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The Dentist and PTSD

I went to the dentist today. It was to be the last appointment for six months but there was a trauma issue and I couldn't continue. Despite a lot of nitric oxide, I had a panic attack. My body was shaking, I was  hyperventilating, crying. One of the employees there came over to me and started rubbing my arm and reassuring me.

I have to go back the 12th to finish up. I was supposed to be finished today but I couldn't let her use the needle in my mouth again. I knew I wasn't able to manage that.

The dentist asked if I had someone to check in on me after I left. I said yes. Going to the dentist is so triggering that often times I become suicidal after the appointment. It's not as simple as doing the appointment then I go home and everything is okay. I've got to live through flashbacks. I've got to remember to breathe and remember that I'm 46 years old, I'm an adult. I'm safe. My mother can't hurt me. I said it again and again in that chair today. I'm embarrassed that I had a full blown panic attack in public.

After a long time staying in the corner alone, Janie has slept beside me two days in a row. Fuzzy butt comes up in the information I run through out loud to help me calm down and know I'm safe.

  • My name is Faith Austin.
  • I'm 46 years old.
  • I have a cat named Mary Jane.
  • I'm an adult with my own home.
  • I'm safe.

I say it out loud because I need to hear it. Saying it in the open is stronger for me than to say it in my head.

I also go over all the things in my house that prove I'm an adult, not a child who has to go home to her mother and get the crap beat out of her because she broke down in public. I didn't embarrass her because she's not a factor anymore. I think about all the things in my home that bring me comfort or make me smile. I don't say them out loud, I just list them off in my head.

I've got an album where I keep art from friends. I look at it and show it to company. I think about my art studio, about the tea spot, the plants and the aquariums. I think about anything that breaks the trauma response to bring me back to this year, this day, this moment of safety.

Faith

Published on Categories Abuse, Anxiety, PTSD, The People Behind My Eyes

About Faith

SUNDRIP – Art for Life is a site that expresses in every media possible an intimate look into the life of a person living with major trauma. The issues addressed in art and writing include Dissociative Identity Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Lupus and CRSD. Despite these issues, I intend to move forward, through and out with honor, grace and creativity.

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