak-out incident doesn't leave me feeling too confident about that anymore.

I Don't Want To Look

I Don't Want To Look by MarjakaThriver(on break) on

But, back to what happened at the dentist's office. The long and short of the matter is that this dentist started in on a procedure, but didn't warn me of what he was going to do. This was after getting up my nerve again to get into his office after about three years. We've been trying to figure out what was causing so much pain for me. I was feeling like a hypochondriac while we were trying to solve this dental mystery. I knew that I had cracks in my teeth (from clenching them) and I've been wearing a night guard for three years to help with that. But, I didn't know what was causing such extreme pain in this one location.

Well, come to find out, I have a deep crack in one of my teeth that goes completely across the entire tooth. We don't know for sure how deep it is. The dentist decided to fill this tooth, even though this particular tooth has never had a cavity. Instead of telling me this, he just goes in and starts causing pain in my gums.

I was like, "Uh, hello?! What is it exactly that you are doing right now?" He basically laughs off my question. He didn't throw is head back with a belly laugh, but he kinda scoffed and said something like, "Oh, that couldn't possibly have hurt much!" I wanted to slap the uncaring bastard across the face! He added, "I was just giving you a local anesthetic so that this shot of Novocain I'm about to give you won't hurt as much."

I said, "Listen! Not only do I have extreme dental fear and childhood trauma, I also have dental trauma. I have PTSD and a dissociative disorder. If you tell me what you are going to do before you do it, that will help a lot."

I should be proud of myself that I was assertive like that (although I was pissed that it became necessary for me to repeat my trauma story for like the millionth time with this thoughtless person who forgets and doesn't care, when I told my story and made my requirements abundantly clear before I ever allowed these people to touch me three years ago!) But, you know what? It was too late. The next thing I knew I was in a dissociative stupor. It was like I had fallen down a deep, black hole and I couldn't crawl back out.

It was a miracle I got myself back home. My son noticed how tranced out I was and asked, "Wow, Mom! What did they give you at the dentist's office? Some heavy drugs or something?" I said, "No. I'm just extremely dissociated." Then, I just crawled into bed and vegged out.

I want to tell this jerkoid dentist that he owes me at least three days of my damn life back!

I don't know what I'm going to do now. He says I need to put a crown over that cracked tooth or I could have an abscess or have to have a root canal...or I don't know what else he was rambling on about in a very put-fear-into-the-patient's-soul, very poor bedside manner sort of way. By then, I was already too far gone dissociatively speaking. I was basically a zombie by that time. All I really remember is repeating in my head over and over, "Just get the hell out of here and then you're never coming back!"

The real pisser about this whole situation is that this is the second dentist I've had trouble with in the last six years and both of them were specifically recommended to me by people in the field as dentists who had special training for trauma survivors and folks with extreme dental fear. I'd like to know how the sadistic jerks who don't have the appropriate training act and treat their patients! No. Never mind. I don't want to know.

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gosh marj~ i'm so sorry about all your pain and the compounding of that pain into emotional pain! :( i'm really impressed you were able to be so assertive. because i have such a hard time being assertive!

but i'm sorry you had to be.

maybe if you go to try to find another dentist, you can go through an interviewing process to find the right dentist for you. can you do that? ask to have an appt just to meet the dentist to talk with them before an actual appointment, then see if they are right for you? that way they will know upfront what's going on and what you need, and you will too be more assured of who you are dealing with, so won't be surprised, before you're laying there vulnerable in that chair.

is that an option?

sending love and safe hugs~~~
Marj you are truly a survivor. You know that? You are. I learn so much from you. I know that doesn't mean anything in the midst of what you're feeling right now, but you are a true warrior. With all the sass I'd like to think I have I've yet to stand up for myself like you did in the DDS office. I can rarely muster the nerve to tell my past for the umpteenth time for services.
I don't know what its like to dissociate but I do know what its like to feel extreme fear in similar situations, and its so very painful and for me feels like it rips at my very being.
But it seems like you and I are alike in more ways than I had previously realized. We wont let that stuff define us! We will not be beaten by our past experiences. We find ways to get through.
I know it can be bitter sweet when people say you're doing great, but I have been reading and caring about you for years now,YEARS! Can you believe that? And you truly are doing great. You're growing, and taking back power every time you face these types of obstacles.
Sending you peaceful energy and lots of love my friend.
Marj, sorry to hear what happened. But way to assert yourself! You should be proud.
Wow! I am SSOOOO thankful for my dentist...I still hate going but he is extremely gentle and caring and communicates every single step of the way. I'm sorry about your experience. It's difficult enough to even go at all, and then something like ths happens to you! Not fair!
Pigs!Hope things are improving now
Bravo to you for being assertive. It's such a shame that there are people that do not understand. I'm not sure anyone can understand without going through a trauma themselves, but it doesn't excuse him for being an ass. I'm really sorry and I'm glad that you handled it the way that you did. I hope things get better soon. Thank you for sharing your story. <3
Marj, again I am so sorry this happened. Good for you for being assertive though.

