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Monday, December 6, 2010

More Dentist

It rained today. The morning dawned, characteristically sunshine bright, dimming to soft clouds by afternoon. My pansies insistently bloom. They have no idea it's almost Christmas.

My "final" visit to the dentist has been extended until January when the root canal work begun today will be finished. No flashbacks. I've almost forgotten what they feel like.

Okay, that's a lie, but a hopeful one. Someday, I hope I'll forget.

I realized today that it's been nearly six years since this therapy journey began, and I still have moments when I wish for someone to be outraged at the ways I was violated--moments when I want to be held as I cry--when I yearn for someone to tell me it's okay to still feel sad after a million years have passed. Perhaps one day that will go away, as well. I'm aware that, just as I have grown used to the fact that I am a rape survivor, so have the people closest to me. It is a mundane fact of Samantha, no longer shocking or remarkable.

It has been of interest to me to recognize that as the news of my violation has become old, people have been able to see past the sensational nastiness and find only me, and at the core, Samantha is simply a woman like any other. Part of me revels in this--while part of me wishes there was more...

I lay in the dentist's chair for two hours, willing my trembling body to be still, nodding briefly when the dentist asked repeatedly if I was okay. No flashbacks = very okay. Still, it can't be easy to work on a patient whose body is wracked with tremors. I took deep breaths and tried not to remember that the firm, painless pressure bearing down on my lower jaw was actually a dentist prying my gumline away from the roots of my teeth. Now, in the aftermath, there is no way to avoid that knowledge as the throbbing pain and metallic taste of blood remind me fairly constantly.

I am reminded of the sight of blood which would not allow me to ignore the damage done during my cousin's nightly visits. For a long time I was dreadfully afraid of the child who dragged herself downstairs to find clean sheets, and then clean herself. The tremors I still experience mirror those that shook her body as shock and horror left her feeling numb and alone. She wanted someone to help her--to save her. No one did.

I'm no longer afraid of her. I know her well because she is me. I fear to let anyone else love that eleven-year-old girl. She is unable to understand that love forgets. She would wish for it to continue. She doesn't understand she is invisible still. No matter what I do, I cannot change my past.

Yesterday I finally made the connection between my current bouts of PTSD and the need for love in my life. It's difficult to explain, but I understand. That young girl inside me still wants to be saved. The fact that in the end, I saved myself, seems meaningless.

There is agony, aching and acute regardless of the fact that it is ages old. The pain in my mouth seems minimal in comparison. I don't know how to assuage my need, how to put this all to rest forever. Six years of hard work and I'm still searching for answers and waiting for the hurt to heal.

In the meantime, I watch the jaded expressions in the faces of my loved ones as I seek for some sort of support. They're tired--so very tired. I understand that feeling. The responses I receive are textbook (validate her feelings, allow her to vent, then get away quickly). There really is no other option at this point. We've said all there is to say--over and over again. Even Darrin braces himself now when I ask if I can talk to him. He's tired, too.

Therapist insists I'm making progress. I want to believe him. He says I'm lovable and interesting and delightful. I want to believe him. He says I'm strong and compassionate and loving. I want to believe him. He says I'm not alone and people care about me. I want to believe him. He says, in spite of everything, I have beaten the odds and become amazing. I want to believe him.

I want to believe him.

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