The Chipped-Tooth Incident

Sometimes, bad days happen. I’ve been pretty stable lately. A little down. Ish. Really that is gold-star worthy for me. But yesterday was a mixed mood sort of day. By the end, I was shaking so bad and couldn’t stop talking. I was loud. All pretty unusual for me.

Here’s how it went down. I spent the morning speaking with a friend. She’s a lovely person, so accepting. I actually did discuss with her some of my true feelings. I’ve been dealing with feelings of loneliness lately, different from my typical isolation, and I also spoke with her about upcoming doctor appointments. It was very nice. I didn’t go to the deep end but I let her see a glimmer. Just speaking these things out loud is enough for a slight tilt toward mania.

I could feel it. But it wasn’t uncomfortable. Then I had play therapy with my five-year old. We’ll call her The Professor. It was our first session. While outwardly I was claiming that our relationship had so improved I was unsure why I was even keeping the appointment, inwardly I knew. It all spilled out in front of the social worker.

I am afraid The Big Break of 2013 really affected her. She’s quiet. Doesn’t express her inner world. But after I woke up from being sick for three months and continued to be suicidal for several more, I noticed she didn’t respect me, she fought me on everything, she talked down to me. She’s moody and very hard on herself and others. I’m worried having a sick mommy has hurt her and it’s time to talk about it.

By this time I’m pretty ramped up. Feeling mixed. Upset with myself for all that has happened but relieved to finally be addressing it. Hopeful. Super hyper. A little big strained in my brain. (Feels a little like a headache receding).

And then I take a good look at Maximus. (My three-year old who is slight but mighty). She’s talking strange, not moving her upper lip. I take a look and see her two front teeth have a small chalky line at the very bottom and one of them looks chipped. Yep, definitely chipped. And that’s when I go full-tilt. My brain just sets off, lit like a Roman candle. Nothing with my kids can be so simple as a chipped tooth. The dominoes that went off in my head went something like this.

She just had dental surgery for three hours last month and now it looks like her two front teeth are about to break off at the bottom.

What will the dentist say?

Her teeth are bad.

She doesn’t get any fluoride.

I can’t get her to switch to new toothpaste because she gags.

Overactive gag reflex.

I should have tried harder.

Why didn’t anyone tell me?

Are they not watching her well enough in her special ed class?

She has developmental coordination disorder.

Super clumsy. Falls all the time.

I should take it more seriously.

School should take it more seriously.

I’ve been lulled into thinking she’s already “better” after a few months of school.

Shame on me.

She’s my baby, I have to protect her.

No one else cares.

What if it’s all in my head.

She has bad teeth; she fell. End of story, right?

No. I should have seen this coming.

Contact school, contact dentist.

Maybe a helmet or a mouth guard.

I should have thought of that earlier.

My fault.

Calm down.

My wrongdoing.

My baby, hurt because of me.

Then the jealousy hits. My husband has no such thoughts. I’m sure other moms don’t either. I spiral deeper. Who thought I could handle kids? I can barely keep myself up and running. I didn’t know both my kids would have special needs that require constant special attention. (I should have known).

Then I shift back to The Professor. I question the recent decisions made to not give her meds for ADHD. To not keep her in the special needs program. She’ll fail! It will be All. My. Fault.

Round and round I spin. Talking loudly to my husband who has the look on his face that says, she’s not ok. He just nods and smiles. I hate that. I hate him! I hate myself.

In the end, I turned to Ativan, went to bed, woke up and walked 6 miles. The next day I avoided the chipped tooth altogether. If I don’t pursue it, I know it will get dropped. Maybe that’s good. Maybe that means it really was all in my head. Just one day lost to a mixed mood. I’ll just wait and see if my ‘normal’ husband thinks it’s worth pursuing.

It’s horrible not to have faith in your own reasoning. But it’s failed me before.