I'm wondering you said he was recommended by "people in the field" were these people actually patients of Dr. Clueless/Heartless???

If I were you, I would not see that jerk again. I would ask my friends who they see that is really nice and gentle...not necessarily a dentist who has studied trauma, but a dentist with a HEART. There are some out there.

Sorry again that you had that experience!
Katie: Actually, I think I kinda answered this comment at the last post where your comment was there. ooops! I did interview this guy and he did alright before, so I don't know what happened last week. Poo!

Jade: Thanks for that peaceful energy, love and hugs...and the pep talk! I appreciate your faith in me. It is amazing that we've been following each others' blogs as long as we have, huh? *hugs, deary*

Adam: Yes, I actually am starting to see this whole experience as a sort of barometer of my progress. I guess it can be a good thing, too.
Thanks for your comment.

Grace: I so appreciate your support on these last couple of posts. Thanks! And I'm glad you have a caring dentist. You deserve that.

Von: Things are improving now, thanks. And thanks for your support.
Glad you are back. Sorry the stupid dentist acted that way. There aren't enough xanax in the world for an experience like that.
Dear one thanks for coming back and updating adding to your previous post. I am so very sorry for your pain dear one and what you have to go through. Breaks my heart. But, yes you are a survivor! You are certainly an encouragement to me!!

Blessings and (((((Marj)))))
I am so sorry. Sounds silly, yet whilst I ahve fear of dentists, the conduct of the German dentists is that ALL dentists are obliged to tell you each and every step, and before the take you on do an evaluation by themselves! Never ever crossed my mind that one has to search for a gentle informative dentist......
This experience put you in high stress. I feel that you coped fairly well and this shows your progress, like Adam said.
Congrats in being such a WINNER
Marj, I'm sorry you had to go through that. I've always had issues going to the dentist also, and went back for the first time for years a few days ago. For me, nothing awful happened at the dentist, but I still got triggered and like you basically lost three days of my life with flashbacks, dissociation and depression that followed. Sigh. In my case, it's not the dentist who is really at fault - just the mouth stuff triggers memories.

I have to go back four more times, and I'm not sure how I'm going to do that and keep working.

I'm really interested that others with PTSD also have these dentist issues. I really thought I was alone with this one.

Anyway, hope you are on the mend at this point, as I am. Seems like you do need a different dentist.
Good for you for saying something to him! I would have just sat back and let him have all the power. But it really sounds like you need a new dentist. I HATE going, so I have to have someone that makes me feel comfortable. Guys just don't do that for me so my dentist is a woman and she is wonderful! I started crying the last time she told me I had a cavity (about 2 years ago, right at the peak of my meltdown) and she was so sweet. You are the consumer. You pay them and there is no way in HELL you should pay that jerk for being a jerk.

It sounds as if you handled the situation wonderfully. You inspire me!!!!
I am so glad you spoke up to him. It seems like he is lacking in the compassion department. I finally found a good and gentle dentist. He is so kind, knows nothing about my childhood but knows I am terrified of dentists. I found him through friends at church and I recommend him to everyone!
You need to find someone else, Marj. Really. Hugs.
I appreciate your comments so much. I really do. I will respond to each of them individually as soon as I can. Thanks.
I'm a survivor too. I had an experience with a "friend" where she misinterpreted what I was saying, (I was telling her that I was freaking out about sexual non-events, feeling threatened when there was no threat, and trying to get over those feelings) and she basically twisted it to hurt me, violate me, etc. whenever I eventually pissed her off. I found myself having to explain to all and sundry that No, I wasn't raped by the man I love, I was feeling all stirred up and blah blah blah, explaining the whole story. It took me months to realize that I was participating in my own feelings of violation by repeating the whole thing. It was enough for me to tell my family and friends that my "friend" was really twisting things around and hurting me, without going into everything that just makes me feel vulnerable. I used to feel really compelled to practically introduce myself as a survivor, and I don't regret it at all, but I definitely appreciate not feeling like I HAVE to make myself vulnerable in that way, that I can chose who I talk to about it. (This is what the dentist post made me think about - and you should be proud that you were able to tell him, b/c stuff is so hard to say, but know that you don't HAVE to. It's not your job to make him understand, establishing your boundaries is enough to protect you, and to hell with him)
Anon: thanks for your support. And I'm glad that you are advocating for yourself...on your own terms.
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