Greetings! So how is everyone? It's been a while!
We are fine, but have had a busy time with travel and birthday and wedding anniversary celebrations which come around every March. So no time and energy for blogging or Youtube. And now I'm stuck in bed/ on the couch recovering from oral surgery.
I have been confined to quarters for a week, which seems excessive but apparently is to do with clotting. Must be a modern thing because my Mum went supermarket shopping after hers!
This week has been confronting me with some of my prejudices and thought processes. Being told to stay put when you would rather do, is not easy. I know this about myself. But I am dutiful and being good. Asking for help and getting people to carry stuff or bring things to me, or not being able to do housework that you see needs doing has been harder than I thought.
But the main testing has been in the acceptance of the gap in my mouth. I have lost the first molar on one side. It feels weird, and although not super obvious it is still visible when I smile because I have a wide smile...something I've always been told is one of my nice qualities. Now it is tempting not to smile so wide. Hmmm.
Am I that vain?
I am constantly having conversations with myself in this healing time about being grateful it wasn't a finger, or being grateful I don't need further debilitating treatment like radiation.
I realise there is a lot of shame behind my thoughts. Shame about how I feel it is my fault I lost a tooth. "You didn't look after your teeth properly, and so see what happens?!" When I deconstruct my life to pinpoint the blame, I realise it is noone's fault.
It's not my fault I had a genetic undiagnosed autism spectrum condition that made it hard for me to know how to look after myself.
It's not my fault that I was raised in a third world country that barely had any dental care available.
It's not my fault that my genes have made my teeth grow the way they have with deep gum pockets, poor enamel and propensity to decay.
It's not my fault my teeth may have reacted to my pregnancy at the time requiring a root canal treatment.
The surgeon actually said I'd done "all the right things", and the endodontist explained my roots are so fine and angled he couldn't do a proper root canal. He was actually amazed it had lasted 16 years.
And yet I still blame myself! This is my attempt at trying to whack the message into my stubborn old
I see other people having teeth removed for crowding problems, but somehow that doesn't carry this burden.
Because that is just how their teeth are! Fancy being able to let go the blaming and say that to myself.
I do have the option to buy a tooth to replace it, to have an implant. Of course it is horrifically expensive, thousands and thousands of dollars and not something I would easily do. I think if it was cheaper it would be easier to approach. There are messages there too around not feeling I am worth it because I let it happen in the first place. So I should be punished with a gap? And of course, maybe I can sacrifice my smile so I can spend it on something more constructive for my kids.
Please realise these musings are my own destructive thoughts, and not in any way meant to represent how I feel about others in this situation. Which is kind of ironic, and gives me an insight into how others feel about me. Of course we all know we are harder on ourselves than anyone else. And I also realise that this is really a first world problem and not something to really dwell on at all!
I wonder if I have absorbed messages about beauty that revolve around "perfect" images. Model airbrushed beauty. Complete bright white smiles. I'm obsessed with people's teeth on TV and movies now. Of course I'm comparing myself to the most beautiful people in the world. Probably not realistic!
Along these same lines I have been mulling over my dress sense. During this time of rest I have given myself "permission" to dress in my slobby clothes. The ones I love that have baggy pants and full dresses. Old shirts with sleeves rolled and saggy bottomed jeans. I am aware of an urge inside to apologise to those around me for having to see me like this. Since when has it been my duty to provide a beautiful image for their gaze?!
I think we are fed stories as girls especially, that we need to be beautiful. If we can't be beautiful, at least attractive or well put together. We need to "make the most of yourself"... Whatever that means.
I don't think men are immune from this feeling either. I do think we have deep stories in our minds that tell us how we need to present ourselves to the world and those we love. It can be very difficult to ignore them.
Whether they are from society or our parents, or even old relationships and or past comments, we need to be brave. To stand up and say, this is how I want to present myself, whether it is flattering or not, whether it is the best colours or sillhouette or not. I want to live like this for now. Please understand that and accept it. So this includes in my case having a gappy smile right now :-)
You may notice my profile picture has changed. It reflects my new reality (pre-tooth extraction). I am growing my hair and wearing contacts now! Miles recently turned 17 and Aiden turned 14. Miles has now graduated from homeschooling and has the option to take his driving test. Watch this space! Aiden has become a proud new owner of a folding ebike named "Eli". He is kindly doing regular shopping trips for me while I am laid up. And of course Cris is being his usual gorgeous cutie supportive self.