Dentist office meltdown (my take on good girl fake)

by Kerry

Today is another discuss and relate day over at chattingatthesky with Emily. And of course there’s always so much “irony” in how as women we relate in the fact that we’re not relating well! Think about it. For me, (and I’ve read you, too) I crave real, authentic interaction but still hide behind my ‘fake fine’ – as Emily alludes to in her Grace for the Good Girl chapters today. Fake isn’t fabulous and yet we treat it as so. To the point of hiding-behind-fine overload, which leads me to my post today…

My meltdown at the dentist office.

Yeah, some may have considered it ugly and way off the restrained personality chart, but I considered it a much needed release of ‘not fine’ – and I’m fine with that.

So, quick background. We moved last September to new state, new community, new school, new church (which hubby is pastoring), new lifestyle, new people, you name it – new everything. Husband had commuted back and forth for a year and a half prior to said move so we could find new home and sell old one. Day before moving day we find out we’d soon be miscarrying our baby. Five days after unloading our lives into the new everything, we did miscarry.

This post is not about the miscarriage. It’s about that pressure that we allow to build up inside ourselves. It’s the ‘I’m fine, but not fine’ pressure. It’s the pounding need to be enough, not let people down. To not feel like a failure when we secretly live in imperfect and hide behind perfect people-pleasing personalities. It’s the feeling like a pressure cooker that can’t..handle..another..minute..more.

It’s the one thing that overlaps the next, that piles on top of the previous, that heaves weight on the already overbearing load. As much as we joke about moms, really women in general, and their similarities to circus acts trying to juggle it all, maintain it all, live it all … we (I) simmer way too much. Simmer to long to the boiling point. And that pressure eventually let’s loose somehow, someway.

Cue me in the dentist office today. I’m fed up. I’m overloaded. We remain loyal to our dentist because we like him, had just found this great man before we moved. So we drive back for appointments (plus grandma and grandpa are here). Great dentist hasn’t been able to completely eradicate my tooth pain that began last December. Still, we remain loyal. I, however, have been simmering again lately, over various issues, and instinctually hit boiling point at worst possible scenario – in public. I already had my 2 cents worth spiel planned out. And I clearly let dentist in on my 2 cents about my tooth, about my move, about my miscarriage, about how much money we’ve spent in this dentist office, and… ok, picture painted. As I’m ending my now very teary-eyed proclamations I stop and flatly declare, “I need normal.” I needed the pain gone for a change. And not just in my tooth.

With the most gentle spirit, this sweet dentist man calmly explained to me and hubby (oh, you better believe hubby was there to watch my spiel) what he thought the real issue was proving to be with the tooth and the final quick fix. He worked rapidly. Then he led us to the break room, shut the door and grabbed our hands and prayed over us. Whaaat? – you say? Oh yes. He prayed. He hugged. And he encouraged, supported, you name it… he fulfilled a need.

I probably could have presented my authentic in a much less dramatic venture, but that was the real I needed in that very moment.

So, like Emily asks today, why do I hide behind my fake fine? Yes, fear and laziness combined. But, also, some stubbornness and past regrets get thrown in the mix as well. That dashed expectations thing, again. On myself and others.

That sign on my forehead? “Growth in process.”

That bill for my tooth today? Paid by dentist.