Epiphany in the Dental Chair

Visits to the dentist make me nervous. Some visits are down right terrifying. When the trembling started I felt so disappointed. I could feel the terror spreading. I closed my eyes and tried to will my heart to slow down but I just could not breathe. My heart felt like exploding and my entire body shook. As soon as the fear hit me I broke out in a sweat and chest pains.

Great…a full blown panic attack. There was a time when these episodes occurred often in my life but not anymore. Anxiety gets the best of me sometimes but it is manageable.

Spinning and dizziness hit me, my fingers and toes tingle. Then the weird floating…detached sensations arrive. Panic attacks are overwhelming and I cannot hide the symptoms. I feel betrayed and trapped by my own body.

My doctor was completely unfazed. He told me my reaction was completely normal for some people. He takes the blue paper bib off of me and helps me to stand up. He calls an attendant to help me “walk it off.” I need someone to help because I am shaking so hard and feel dizzy…my walk is more like a drunken stagger. Which is fine when full of wine but kinda odd when sober. He continues to explain that my reaction is caused by the epinephrine in the anesthetic…triggered my adrenalin “fight or flight response.”

I wasn’t sure which idea was more shocking: that I wasn’t having a panic attack or that this moment was “completely normal”. All these years I thought I was terrified of the dentist.

Nope. Completely normal.



2016 Word

A new year full of promise, hope, new adventures, and dreams.

Not exactly…

Just more of the same-old, same-old.

I’m not one for keeping New Year’s resolutions. I’ll let the fitness hype go this year. But, now that we are getting settled in the new house I’ve returned to working out a bit. My youngest loves Wii dance games and I like to join him. I try not to think about how awkward my attempt at dancing (especially to some of the hip-hop songs) must appear. Sometimes I jump (not literally) on the treadmill and walk a bit. New songs on my iPod would be motivating…but every year it seems the learning curve for iTunes grows exponentially.

Progress in healthy eating of the slow and steady variety is coming along nicely too. Not out of desire for health though. Mostly to escape pain. So many foods (the stuff that actually tastes good!) aggravate my stomach or ignite my inflammation troubles. I quit trying during the move but time to get back to taking care of my health. The joints in my hands and wrist are so painful. I expected the pain but not the weakness or the crunchy gritting sound in my wrists. I’m back on my ginger now that all of the holiday travel is over so some of the discomfort is already starting to ease up a bit. Sadly, the strength doesn’t come back…I’ve learned that sad fact this year.

I wanted to choose a word this year. A point of focus. Originally, I had clarity or perceive in mind. But as I spent time meditating, praying, reflecting and remembering my reaction to this year’s trials…well, those chosen words were without meaning.

my childhood in a picture

my childhood in a picture

Fear beat me down this year. Fear brought on by rejection. My wee little black hole, you know, the one in my soul? The core center of my very self. (Please see my series on Made To Crave if you are interested). As this year’s events unfolded my black hole began to grow in strength. My deep sense of unworthiness threatened to overwhelm me as I felt discarded…again. I’ve broken down and cried many, many times since July. All of the fear from my abusive childhood returned. I felt like an unwanted little child all over again. Unloved and not even worthy of being loved.

I’m wise enough to know that I’ll never be rid of those feelings…not entirely. I’m blessed to be loved by an ever patient man. My husband is the warmth that keeps those old demons away. I should have been a pillar for him this year but he supported me instead. Only out of love for my husband did I not torch and burn a few bridges to lifeless ash. I am consumed with fear.

I do not want to be ruled by fear. I do not want to be that nearly lifeless child pleading to be loved.

My word is brave. My word terrifies me.

Let me be brave…


Weekly Wrap-up: Let it Go and Other Desultory Moments


playing with forbidden legos

playing with forbidden legos

During a moment of purely motherly insanity I purchased the Frozen soundtrack for my sweet children. They now know all of the songs by heart. Sparkles can even dictate the parts of the movie that correspond with the non-lyrical parts of the soundtrack (why can’t they perform this impossible feat during school hours!?!?). I have witnessed untold numbers of dances and sing-alongs…even recorded one or two on the sly. One time, the four of them, spontaneously together burst into song (Let it Go) during math lessons at the dining room table. I just let them sing…too stunned into immobility to do anything about it anyway. Yet, despite the one-hundred plus times I’ve heard the song, I still want to cry and console myself with chocolate every time I hear Do You Want to Build a Snowman? 

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dodging traffic

Over the weekend we had the misfortune to attend the WORST classic car cruise-in ever…well…the worst I’ve ever been to anyway. There were many wonderful cars we wanted to look at and many we hadn’t seen locally anywhere else. However, the town hosting the cruise-in did not shut down the main traffic! It wasn’t safe to look at the cars because you had to dodge oncoming traffic. I was so disgusted…

Middle Boy  without fear

Middle Boy without fear

We had a blast swimming with our friends on Friday. Middle Boy even swam in a very deep pool for a while without water-wings. He did very well and I think most of his fear of the water is behind him. Littlest insisted Big E hold him in the pool most of the time. Anytime I came near he just yelled, “I don’t want you!” Littlest has been telling me for weeks how much he wanted to see Big E. I’m sure Big E had his fill of Littlest last Friday but to his credit he never complained and always indulged Littlest’s every wish.

20140530_103219 (640x480)The kids worked hard on math this week and even through the weekend. I have been pushing them to get through at least half of the previous grade level of math before our academic year starts in July. They have even been working on weekends. This week my husband suggested we take a day off from school work. I listen to my husband. even though I am the teacher he is the head of our school. The kids played happily on their day off. I had so much to do but ended up taking a nap…and it was wonderful!

20140530_103214 (640x474)On Wednesday a friend came over to discuss homeschooling. I’ve been praying for her family for a long time because she has wanted to homeschool but her husband was dubious. He finally (after years of praying) agreed. So my friend came over to discuss curriculum and laws and I gave her some curriculum and a pile of catalogs. Later today another family will be coming over to talk to me about homeschooling. I never expected to be a consultant…I am humbled by the trust others place in me and fearful of letting them down.

Oldest has turned a corner this week. He is working hard on his history and geography notebooks. Suddenly, he has taken ownership of his work and puts a great deal of time into his notebooks. I am so happy to witness this maturing moment in hard work. I am really looking forward to beginning the Logic Stage with him. These are the moments a homeschool mom lives for…

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Emotional Episodes

My beloved Bible Study group quit meeting last month after nearly five years. I wasn’t ready for this group to end and kept hoping for an email or call that my friend had changed her mind and we would be meeting again. The note never came and my hope withered into sorrow. When Friday morning came I felt the loss and separation from the group rather sharply and cried. I would have to find a new Bible study group.

This past Wednesday night I started with a new group that meets at church. They are currently working through the Precepts inductive Bible study method of Hebrews. I must admit to being a little frightened about the intensity of the study but…oh well…I NEED a Bible study and this is available. Despite my hesitation at the new style of learning and study I dived right in…and nearly drowned.

I underestimated my emotions. I started to speak in class and fell apart. The situation is too new and I failed to give myself time to adjust. Sometimes I think I am more emotionally stable than I truly am. I had an episode…as I call them…one like I haven’t had in a long time. My heart beat so fast I could barely hear my own voice and my blood had that awful pins-and-needle feeling that traveled from my heart all the way to my fingers and toes. I shook so bad I could not write during the rest of class time and gripped the desk so hard my hand is still sore…all I wanted to do was run.

Hopefully next week will go a bit smoother.